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Car Dealership Tells High Court That 'Service Advisors' Are Exempt From Overtime
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Car dealership "service advisors" are salesmen primarily engaged in "serving automobiles" and, as a result, are exempt from receiving overtime wages under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), a California dealership argues in its reply brief filed Jan. 8 in the U.S. Supreme Court (Encino Motorcars, LLC v. Hector Navarro, et al., No. 16-1362, U.S. Sup.).



DOL Clarifies Student Intern Wage Test Following 9th Circuit Ruling
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) on Jan. 5 issued a clarification on interns and wages and, citing a recent decision on the issue by the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, stated that "going forward, the Department will conform to these appellate court rulings by using the same 'primary beneficiary' test that these courts use to determine whether interns are employees under the FLSA [Fair Labor Standards Act]."



Split Ohio Appeals Panel: Wage Class May Proceed With Members Who Agreed To Arbitrate
WARREN, Ohio - A divided Ohio appeals court panel on Dec. 11 upheld certification of a class of sales people suing the employer for "pulling" earned commissions, finding that the fact that the class definition encompasses some employees who signed an arbitration agreement not signed by the class representative does not doom the certification (Edward G. Gembarski, et al. v. PartsSource, Inc., No. 2016-P-0077, Ohio App., 11st Dist., 2017 Ohio App. LEXIS 5383).



9th Circuit: Wage Class Should Be Certified, Notice Of Violation Was Given
SAN FRANCISCO - A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Dec. 7 reversed the denial of class certification in a wage-and-hour complaint, finding that the pleadings provided sufficient notice to the employer of violations of California Labor Code Section 226(a) violations, whether direct or derivative, and the district court must conduct a Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23 analysis (Silken Brown, et al. v. Cinemark USA, Inc., et al., No. 16-15377, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 24764).



Yard House Restaurant Worker's Wage Suit Is Stayed Pending Ruling In Morris
LOS ANGELES - A California federal judge on Dec. 11 stayed the proceedings in a wage-and-hour class complaint filed by a restaurant employee in which the defendants moved to compel arbitration, pending the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Morris v. Ernst & Young LLP, 834 F. 3d 975 (9th Cir. 2016), certiorari granted, Ernst & Young, LLP v. Morris, 137 S. Ct. 809 (2017) (Jener Da Silva v. Darden Restaurants, Inc., et al., No. 17-5663, C.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 203437).



Swift Transportation Workers' Wage Class Suit Is Sent Back To State Court
RIVERSIDE, Calif. - A California federal judge on Dec. 7 granted a motion to remand a wage-and-hour class complaint by yard hostlers, finding that the federal court does not have subject matter jurisdiction over the claims because the amount in controversy, minus an estimate on the damages statement for an unpleaded claim, is below $5 million (Grant Frisch v. Swift Transportation Co. of Arizona, LLC, No. 17-2226, C.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 202705).



Steak N Shake Managers Granted Certification In Wage Dispute
ST. LOUIS - A Missouri federal judge on Dec. 22 certified a collective of Steak N Shake Operations Inc. (SnS) managers suing for unpaid overtime, finding that the managers showed that their experiences in terms of how they spend their time at work and to what extent they exercise management responsibilities are substantially similar (Sandra Drake, et al. v. Steak N Shake Operations, Inc., No. 14-1535, E.D. Mo., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 210630).



California Panel Reverses Dismissal Of City's UCL Claims Against Contractors
LOS ANGELES - After finding that the city of Los Angeles' claims that a company and its owner conspired with subcontractors to pay employees wages less than the prevailing rate while working on a construction project were sufficient to support a claim for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL), a state appellate panel on Dec. 12 reversed the trial court's ruling sustaining demurrers as to the city's claims against them (The People v. Mackone Development, et al., No. B268991, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 7, 2017 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 8463).



Class Certification, But No Tolling In Sephora Workers' Wage Suit
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Dec. 8 granted a motion for conditional certification of a Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) claim brought by current and former employees of Sephora USA Inc. but denied the plaintiffs' request for equitable tolling (Lacey Hernandez, et al. v. Sephora USA, Inc., No. 16-5392, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 203452).



6th Circuit Won't Review Certification In Nurses' Missed Breaks Wage Suit
CINCINNATI - A Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Jan. 8 denied an employer's petition for permission to appeal a district court's certification of a class of nurses in a collective action filed under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) seeking wages for missed breaks (In re: Marietta Memorial Hospital, et al., No. 17-0312, 6th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 460).



7th Circuit Reverses Anti-Suit Injunction In Suits Over Pay At Jimmy John's
CHICAGO - Calling an anti-suit injunction an "extraordinary" form of relief, a Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Dec. 14 found that a district court erred in providing that relief to a sandwich shop franchisor that is being sued in three consolidated suits seeking wages, in parallel wage cases where the franchisor is not named as a defendant and claims are brought only against the franchisees (In re: Jimmy John's Overtime Litigation, No. 17-1655, 7th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 25282).



Assistant Managers Conditionally Certified In Applebee's Franchise Wage Suit
CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on Dec. 8 partially granted conditional certification in a class complaint brought by a restaurant franchise assistant manager (AM) who alleges that she and others were misclassified as exempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and Illinois wage laws but granted a motion to dismiss by one of the franchisee defendants and gave the lead plaintiff one month to amend her complaint to show that that the defendant was her employer (Chamora Ivery, et al. v. RMH Franchise Corp., et al., No. 17-1619, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 202270).



Split NLRB Overrules Browning-Ferris, Reverts To Prior Joint-Employer Standard
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The National Labor Relations Board on Dec. 14, in a 3-2 decision overruled the 2015 decision in Browning-Ferris Industries, 362 NLRB No. 186 (2015), and reinstated the joint-employer standard in place prior to that decision (Hy-Brand Industrial Contractors, Ltd. and Brandt Construction Co., et al., Nos. 25-CA-163189, 25-CA-163208, 25-CA-163297, 25-CA-163317, 25-CA-163373, 25-CA-163376, 25-CA-163398, 25-CA-163414, 25-CA-164941, and 25-CA-164945, NLRB).



U.S. Supreme Court Won't Hear DIRECTV Joint Employer Appeal
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Jan. 8 declined to hear the appeal by DIRECTV and DirectSat USA LLC seeking reversal of a ruling by the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that cable technicians who install and repair DIRECTV satellite systems have stated a plausible claim that they are jointly employed by DIRECTV and a home service provider (DIRECTV LLC, et al. v. Marlon Hall, et al., No. 16-1449, U.S. Sup.).



3rd Circuit: Protected Activity Must Be 'But-For' Cause For FCA Retaliation
PHILADELPHIA - A protected activity by an employee must be the "but-for" cause of an adverse action to prove retaliation under the False Claims Act (FCA), a Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Jan. 3 (Marie DiFiore v. CSL Behring, LLC, No. 16-4297, 3rd Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 92).



High Court Won't Hear Former FEC Attorney's Whistleblower Appeal
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Jan. 8 denied a petition for writ of certiorari filed by a former Federal Election Commission (FEC) attorney who claims that she was wrongfully fired in retaliation for allegedly blowing the whistle on a nominated commissioner (Marne K. Mitskog v. Merit Systems Protection Board, No. 17-6479, U.S. Sup.).



NLRB Overrules 2004 Decision On Workplace Rules And Protected Activities
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The National Labor Relations Board in a 3-2 vote on Dec. 14 overruled the standard governing workplace rules and whether they interfere with the exercise of rights protected under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) and established a new test to be used when evaluating a facially neutral policy, rule or handbook provision that could potentially interfere with the exercise of NLRA rights (The Boeing Company and Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace, IFPTE Local 2001, Nos. 19-CA-090932, 19-CA-090948 and 19-CA-095926, NLRB).



NLRB Allows Judge To Accept Settlement, Despite Objections By Charging Party
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The National Labor Relations Board, in a 3-2 decision issued Dec. 11, held that administrative law judges (ALJs) can accept a respondent's proposed settlement terms over objections by the general counsel and charging party as long as the settlement terms are reasonable under the standard established in Independent Stave, 287 NLRB 740 (1987) (UPMC, et al. and SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania CTW, CLC, Nos. 06-CA-102465, 06-CA-102494, 06-CA-102516, 06-CA-102518, 06-CA-102525, 06-CA-102534, 06-CA-102540, 06-CA-102542, 06-CA-102544, 06-CA-102555, 06-CA-102559, 06-CA-104090, 06-CA-104104, 06-CA-106636, 06-CA-107127, 06-CA-107431, 06-CA-107532, 06-CA-107896, 06-CA-108547, 06-CA-111578, and 06-CA-115826, NLRB).



United States Tells U.S. Supreme Court To Overrule Abood
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Abood v. Detroit Board of Education, 431 U.S. 209 (1977), must be overturned because upholding the ruling compels "subsidization of union speech for political or ideological causes" in violation of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, the United States argues in a Dec. 6 amicus brief filed in a public-sector agency fees appeal, switching its position of previously defending Abood (Mark Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, Council 31, et al., No. 16-1466, U.S. Sup.).



Specialty Healthcare Overruled By NLRB In Union Representation Case
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A split National Labor Relations Board on Dec. 15 overruled Specialty Healthcare & Rehabilitation Center of Mobile, 357 NLRB 934 (2011), clarified the standard to be used for determining whether a proposed bargaining unit constitutes an appropriate unit for collective bargaining and reinstated the community-of-interest standard as outlined in United Operations, Inc., 338 NLRB 123 (2002) (PCC Structurals, Inc. and International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers, AFL-CIO, District Lodge W24, No. 19-RC-202188, NLRB).



Split NLRB Overrules DuPont In Decision On Duty To Bargain Changes
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The National Labor Relations Board, in a 3-2 decision issued Dec. 15, overruled E.I. du Pont de Nemours, 364 NLRB No. 113 (2016) (DuPont), calling the majority opinion "fundamentally flawed" and holding that an employer's modification of unit employee health care benefits following the expiration of a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) was simply a continuation of past practice and not a "change" requiring notice to the union and an opportunity to bargain (Raytheon Network Centric Systems and United Steel, Paper & Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied Industrial & Service Workers International Union, AFL-CIO, No. 25-CA-092145, NLRB).



Split 4th Circuit Reinstates EEOC's Equal Pay Act Claims Against Maryland Agency
RICHMOND, Va. - A divided Fourth Circuit U.S. Court Appeals panel on Jan. 5 reinstated Equal Pay Act (EPA) claims brought by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on the behalf of three women against the Maryland Insurance Administration (MIA), finding that a jury must decide whether the reasons for the pay disparity provided by MIA were pretext for gender discrimination (U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Maryland Insurance Administration, No. 16-2408, 4th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 298).



$50M Punitive Damages Award In Age Bias Suit Is Set Aside; New Trial Granted
CAMDEN, N.J. - Calling a jury's punitive damages verdict in favor of a former Lockheed Martin Corp. employee on his claims of age discrimination a shock to "this court's conscience," a New Jersey federal judge on Dec. 18 granted a motion for a new trial filed by Lockheed as to the $50 million award (Robert Braden v. Lockheed Martin Corp., No. 14-4215, D. N.J., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 207236).



Split Kentucky High Court Reverses Limit On Older Worker's Disability Benefits
FRANKFORT, Ky. - A split Kentucky Supreme Court on Dec. 14 reversed a two-year time limit placed by an administrative law judge (ALJ) on partial disability benefits for a worker who was 71 when he was injured on the job and remanded with instructions to extend the benefits without regard to the Kentucky disability statute cited by the ALJ (Fannie L. Cruse v. Henderson County Board of Education, et al., No. 2015-SC-000506-WC, Ky. Sup., 2017 Ky. Unpub. LEXIS 67).



Employees: ADEA's Numerosity Requirement Doesn't Apply To Political Subdivision
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court should deny a petition for writ of certiorari filed by a political subdivision in an age discrimination dispute as the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals did not err in finding that the Age Discrimination in Employment Act's (ADEA) numerosity requirement doesn't apply to state political subdivisions, two workers argue in their Dec. 18 brief in opposition (Mount Lemmon Fire District v. John Guido, et al., No. 17-587, U.S. Sup.).



T-Mobile, Amazon And Employer Defendant Class Hit With Age Discrimination Suit
SAN JOSE, Calif. - T-Mobile US Inc., Amazon.com Inc., Cox Communications Inc. and hundreds of other employers and employment agencies specifically exclude older workers by targeting their employment ads to younger workers on social media, three workers and the Communications Workers of America (CWA) argue in a Dec. 20 class complaint filed in a California federal court (Communications Workers of America, et al. v. T-Mobile US, Inc., et al., No. 17-7232, N.D. Calif.).



High Court Denies Review Of Age Discrimination Claim Against Health Care Provider
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Jan. 8 denied a petition for writ of certiorari filed by a former employee of a health care provider who claimed age discrimination (Virginia Lay v. Singing River Health System, No. 17-396, U.S. Sup.).



Sub-Franchisee, Not IHOP Or Licensee, May Face Server's Age-Bias Claims
VALDOSTA, Ga. - A Georgia federal judge on Dec. 28 granted a pancake chain and a licensee's motion for summary judgment in a server's pro se age-bias suit, finding that they were not the plaintiff's employers and, on the same day, ordered the plaintiff to show cause why the lawsuit should not also be dismissed against the remaining defendant, a sub-franchisee, for failure to serve pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 4(m) (Nanine Boon v. Clark Foods, Inc., et al., No. 16-160, M.D. Ga., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 212402).



Employer Asks High Court To Find Lifetime Benefits Ruling Misinterpreted Tackett
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals misinterpreted the U.S. Supreme Court's unanimous ruling in M & G Polymers USA, LLC v. Tackett, 135 S. Ct. 926 (2015), and recreated a conflict among the circuits when it held that the health care benefits for a class of retirees vested for life, an employer tells the U.S. Supreme Court in its Dec. 1 reply brief in support of its petition for writ of certiorari (CNH Industrial N.V., et al. v. Jack Reese, et al., No. 17-515, U.S. Sup.).



Correction Facility Operator Will Settle Sex Harassment Claims For $550,000
PHOENIX - The Geo Group Inc., the operator of the Central Arizona Correction Facility and Arizona State Prison-Florence West Facility in Florence, Ariz., will pay $550,000 and provide other relief to settle sexual harassment and retaliation claims filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Arizona Civil Rights Division of the Attorney General's Office, the EEOC announced Jan. 8 (The State of Arizona, et al. v. The Geo Group, Inc., No. 10-1995, D. Ariz.).



U.S. Supreme Court Won't Hear Security Officer's Sexual Orientation Bias Appeal
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Dec. 11 declined to hear an appeal by a former hospital security officer seeking sexual orientation discrimination protection under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Jameka K. Evans v. Georgia Regional Hospital, et al., No. 17-370, U.S. Sup.).



Federal Judge Trims Retaliation Claim In Worker's Race, Orientation Bias Suit
PORTLAND, Ore. - An Oregon federal judge on Jan. 4 narrowed the scope of a retaliation claim in a lawsuit filed by a grocery store worker who alleges discrimination based on her race and sexual orientation, finding that the worker failed to show a written corrective notice based on attendance violations was pretextual (Tiffany Goldsby v. Safeway Inc., No. 16-2056, D. Ore., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 1599).



U.S. Supreme Court Won't Weigh In On Noncompete Dispute
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Jan. 8 denied a petition for writ of certiorari filed by an employee seeking a ruling on noncompete agreements under the Restatement (Second) of Conflict of Laws (Christopher Ridgeway, et al. v. Stryker Corporation, et al., No. 17-556, U.S. Sup.).



Judge Partially Compels Cruise Line Worker's Claims To Arbitration
MIAMI - A Florida federal judge on Dec. 12 found that a cruise line worker's negligence claims against her employer must be arbitrated in the Bahamas pursuant to the terms of her employment agreement, but remanded claims against another cruise line and her coworker to a state court, because they were not signatories to the arbitration agreement (Michelle Haasbroek v. Princess Cruise Lines Ltd., No. 17-cv-22370, S.D. Fla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 204025).



Class Claims Over Airline's Revocation Of Hiring Program Are Preempted By RLA
CHICAGO - An aviation maintenance technician's breach of contract class claims filed after his employer eliminated the program under which he was hired, affecting the speed at which he would achieve the top pay he was promised, are preempted by the Railway Labor Act (RLA), an Illinois federal judge ruled Dec. 18, granting the defendant's motion to dismiss (Thomas Ballard, et al. v. American Airlines, Inc., No. 17-2534, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 206948).



Hospital Sued By Former Employee Over Use, Disclosure Of Fingerprints
CHICAGO - An Illinois man filed a class complaint on Dec. 21 in an Illinois state court accusing a Chicago hospital of violating state law by collecting, storing and disclosing employees' fingerprints and then failing to destroy the data when employment ends (Corey Heard, et al. v. St. Bernard Hospital, et al., No. 2017-CH-16828, Ill. Cir., Cook Co.).



Judge Seeks More Class Allocation Info Before Approving Race Bias Settlement
CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on Dec. 20 ordered plaintiffs in a race bias employment suit seeking to settle with one of four defendants to file additional allocation information before he would consider granting preliminary approval (Brian Lucas, et al. v. Vee Pak, Inc., et al., No. 12-9672, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 209872).



U.S. Supreme Court Won't Hear Case Arguing CSX Is Liable For Employee's Death
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Jan. 8 denied a petition for writ of certiorari filed by the wife of a deceased railway conductor arguing that the policies of her husband's employer regarding remote work and contacting emergency services caused him to die at a remote worksite after suffering a heart attack (Crystal Sells v. CSX Transportation, Inc., No. 17-384, U.S. Sup.).



California Appeals Court Reinstates Man's Suit Over Workers' Compensation Fraud
RIVERSIDE, Calif. - A California appeals court panel on Dec. 19 overturned a trial court judge's ruling dismissing a man's lawsuit accusing his former supervisor and employer of violating the Insurance Fraud Prevention Act (IFPA) by making false statements that resulted in the denial of his claim, finding that the suit was not barred by the litigation privilege or the workers' compensation exclusivity rule (California, ex. rel. Mahmoud Alzayat v. Gerald Hebb, et al., No. E066471, Calif. App., 4th Dist., 2nd Div., 2017 Cal. App. LEXIS 1133).



Kentucky Appeals Panel Affirms Summary Judgment In Workplace Injury Suit
LEXINGTON, Ky. - A panel of the Kentucky Court of Appeals on Jan. 5 affirmed a trial court's decision to grant summary judgment to a temporary work agency after finding that a woman's claims that she was injured in a car crash while on her way to pick up her paycheck are barred under the exclusivity provision of the Kentucky Workers' Compensation Act (Cheryl L. Deems v. Minute Men Inc., No. 2014-ca-002051, Ky. App., Ky. App. LEXIS 19).



8th Circuit: Fired Employee Failed To Show Religious Or Gender Discrimination
ST. LOUIS - An account executive who was fired for poor performance following multiple issues with his main account failed to prove his claims that the reasons given for his termination were actually pretext for religious and gender discrimination, an Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Jan. 9 (Aaron C. Rooney v. Rock-Tenn Converting Company, et al., No. 16-3631, 8th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 494).



10th Circuit Finds No Sanction Needed In Bias Suit Where There Was No Bad Faith
DENVER - A district court did not abuse its discretion in denying a request for a sanction against an employer accused of failing to preserve records related to hiring decisions because there was no evidence that the destruction was carried out in bad faith, a 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Dec. 28 (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, et al. v. JetStream Ground Services, Inc., No. 17-1003, 10th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 26867).



U.S. High Court Won't Weigh In On Firing Of Delta Agent Following Alleged Theft
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Jan. 8 declined to hear an appeal filed by a former airline customer service agent alleging that he was improperly fired after he allegedly stole money from a customer's lost purse (Carlos Clemons v. Delta Airlines, Inc., No. 17-597, U.S. Sup.).



6th Circuit: Van Driver's Disability Bias Claims Fail As She Was Unqualified
CINCINNATI - A woman who was fired after her medical leave ran out while she was not cleared to return to work driving a van failed to show that her termination violated the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) or the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), a Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Dec. 22 (Malinda Cooley v. East Tennessee Human Resource Agency, Inc., No. 17-5355, 6th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 26345).



U.S. High Court Hears Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Oral Arguments
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The statutory definition of whistleblower applies to the anti-retaliation provision of the Dodd-Frank Act, Kannon K. Shanmugam of Williams & Connolly in Washington, counsel for Digital Realty Trust Inc., told the U.S. Supreme Court justices during oral argument on Nov. 28 (Digital Realty Trust Inc. v. Paul Somers, No. 16-1276, U.S. Sup.).



Federal Circuit Finds Government Employee's Suspension Was Supported
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Nov. 17 affirmed a merit system board's decision to suspend a former employee for failure to use his government purchase credit card to make work-related purchases, finding that the employee's protected disclosures did not have an effect on the board's decision to suspend him (Rick D. Salerno v. Department of the Interior, No. 2017-1145, Fed. Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 23137).



Petitioner To High Court: Abood Must Be Overruled
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Abood v. Detroit Board of Education, 431 U.S. 209 (1977), "is offensive to the First Amendment" and should be overruled, an employee challenging public-sector agency fees told the U.S. Supreme Court in his Nov. 29 petitioner brief (Mark Janus v. American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, Council 31, et al., No. 16-1466, U.S. Sup.).



Sexual Orientation Bias Respondents Tell High Court They Aren't Parties
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Georgia Regional Hospital at Savannah and three individuals who are the "named respondents" in a petition asking the U.S. Supreme Court to decide whether Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation told the high court in their Nov. 9 10-page response that they have never been served with process and "are not parties to the case required to take action in that capacity" (Jameka K. Evans v. Georgia Regional Hospital, et al., No. 17-370, U.S. Sup.).



EEOC Wins $55,000 For Employee In Agency's 1st Sexual Orientation Bias Suit
PITTSBURGH - A Pennsylvania pain management and weight loss services provider has been ordered to pay $55,000 in the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's first sexual orientation discrimination lawsuit, the EEOC announced Nov. 27 (U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Scott Medical Health Center, P.C., No. 16-225, W.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 189577).



9th Circuit: Workweek Average To Reach Pay Rate Doesn't Violate FLSA
SEATTLE - An employer's use of a workweek average to arrive at the appropriate pay rate for employees doesn't violate the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) as it provides employees with wages that meet the minimum wage, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Nov. 15, noting that whether the employees have a contract claim is beyond the scope of the interlocutory appeal (Kristy Douglas, et al. v. Xerox Business Services, LLC, et al., No. 16-35425, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 22967).



1st Circuit: No Arbitration Of Wage Dispute Where Worker Didn't Sign Agreement
BOSTON - A delivery company has no right to demand arbitration in a proposed class action wage dispute when the lead named plaintiff never signed the agreement containing the arbitration clause the company is now calling upon, a First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Nov. 21 (Djamel Ouadani, et al. v. TF Final Mile LLC, f/k/a Dynamex Operations East, LLC, No. 17-1583, 1st Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 23493).



Split 6th Circuit Panel Rules On Which Staffing Agency Positions Are Exempt
CINCINNATI - A divided Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Nov. 20 issued a decision partially reinstating wage claims brought by staffing agency employees who allege that they were improperly treated as exempt from overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) (Judith Perry, et al. v. Randstad General Partner [US] LLC, No. 16-1010, 6th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 23297).



Magistrate Approves Modified Settlement Agreement In FLSA Dispute With Franchisor
ROCHESTER, N.Y.- A federal magistrate judge in New York on Dec. 1 approved employees' motion for final approval of a modified $1.7 million class action settlement that increased the payout to the class members in a lawsuit alleging that their franchisor and franchisee employers violated the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), further granting the plaintiffs' motion for attorney fees that awards the attorneys 44 percent less than the original proposal (Adam Cunningham, et al. v. Suds Pizza, Inc., et al., No. 15-6462, W.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 198250).



Amazon Fulfillment Center Fails To Provide Full Pay, Breaks, Class Suit Alleges
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A Sacramento fulfillment center for Amazon.com regularly schedules employees to work shifts that are 10 hours or longer and fails to provide the workers with pay for their entire shifts and a third rest break, one of the employees alleges in a class complaint filed Nov. 27 in the Sacramento County Superior Court, alleging various state law violations, including violation of the unfair competition law (UCL) (Romeo Palma, et al v. Golden State FC, LLC dba Amazon.com, et al., No. 34-2017-00222744-CU-OE-GDS, Calif. Super., Sacramento Co.).



2 Of 3 Joint Employers Will Pay $5.6 Million To Settle Class' Wage Claims
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal magistrate judge on Nov. 27 granted preliminary approval of a $5.6 million settlement to be paid by two of three joint employers to end wage-and-hour claims brought by a class of workers, finding the settlement terms fair and reasonable and free of obvious deficiencies (Earl Fronda v. Staffmark Holdings, Inc., et al., No. 15-2315, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 194514).



Starbucks Meal Break Class Suit Survives Dismissal Motion Despite Delay In Service
SAN DIEGO - A California federal judge on Nov. 21 declined to dismiss a class suit challenging Starbucks Corp.'s meal break practice despite a months-long delay in serving the summons on the defendant, finding that the delay was not so long as to warrant dismissal (Kileigh Carrington, et al. v. Starbucks Corporation, et al., No. 16-3074, S.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 192892).



Arbitration Ordered In Starbucks Barista's Unpaid Wages Class Suit
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on Nov. 17 ordered arbitration of a Starbucks Corp. barista's claims that she was made to work numerous hours off the clock but denied a motion to dismiss her class and collective claims because no motion for class or collective certification is pending (Ebony Armstead v. Starbucks Corporation, No. 17-1163, S.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 190748).



California Federal Judge: Collective, Class Certification Motions Should Both Be Filed
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Nov. 10 held in abeyance a motion for collective certification under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) filed by a property appraiser alleging that he and others have been misclassified and denied overtime wages and ruled that the plaintiff may renew his motion when he files for class certification of his state law claims (Som Swamy, et al. v. Title Source, Inc., No. 17-1175, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 186535).



Court Finds UCL, Labor Code Claims Are Not Subject To Arbitration
SAN FRANCISCO - A California appeals court on Nov. 15 found that an employee's claims for violation of the California Labor Code and California's unfair competition law (UCL) were excluded from a mandatory arbitration provision, affirming a court's decision refusing to compel arbitration of the claims (Christopher Silva v. Fry's Electronics Inc., No. A146622, Calif. App., 1st Dist., Div. 4, 2017 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 7875).



Class Suit Seeks Damages From Weinstein Co., Harvey Weinstein For Harassment
LOS ANGELES - A class complaint filed Nov. 15 in a California federal court by a plaintiff referred to only as Jane Doe 1 seeks damages from The Weinstein Company Holdings LLC (TWC), Miramax LLC, Harvey Weinstein and unnamed John Does for Harvey Weinstein's alleged widespread sexual harassment and rape of women in the film and television industry (Jane Doe 1, et al. v. The Weinstein Company Holdings, LLC, et al., No. 17-8323, C.D. Calif.).



Plaintiffs Sufficiently Proved Franchisor Is Vicariously Liable In Discrimination Suit
PITTSBURGH - A Pennsylvania federal judge on Nov. 8 denied a motion to dismiss filed by the defendants in a sexual harassment and gender discrimination suit after determining that the plaintiff sufficiently proved that the franchisor was vicariously liable for the franchisee's actions because the franchisor controlled the franchisee's store where the plaintiff worked through its policies, regulations and procedures (Hannah Harris v. Midas, et al., No. 17-95, W.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 184765).



1st Circuit: Paramedic Didn't Show Her Treatment Created A Hostile Environment
BOSTON - A paramedic who claims that she was subjected to a hostile work environment failed to show that her timely claims - her employer's unwillingness to actively pursue a Facebook perpetrator and to reimburse her costs associated with renewing her licenses - were sufficient evidence of a severe or pervasive environment, a First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Nov. 21 (Maribel Maldonado-Catala v. Municipality of Naranjito, et al., No. 16-1637, 1st Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 23494).



Uber Hit With Class Suit For Alleged Harassment, Assaults By Drivers
SAN FRANCISCO - Uber Technologies Inc. has failed to perform adequate background checks on its drivers prior to hiring and has failed to monitor them after hiring, resulting in passengers - primarily females - suffering sexual harassment and assaults, two unnamed Jane Does allege in a Nov. 14 class complaint filed in a California federal court alleging violations of the Unfair Fraudulent and Unfair Business Practices Act and the Consumer Legal Remedies Act (CLRA) (Jane Doe 1, et al. v. Uber Technologies, Inc., No. 17-6571, N.D. Calif.).



U.S. High Court Denies Pro Se Petition By Casino Worker Alleging Harassment
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A Las Vegas casino worker who filed a second pro se complaint against her employer alleging harassment after her first was dismissed with prejudice failed to convince the U.S. Supreme Court to hear her appeal; her petition was denied Dec. 4 (Adrienne A. Burch v. Bellagio Hotel and Casino, LLC, et al., No. 17-454, U.S. Sup.).



3rd Circuit Overturns Barnes, Issues New Ruling On Seafarers' Contracts
PHILADELPHIA - A Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel of 12 judges on Dec. 4 overruled its decision in Barnes v. Andover Co., L.P. and held that where a seafarer freely enters a union contract, courts may not review that contract piecemeal unless there is evidence that the collective bargaining process was unfair (James L. Joyce v. Maersk Line Ltd., No. 16-3553, 3rd Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 24433).



U.S. High Court Won't Review If RLA Or NLRA Governs Fuel Service Provider
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Nov. 13 denied a petition for writ of certiorari filed by a commercial airline fuel service provider that changed course midway through challenging a unionization attempt by its employees and sought to argue that it is governed by the Railway Labor Act (RLA), not the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) (Allied Aviation Service Company of New Jersey v. National Labor Relations Board, No. 17-442, U.S. Sup.).



6th Circuit Rejects Board's Attempt To Protect Leave For Off-Duty Illnesses
CINCINNATI - A retaliation clause in the Federal Railroad Safety Act (FRSA) located within an amendment regarding "prompt medical attention" does not provide sick leave to railroad employees for off-duty injuries and illnesses, a Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel majority ruled Nov. 20, noting that the Department of Labor's Administrative Review Board (ARB) continues to try to provide such protection to employees "despite having had its position derailed by every federal court to date" (Grand Trunk Western Railroad Company v. United States Department of Labor, Administrative Review Board, No. 17-3083, 6th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 23279).



Dave & Buster's $7.4M ERISA Settlement Denied By New York Federal Judge
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge, in an order filed Dec. 1, declined preliminary approval of a class settlement worth up to $7,425,000 offered by Dave & Buster's Inc. to end claims that the nationwide restaurant/entertainment chain violated the Employee Retirement Income Security Act by reducing the hours of its work force in 2013 to avoid the costs associated with providing health insurance to its full-time employees in compliance with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) (Maria De Lourdes Parra Marin v. Dave & Buster's, Inc., et al., No. 15-3608, S.D. N.Y.).



Panel: Employee Fired For Pro-Trump Tweet Wrongly Denied Unemployment Benefits
HARRISBURG, Pa. - A Pennsylvania appellate panel on Nov. 13 found that an employee's tweet, which led to her dismissal, did not violate her employer's social media policy and, thus, did not constitute willful misconduct to disqualify her from receiving unemployment compensation (UC) benefits (Waverly Heights Ltd. v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, No. 312 CD 2017, Pa. Cmwlth.).



U.S. Supreme Court Won't Hear Class's Lifetime Health Benefits Appeal
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Nov. 27 denied a petition for writ of certiorari filed by retirees representing a class of approximately 2,900 individuals and seeking to reverse a decision by the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, which held that a series of collective bargaining agreements (CBAs) did not provide retired employees of an employer and its predecessors with a vested right to lifetime health care benefits (Robert Cole, et al. v. Meritor, Inc., et al., No. 17-413, U.S. Sup.).



U.S. Supreme Court Won't Rule On USERRA Actions In State Court
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Dec. 4 denied a petition for writ of certiorari filed by a Virginia state police trooper who claims that he was improperly denied a promotion due to his military service (Jonathan R. Clark v. Virginia Department of State Police, No. 16-1043, U.S. Sup.).



1st Circuit Panel Finds Muslim School Teacher Failed To Prove Religious Bias
BOSTON - A school teacher who converted to Islam the same year she began teaching in a Massachusetts city and alleges that more than a decade later she became the target of hostile treatment after she started wearing a headscarf at work failed to show that the city's reasons for her adverse employment actions were pretext for discrimination, a First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Dec. 4 (Debra Cherkaoui v. City of Quincy, No. 16-2304, 1st Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 24423).



Judge Finds Hong Kong Forum No Longer Exists, Refuses To Compel Arbitration
LOS ANGELES - After finding that an agreement to arbitrate an employment dispute in Hong Kong involved a forum that is no longer available, a California federal judge on Nov. 17 refused to compel arbitration of the dispute (Alexander Mirza v. Cachet Hotel Group Limited Cayman L.P., et al., No. 2:17-CV-07140, C.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 190833).



6th Circuit Upholds Ruling For GM In Employee's Religious Bias Suit
CINCINNATI - An employee who was suspended after allegedly threatening his supervisor failed to show that the employer's given reason was pretextual and that the real reason was because of his religious beliefs that prevented him from working on Saturdays, his degenerative joint disease and an earlier retaliation claim he filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, a Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Dec. 1 (Clayton Pierce v. General Motors LLC, et al., No. 16-2748, 6th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 24344).



Fire Chief's Testimony Tossed In Paramedic's Wrongful Termination Suit
SAN ANTONIO - A paramedic challenging his firing was successful in getting a fire chief's expert testimony excluded from the case when a Texas federal judge ruled Nov. 13 that the chief's testimony is not relevant and would not be helpful to a jury (Bryan Brightwell v. Bandera County, No. 5:16-cv-1216, W.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 186730).



Employer's Collection Of Biometric Data Violates Illinois Law, Class Suit Claims
CHICAGO - The owner of assisted living facilities violates the Illinois' Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) by collecting biometric data, one former employee alleges in a class complaint filed Nov. 14 in the Cook County, Ill., Circuit Court (Jonnae Taylor, et al. v. Sunrise Senior Living Management, Inc., et al., No. 2017-CH-15152, Ill. Cir., Cook Co., Chancery Div.).



7th Circuit Won't Reconsider Ruling In Appeal Over EEOC's Continued Investigation
CHICAGO - The Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Nov. 21 denied a petition rehearing en banc filed by Union Pacific Railroad Co. after the appellate panel ruled in August that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission may continue investigating an employer by seeking enforcement of its subpoena even after issuing a right-to-sue notice to the charging individuals and the dismissal of those individuals' lawsuit (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Union Pacific Railroad Company, No. 15-3452, 7th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 23644).



Split 7th Circuit Denies Rehearing En Banc In EEOC Racial Bias Suit
CHICAGO - A split Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Nov. 21 denied a petition for rehearing en banc in a racial bias lawsuit brought by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission under a little-used statute on behalf of a sales manager who claimed that he was transferred out of a particular store because he was a different race than the surrounding neighborhood (United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. AutoZone, Inc., et al., No. 15-3201, 7th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 23704).



10th Circuit Partially Reinstates Supervisor's Bias Claims For Denied Promotion
DENVER - A former warehouse supervisor may proceed with claims that he was denied promotion to one of two manager positions in April 2012 based on his race, a 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Nov. 24, reversing in part a district court's summary judgment ruling for his former employer (Abiodun Sotunde v. Safeway, Inc., No. 16-1494, 10th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 23790).



4th Circuit: Airline Agent Failed To Prove Any Bias In His Firing After An Error
RICHMOND, Va. - An airline ground control agent, who was already on the final level of discipline and contributed to a communication breakdown that led to the overbooking of a plane and resulting delay, was unable to show that his termination was due to age or race discrimination, a Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Nov. 28 in an unpublished opinion (Michael Tillery v. Piedmont Airlines, Inc., No. 16-2225, 4th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 24074).



5th Circuit Upholds Ruling For Landscaping Company Accused Of Retaliatory Firing
NEW ORLEANS - A landscaping supervisor who alleges that he was terminated after alleging that he was shorted pay failed to show that he engaged in any activities protected by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, a Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Nov. 28, affirming the summary judgment ruling for the employer (Derrick Allen v. Envirogreen Landscape Professionals, Incorporated, No. 16-31247, 5th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 23987).



New Jersey Panel OKs Discovery Of Employee Files Without In Camera Review
TRENTON, N.J. - In light of an existing protective order, a New Jersey appeals panel on Nov. 22 found no error in a trial court's order compelling production of employee records in a wrongful discharge case without first reviewing them in camera, ruling that the protection of such privacy concerns are determined on a case-by-case basis (Louis Narvaez v. New Jersey Judiciary, Vicinage 4, No. A-3166-16T1, N.J. Super., App. Div., 2017 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 2920).



California Company To Pay $105,000 To Settle EEOC Equal Pay Suit
LOS ANGELES - A Santa Ana, Calif.-based business will pay $105,000 to end claims that it paid a female sales representative less than her male co-worker, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced Nov. 15, one day after the consent decree of order was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California (U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Spec Formliners, Inc., et al., No. 16-2066, C.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS).



Unanimous High Court Rules That Age Bias Appeal Was Timely
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A unanimous U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Nov. 8 that a Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel erred when it treated Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 4(a)(5)(C)'s limitation on time extensions for filing notices of appeal as jurisdictional and reinstated the employment discrimination suit brought by Charmaine Hamer (Charmaine Hamer v. Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago, et al., No. 16-658, U.S. Sup.).



Political Subdivision Asks High Court To Decide If ADEA's 20-Worker Minimum Applies
WASHINGTON, D.C. - An Arizona political subdivision petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 18, asking the justices to decide whether the Age Discrimination in Employment Act's (ADEA) 20-employee minimum applies to political subdivisions as it does to private employers (Mount Lemmon Fire District v. John Guido, et al., No. 17-587, U.S. Sup.).



10th Circuit Affirms Ruling For Hunter Douglas In Age Bias, Retaliation Suit
DENVER - A former Hunter Douglas Window Fashions Inc. employee who claimed that his age and an injury he sustained at work caused his termination failed to present sufficient evidence of his claims, a 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Nov. 3, affirming a trial court's dismissal of the bias and retaliation claims (Alfred Larry Johnston v. Hunter Douglas Window Fashions, Inc., et al., No. 17-1099, 10th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 21892).



U.S. High Court Hears Arguments On Tolling After Federal Claims Are Dismissed
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court should find that tolling after federal claims have been dismissed and before state claims are pursued means "suspended," Adam G. Unikowsky of Jenner & Block in Washington argued Nov. 1 on behalf of a fired temporary worker who filed a state complaint 59 days after a federal court dismissed her federal claim and declined to exercise supplemental jurisdiction (Stephanie C. Artis v. District of Columbia, No. 16-460, U.S. Sup.).



9th Circuit: FedEx Must Pay Bonus Pilot Would Have Earned Without Military Service
PASADENA, Calif. - A Federal Express Corp. (FedEx) pilot, who served in the reserves, is owed the signing bonus he would have earned in a new position had his training not been delayed due to being called up for active duty, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Nov. 2, affirming a trial court judge's ruling (Dale Huhmann v. Federal Express Corporation, No. 15-56744, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 21955).



VIUSA Will Pay $21.6M To Settle NLRB Suit For Not Recognizing Teamsters
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The National Labor Relations Board regional director for Region 9 announced Oct. 30 that VIUSA Inc., formerly Voith Industrial Services Inc., will pay $21.6 million to end claims by the NLRB and Teamsters Local 89 that the employer committed multiple violations, including refusing to recognize the Teamsters as the employees' representative (VIUSA Inc. [F/K/A Voith Industrial Services Inc.], No. 09-CA-075496, NLRB).



7th Circuit Affirms No Class Certification In Union Fair-Share Fee Suit
CHICAGO - Too many individualized issues predominate in a suit over public employees who were forced to pay fees to a union, even if they were not members, a Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Oct. 11, upholding a trial court's ruling in a case on remand from the U.S. Supreme Court (Theresa Riffey, et al. v. Bruce V. Rauner, et al., No. 16-3487, 7th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 19868).



Split 5th Circuit Vacates Preliminary Injunction In NFL Player's Suspension
NEW ORLEANS - A divided Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Oct. 12 vacated a preliminary injunction granted by a trial court in a lawsuit over the suspension of a National Football League (NFL) player accused of domestic violence and ordered that the lawsuit, brought by the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA), be dismissed because it was filed too soon (National Football League Players Association v. National Football League, et al., No. 17-40936, 5th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 20052).



1st Circuit Enforces NLRB's Finding That Hospital's Subcontracting Violated NLRA
BOSTON - A Puerto Rico hospital's decision to fired its respiratory therapy technicians and replace them with subcontractors after rejecting an alternative cost-saving measure proposed by the technicians' union violated the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), a First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Oct. 16 (Quality Health Services of P.R., Inc. v. National Labor Relations Board, Nos. 16-1556 and 16-1845, 1st Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 20138).



6th Circuit: Despite A Contract, Union Has No Right To Jobs
CINCINNATI - A union representing construction equipment operators that had contracts with various construction companies had no right to stage strikes when the jobs were primarily given to members of another union with a similar contract, the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Oct. 31, finding that the striking union had no claim to the jobs (International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 18 v. National Labor Relations Board, et al., Nos. 16-1800/1969, 6th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 21857).



3rd Circuit Finds Breaks Of 20 Minutes Or Less Must Be Paid By Employer
PHILADELPHIA - Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), employers must pay employees for all rest breaks lasting 20 minutes or less, a Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Oct. 13 (Secretary United States Department of Labor v. American Future Systems, Inc., et al., No. 16-2685, 3rd Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 19991).



6th Circuit Reinstates Collective Suit Over Hhgregg's Commission-Only Pay
CINCINNATI - A split Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Oct. 12 reversed a trial court's dismissal of a collective action accusing hhgregg Inc. and Gregg Appliances Inc., owner and operator of more than 220 appliance and electronic stores across the country, of violating federal and state wage laws in part by advancing commission-only employees a "draw" when their commissions fall below minimum wage and then requiring it to be paid back upon termination (Robert Stein, et al. v. hhgregg Inc., et al., No. 16-3364, 6th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 19908).



3rd Circuit Rules Mary Kay Consultant Class Must File Wage Claims In Texas
PHILADELPHIA - A Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Oct. 19 ruled that Texas law stipulates that a class complaint accusing Mary Kay Inc. of misclassifying its consultants belongs in Texas state court, not New Jersey federal court, pursuant to the forum selection clauses in agreements between the company and its consultants (Ina M. Collins, et al. v. Mary Kay, Inc., et al., No. 16-3178, 3rd Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 20465).



Employee Will Appeal Judgment For Converse In Suit Over Pay For Bag Checks
SAN JOSE, Calif. - On Oct. 13, just two days after a California federal magistrate judge granted summary judgment to Converse Inc. in a class complaint over no pay for time spent waiting for and going through bag checks, the lead plaintiff filed a notice of appeal (Eric Chavez v. Converse, Inc., No. 15-3746, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 169167).



Federal Judge Conditionally Certifies Coffeehouse Workers Seeking Unpaid Overtime
NEW ORLEANS - A class proposed by a former coffeehouse worker who claims that she and other workers were paid cash for overtime hours rather than time and a half was granted conditional certification by a Louisiana federal judge on Oct. 6 following the employer's failure to respond to the plaintiff's motion (Hernandez v. Morning Call Coffee Stand, Inc., No. 17-2613, E.D. La., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 166018).



California Federal Judge Keeps Rest Break Class Suit In Federal Court
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A class complaint accusing an ambulance service company of rest break violations belongs in federal court because the employer has shown that the claims are preempted and that federal question jurisdiction exists, a California federal judge ruled Oct. 12 (Meghan Silva, et al. v. Medic Ambulance Service, Inc., No. 17-876, E.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 169128).



School Bus Company Keeps Waiting Time Wage Suit In Federal Court
OAKLAND, Calif. - A California federal magistrate judge on Oct. 6 denied a school bus driver's motion to remand his waiting time wages class complaint, finding that his employer sufficiently showed that just one of the claims is worth well above the Class Action Fairness Act's (CAFA's) $5 million threshold (Bhanu Vikram v. First Student Management, LLC, No. 17-4656, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 166396).