Business Law

Business Law News 2016, Issue 3

BLN Editorial Board: Message from the Editor

Everett L. Green

One of our goals of the Business Law News is to inform our readers of potential trends and changes in the law. In our current issue, we took that goal to heart.

Recent articles in national publications have raised concerns regarding the use of arbitration clauses in employment agreements by start-ups and gig economy companies. The New York Times, for example, describes arbitration as "a secretive process that is often lopsided in favor of the employer."1 By requiring workers to arbitrate, according to one source quoted in the article, "start-ups give their young workers Ping-Pong tables and take away their constitutional rights." The concerns in the New York Times article arise during an increase in litigation by gig economy workers who are seeking the protections and status of traditional employees. Class action lawsuits filed by workers for Uber and Lyft are two well-known examples. To give our readers an insiders’ perspective on the issue, we reached out to counsel who actively represented gig economy companies. Our feature article by Robert Yonowitz and Danielle Garcia is titled The Benefits of Mandatory Binding Arbitration Agreements With Class Action Waivers in the Gig Economy —They Are Not Just For Employees Any More.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s proposal to regulate payday lending is also generating widespread discussion and commentary. The proposal imposes restrictions on the structure of payday loans, imposes limitations on how lenders collect the loans, and mandates extensive record retention policies. Opponents argue that the rule is tantamount to abolishing the payday lending industry and that the rules hurt the very consumers they are intended to protect.2 We asked a longtime observer and practitioner on topics and trends affecting the consumer financial services industry, Caren Enloe, to explain the new rule.

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