James H. Hanson
Mr. Hanson’s practice focuses on labor and employment issues in the transportation and construction industries.
James H. Hanson has advised and represented numerous employers in the transportation, construction and other industries in a wide variety of management labor and employment-related matters, including defending wrongful discharge and discrimination claims; negotiating severance agreements; preparing employee handbooks, policy manuals and substance abuse and harassment policies; negotiating collective bargaining agreements; conducting counter-union organizing campaigns; handling wage and hour investigations; counseling employers on FLSA, FMLA, and COBRA compliance; and representing employers before the NLRB, the EEOC, the U.S. Department of Labor and other state and federal agencies and in litigation in federal and state courts. He has also advised and represented clients in claims under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) and the Multiemployer Pension Plan Act (MPPAA). Named as one of the top 5% of Indiana lawyers by the 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2008 Indiana Super Lawyers® peer selection survey, Mr. Hanson has lectured nationally on numerous labor and employment matters. Mr. Hanson has also argued before the U.S. Supreme Court.
On The Road
- Road Closed Ahead: Avoiding the Detours of Wage and Hour Class Action Lawsuits
Sep 27, 2021, James H. Hanson, North American Transportation Employee Relations Association’s Annual Conference - Austin, TX
- Class Action Update
May 21, 2020, James H. Hanson, Scopelitis Webinar Series
- Predictive Scheduling – The Next Big Challenge for the Trucking Industry
Mar 1, 2020, James H. Hanson, North American Transportation Employee Relations Association’s (NATERA) Conference - Orlando, FL
- Update on the Overlap of U.S. DOL and DOT Regulations Impacting Employment Issues
Sep 16, 2019, James H. Hanson, North American Transportation Employee Relations Association’s 2019 Building Block of Employee Relations Conference - Alexandria, VA
- Class Action Update
Mar 21, 2019, James H. Hanson, Scopelitis Webinar Series
- Class Action Update - Escaping the Eruption of Class and Collective Actions
Oct 19, 2017, James H. Hanson, Scopelitis Webinar Series
- Transportation Brief: Spotlight on Investigations and AuditsWhile the transportation industry is largely deregulated, a surprising number of federal, state, and local government agencies write and administer a long—and growing—list of rules affecting transportation providers. These agencies regularly inspect for noncompliance, and they have the power to assess civil penalties for violations, place assets “out of service,” or worse. When the inspectors come calling, it is important to be prepared.
- Transportation Brief: Ninth Circuit Addresses Piece-rate Pay PlansIn Ayala v. U.S. Xpress, Inc., the Ninth Circuit recently ruled that a properly drafted piece-rate compensation pay plan that pays for delivered loads can cover both the time spent driving as well as the time spent performing non-driving activities associated with delivering the loads. How can companies address how drivers earn their activity-based pay?
- Law Alert: Ninth Circuit Grants Stay; Injunction Against Enforcement of AB-5 Against Motor Carriers Remains in PlaceThe United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit granted California Trucking Association’s request for a stay of the mandate in order to allow CTA to petition the Supreme Court for review of the Ninth Circuit’s holding in CTA v. Bonta that the restrictive ABC test in AB-5 is not preempted by the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act of 1994.
- Law Alert: Ninth Circuit Denies Rehearing in CTA CaseThe United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has denied the California Trucking Association’s (CTA) request for an en banc review of the Ninth Circuit’s April 28 decision that found the CTA was unlikely to succeed on its claim that the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act of 1994 (F4A) preempts AB-5, the California legislature’s imposition of a restrictive ABC test.
- Law Alert: 9th Circuit Rules AB-5 Not Preempted On April 28, 2021, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that California Trucking Association (CTA) was unlikely to succeed on the merits with respect to its claim that AB-5, the California legislature’s imposition of a restrictive ABC test, is preempted by the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act of 1994 (F4A). What is the future of AB-5 and how will it affect the transportation industry?
- Law Alert: DOL Opinion Letters on Gig Economy Workers and Compensability of Sleeper Berth Time WithdrawnThe U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) withdrew an Opinion Letter issued in 2019 deeming gig economy workers engaging through a virtual marketplace platform to be independent contractors under the Fair Labor Standards Act’s economic realities test (FLSA-2019-6).
- Law Alert: Ninth Circuit Upholds California Meal and Rest Break PreemptionThe United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit delivered good news for the trucking industry today, upholding the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s determination that California’s meal and rest break rules are preempted under 49 U.S.C. § 31141.
- Law Alert: California Court of Appeal Rules AB5 not Preempted by FAAAAThe California Court of Appeal reversed the trial court decision in People v. Cal Cartage Transportation Express, LLC, holding that the ABC test first expressed in Dynamex and later codified in AB5 is not preempted by federal law.
- Scopelitis Labor & Employment News: October 2020The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), passed in the early days of the pandemic, required employers to provide paid sick leave for, among other reasons, employees who needed to stay home to care for a child whose school or place of care closed due to COVID-19. With school closings on the rise again and positive tests causing portions of classes to stay home to quarantine, employers need to prepare for a second wave of leave requests – which may come from employees who have already exhausted their paid leave rights under FFCRA.
- Law Alert: DOL Releases Text of New IC Rule for FLSAThe U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) released a proposed rule to determine independent contractor status under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The proposal is expected to be published in the Federal Register later this week or early next week. Comments will be due 30 days following formal publication.
- Law Alert: Court Says Uber and Lyft Cannot Classify Their Drivers as Independent ContractorsA California state court granted a preliminary injunction sought by the State of California to prohibit and restrain Uber and Lyft from classifying their drivers as independent contractors and from violating any provisions of the California Labor Code, the Unemployment Insurance Code, and the wage orders of the Industrial Welfare Commission.
- Labor & Employment News: August 2020The NLRB’s Active 2020
- Transportation Brief: Key Cases Addressing the Reach of California’s Strict Wage and Hour Laws
On a certified question from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, the California Supreme Court decided a pair of cases that will certainly impact California wage and hour class actions against motor carriers. Read more from Scopelitis regarding what this means for the transportation industry.
- Law Alert: California Supreme Court Decides Key Wage and Hour Cases Impacting Interstate WorkersOn a certified question from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, the California Supreme Court decided a pair of cases that will certainly impact California wage and hour class actions against motor carriers. Read more about what that means for the transportation industry.
- Labor & Employment News: May 2020Return-to-Work Considerations
- Transportation Brief: Spotlight on Scopelitis Class Action DefenseOver the last 15 years, the transportation industry has been subject to an onslaught of wage-and-hour class actions. Legislative efforts like New Jersey’s efforts to adopt the ABC test for misclassification claims and California’s AB 5 ensure wage-and-hour class actions will continue to threaten transportation companies for the foreseeable future. As one of the few legal teams in the country to have successfully tried multiple class actions to verdict, Scopelitis is at the forefront when it comes to making and defending the law. Learn more.
- Scopelitis L & E News: November 2019The Scopelitis Labor & Employment team on making sure your company's fitness/agility tests are legal.
- Scopelitis L & E News: October 2019Scopelitis' Labor & Employment practice on the growing marijuana trend increases employer uncertainty in drug testing and discipline.
- Law Alert: U.S. DOL Issues Final Rule Raising Overtime Exemption Salary Threshold to $35,568Scopelitis on the U.S. DOL’s final regulation on workers’ overtime-exempt status.
- Scopelitis L & E News: August 2019Scopelitis Labor & Employment Practice on action employers should take regarding the DOL opinion letter on sleeper berth time.
- Law Alert: U.S. DOL Opinion: Sleeper Berth Time Spent Off Duty Is Not CompensableAn alert from Scopelitis' Labor & Employment team regarding the DOL's position on sleeper berth time.
- Scopelitis L & E News: July 2019Scopelitis' Labor & Employment Practice on paid leave laws creating tension for transportation industry employers.
- Scopelitis L & E News: May 2019Scopelitis' Labor & Employment Practice on its Sexual Harassment Prevention Training offering
- Scopelitis in the News: "Calif. Truckers' Wage Action Trimmed Under DOT." May 6, 2019. Law360.Scopelitis Partner James Hanson quoted in Law360 regarding a Caliornia district court decision in the Ayala case.
- Scopelitis in the News: "U.S. Xpress Defends Against California Meal and Rest Break Claims." May 6, 2019. FreightWaves.Scopelitis Partner James Hanson quoted in FreightWaves regarding a California federal court's decision to dismiss part of a class-action lawsuit against U.S. Xpress that claimed the Chattanooga, Tennessee-based truckload carrier violated the state’s meal and rest break laws.
- Law Alert: District Court Dismisses Meal and Rest Break Claims Based on FMCSA Preemption DecisionA decision that sets an important precedent for transportation companies facing meal and rest break claims in California. Read more from the Scopelitis Class Action Defense and Complex Litigation team.
- Scopelitis in the News: "Citing FMCSA Policy Change, Court Dismisses Suit Against U.S. Xpress Over California Break Laws." May 6, 2019. Overdrive Magazine.Scopelitis Partner James Hanson quoted in Overdrive Magazine regarding a California district court decision to dismiss meal and rest break claims based on FMCSA preemption decision.
- Law Alert: Prepare Now for September 30, 2019 EEO-1 Pay Data Reporting DeadlineDeadlines and requirements for the EEOC's new pay data reporting requirement have now been set. Read details from the Scopelitis L&E team.
- Law Alert: DOL Issues Opinion Letter Deeming Gig Economy Workers Independent ContractorsScopelitis attorneys highlight key facts and circumstances considered by the DOL under each factor of the economic realities test.
- Law Alert: Western States Trucking Association's FAAAA Preemption Argument Dismissed by California District CourtOn March 29, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California held that the FAAAA does not preempt the application of the Dynamex ABC Test to a motor carrier for purposes of determining whether owner-operators are considered employees under California’s Wage Orders. Read more on what this ruling means for the transportation industry.
- Scopelitis L & E News: March 2019, Part 2Scopelitis' Labor & Employment Practice with an update on EEO-1 Reporting
- Scopelitis L & E News: March 2019, Part 1Scopelitis Labor & Employment Practice with a note on steering clear of National Labor Relations Act problems
- Law Alert: NLRB Re-Focuses Its Independent Contractor TestMore on The National Labor Relations Board determination that van drivers franchised with SuperShuttle DFW, Inc., were properly classified as independent contractors rather than employees. Ion organizing or other concerted activity exists.
- Scopelitis L & E News: December 27, 2018Scopelitis' Labor & Employment Practice on Illinois recently becoming the ninth state or district to mandate reimbursement of an employee’s expenses
- Scopelitis L & E News: December 6, 2018From Scopelitis' Labor & Employment Practice on the overtime salary threshold of $23,660 that has been under review by the Department of Labor (“DOL”) since 2016 - still on hold
- Law Alert: Dynamex subject to FAAAA preemptionRead more on the California Federal District Court Decision that the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act (“FAAAA”) preempts the application of the “Dynamex” ABC Test to a motor carrier.
- Scopelitis L & E News: November 2018Scopelitis' Labor & Employment Practice on OSHA, who has recently provided guidance for safety-minded companies in the form of advice as well as citations issued
- Scopelitis L & E News: October 2018Scopelitis' Labor & Employment Practice on whether or not employer has a legal obligation to allow an employee to bring an animal into the workplace.
- Law Alert: California’s Meal and Rest Break Requirements PreemptedRead more on California Meal and Rest Break Laws Preempted With Respect To Hazmat Drivers.
- Law Alert: Employers Should Immediately Begin Using New Version of FCRA Summary of RightsRead more on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's just released new model “Summary of Your Rights Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act”.
- Scopelitis L & E News: September 2018Scopelitis' Labor & Employment Practice on how a new case from the 7th Circuit (the federal jurisdiction covering Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin) provides some practical clarity on the phrase “reasonable accommodation”.
- Law Alert: NLRB Invites Comments On Employee Access to Employer Email for Union Organizing PurposesRead insights from Scopelitis on a notice issued by the NLRB on August 1st regarding invites to file briefs on whether the Board should adhere to, modify, or overrule Purple Communications, Inc., 361 NLRB 1050 (2014).
- Law Alert: California Supreme Court Denies Petition for Rehearing in DynamexRead Scopelitis' take on California Supreme Court denying the Dynamex petition for rehearing.
- Law Alert: California Supreme Court Clarifies Test for Employment Status Under IWC Wage OrdersRead Scopelitis' take on the California Supreme Court decision.
- Transportation Law Alert: California Bars Inquiries Into Applicants’ Salary HistoryRead Scopelitis' take on California law prohibiting employers from seeking salary history information from applicants for employment.
- Law Alert: ALJ Finds Misclassifying Independent Contractor Drivers Violates the NLRARead Scopelitis' take on the ALJ decision.
- Law Alert: Permanent Injunction Issued on DOL’s Overtime RuleRead more on Scopelitis' take on a Texas judge's final order rejecting the U.S. Department of Labor’s attempt to raise the salary level for “white collar” exemptions from overtime.
- Scopelitis In the News: "Class Wage-and-Hour Litigation is an Ongoing Threat" August, 24, 2016, The Indiana LawyerScopelitis Partners Jim Hanson and Chris Eckhart on the dynamics of class and collective actions and what drives them and why they should be a chief concern of every company that wants to avoid high-stakes, bet-the-company litigation.
- Calif. Truckers’ Wage Case Preempted By US Law: Judge
In a potential boon for the California trucking industry, a federal judge on Wednesday tossed class action claims that Penske Logistics LLC underpaid for meal and rest breaks for employees who delivered Whirlpool Corp. appliances, saying those claims were preempted by federal law.