On Wednesday, April 18, 2018, the Senate passed a measure to repeal the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (“CFPB's”) 2013 guidance prohibiting discrimination in auto lending (the “2013 Guidance”). In 2013, the CFPB issued a bulletin regarding compliance with the fair lending requirements of the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (“ECOA”) and its implementing regulation, Regulation B, for indirect auto lenders that permit dealers to increase consumer interest rates and that compensate dealers with a share of the increased interest revenues. The 2013 Guidance noted that that some indirect auto lenders had policies that permitted auto dealers to mark-up rates and that compensated dealers for those mark-ups. As a result of the policy incentives and the discretion permitted in the mark-ups, the CFPB concluded that there was a significant risk of pricing disparities on the basis of race, national origin, and other prohibited bases, in violation of ECOA.
On March 27, 2018, California Judge Mary E. Wiss of the San Francisco Superior Court issued an order overruling a demurrer by internet kingpin Google in the proposed class action of Kelly Ellis et al. v. Google, LLC (formerly Google, Inc.), case number CGC-17-561299 Plaintiffs, four former female employees of Google, brought suit for systematic favoritism of male employees over female employees, including hiring position and salary, promotion time frames, positions and amounts, and paying women less than men for substantially equal or similar work. The suit proposes a class of six employee categories containing a total of 30 positions and targets Google’s entire California operation, which includes approximately 21,000 employees at its headquarters alone.
On April 2, 2018, Mick Mulvaney, Acting Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”), issued his first report to Congress on the CFPB, requesting that the agency’s independence and power be limited
On March 20, 2018, the United States Supreme Court issued a unanimous decision in Cyan, Inc. v. Beaver County Employees Retirement Fund, holding that the Securities Litigation Uniform Standards Act of 1998 (“SLUSA”) did not strip state courts of their jurisdiction to adjudicate class actions brought under the Securities Act of 1933 (the “1933 Act”). The Court’s decision upheld the original language of the 1933 Act, authorizing both state and federal courts to exercise jurisdiction over actions brought under the 1933 Act, and barring removal of actions brought in state court under the 1933 Act.