Photo of Sheryl L. Skibbe

Sheryl (“Sherry”) Skibbe is a Shareholder at Vedder Price and a member of the Labor & Employment group in the firm’s Los Angeles office.

Ms. Skibbe is an experienced litigator with strong record of success representing global clients in the defense of complex class, collective, and representative actions and high-risk lawsuits.

On April 12, 2024, the U.S. Supreme Court, in a unanimous decision, held that transportation workers need not work in the transportation industry to be exempt from coverage under section 1 of the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”).  Bissonnette, et al. v. LePage Bakeries Park St., LLC, et al., No. 23-51.  (See here.)  The Court found the determining factor to be the nature of the employee’s work for the company, not what the company does generally.  Continue Reading Delivering the Goods:  The Exemption from Arbitration Focuses on the Worker, Not the Industry

In Johnson v. Lowe’s Home Centers, LLC, the Ninth Circuit sided with the California Supreme Court’s ruling in Adolph v. Uber Techs. Inc., 14 Cal. 5th 1104 (2023), and held that the district court was correct to send the individual plaintiff’s Private Attorneys General Act (“PAGA”) claims to arbitration, but reversed the dismissal of the representative PAGA claims, holding they must remain in court.  Although whether PAGA representative claims should remain in court after the plaintiff has been compelled to arbitrate his or her individual claims remains unsettled under the Federal Arbitration Action (“FAA”), and ultimately will be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court, the Ninth Circuit ruling wasn’t particularly surprising.  What is more interesting is the concurrence by Judge Kenneth Lee, who noted some tension between the FAA and AdolphContinue Reading Trying to Reconcile the Tension between the Federal Arbitration Act and Adolph

On October 4, 2023, Governor Gavin Newsom signed SB 616, amending California’s statewide paid sick and safe leave law.  Effective January 1, 2024, this amendment increases paid leave hours for employees and accrual amounts and provides some protections for employees covered by certain collective bargaining agreements. Continue Reading California Increases Requirements for Paid Sick Leave

With the assistance of California governor Gavin Newsom, fast food companies that supported a referendum to reverse the 2022 Fast Food Accountability and Standards Recovery Act (“AB 257”) struck a deal with several labor unions, including the Service Employees International Union, to revise some of AB 257’s most controversial provisions.  In exchange for an agreement on this new bill (“AB 1228”), fast food companies agreed to withdraw the referendum that was set for a vote in 2024.Continue Reading California Fast Food Workers Look Forward to Pay Increases

Continuing with the White House’s push to revamp the employment landscape, the Department of Labor’s (“DOL”) proposed regulations for federally funded construction projects will return to the definition of “prevailing wage” that was last used in 1983.  The agency’s proposed changes to the regulations that implement the Davis-Bacon Act are intended to speed up prevailing wage updates and will increase wages for construction workers over time.Continue Reading DOL Returns to Prior Davis-Bacon Act Wage Definition for Construction Industry

As we predicted (here), employees can be compelled to individually arbitrate their Labor Code claims under the Private Attorneys General Act of 2004 (“PAGA”), but an arbitration agreement that prohibits employees from bringing a representative action on behalf of other employees in court violates California public policy.  In Adolph v. Uber Technologies, Inc., S274671 (July 17, 2023) (“Adolph”), the California Supreme Court analyzed whether an employee retained standing to bring a PAGA action on behalf of other aggrieved employees despite the existence of a valid arbitration agreement requiring arbitration of the employee’s individual PAGA claims.  The Court answered with an unequivocal and unanimous “yes.”  Continue Reading The California Supreme Court Sets Viking River Cruise Decision Adrift

The recent advancements in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the emergence of ChatGPT have opened up new possibilities for employers to enhance efficiency and reduce human error. But with these advances comes potential risk.  Acknowledging the advent of the use of AI in the workplace, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) launched its Artificial Intelligence and Algorithmic Fairness Initiative in late 2021.  On May 18, 2023, the EEOC released a technical assistance document addressing the use of AI by employers when making employment decisions such as hiring, promotion, and firing. Continue Reading Possible Bias in AI Selectivity?  EEOC Issues Guidance on Use of Artificial Intelligence in Employment Selection Procedures

The California Supreme Court heard oral argument today in Adolph (Erik) v. Uber Technologies, Inc., S274671, on the question of whether Private Attorneys’ General Act claims under Labor Code section 2698, et seq. (PAGA) can be brought on behalf of other employees in court despite a plaintiff’s agreement to arbitrate his/her individual PAGA claims. Continue Reading Individual Arbitration Agreements and PAGA Representative Claims—Where Do We Stand Now?

On February 15, 2023, the Ninth Circuit struck down AB 51, a California statute that imposed criminal and civil penalties against employers who required employees to enter into an arbitration agreement as a condition of employment, finding the statute to be an “unacceptable obstacle to the accomplishment and execution of the full purposes and objectives” of the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”).  Chamber of Commerce of the United States of America, et al. v. Bonta, et al., No. 20-15291 (9th Cir. 2023).Continue Reading Non-Negotiable Arbitration Agreements May Be Required as a Condition of Employment

Electronic monitoring of employees’ remote work has increased in the last few years as employers have become concerned with employee productivity during the Covid-19 pandemic.  Monitoring technology can track the websites an employee visits and for how long, the number of keystrokes or mouse movements an employee has in a given time period, when an employee is away from their computer and even what an employee is typing, reading or watching.  Though generally legal, the use of this technology has prompted California to propose a bill aimed at, among other things, restricting employers’ use of such technology to specific times of day, activities and locations.Continue Reading Who is Watching The Watchers? California Seeks to Limit Monitoring of Remote Employees