Retail Litigation Center Publishes Annual Report

The Retail Litigation Center (RLC), today released its 2015 Annual Report. The report highlights the impact that the Center has had on behalf of the retail industry over the past year as it submitted 21 briefs in a total of 20 cases in state and federal court.  

The Retail Litigation Center is a public policy organization that identifies and engages in legal proceedings which affect the retail industry. The RLC, whose members include some of the country's largest retailers, was formed to provide courts with retail industry perspectives on significant legal issues, and highlight the potential industry-wide consequences of legal principles that may be determined in pending cases. 

Among the cases in which the the RLC submitted briefs were: 

  • EEOC v. CVS where the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the lower court’s grant of summary judgment for CVS holding that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission was required to conciliate prior to bringing suit and that the agency cannot bring suit without a charge of discrimination or retaliation.  

  • DirecTV v. Imburgia, where the U.S. Supreme Court found that the California state law ban on class action waivers in arbitration agreements was preempted by the Federal Arbitration Act, thereby reaffirming its preference for the enforcement of arbitration agreements.  

  • Trinity Wall Street v. Wal-Mart, where the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals permitted the employer to exclude a shareholder proposal that attempted to create a committee to oversee the company’s product selection because the proposal related to the company's ordinary business operations. The 3rd Circuit cited the RLC’s brief in its discussion of why this type of proposal would affect the heart of retail operations and was thus excludable under the Securities and Exchange Commission’s ordinary business exception.  

Of the 21 briefs signed by the RLC in 2015, nine were filed exclusively by the Center, five were filed jointly with other retail organizations, and seven were filed jointly by broader coalition groups. Issue areas addressed in briefs throughout the year include employment law, class action standards, labor law, administrative law, intellectual property, corporate governance, tax, and tribal jurisdiction.  

Notably, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Breyer cited an RLC brief in his most recent book, “The Court and the World: American Law and the New Global Realities.” 

“These cases can have such a significant impact on retailers, employees, and consumers, and therefore, it’s crucial that the courts understand the real world implications of their decisions. We are pleased that the RLC was able to give voice to the industry in so many cases this year,” said Deborah White, RILA's executive vice president and general counsel and president of the RLC. “We thank our Board of Directors for their leadership, as well as our members for their input throughout the year, and we look forward to continuing our advocacy on behalf of the retail community in 2016.” 

Stay in the know

Subscribe to our newsletter