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Preview: LexisNexis® Mealey's™ Employment Law Legal News

LexisNexis® Mealey's™ Employment Law Legal News



Headline Employment Law Legal News from LexisNexis®



 



U.S. High Court: No Personal Jurisdiction For BNSF In Montana Injury Suits
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on May 30 reversed a Montana Supreme Court ruling and held that BNSF Railway Co., under the Federal Employers' Liability Act (FELA), is not subject to general personal jurisdiction in Montana - a state where it is not headquartered or incorporated - when it comes to injury claims that are unrelated to activity occurring in that state (BNSF Railway Company v. Kelli Tyrrell, as Special Administrator for the Estate of Brent T. Tyrrell, et al., No. 16-405, U.S. Sup.).



Split 1st Circuit Rules On 2 Arbitration Issues Of First Impression
BOSTON - Deciding two questions of first impression in its circuit, a divided First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on May 12 ruled that the applicability of the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) is a threshold question for a court to determine in a case where the parties have delegated questions of arbitrability to an arbitrator and that the FAA's exemption of employment contracts of transportation workers applies to independent contractor transportation worker agreements (Dominic Oliveira, et al. v. New Prime, Inc., No. 15-2364, 1st Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 8474).



Split 6th Circuit Affirms NLRB Ruling Rejecting Arbitration Agreement
CINCINNATI - A split Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on May 25 upheld a ruling by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), which found that an employer violated the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) by requiring employees to sign off on an agreement that barred them from pursuing class action litigation or collective arbitration of work-related claims (National Labor Relations Board v. Alternative Entertainment, Inc., No. 16-1385, 6th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 9272).



D.C. Circuit: Employer Must Comply With Disclosure Requirements Applied By NLRB
WASHINGTON, D.C. - An employer ordered to comply with certain witness-statement disclosure requirements, as established in Anheuser-Busch, Inc., 237 N.L.R.B. 982, 984-85 (1978), has no standing to challenge a new prospective rule established by the National Labor Relations Board in the same ruling because the NLRB may enforce a cease-and-desist order only to the extent that it requires the employer to comply with the rule applied in its case, a District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled June 6 (American Baptist Homes of the West, doing business as Piedmont Gardens v. National Labor Relations Board, No. 15-1445, D.C. Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 9970).



5th Circuit Reverses Ruling That Drilling-Fluid Specialists Are Exempt Workers
NEW ORLEANS - The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 30 reversed a trial court's ruling that drilling-fluid specialists were exempt from receiving overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act's (FLSA) administrative exemption and remanded for further proceedings, finding that the employer failed to establish "its affirmative defense beyond peradventure" (Matthew Dewan, et al. v. M-I, L.L.C., doing business as M-I SWACO, No. 16-20182, 5th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 9395).



D.C. Circuit: Hospital Violated Labor Act By Stopping Pay Increases
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A hospital violated the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) when it stopped paying its nurses longevity-based wage increases once its collective bargaining agreement (CBA) expired as the raises were not limited to the life of the CBA, a District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled May 19 (Wilkes-Barre Hospital Company, LLC, doing business as Wilkes-Barre General Hospital v. National Labor Relations Board, No. 15-1318, D.C. Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 8791).



11th Circuit: Time Spent Transporting Sheriff Patrol Car Is Compensable
ATLANTA - A trial court was correct to determine that the time a sheriff's deputy spends driving a patrol car to and from his designated patrol zone is compensable and liquidated damages are appropriate because the sheriff knew or should have known that it was compensable, an 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled May 15 (Shawn Meeks, et al. v. Pasco County Sheriff, No. 16-16932, 11th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 8526).



High Court Denies Appeal Of Suit Over California City's Overtime Rate Calculation
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on May 15 denied a petition for writ of certiorari filed by a California city seeking reversal of a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling that the city erred when it failed to include payment for unused benefits when calculating its police officers' overtime rates (City of San Gabriel, California v. Danny Flores, et al., No. 16-911, U.S. Sup.).



Nevada Supreme Court: Wage Class Claims Can't Proceed Against Taxi Company
CARSON CITY, Nev. - A taxi driver may not proceed with his proposed class wage claims against his employer because he failed to properly oppose a motion for summary judgment and the claims he brought were previously resolved in a grievance filed by the union representing the drivers, the Nevada Supreme Court ruled June 1 (Michael Sargeant, et al. v. Henderson Taxi, No. 69773, Nev. Sup., 2017 Nev. LEXIS 42).



5th Circuit: Employer Had No Reasonable Basis To Remove Employee's Counterclaims
NEW ORLEANS - An employer had no reasonable basis to remove to federal court counterclaims filed by its employer, a Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled May 22, vacating a trial court's order and remanding for reconsideration of attorney fees for the employee (Renegade Swish, L.L.C. v. Emily A. Wright, No. 16-11152, 5th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 8916).



Split 3rd Circuit Upholds Denial Of Arbitration Of Overtime Claims
PHILADELPHIA - Two wage claims brought by a proposed class of nursing assistants don't depend on disputed interpretations of provisions in their collective bargaining agreement (CBA), a split Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled May 18, upholding a denial of arbitration (Tymeco Jones, et al. v. John Does 1-10, et al., No. 16-1101, 3rd Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 8695).



Objections To $6.55M Exotic Dancers' Wage Settlement Filed
DETROIT - Three objections have recently been filed by exotic dancers who oppose approval of a $6.55 million settlement to be paid by nightclub owners who have been accused of federal and state wage violations (Jane Doe 1-2, et al. v. Deja Vu Services, Inc., et al., No. 16-10877, E.D. Mich.).



Bimbo Bakeries Delivery Drivers' Wage Class Suit Survives Dismissal Motion
NEWARK, N.J. - A New Jersey federal judge on May 17 denied a bakery's motion to dismiss a class complaint by its delivery drivers seeking unpaid overtime, damages and other relief (Christopher Oddo, et al. v. Bimbo Bakeries USA, Inc., No. 16-4267, D. N.J., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 75172).



Class' New York State Wage Claims Are Transferred To California Federal Court
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on May 18 denied a motion to dismiss and granted a motion to transfer New York state overtime claims filed by pet store assistant managers to a California federal court where another case is pending alleging overtime claims under federal law (Deserie Michel, et al. v. Petco Animal Supplies Stores, Inc., et al., No. 16-1838, E.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 75892).



Drillers' Wage-And-Hour Class Suit Is Settled For $3 Million
FRESNO, Calif. - A California federal judge on May 23 granted preliminary approval of a $3 million settlement to be paid by an industrial service company to end claims that it improperly classified directional drillers as independent contractors and failed to pay overtime wages and meal and rest period premiums (Marc McCulloch, et al. v. Baker Hughes Inteq Drilling Fluids, Inc., et al., No. 16-157, E.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 78367).



Calif. Federal Judge Dismisses NFL Cheerleaders' Sherman, Cartwright Acts Claims
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on May 25 granted a motion to dismiss, with leave to amend, Sherman Act and Cartwright Act claims brought by a National Football League (NFL) cheerleader on behalf of a class of cheerleaders who, she alleged, have suffered from suppressed wages (Kelsey K., et al. v. NFL Enterprises, LLC, et al., No. 17-496, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 81503).



Restaurant Managers' Wage Suit Survives Dismissal Motion, Is Transferred To Missouri
PEORIA, Ill. - An Illinois federal judge on May 12 ruled that a class complaint accusing a fast food restaurant of failing to pay managers overtime survives dismissal because its claims are sufficiently different from another wage suit filed first in Missouri federal court against the same defendant; however, the Illinois judge ruled that the governing principles favor a motion to transfer the case to Missouri (Corinna Clendenen, et al. v. Steak N Shake Operations, Inc., No. 17-1045, C.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 72588).



Papa John's Franchise Owners' Class Action Waiver Is Declared Invalid
SAN DIEGO - A class action waiver that was part of the arbitration agreement between the owner of Papa John's Pizza franchises and an employee who filed a class complaint is invalid because it precludes the employee from engaging in at least one of the three types of concerted actions the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) protects, a California federal judge ruled May 11 (Peter Ross v. P.J. Pizza San Diego, LLC, et al., No. 16-2330, S.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 72411).



Judge Keeps Oscar De La Renta Interns' Wage Suit In New York Federal Court
NEW YORK - A former fashion house intern suing for unpaid wages has failed to show that judicial interests weigh in favor of sending her class complaint back to federal court, a New York federal judge ruled May 12, leaving open the option for the plaintiff file a new application to remand in the future (Monica Ramirez, et al. v. Oscar de la Renta, LLC, No. 16-7855, S.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 72781).



$2 Million Costco Truck Drivers' Wage Settlement Is Granted Preliminary Approval
SAN DIEGO - A California federal judge on May 11 granted preliminary approval of a $2 million settlement proposed by Costco Wholesale Corp. to end truck drivers' wage claims, less than a month after the same judge rejected the proposed settlement for the second time; however, the judge noted that the class counsel has undermined its credibility (Douglas Thompson, et al. v. Costco Wholesale Corporation, et al., No. 14-2778, S.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 72389).



Frozen Foods Company Will Pay $4.5 Million To Settle Class Wage Claims
FRESNO, Calif. - A California federal judge on May 19 granted final approval of a $4.5 million settlement to be paid by a food production company to end current and former employees' claims that they were denied pay for certain activities, including donning and doffing (Luis Aguilar, et al. v. Wawona Frozen Foods, et al., No. 15-93, E.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 76751).



Coach Will Pay $1.75M To Settle Meal Break, Rest Period Claims
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on May 22 granted final approval of a $1.75 million settlement to be paid by Coach Inc. and Coach Services Inc. (collectively, Coach) to end multiple class wage-and-hour claims, including one brought under California's unfair competition law (UCL) (Mary Lou Ayala, et al. v. Coach, Inc., et al., No. 14-2031, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 77652).



California Federal Judge: Jan-Pro International Not Employer Of Its Franchisees
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on May 24 granted cleaning franchisor Jan-Pro Franchising International Inc.'s (JPI) motion for summary judgment in a wage-and-hour class action brought by three California plaintiffs, saying that JPI did not exercise direct or indirect control of its unit franchisees' wages, hours or working conditions (Gloria Roman, et al. v. Jan-Pro Franchising International Inc., No. C 16-05961, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 79967).



$7.5 Million Wal-Mart Gay Workers' Benefits Settlement Granted Final Approval
BOSTON - A Massachusetts federal judge on May 16 granted final approval of a $7.5 million settlement to be paid by Wal-Mart Stores Inc. to end claims that the retailer unlawfully denied health benefits to the spouses of employees who are in same-sex marriages (Jacqueline A. Cote, et al. v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., No. 15-12945, D. Mass.).



Petitioner To High Court: 7th Circuit Erred Finding Age Bias Appeal Was Untimely
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 4(a)(5)(C) is a nonjurisdictional claim-processing rule that can be waived or forfeited, and so it does not bar an appeal filed by an employee suing for discrimination, the employee argues in her May 15 petitioner brief filed in the U.S. Supreme Court (Charmaine Hamer v. Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago, et al., No. 16-658, U.S. Sup.).



8th Circuit Panel Again Reverses, Sends Ex-Workers' Bias Claims To Arbitration
ST. LOUIS - After a rehearing, an Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on May 11 reversed and remanded a Minnesota federal judge's ruling denying General Mills Inc.'s motion to compel individual arbitration, again finding that 33 laid-off General Mills workers must have their age discrimination claims decided in arbitration individually, and not as a class, and that they are not entitled to declaratory judgment regarding their rights under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) because the judgment would not resolve their claims (Elizabeth McLeod, et al. v. General Mills, Inc., et al., No. 15-3540, 8th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 8341).



Former Abbott Labs Manager Denied Certiorari On Age Discrimination Claims
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on May 15 denied a petition for writ of certiorari filed by a former general manager for Abbott Laboratories who sought review of a Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals' affirmance of dismissal of his federal and state age discrimination claims against the company (Clive Baron v. Abbott Laboratories, No. 16-1186, U.S. Sup., 2017 U.S. LEXIS 2985).



R.J. Reynolds Opposes Petitioner Seeking High Court Review Of ADEA Ruling
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Saying the petition is premature, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. on May 23 filed a brief in opposition to a petition for certiorari asking the U.S. Supreme Court to review a split en banc 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling that a job applicant who claims that he was unsuccessful in attaining employment due to the employer's refusal to hire individuals based on age may sue for disparate treatment but not disparate impact (Richard M. Villarreal, et al. v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, et al., No. 16-971, U.S. Sup., 2017 U.S. S. Ct. Briefs LEXIS 1852).



EEOC Sues Ruby Tuesday, Alleging Age Bias In Failing To Hire Older Man
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on May 17 sued Ruby Tuesday Inc. in Florida federal court, alleging that it violated the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) by failing to hire a man for a vacant general manager position at its Boca Raton, Fla., location because of his age (U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Ruby Tuesday Inc., No. 0:17-cv-60970, S.D. N.Y.).



2nd Circuit Vacates Dismissal Of HR Staff Member's Age Bias Claim
NEW YORK - A Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on June 2 vacated dismissal of a human resources professional's claim of age bias brought against his former employer, finding that he brought allegations sufficient to state a claim; however, the appellate panel upheld dismissal of the appellant's gender and ethnicity bias and retaliation claims (Michael Franchino v. Terence Cardinal Cook Health Care Center, Inc., et al., No. 16-2383, 2nd Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 9756).



3rd Circuit Panel Affirms Dismissal Of Dentist's ERISA, ADEA, PHRA Claims
PHILADELPHIA - A Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on May 19 affirmed dismissal of a 61-year-old dentist's claims of age discrimination and violation of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, saying that she presented no direct evidence of age discrimination or intentional interference with her entitlement to ERISA-protected benefits (Mikele L. Boyle, D.M.D. v. Penn Dental Medicine, et al., No. 160-3621, 3rd Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 8799).



Divided NLRB Denies University's Motion To Stay Student Workers' Union Election
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A split National Labor Relations Board on June 1 denied a motion to stay the union election for all hourly paid student employees of the University of Chicago's libraries and denied on the merits the university's expedited request for review (University of Chicago and International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Local 743, No. 13-RC-198365, NLRB).



Split 1st Circuit: Evidence Doesn't Support NLRB's Reinstatement Of Worker
BOSTON - There was not substantial evidence in the record to support a finding by the National Labor Relations Board that the firing of a newly hired worker who engaged in a heated exchange with a union delegate during orientation training and questioned whether union membership was required was due to his protected conduct, a split First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled May 31 (Good Samaritan Medical Center v. National Labor Relations Board, Nos. 15-1347, 15-1412, National Labor Relations Board v. 1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, Nos. 15-1877, 15-1941, 1st Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 9623).



7th Circuit Orders Judgment Vacated Due To Mootness In Police Tattoo Dispute
CHICAGO - A Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on May 10 instructed a trial court to vacate its judgment in favor of a police department in a class dispute over covering police officers' tattoos as moot after the matter was resolved in favor of the officers by an arbitrator (Daniel Medici, et al. v. City of Chicago, No. 15-3610, 7th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 8312).



9th Circuit: Trial Court Abused Its Discretion Not Enforcing EEOC Subpoena
SAN FRANCISCO - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 24, considering a case on remand from the U.S. Supreme Court, vacated a trial court's order denying enforcement of an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission administrative subpoena issued as part of the investigation of a gender bias claim because the district court based its ruling on an incorrect view of the legal standard governing relevance and remanded for further proceedings (U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. McLane Company, Inc., No. 13-15126, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 9027).



EEOC Sues Over Firing Of Transgender Man For Website Posting
SAN FRANCISCO - Stating that a transgender man was terminated in retaliation for his posting on an employer-rating website that criticized the employer's purported discriminatory practices the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on May 24 filed a complaint on the employee's behalf in California federal court, alleging violation of federal anti-discrimination statutes (U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. IXL Learning Inc., No. 3:17-cv-029979, N.D. Calif.).



10th Circuit: Employee's Demotion, Quitting Weren't Due To Bias, Retaliation
DENVER - A university counseling center employee's demotion and later her decision to quit were not caused by sex discrimination or retaliation, a 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled June 2, affirming a trial court's determination that the university had a legitimate reason for the demotion and that the employee was not constructively discharged (Tawny Hiatt v. Colorado Seminary, et al., No. 16-1159, 10th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 9774).



5th Circuit Upholds $167,000 Jury Verdict For EEOC In Retaliation Suit
NEW ORLEANS - The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission presented sufficient evidence of causation to uphold a $167,000 back pay jury verdict for an employee fired shortly after complaining for at least the fifth time about a superior's sexual comments, a Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled May 19 (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. EmCare, Incorporated, No. 16-10598, 5th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 8838).



5th Circuit Finds Trial Court Lacked Jurisdiction To Withdraw Arbitration Order
NEW ORLEANS - The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 12 vacated a trial court's decision to withdraw its earlier motion compelling arbitration of an employee's bias and retaliation claims, finding that the trial court lacked jurisdiction to do so (Gaspar Salas v. GE Oil & Gas, No. 16-20379, 5th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 8487).



Judge Orders Email Production In Workplace Retaliation Suit, Scolds Parties
SEATTLE - In a June 5 order, a Washington federal judge granted in part a fired employee's motion for production of certain emails from her former supervisor, with the judge taking the opportunity to admonish both sides for the necessity of the motion, which he attributed to the parties' unwillingness to cooperate on discovery (Theresa Ortloff v. Dave Trimmer, et al., No. 2:16-cv-01257, W.D. Wash., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 85963).



4th Circuit Rules That Layoff After Medical Leave Doesn't Violate FMLA
RICHMOND, Va. - Less than six weeks' time between an employee returning from medical leave and his termination alone is insufficient to show retaliation in violation of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled May 16 (Gary Waag v. Sotera Defense Solutions, Inc., No. 15-2521 4th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 8587).



4th Circuit Affirms CBA Wording Kills Retirees' Claim That Benefits Had Vested
RICHMOND, Va. - After a rehearing, a Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on May 11 affirmed that a federal judge correctly ruled that health benefits for United Steel Workers retirees of a West Virginia aluminum manufacturer did not vest and were properly altered unilaterally by the company because union contracts expressly provided that the benefits remained in effect only for the term of the contracts, which had expired (Ronald Barton, et al v. Constellium Rolled Products-Ravenswood, LLC, et al., No. 16-1103, 4th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 8357).



Costco FCRA Disclosure Class Suit Is Sent Back To State Court
SEATTLE - A Washington federal judge on May 16 remanded a class suit accusing Costco Wholesale Corp. of violating the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) by failing to provide a full and correct disclosure when requesting authorization to conduct background checks of job applicants, finding that a lack of subject matter jurisdiction warranted sending it back to state court and not dismissing it (Julius Terrell v. Costco Wholesale Corp., No. 16-1415, W.D. Wash., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 74567).



2nd Circuit: Whole Foods' No Recording Rule Violates Labor Act
NEW YORK - A natural supermarket chain's rule for employees barring the recording of conversations at work is overbroad and violates the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), a Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled June 1, enforcing a ruling by the National Labor Relations Board (Whole Foods Market Group, Inc. v. National Labor Relations Board, No. 16-2, 2nd Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 9638).



2nd Circuit Certifies New York State Law Disability Question To Appeals Court
NEW YORK - In a suit brought by two police officers who were directed to undergo treatment for alcoholism, a Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on May 22 certified a question to the New York Court of Appeals to decide whether sections of the New York City Administrative Code preclude an individual from bringing a disability bias claims solely based on a perception of untreated alcoholism (Kathleen Makinen, et al. v. City of New York, et al., No. 16-973, 2nd Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 8868).



Former Whole Foods Manager Sues In Florida Court For Racial Bias
SANFORD, Fla. - A Florida man filed a complaint on May 16 in the Seminole County Circuit Court accusing Whole Foods Market Group Inc., doing business as Whole Foods Market, of hiring him for a lesser job than he applied for, failing to properly train him, treating him differently than other managers and ultimately firing him all because of his race (Jesse Rabb v. Whole Foods Market Group, Inc., d/b/a Whole Foods Market, No. 2017-CA-001168-16K-K, Fla. Cir., Seminole Co.).



Supreme Court Hears Arguments On Personal Jurisdiction For BNSF Injury Suits
WASHINGTON, D.C. - BNSF Railway Co. is not subject to general personal jurisdiction in Montana because it is not at home in that state, the attorney representing BNSF argued on April 25 before the U.S. Supreme Court in the appeal of two personal injury cases that were consolidated by the Montana Supreme Court (BNSF Railway Company v. Kelli Tyrrell, as Special Administrator for the Estate of Brent T. Tyrrell, et al., No. 16-405, U.S. Sup.).



7th Circuit Upholds Firing Of Assistant Principal With Student Contact Restrictions
CHICAGO - A school district that failed to find a new position for an assistant principal with medical restrictions that included minimal contact with students was not liable for disability discrimination because the employee was not the most qualified candidate for the only job that she was interested in that did not require being in the proximity of potentially unruly students, the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled May 4 (Sherlyn Brown v. Milwaukee Board of School Directors, No. 16-1971, 7th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 7958).



10th Circuit: A Limitation Caused By Disability Is Necessary To Show Bias
DENVER - An employee who was fired following a breakdown and his refusal to return to his position failed to show that the limitations he suffered were caused by his depression, the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled May 4, affirming a summary judgment ruling for the employer on the employee's Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) discrimination claim (Steven W. Russell v. Phillips 66 Company, No. 16-5063, 10th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 7922).



2nd Circuit: Sexual Orientation Is Not Protected By Title VII
NEW YORK - A Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on April 18 declined to overturn a 2000 ruling in its court holding that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does not prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation (Melissa Zarda, co-independent executor of the estate of Donald Zarda, et al. v. Altitude Express, doing business as Skydive Long Island, et al., No. 15-3775, 2nd Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 6578).



9th Circuit: Prior Salary Alone Can Be An Affirmative Defense In Equal Pay Suit
SAN FRANCISCO - An Equal Pay Act suit is controlled by Kouba v. Allstate Ins. Co., 691 F.2d 873 (9th Cir. 1982), a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled April 27, remanding the case for the trial court to determine whether the female employee's pay differential based on the employer's use of prior salary was used "reasonably in light of [its] stated purpose as well as its other practices" Kouba, 691 F.2d at 876-77 (Aileen Rizo v. Jim Yovino, Fresno County Superintendent of Schools, No. 16-15372, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 7427).



5th Circuit Orders Re-Examination Of Privilege Log In EEOC Bias Suit
NEW ORLEANS - A trial court must further examine an employer's privilege log in a bias suit brought by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission as the employer has failed to establish that the 278 entries were protected under the attorney-client privilege, a Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled May 4, vacating the trial court's judgment (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. BDO USA, L.L.P., No. 16-20314, 5th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 7965).



Fox Hit With Gender, Racial Bias Complaints
NEW YORK - On May 4, one month after three Fox News employees filed a complaint alleging years of race discrimination, another Fox News employee, represented by the same attorneys, filed a complaint in New York state court accusing Twenty-First Century Fox Inc., Fox News Network LLC and two individuals of gender discrimination and retaliation (Jessica Golloher v. Twenty-First Century Fox, Inc., et al., No. 154148/2017, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).



Los Angeles Jury Awards Whistle-Blower $22.4 Million In Wrongful Termination Suit
LOS ANGELES - A Los Angeles County Superior Court jury on April 25 awarded $22.4 million in punitive damages to an employee who sued his former employer, Cardiovascular Systems Inc., for whistle-blower retaliation and wrongful termination in violation of public policy (Steven Babyak v. Cardiovascular Systems, Inc., No. BC601259, Calif. Super., Los Angeles Co).



Federal Circuit Finds Constitutional Flaw In Veterans Access Act
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The portions of the Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act (Veterans Access Act) that prohibit review by the full Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) of the removal or transfer of senior executives are constitutionally flawed, a Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled May 9, severing those positions of the statute and leaving the remainder intact (Sharon M. Helman v. Department of Veterans Affairs, No. 2015-3086, Fed. Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS).



3rd Circuit Upholds Dismissal Of PSU Assistant Football Coaches' Suit Over Firings
PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania federal judge did not err when he dismissed deprivation of liberty and property interests claims brought by two former assistant football coaches against The Pennsylvania State University, a Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled May 9 (Joseph V. Paterno, a/k/a Jay, et al. v. The Pennsylvania State University, No. 16-1720, 3rd Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 8234).



Judge Remands Wrongful Termination Suit For Untimely Removal
LOS ANGELES - After finding that an advertising firm's removal of a former employee's case asserting claims for wrongful termination and violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) was not proper, a California federal judge on April 26 remanded the case to a state court (Annabel Hernandez v. YP Advertising and Publishing LLC, No. 16-9612, C.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 63485).



10th Circuit Orders Reconsideration Of Personal Liability In Bias Suit
DENVER - A Colorado federal court erred in finding that under the cat's paw theory, an unbiased decisionmaker may be personally liable for an adverse action based on a subordinate supervisor's racially motivated recommendation, a 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeal panel ruled April 21; however, the panel remanded the matter for the trial court to reconsider whether the decisionmaker himself was actually biased based on the limited scope of his investigation prior to firing the patrol officer (Stanley Crews v. Clifford Paine, et al., No. 16-1216, 10th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 6979).



Divided 5th Circuit Denies En Banc Rehearing Bass Pro Race Bias Suit
NEW ORLEANS - A divided Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in a 7-7 vote on April 28 denied a petition for rehearing en banc in an appeal by Bass Pro Outdoor World LLC and Tracker Marine Retail LLC (collectively, Bass Pro) that the court notes is one of "first impression" in that circuit, concerning whether the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission can bring a "pattern or practice" case under Sections 706 and 707 of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 asserting the violation of the rights of 50,000 job applicants (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Bass Pro Outdoor World, L.L.C., et al., No. 15-20078, 5th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 7628).



Supreme Court Hears 'Mixed' Civil Service Termination, Discrimination Case
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court grappled April 17 with a statutory scheme for federal workers who challenge employment decisions that is designed to prevent claim splitting and to streamline the judicial process for often pro se litigants but that Justice Samuel Anthony Alito Jr. called "unbelievably complicated" when it comes to deciding what court should hear "mixed cases" involving both civil service claims and discrimination claims (Anthony W. Perry v. Merit Systems Protection Board, No. 16-399, U.S. Sup.).



3rd Circuit: Covering A Shift By Floating Nurses Is Not An Adverse Action
PHILADELPHIA - Occasionally assigning a nurse to cover a shift in a different unit than her home unit is not an adverse action, a Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled April 27 (Willie Kay Betts v. Summit Oaks Hospital, No. 17-1320, 3rd Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 7418).



5th Circuit Reverses Ruling Finding Technician Repairing Oil Rigs Is A Seaman
NEW ORLEANS - A Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on April 19 reversed a trial court's summary judgment ruling in favor of an employer, finding that it had not been established as a matter of law that the Fair Labor Standard Act's (FLSA) seaman exemption applies to the plaintiff, who operated a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) (Kyle Halle, et al. v. Galliano Marine Service, L.L.C., et al., No. 16-30558, 5th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 6833).



California Federal Judge Keeps CVS Pharmacist's Wage Class Suit In Federal Court
LOS ANGELES - A wage class complaint filed by a California pharmacist against his employer belongs in federal court, not state court, a California federal judge ruled April 11, holding that even though removal occurred more than 30 days after the complaint was filed, it was still timely (Sevag Chalian v. CVS Pharmacy, Inc., et al., No. 16-8979, C.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 55485).



2nd Circuit Affirms Ruling Refusing To Certify FLSA And NYLL Class Actions
NEW YORK - The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 14 rejected an appeal of a court decision that refused to certify multiple class actions asserting violations of labor law, finding that the court's ruling was well reasoned and that it did not err when it found that the proposed classes failed to meet the sufficient requirements for class certification (Donna Ruiz, et al. v. Citibank, N.A., No. 15-3941 and Frederic Winfield, et al. v. Citibank, N.A., No. 15-3946, 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 6399).



New York Federal Judge Reduces Attorney Fees After Wage Settlement
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on April 28 awarded more than $705,000 in attorney fees for class counsel who settled a wage-and-hour class dispute, nearly $389,000 less than counsel was seeking, but conditioned the award on paying to class members approximately $131,000 that would have, under the reversionary nature of the settlement, been returned to the defendant (Margaret McGreevy, et al. v. Life Alert Emergency Response, Inc., No. 14-7457, S.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 65085).



Costco Truck Drivers' Wage Settlement Is Rejected For The 2nd Time
SAN DIEGO - A California federal judge on April 26 rejected a $2 million amended settlement proposed by Costco Wholesale Corp. to end truck drivers' wage claims, finding that the amended settlement motion corrected certain shortcomings identified by the judge in her Feb. 22 denial of the original proposed settlement, but still contained inadequate release language (Douglas Thompson, et al. v. Costco Wholesale Corporation, et al., No. 14-2778, S.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 63504).



2nd Circuit Panel: New York Drivers Of Black Cars Are Independent Contractors
NEW YORK - A Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on April 12 affirmed a New York federal judge's ruling that drivers of black cars in New York City who own or rent franchises are independent contractors, not employees, because the franchisors exert little control over the day-to-day operation of their businesses (Mazhar Saleem, et al. v. Corporate Transportation Group Ltd., No. 15-88, 2nd Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 6305).



EEOC Sues Miami Beach Hotel For Firing Black Haitian Kitchen Workers
MIAMI - The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed suit on April 18 against the owners, operators and managers of SLS Hotel South Beach in Florida federal court on behalf of a class of black Haitian kitchen workers claiming that the defendants fired them because of their national origin, race and/or color (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. SBEEG Holdings, LLC, et al., No. 17-21446, S.D. Fla.).



8th Circuit Upholds Ruling For Target, Contractor In Bias, Hostile Environment Suit
ST. PAUL, Minn. - The Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 5 affirmed a trial court's ruling clearing Target Corp. and an independent contractor in a lawsuit filed by a former employee of the contractor, alleging national origin discrimination and a hostile work environment (Mazen Abdel-Ghani v. Target Corporation, No. 16-2395, Mazen Abdel-Ghani v. MarketSource, Inc., No. 16-2397, 8th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 7985).



Insurance Brokerage Firm Settles EEOC Pregnancy Bias Suit For $100,000
ORLANDO, Fla. - A Florida federal judge on May 3 granted a joint motion for approval and entry of consent decree under which an insurance brokerage firm will pay $100,000 to settle a pregnancy discrimination lawsuit filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, et al. v. Brown & Brown of Florida, Inc., No. 16-1326, M.D. Fla.).



D.C. Circuit: Hotel Did Not Violate Labor Act When It Suspended A Bellman
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A Las Vegas hotel did not violate the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) when is suspended a bellman to investigate a customer complaint after the bellman refused to make a statement about the incident without a union representative present, the District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled April 25, granting the hotel's petition for review and denying the National Labor Relations Board's cross-application for enforcement (Bellagio, LLC v. National Labor Relations Board, No. 15-1327, D.C. Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 7226).



6th Circuit: Union Reps' Questions About Testifying Was Protected Action
CINCINNATI - Questions from two union representatives about a co-worker's willingness to testify regarding another worker's grievance was protected activity, a Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled May 4, enforcing an order by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) (Roemer Industries, Inc. v. National Labor Relations Board, Nos. 15-1917/2109, 6th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 8089).



Employee's Profane Facebook Post Protected By NLRA, 2nd Circuit Finds
NEW YORK - Even though a fired employee's Facebook post was vulgar and offensive, a Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on April 21 found that it constituted protected, union-related speech under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), leading the panel to grant a petition to enforce by the National Labor Relations Board, which found the man's firing to be retaliatory in violation of the act (National Labor Relations Board v. Pier Sixty LLC, No. 15-1841, 2nd Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 6974).



American Dental Association To Pay $1.95M To Settle EEOC Bias Charges
CHICAGO - The American Dental Association (ADA) has agreed to pay $1.95 million to settle two discrimination charges, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced April 21.



Pennsylvania Federal Judge Dismisses ADEA Disparate Impact Claim In Romero
PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania federal judge presiding over a suit brought by a nationwide class of former sales agents accusing Allstate Insurance Co. and its president of age discrimination and violating the Employee Retirement Income Security Act on April 27 granted Allstate's motion for summary judgment on the plaintiffs' Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) disparate impact claim, saying the insurance agents cannot show that the insurer decided to terminate agents to eliminate older agents or stop pension accruals (Gene R. Romero, et al. v. Allstate Insurance Company, et al., No. 01-3894, consolidated with No. 01-6764, 03-6872, 15-1017, 15-1049. 15-1190, 15-2602, 15-2961, 15-3047, E.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 64005).



Fired Tribal Employee Says Constitution Trumps Tribal Sovereign Immunity
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Dismissal of a woman's age discrimination claim against an Alabama Indian tribe based on the tribe's sovereign immunity should be reversed because the ruling deprives her of rights guaranteed to her by the U.S. Constitution, the woman argues in a March 1 U.S. Supreme Court petition for certiorari (Christine J. Williams v. Poarch Band of Creek Indians, No. 16-1324, U.S. Sup., 2017 U.S. S. Ct. Briefs LEXIS 1541).



California High Court: Employer May Not Force Employee To Work 7 Days A Week
SAN FRANCISCO - Under California's day of rest statutes, an employer may not force an employee to work seven days a week; however, an employee, fully apprised of his or her entitlement, is permitted to choose to work seven days a week, the California Supreme Court ruled May 8 (Christopher Mendoza v. Nordstrom, Inc., No. S224611, Calif. Sup., 2017 Cal. LEXIS 3171).



Split 6th Circuit Reinstates Retaliation Claims For Firing After FMLA Leave
CINCINNATI - An employee with mental health issues who was demoted and then fired after taking leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) may proceed with his retaliation claims brought under the FMLA and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a split Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled April 20, partially reversing a trial court's ruling (Gloria Marshall v. The Rawlings Company LLC, No. 16-5614, 6th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 6854).



Labor Board ALJ Finds AT&T's Privacy Rule For Workers Is Too Broad
WASHINGTON, D.C. - AT&T Mobility LLC's privacy policy for employees that prohibits the recording of conversations with co-workers, managers and third parties is overly broad and violates the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), an administrative law judge (ALJ) ruled April 25 (AT&T Mobility, LLC and Marcus Davis, No. 05-CA-178637, NLRB).



Waffle House Job Applicants Sue Over Background Reports
ORLANDO, Fla. - Waffle House Inc. and WH Capital LLC (together, Waffle House) and other companies violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), 15 U.S.C. 1681, by obtaining and using information from background reports for job applicants without providing proper disclosures to the applicants before taking adverse actions against them by not hiring them, more than a dozen applicants allege in an April 17 class complaint filed in Florida federal court (Alex Holt, et al. v. Waffle House, Inc., et al., No. 17-693, M.D. Fla.).



Retiree Class Certified In Suit Over Union's Authority To Agree To Medical Changes
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - A Connecticut federal judge on April 19 certified a class of retirees in a suit filed by an employer seeking a court declaration that a union has the authority to agree to changes in retiree medical benefits for those persons who retired after a 1996 class action settlement that provided the retirees with medical benefits without violating federal law (Barnes Group, Inc. v. International Union United Automobile Aerospace & Agricultural Implement Workers of America, et al., No. 16-559, D. Conn., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 59761).



Employee Class Certified In Suit Alleging Docking Of Vacation Time For Leave
FORT WAYNE, Ind. - An Indiana federal judge on April 26 certified a class of insurance company employees who claim that their paid time off (PTO) was accrued at the beginning of each calendar year, but was improperly docked if they took short-term leave during the year (Gretchen B. Carrel, et al. v. MedPro Group, Inc., No. 16-130, N.D. Ind., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 62969).



D.C. Circuit Upholds Labor Board's Decision On Employer's Trust Contributions
WASHINGTON, D.C. - An employer acted within its right when it suspended contributions to three out of four health benefit and pension trusts after a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) expired because the subscription agreements clearly allowed for that; however, it violated the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) when it suspended contributions to a fourth trust that did not contain such an agreement and when it unilaterally imposed its medical plan, a District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled May 2 (Oak Harbor Freight Lines, Inc. v. National Labor Relations Board, No. 14-1226, D.C. Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 7723).



Split 6th Circuit Orders Reconsideration Of Pension Benefits During Military Leave
CINCINNATI - A trial court must reconsider how pension benefits during military leave are calculated, a split Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled May 10, finding that other cases outside of its circuit examining the 12-month look-back rule in the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) support the appellant's argument that the prior pay rate and hours - including overtime hours - should be used to calculate the benefits owed by the employer (Kenneth E. Savage v. Federal Express Corporation, et al., No. 16-5244, 6th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 8267).



4th Circuit Panel Affirms Tatum Decision As Being In Line With Dudenhoeffer
RICHMOND, Va. - A split Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on April 28 affirmed a North Carolina federal judge's ruling that R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. (RJR) is not liable for losses suffered by its 401(k) retirement employee benefit plan after its 1999 decision to divest Nabisco stock from the plan because a prudent fiduciary would have made the same divestment decision at the same time and in the same manner (Richard G. Tatum, et al. v. RJR Pension Investment Committee, et al., No. 16-1293, 4th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 7561).



Pennsylvania Federal Judge Rules Allstate Didn't Violate ERISA Anti-Cutback Rules
PHILADELPHIA - On April 27, a Pennsylvania federal judge presiding over a suit brought by a nationwide class of former sales agents accusing Allstate Insurance Co. and its president of age discrimination and violating the Employee Retirement Income Security Act ruled that Allstate did not violate ERISA's anti-cutback rules when it eliminated an early retirement subsidy known as the "beef-up" because it had offered plan participants the greater of two alternatives with a baseline of their beef-up subsidy as of the time of the amendment (Gene R. Romero, et al. v. Allstate Insurance Company, et al., No. 01-3894, consolidated with No. 01-6764, 03-6872, 15-1017, 15-1049. 15-1190, 15-2602, 15-2961, 15-3047, E.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 64150).



6th Circuit Panels Issue 3 Collective Bargaining Rulings In Retiree ERISA Cases
CINCINNATI - Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panels on April 20 issued three rulings in Employee Retirement Income Security Act cases involving collective bargaining agreements (CBAs), ruling in one case that the retiree plaintiffs had a right to lifetime health care benefits, in another that the retirees did not and in another that an employer was properly enjoined from changing health care benefits provided to workers who retired from a plant before its closing (Jack Reese, et al. v. CNH America LLC, et al., Nos. 15-2382, 6th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 6856; Robert Cole, et al. v. Meritor, Inc., et al., No. 06-2224, 6th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 6853; International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW), et al. v. Kelsey-Hayes, Co., et al., No. 15-2285, 6th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 6857).



Supreme Court Rules Against Tribal Casino Limo Driver In Couple's Negligence Suit
WASHINGTON, D.C. - An Indian tribe's sovereign immunity does not protect a tribal casino limousine driver from an individual capacity lawsuit filed by a couple injured in a crash with the limo because the driver is the actual party in interest, not the tribe, a unanimous U.S. Supreme Court held April 25 (Brian Lewis and Michelle Lewis v. William Clarke, No. 15-1500, U.S. Sup.).



Denial Of Cert Allows Negligence Action Against Tribal Workers To Proceed
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Three tribal casino employees must face claims that they negligently allowed a customer to get drunk, drive away and crash into another car, killing two people, after the U.S. Supreme Court on May 1 denied certiorari in the case, which had been held pending Brian Lewis and Michelle Lewis v. William Clarke, in which the court held last week that a couple can pursue negligence claims against a tribal employee because the worker, not the tribe, is the real party in interest (Tunica-Biloxi Gaming Authority, et al. v. Zachary Zaunbrecher, et al., No. 15-1486, U.S. Sup.).



Split 11th Circuit: Gender Norms, Not Orientation, Protected Under Title VII
ATLANTA - Job discrimination based on an individual's gender nonconformity is protected under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, but discrimination based on sexual orientation is not, a divided 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled March 10 (Jameka K. Evans v. Georgia Regional Hospital, et al., No. 15-15234, 11th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 4301).



2nd Circuit Reinstates Gay Employee's Title VII Gender-Stereotyping Claim
NEW YORK - A Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on March 27 reinstated a gay employee's bias claim, finding that while it can't reconsider the ruling in Simonton v. Runyon, 232 F.3d 33 (2d Cir. 2000), which held that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does not prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, it does find that the employee plausibly alleges a gender-stereotyping claim cognizable under Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins, 490 U.S. 228 (1989) (Matthew Christiansen v. Omnicom Group, Incorporated, et al., No. 16-748, 2nd Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 5278).



Split En Banc 7th Circuit: Sexual Orientation Bias Is Form Of Sex Discrimination
CHICAGO - The en banc Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals agreed "to take a fresh look" at bias on the basis of a person's sexual orientation and issued a divided opinion on April 4 in which the majority ruled that that type of discrimination is a form of sex discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Kimberly Hively v. Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana, No. 15-1720, 7th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 5839).



8th Circuit: Employer Failed To Show It Had A Legal Reason To Pay Females Less
ST. PAUL, Minn. - An employer accused by three female workers of paying them less than male counterparts failed to show that an economic downturn or audit evidence, which was excluded during the trial, cleared it of discrimination charges, the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled April 3 (Erin Dindinger, et al. v. Allsteel, Inc., No. 16-1305, 8th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 5661).



Split Supreme Court: Nominee May Not Also Serve In An Acting Capacity
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Section 3345(b)(1) of the Federal Vacancies Reform Act of 1998 (FVRA) prevents any acting office for an office under this section from serving as a nominee and acting official, a divided U.S. Supreme Court ruled March 21 (National Labor Relations Board v. SW General, Inc., doing business as Southwest Ambulance, No. 15-1251, U.S. Sup.).



U.S. High Court: Abuse Of Discretion Review For EEOC Subpoena
WASHINGTON, D.C. - When a district court is deciding whether to enforce or quash an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission subpoena, it should review the subpoena for abuse of discretion, not de novo, a divided U.S. Supreme Court ruled April 3, vacating a decision by the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals and remanding for a new review under the appropriate standard (McLane Company, Inc. v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, No. 15-1248, U.S. Sup.).



Pregnancy Bias Class Suit Against UPS Dismissed For Lack Of Sufficient Proof
CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on March 3 dismissed, with leave to amend, a proposed nationwide pregnancy discrimination class suit against United Parcel Service Inc. (UPS) based on the lead plaintiff's failure to show that UPS accommodated other employees while denying accommodation to pregnant ones (Jamie Anfeldt, et al. v. United Parcel Service, Inc., No. 15-10401, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 30150).



Final Approval Of $27M Lyft California Driver Settlement Granted
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on March 16 granted final approval of a $27 million settlement between Lyft Inc. and its drivers who provide ride-sharing services after removing from the proposed order language enjoining settlement class members from filing any action in the future based on claims that are released in the agreement (Patrick Cotter, et al. v. Lyft, Inc., No. 13-4065, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 38256).



Class Of Minor League Baseball Players Is Recertified In Wage Suit
SAN FRANCISCO - A little more than seven months after a class of minor league baseball players was decertified in a lawsuit seeking unpaid wages from the Office of the Commissioner of Baseball, its member franchises and former Commissioner Allan H. "Bud" Selig, a California federal magistrate judge granted in part a motion class certification and recertification of a Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) collective action (Aaron Senne, et al. v. Kansas City Royals Baseball Corp., et al., No. 14-608, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 32949).



Target Team Leaders Accept $83,000 Offer To End Collective Wage-And-Hour Action
TRENTON, N.J. - Two former executive team leaders on April 6 accepted a $83,000 offer of judgment filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey by Target Corp. and Target Corporation of Minnesota (collectively, Target), ending their proposed collective action that accused the retailer of misclassifying them as exempt from receiving overtime pay (Richard Locicero, et al. v. Target Corporation, et al., No. 16-5592, D. N.J.).



1st Circuit Reverses Judgment For Employer In Dispute Over Serial Comma
BOSTON - Noting that the lack of a serial comma in a list of activities exempted from Maine's overtime law caused the present dispute, the First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 13 reversed summary judgment for a Maine dairy company in a wage-and-hour lawsuit filed by delivery drivers, finding that state law requires that the exemption must be construed in the narrow manner favored by the drivers (Kevin O'Connor, et al. v. Oakhurst Dairy, et al., No. 16-1901, 1st Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 4392).