Legalized Wage Theft?

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According to Huffington Post, the burrito chain, Chipotle’s, has asked the Supreme Court to exclude 2,814 workers from a massive wage theft lawsuit because they signed mandatory arbitration agreements. Questions: 1. At the heart of this dispute, how many people who have worked for the burrito chain joined a 2014 lawsuit alleging the company systemically… Read more »

The new CFPB rule

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On July 10, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a controversial rule to prevent companies from using arbitration clauses to stop litigation over customer complaints. Questions: 1. Many of these clauses have been related to credit card or banking customer contracts. If consumers don’t agree with the arbitration, why haven’t they filed class action… Read more »

Fine Print – Gotcha!

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Tara Zoumer thought she had found her dream job when she was hired at WeWork, a $16 billion start-up that rents office space to young entrepreneurs. As a salaried employee, she was soon asked to expand her duties to include many things that an hourly custodian should do. When she tried to get other employees… Read more »

Meaningless? Exagerating Customer Savings?

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Just as traditional retailers are faltering, so are list prices. This article exposes some of the secrets regarding list prices and online sellers. Questions: 1. Discuss the question in the article and what it means for you personally? “If everyone is getting a deal, is anyone really getting a deal?” 2. Explain the case against… Read more »

End Arbitration?

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As this blog has noted, arbitration clauses have proliferated in all types of contracts over the last few years for transactions related to cellphone service, credit cards, student loans, etc. Now a pivotal case regarding a nursing home death is putting arbitration to the test for its lack of transparency and applicability to elder abuse… Read more »

Arbitration Lurks in the Fine Print

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In this article, the New York Times found that arbitration rules tend to favor businesses, and judges and juries have been replaced by arbitrators who commonly consider the companies to be their clients. According to the authors, this has created an alternative justice system with conflicts of interest. Questions: 1. What types of claims are… Read more »

Circumventing the Courts with Nine Words

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Banning class action suits have essentially disabled consumer challenges to practices like predatory lending. Additionally, a Wall Street-led coalition of credit card companies and retailers, have also engineered blocks on class action suits. In this article, various companies’ efforts to protect arbitration are discussed. Questions: 1. Why has the “birth of a thousand clauses” taken… Read more »

IBM Guards Age Data

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For approximately a decade, IBM has been giving fired employees information detailing a severance package that asks them to waive age-discrimination claims. This package also included a page listing the job titles and ages of workers being let go, until recently. Now IBM is withholding the information and instead offering the workers with the option… Read more »

Brave New World: The Interpretation of Liking a Product on Facebook

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In an April 16 New York Times article, Stephanie Strom reported that ” General Mills, the maker of cereals like Cheerios and Chex as well as brands like Bisquick and Betty Crocker, has quietly added language to its website to alert consumers that they give up their right to sue the company if they download… Read more »

Why is the IMF chief in court?

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Recently, Christine Lagarde was grilled by a French court in regards to a business settlement with disgraced tycoon Bernard Tapie in 2007. Questions: 1. What is the IMF? Why was the IMF in the news in 2011? 2. What is the controversy about? Is anyone alleged to have profited from the incident? 3. What does… Read more »