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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. ___ [2016]), 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).



Illinois Federal Judge Certifies Excessive Deduction Class, Not Overtime One
CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on Dec. 30 certified an excessive deduction class but not an overtime class in a lawsuit brought by a tile store sales associate against his employer (Adriel Osorio, et al. v. The Tile Shop, LLC, No. 15-15, N.D. Ill.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 180077).



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 [2016]) - 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 [2011]) (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 [2011]) 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.



6th Circuit: Engineer May Proceed With His Claims Of Disability Bias
CINCINNATI - An engineer who alleges that he was wrongfully discharged after notifying his employer of back problems may proceed with his claims of disability bias, wrongful termination and breach of severance agreement, a Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Dec. 2, reversing a trial court's summary judgment ruling in favor of the employer (Robert B. Cady v. Remington Arms Company, No. 16-5035, 6th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 21592).



Georgia Power To Pay $1.59 Million To Settle EEOC Disability Bias Suit
ATLANTA - Georgia Power Co. will pay $1,586,500 to settle claims that it both refused to hire applicants and fired employees due to their disabilities, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced Nov. 15 (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Georgia Power Company, Mark Butler, et al. v. Georgia Power Company, No. 13-3225, N.D. Ga.).



Proximity Of Firing To Pregnancy Announcement Fails To Prove Discrimination
PHILADELPHIA - An employee who was fired shortly after revealing her pregnancy to her employer failed to prove that her termination was the result of pregnancy discrimination, a Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Nov. 30 (Katie Neidigh v. Select Specialty Hospital - McKeesport, No. 16-1013, 3rd Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 21421).



Ceramics Professor May Proceed With Timely Failure To Accommodate Claims
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A university ceramics professor who alleges that she developed occupational asthma due her employer's failure to properly clean and ventilate its studio and then failed to make accommodations for her asthma for 37 years may proceed with only her timely claims, a District of Columbia federal judge ruled Dec. 6 (Winifred Owens-Hart v. Howard University, No. 14-758, D. D.C.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 167984).



Bentonville, Ark., McDonald's Franchisee To Pay $103,000 To Settle Discrimination Suit
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced Nov. 11 that an Arkansas McDonald's restaurant franchisee will pay $103,000 to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit brought by the EEOC on behalf of an employee who was fired because of his HIV-positive status (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Mathews Management, et al., No. 5:16cv5166, W.D. Ark.).



Tribal Immunity Does Not Cover Casino Limo Driver, Crash Victims Tell High Court
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court should reverse a Connecticut Supreme Court finding that a limousine driver for an Indian casino is protected by the tribe's sovereign immunity from a couple's personal injury claims stemming from a car crash because the holding "would represent an unwarranted intrusion on state regulatory authority and would deprive tort victims of compensation," the couple argues in a Nov. 14 merits brief (Brian Lewis and Michelle Lewis v. William Clarke, No. 15-1500, U.S. Sup.).



Split 5th Circuit: Texas Attorney May Proceed With Retaliation Suit Against Judge
NEW ORLEANS - A Texas attorney who claims that a Texas appellate court chief justice halted his hiring by another judge in retaliation for the attorney filing a disciplinary complaint with the State Commission on Judicial Conduct alleging malfeasance by the chief justice may proceed with his retaliation suit against the chief justice, a split Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Nov. 9 (Bruce M. Anderson v. Rogelio Valdez, No. 15-40836, 5th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 20239).



2nd Circuit: Nurse Failed To Establish Retaliation Claims Against Employer
NEW YORK - A nurse failed to present sufficient evidence to proceed with her claims that she was retaliated against by her employer after filing a complaint against her employer alleging gender discrimination and retaliation, a Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Nov. 23, affirming a trial court's decision (Ruth A. Forest v. New York State Office of Mental Health, No. 15-3950, 2nd Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 21025).



7th Circuit Upholds $307,000 Retaliation Award For Assembly Supervisor
CHICAGO - A Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Nov. 29 upheld a $307,000 jury verdict for a manufacturing facility assembly manager on her retaliation claim based on the employee's firing two weeks after her employer learned of her Equal Employment Opportunity Commission complaint (Maria N. Gracia v. SigmaTron International, Inc., No. 15-3311, 7th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 21304).



Court Affirms Dismissal Of Employment Claims Against Youth Services
SAN DIEGO - A California court on Nov. 14 affirmed a trial court's decision that San Diego Youth Services (SDYS) did not wrongfully terminate an employee's position and dismissed her claims for violation of the California Labor Code and the state's unfair competition law (UCL), finding that the record on appeal was incomplete (Diane Daniels v. San Diego Youth Services, No. D069401, Calif. App., 4th Dist., Div. 1; 2016 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 8367).



Former Call Center Workers Granted Class Certification In WARN Act Suit
TAMPA, Fla. - A Florida federal judge on Nov. 10 granted a motion for class certification filed by former call center employees who allege that their termination without warning violated the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act (Mario Pierluca, et al. v. Quality Resources, Inc., No. 16-1580, M.D. Fla.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 155962).



Florida City Employee's Inability To Work Outside Justified Her Termination
ATLANTA - A former employee of a Florida city whose job required her to mainly work outdoors was unable to show that the reason given for her termination - a medical condition that severally limited her ability to work outdoors - was pretext for unlawful discrimination, an 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Nov. 18 (Sally A. Perry v. The City of Avon Park, Florida, No. 15-14525, 11th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 20718).



6th Circuit: Law Firm Worker Failed To Prove Retaliation, Bias During RIF Layoff
CINCINNATI - A law firm employee who was terminated as part of a multiphase reduction in force (RIF) failed to show that her leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) or walking restrictions caused her to be chosen for the layoff, a Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Nov. 28 (Joanne Partin v. Weltman Weinberg & Reis Co. LPA, No. 16-3191, 6th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 21379).



2nd Circuit Reinstates Age Bias Claims Of 1 Out Of 6 Employees Suing After RIF
NEW YORK - One of six employees who sued their former employer for age discrimination after they were terminated as part of a reduction in force (RIF) may proceed with her claims after providing sufficient evidence to survive a summary judgment motion, a Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Dec. 2 (Maria Martinez, as Executor of the Estate of Oscar Martinez, et al. v. New York City Transit Authority, et al., Nos. 15-3159, 15-3165, 15-3166, 15-3180, 15-3183, 15-3198, 2nd Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 21509).



Police Reserve Officer's Emails Deemed To Be Not Protected Speech
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Multiple emails by a police reserve officer (PRO) to his superiors and co-workers criticizing other officers' actions are not speech protected by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, a District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Nov. 8 after first establishing that it had jurisdiction to hear the appeal (Matthew August LeFande v. District of Columbia, No. 15-7055, D.C. Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 20107).



U.S. Supreme Court Won't Hear Delta Worker's Racial Bias Appeal
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Nov. 28 denied a petition for writ of certiorari filed by a former Delta Airlines Global Services LLC worker who sued his former employer alleging that his firing after his failure to conduct a final walk around resulted in damage to an airplane was actually pretext for discrimination (Maahnchooh Ghogomu v. Delta Airlines Global Services, LLC, et al., No. 16-363, U.S. Sup.; 2016 U.S. LEXIS 7168).



Suit Against Insurer, Former Employer Dismissed For Failure To State Claim
DAYTON, Ohio - An Ohio federal judge on Nov. 14 dismissed a disability claimant's suit against her former employer and its disability insurer after determining that the claimant's suit failed to state a claim upon which relief can be granted (Charlotte S. Thomas v. Progressive Casualty Insurance Co., et al., No. 15-456, S.D. Ohio; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 157447).



California High Court Finds Duty To Prevent Household Asbestos Exposures
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - California imposes a duty on employers and premises owners to prevent reasonably foreseeable asbestos exposures to household members, the state Supreme Court held Dec. 1 (Johnny Blaine Kesner v. Superior Court of California for the County of Alameda, No. S219534, Haver v. BNSF, No. S219919, Calif. Sup.).



Kroger Hit With Pregnancy Discrimination Class Complaint
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Kroger Co. and Kroger Limited Partnership I provide reasonable accommodations to employees injured at work but won't provide similar accommodation to pregnant workers, a Tennessee employee alleges in her class complaint filed Nov. 15 in Tennessee federal court (Jessica Craddock, et al. v. The Kroger Company, et al., No. 16-2881, M.D. Tenn.).



ennsylvania Superior Court: Wages May Not Be Paid Via Payroll Cards
HARRISBURG, Pa. - A class of current and former McDonald's employees may proceed with their state wage claims against a couple who own and operate 16 franchises in Pennsylvania and pay their hourly employees via JP Morgan Chase Payroll Cards, a Pennsylvania Superior Court panel ruled Oct. 21, determining in a question of first impression that that form of payment, which subjects the employees to fees, does not meet requirements of the Pennsylvania Wage Payment and Collection Law (WPCL) (Alisha Siciliano, et al. v. Albert/Carol Mueller, et al., No. 1321 MDA 2015, Pa. Super.; 2016 Pa. Super. LEXIS 596).



California Federal Judge: FLSA Collective Claims Are Not Precluded By Earlier Suit
FRESNO, Calif. - A truck operator who had opted in to a wage-and-hour collective action that was ultimately denied certification before filing his own wage-and-hour collective action is not estopped from bringing his suit, a California federal judge ruled Oct. 26 (Williams Phillips, et al. v. Randy's Trucking, Inc., et al., No. 16-753, E.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 148574).



3rd Circuit: Employer Can't Offset Paid Breaks Against Required Overtime
PHILADELPHIA - An employer that chooses to pay employees for meal breaks when it is not required to do so under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) may not use that compensation to offset that compensation against unpaid donning and doffing and information exchange between the shifts, a Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Oct. 7 (Bobbi-Jo Smiley, et al. v. E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company, et al., No. 14-4583, 3rd Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 18242).



Judge Says Claims Against Employer Are Not Preempted By Trade Secrets Law
SAN FRANCISCO - After finding that a company's counterclaims for breach of a duty of loyalty and violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) were not preempted by the California Uniform Trade Secrets Act (CUTSA), a California federal judge on Nov. 4 denied a former dispatcher's motion to dismiss the claims (Obie Banawis-Olila v. World Courier Ground Inc., et al., No. 16-cv-00982, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 153608).



5th Circuit Reinstates Wage Suit By Worker Who Used Fake Identification
NEW ORLEANS - A Louisiana federal court erred when it, citing the plaintiff's use of fake identification, granted summary judgment to employers in a wage suit, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Oct. 31 (Javier Portillo, et al. v. Permanent Workers, L.L.C., et al., No. 15-30789, 5th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 19755).



5th Circuit Finds Arbitrator Must Rule On Arbitration First In Wage Collective Dispute
NEW ORLEANS - A Texas federal court erred when it denied a motion to compel arbitration in a collective wage-and-hour suit, ruling that it could not consider the applicability of the arbitration agreement until later in the certification process, a Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Oct. 4, opining that the issue of arbitration must be decided first (Carlos Reyna, et al. v. International Bank of Commerce, No. 16-40057, 5th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 18016).



Judge Finds Removal Of Wage-Related Class Was Improper, Remands
LOS ANGLES - A California federal judge on Oct. 13 granted a motion to remand a case filed by an employee who alleged wage-related and other claims against his former employer, finding that the amount in controversy did not meet the requirements for removal of a class action to a federal court (Gustavo Segura Santoya v. Consolidated Foundries Inc., et al., No. 16-02232, C.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 142112).



10th Circuit: No Damages For Drivers For Unlawful Usage Fee
DENVER - A Kansas federal judge properly entered summary judgment for truck drivers on their claim that the motor carrier for whom they worked violated 49 Code of Federal Regulations Sections 376.12(i) by charging them $15 per week to use a satellite communications system, but erred in finding that the drivers were owed damages, the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Oct. 18 (Candace Fox, et al. v. TransAm Leasing, Inc., et al., No. 15-3203, 10th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 18654).



2nd Circuit: Ball Park Employees' Overtime Wage Class Claims Fail
NEW YORK - Employees of the company running the concession stands at the Baltimore Orioles' ballpark failed to show that they are owed overtime wages as they fall within the Fair Labor Standards Act's (FLSA) "amusement or recreational establishment" exemption, a Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Oct. 3, affirming a rejection of the employees' class complaint (William A. Hill, et al. v. Delaware North Companies Sportservice, Inc., No. 15-2109, 2nd Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 17763).



5th Circuit: State Court Approved Settlement Can Preclude FLSA Claims
NEW ORLEANS - A California state court approved opt-out class settlement that released Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) claims precludes FLSA claims brought in a federal court on behalf of California plaintiffs, a Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Oct. 14 (Raymond Richardson, et al. v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., et al., No. 15-20711, 5th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 18528).



California Employer To Pay $6 Million To Settle Federal, State Wage Claims
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Oct. 11 granted preliminary approval of a $6 million settlement to be paid by a company that provides asset protection solutions to hourly technicians who are members of a putative class and collective action in which they alleged that they were denied compensation for work-related activities, including mandatory trainings and traveling to and from customer worksites (Edgar Viceral, et al. v. Mistras Group, Inc., No. 15-2198, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 140759).



5th Circuit Won't Reconsider Split Ruling On Unnamed Opt-In Plaintiffs' Appeal
NEW ORLEANS - A Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Oct. 14 declined to reconsider its earlier ruling in which a split panel dismissed for want of jurisdiction an appeal by unidentified opt-in plaintiffs in a wage-and-hour dispute who were seeking an extension of equitable tolling (Joanna Marie Wilson, et al. v. Navika Capital Group, L.L.C., et al., No. 15-20204, 5th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 18552).



Mexican Restaurant Chain Workers Granted Conditional Certification In Wage Suit
RALEIGH, N.C. - A North Carolina federal judge on Oct. 24 conditionally certified two classes of restaurant workers in a wage-and-hour suit, finding that the defendants failed to provide sufficient evidence of their claim that the workers already waived their claims in a settlement between the defendants and the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) (Luis Antonia Arellano Galvan, et al. v. San Jose Mexican Restaurant of NC, Inc., et al., No. 16-39, E.D. N.C.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 146544).



Rite Aid May Ask New York Plaintiffs Limited Questions About California Plaintiffs
NEW YORK - A New York federal magistrate judge issued an opinion on Oct. 31 granting Rite Aid Corp. permission to question three plaintiffs in an ongoing New York collective and class wage suit about their supervision of certain plaintiffs in current California wage suits without the plaintiffs' counsel present (Yatram Indergit, et al. v. Rite Aid Corporation, et al., No. 08-9361, S.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 150565).



Approval Of Wage-And-Hour Settlement Rejected, Further Information Requested
FLINT, Mich. - A Michigan federal judge on Oct. 31 denied approval of a confidential wage-and-hour settlement between an employer and its alarm response security officers (AROs), opining that she was unable to determine, based on the information provided, that the settlement is fair and reasonable (Marcus Williams, et al. v. Alimar Security, Inc., No. 13-12732, E.D. Mich.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 150119).



McDonald's To Pay $3.75M To Settle Franchise Workers' Class Action Lawsuit
SAN FRANCISCO - Lawyers representing about 800 current and former employees at five restaurants owned by a single McDonald's franchisee in California on Oct. 28 filed a motion seeking preliminary approval of a wage-and-hour class action settlement in which McDonald's would pay the workers $1.75 million in back pay and damages and $2 million in legal fees (Stephanie Ochoa, et al. v. McDonald's Corp., et al., No. 14-2098, N.D. Calif.).



U.S. Supreme Court Hears Arguments On Permissible Vacancy Appointments
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The restrictions in Section 3345(b)(1) of the Federal Vacancies Reform Act of 1998 (FVRA) preventing an individual from serving as both a nominee and acting official for a single office apply only to a person serving as first assistant in that office and acting pursuant to the automatic service rule outlined in Subsection 3345(a)(1), Acting Solicitor General Ian H. Gershengorn told the U.S. Supreme Court on Nov. 7 (National Labor Relations Board v. SW General, Inc., doing business as Southwest Ambulance, No. 15-1251, U.S. Sup.).



Split 8th Circuit Reinstates Respiratory Therapist's Disability Bias Suit
ST. PAUL, Minn. - A respiratory therapist who was fired after temporary physical restrictions prevented her from having an up-to-date basic life support certification provided evidence that she could have performed the essential functions of her job, a divided Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Oct. 17, reversing a summary judgment ruling in favor of the therapist's former employer (Roberta Kowitz v. Trinity Health, et al., No. 15-1584, 8th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 18559).



Whole Foods Faces Class Suit For Allegedly Denying Workplace Accommodations
CHICAGO - A former Whole Foods Market Group Inc. worker filed a class complaint Oct. 27 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois seeking damages for Whole Foods' alleged refusal to allow employees with medical restrictions to return to work, in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) (Yolanda Toolie, et al. v. Whole Foods Market Group, Inc., No. 16-10113, N.D. Ill.).



9th Circuit Reverses Hostile Work Environment Preemption Ruling
SEATTLE - A Washington federal court erred when it determined that an employee's state law gender-based hostile work environment claim was preempted by Section 301 of the Labor Management Relations Act (LMRA), a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Nov. 4, reinstating the jury verdict from the first trial in favor of the employee and remanding for reconsideration of the damages (Mary Matson v. United Parcel Service, Inc., No. 13-36174, 9th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 19927).



EMTs Permitted To Proceed With 2 Employment Claims Despite Never Applying For Job
CHICAGO - Failing to apply for a job with a replacement subcontractor does not doom retaliation claims filed against that employer by two emergency medical technicians (EMTs) under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Illinois Human Rights Act (IHRA), the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Oct. 19 (Shannon Volling, et al. v. Kurtz Paramedic Services, Inc., No. 15-3572, 7th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 18816).



6th Circuit: No Signature Necessary To Enforce Arbitration Agreement Under Kentucky Law
CINCINNATI - The lack of employee signatures on an arbitration agreement does not prevent enforcement, the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Oct. 24, finding that under Kentucky law, the employees' decision to continue working "demonstrated assent" (Marlena Aldrich, et al. v. University of Phoenix, Inc., No. 16-5276, 6th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 19296).



Federal Judge Remands Wrongful Termination Case Against CVS To State Court
LOS ANGELES - After finding that a pharmacy employee's claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and labor code were not preempted by the Labor Management Relations Act (LMRA), a California federal judge on Oct. 31 remanded the case to a state court (Schirrelle Robertson v. CVS Pharmacy Inc., et al., No. 16-7533, C.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 150665).



9th Circuit Reinstates Employee's Claims Against Union Over Denial Of Bump Back
PASADENA, Calif. - A former hospital employee who had her union negotiate an agreement with her employer that would permit her to "bump" back from her promotion to a prior position in the event of a reduction-in-force (RIF) may proceed with her claims against the union after she was terminated during a RIF, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Oct. 26 (Starla Rollins v. Community Hospital of San Bernardino, et al., No. 14-55971, 9th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 19317).