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LexisNexis® Mealey's™ Employment Law Legal News
Headline Employment Law Legal News from LexisNexis®
U.S. Supreme Court Accepts, Consolidates 3 Class Action Waiver Suits
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Jan. 13 granted petitions for writ of certiorari filed in three cases challenging the barring of class or collection action waivers in employment agreements, consolidated the three cases and granted a total of one hour for oral arguments (Epic Systems Corp. v. Jacob Lewis, No. 16-285, Ernst & Young, et al. v. Stephen Morris, et al., No. 16-300, NLRB v. Murphy Oil USA, Inc., et al., No. 16-307, U.S. Sup.).
Indiana Appeals Panel: Confidentiality Agreements Bound Angie's List Employees
INDIANAPOLIS - An Indiana Court of Appeals panel on Dec. 29 found that three former Angie's List Inc. employees should have been enjoined from sharing company documents per confidentiality agreements each had signed, reversing in part a trial court's finding that there were no protectable trade secrets at issue (Angie's List Inc. v. Rick Myers, et al., No. 29A02-1605-PL-1061, Ind. App.; 2016 Ind. App. Unpub. LEXIS 1493).
3rd Circuit: Employer's Belief Of FMLA Leave Abuse Can Defeat Retaliation Claim
PHILADELPHIA - A Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) retaliation claim can be defeated where an employer shows that it honestly believed that an employee misused FMLA leave, a Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Jan. 30 (Fredrick Capps v. Mondelez Global, LLC, No. 15-3839, 3rd Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 1593).
Split 9th Circuit: RLA Preempts Washington State Law In Leave Dispute
SEATTLE - The Railway Labor Act (RLA) preempts a flight attendant's claim that she was unlawfully denied the right to use already allotted vacation leave earlier than planned to care for a sick family member in violation of the Washington Family Care Act (WFCA), a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Jan. 25, finding that the dispute is a "minor" one under the RLA and a grievance must be filed pursuant to the controlling collective bargaining agreement (CBA) (Alaska Airlines Inc. v. Judy Schurke, et al., No. 13-35574, 9th Cir.; 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 1318).
10th Circuit Upholds Flight Attendant's Firing For Calling Out Hours Before Flight
DENVER - A flight attendant who was fired after calling out less than five hours before a flight that she was assigned to while on call because her mother was sick failed to show that the airline violated the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Feb. 3, upholding a trial court's ruling (Georjane Branham v. Delta Airlines, et al., No. 16-4092, 10th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 1965).
Washington Panel Rules In Favor Of Workers In Family Care Dispute
SEATTLE - Washington labor officials erred in ruling that the state's Family Care Act (FCA) applies to an employer's disability plan only if the plan is the only way an employee can receive paid leave for illness, a state appeals court held Jan. 30 in reversing and remanding a dispute over two workers' entitlement to disability plan benefits to care for sick family members (Rachelle Honeycutt, et al. v. The Department of Labor & Industries, et al., No. 74338-4-I, Wash. App., Div. 1, 2017 Wash. App. LEXIS 210).
U.S. High Court Will Decide Where Review Of MSPB Mixed Case Should Occur
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Jan. 13 agreed to hear an appeal in which it has been asked to decide whether an appeal of a decision by the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) issued in a "mixed" case - one involving a claim under the federal anti-discrimination laws - should be reviewed in a district court or in the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (Anthony W. Perry v. Merit Systems Protection Board, No. 16-399, U.S. Sup.).
7th Circuit Orders Reconsideration Of Bargaining Expenses
CHICAGO - After finding that the National Labor Relations Board erred when it ruled that a university failed to engage in effects bargaining with its part-time faculty bargaining representative, a Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled that the NLRB must reconsider whether an award of bargaining expenses is still appropriate (Columbia College Chicago v. National Labor Relations Board, Nos. 16-2080 and 16-2026, 7th Cir.; 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 1902).
NLRB Regional Director Orders Election For Duke Ph.D. Student Unit
ATLANTA - All Ph.D. students at Duke University who are employed by the university to provide instructional services or research services, except for those students at Duke Kushan University and Duke-NUS Medical School, are employees within the meaning of Section 2(3) of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) and may vote on union representation, a National Labor Relations Board regional director ruled Jan. 18 (Duke University and Service Employees International Union CLC/CTW, No. 10-RC-187957, NLRB, Region 10).
1st Circuit: NLRB Erred Rejecting Hiring Policy Affecting Union Workers
BOSTON - The National Labor Relations Board erred when it found that an employer's hiring policy for nonunion positions was discriminatory against union workers, a First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Jan. 20 (Southcoast Hospitals Group, Inc. v. National Labor Relations Board, Nos. 15-2146 and 15-2258, 1st Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 1208).
D.C. Circuit Refuses To Enforce NLRB's Employer- Wide Bargaining Unit
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Feb. 3 refused to enforce a decision by the National Labor Relations Board to include workers performing a wide range of services all for a single employer in a single bargaining unit, finding that the NLRB failed to consider evidence that appeared to show that they were lacking a "community of interest" (National Labor Relations Board v. Tito Contractors, Inc., No. 15-1217, D.C. Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 1931).
5th Circuit: Outsourcing Of Hotel Cleaning Staff Violated The NLRA
NEW ORLEANS - The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 27 enforced an order by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) that found that a hotel management company violated the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) when it outsourced the housekeeping shortly after there was talk of unionization (Remington Lodging & Hospitality, L.L.C. v. National Labor Relations Board, No. 16-60106, 5th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 1545).
2nd Circuit: Settlement Offer Shouldn't Have Been Admitted In Disability Bias Suit
NEW YORK - A trial court erred when it permitted the admission of an employer's settlement offer and disqualified counsel on both sides in a disability bias suit brought by a pregnant employee, a Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Feb. 2 (Jia Sheng v. M&TBank Corporation, et al., No. 14-4467, 2nd Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 1912).
3rd Circuit: Denial Of 1st Class Airline Ticket Doesn't Constitute Bias
PHILADELPHIA - A former U.S. Army employee was not subjected to disability discrimination when his request for first-class air accommodations when traveling for work was denied and he was booked on a sleeper car train, a Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Jan. 27 (Saman Khoury v. Secretary United States Army, No. 16-1393, 3rd Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 1500).
6th Circuit: No Disability Bias Where Employee Simply Can't Perform Job
CINCINNATI - A customer service representative (CSR) who suffered from depression and anxiety attacks was unable to show that her termination, after extended absences, constituted disability discrimination, a Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Jan. 27 (Kirsten Williams v. AT&T Mobility Services LLC, No. 16-6078, 6th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 1503).
7th Circuit Won't Rule On Merits Of Biometric Testing Dispute
CHICAGO - A Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Jan. 25 affirmed a trial court's dismissal of a lawsuit filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission over an employer requiring a completed medical questionnaire and biometric testing for health insurance, finding that the relief sought was unavailable or moot (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Flambeau, Inc., No. 16-1402, 7th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 1289).
Termination Of Diabetic Call Center Rep For Hanging Up On Calls Is Upheld
DENVER - A call center customer service representative who was fired for hanging up on customers, incidents she claims she doesn't remember due to suffering from low blood sugar, failed to show that her termination was pretext for discrimination (Janna DeWitt v. Southwestern Bell Telephone Company, No. 14-3192, 10th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 843).
5th Circuit: Worker On Leave Failed To Show She Met Requirements To Return
NEW ORLEANS - A cash management company employee who was not permitted to return to work after a medical leave failed to show that her employer considered her disabled or that she provided all the required information that would have allowed her to return to her former position, a Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Jan. 18, upholding a jury's verdict in favor of the employer (Liza C. Ariza v. Loomis Armored US, LLC, No. 16-30131, 5th Cir.; 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 856).
Federal Judge Bars Partial Testimony In Disability Discrimination Lawsuit
DALLAS - In a disability discrimination suit, a Texas federal judge on Jan. 24 excluded an expert's opinion that "audism and phonocentric views may have prevented accommodations" from being made to two women (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. S&B Industry Inc. d/b/a Fox Conn S&B, No. 15-0641, N.D. Texas; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 9259).
Wal-Mart Drivers Granted UCL Restitution In Minimum Wage Class Suit
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Jan. 25 granted in part a post-trial motion filed by a class of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. drivers who successfully brought minimum wage claims against their employer and awarded the plaintiffs nearly $5.9 million in restitution under California's unfair competition law (UCL) (Charles Ridgeway, et al. v. Wal-Mart Stores Inc., No. 08-5221, N.D. Calif., 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 10510).
9th Circuit Upholds Class Decertification In Costco Worker Wage Suit
PASADENA, Calif. - A California federal court did not err in decertifying a class of Costco Wholesale Corp. workers alleging various wage violations after finding that individualized issues predominate over common ones, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Jan. 20 (Eric Stiller, et al. v. Costco Wholesale Corporation, Nos. 15-55361 and 15-55691, 9th Cir.; 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 1062).
1-800-Flowers Subsidiary That Issues Paychecks Is Dismissed From Wage Suit
DAYTON, Ohio - A motion to dismiss filed by a subsidiary of 1-800-Flowers.com Inc. that issued paychecks to the lead plaintiffs in a wage-and-hour class complaint was granted Jan. 23 by an Ohio federal judge, who found that the court lacks personal jurisdiction (Pamela Rodkey, et al. v. 1-800 Flowers Team Services, Inc., et al., No. 16-311, S.D. Ohio, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 9007).
California Federal Judge: Local Controversy Exception Doesn't Apply To Wage Suit
SAN FRANCISCO - A California man who filed a wage-and-hour class complaint against his former employer in state court failed to show, when requesting remand after the case was removed to federal court pursuant to the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA), that the local controversy exception applied, a California federal magistrate judge ruled Jan. 25 (Henry Hernandez v. Sysco Corporation, et al., No. 16-6723, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 10538).
Former 49ers Cheerleader Sues NFL, Teams for Alleged Wage Suppression
SAN FRANCISCO - A former cheerleader for the San Francisco 49ers, identified only as Jane Doe, filed a lawsuit Jan. 31 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California accusing NFL Enterprises LLC and individual teams of conspiring to suppress the wages of cheerleaders while the salaries for the football players have "skyrocketed" (Jane Doe, et al. v. NFL Enterprises LLC, et al., No. 17-496, N.D. Calif.).
Colorado Federal Judge: Wage Settlement Has Not Been Shown To Be Reasonable
DENVER - A Colorado federal judge on Jan 9 denied a motion for approval of a $275,000 wage-and-hour class settlement agreement, finding that the parties have failed to show whether the amount is reasonable or unreasonable (Domingo Ruiz, et al. v. Act Fast Delivery of Colorado, Inc., et al., No. 14-870, D. Colo.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 4821).
Approval Of Wage Class Settlement Denied; Evaluation Of Recovery Requested
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on Jan. 12 denied preliminary approval of a $290,000 wage-and-hour settlement, finding that the parties failed to provide an evaluation of the range of reasonable recoveries (Sean Patterson, et al. v. Premier Construction Co. Inc., et al., No. 15-662, E.D. N.Y.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 4845).
7th Circuit: Vacation Pay Class Suit's Lack Of Common Question Is Fatal
CHICAGO - Two former restaurant workers who filed a class complaint against their employer alleging that they were denied pro rata vacation pay upon separation failed to provide a common question, and so the trial court properly denied their motion for class certification, a Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Jan. 5 (Demiko McCaster, et al. v. Darden Restaurants, Inc., et al., No. 15-3258, 7th Cir.; 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 213).
4th Circuit Reinstates Cable Technicians' Wage-And-Hour Claims
RICHMOND, Va. - Cable technicians who install and repair DIRECTV LLC satellite systems have stated a plausible claim that they are jointly employed by DIRECTV and a home service provider, the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Jan. 25, reinstating wage-and-hour claims brought by the technicians (Marlon Hall, et al. v. DIRECTV, LLC, et al., No. 15-1857, Jay Lewis, et al. v. DIRECTV, LLC, et al., No. 15-1858, 4th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 1320).
Florida Federal Judge OKs $6,000 Payout To Plaintiff In Failed Subway Class Action
MIAMI - A Florida federal judge on Jan. 3 approved a $6,000 settlement payout to one of the plaintiffs involved in a failed attempt to get approval for certification of a collective action under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) to create an FLSA class of "store managers" working at Subway franchises owned and operated by the same person (Yirandi Aguiar, et al. v. Subway 39077 Inc., et al., No. 16-23399-Civ, S.D. Fla.).
MetLife Claim Specialists Sue For More Than $50M In Overtime Wages
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - A former insurance company long-term disability (LTD) claim specialist filed a nationwide class complaint Feb. 7 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut seeking more than $50 million from her former employer and two of its subsidiaries for unpaid overtime (Stephanie McKinney v. MetLife, Inc., et al., No. 17-173, D. Conn.).
States Urge 5th Circuit To Uphold Injunction Barring DOL Wage Rule
NEW ORLEANS - The state of Nevada and 20 other states filed a brief Jan. 17 asking the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to uphold a nationwide preliminary injunction barring the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) wage rule that was to increase the minimum salary level for executive, administrative and professional (EAP) employees who are exempt from receiving overtime pay from $23,660 per year to $47,892 per year (State of Nevada, et al. v. United States Department of Labor, et al., No. 16-41606, 5th Cir.).
Magistrate Judge: Migrant Tobacco Workers To Be Deposed In Mexico
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - A federal magistrate judge in Kentucky on Feb. 3 found that the owners of a tobacco farm who were sued for allegedly violating federal work visa laws will not face an undue hardship by having to depose a group of migrant workers in Mexico, denying the owners' motion for a protective order that would prohibit the depositions from taking place in Mexico (Martin Rico Murillo, et al. v. Tracy Dillard, et al., No. 1:15-CV-00069, W.D. Ky., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15391).
NLRB General Counsel Issues Memo Addressing Employee Status At Universities
WASHINGTON, D.C. - National Labor Relations Board General Counsel Richard F. Griffin Jr. issued a memorandum on Jan. 31 regarding employee status in university settings and in that memo stated "that application of the statutory definition of employee and the common-law test lead to the conclusion that Division I FBS scholarship football players are employees under the NLRA [National Labor Relations Act]."
U.S. Supreme Court Accepts FELA Jurisdiction Appeal
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Jan. 13 agreed to hear the appeal of two consolidated personal injury cases in which the employer, BNSF Railway Co., has asked the high court to decide whether a state court may decline to follow the decision in Daimler AG v. Bauman (134 S. Ct. 746 ) in a lawsuit against an American defendant under the Federal Employers' Liability Act (FELA) (BNSF Railway Company v. Kelli Tyrrell, as Special Administrator for the Estate of Brent T. Tyrrell, et al., No. 16-405, U.S. Sup.).
Pennsylvania High Court Dismisses Joint Employer Appeal As 'Improvidently Granted'
HARRISBURG, Pa. - In a one-sentence per curiam opinion, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Dec. 16 dismissed as 'improvidently granted" an appeal of an appellate ruling that Saladworks LLC is not a joint employer of a franchisee's worker who was injured on the job under state workers' compensation law (Saladworks LLC, et al. v. Workers' Compensation Appeals Board, et al., No. 52 MAP 2016, Pa. Sup., Middle Dist.).
9th Circuit: Employer Willfully Violates FCRA With Waiver And Disclosure
SAN FRANCISCO - An employer that includes a disclosure required by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) in the same document as a liability waiver willfully violates the FCRA, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Jan. 20 in a case that it noted presented a question of first impression (Sarmad Syed, et al. v. M-I, LLC, et al., No. 14-17186, 9th Cir.; 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 1029).
Officer's DPPA Claims Barred By Statute Of Limitations, 11th Circuit Affirms
MIAMI - A former law enforcement officer's privacy claims under the Driver's Privacy Protection Act (DPPA) and related civil rights claims were properly dismissed as barred by the statute of limitations, an 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Jan. 9, finding that the claims accrued on the date that the purported violations occurred (Shaun Foudy, et al. v. Indian River County Sheriff's Office, et al., No. 15-14646, 15-14659 and 15-15015, 11th Cir.; 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 369)
Some Phone Record Info Deemed Discoverable In FLSA Overtime Class Action
LAS CRUCES, N.M. - In a Jan. 24 order, a New Mexico federal magistrate judge found that limited non-private information about employees' cell phones and devices was discoverable in their overtime class action against their former employer brought under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), leading the magistrate to grant in part the defendant's motion to compel responses to two interrogatories (Jarrod B. Foster v. Nova Hardbanding LLC, et al., No. 2:15-cv-01047, D. N.M.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 9835).
11th Circuit: Community Service Board Is Not Immune From Age Bias Claim
ATLANTA - A Georgia community service board (CSB) must face a former employee's age bias suit as it is not an "arm of the State" for federal sovereign immunity purposes, an 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Jan. 26 in a per curiam, unpublished opinion (Gloria Jane Miller v. Advantage Behavioral Health Systems, No. 15-15496, 11th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 1369).
11th Circuit Finds Fired Employee's Email Access Violated CFAA, SCA
MIAMI - Concluding that a former employee was properly terminated for cause, an 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Jan. 25 ruled that he violated both the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) and the Stored Communications Act (SCA) by accessing the emails of other employees without authorization (Brown Jordan International Inc., et al. v. Christopher Carmicle, No. 16-11350, 11th Cir.; 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 1310).
Pennsylvania School Bus Driver Alleges Fingerprinting Violates Religious Beliefs
JOHNSTOWN, Pa. - A Pennsylvania school bus driver filed a lawsuit in a Pennsylvania federal court on Jan. 12 against her former employer, alleging religious discrimination after she was fired for refusing to provide her fingerprints as part of a criminal background check (Bonnie F. Kaite v. Altoona Student Transportation, Inc., No. 17-05, W.D. Pa.).
9th Circuit Reinstates Suit By Worker Fired For Stealing Cake
SEATTLE - A grocery store supervisor who was fired for taking cake from the bakery to entice workers to stay late, despite her claims that she was given permission to do so, may proceed with her lawsuit alleging gender bias, benefits and wage claims, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Feb. 3, reversing a trial court's summary judgment ruling in favor of the employer (Katie Mayes, et al. v. WinCo Holdings, Inc., No. 14-35396, 9th Cir.; 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 1968).
High Court Asks Government To Express Views In ERISA Indemnification Case
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Jan. 9 asked the U.S. solicitor general to file a brief expressing the government's views in a case that asks whether the Employee Retirement Income Security Act permits a cause of action for indemnity or contribution by a person found liable for breach of fiduciary duty (David B. Fenkell v. Alliance Holdings Inc., et al., No. 16-473, U.S. Sup.).
3rd Circuit: 50-And-Older Age Bias Subgroup Is Allowed Under ADEA
PHILADELPHIA - A trial court erred when it ruled that a disparate-impact claim is not cognizable where a subgroup comprises workers 50 years old and older, a Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Jan. 10 in an opinion in which it also vacated the exclusion of testimony by the plaintiffs' statistics expert and remanded for further Daubert proceedings (Rudolph A. Karlo, et al. v. Pittsburgh Glass Works, LLC, No. 15-3435, 3rd Cir.; 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 406).
Wal-Mart Agrees To Pay $7.5 Million To Settle Gay Workers' Benefits Suit
BOSTON - Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has agreed to pay $7.5 million to settle class claims alleging that the retailer unlawfully denied health benefits to the spouses of employees who are in same-sex marriages, according to a motion for preliminary approval of class action settlement filed Dec. 2 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts (Jacqueline A. Cote, et al. v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., No. 15-12945, D. Mass.).
4th Circuit Upholds Requirement Of Proof Of Marriage For Health Insurance Coverage
RICHMOND, Va. - A Baltimore employee failed to show that the city's requirement that employees submit proof of marriage for their spouses to be eligible for health insurance coverage violates state or federal law, a Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Jan. 4, upholding a trial court's dismissal of an employee's complaint (Adris Abdus-Shahid, et al. v. Mayor and City Council of Baltimore, No. 15-2181, 4th Cir.; 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 118).
Judgment Against Staffing Agency On Canceled Insurance, COBRA Claims Upheld
ATLANTA - An 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Dec. 30 affirmed an award of $325,000 in damages for a sales manager who claimed that he was subjected retaliatory cancellation of health insurance and was not properly notified of right to continuation of coverage under Comprehensive Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) (Sam A. Virciglio v. Work Train Staffing LLC, et al., No. 15-10421, 11th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 23422).
3rd Circuit: Proof Of Qualifications Not Needed To Meet Initial USERRA Burden
PHILADELPHIA - A plaintiff bringing suit under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) does not need to plead or prove that he or she is objectively qualified for the position being sought in order to meet the initial burden under the Act, a Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Dec. 12 (Anthony J. Carroll v. Delaware River Port Authority, No. 16-2492, 3rd Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 21993).
4th Circuit: USERRA Can't Be Basis For Claims Occurring After Re-Employment
RICHMOND, Va. - A veteran who claims that she was improperly re-employed by a Virginia school board can't use Section 4313 of the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) as the basis for her claims involving acts occurring after she was re-employed and has no other available remedies, the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Dec. 21, affirming a trial court's summary judgment ruling for the school board (Dianne L. Butts v. Prince William County School Board, No. 15-1989, 4th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 22904).
Sovereign Immunity For Tribal Casino Limo Driver Debated In Supreme Court
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Not allowing non-Indians who were injured as a result of a tribal employee's negligence miles away from a reservation a remedy except what the tribe chooses to provide in tribal court "represents an extraordinary and unwarranted expansion of tribal immunity," an attorney for a couple injured by a limousine driver for a Native American casino told the U.S. Supreme Court Jan. 9 (Brian Lewis and Michelle Lewis v. William Clarke, No. 15-1500, U.S. Sup.).
U.S. High Court To Decide Circuit Split On EEOC Subpoena Review
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Oral arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court are scheduled for Feb. 21 in the appeal of a pregnancy discrimination suit challenging the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals' application of a de novo standard of review to a trial court's determination of relevance of information sought by an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission subpoena (McLane Company, Inc. v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, No. 15-1248, U.S. Sup.).
9th Circuit: Congress Didn't Mean For Service Advisers To Fall Under Pay Exemption
PASADENA, Calif. - A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Jan. 9, on remand from the U.S. Supreme Court, affirmed in part and reversed in part a trial court's dismissal of an action bought under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) against an automobile dealership, holding that Congress never intended for the service advisers to be exempted from receiving overtime pay (Hector Navarro, et al. v. Encino Motorcars, LLC, No. 13-55323, 9th Cir.; 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 344).
U.S. Supreme Court Grants Writ, Vacates Judgment In Wage Dispute
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Dec. 12 granted a petition for writ of ceritoriari and vacated for further consideration, in light of Tyson Foods, Inc. v. Bouaphakeo (577 U.S. ___ ), a decision by a divided Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel in which it upheld the collective certification of a class of cable technicians, the use of representative testimony and the use of an estimated-average approach but reversed as to the damages, finding that they were miscalculated (FTS USA LLC, et al. v. Edward Monroe, et al., No. 16-204, U.S. Sup.).
California Piece-Rate Pay Carve-Outs May Be Challenged By 2 Businesses
SAN FRANCISCO - Two California corporations may proceed with their claim that the sole purpose of "carve-outs" included in a California wage bill was to garner union support in violation of the U.S. Constitution's equal protection clause, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Dec. 20 (Fowler Packing Company, Inc., et al. v. David M. Lanier, et al., No. 16-16236, 9th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 22627).
Delta Flight Attendants Can't Recover Wages Under California Law
SAN FRANCISCO - California laws do not apply to wage claims brought by four Delta Air Lines Inc. flight attendants seeking wages and wage information for work performed on the ground in California because the amount of time they worked in California during any of the relevant pay periods was de minimis, a California federal judge ruled Jan. 6 (Dev Anand Oman, et al. v. Delta Air Lines, Inc., No. 15-131, N.D. Calif.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 2913).
Split NLRB Panel Won't Review Ruling Holding On Nontenure Track Faculty
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A split National Labor Relations Board panel on Dec. 30 denied review of a regional director's decision that University of Southern California's (USC) nontenure track faculty are not managerial employees (University of Southern California and Service Employees International Union, Local 721, No. 31-RC-164868, NLRB).
Oregon Federal Judge Rules Against Jack In the Box Workers On Wage-And-Hour Claims
PORTLAND, Ore. - An Oregon federal judge on Dec. 13 granted Jack in the Box Inc.'s motion to dismiss the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) claims of plaintiffs in a putative class action against the fast food restaurant franchisor, finding that Jack in the Box was not the plaintiff's joint employer after it franchised several corporate-owned Jack in the Box restaurants (Jessica Gessele, et al. v. Jack in the Box Inc., No. 3:14-cv-1092, D. Ore.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 172061).
Federal Judge Transfers Employee's Class Claims Against Food Group
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Jan. 6 granted a request by several companies to transfer an employee's class claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and other causes of action related to alleged employment violations, finding that transfer to another federal court was appropriate because various factors, including the convenience of witnesses, weighed in favor of the transfer (Jorge Perez v. Performance Food Group Inc., et al., No. 15-cv-02390, N.D. Calif.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 2319).
California Appellate Panel: Objection To Raiders' $1.25M Cheerleader Settlement Fails
SAN FRANCISCO - A former Oakland Raiders cheerleader who was a plaintiff in another similar wage class complaint failed to show that a $1.25 million wage settlement reached between the Raiders and a class of cheerleaders was improperly granted final approval, a First District California Court of Appeal panel ruled Dec. 13 (Lacy T., et al. v. The Oakland Raiders, No. A144707, Calif. App., 1st Dist., Div. 5; 2016 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 8923).
U.S. Bank Settles Wage Collective Action For $1.15 Million
AKRON, Ohio - An Ohio federal judge on Dec. 29 granted approval of a $1.15 million settlement to be paid by U.S. Bancorp and U.S. Bank National Association (collectively, U.S. Bank) to end a Fair Labor Standards Act collective action brought by co-managers (CMs) who alleged that they were improperly denied overtime wages (Kelly Waggoner, et al. v. U.S. Bancorp, et al., No. 14-1626, N.D. Ohio; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 179843).
6th Circuit: New State Law Interpretation Doesn't Doom Certification, Settlement
CINCINNATI - A new interpretation of a Kentucky state law upon which a wage-and-hour class complaint was based doesn't defeat certification of a class and approval of the parties' settlement agreement, a Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Dec. 14 (William Whitlock, et al. v. FSL Management, LLC, et al., No. 16-5086, 6th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 22218).
Uber Wage Class Complaint Dismissed Due To Clear Arbitration Agreement
DETROIT - An arbitration provision agreed to by Uber Technologies Inc. drivers "clearly and unmistakably" provides that an arbitrator must decide the issue of arbitrability, a Michigan federal judge ruled Dec. 27, granting a motion to compel arbitration of a wage class complaint filed by two drivers (Arthur Zawada, et al. v. Uber Technologies, Inc., et al., No. 16-11334, E.D. Mich.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 178582).
Decertification Motion Denied In Limo Drivers' Wage-And-Hour Class Suit
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - A Connecticut federal judge on Dec. 8 denied a motion for class decertification filed in a wage-and-hour complaint brought by a limo driver who claims that his employer's commission-based payment structure resulted in hours worked without any compensation and a denial of overtime wages when hours exceed 40 per week (Roger Lassen, Jr., et al. v. Hoyt Livery, Inc., et al., No. 13-1529, D. Conn.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 169506).
Split 3rd Circuit: Travel Time To And From Work Site Is Not Compensable
PHILADELPHIA - Time spent traveling to and from a worksite is not compensable under the Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act (PMWA), a divided Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Nov. 30, upholding a trial court's dismissal of a worker's class complaint (Rafael Espinoza, et al. v. Atlas Railroad Construction, LLC, et al., No. 16-1413, 3rd Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 21403).
Casino Workers' Wage Class Claims Are Sent Back To State Court
RENO, Nev. - Wage claims by a class of Nevada casino workers are not preempted by Section 301 of the Labor Management Relations Act (LMRA) and belong in state court, a Nevada federal judge ruled Dec. 6 (Eddy Martel, et al. v. MEI-GSR Holdings, LLC, et al., No. 16-440, D. Nev.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 168461).
Sprint Inside Sales Reps Conditionally Certified In Overtime Wage Dispute
KANSAS CITY, Kan. - A Kansas federal judge on Dec 6 granted a motion for conditional collective action certification filed by a former wireless inside sales representative who claims that Sprint Corp. and Sprint/United Management Co. had a companywide unwritten policy requiring its workers to enter only 40 hours per week into the timekeeping system, denying any overtime pay (Michael McGlon, et al. v. Spring Corporation, et al., No. 16-2099, D. Kan.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 168694).
Northwestern Mutual Granted Summary Judgment In Worker Classification Dispute
CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. - A former insurance company financial representative failed in his attempt to show that he was actually an employee, not an independent contractor as his contract stated, a New York federal judge ruled Dec. 12, granting a motion for summary judgment filed by the insurance company in the wage-and-hour class dispute (Joseph Rose, et al. v. Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company, et al., No. 14-3569, E.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 171404).
Candy Worker's 2 Individual Wage Claims Reinstated; Class Claims Rejected
SAN DIEGO - A candy company former employee who filed a wage-and-hour class complaint against her former employer may proceed only with two of her individual claims, the Fourth District California Court of Appeal, Division I, ruled Dec. 9, upholding summary judgment for the employer on the other remaining causes of action, including the class claims (Pamela Silva v. See's Candy Shops, Inc., No. D068136, Calif. App., 4th Dist., Div. 1; 2016 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 8895).
Boston Police Department Hair Test May Have Disparate Impact On Black Workers
BOSTON - The Boston Police Department has shown that its use of a hair drug test is job related and consistent with business necessity, but a reasonable fact finder could find that an alternative testing method could have met the department's needs with less of a disparate impact on black workers, a First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Dec. 28 (Ronnie Jones, et al. v. City of Boston, et al., No. 15-2015, 1st Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 23354).
Bass Pro Race Bias Suit Is Unaffected By High Court's Tyson Ruling
HOUSTON - The U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Tyson Foods, Inc. v. Bouaphakeo (136 S. Ct. 1036 ) - a Fair Labor Standards Act case in which the high court, in its decision approving of the plaintiffs' reliance on representative evidence to satisfy the procedural requirements for class certification, expressly stated that it was not establishing any broad or categorical rules concerning the use of "representative evidence" in class cases - has no effect on a racial discrimination suit filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against Bass Pro Outdoor World LLC, a Texas federal judge ruled Dec. 28 (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Bass Pro Outdoor World, LLC, et al., No. 11-3425, S.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 179403).
Walt Disney Employees File Race Bias Class Suit
ORLANDO, Fla. - Walt Disney Parks and Resorts U.S. Inc. discriminated against approximately 250 employees when it terminated them and replaced them with workers from India, more than two dozen of the former employees allege in a class complaint filed Dec. 12 in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida (Leonardo Perrero, et al. v. Walt Disney Parks and Resorts U.S., Inc., No. 16-2144, M.D. Fla.).
Summary Judgment For Amtrak On Race, Hostile Environment Claims Upheld
BOSTON - An Amtrak lineman who claims that he was improperly denied overtime opportunities and was subjected to a hostile environment failed to successfully link either claim to his race, a First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Dec. 16, affirming a trial court's summary judgment ruling in favor of the defendant (Gregory Garmon, Sr. v. National Railroad Passenger Corporation d/b/a Amtrak, No. 15-1803, 1st Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 22402).
9th Circuit: Ministerial Exception Doesn't Bar Relatives' Conspiracy Claims
PORTLAND, Ore. - The widow and children of a late Sikh Dharma spiritual leader may proceed with their conspiracy and fraud claims alleging that they were wrongfully excluded from certain management positions and denied assets, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Jan. 6 after determining that, based only on the pleadings, the plaintiffs' claims are not barred by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution's ministerial exception (Bibiji Inderjit Kaur Puri, et al. v. Sopurkh Kaur Khalsa, et al., No. 13-36024, 9th Cir.; 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 266).
10th Circuit: Arbitrator Must Determine Arbitrability Of Some Of Surgeon's Claims
DENVER - All of the claims brought by a surgeon who was disciplined for alleged misconduct against the hospital where he was an independent contractor must be submitted to an arbitrator to determine the arbitrability of them in the first instance based on the management services agreement signed by both parties, a 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Jan. 5, reversing in part a trial court's decision that the arbitrability of only one claim should be decided by the arbitrator (LeGrand P. Belnap, M.D. v. Iasis Healthcare, et al., No. 15-4010, 10th Cir.; 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 180).
9th Circuit Denies Rehearing En Banc In Uber Drivers' FCRA Suits
SAN FRANCISCO - A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Dec. 21 made a small amendment to its Sept. 7 opinion in which it held that a California federal judge erred when he assumed the authority to decide in two class complaints whether arbitration agreements between Uber Technologies Inc. and its drivers were enforceable and denied a petition for rehearing en banc (Abdul Kadir Mohamed, et al. v. Uber Technologies, Inc., et al., No. 15-16178, Ronald Gillette v. Uber Technologies, Inc., No. 15-16181, Abdul Kadir Mohamed, et al. v. Uber Technologies, Inc., et al., No. 15-16250, 9th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 22898).
Ohio Federal Judge Says Parties Signed Valid Agreement, Sends Perkins Case To Arbitration
CINCINNATI - An Ohio federal judge on Dec. 5 issued an order granting defendant Perkins & Marie Callender's Inc.'s motion to compel arbitration involving employment and Food Safety Act claims, saying that the plaintiff and the food products supplier signed a valid arbitration agreement (Douglas Snedden v. Perkins & Marie Callender's Inc., No. 1:16-cv-668, S.D. Ohio, Western Div.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 167381).
U.S. High Court Declines Appeal Over Agencies' Conciliation Efforts
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Jan. 9 denied a petition for writ of certiorari filed by a Florida corporation asking it to review a decision by the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that reversed a trial court's partial summary judgment ruling for the corporation on claims brought by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Arizona Civil Rights Division on behalf of a class of female prison workers who allege gender discrimination and harassment, finding that the two agencies sufficiently conciliated their claims (The Geo Group, Inc. v. U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, et al., No. 16-302, U.S. Sup.; 2017 U.S. LEXIS 294).
11th Circuit Says Deposition Was Improperly Excluded, Reinstates Harassment Claim
ATLANTA - A former mailroom clerk may proceed with her sexual harassment claim against her former employer, an 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Dec. 16, determining that the trial court improperly excluded a deposition by the plaintiff's former co-worker that supported the plaintiff's claim (Myra Furcron v. Mail Centers Plus, LLC, No. 15-14595, 11th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 22330).
Coca-Cola Ex-Employee Defends Certification Of Laptop Data Theft Classes
PHILADELPHIA - A former employee of The Coca-Cola Co. (Coke) argues in a Dec. 7 brief in Pennsylvania federal court that his bid for certification of a class of Coke employees whose personally identifying information (PII) is appropriate, contending that his proposed classes meet the requirements of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23 (Shane K. Enslin v. The Coca-Cola Co., et al., No. 2:14-cv-06476, E.D. Pa.).
Federal Circuit Upholds Border Patrol Agent's Removal From Service
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A former border patrol agent (BPA) failed to show that an arbitrator erred in determining that the agent was properly removed from his position after he exhibited psychotic symptoms, a Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Jan. 4 (Brendan Corkery v. Department of Homeland Security, No. 2015-3216, Fed. Cir.; 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 237).
7th Circuit Upholds Ruling That Student Athletes Are Not Employees
CHICAGO - A federal judge was correct when he ruled that student athletes are not employees of the universities where they play, the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Dec. 5 (Gillian Berger, et al. v. National Collegiate Athletic Association, et al., No. 16-1558, 7th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 21642).
Texas Federal Judge Issues Preliminary Injunction Against DOL Wages Rule
SHERMAN, Texas - A Texas federal judge on Nov. 22 issued a nationwide preliminary injunction requested by the state of Nevada and 20 other states barring the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) wage rule that was to increase the minimum salary level for executive, administrative and professional (EAP) employees who are exempt from receiving overtime pay from $23,660 per year to $47,892 per year from taking effect on Dec. 1 (State of Nevada, et al. v. United States Department of Labor, et al., No. 16-731, E.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 162048).
3rd Circuit: Opt-In Plaintiffs Lack Standing To Appeal Collective Action Ruling
PHILADELPHIA - Three hospital employees who opted in to the second round of wage litigation against their employer have no standing to appeal the trial court's denial of collective action certification after the lead named plaintiff settled his individual claims, a Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Nov. 18 (Steven Halle, et al. v. West Penn Allegheny Health System Inc., et al., No. 15-3089, 3rd Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 20655).
Judge Finds Employment Claims Are Not Arbitrable, Agreement Is Unenforceable
SAN FRANCISCO - Considering the recent ruling in Morris v. Ernst & Young (834 F.3d 975 [9th. Cir. 2016]), a California federal judge on Nov. 16 found that a class action waiver in an employment-related arbitration agreement was unenforceable under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) (Ravi Whitworth v. Solarcity Corp., No. 16-cv-01540-JSC, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 158903).
9th Circuit Reinstates Staffing Coordinator's Overtime Pay Suit
SAN FRANCISCO - An Arizona federal judge erred in determining that a staffing coordinator's claim that she was owed overtime failed as a matter of law, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Dec. 1 (Jennifer Quintiliani, et al. v. Concentric Healthcare Solutions, LLC, et al., No. 14-17312, 9th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 21484).
Calif. Appellate Panel Upholds Wage Award For Apartment Manager, Adds Interest
LOS ANGELES - An employee awarded unpaid minimum wage is entitled to the unpaid balance plus interest, a California appellate panel ruled Dec. 1, affirming the trial court's judgment with the addition of prejudgment interest for an apartment manager who sued for minimum wages after he was paid only a rent write-off (Andrew Rolfes v. Ronald F. Mei, No. B266929, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 2; 2016 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 8577).
Federal Judge Declines Regulation Of Communications In Wage-And-Hour Class Suit
ASHEBORO, N.C. - A North Carolina federal judge on Nov. 14 denied a motion by satellite television technicians to regulate communications between their employer and the putative collective members who allege that they were misclassified as independent contractors, finding that the plaintiffs have not shown evidence of abusive communication (Adolpho Beasley, et al. v. Custom Communications, Inc., No. 15-583, E.D. N.C.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 157118).
Virgin America Flight Attendants Granted Class Status In Wage Dispute
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Nov. 7 certified one class and two subclasses of flight attendants who claim that they have been denied wages for all hours worked, including when preparing for a flight, wrapping up after a flight, waiting in between flights and performing other duties including training (Julia Bernstein, et al. v. Virgin America, Inc., No. 15-2277, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 154326).
California Federal Judge Sends Truck Workers' Wage Suit Back To State Court
RIVERSIDE, Calif. - A trucking company failed to show that a wage-and-hour complaint filed by a class of its truck workers and drivers belongs in federal court, a California federal judge ruled Nov. 14 remanding the suit (Brock Hobson v. Linde, LLC, et al., No. 16-1984, C.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 157416).
Iron Hill Brewery Settles Bartenders, Servers Wage Claims For $1.29M
PHILADELPHIA - A company with restaurants in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware will pay $1.29 million to settle claims that it wrongfully used a tip credit when paying its servers and bartenders as it required those tipped employees to share those tips with other workers; a federal judge in Pennsylvania approved the final settlement on Nov. 14 (Matthew Schaub, et al. v. Chesapeake & Delaware Brewing Holdings and Iron Hill Brewery, LLC, No. 16-756, E.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 157203).
Dollar General Will Pay $300,000 To Settle Wage Class Claims
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Nov. 14 granted preliminary approval of a $300,000 settlement to be paid by Dolgen California LLC to a class of employees who worked at its Dollar General Market stores in California and allege numerous wage violations, including failure to pay overtime and provide meal periods (Julie Sullivan v. Dolgen California, LLC, a Tennessee Limited Liability Company, No. 15-1617, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 157269).
California Appellate Panel Reverses Decertification Of Security Officer Wage Class
LOS ANGELES - A California trial court erred when it granted an employer's motion to decertify a class of security officers suing for various wage violations, a Second District California Court of Appeal panel ruled Nov. 21, finding that the case was distinguishable from Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes (564 U.S. 338 ) (Nivida Lubin, et al. v. The Wackenhut Corporation, No. B244383, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 4; 2016 Cal. App. LEXIS 1016).
Judge Allows Truck Driver's UCL Claims Against Employer To Proceed
LOS ANGELES - A California federal judge on Nov. 8 refused to dismiss a former truck driver's claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and Labor Code in relation to allegedly unpaid wages, finding that her employer's arguments on the inapplicability of California law could not be decided at the present stage of the case (Melody Montgomery v. New Prime Inc., No. 16-2131, C.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 155861).
California Appeals Panel Says Franchisee's Job Applicant Didn't Consent To Arbitration
LOS ANGELES - A California appeals panel on Nov. 9 affirmed denial of a Taco Bell Corp. franchisee's motion to compel arbitration in a case alleging that it violated various wage and work condition requirements in the state Labor Code, saying that a job applicant who filled out a Taco Bell application form was not consenting to arbitrate with the franchisee because the franchisee's name was nowhere on the application (Jesus Mendoza v. Century Fast Foods Inc., No. B267158, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 8; 2016 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 8090).
California Federal Judge Gives Final Approval To $700,000 Wage-And-Hour Settlement
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Nov. 14 granted final approval of a $700,000 settlement between current and former McDonald's franchise employees and a Bay Area franchisee in a wage-and-hour class action and approved the requested $150,000 award of attorney fees to class counsel (Stephanie Ochoa, et al. v. McDonald's Corp., et al., No. 14-2098, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 157302).
U.S. Supreme Court Refuses To Hear Union Election Appeal
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Nov. 14 denied a petition for writ of certiorari filed by a Mystic, Conn., nursing home seeking the review of a September 2015 decision in which the District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that the makeup of the National Labor Relations Board had no effect on the regional director's right to conduct union elections and certify the results (SSC Mystic Operating Company, LLC, doing business as Pendleton Health and Rehabilitation Center v. National Labor Relations Board, No. 15-1373, U.S. Sup.; 2016 U.S. LEXIS 6837).
6th Circuit Reverses Order Invalidating Right-To-Work Ordinance
CINCINNATI - A Kentucky county's "Right-to-Work" ordinance is expressly excepted from preemption in Section 14(b) of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), a Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Nov. 18, reversing in part a ruling by a Kentucky federal court (United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America Local 3047, et al. v. Hardin County, Kentucky, et al., No. 16-5246, 6th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 20654).
5th Circuit Denies Rehearing Of Macy's Bargaining Unit Dispute
NEW ORLEANS - A Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Nov. 18 denied a petition for rehearing en banc, treating it as a petition for panel rehearing, of a June 2 decision enforcing the National Labor Relations Board's certification of a collective bargaining unit for Macy's Inc. sales staff limited to only those selling at cosmetics and fragrances counters and rejecting the department store's argument that the unit needed to include all selling employees and that Specialty Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center of Mobile (357 NLRB No. 83 ) should be overruled (Macy's, Incorporated v. National Labor Relations Board, No. 15-60022, 5th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 20682).
J.B. Hunt Will Pay $260,000 To Settle Religious Bias Charge
LOS ANGELES - J.B. Hunt Transport Inc. has agreed to pay $260,000 and provide other relief to settle charges that it denied Sikh applicants religious accommodation during the hiring process, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced Nov. 15.