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Court Cases in the News

A state-by-state review of court cases pertaining to workplace rights.

Select your state from the map below or from this list. (If your state does not have any court cases, then the page will not scroll down when you click on the state.)

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Maryland Live! employees want minimum wage for training course

Source: Legal Newsline Staff, Washington Examiner
Date: October 21, 2014

Employees are suing PPE Casino Resorts Maryland LLC for failing to pay them minimum wage during a 12-week training course that they say was disguised as a school and not a work-training program.

Home Instead Senior Care to Pay $150,000 to Settle EEOC Race Bias Suit

Source: EEOC, EEOC
Date: December 15, 2010

Hi Care, Inc., doing business as Home Instead Senior Care, will pay $150,000 and furnish other relief to settle a race discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.

Axiom Staffing Will Pay $35,000 To Settle EEOC Disability Discrimination Suit

Source: Press Release, EEOC
Date: August 16, 2010

BALTIMORE - Two staffing agencies will pay $35,000 and provide equitable relief to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.

Jewish Community Center Of Greater Washington Sued By EEOC For Disability Discrimination

Source: Press Release, EEOC
Date: July 21, 2010

Jewish Community Center Of Greater Washington Sued By EEOC For Disability Discrimination

Community College of Baltimore County to Pay $50,000 to Settle EEOC Age Discrimination Suit and Employee's Retaliation Claims

Source: Press Release, EEOC
Date: June 21, 2010

The Community College of Baltimore County will pay $50,000 and provide equitable relief to settle an age discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the employee's retaliation lawsuit, the agency announced today.

Age bias lawsuit costs OC $551K

Source: Brian Shane, The Daily Times
Date: September 6, 2008

An age discrimination lawsuit against Ocean City [MD] police cost the resort town more than half a million dollars, officials said. City Manager Dennis Dare said Ocean City shelled out $551,704 for the lawsuit, the bulk of which came from $448,325 in legal fees. Dare said several attorneys with the firm of Miles & Stockbridge worked the case at hourly rates of $150 to $400.

Wal-Mart Agrees to Pay $250,000 to Disabled Ex-Employee

Source: Occupational Health & Safety
Date: June 15, 2008

Retail giant Wal-Mart will pay $250,000 and furnish significant injunctive relief to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced recently. EEOC had charged that Wal-Mart failed to accommodate and then fired a long-time pharmacy technician who suffered a disability resulting from a gunshot wound.

Jury awards $1 million for sexual harassment

Source: Sonia Boin, Frederick News-Post
Date: March 6, 2008

A Montgomery County (MD) Circuit Court jury awarded a Frederick woman $1 million for sexual harassment against an auto dealership. The verdict reached Feb. 29 in a retrial came down on the side of Gail Sterling in a case against Atlantic Automotive Corp., where she worked from May 2001 until she was fired in March 2002.

Appeals court rules for Wal-Mart in Maryland health care case

Source: Michael Barbaro, New York Times
Date: January 18, 2007

When Maryland legislators passed a first-of-its-kind law in 2006 forcing Wal-Mart to spend more on employee health care, the measure was held up as a model for other states grappling with mounting Medicaid bills. After a court found that the Maryland's fair-share health care rule violated federal labor laws, the concept that states can compel companies to offer more generous health care is suddenly in doubt. By a 2-to-1 ruling, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in Baltimore found that the Maryland requirement violated a 32-year-old federal labor law known by its shorthand, Erisa.

Judge gives Wal-Mart reprieve on benefits

Source: Reed Abelson, Michael Barbaro, New York Times
Date: July 20, 2006

In a setback to state efforts to force employers to provide more generous health benefits, a federal judge yesterday struck down a Maryland law that was aimed at the nation's largest retailer, Wal-Mart. The judge ruled that the federal law governing employer-provided health benefits takes precedence over the state law, which would have required companies with 10,000 or more workers to spend at least 8% of their payrolls on health insurance, or pay the difference into a state Medicaid fund. The decision is likely to derail efforts to pass similar laws in states where organized labor leaders and lawmakers have criticized companies for shirking their responsibility to provide adequate health insurance for their employees.

Business, unions watching court battle over Md.'s Wal-Mart law

Source: Elana Schor, The Hill
Date: May 9, 2006

Lawmakers and lobbyists are keeping a close watch on the Maryland courts, where the partisan fight over employer-provided health insurance is primed to explode in the coming weeks as a business trade group tries to strike down a state law forcing Wal-Mart to spend more money on healthcare. The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA), which represents Wal-Mart, Home Depot and other corporate giants, filed a lawsuit in February against a Maryland law that would require any employer of more than 10,000 workers to spend at least 8% of its payroll on health benefits or pay a fine to the state. While Wal-Mart is the only company affected by the Maryland law, the bargain-price behemoth chose to band together with its competitors and sue through RILA rather than on its own.

Fired N. Va. teacher loses legal bid to return

Source: Ian Shapira, Washington Post
Date: January 8, 2006

After all the difficulties David Perino encountered as a teacher--his arrest on charges of sexually abusing a student, his acquittal in court and his firing in spite of that--he thought he had one last recourse: Sue. Sue them all. And so he did. Last summer, Perino filed eight lawsuits against the school system and several of its employees. But last week, Perino's quest to win his job back and clear his name was smacked off course when Circuit Court Judge William D. Hamblen ordered sanctions against him and his attorney. Hamblen declared that the lawsuits constituted harassment, the school system's attorney said. Sanctions are rare against a plaintiff or defendant, according to officials with the Virginia Bar Association and the National Education Association.

Schools, rights advocates watch as court to hear discrimination case

Source: Andrea F. Siegel, Baltimore Sun
Date: September 6, 2005

School officials and advocacy groups throughout Maryland are watching an age discrimination case that has the potential to affect the coffers of every state school system, as well as employees who think their districts wronged them. At issue is whether workers can sue local school boards in Maryland courts over suspected violations of federal protections. School officials fear that allowing these lawsuits in state courts would unleash potentially expensive litigation for local school boards. Advocates for employees and people with disabilities say, however, that preventing those lawsuits is an unfair restriction on thousands of workers who might have no other way to collect damages.

Officers' suit alleges racial bias in city police force

Source: Ryan Davis, Baltimore Sun
Date: December 7, 2004

Twenty-one African-American current and former city police officers filed a federal class-action lawsuit yesterday, alleging long-running and rampant discrimination within the Baltimore Police Department. The lawsuit, filed at the federal courthouse in Greenbelt, accuses the department of condoning a hostile workplace, blocking black officers from promotion, levying uneven discipline and retaliating against officers who spoke out against discrimination.

U.S. Foodservice Is Sued Over Severance

Source: Michael Barbaro, Washington Post
Date: March 8, 2004

The former head of U.S. Foodservice Inc., the troubled Columbia-based division of Dutch retailer Royal Ahold NV, is suing the company for $10 million in damages, saying the company threatened to terminate a generous package of benefits, from medical coverage for his ex-wife to access to the company airplane, according to the lawsuit. James L. Miller, the former chairman and chief executive of U.S. Foodservice, left the company in May 2003 after Ahold discovered a series of accounting irregularities there that company officials said led the retailer to overstate profits by more than $1.1 billion. Miller maintains he had nothing to do with the accounting problems and, according to the lawsuit, agreed to resign only after obtaining assurances from senior Ahold executives that, despite the scandal, the company would provide the severance benefits outlined in his contract. Mille, who started at U.S. Foodservice in 1983, is seeking to force Ahold to pay for life insurance, disability insurance, pension payments, company contributions to his 401(k) plan and back pay for unused vacation, his lawyers said.

Electric Company Settles Discrimination Lawsuit

Source: Associated Press, WBAL
Date: August 13, 2003

Thirty-one former Hugh O'Kane Electric Co. employees will split a $1.1 million settlement in the race and national origin discrimination lawsuit against the company, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission said Tuesday. It was decided Friday in U.S. District Court that the New York-based telecommunications network company that operates in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia, would pay the damages and revise and train employees on a new antiharassment policy and complaint procedure.

Indian Man Wins Discrimination Suit

Source: Julie Bykowicz, Baltimore Sun
Date: August 2, 2003

While inside the walls of the Patuxent Institution in Howard County, retired correctional officer Mathen Chacko says he spent two decades confined in a different sort of prison. Fellow employees mocked his thick accent, telling him to "go back to India" and calling him a "camel jockey," he says. Even supervisors laughed, Chacko says, and prison administrators did nothing. Last week, in what could be the largest such award against the state Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, federal jurors said Chacko should receive $1.16 million in his discrimination lawsuit.

New Windsor Company Accused of Refusing to Hire Women Drivers

Source: Baltimore Sun
Date: June 11, 2003

The federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed suit yesterday, charging that a New Windsor, Maryland food distributor refused to hire women as drivers. The suit accuses Carroll County Foods of refusing to hire Rhonda L. Chalk of Westminster and several other qualified applicants. "They told me point blank they wouldn't hire females as drivers," Chalk said, according to an EEOC release.

Md. Ruling Helps Workers With Injuries

Source: Martha McNeil Hamilton, Washington Post
Date: June 10, 2003

The Maryland Court of Appeals has struck down a longtime interpretation of the state's workers' compensation statute, making it suddenly much easier for employees in the state to collect on claims arising from accidents in the workplace. In a ruling issued Friday in the case of an injured high school cafeteria worker, Maryland's highest court tossed out a long-standing interpretation of Maryland's workers' compensation statute that allowed workers to be compensated for medical expenses and lost wages only if an accident resulted from some unusual occurrence at work, as opposed to in the normal course of activities.

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