VB CGC Practice Group

VB CGC Practice Group
Vandeventer Black's Construction and Government Contracts Practice Group focuses on serving our business clients in the construction industry. We currently have offices in Norfolk and Richmond, VA, the OBX and Raleigh, NC, and Hamburg, Germany. For more information about Vandeventer Black, clink on the VB logo.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Provision Agreeing to Not Challenge Arbitration Award Voided by Georgia Court

An increasingly popular arbitration clause provision is language purporting to waive later challenge to the arbitration award. In a recent decision in Atlanta Flooring Design Centers, Inc. v. R.G. Williams Constr., Inc., 733 S.E.2d 868 (April 2015), the Georgia Court of Appeals held such waiver void and unenforceable.

While that court recognized the general fundamental principle that parties have the right to freely contract, it rationalized that Georgia's arbitration act does not permit such waiver or elimination of right to seek to vacate or modify an arbitrator's award. The court also relied upon federal case law interpreting the Federal Arbitration Act similarly holding.

Virginia's arbitration statutes are similar to those of Georgia and the Federal Arbitration Act. So, would a Virginia court rule similarly? That remains to be seen.

For example, compare the Atlanta Flooring analysis with the Virginia Supreme Court's holdings in Gordonsville Energy v. Virginia Electric and Power Company, 257 Va. 344 (1999) enforcing a contractual provision waiving the right to challenge a contract's liquidated damages provisions. But one can certainly distinguish waiving another contractual provision (in that case for LDs) from a statutory judicial review statute such as applies to an arbitration award.

Time, and someone's judicial challenge, will tell.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Changes . . . New Overtime Rules Published by Department of Labor

Earlier this year, the Department of Labor (DOL) published new proposed rules for FLSA overtime requirements. Among the proposed rules, DOL has proposed:

  • Increasing the salary threshold from $23,660/year to $50,400/year [40th percentile].

  • Increasing the "highly compensated" threshold from $100,000/year to $122,148/year [90th percentile]; and

  • Automatically increasing the thresholds to "keep pace with inflation."

The new rules will go into effect in 2016 absent further change.

Vandeventer Black's Anne Bibeau regularly address these and related employment matters, both involving overtime issues and employment issues for broadly. For more information about these changes or any other employment law matter, please contact her or any of the other Vandeventer Black Employment Law Group team members - www.vanblacklaw.com or (757) 446-8600.