Workplace Fairness

Menu

Skip to main content

  • print
  • decrease text sizeincrease text size
    text
main content

Our Programs
Court Decisions Digest

An overview of important court decisions affecting workplace rights. Updated weekly.

Select a court circuit from the map below or from this list.

USA States Map Washington Oregon Idaho Montana North Dakota Nevada Utah Arizona California New Mexico Colorado Wyoming South Dakota Nebraska Kansas Texas Oklahoma Louisiana Mississippi Arkansas Alabama Tennessee Missouri Iowa Minnesota Wisconsin Michigan Illinois Indiana Florida Georgia South Carolina North Carolina Virginia Kentucky Ohio West Virginia Pennsylvania New York Vermont Massachusetts Rhode Island Connecticut New Jersey Delaware Maryland Maine New Hampshire District of Columbia Alaska Hawaii Puerto Rico Supreme Court 1st Circuit 2nd Circuit 3rd Circuit 4th Circuit 5th Circuit 6th Circuit 7th Circuit 8th Circuit 9th Circuit 10th Circuit 11th Circuit D.C. Circuit Federal Circuit
 

U.S. Supreme Court

Appeals from federal circuit (intermediate appellate level) courts and original hearing for disputes between states

Weinberger v. Wiesenfeld (No. 73-1892)

Decision Date: September 21, 2020

Ginsburg represented a widower denied survivor benefits under Social Security, which permitted widows but not widowers to collect special benefits while caring for minor children. She argued that the statute discriminated against male survivors of workers by denying them the same protection as their female counterparts. The Supreme Court unanimously held that the purpose of the social security benefits for the surviving spouse and children is to enable the surviving spouse to properly care for the children, regardless of the gender of the parent.

Our Lady of Guadalupe School v. Morrissey-Berru and St. James School v. Biel (No. 19–267)

Decision Date: July 13, 2020

In a combined case of religious discrimination, the United States Supreme Court ruled against two former private, Catholic school teachers, reasoning that the constitution protects religious freedom and prohibited them from suing the private schools for employment discrimination.

Since the holding was not limited to religious-based employment discrimination, when applied, it means that religious institutions who fire or refuse to hire certain staff members based on age, race, sexual orientation, or other discriminatory factors, are now legally protected and able to do so.

The Court clarified by concluding that while the holding does not give religious institutions complete exemption from employment discrimination claims, it does provide protection for internal management decisions that are essential to the central mission of the religious institution.

This is because of the "ministerial exception." Developed through the law of pervious cases, the "ministerial exception" renders anyone who is considered to be a minister, unprotected from employment discrimination. It was developed based on the idea that those doing the teaching and offering the religious education must also live a life that is an example of the faith. Because of this, the teachers in there cases qualify for the exception because, even though they weren't officially given the minister title, they both performed essential religious duties, through educating their students in the Catholic faith and guiding them to live their lives in accordance with that faith. The Court held that the core responsibilities of the teachers were essentially the same as those of a minister; therefore, the private schools were protected from suit against them.

Bostock v. Clayton Cnty., Ga. (No. 17–1618)

Decision Date: June 15, 2020

In a landmark case, the United States Supreme Court ruled that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which bars discrimination based on sex, protects employees from discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation.

In a combined case, made up of three cases in which the plaintiff's alleged that they had been fired simply for their sexual orientation or gender identity, the United States Supreme Court held in its written opinion, that "[a]n employer who fires an individual for being homosexual or transgender fires that person for traits or actions it would not have questioned in members of a different sex." The Court went on to say that "[s]ex plays a necessary and undisguisable role in the decision, exactly what Title VII forbids."

Our Lady of Guadalupe v. Morrissey-Berru (No. 17-56624)

Decision Date: May 11, 2020

Agnes Deirdre Morrissey-Berru was an teacher at Our Lady of Guadalupe School and brought a claim against the school under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). The district court granted summary judgment in favor of the school on the basis that Morrissey-Berru was a “minister.”

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed the lower court, finding that Morrissey-Berru was not a “minister”; she had taken one course on the history of the Catholic church but otherwise did not have any religious credential, training, or ministerial background. Given that she did not hold herself out to the public as a religious leader or minister, the court declined to classify her as a minister for the purposes of the ministerial exception.

Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue (18-1195)

Decision Date: January 20, 2020

At issue is the question of whether it violates the religion clauses or the equal protection clause of the United States Constitution to invalidate a generally available and religiously neutral student-aid program simply because the program affords students the choice of attending religious schools.

Trump v. NAACP (No. 18-588)

Decision Date: November 12, 2019

Consolidated with: Department of Homeland Security v. Regents of the University of California and McAleenan v. Vidal

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) adopted a program—known as the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)—to postpone the deportation of undocumented immigrants who had been brought to the United States as children and to assign them work permits allowing them to obtain social security numbers, pay taxes, and become part of “mainstream” society in the United States.

In 2017, after the national election, when the Trump administration replaced the Obama administration, DHS began a phase-out of DACA. The parties do not dispute the authority of a new administration to replace old policies with new policies, but the plaintiffs in this and related challenges allege that the new administration terminated DACA based on a mistake of law rather than in compliance with the law.

The legal questions the Supreme Court will consider include: (1) Whether the Department of Homeland Security’s decision to wind down the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy is judicially reviewable; and (2) whether DHS’s decision to wind down the DACA policy is lawful.

Fort Bend County v. Davis (No. 18–525)

Decision Date: June 3, 2019

Held that Title VII's charge-filing requirement is not jurisdictional and thus is subject to forfeiture if tardily asserted. The issue involved whether an employer waited too long to dispute that a discrimination plaintiff filed a proper complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission before initiating suit. Justice Ginsburg delivered the opinion for a unanimous Court.

Lamps Plus, Inc. v. Varela (No. 17–988)

Decision Date: April 24, 2019

Held that parties do not consent to classwide arbitration if the agreement is ambiguous on that point. An employer sought to block an employee from proceeding with a proposed class action lawsuit and instead force his claims into individual arbitration. The U.S. Supreme Court agreed that the employer had the right to do this, because the arbitration agreement was ambiguous about the availability of classwide arbitration. Chief Justice Roberts delivered the opinion of the 5-4 Court.

New Prime Inc. v. Oliveira (No. 17–340)

Decision Date: January 15, 2019

Construed a provision of the Federal Arbitration Act that excludes disputes involving certain transportation workers. The plaintiffs, interstate truck drivers, argued that their wage-hour lawsuit fell within the exclusion, and thus there was no basis to force them into arbitration despite the mandatory arbitration clause in their contract. Agreeing, the Supreme Court also held that the FAA's transportation worker exclusion covers independent contractors. Justice Gorsuch wrote the 8-0 opinion (Justice Kavanaugh took no part).

Mount Lemmon Fire District v. Guido et al. (No. 17-587)

Decision Date: November 6, 2018

Held that state and local government entities are covered by the Age Discrimination in Employment Act regardless of their size. In an age discrimination suit brought by two firefighters, a fire district argued that it was too small to qualify as an employer under the ADEA because it had fewer than 20 employees. Disagreeing, the Supreme Court concluded that the ADEA's 20-employee coverage threshold is inapplicable to states and political subdivisions. Justice Ginsburg wrote the unanimous 8-0 opinion.

Janus v. State, County and Municipal Employees (No. 16-1466)

Decision Date: June 27, 2018

Reversed and remanded the Seventh Circuit's decision which had affirmed the district court's ruling in favor of defendant in a suit filed by an Illinois state employee who was not a member of a union, but who worked in a unionized employment unit. State law requires all employees of a unionized employment unit to pay an agency fee even if they are not in the union. Plaintiff challenged the constitutionally of the agency fees and the Supreme Court agreed, holding that the payment of agency fees by non-consenting employees violates the First Amendment, overruling Abood v. Detroit Bd. of Ed.

Wisconsin Central v. US (No. 17-530)

Decision Date: June 21, 2018

Reversed and remanded. The Railroad Retirement Tax Act of 1937 was enacted to provide pensions to railroad workers at a time when many railroads were on the brink of insolvency. Under the Act, railroads paid a tax based on employee incomes, but no tax was paid on payments made to employees in kind. To modernize the pension fund, stock options were adopted. Congress sought to tax the options. The Supreme Court held that employee stock options are not taxable under the Act because they are not money remunerations.

Jesner et al v. Arab Bank (No. 16-499)

Decision Date: April 24, 2018

In a 5-4 majority, the Supreme Court issued a decision finding that foreign corporations are immune from suit for violations of international human rights under the Alien Tort Statute. The Court's decision is based on the broad idea that there is no corporate liability under international law--reasoning that would preclude liability for both foreign and domestic companies.

Justice Kennedy, who wrote the majority opinion, wrote: “[A]llowing plaintiffs to sue foreign corporations under the ATS could establish a precedent that discourages American corporations from investing abroad, including in developing economies where the host government might have a history of alleged human rights violations, or where judicial systems might lack the safeguards of United States courts. And, in consequence, that often might deter the active corporate investment that contributes to the economic development that so often is an essential foundation for human rights.” Justice Sotomayor dissents by saying:
There can be, and sometimes is, a profit motive for these types of abuses. Although the market does not price all externalities, the law does. We recognize as much when we permit a civil suit to proceed against a paint company that long knew its product contained lead yet continued to sell it to families, or against an oil company that failed to undertake the requisite safety checks on a pipeline that subsequently burst.

McLane Co., Inc. v. EEOC (No. 15-1248)

Decision Date: April 3, 2017

(U.S. Supreme Court) In a suit arising out of a sex discrimination charge filed with the EEOC by a former employee, who failed a physical evaluation following her return from maternity leave, against her former employer under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals' decision -- reversing the district court's decision to not enforce EEOC subpoenas, as authorized by 42 U. S. C. section 2000e-9, requesting 'pedigree information' (names, Social Security numbers, addresses, and telephone numbers of employees asked to take the evaluation) from defendant, and finding that the pedigree information was not relevant to the charges -- is vacated where a district court's decision whether to enforce or quash an EEOC subpoena should be reviewed for abuse of discretion, not de novo.

Green v. Brennan (14-613)

Decision Date: May 23, 2016

In a suit brought by a former U.S. Postal Service employee, alleging discrimination or retaliation in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 29 CFR section1614.105(a)(1), the Tenth Circuit's judgment upholding the District Court's dismissal of the complaint as untimely, is reversed where: 1) because part of the "matter alleged to be discriminatory" in a constructive-discharge claim is an employee's resignation, the 45-day limitations period for such action begins running only after an employee resigns; and 2) a constructive-discharge claim accrues--and the limitations period begins to run--when the employee gives notice of his resignation, not on the effective date thereof.

Zubik v. Burwell (No. 14-1418)

Decision Date: May 16, 2016

In a case brought by nonprofit organizations that provide health insurance to their employees, challenging the federal regulations require them to cover certain contraceptives as part of their health plans, unless they submit a form either to their insurer or to the Federal Government, stating that they object on religious grounds to providing contraceptive coverage, and alleging that submitting this notice substantially burdens the exercise of their religion, in violation of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993, 107 Stat. 1488, 42 U.S.C. section 2000bb, the Court, following oral argument and supplemental briefing from the parties: 1) vacates the judgments below and remands to the respective United States Courts of Appeals for the Third, Fifth, Tenth, and D.C. Circuits, in light of the positions asserted by the parties in their supplemental briefs; and 2) expresses no view on the merits of the cases.

Tyson Foods, Inc. v. Bouaphakeo et al. (14-1146)

Decision Date: March 22, 2016

Respondents, employees of petitioner Tyson Foods, work in the kill, cut, and retrim departments of a pork processing plant in Iowa. Respondents' work requires them to wear protective gear, but the exact composition of the gear depends on the tasks a worker performs on a given day. Petitioner compensated some, but not all, employees for this donning and doffing, and did not record the time each employee spent on those activities. Respondents filed suit, alleging that the donning and doffing were integral and indispensable to their hazardous
work and that petitioner's policy not to pay for those activities denied them overtime compensation required by the Fair Labor
Standards Act of 1938 (FLSA). Respondents also raised a claim under an Iowa wage law. They sought certification of their state claims
as a class action under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23 and certification of their FLSA claims as a "collective action."

Campbell-Ewall Co. v. Gomez (14-857)

Decision Date: January 20, 2016

In a class action alleging a Navy contractor violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), 47 U.S.C. section 227(b)(1)(A)(iii), which prohibits using any automatic dialing system to send a text message to a cellular telephone, absent the recipient's prior express consent, the Ninth Circuit's reversal of the district court's grant of summary judgment to defendant contractor is affirmed where: 1) an unaccepted settlement offer or offer of judgment does not moot a plaintiff's case, so the district court retained jurisdiction to adjudicate plaintiff's complaint; and 2) defendant's status as a federal contractor does not entitle it to immunity from suit for its violation of the TCPA.

EEOC v. Abercrombie & Fitch Stores, Inc. (No. 14-86)

Decision Date: June 1, 2015

To prevail in a disparate-treatment claim, an applicant need show only that his need for an accommodation was a motivating factor in the employer's decision, not that the employer had knowledge of his need. Title VII's disparate-treatment provision requires Elauf to show that Abercrombie (1) "fail[ed] . . . to hire" her (2) "because of " (3) "[her] religion" (including a religious practice). 42 U. S. C. 2000e2(a)(1). And its "because of" standard is understood to mean that the protected characteristic cannot be a "motivating factor" in an employment decision. 2000e2(m). Thus, rather than imposing a knowledge standard, 2000e2(a)(1) prohibits certain motives, regardless of the state of the actor's knowledge: An employer may not make an applicant's religious practice, confirmed or otherwise, a factor in employment decisions. Title VII contains no knowledge requirement. Furthermore, Title VII's definition of religion clearly indicates that failure-to-accommodate challenges can be brought as disparate-treatment claims. And Title VII gives favored treatment to religious practices, rather than demanding that religious practices be treated no worse than other practices.

Mach Mining, LLC v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (No. 13-1019)

Decision Date: April 29, 2015

In an unlawful hiring case, the Seventh Circuit's holding that the EEOC's conciliation obligation with employer was unreviewable is reversed where: 1) courts have authority to review whether the EEOC has fulfilled its Title VII duty to attempt conciliation; and 2) the appropriate scope of judicial review of the EEOC's conciliation activities is narrow, enforcing only the EEOC's statutory obligation to give the employer notice and an opportunity to achieve voluntary compliance.

Young v. United Parcel Service, Inc. (12-1226)

Decision Date: March 25, 2015

When plaintiff became pregnant, she was told by her employer, defendant United Parcel Service, that she could not work while under a pregnancy lifting restriction due to the nature of her job as a part-time driver handling packages. Plaintiff alleges that defendant acted unlawfully in refusing to accommodate her pregnancy-related lifting restriction. Plaintiff further alleges that defendant had, pursuant to its internal policies, accommodated several individuals whose disabilities created work restrictions similar to hers. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of defendant, and the Fourth Circuit affirmed. The judgment is vacated and the case is remanded, where: 1) the Pregnancy Discrimination Act requires that employers provide similar accommodations as they do to any other persons who are similar in their ability or inability to work; 2) a pregnant worker demonstrating disparate treatment may make out a prima facie case under the McDonnell Douglas framework by showing that she belongs to the protected class, that she sought accommodation, that the employer did not accommodate her, and that the employer did accommodate others similarly situated in their ability to work; 3) there is a genuine dispute as to whether defendant provided more favorable treatment to at least some employees whose situation cannot reasonably be distinguished from plaintiff's; 4) plaintiff introduced evidence that defendant had three separate accommodation policies, and taken together, these policies significantly burdened pregnant women; and 5) the Fourth Circuit did not consider the combined effects of these policies, nor did it consider the strength of defendant's justifications for each when combined.

Young v. UPS (12-1226)

Decision Date: March 25, 2015

When plaintiff became pregnant, she was told by her employer, defendant United Parcel Service, that she could not work while under a pregnancy lifting restriction due to the nature of her job as a part-time driver handling packages. Plaintiff alleges that defendant acted unlawfully in refusing to accommodate her pregnancy-related lifting restriction. Plaintiff further alleges that defendant had, pursuant to its internal policies, accommodated several individuals whose disabilities created work restrictions similar to hers. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of defendant, and the Fourth Circuit affirmed. The judgment is vacated and the case is remanded, where: 1) the Pregnancy Discrimination Act requires that employers provide similar accommodations as they do to any other persons who are similar in their ability or inability to work; 2) a pregnant worker demonstrating disparate treatment may make out a prima facie case under the McDonnell Douglas framework by showing that she belongs to the protected class, that she sought accommodation, that the employer did not accommodate her, and that the employer did accommodate others similarly situated in their ability to work; 3) there is a genuine dispute as to whether defendant provided more favorable treatment to at least some employees whose situation cannot reasonably be distinguished from plaintiff's; 4) plaintiff introduced evidence that defendant had three separate accommodation policies, and taken together, these policies significantly burdened pregnant women; and 5) the Fourth Circuit did not consider the combined effects of these policies, nor did it consider the strength of defendant's justifications for each when combined.

Perez v. Mortgage Bankers Association (13-1041)

Decision Date: March 9, 2015

In this case, in 2006 the Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division (the Department) issued an opinion letter finding that mortgage-loan officers fell within the administrative except to overtime pay requirements under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), and in 2010 the Department withdrew the 2006 opinion letter without notice or an opportunity to comment and issued an Administrator's Interpretation concluding that mortgage-loan officers do not qualify for the administrative exception. Respondent filed suit contending that the Administrator's Interpretation was procedurally invalid under the D.C. Circuit's decision in Paralyzed Veterans of Am. v. D.C. Arena L.P, which holds that an agency must use the Administrative Procedure Act's (APA) notice-and-comment procedures when it wishes to issue a new interpretation of a regulation that deviates significantly from a previously adopted interpretation. The district court granted summary judgment to the Department, but the D.C. Circuit applied Paralyzed Veterans and reversed. The judgment of the circuit court is reversed, where: 1) the Paralyzed Veterans doctrine is contrary to the clear test of the APA's rule making provisions and improperly imposes on agencies an obligation beyond the APA's maximum procedural requirements; and 2) APA section 4 specifically exempts interpretive rules from notice-and-comment requirements.

M&G Polymers USA v. Tackett (13-1010)

Decision Date: January 26, 2015

In this case, plaintiff retired employees sued defendant, their former employer, asserting that certain expired collective-bargaining agreements created a right to lifetime contribution-free healthcare benefits for retirees, their surviving spouses, and their dependents. The Sixth Circuit sided with the retirees, arguing under International Union, United Auto, Aerospace & Agricultural Implement Workers of Am. v. Yard-Man, Inc. that retiree healthcare benefits are unlikely to be left up to future negotiations. The judgment of the Sixth Circuit is vacated and the case is remanded, where Yard-Man inferences are inconsistent with ordinary principles of contract law, given that: 1) retiree healthcare benefits are not a form of deferred compensation; 2) requiring a contract to include a specific durational clause for retiree healthcare benefits to prevent vesting conflicts with the principle of contract law that the written agreement is presumed to encompass the whole agreement of the parties; and 3) when a contract is silent as to the duration of retiree benefits, a court may not infer that the parties intended those benefits to vest for life.

Integrity Staffing Solutions, Inc. v. Busk (13-433)

Decision Date: December 9, 2014

In this case, petitioner-employer required its employees to undergo an antitheft security screening before leaving the warehouse each day. Judgment in favor of respondent-employees is reversed, where the time that employees spent waiting to undergo and undergoing the security screenings is not compensable.

Lawson v. FMR LLC (No. 12-3 )

Decision Date: March 4, 2014

The whistleblower protection provisions of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 contained in 18 U. S. C. section 1514A include employees of a public company's private contractors and subcontractors when they report covered forms of fraud.

Sandifer v. United States Steel Corp. (No. 12-417 )

Decision Date: January 27, 2014

Summary judgment to defendant-employer in a putative collective action under the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, seeking backpay for time spent donning and doffing pieces of protective gear that they assert defendant-employer requires workers to wear because of hazards at its steel plants is affirmed, where: 1) 29 U. S. C. section 203(o) allows parties to collectively bargain over whether time spent in changing clothes at the beginning or end of each workday must be compensated; and 2) the time plaintiffs spend donning and doffing their protective gear is not compensable by operation of section 203(o) because it qualifies as "changing clothes" under that section.

Unite Here Local 355 v. Mulhall (No. 12-99 )

Decision Date: December 10, 2013

Writ of certiorari is dismissed as improvidently granted in an action in which the Eleventh Circuit held that: 1) certain promises made by an employer to a union are things of value; 2) an employer's promise to pay them in return for something of value from the union violates the Labor Management Relations Act if the employer intends to use the payment to "corrupt" the union; and 3) a union's request that an employer make such a payment violates section 302(b) of the Act if the union intends to "extort" the benefit from the employer.

University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center v. Nassar (No. 12-484 )

Decision Date: June 24, 2013

Title VII retaliation claims must be proved according to traditional principles of but-for causation, not the lessened causation test stated in 42 U.S.C. section 2000e-2(m), the motivating-factor test, and therefore the Fifth Circuit\\\'s finding for plaintiff on his retaliation claim using the motivating-factor test is vacated and remanded.

Vance v. Ball State University (No. 11-556 )

Decision Date: June 24, 2013

An employee is a "supervisor" for purposes of vicarious liability under Title VII only if he or she is empowered by the employer to take tangible employment actions against the victim, and thus, summary judgment to defendant-employer is affirmed.

First Circuit

Appeals from federal district (trial level) courts in Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Puerto Rico, and Rhode Island

Lopez-Lopez v. Robinson School (No. 19-1386)

Decision Date: June 8, 2020

The plaintiff, an employee of the Robinson School, was observed having an aggressive response to students behaving rambunctiously during class. Concerned about the plaintiff’s response, and after receiving emails from parents inquiring about the behavior in other instances, school administration determined a meeting with the plaintiff was necessary.

The plaintiff claimed to have suffered discrimination under the American Disabilities Act ("ADA") for the Robinson School's decision to take her to a psychiatric hospital to be evaluated after she suffered a temporary nervous breakdown during a meeting where supervisors discussed her performance with her.

The United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit has held that having an employee involuntarily committed may not violate the ADA. The Court found that requiring the plaintiff to receive medical treatment was a “business necessity” and agreed with the steps the school took to involuntarily admit the plaintiff to the mental health facility.

Melo v. City of Somerville (No. 19-1337)

Decision Date: June 1, 2020

Former police officer brought action alleging that city violated Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Rehabilitation Act, and state law by initiating involuntary retirement proceedings. The city reasoned that the officer's impaired vision rendered him incapable of performing his duties. Two doctors agreed, one did not.

On appeal, the Judge found inconsistencies in the city's response to the plaintiff's accommodation request. It was unclear whether duties that the city claimed the plaintiff would not be able to perform due to his visual impairment where typical functions of an officer in plaintiff's position. Further, the inconsistency of the three doctor's findings suggested that the plaintiff may argue that he could continue to work as a station officer.

Romero et al v. McCormick & Schmick Restaurant Corp. (No. 1:18-cv-10324-IT)

Decision Date: March 30, 2020

A restaurant employee who purportedly observed two males sexually harass her coworkers, and feared that if she worked alone with them, she would become a victim of their sexual advances herself, defeated summary judgment on her hostile work environment claim brought under the Massachusetts Anti-Discrimination law.A federal district court in Massachusetts rejected the employer’s contention that her claim failed since the alleged sexual harassment was directed at her coworkers only, finding that she demonstrated sufficiently severe or pervasive conduct a jury could find had the effect of subjectively interfering with her work performance.

Carlson v. University of New England (17-1792)

Decision Date: August 10, 2018

Reinstated a university professor's claims that she was retaliated against in violation of Title VII and the Maine Human Rights Act. The professor alleged that she was transferred to a different department and suffered other retaliation after she complained of being sexually harassed by her department chair. Agreeing that genuine disputes of material fact existed, the First Circuit reversed the entry of summary judgment for the university and remanded.

Rivera-Rivera v. Medina and Medina, Inc. (17-1191)

Decision Date: August 1, 2018

Reinstated an employee's claims that she was harassed based on her age and retaliated against in violation of both federal and Puerto Rico law, claims which had been dismissed on summary judgment. The employee argued that there were genuine disputes of material fact. In reversing summary judgment, the First Circuit agreed with the employee's argument that genuine disputes of material fact existed as to certain claims.

Acosta v. Local Union 26, Unite Here (17-1666)

Decision Date: July 11, 2018

Affirmed a judgment on the pleadings against the U.S. Department of Labor, the plaintiff in a labor action against a union. In affirming the judgment, the First Circuit held that the labor union did not violate the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act when it refused to allow one of its members to take notes while inspecting its collective bargaining agreements with other employers as the member's statutory right to inspect the agreements did not encompass a right to take notes during the process.

Lawless v Steward Health Care Sys. LLC (No. 17-2128)

Decision Date: June 25, 2018

Affirming the district court's grant of summary judgment and treble damages under the Massachusetts Wage Act for the plaintiff who alleged that defendant failed to pay all of her wages due at the time of her termination, instead making them at a later date.

Dimanche v. MBTA (No. 17-1169)

Decision Date: June 18, 2018

In this wrongful employment termination case, the appellate court affirmed the judgment of the trial court awarding 1.3 million in damages on the discrimination claim and 1.3 million in punitive damages. Defendant appealed arguing insufficient evidence to support punitive damages; and reversible error for sanctions for removing entry of default and allowing hostile work environment theory not explicitly pled to go to the jury. The appellate court stated that defendant largely lost the appeal for failure to make appropriate objections and offers of proof before the trial court. Further, the appellate court stated that there was sufficient evidence to support the damages award both compensatory and punitive. The court agreed that the trial court erred by imposing a default sanction order, but there was no showing that defendant was prejudiced by it or by the hostile work environment claim.

Caraballo-Caraballo v. Correctional Administration (No. 16-1597)

Decision Date: June 8, 2018

Affirming the district court grant of summary judgment as to hostile work environment and retaliation claims by a female Puerto Rico Corrections Department employee who was transferred and replaced by male employees but vacating and remanding the summary judgment as to a disparate treatment claim because the court used an erroneous interpretation of caselaw to prohibit the plaintiff from relying on evidence relating to qualifications as an element of her prima facie case.

Coskery v. Berryhill (No. 17-1886)

Decision Date: June 4, 2018

Affirming a district court order upholding the Social Security Administration's denial of an application for Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits and Supplemental Security Income in the case of a former cook who was shown to be able to continue with light work

Franchina v. City of Providence (No. 16-2401)

Decision Date: January 25, 2018

Affirming a judgment that a Rhode Island fire department had engaged in gender discrimination and retaliation for their vile treatment of a woman on the job and the award of front pay and emotional damages because, in the words of the court, they declined to put out the fire of the department's own making.

Good Samaritan Medical Center v. NLRB (No. 15-1347)

Decision Date: May 31, 2017

In a case in which an employee was purportedly terminated for violating his hospital employer\'s civility policy, following a heated exchange regarding a union delegate\'s alleged remark that plaintiff had to join the union in order to work at the hospital, and in which the NLRB found that the union caused employer to discharge plaintiff because of his protected conduct, in violation of Section 8 of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), the defendant\'s petition for relief is granted and the NLRB\'s application for enforcement order is denied where: 1) there is considerable contradictory evidence in the record that the NLRB failed to consider; and 2) on the record as a whole, there is not substantial evidence that plaintiff was discharged because of his protected conduct.

Audette v. Town of Plymouth (No. 15-2457)

Decision Date: May 26, 2017

In a suit brought by a police officer claiming she suffered discrimination in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. sections 12101-12213, and its state-law corollary, Massachusetts General Laws chapter 151B section 4, when the defendants failed to accommodate her request for transfer to another position in the Department after she sustained an on-the-job injury, as well as retaliation and gender discrimination claims, the district court's rejection of the claims is affirmed where: 1) plaintiff offered no evidence that there were any vacancies when she asked for an accommodation, and it was her burden to show as much; 2) the ADA retaliation claim was either not pleaded or waived; and 3) plaintiff failed to establish a prima facie claim of gender discrimination.

Oliveira v. New Prime, Inc (No. 15-2364)

Decision Date: May 12, 2017

In an employment class action alleging violations the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), 29 U.S.C. section 201-219, as well as the Missouri minimum-wage statute, raising two questions of first impression, the district court's denial of defendant's motion to compel arbitration is affirmed where: 1) when a federal district court is confronted with a motion to compel arbitration under the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA), 9 U.S.C. sections 1-16, in a case where the parties have delegated questions of arbitrability to the arbitrator, the court must first determine whether the FAA applies before compelling arbitration under the FAA; and 2) a provision of the FAA that exempts contracts of employment of transportation workers from the FAA's coverage, the section 1 exemption, applies to a transportation-worker agreement that establishes or purports to establish an independent-contractor relationship

Doran v. J. P. Noonan Transp. Inc. (no. 16-1466)

Decision Date: April 5, 2017

In a putative class action brought by truck drivers against their employer, raising a variety of statutory and common law labor claims, the district court's interlocutory order dismissing most but not all of plaintiffs' claims is affirmed where the court's rules and precedent require that plaintiff's right to appeal is deemed waived.

NLRB v. Lily Transportation Corp. (No. 15-2398)

Decision Date: March 31, 2017

(First Circuit) In an application filed by the National Labor Relations Board for enforcement of its bargaining order against defendant, arising out of a union's unfair labor practice charge with the NLRB, claiming that defendant's refusal to bargain violated Sections 8(a)(1) and 8(a)(5) of the National Labor Relations Act, the application is granted where: 1) there was no error in the Board's adherence to UGL's successor bar doctrine; and thus 2) the Court does not reach defendant's arguments that it would prevail if that doctrine were rejected in favor of a rebuttable presumption of majority support for the union.

O'Connor v. Oakhurst Dairy (no. 16-1901)

Decision Date: March 13, 2017

In a dispute between a Maine dairy company and its delivery drivers concerning the scope of an exemption from Maine's overtime law, 26 M.R.S.A. section 664(3), the district court's grant of summary judgment to defendant is reversed where: 1) the exemption's scope is not clear; and 2) because, under Maine law, ambiguities in the state's wage and hour laws must be construed liberally in order to accomplish their remedial purpose, the court adopts the drivers' narrower reading of the exemption.

Rodriguez-Lopez v. Triple-S Vida, Inc. (no. 15-2413)

Decision Date: March 1, 2017

In a plaintiff's claim for long term disability benefits from his employer, the district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of defendant is reversed where, because the plan contained no clear delegation of authority to defendant's denial of the claim, defendant's decision was not entitled to deference by the district court.

Calhoun v. Dep't of the Army (no. 2016-2220)

Decision Date: January 12, 2017

In a challenge to the Army's imposition of a six day furlough in July and August of 2013 in response to sequestration legislation, the Merit Systems Protection Board sustaining the Army's action is affirmed where there is no reversible error in the Board's rulings that the furlough of plaintiff was in accordance with law and implemented without procedural error or due process violation.

Chase v. United States Postal Service (no. 16-1351)

Decision Date: December 14, 2016

In a suit alleging that plaintiff's former employer, the United States Postal Service (USPS) terminated him in retaliation for taking FMLA leave, bringing interference and retaliation claims under 29 U.S.C. section 2615(a), the district court's judgment in favor of defendants is affirmed where the USPS decisionmaker did not have the requisite knowledge of the designation of plaintiff's medical leave necessary to hold defendants liable under the FMLA.

Prince George Operating v. NLRB (No. 15-2143)

Decision Date: November 1, 2016

In a labor dispute involving nurses seeking to join a union and engage in collective bargaining with their employer and an employer's refusal to follow the NLRB's order to do so, the employer's petition for review of the NLRB's order denied where substantial evidence supports its finding that the nurses are not supervisors because their duties do not require the exercise of independent judgment.

Parker v. Boulevard Motel Corp (No. 15-2012)

Decision Date: August 31, 2016

In a suit brought by former employees of motel corporation-defendant, alleging that defendant fired them in violation of the Maine Whistleblowers' Protection Act (MWPA) and the Maine Human Rights Act (MHRA), the District Court's grant of summary judgment to defendant, relying on a purported 'job duties exception' to both statutes, is reversed where this Court's intervening decision in Harrison v. Granite Bay Care, Inc., 811 F.3d 36 (1st Cir. 2016), made clear that no 'job duties exception' exists under either the MWPA or, by implication, the MHRA.

Fontanillas-Lopez v. Morel Bauza Cartagena & Dapena (No. 15-1326)

Decision Date: August 5, 2016

In a suit alleging sex discrimination claims under federal and Puerto Rico law against plaintiff's former employer, the District Court's denial of plaintiff's motion to vacate summary judgement to defendants on her federal claims and dismissal of state claims, and grant of attorney's fees are affirmed where plaintiff has failed to show that the district court abused its discretion in holding her to the local rules' ordinary page limits, in awarding attorneys' fees to the prevailing defendants, or in rejecting her motions to set aside the summary judgment order and the fees award.

Rodriguez-Miranda v. Benin (14-1334)

Decision Date: July 13, 2016

In another appeal in a protracted employment dispute between two former colleagues in which plaintiff sought payment of his promised wages and loan money, the District Court's decision to use Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 25(c) to hold defendant and related entities liable for the judgment originally entered against defendant's company only is affirmed where the District Court did not plainly err in joining related entities as alter egos of defendant's company and holding them liable for the judgment entered in favor of plaintiff.

Worcester v. Springfield Terminal Ry. Co. (14-1965)

Decision Date: June 29, 2016

In a remedies action, challenging the district court's jury instruction on the standard for awarding punitive damages in a case brought under the whistle blower provisions of the Federal Railroad Safety Act, 49 U.S.C. section 20109, the judgment below is affirmed where the court correctly adopted the punitive damages standard from Smith v. Wade, 461 U.S. 40 (1983).

Santana-Diaz v. Metropolitan Life Ins. Co. (15-1273)

Decision Date: March 14, 2016

In a case under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), 29 U.S.C. sections 1001-1461, challenging the dismissal of the suit as time-barred, the district court's judgment is reversed where: 1) ERISA requires a plan administrator in its denial of benefits letter to inform a claimant of not only his right to bring a civil action, but also the plan-imposed time limit for doing so; and 2) because defendant violated this regulatory obligation, the limitations period in this case was rendered inapplicable, and plaintiff's suit was therefore timely filed.

Lang v. Wal-Mart Stores East, L.P. (15-1543)

Decision Date: March 2, 2016

In a suit brought by a former employee who was pregnant and sought a reasonable accommodation by employer defendant, claiming violations of the federal Americans with Disabilities Act and the New Hampshire Civil Rights Act, the district court's grant of summary judgment to employer defendant is affirmed where: 1) plaintiff failed to create a trialworthy issue as to whether she could have performed an essential function of her job, manually lifting up to 60 pounds, with or without a reasonable accommodation; and 2) her state law claims are without merit.

American Steel Erectors, Inc. v. Local Union No. 7 (13-1531)

Decision Date: February 25, 2016

In an action brought by structural steel contractors against a local union alleging antitrust law violations under the Sherman Act, labor law violations under the Labor Management Relations Act (LMRA), and other violations under state law, the district court's final judgment in this complex, long-running dispute is affirmed where it properly: 1) upheld the jury verdict and award of damages for plaintiffs; and 2) granted summary judgment for the union defendant on the antitrust claims.

Lalli v. General Nutrition Corp. (No. 15-1199)

Decision Date: February 12, 2016

In an action brought by a former employee of defendant, challenging his compensation arrangement under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), 29 U.S.C. sections 201-219, and the Massachusetts Minimum Fair Wage Law, Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 151, sections 1-22, the district court's dismissal of the complaint is affirmed where a compensation structure employing a fixed salary does comply with section 778.114 when it includes additional, variable performance-based commission.

Martinez-Rivera v. Commonwealth of Puerto Rico (13-1772)

Decision Date: January 29, 2016

In an employment suit brought by a former employee of Puerto Rico's Vocational Rehabilitation Administration (VRA), an agency tasked with integrating persons with disabilities into the workforce, alleging the VRA had discriminated against her because of her disability, age, and politics, in violation of state and federal law, the district court's unexplained dismissal of her claims is: 1) reversed in part as to dismissal of both plaintiff's ADA claim and her local-law claims; but 2) affirmed in all other respects.

Harrison v. Granite Bay Care, Inc. (14-1988)

Decision Date: January 13, 2016

In a suit alleging illegal firing in violation of Maine's Whistleblower Protection Act, Me. Rev. Stat. tit. 26 section 833, the district court's summary judgment in favor of employer-defendant is vacated and remanded where the district court erred in not fully analyzing the validity of plaintiff's claims under Winslow v. Aroostook County, 736 F.3d 23 (1st Cir. 2013).

Buntin v. City of Boston (No. 15-1667)

Decision Date: December 29, 2015

In a suit alleging that the City and plaintiff's supervisors discriminated against plaintiff on the basis of his race and retaliated against him by terminating his employment, dismissal of the claim is: 1) affirmed in part as to dismissal of the Section 1983 claim where plaintiff failed to plead facts sufficient to support the claim; but 2) reversed in part as to dismissal of the Section 1981 claim where the district court erred by imposing an administrative exhaustion requirement where none exists.

Marzuq v. Cadete Enterprises, Inc. (No. 14-1744)

Decision Date: December 10, 2015

In a suit brought by former managers of Dunkin' Donuts claiming they were improperly denied overtime pay in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), 29 U.S.C. section 207(a)(1), the district court's rejection of the magistrate judge's recommendation and grant of summary judgment to the defendant employees is vacated and remanded for further proceedings where material factual disputes remain concerning the exemption's applicability to plaintiffs.

Abril-Rivera v. Johnson (14-1316)

Decision Date: November 17, 2015

In a Title VII lawsuit brought by former employees of a now-closed Puerto Rico call center run by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), alleging that FEMA's actions in implementing a rotational staffing plan at the center and in eventually closing the facility discriminated against them on the basis of their Puerto Rican national origin and constituted unlawful retaliation for protected conduct, the district court's grant of summary judgment to defendants is affirmed where: 1) plaintiffs' disparate impact claims fail because a) the challenged actions were job-related and consistent with business necessity, and b) plaintiffs have not shown that there were alternatives available to FEMA that would have had less disparate impact and served FEMA's legitimate needs; and 2) both retaliation claims fail because plaintiffs have not shown that the allegedly adverse employment actions were causally related to any protected conduct.

Del Valle-Santana v. Servicios Legales de PR (14-2057)

Decision Date: October 19, 2015

In a suit alleging that plaintiff's former employer wrongfully terminated her on the basis of her age in violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), 29 U.S.C. sections 621-634, the district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of the employer is affirmed where, after de novo review, plaintiff failed to establish the fourth prima facie element.

National Labor Relations Board v. NSTAR Electric & Gas Co. ( No. 14-1622)

Decision Date: August 18, 2015

In an appeal by the NLRB seeking enforcement of an order that requires an electric and gas company to bargain with a union that seventeen of the company's dispatch-center workers voted to join, and a cross-petition for review of the Board's decision by the company, the Board's petition to enforce is granted and cross-petition denied where substantial evidence supports the Board's finding that the company failed to show that the workers at issue are either "supervisors" or "managers," rather than employees, even though the workers are highly skilled and charged with critical tasks.

Gonzalez-Oyarzun v. Commonwealth of Puerto Rico (14-1954)

Decision Date: August 18, 2015

In an employment dispute brought by an employee alleging violations of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, 29 U.S.C. section 621, and various Puerto Rico statutes, the district court's dismissal of the dispute on the basis of a valid forum selection clause and simultaneous issuance of a declaratory judgment stating that the Seventh Amendment requires Puerto Rico to provide civil litigants with a jury trial, is vacated as to the declaratory judgment where it was in contravention of binding Supreme Court precedent.

Roman-Oliveras v. Puerto Rico Electric Power Auth., (No. 13-1991 )

Decision Date: August 5, 2015

In an suit brought by a former employee against his former employer and two individual supervisors, alleging unlawful targeting due to disability and union activities in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. sections 12101 - 12213; Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. sections 2000e - 2000e-17, 42 U.S.C. section 1983, and several Puerto Rico laws, the district court's dismissal is affirmed where the settlement negotiations produced a binding oral settlement agreement that the District Court had jurisdiction to enforce.

Abril-Rivera v. Johnson (No. 14-136)

Decision Date: July 30, 2015

In a Title VII suit by employees of the now-closed Puerto Rico National Processing Service Center (PR-NPSA) run by Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), alleging that FEMA's actions in implementing a rotational staffing plan at the PR-NPSC and in eventually closing the facility discriminated against them on the basis of their Puerto Rican national origin and constituted unlawful retaliation for protected conduct, the district court's grant of summary judgment to defendants is affirmed where defendants had legitimate, nondiscriminatory reasons for their actions and, with respect to the rotational staffing plan retaliation claim, that plaintiffs had not shown a causal link between their protected conduct and the purported retaliation.

Santiago-Diaz v. Rivera-Rivera (No. 13-2180 )

Decision Date: July 17, 2015

In a suit claiming that, as a result of his membership in the Popular Democratic Party, plaintiff was subject to impermissible political discrimination after the New Progressive Party came to power in Puerto Rico in January 2009, the district court's grant of summary judgment for defendants is affirmed where: 1) plaintiff has not raised a genuine issue of material fact that his party affiliation was a factor in his reassignment or that his job responsibilities were diminished; and 2) plaintiff's remaining allegations of workplace discrimination are insufficient to constitute adverse employment actions.

Planadeball v. Wyndham Vacation Resorts, Inc. (No. 13-2266 )

Decision Date: July 17, 2015

In a suit under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. section 2000e, alleging retaliation against plaintiff by Wyndham Vacation Resorts, Inc. for making informal and formal complaints against her then-supervisor after he subjected her to a hostile work environment on the basis of her race and national origin, the district court's grant of summary judgment to defendant is affirmed where plaintiff has not presented sufficient evidence to establish a retaliation claim under Title VII.

Santangelo v. New York Life Insurance Co. (14-1912)

Decision Date: April 6, 2015

Plaintiff was a life insurance agent with defendant insurance company for more than forty years before his termination, and he now contends that he was an "employee" and that in firing him, defendant engaged in age discrimination in violation of both state and federal law. Summary judgment in favor of defendant on all claims is affirmed, where: 1) plaintiff's state law age discrimination claims were time-barred; 2) no reasonable jury could conclude that defendant engaged in age discrimination under federal law in terminating plaintiff's agent contract; and 3) no reasonable jury could conclude that the termination breached plaintiff's contract with defendant or violated any of his common law rights.

Aponte-Ramos v. Alvarez-Rubio (14-1050)

Decision Date: April 3, 2015

Plaintiffs, current and former employees of defendant Puerto Rico State Insurance Fund Corporation (SIFC), allege that SIFC and its high level administrators selectively enforced Puerto Rico's merit principle against them in violation of the Equal Protection Clause. Summary judgment in favor of defendants is affirmed, where plaintiffs failed to identify similarly situated individuals treated differently by defendants.

Montanez-Allman v. Garcia-Padilla (13-2384)

Decision Date: April 1, 2015

This interlocutory appeal concerns a preliminary injunction, granted on due process grounds, that inter alia, reinstated plaintiff Montanez-Allman and vacated the political appointment of his replacement following the legislature's enactment of Law 75-2013 which abolished four positions, including Montanez-Allman's. When this extraordinary relief issued, the Puerto Rico Supreme Court had not yet issued its opinion in the nearly identical case of Diaz-Carrasquillo v. Garcia-Padilla, which confirmed the availability of relief in Commonwealth court. This case is remanded to the district court with instructions to vacate the preliminary injunction in light of the extraordinariness of the relief sought, the importance of this case to the Commonwealth's own constitutional balance of powers, and the relief now available under Diaz-Carrasquillo, which both parties agree is adequate.

Vaello-Carmona v. Siemens Medical Solutions USA, Inc. (13-1405)

Decision Date: March 17, 2015

In this employment discrimination action, plaintiff-employee died and petitioner-appellants moved to substitute themselves as plaintiffs. The judgment of the district court ruling that plaintiff's employment discrimination claims against defendant were not inheritable and dismissing the case for failure to state a claim is vacated, where causes of action employment discrimination and employment disability discrimination are inheritable under Puerto Rico law.

Raymond James Financial Services, Inc. v. Fenyk ( No. 14-1252 )

Decision Date: March 11, 2015

In this case, an arbitration panel awarded appellant Fenyk $600,000 in back pay based on a claim that he was unlawfully terminated from his job because he is an alcoholic. The district court vacated the award, concluding that the arbitrators lacked authority to grant that remedy because Fenyk brought no claims under the state law the arbitrators applied. Fennel now seeks reinstatement of the award. The district court's judgment is reversed, where: 1) this court's limited review of arbitral decisions requires it to uphold an award, regardless of its legal or factual correctness, if it draws its essence from the contract that underlies the arbitration proceeding, as it does here; and 2) although the arbitration decision may have been incorrect as a matter of law, it was not beyond the scope of the panel's authority.

Ayala v. Shinseki (13-2260)

Decision Date: March 6, 2015

In this case, plaintiff filed a civil action pursuant to Title VII's anti-retaliation provision (24 U.S.C. section 2000e-3(a)) against defendant Department of Veterans Affairs, her former employer. The district court ruled that plaintiff's Title VII retaliation claims were time-barred and entered partial summary judgment in favor of defendant. The judgment is affirmed, where, since both employment actions challenged by plaintiff constitute discrete acts, the continuing violation doctrine does not apply to plaintiff's claims, and thus her claims are time-barred.

Soto-Feliciano v. Villa Cofresi Hotels, Inc. (13-2296)

Decision Date: February 20, 2015

In this employment discrimination case, plaintiff alleges that he was fired because of his age and in retaliation for his efforts to assert his rights against this alleged discrimination. Summary judgment for the defendants is reversed, where: 1) plaintiff has put forth a sufficient prima facie case of age discrimination to survive summary judgment; 2) a rational jury could reasonably infer that, based on the evidence, defendants fired plaintiff due to his age and not some other nondiscriminatory pretext; 3) plaintiff has shown inconsistencies in defendants' case sufficient to support an inference of pretext; and 4) a rational jury could find for plaintiff on his retaliation claim.

Ocasio-Hernandez v. Fortuno-Burset (13-1336)

Decision Date: January 20, 2015

In this employment action, plaintiff-workers were fired a few months after a newly elected governor took over the Puerto Rico executive mansion. Plaintiffs allege that they were terminated solely because they affiliated with rival political parties, which amounts to political discrimination prohibited by the First Amendment. Summary judgment disposal of plaintiffs' political discrimination claim is affirmed, where: 1) there is no evidence that defendants had knowledge of plaintiffs' particular political affiliations; and 2) plaintiffs do not offer any generalized statistical evidence showing how many employees affiliated with the governor's party were retained after the layoffs as compared to non-party employees, whether terminated plaintiffs were replaced by party-affiliated employees, or other relevant statistical evidence.

Litz v. Saint Consulting Group (13-2437)

Decision Date: November 4, 2014

In this action for unpaid overtime wages brought by plaintiff-employees, judgment in favor of defendants is affirmed, where: 1) plaintiffs were paid on a salary basis and received more than $100,000 per year for continuously performing the duties of a professional employee; and 2) plaintiffs were therefore "highly compensated employees" exempt from the overtime protections of the Fair Labor Standards Act (29 C.F.R. section 541.601).

Acevedo-Perez v. US (12-2351)

Decision Date: October 6, 2014

In this employment discrimination suit, summary judgment in favor of defendant-employer is affirmed, where: 1) plaintiff-employee did not present a Federal Torts Claims Act claim in his administrative complaint; and 2) all other claims were time-barred. - See more at: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/summary/opinion/us-1st-circuit/2014/10/06/271687.html#sthash.pQi6bSFl.dpuf

Solis v. Lorraine Enterprises, Inc. (13-1685)

Decision Date: October 1, 2014

In this federal minimum wage case, the Secretary of Labor charges that a restaurant took advantage of the reduced minimum wage exception without complying with the requirements. Summary judgment in the Secretary's favor against the restaurant and individual defendants is affirmed, where: 1) waiters had not received proper notice of the restaurant's intent to credit their tips against the minimum wage; 2) deductions taken from waiters' pay are invalid for Fair Labor Standards Act purposes; and 3) defendants admitted a string of material facts strongly suggestive of individual liability. - See more at: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/summary/opinion/us-1st-circuit/2014/10/01/271657.html#sthash.ha8kBTAd.dpuf

Medina-Velazquez v. Hernandez-Gregorat (No. 12-2492)

Decision Date: September 17, 2014

In this suit alleging that political discrimination in violation of the First Amendment led to adverse employment actions against plaintiffs, dismissal of the First Amendment and various derivative claims is vacated and remanded for further proceedings, where plaintiffs stated plausible First Amendment claims against the defendants who received their cease and desist letters. - See more at: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/summary/opinion/us-1st-circuit/2014/09/17/271518.html#sthash.9RJcUwEk.dpuf

Dinan v. Alpha Networks (No. 13-1976)

Decision Date: August 20, 2014

In this sales commission dispute between plaintiff-employee, a resident of Maine, and defendant-employer, a California-based company, the district court's decision to apply California law, instead of choosing to apply the Maine wage payment law, is vacated and remanded where: 1) despite the choice-of-law provision in the written agreement calling for application of California law in certain disputes, determination of the correct choice of law here is not straightforward; and 2) Maine's highest court would most likely deem plaintiff entitled to the fully array of remedies set forth in Maine's wage payment law. Additional Information at http://caselaw.findlaw.com/summary/opinion/us-1st-circuit/2014/08/20/271168.html#sthash.bljuzJzM.dpuf

Ahmed v. Johnson (No. 13-1054 )

Decision Date: May 21, 2014

Summary judgment for defendant in an employment discrimination action in which plaintiff claims that he was passed over for the position of Deportation Officer in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on account of his religion, race, and national origin, is vacated and remanded, where plaintiff presented sufficient evidence for a jury to find that he was a victim of discrimination.

Climent-Garcia v. Autoridad de Transporte (No. 12-2442)

Decision Date: May 16, 2014

Judgment for plaintiff in a suit alleging adverse employment action and a failure to hire on account of sex is affirmed, where: 1) defendant-employer failed to renew its motion for judgment as a matter of law post-verdict, which bars its sufficiency-of-the-evidence claim from review; and 2) with regard to the damages award, the district court did not abuse its discretion in denying defendant's request for remittitur.

Lopez-Munoz v. Triple-S Salud, Inc. (No. 13-1417 )

Decision Date: May 9, 2014

Dismissal of an action asserting local law claims for damages arising out of defendant-health insurer's refusal to cover plaintiff's lap band medical procedure is reversed and remanded, where: 1) the Federal Employees Health Benefits Act of 1959 (FEHBA) does not completely preempt local-law tort and contract claims arising out of a refusal by an FEHBA insurer to cover a medical procedure; and thus, 2) the removal of this case to federal court cannot be justified on the basis of complete preemption.

Jones v. City of Boston (No. 12-2280 )

Decision Date: May 7, 2014

Summary judgment in favor of defendants in an action challenging the Boston Police Department's drug testing program, which plaintiffs allege caused a disparate impact on the basis of race in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is: 1) vacated in part with respect to the plaintiffs' Title VII claim; 2) reversed with regard to the district court's denial of plaintiffs' motion for partial summary judgment on that claim, where there is no genuine issue of material fact that could preclude plaintiffs from making a threshold, prima facie showing of disparate impact; but 3) otherwise affirmed.

International Union v. Ray Haluch Gravel Inc. (No. 11-1944 )

Decision Date: March 11, 2014

Following judgment in favor of plaintiff- employee benefit plan in an action to recover unpaid employee-related remittances allegedly due under a collective bargaining agreement (CBA), the district court's award of attorneys' fees to plaintiff pursuant to the CBA and ERISA's fee-shifting provision is affirmed, where: 1) the use of proportionality as a factor, but not the exclusive factor, in setting the amount of the fee award was within the court's discretion; and 2) the district court did not abuse its discretion in setting the fee award or the amount of expenses.

Rodriguez-Vives v. PR Fire Fighters Corps (No. 13-1587 )

Decision Date: February 18, 2014

Dismissal of plaintiff's action alleging that during her transitory employment, defendant subjected her to various forms of abuse in retaliation for her earlier suit, which had alleged that defendant refused to hire her as a firefighter because of her gender, is vacated and remanded, where: 1) plaintiff adequately alleges that she opposed a practice made unlawful by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act; and 2) plaintiff adequately alleges employment actions sufficiently adverse to constitute retaliation.

Travers v. Flight Services & Systems, Inc (No. 13-1438 )

Decision Date: December 12, 2013

Summary judgment for defendant-employer on plaintiff's claims that defendant fired him in retaliation for pursuing his lawsuit against defendant under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is vacated and remanded, where there remains a genuine dispute as to whether the people who decided to fire plaintiff acted with awareness of the CEO's desire to retaliate and, if so, whether plaintiff would have been fired anyway for reasons other than pursuit of his rights under the FLSA.

Bonneau v. Plumbers and Pipefitters Local (No. 13-1515 )

Decision Date: November 15, 2013

Summary judgment for plaintiffs, a group of now-retired union employees, in a dispute over certain "banked hour" benefits which defendant-union Pension Trust wants to eliminate, is affirmed, where: 1) plaintiffs' benefits are in fact "accrued;" and 2) defendant-trust's proposed elimination would violate the anti-cutback provisions of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), which prohibits the decrease by amendment of any accrued benefit of a participant in an ERISA plan.

Northern New England Telephone Operations v. Local 2327, International Brotherhood of Electric Workers (No. 13-1167 )

Decision Date: November 12, 2013

The district court did not err in affirming an arbitral award entered in favor of defendant-union arising out of its claims that plaintiff-employer allegedly wrongfully transferred work to non-union workers, where: 1) the arbitral panel did not exceed the bounds of its interpretative powers or clearly err in its conclusion that the subcontracting jobs to which union employees had a "legitimate claim" constituted a "transfer" within the meaning of the collective bargaining agreement; and 2) the district court did not abuse its discretion in denying defendant fees and costs.

Enos v. Union Stone, Inc., (No. 12-2480 )

Decision Date: October 15, 2013

Judgment awarding plaintiff-Funds fringe benefit contributions that defendant failed to make for work performed by members of the union is affirmed, where: 1) there was no error in the district court's refusal to enforce the purported June 7 settlement agreement; 2) the district court's evidentiary rulings do not warrant vacating the judgment; 3) the district court did not err in denying defendant's motion for Rule 11 sanctions; and 4) the district court did not err in awarding plaintiffs interest and attorneys' fees.

Corporate Technologies, Inc. v. Harnett (No. 13-1706 )

Decision Date: September 23, 2013

The district court's preliminary injunction that restrained defendant, a former employee of plaintiff, from doing business with certain customers to whom he had sold products and services while in plaintiff's employ, is affirmed, where: 1) the identity of the party making initial contact is just one factor among many that the trial court should consider in drawing the line between solicitation and acceptance; 2) the evidence of record is adequate to underpin the lower court's determinations that defendant violated the non-solicitation covenant and that plaintiff is therefore likely to succeed on the merits; and 3) the district court narrowly tailored the preliminary injunction with respect to non-disclosure, enjoining only the use of information contained in defendant's notes.

Rivera-Almodovar v. Instituto Socioeconomico Comunitario, Inc. (No. 12-2419 )

Decision Date: September 11, 2013

In an action alleging violations of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the district court\'s denial of plaintiff\'s requested relief for time to respond to defendant\'s summary judgment motion and a discovery extension is affirmed where: 1) the district court had good reason to believe that the plaintiff\'s plight was the result of her lackadaisical approach to discovery; and 2) the plaintiff\'s lack of diligence in pursuing discovery was, on the facts of this case, a sufficient reason for the district court, in its discretion, to deny relief under Fed. Rule Civ. P. 56(d).

Manning v. Boston Medical Center (No. 12-1573)

Decision Date: August 1, 2013

In a wage and hour action alleging that defendants deprived plaintiff-employees of their wages through the use of timekeeping policies and employment practices that required them to work through their meal and rest periods, put in extra work time before and after their regularly scheduled work shifts, and attend mandatory training sessions, the district court's dismissal of the action is: 1) vacated in part, as to the dismissal of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) claims against defendant hospital and defendant Ullian, as well as the Massachusetts common law claims for breach of contract, promissory estoppel, money had and received, unjust enrichment, and conversion; 2) vacated in part, as to the striking of plaintiffs' class and collective allegations; 3) affirmed in part, as to the district court's directive that the plaintiffs in the two cases file a single consolidated complaint and, by extension, the district court's assumption of jurisdiction over the state law claims; and 4) affirmed in part, as to the dismissal of the FLSA claims against defendant Canavan, the fraud and negligent misrepresentation claims, and the denial of further leave to amend the complaint.

Verizon New England, Inc. v. Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training (No. 12-2398 )

Decision Date: July 17, 2013

The district court's order dismissing plaintiff's federal court action against the defendant state department of labor and defendant claimant union members, who claimed unemployment benefits following a large-scale work stoppage at plaintiff's facility, is affirmed, but on the singular ground that dismissal is warranted under the Younger abstention doctrine.

Second Circuit

Appeals from federal district (trial level) courts in Connecticut, New York, and Vermont

Mandala et al. v. NTT Data Inc. (No. 19-2308)

Decision Date: September 28, 2020

A split Second Circuit panel on Monday rejected discriminatory hiring allegations brought by a pair of African American men denied jobs because of past felony convictions, finding that the men can't rely on national statistics showing that Black individuals are more likely to be arrested and incarcerated than white applicants. But the fact that such a disparity exists among the general population doesn't necessarily mean that it exists among the pool of applicants qualified for the jobs the men had applied to, the Second Circuit majority held Monday.

New York v. Scalia (No. 20-01689)

Decision Date: September 7, 2020

The Labor Department regulation, which took effect in March, narrows the scenarios in which multiple businesses can be held liable under the Fair Labor Standards Act for failing to pay minimum wages and overtime to workers.

Judge Gregory H. Woods of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York ruled Tuesday that the DOL regulation is “arbitrary and capricious” and inconsistent with the FLSA, setting aside the department’s new standard. The ruling vacates the agency’s new test for vertical employment, referring to when a worker enters an employment relationship with one company, such as at a staffing agency or subcontractor, but is economically dependent on another employer.

The Trump administration’s regulation was issued against the backdrop of conflicting judicial interpretations of the matter—a significant business concern for restaurant franchise owners and large companies that enter into contracts with third parties for janitorial services and temporary staffing, among other arrangements. Corporations such as McDonald’s, Amazon, and Comcast have faced private lawsuits arguing the companies are jointly responsible, along with third-party contractors, for workers’ unpaid minimum wages and overtime.

NY Taxi Worker Alliance v. NY State Department of Labor (No. 20-CV-2328 (LDH))

Decision Date: July 27, 2020

District Judge ordered the New York Department of Labor to clear the backlog of unemployment payments owed to drivers for the ridesharing services within 45 days, in response to a lawsuit filed against the state by drivers and the New York Taxi Workers Alliance advocacy group.

Gerrard v. Acara Solutions (No. 18-cv-1041-JLS-LGF)

Decision Date: July 6, 2020

Plaintiff alleged that Defendant used an ATDS to send more than 240 unsolicited, autodialed text messages to her cellular phone, 210 of which she received on a single day. The majority of the text messages, according to Plaintiff, contained the same message regarding a job opening with Defendant.

The Court explained, when the TCPA and regulations promulgated by the FCC are read together, the question is whether Defendant initiated, or caused to be initiated, a text message that “includes or introduces an advertisement or constitutes telemarketing.”

The Court examined the definitions of “advertisement” and “telemarketing” set forth in the TCPA’s implementing regulations, and concluded none of the text messages in the complaint fell within these definitions. The text messages “merely reference[d] an employment opportunity” and they did not involve “the commercial availability or quality of any property, goods, or services” or “encourag[e] the purchase or rental of, or investment in,” any “property, goods, or services.” For this reason, the Court found Plaintiff failed to state a claim under the TCPA and granted Defendant’s motion to dismiss.

Bozzuto's Inc. v. NLRB (No. 18-125)

Decision Date: June 24, 2019

Upheld a National Labor Relations Board finding that an employer engaged in certain unfair labor practices, such as announcing wage increases in conjunction with urging employees to decline to join a union. However, granted the employer's petition for review in other respects.

Ashmore v. CGI Group Inc., (No. 18-2392)

Decision Date: May 8, 2019

Held that judicial estoppel did not bar a Sarbanes-Oxley Act whistleblower retaliation claim. The issue centered on whether the plaintiff employee had attempted to conceal his whistleblower lawsuit from the court in his bankruptcy proceeding. Vacated a dismissal in relevant part.

Davis-Garett v. Urban Outfitters, Inc. (No. 17-3371)

Decision Date: April 8, 2019

Revived a store employee's claims that she suffered a hostile work environment and retaliation, in violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. Reversed a summary judgment ruling.

Fox v. Costco Wholesale Corp. (No. 17‐0936)

Decision Date: March 6, 2019

Held that hostile work environment claims are cognizable under the Americans with Disabilities Act. (Previously, the circuit had assumed that this was true, without deciding the question.) Also held that there was adequate evidence here for an employee to survive summary judgment on his claim that he was subjected to a hostile work environment because of his Tourette's syndrome and obsessive?compulsive disorder.

Gorman v. Rensselaer County (No. 17‐1120)

Decision Date: December 6, 2018

Held that a former corrections officer could not proceed with his claim that he suffered retaliation for reporting that another officer (his sister's ex-boyfriend) was misusing a police database. Affirmed summary judgment against his First Amendment and other claims, partly on grounds of qualified immunity.

HealthBridge Management, LLC v. National Labor Relations Board (17-934)

Decision Date: August 23, 2018

Denied a petition for review of a National Labor Relations Board order. A nursing-home operator contended that it did not engage in unfair labor practices when certain workers employed by a company-retained management firm for 15 months were returned to the company's employment without seniority, tenure, and other features of their prior positions. Agreeing with the NLRB, the Second Circuit denied the petition for review and granted the Board's cross-application for enforcement of its remedial order.

Montero v. City of Yonkers (No. 17-76)

Decision Date: May 16, 2018

Affirming in part, reversing in part, and remanding a decision by the district court, that statements by a police officer, who was also a union official, during union meetings were not made in his capacity as a private citizen and as such his remarks were not protected by the First Amendment and he therefore couldn't state a claim of retaliation because the court concluded that the statements were not made pursuant to his official duties as a police officer, so he spoke as a private citizen for the purpose of the First Amendment, but finding that the defendants are entitled to qualified immunity and no plausible claim for municipal liability was alleged against Yonkers.

Rana v. Islam (No. 16-3966)

Decision Date: April 6, 2018

Vacating in part and remanding a case in which a former employee sued his employers alleging violations of state and federal labor and human trafficking laws for their treatment of him as a domestic worker for a Bangladeshi diplomat because cumulative liquidated damages may not be awarded for the same course of conduct under both the Fair Labor Standards Act and the New York Labor Law.

Novelis Corp. v. National Labor Relations Board (No. 16-3076)

Decision Date: March 15, 2018

Affirming the determination by the National Labor Relations Board that a company violated sections of the National Labor Relations Act in its efforts to dissuade employees from voting for a union as their representative but denying enforcement of an order to bargain because it didn't properly account for changed circumstances between the time of the unfair labor practices and the decision.

Triumph Construction Corp. v. Secretary of Labor (No. 16-4128)

Decision Date: March 14, 2018

Denying the petition for review of a final order by the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission affirming a citation issued to a construction company for repeated violations of excavation standards and assessing a penalty because the burden shifting employed by the Commission was not improper.

Knight v. State University of New York at Stony Brook (No. 17-54)

Decision Date: January 29, 2018

Affirming the denial of a plaintiff motion for judgment as a matter of law that they were an employee of a college they say fired them after reporting racist graffiti because the district court correctly found that they were not an employee for Title VII purposes.

Hardaway v. Hartford Public Works Department (No. 16-3074)

Decision Date: January 12, 2018

Reversing a district court dismissal of a pro se litigant's complaint because they erred in holding that administrative exhaustion must be pleaded in the complaint in a case involving a man alleging discrimination and retaliation following his filing of complaints against the City of Hartford with the Department of Occupational Safety and Health Administration because administrative exhaustion is an affirmative defense.

Wang v. The Hearst Corporation (No. 16-3302)

Decision Date: December 8, 2017

Affirming the dismissal through summary judgment of claims filed by five participants in the Hearst Corporation's internship programs under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), claiming minimum wage violations, because unpaid interns are not employees of Hearst for the purpose of the FLSA.

National Labor Relations Board v. Long Island Association for AIDS Care (No. 16-2325)

Decision Date: August 31, 2017

Enforcing the order of the National Labor Relations Board against a nonprofit organization that violated the National Labor Relations Act by promulgating an unlawful confidentiality agreement and terminating an employee for his refusal to sign the unlawful agreement.

Centro de la Comunidad Hispana de Locust Valley v. The Town of Oyster Bay (No. 15-2914)

Decision Date: August 22, 2017

Affirming that an ordinance passed by a town to regulate the roadside solicitation of employment did not comply with the First Amendment of the constitution and granting injunctive relief to the plaintiff organizations working to advance the interests of day laborers.

Shultz v. Congregation Shearith Israel of the City of New York (No. 16-3140)

Decision Date: August 10, 2017

Vacating and remanding a sex discrimination and retaliation case that was dismissed for failure to state a claim because a Title VII action can still be supported where an employee is given a termination of employment notice that is revoked before it becomes effective.

Osberg v. Foot Locker, Inc, (No. 15-3602)

Decision Date: July 6, 2017

Affirming the district court's judgment that Foot Locker violated ERISA and ordering the reformation of their employee pension plan to conform with participants' reasonably mistaken expectations.

Makinen v. City of New York (No. 16-973)

Decision Date: May 22, 2017

In an employment case involving a provision of the New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL) that defines only 'recovering' or 'recovered' alcoholics as having a 'disability', the Court certifies the following question to the New York Court of Appeals: Do sections 8-102(16)(c) and 8-107(1)(a) of the New York City Administrative Code preclude a plaintiff from bringing a disability discrimination claim based solely on a perception of untreated alcoholism?

NLRB v. Pier Sixty, LLC (no. 15‐1841)

Decision Date: April 21, 2017

In petition for enforcement of an order of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and an employer's cross‐petition, the NLRB's decision is affirmed where: 1) employer has not shown the existence of an 'extraordinary circumstance' that requires us to waive the ordinary rule against considering arguments not presented to the Board as required by 29 U.S.C. section 160(e); and 2) employer violated Sections 8(a)(1) and 8(a)(3) by discharging the employee since employee's conduct was not so 'opprobrious' as to lose the protection of the NLRA.

Saleem v. Corporate Transp. Group, Ltd. (no. 15-88)

Decision Date: April 12, 2017

In a collective action brought by black-car drivers in the greater New York City area against owners of black‐car 'base licenses' and affiliated entities, pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), 29 U.S.C. section 201, and the New York State Labor Law (NYLL), N.Y. Lab. Law section 650, for unpaid overtime, the district court's grant of summary judgment on both the FLSA and NYLL claims to defendants is affirmed where, as a matter of law, plaintiffs are properly classified as independent contractors rather than employees' for purposes of both statutes.

Coutard v. Municipal Credit Union (no. 15-1113)

Decision Date: February 9, 2017

In a case alleging that plaintiff's former employer interfered with and denied his right under the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA), 29 U.S.C. section 2601 et seq., to take leave in order to take care of his seriously ill grandfather who, in loco parentis, had raised him as a child, the district court's grant of summary judgment to defendant is vacated where because plaintiff met the eligibility requirements for FMLA leave and requested that leave expressly to care for his seriously ill grandfather, defendant as an employer covered by the FMLA had an obligation to specify any additional information that it needed in order to determine whether plaintiff was entitled to such leave.

Sheng v. MTBank Corp. (no. 14-4467)

Decision Date: February 2, 2017

In an employment action claiming violations of various state and federal statutes by not allowing plaintiff to work remotely when she became pregnant, the district court's judgment in favor of defendant is: 1) vacated in part as to the adoption of the jury verdict where the district court abused its discretion in admitting evidence of the reinstatement offer because the offer was, as a matter of law, not unconditional; and 2) vacated as to the disqualification order where the district court erred in sua sponte disqualifying the attorneys, because the disqualification depended on the erroneous admission of evidence relating to the reinstatement offer. The appeal is dismissed insofar as it pertains to claims under the Human Rights Law (NYSHRL) where we lack jurisdiction over appellant’s challenge to the district court’s NYSHRL ruling.

Lawrence v. Sol G. Atlas Realty Co., Inc. (no. 15-3087)

Decision Date: October 28, 2016

In a labor suit brought by a union member alleging that his employer, and specifically its CEO and plaintiff’s direct supervisor, discriminated and retaliated against him in violation of several federal and New York state statutes, the District Court's grant of defendants' motion to compel arbitration and dismissal of the suit are vacated and remanded for further proceedings where the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) does not contain a 'clear and unmistakable' waiver of plaintiff’s right to pursue his statutory claims in federal court.

Hill v. Delaware North Companies Sportservice, Inc. (no. 15-1518)

Decision Date: October 3, 2016

In a labor suit against the company that operates the food, beverage and merchandise sales concessions at Oriole Park, alleging claims for overtime compensation under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), 29 U.S.C. section 201 et. seq., the District Court\'s grant of summary judgment in favor of defendants is affirmed where an establishment that operates on the premises of an amusement or recreational host, selling goods or services to the host\'s customers for their consumption or use as they engage in the host\'s amusement or recreational activities, is a \'concessionaire\' with an \'amusement or recreational\' character.

Vasquez v. Empress Ambulance Serv., Inc. (No. 15-3239)

Decision Date: August 29, 2016

In a suit brought by an emergency medical technician who was subjected to unwanted sexual overtures by another employee while on the job, the District Court's dismissal the case, holding that the retaliatory intent of plaintiff's co-worker, a low-level employee, could not be imputed to employer and that employer consequently could not have engaged in retaliation, is vacated where agency principles permit the retaliatory intent of employer's co-worker to be imputed, as a result of defendant's alleged negligence, to defendant.

Ricciuti v. Gyzenis (No. 12-432)

Decision Date: August 24, 2016

In a labor and employment action, arising after plaintiff was allegedly fired in retaliation for speaking to local officials about her police supervisors assigning themselves unnecessary overtime to increase their pay and pensions, the district court's denial of defendants' motion for summary judgment is affirmed where, accepting plaintiff's facts as true, defendants are not entitled to qualified immunity on plaintiff's claim that they retaliated against her for engaging in protected speech under the First Amendment.

Gilman v. Marsh & McLennan Cos., Inc. (15-0603)

Decision Date: June 16, 2016

In an employment action in which two employee-plaintiffs, under threat of termination, refused to explain themselves to their employer-defendant, which was facing a threat of criminal indictment premised on the actions of the plaintiffs, the District Court's summary judgment dismissing the complaint is affirmed where defendant had cause to fire plaintiffs for their refusal to comply with its reasonable order.

Cooper v. N.Y. State Dep't of Labor (15-3392)

Decision Date: April 26, 2016

In a suit under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. sections 2000e et seq. (Title VII), and the New York State Human Rights Law, N.Y. Exec. Law sections 290 et seq. (NYSHRL) alleging that plaintiff's former employer, defendant New York State Department of Labor, unlawfully retaliated against her for opposing an employment practice proscribed by Title VII and the NYSHRL, the District Court's dismissal under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) is affirmed where reasonably have believed that the conduct she opposed violated either statute.

National Football League Management Council v. National Football League (15‐2801)

Decision Date: April 25, 2016

In a dispute arising out of the alleged improper use of deflated footballs by professional football athlete Tom Brady, the District Court's vacation of the NFL Commissioner's award confirming the discipline of Brady, based upon the court's finding of fundamental unfairness and lack of notice, is reversed where: 1) the Commissioner properly exercised his broad discretion under the collective bargaining agreement; and 2) his procedural rulings were properly grounded in that agreement and did not deprive Brady of fundamental fairness.

In re Lehman Bros. Sec. and ERISA Litig. (15-2229)

Decision Date: March 18, 2016

In an ERISA class action, brought by a putative class of former participants in an employee stock ownership plan invested exclusively in Lehman Brothers' common stock, the district court's dismissal under F.R. Civ. Pro 12(b)(6) is affirmed where plaintiffs have failed to plausibly plead that defendants breached their ERISA duties.

Fischer v. N.Y. State Dep't of Law (14-2556)

Decision Date: February 5, 2016

In a labor and employment action, brought by a former Assistant Solicitor General in the New York Office of the Attorney General against her former employer and alleging discrimination under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C. section 701 et seq., the district court's denial of defendant's motion to dismiss is affirmed where the district court's ruling that it retains subject matter jurisdiction under the Government Employee Rights Act is not a final order and not subject to the collateral order doctrine.

Atterbury v. U.S. Marshals Service (14-2805)

Decision Date: November 2, 2015

In an employment action challenging plaintiff's dismissal as a contract court security officer by defendant U.S. Marshals Service, the district court's grant of defendant's motion to dismiss is affirmed in part and vacated in part where: 1) plaintiff was not entitled to a Bivens claim because other avenues existed for challenging his dismissal; and 2) plaintiff's claim under the Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. section 702, was not impliedly forbidden by the Tucker Act, 28 U.S.C. section 1491.

Beaulieu v. State of Vermont (13-4198)

Decision Date: September 15, 2015

In an action against an agency and officials of the State of Vermont, alleging claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (FLSA), 29 U.S.C. sections 201 et seq., which defendants removed to federal court, the district court's grant of defendant's motion to dismiss on the basis of sovereign immunity from private suit under the FLSA is affirmed where, while defendants removal to federal court waived their Eleventh Amendment immunity from suit in federal court, it did not waive Vermont's general sovereign immunity and Vermont has not otherwise waived it.

EEOC v. Sterling Jewelers, Inc. (14-1782)

Decision Date: September 9, 2015

In an enforcement action under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. section 2000e et seq., alleging that defendant engaged in a nationwide practice of sex-base pay and promotion discrimination, the district court's grant of summary judgment is reversed where the magistrate judge improperly reviewed the sufficiency of the evidence of the EEOC investigation rather than whether there was an investigation.

Cortes v. MTA New York City Transit (No. 14-713 )

Decision Date: September 4, 2015

In a suit under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. sections 12112-12117, the district court's grant of summary judgment dismissing the claims is: 1) vacated and remanded with respect to plaintiff's disability discrimination claim where, relying on Collins v. New York City Transit Authority, 305 F.3d 113 (2d Cir. 2002), the district court gave almost preclusive weight to the NYSDHR's dismissal of this claim, however Collins addresses only the effect of arbitration awards under a collective bargaining agreement and does not apply to the decisions of state administrative agencies; but 2) otherwise affirmed.

Vega v. Hempstead Union Free School Dist. (No. 14-2265 )

Decision Date: September 2, 2015

In a civil rights employment action by a teacher bringing discrimination and retaliation claims under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. section 2000e et seq., and 42 U.S.C. section 1983 against a school district, alleging defendants discriminated against him because of his "Hispanic ethnicity" and that they retaliated against him after he complained of discrimination, the district court's grant of defendants' motion for judgment on the pleadings under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(c) is reversed where: 1) certain of plaintiff's claims were not time-barred, as the district court had concluded; 2) retaliation claims are actionable under section 1983; 3) a Title VII plaintiff need to plead a prima facie case of discrimination to survive a motion to dismiss; and 4) plaintiff has sufficiently pleaded discrimination and retaliation claims.

Cheeks v. Freeport Pancake House, Inc., (No. 14-299 )

Decision Date: August 7, 2015

In an a case alleging violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and New York state law, the district court's refusal to enter the parties' stipulation of settlement, dismissing with prejudice, plaintiff's claims is affirmed where absent such approval, plaintiffs cannot settle their FLSA claims through a private stipulated dismissal with prejudice pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 41(a)(1)(A)(ii).

Laurent v. PriceWaterhouseCoopers LLP (No. 14-1179 )

Decision Date: July 23, 2015

In a lawsuit against an accounting company and its retirement plan, alleging that the plan violated the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), the district court's denial of defendants' motion to dismiss is affirmed where the plan's definition of "normal retirement age" as five years of service violates the statute not because five years of service is not an "age" but because it bears no plausible relation to "normal retirement."

Lola v. Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (No. 14-3845 )

Decision Date: July 23, 2015

In a putative class action against law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and Tower Legal Staffing, Inc. for violations of the overtime provision of the Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C. sections 201 et seq. (FLSA), arising out of plaintiff's work as a contract attorney in North Carolina, the district court's dismissal of the action is vacated where, although state not federal law informs FLSA's definition of "practice of law", and North Carolina has the greatest interest in this litigation, the district court erred in its conclusion that by undertaking the document review plaintiff was allegedly hired to conduct, plaintiff was necessarily "practicing law" within the meaning of North Carolina law.

Glatt v. Fox Searchlight Pictures, Inc. (No. 13-4478 )

Decision Date: July 2, 2015

In a class action brought by unpaid interns hired by defendant, claiming compensation as employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act and New York Labor Law, the district court's orders granting plaintiff's motion for partial summary judgment and conditional certification of plaintiff's nationwide collective are vacated and remanded for further proceedings where: 1) when determining when an unpaid intern is entitled to compensation as an employee under the FLSA, the proper question is whether the intern or the employer is the primary beneficiary of the relationship; and 2) the district court erred by concluding that plaintiff demonstrated predominance of the class because it misconstrued the Circuit standards for determining when common questions predominate over individual ones.

Lloyd v. J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. (No. 13-3963)

Decision Date: June 29, 2015

In a putative class action alleging violations of state and federal overtime laws, the district court's denial of employer's motion to compel arbitration pursuant to an arbitration clause in the plaintiffs' contracts is affirmed where the court correctly read the arbitration agreement to incorporate the rules of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), which bar FINRA arbitrators from hearing claims that have been brought as putative class or collective actions.

Noll v. International Business Machines Corp. (No. 13-4096)

Decision Date: May 21, 2015

In a case under the Americans with Disabilities Act and the New York State Human Rights Law, alleging violations by IBM when it refused to reasonably accommodate plaintiff's deafness by declining to caption all the videos and provide transcripts of all the audio files that are hosted on its corporate intranet, the district court's grant of summary judgment to employer is affirmed where: 1) employer reasonably accommodated plaintiff by providing American Sign Language interpreters capable of translating intranet files; and 2) in light of this accommodation, plaintiff has no claim that employer failed to engage him in an interactive process.

Greathouse v. JHS Security Inc. (12-4521)

Decision Date: April 20, 2015

In an retaliation claim brought under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the district court's judgment in favor of employer is reversed where the US Supreme Court decision in Kasten v. Saint-Globen Performance Plastics Corp, 131 S.Ct. 1325, which held that an oral complaint can serve as a predicate to an FLSA retaliation claim, casts doubt on Lambert v. Genesee Hosp., 10 F. 3d 46 (2d Cir. 1993), the case that formed that basis for the district court's decision.

Robinson v. Concentra Health Services, Inc. (14-941-cv)

Decision Date: March 24, 2015

In this discriminatory discharge action, the district court held that plaintiff former employee was judicially estopped from showing that she was qualified for her position at the time of her termination, which is an element of discriminatory discharge claim brought under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and 42 U.S.C. section 1981, because she applied for and received Social Security disability benefits based on her statement that she was fully disabled as of a date prior to her termination. Summary judgment in favor of defendant-employer is affirmed, where plaintiff failed to proffer a sufficient explanation for the contradictory statements.

Ricci v. Teamsters Union Local 456 (14-1732)

Decision Date: March 18, 2015

Judgment dismissing plaintiffs' defamation claims against defendant GoDaddy and retaliation claims against defendant Teamsters Union Local 456 is affirmed, where: 1) the alleged false statements about plaintiffs were republished on a website hosted on GoDaddy's servers; 2) the defamation claims fail because the Communications Decency Act shields GoDaddy, a web host, from defamation liability; and 3) the labor claims are barred by the National Labor Relations Act's six-month statute of limitations.

Matthews v. City of New York (13‐2915‐cv)

Decision Date: February 26, 2015

In this case, plaintiff police officer brought suit against the City of New York, alleging that the City retaliated against him for speaking to his commanding officers about an arrest quota policy at his precinct of the New York City Police Department. Judgment of the district court granting defendants' motion for summary judgment, holding that plaintiff spoke as a public employee, not a citizen, and that his speech was therefore not protected by the First Amendment, is vacated and remanded, where because plaintiff's comments on precinct policy did not fall within his official duties and because he elected a channel with a civilian analogue to pursue his complaint, he spoke as a citizen.

Velazco v. Columbus Citizens Foundation (14-842)

Decision Date: February 13, 2015

Summary judgment in defendants' favor on plaintiff's claims for age discrimination under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act and the New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL) is vacated as to the NYCHRL portion of the judgment, and remanded, where the district court failed to separately and independently analyze plaintiff's NYCHRL claim.

Paulsen v. Remington Lodging & Hospitality (13‐2775)

Decision Date: December 12, 2014

Denial of a petition for an injunction prohibiting hotelier-defendant from engaging in unfair labor practices and ordering the immediate reinstatement of certain discharged employees is affirmed in part and reversed in part, where: 1) of the thirty-seven eligible housekeeping employees identified in the original petition, all have now been offered reinstatement with Remington, and nothing indicates that the non-returning employees would return if an injunction were issued; 2) a cease and desist order prohibiting the unfair labor practices identified in the complaint has been issued; 3) an injunction is therefore not "just and proper" at this time as it cannot restore the status quo as it existed prior to the unfair labor practices; and 4) the court failed to consider employee Lociacono, however, who was discharged for her support of union organizing, and who was not a housekeeping employee and therefore did not receive an offer of re-employment

Raspardo v. Carlone (12-1686-cv(L))

Decision Date: October 6, 2014

In this employment discrimination action, an order denying defendant police supervisors' motions for summary judgment is: 1) affirmed in part, where defendant Carlone failed to establish either that he did not violate plaintiff Raspardo's constitutional right to equal protection or that the right was not clearly established at the time of the conduct-at-issue, and is thus not entitled to qualified immunity on Raspardo's hostile work environment claim; and 2) reversed in part, where defendants are protected by qualified immunity in all other respects. - See more at: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/summary/opinion/us-2nd-circuit/2014/10/06/271683.html#sthash.bDVEDmqz.dpuf

EEOC v. Port Authority of N.Y. and N.J. (13-2705-cv)

Decision Date: September 29, 2014

In this suit brought against defendant Port Authority, brought pursuant to the Equal Pay Act, for unequal pay for male and female male attorneys performing allegedly equal work, dismissal of plaintiff Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's (EEOC) complaint is affirmed, where the EEOC did not allege any facts supporting a comparison between the attorneys' actual job duties, thereby precluding a reasonable inference that the attorneys performed "equal work." - See more at: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/summary/opinion/us-2nd-circuit/2014/09/29/271616.html#sthash.8RA4Q7yM.dpuf

Abrams v. Dept. of Pub. Safety (13-111-cv)

Decision Date: August 26, 2014

In this suit brought by plaintiff police officer alleging race discrimination and retaliation, order granting summary judgment in favor of defendants is: 1) affirmed in part as to the Title VII retaliation claim, where plaintiff has alleged nothing beyond temporal proximity to establish pretext for the supposed retaliatory transfer; and 2) vacated in part and remanded for further proceedings as to the Title VII race discrimination claim, where certain statements about plaintiff's ability to "fit in" raise a genuine dispute as to whether the proffered reasons for his non-assignment to the Major Crimes division was pre-textual. Additional Information at http://caselaw.findlaw.com/summary/opinion/us-2nd-circuit/2014/08/26/271235.html.

Matusick v. Erie County Water Authority (No. 11-1234 )

Decision Date: February 25, 2014

Judgment for plaintiff in an action alleging employment discrimination and harassment is: 1) affirmed in part, where plaintiff presented sufficient evidence for a reasonable jury to find, as this jury did, that the defendants were liable on his state-law discrimination claims, and the award of backpay is undisturbed; 2) reversed in part, where although the plaintiff sufficiently alleged a constitutional violation, the relevant constitutional rights during the time in question were not clearly established and therefore the individual defendants are entitled to qualified immunity so the award of punitive damages against the individual defendants is vacated; 3) affirmed in part, where there was sufficient evidence presented to the jury for a reasonable fact-finder to determine that the municipal defendant was liable on plaintiff's claim under 42 U.S.C. section 1983, so the award of punitive damages on this claim was proper; and 4) affirmed in part, where the district court did not abuse its discretion in awarding attorney's fees to the plaintiff in an amount substantially less than the amount claimed. (Amended opinion)

Rivera v. Rochester Genesee Regional Transportation Authority (No. 11-762 )

Decision Date: February 10, 2014

Judgment for defendant-employer on plaintiff-employees' claims that they were subjected to a hostile work environment on the basis of race and national origin and were retaliated against for complaining about the hostile work environment is: 1) vacated in part and remanded, where genuine issues of material fact exist as to plaintiff Rivera's hostile work environment claims and as to all of plaintiff Talton's claims; but 2) affirmed in part, as to plaintiff Rivera's claims of retaliation. (Amended opinion)

Liberty Mutual Insurance Co. v. Donegan (No. 12-4881 )

Decision Date: February 4, 2014

Summary judgment in favor of Vermont finding that the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) does not preempt a Vermont statute and regulation requiring self-insured employee health plans to report to the state, in specified format, claims data and "other information relating to health care," is reversed and remanded, where Vermont law, as applied to compel the reporting of plaintiff's plan data, is preempted.

Matusick v. Erie County Water Authority (No. 11-1234 )

Decision Date: January 6, 2014

Judgment for plaintiff in an action alleging employment discrimination and harassment is: 1) affirmed in part, where plaintiff presented sufficient evidence for a reasonable jury to find, as this jury did, that the defendants were liable on his state-law discrimination claims, and the award of backpay is undisturbed; 2) reversed in part, where although the plaintiff sufficiently alleged a constitutional violation, the relevant constitutional rights during the time in question were not clearly established and therefore the individual defendants are entitled to qualified immunity so the award of punitive damages against the individual defendants is vacated; 3) affirmed in part, where there was sufficient evidence presented to the jury for a reasonable fact-finder to determine that the municipal defendant was liable on plaintiff's claim under 42 U.S.C. section 1983, so the award of punitive damages on this claim was proper; and 4) affirmed in part, where the district court did not abuse its discretion in awarding attorney's fees to the plaintiff in an amount substantially less than the amount claimed.

Frommert v. Conkright (No. 12-67 )

Decision Date: December 23, 2013

In an action for the recovery of benefits under an employer's retirement plan, the district court's decision upholding the plan administrator's proposed offset is vacated and remanded, where the proposed offset is an unreasonable interpretation of the retirement plan and that violates ERISA's notice provisions

Kreisberg ex rel. National Labor Relations Board v. HealthBridge Management, LLC (No. 12‐4890 )

Decision Date: October 15, 2013

The district court's order granting a petition by the National Labor Relations Board, to temporarily enjoin alleged unfair labor practices by defendants, is affirmed, where: 1) it is unnecessary to reach the issue of the validity of the President's recess appointments to the Board; 2) the Board may contingently delegate power to authorize such petition to the Board's General Counsel; 3) such delegations, made in 2001 and 2002, were in effect here; 4) the petition at issue was properly authorized by the General Counsel pursuant to those delegations; and 5) the district court did not otherwise abuse its discretion in granting the petition in this case.

Muhammad v. Walmart Stores East, L.P. (No. 12-4773 )

Decision Date: October 9, 2013

The district court's order imposing sanctions on plaintiff's attorney for asserting that her client had pled a gender discrimination claim that he had not is reversed and vacated, where: 1) the district court misapplied the relevant legal standard; and 2) the record before the district court could not sustain a finding that plaintiff's attorney was in bad faith in asserting that plaintiff's pro se complaint included a claim of gender discrimination.

Gerstenbluth v. Credit Suisse Securities (No. 12-4125)

Decision Date: August 27, 2013

In an action seeking a refund of Federal Insurance Contribution Act (FICA) taxes withheld by defendant-employer and collected by defendant IRS on a $250,000 settlement payment made by defendant- employer to plaintiff for his agreement to withdraw his Age Discrimination in Employment Act complaint which he filed after defendant-employer terminated his longtime employment, dismissal of the complaint against defendant-employer and summary judgment for defendant IRS are affirmed, where the district court did not err in concluding that the settlement payments constituted "wages" received "with respect to employment" under 26 U.S.C. section 3121, and was thus subject to FICA taxes

Sutherland v. Ernst & Young LLP (No. 12-304 )

Decision Date: August 9, 2013

The district court's order denying defendant's motion to dismiss and to compel arbitration of plaintiff's putative class action brought by plaintiff-employee to recover overtime wages pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), is reversed and remanded, where: 1) The FLSA does not include a "contrary congressional command" that prevents a class-action waiver provision in an arbitration agreement from being enforced by its terms; and 2) in light of the Supreme Court's recent decision in American Express Co. v. Italian Colors Restaurant, 133 S. Ct. 2304 (2013), plaintiff's argument that proceeding individually in arbitration would be "prohibitively expensive" is not a sufficient basis to invalidate the class-action waiver provision at issue here under the "effective vindication doctrine."

Palma v. National Labor Relations Board (No. 12-1199 )

Decision Date: July 10, 2013

Petition for review of orders of the defendant-National Labor Relations Board principally denying backpay to undocumented alien petitioners who had been discharged by their employer in violation of the National Labor Relations Act, is: 1) granted in part to the extent that the matter is remanded to the Board for consideration of issues relating to petitioners' request for conditional reinstatement; but 2) otherwise denied.

Irizarry v. Catsimatidis, No. 11-4035 (No. 11-4035)

Decision Date: July 9, 2013

In a wage and hour class action, partial summary judgment for a class of plaintiffs concluding that defendant-owner of defendant supermarket was the plaintiffs' "employer" is: 1) affirmed in part, where the district court did not err in determining that defendant-owner was an employer under the Fair Labor Standards Act so as to hold him jointly and severally liable for damages along with the corporate defendants; but 2) vacated in part and remanded on the claims under the New York Labor Law.

Cunningham v. New York State Department of Labor (No. 123)

Decision Date: June 27, 2013

The State's action of placing a global positioning system (GPS) device on the care of a government employee, who was being investigated for submitting false time reports, was a search within the meaning of the State and Federal Constitutions, which did not require a warrant, but on the facts of this case it was unreasonable in its scope

Barenboim v. Starbucks Corporation (No. 122)

Decision Date: June 26, 2013

In response to certified questions from The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit regarding defendant's tip-splitting policy under N.Y. Labor Law section 196-d: 1) an employee whose personal service to patrons is a principal or regular part of his or her duties may participate in an employer-mandated tip allocation arrangement under Labor Law section 196-d, even if that employee possesses limited supervisory responsibilities, but an employee granted meaningful authority or control over subordinates can no longer be considered similar to waiters and busboys within the meaning of section 196-d and, consequently, is not eligible to participate in a tip pool; and 2) defendant's decision to exclude assistant store managers from the tip pool is not contrary to Labor Law section 196-d.

Cappiello v. ICD Publications, Inc. (No. 12-2636)

Decision Date: June 18, 2013

Following judgment for plaintiff in a breach of contract/employment action, the district court correctly, and constitutionally, held that plaintiff was entitled to post-judgment interest at the rate set forth in 28 U.S.C. section 1961, and not the post-judgment interest rate provided for in New York C.P.L.R. section 5004, notwithstanding that the judgment had been entered in a diversity action and had been docketed by plaintiff in a New York state court

Third Circuit

Appeals from federal district (trial level) courts in Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Virgin Islands

Simmons v. Amazon.com Services Inc. (No. 3:20-cv-13865)

Decision Date: October 5, 2020

An employment suit against Amazon breaks new ground with its claim that a warehouse worker identifying as male suffered discrimination when he announced to his boss that he is pregnant. The plaintiff, whose suit was removed Monday to federal court, is apparently nonbinary, although the complaint only says he identifies as male. The suit raises the question of what it will be like to litigate a suit raising simultaneous claims for gender identity discrimination and pregnancy discrimination.

General Motors LLC et al v. Ashton (No.1:20-cv-12659)

Decision Date: September 14, 2020

The federal lawsuit against former GM director Joe Ashton, a retired United Auto Workers vice president, is part of a broader legal offensive by the Detroit automaker against key figures linked to a years-long corruption conspiracy within the U.S. auto industry. GM also filed separate lawsuits against rival Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV and disgraced Vice President Alphons Iacobelli to recover money and prove wrongdoing saddled the Detroit automaker with higher labor costs.

Yucis v. Sears Outlet Stores, LLC (No. 19-2484)

Decision Date: June 22, 2020

Employers will not always be liable for sexual harassment committed by its employees against customers. Third Circuit Court of Appeals held that Sears Outlet was not liable for the manager’s sexual harassment because the plaintiff was unable to show that the harasser acted within the scope of his employment when he engaged in the alleged harassment.

The plaintiff, a female customer was shopping in a Sears Outlet Store when she allegedly experienced harassing and inappropriate comments by one of the store’s male sales manager. The Court found that the plaintiff did not produce enough evidence to determine whether the Sears Outlet employee was acting within the scope of his employment and both of the plaintiff's claims were dismissed.

Scott v. PNC Bank, N.A. (No. 18-619)

Decision Date: March 9, 2020

Following a jury trial in Essex County, PNC Bank was deemed liable in the amount of $2.4 million in damages, consisting of both back and front pay, as well as past and future emotional distress damages, awarded to a former employee who claimed she was the victim of a sexual assault/gender discrimination by a bank customer in 2013. The Plaintiff argued that the customer in question was known by the Bank to have groped and harassed others in the past, yet the Bank did not take the appropriate, remedial measures to ensure her safety and prevent it from happening again.

In re Tribune Media Co. (17-2449)

Decision Date: September 5, 2018

Held that the bankruptcy court correctly disallowed a claim brought by the debtor's former employee. A former television station employee argued that the station, whose owner was now in bankruptcy, was liable for unlawful racial discrimination. Affirming summary judgment against his claim, the Third Circuit concluded that he failed to raise a triable issue and, further, that it was too late for him to challenge the bankruptcy court’s jurisdiction to hear his discrimination claim, since he never objected to this during bankruptcy proceedings.

Lee v. Sixth Mount Zion Baptist Church (17-3086)

Decision Date: September 5, 2018

Held that a pastor could not sue his church for breach of an employment contract. The church contended that adjudication of the pastor's contract claim would impermissibly entangle the court in religious doctrine in violation of the First Amendment's Establishment Clause. Agreeing, the Third Circuit affirmed summary judgment in favor of the church.

Gillispie v. Regionalcare Hospital Partners (No. 16-4307)

Decision Date: June 12, 2018

Affirming the district court grant of summary judgment to a hospital in a case where a former employee failed to establish a prima facie case for retaliation under the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act when she says she was fired because she reported the hospital's allegedly improper discharge of an unstable patient and because she reported alleged substandard care of an admitted patient. She lacked any direct evidence and her various common law claims were preempted by state statutes.

DiFiore v. CSL Behring, LLC. (No. 16-4297)

Decision Date: January 3, 2018

Affirming that a jury instruction relating to False Claims Act claims of retaliation requiring that protected activity be the 'but for' cause of adverse actions against the plaintiff whistleblower in a case involving a former Director of Marketing who said that her concerns about off-label drug use marketing strategies led to her constructive dismissal.

Sikora v. UPMC (No. 17-1288)

Decision Date: November 24, 2017

Affirming the district court's holding that a man who sought to recover benefit plans under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act could not obtain relief because he sought benefits under a 'top-hat plan,' a kind of deferred compensation that is unfunded and maintained by an employer for key management or highly compensated employees, because such funds need not comply with many of the substantive provisions of ERISA and the defendant need not prove that plan participants had bargaining power in order to establish that the benefits were part of a top-hat plan.

U.S. Dept. of Labor v. Am. Future Systems, Inc. (No. 16-2685)

Decision Date: October 13, 2017

In a labor law action, arising from defendant's failure to pay its workers for short rest breaks, the court held that the Fair Labor Standards Act requires employers to compensate employees for all rest breaks of twenty minutes or less.

Moody v. Atlantic City Board of Education (No. 16-4373)

Decision Date: September 6, 2017

Vacating and remanding a case in which a substitute janitor sued for sexual harassment and retaliation and the district court granted summary judgment to the Atlantic City Board of Education because the alleged harasser was not the former employee's direct supervisor, but he was empowered to determine a number of aspects of her work, his decisions had an impact on her pay, and there was nobody else on the record that provided supervision, resulting in the reversal of the district court's ruling.

Trzaska v. L'Oreal USA, Inc. (No. 15-3810)

Decision Date: July 25, 2017

Reversing the pre-discovery dismissal of a wrongful termination claim filed by an in-house patent attorney against their former employer, L'Oreal, alleging that he was terminated for his refusal to violate ethical rules on their behalf because, as the court put it, his allegations were more than skin-deep.

Atron Castleberry v. STI Group (No. 16-3131)

Decision Date: July 14, 2017

Reversing and remanding a case involving contract workers fired by a staffing placement agency who alleged racial discrimination and cited various examples including remarks made at the workplace and unfair work treatment, clarifying that the standard for determining harassment is 'severe or pervasive' rather than the 'severe and pervasive' standard applied by the lower court.

Egan v. Delaware River Port Authority (no. 16-1471)

Decision Date: March 21, 2017

In a suit claiming that the Port Authority discriminated against plaintiff in violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, 29 U.S.C. section 621 et seq. (ADEA), and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, 42 U.S.C. section 12101 et seq. (ADA), and retaliated against him for exercising his right to take leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993, 29 U.S.C. section 2601 et seq. (FMLA), the district court's judgment entering the jury's finding that he was not the victim of discrimination or retaliation is: 1) vacated in part where the district court erred in requiring plaintiff to provide direct evidence of retaliation; and 2) affirmed in part where the district court within its discretion in excluding the testimony of plaintiff's coworker.

Carvalho-Grevious v. Delaware State Univ. (no. 15-3521)

Decision Date: March 20, 2017

In a Title VII retaliation action against plaintiff's former employer, a university, the district court's grant of summary judgment to defendant is: 1) reversed as to the contract revision claim where at the prima facie stage, a plaintiff need only proffer evidence sufficient to raise the inference that her engagement in a protected activity was the likely reason for the adverse employment action, not the but-for reason; but 2) affirmed in all other respects.

Carroll v. Delaware River Port Authority (no. 16-2492)

Decision Date: December 12, 2016

In response to a certified question arising in a failure-to-promote discrimination suit under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) 38 U.S.C. section 4301, the court holds that plaintiffs need not plead or prove that they are objectively qualified in order to meet their initial burden under USERRA. Instead, employers may raise a plaintiff's lack of qualifications as a non-discriminatory justification for declining to promote the plaintiff, notwithstanding his or her military service.

Smiley v. EI DuPont de Nemours & Co. (No. 14-4583)

Decision Date: October 7, 2016

In a putative collective action and class action brought under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) against DuPont, seeking overtime compensation for time plaintiffs spent donning and doffing their uniforms and protective gear and performing 'shift relief' before and after their regularly-scheduled shifts, the District Court's grant of summary judgment to defendant is reversed where the FLSA and applicable regulations, as well as circuit precedent in Wheeler v. Hampton Twp., 399 F.3d 238 (3d Cir. 2005), compel the opposite result.

Williams v. Jani King of Philadelphia Inc. (No. 15-2049)

Decision Date: September 21, 2016

In a putative class action employment dispute involving the world’s largest commercial cleaning franchisor, classifies its franchisees as independent contractors, brought by two franchisees asserting that they are misclassified and should be treated as employees, the District Court's grant of plaintiffs' motion for class certification is affirmed where the claims in this case are susceptible to class-wide determination and the District Court did not abuse its discretion by certifying the class.

Carpenters Health and Welfare Fund of Philadelphia and Vicinity v. Management Resource Systems Inc (no. 15-2508)

Decision Date: September 13, 2016

In a labor action alleging a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) obligated employer-defendant to make employee benefit contributions and submit to audits pursuant to a separate 'me-too' agreement between defendant and the plaintiffs, the District Court's dismissal of plaintiffs' claims pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) is reversed where the complaint adequately pleads with specificity and satisfies the demanding requirement of plausibility, and thus survives a 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss.

Associated Builders and Contractors Inc. v. City of Jersey City (no. 15-3166)

Decision Date: September 12, 2016

In a challenge to a City law that conditions certain tax exemptions and abatements to private developers of projects in certain designated areas on the developers' entry into agreements with labor unions that bind the developers to specified labor practices, the District Court's dismissal of the complaint -- on grounds that the City acts as a market participant, not a regulator, when it enforces the law, and therefore that plaintiffs' NLRA, ERISA, and dormant Commerce Clause claims were not cognizable -- is reversed where the City was acting as a regulator in this context, and thus the claims are cognizable.

Chavez v. Dole Food Co. (no. 13-4144)

Decision Date: September 2, 2016

In an action filed by overseas workers of defendant Dole Food Company, seeking relief for long-term health consequences allegedly tied to work-related exposure to toxic pesticides, the district court's dismissal is vacated and remanded where: 1) the district court abused its discretion under the first-filed rule by dismissing plaintiff's claims with prejudice; 2) the district court erred by refusing to transfer plaintiffs' claims against defendant Chiquita Brands International to another forum; and 3) dismissals on timeliness grounds in a mirror suit filed in Louisiana District Court do not create a res judicata bar to plaintiff's claims.

Mazzarella v. Fast Rig Support LLC (15-3116)

Decision Date: May 23, 2016

In an employer's appeal of a stipulated judgment requiring them to pay plaintiffs overtime, the District Court's judgment is affirmed where the District Court correctly determined that defendants have not met their burden to show that the Motor Carrier Act (MCA) exemption to the overtime provisions in the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act (PMWA) applies, 29 U.S.C. section 207(a)(1), 43 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. section 333.104(c).f

Advanced Disposal Servs. E., v. NLRB (15-2229)

Decision Date: April 21, 2016

In a petition action for review of an order of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) which held that petitioner violated sections 8(a)(1) and 8(a)(5) of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), by refusing to bargain collectively with the representatives of its employees in violation of 29 U.S.C. section 158(a)(5), the petition for review is denied where: 1) petitioner did not lose the ability to challenge Director Walsh's authority by failing to raise this issue during the representation proceeding, nor did the Stipulated Election Agreement constitute an implied accession to Director Walsh's authority; 2) Director Walsh and the Board both properly ratified their previously unauthorized actions; and 3) substantial evidence supports the Board's determination and the Hearing Officer's findings.

In re: NFL Players Concussion Litigation (15-2206)

Decision Date: April 18, 2016

In a class action suit against the National Football League (NFL), brought by former players who alleged that the NFL failed to inform them of and protect them from the risks of concussions in football, the District Court's judgment is affirmed where the District Court was right to certify the class and approve the settlement.

Hamilton Park Health Care Center v. 1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers East (15-2595)

Decision Date: April 1, 2016

In an arbitration action arising from a collective bargaining dispute, the district court's denial of a petition to vacate an arbitration award is affirmed in part and reversed in part where: 1) the parties consented to a multi-year arbitration award; but 2) a provision authorizing a new round of arbitration violates both the Federal Arbitration Act and the National Labor Relations Act and should be severed.

Willis v. UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh (No. 15-1526)

Decision Date: December 22, 2015

In an age discrimination action, the district court's grant of summary judgment to defendant-employer is affirmed where: 1) plaintiff did not produce sufficient evidence to raise an inference that defendant treated similarly situated, substantially younger employees more favorably; and 2) plaintiff did not produce enough evidence to establish the necessary pretext for her case to survive summary judgment.

Board of Trustees of the IBT v. C&S Wholesale Grocers Inc. (14-1956)

Decision Date: September 15, 2015

In an ERISA dispute between a grocer and union about the amount the grocer to be paid annually after withdrawing from the pension fund in 2011, the district court's order regarding the payments is affirmed where: 1) Congress did not intend that a withdrawing employer should pay only the amounts that would ordinarily be due under the pension plan; and 2) the surcharge does not arise under the collective bargaining agreements (CBA) and the surcharge is not part of the "Highest Contribution Rate."

Board of Trustees of the IBT v. C&S Wholesale Grocers Inc. (14-1956)

Decision Date: September 9, 2015

In an ERISA dispute between a grocer and union about the amount the grocer to be paid annually after withdrawing from the pension fund in 2011, the district court's order regarding the payments is affirmed where: 1) Congress did not intend that a withdrawing employer should pay only the amounts that would ordinarily be due under the pension plan; and 2) the surcharge does not arise under the collective bargaining agreements (CBA) and the surcharge is not part of the "Highest Contribution Rate."

Sprauve v. West Indian Co. Ltd. (No. 13-4371)

Decision Date: August 25, 2015

In a case brought against plaintiffs' former employers, alleging claims under the First and Fourteenth Amendments and 42 U.S.C. section 1983, the district court's dismissal for failure to state a claim because the employer is not a government entity, is reversed in part, where under the analysis in Lebron v. National Railroad Passenger Corp., 513 U.S. 374 (1995), defendant is a governmental entity and is therefore subject to claims under the US Constitution and section 1983.

Deborah Hansler v. Lehigh Valley Hospital Network (No. 14-1772)

Decision Date: August 19, 2015

In an action against plaintiff's former employer alleging violations of the Family Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA), 29 U,S,C, section 2601 et seq., the district court's dismissal of the complaint, on the basis that the medical certification supporting plaintiff's request for leave was "invalid," is reversed and remanded where by alleging that employer terminated her instead of affording her a chance to cure any deficiencies in her medical certification, plaintiff has stated a claim that employer violated the Medical Leave Act.

Jones v. Southeastern Pennsylvania Transp. Auth. (No. 14-3814 )

Decision Date: August 12, 2015

Suspension with pay does not typically constitute an "adverse employment action" under the substantive discrimination provision of Title VII.

Hansler v. Lehigh Valley Hospital Network (No. 14-1772 )

Decision Date: June 22, 2015

In a case brought by a former employee who took leave under the Family Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA), 29 U.S.C. section 2601, and was terminated without her employer seeking any clarification about her medical certification, the District Court's dismissal of the complaint is reversed where in failing to afford plaintiff a chance to cure any deficiencies in her medical certification, the employer violated the Medical Leave Act.

800 River Road Operating Co LL v. NLRB (No. 14-1571)

Decision Date: April 29, 2015

In an appeal of the NLRB's ruling that petitioner committed unfair labor practices, in violation of the NLRA, before and after a Union election, the Board's rulings are: 1) affirmed with regard to the Board's determination that plaintiff violated section 8(a)(1) by coercively interrogating at least one of its employees and by creating an unlawful impression of surveillance; and 2) vacated insofar as the order concluded that plaintiff's withholding of benefits from unit employees violated section 8(a)(1) and (a)(3).

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Allstate Insurance Company (14-2700)

Decision Date: March 26, 2015

In 1999, defendant Allstate decided to reorganize its business and terminate the at-will employment contracts of some 6,200 sales agents, offering them the opportunity to work as independent contractors. As a condition of becoming independent contractors, agents were required to sign a release waiving existing legal claims against Allstate. Plaintiff brought suit against Allstate, alleging that the company violated federal antiretaliation laws. Summary judgment entered in favor of Allstate is affirmed, where: 1) in offering each of its employee agents the Conversion Option, Allstate followed the well-established rule that employers can require terminated employees to waive existing legal claims in order to receive unearned post-termination benefits; and 2) plaintiff has neither given reason to craft an exception to this rule nor articulated a valid retaliation claim under the relevant statutes.

McMaster v. Eastern Armored Services, Inc. ( No. 14-1010 )

Decision Date: March 11, 2015

In this case brought under the Fair Labor Standards Act for unpaid overtime, plaintiff-driver, a former employee for defendant, asserts that she was not paid overtime rates despite having been paid by the hour and working more than 40 hours in a given week. The judgment of the district court finding that plaintiff was entitled to overtime is affirmed, where: 1) a recent Act of Congress waives the Motor Carrier Act overtime exemption for motor carrier employees who, in whole or in part, drive vehicles weighing less than 10,000 pounds; and 2) plaintiff spent 51% of her total days working on vehicles rated heavier than 10,000 pounds, and thus, she falls within the recent Congressional carveout.

Werkheiser v. Pocono Township (13-3646)

Decision Date: March 3, 2015

In this case involving First Amendment retaliation, plaintiff alleges that he was denied reappointment to his position as Roadmaster with the Township as a result of speech he expressed in his capacity as an elected official concerning the Board of Supervisors' overpayment for administrative duties. Defendants filed a motion to dismiss on grounds that they were entitled to qualified immunity as to plaintiff's federal claim against them. The judgment of the district court denying defendants' motion to dismiss and finding that plaintiff had established a constitutional violation is vacated and remanded, where: 1) well-reasoned decisions on both sides render the law sufficiently unclear at the time of defendants' actions so as to shield them from liability; 2) the law was not clearly established that the kind of retaliation defendants engaged in against plaintiff violated his First Amendment rights; 3) elected officials who are retaliated against by their peers have limited recourse under the First Amendment when the actions taken against them do not interfere with the ability to perform their elected duties; and 4) it is debatable whether a reasonable official in defendants' position would have under that retaliating against plaintiff by denying him reappointment would violate his constitutional rights.

McBride v. International Longshoremen's Association (13-4260)

Decision Date: February 19, 2015

In this case, appellant Union challenges the district court's order denying its motion for relief from judgment under Federal Rules of Civil Procedure rule 60(b)(5), arguing that the court mistakenly classified appellee Knight as a prevailing party and wrongly awarded him attorneys fees, including costs and post-judgment fees. In the underlying case involving due process and free speech claims brought by Knight, the district court found in favor of Knight, deciding that the Union violated Knight's due process rights. The judgment of the district court awarding Knight attorney's fees is affirmed, where the district court did not abuse its discretion in based its decision to define Knight as a "prevailing party" on his due process and free speech successes from the first hearing in 2006 rather than his defeat in 2013, as under the common benefit doctrine, the district court was required to make such determination based on the point in time that Knight vindicated his Title I rights in a way that was significant to the union members at-large.

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Allstate Insurance Company (14-2700)

Decision Date: February 13, 2015

In this case, defendant reorganized its business and terminated the at-will employment contracts of 6200 sales agents, offering them the opportunity to work as independent contractors. As a condition of becoming independent contractors, agents were required to sign a release waiving existing legal claims against defendant. Summary judgment entered in favor of defendant is affirmed, where: 1) in offering each of its employee agents the option to convert into independent contractors, defendant followed the well-established rule that employers can require terminated employees to waive existing legal claims in order to receive unearned post-termination benefits; and 2) defendant did not therefore violate federal antiretaliation laws.

Heffernan v. City of Paterson (14-1610)

Decision Date: January 22, 2015

In this case, plaintiff police officer asserts that he was subject to unconstitutional retaliation under the First Amendment when he was demoted after being observed obtaining a local mayoral candidate's campaign sign at the request of his mother. Summary judgment in favor of defendants is affirmed, where: 1) plaintiff has failed to come forward with evidence that he actually exercised his First Amendment rights; and 2) claims of retaliation based only on the perceived exercise of First Amendment rights are foreclosed by Fogarty v. Boles.

Port Authority Trans-Hudson Corp. v. Secretary of Labor (13-4547)

Decision Date: January 15, 2015

In this case, the Administrative Review Board of the United States Department of Labor held that petitioner-railroad violated an anti-retaliation provision (49 U.S.C. section 20109(c)(2)) of the Federal Railroad Safety Act when it suspended one of its employees for excessive absenteeism, on grounds that the provision prohibits railroads from disciplining employees for following order or a treatment plan of a treating physician. Petition challenging the decision and order of the Review Board is granted, and the case is remanded with instructions that the proceedings be dismissed, where the physician's order that the employee was following related to treatment for an off-duty injury, but under section 20109(c)(2), only physicians' orders stemming from on-duty injuries are covered.

Comite de Apoyo a los Trabajad v. Perez (14-3557)

Decision Date: December 5, 2014

Dismissal of plaintiffs' challenge to 20 C.F.R. section 655.10(f), a Department of Labor regulation applicable in the administration of the H-2B visa program that authorizes the admission of certain unskilled foreign workers into this country for temporary employment, is reversed and plaintiffs' vacatur request of section 655.10(f) and the 2009 Wage Guidance (which authorizes employers to use privately-funded wage surveys to set the prevailing market wage for certain occupations) is granted, where: 1) the case is ripe for judicial review; and 2) section 655.10(f) and the 2009 Wage Guidance are arbitrary and capricious and in violation of the Administrative Procedure Act.

Dougherty v. Philadelphia School District (13-3868)

Decision Date: November 21, 2014

In this case, plaintiff was terminated after publicly disclosing the alleged misconduct of defendant Superintendent in steering a prime contract to a minority-owned business. Denial of defendants' motions for summary judgment is affirmed, where: 1) defendant illegally conditioned plaintiff's public employment on a basis that infringes the employee's constitutionally protected interest in freedom of expression; and 2) the illegality of defendants' actions was sufficiently clear, so they had fair notice that their retaliation against plaintiff's constitutionally protected speech would not be shielded by qualified immunity.

Budhun v. Reading Hospital (No. 11-4625)

Decision Date: August 27, 2014

In this action brought by plaintiff-employee for Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) interference and retaliation claims, summary judgment in favor of defendant-employer and denial of plaintiff's motion for leave to amend her complaint is: 1) affirmed as to the denial of plaintiff's motion for leave to amend her complaint to add a claim for violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), as defendant did not "regard" defendant as having anything other than a broken finger, which renders her proposed amendment futile under the ADA; 2) vacated as to summary judgment on the FMLA interference claim, as genuine issues of material fact existed regarding whether plaintiff could not perform an essential function of her job; and 3) vacated as to summary judgment on the FMLA retaliation claim, as plaintiff adduced enough evidence that a reasonable jury could conclude that she suffered an adverse employment action when she was replaced.

Camesi v. UPMC Health System (No. 12-1446 )

Decision Date: September 4, 2013

Appeals of district court orders denying final certification of a collective action under the Fair Labor Standards Act by named plaintiffs who dismissed their individual claims but seek to pursue an appeal on behalf of others who opted into the litigation, are dismissed for lack of jurisdiction, where the named plaintiffs lack final orders appealable under 28 U.S.C. section 1291

Bell v. SEPTA (No. 12-4031 )

Decision Date: August 19, 2013

Dismissal of a class action brought by plaintiff-employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) to recover unpaid wages and overtime compensation for work performed during morning "pre-trip" inspections required before the start of each employees' daily run, is vacated and remanded, where plaintiff-employees' FLSA claim does not require the interpretation of the collective bargaining agreements and therefore is not subject to those agreements' grievance and arbitration provisions.

Marmon Coal Company v. Director, Office of Workers' Compensation Programs (No. 12-3388 )

Decision Date: August 8, 2013

Petition for review of a decision by the Benefits Review Board of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), which confirmed an award of survivors' benefits to a widow of petitioner's former employee under the Black Lung Benefits Act, is denied, where: 1) this case concerns a "subsequent" claim for benefits by a surviving dependent under the recently amended Act; 2) section 932(l) of the Act, as amended, applies to subsequent claims that are filed and pending within the proper temporal thresholds; and 3) res judicata does not preclude a post-amendment award of survivors' benefits on a subsequent claim where the original claim was denied due to the claimant's failure to show that pneumoconiosis substantially contributed to the miner's death.

Conestoga Wood Specialties Corporation v. Secretary of the US Department of Health and Human Services (No. 13-1144)

Decision Date: July 26, 2013

In an action alleging that regulations promulgated by defendants, which require group health plans and health insurance issuers to provide coverage for contraceptives, violate the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, and the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution, the district court's denial of plaintiff's request for a preliminary injunction is affirmed, where: 1) a for-profit, secular corporation cannot assert a claim under the Free Exercise Clause; 2) a for-profit, secular corporation cannot engage in the exercise of religion and therefore cannot it cannot assert a claim under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act; 3) the individual owners of plaintiff do not have viable claims because the mandate is imposed on plaintiff; and thus, 4) plaintiff is not entitled to a preliminary injunction

Lozano v. City of Hazleton (No. 07-3531)

Decision Date: July 26, 2013

On remand from the U.S. Supreme Court, and upon consideration Chamber of Commerce v. Whiting and Arizona v. US, the court again concludes that both the employment and housing provisions of defendant's ordinances, which prohibit employment of unauthorized aliens and preclude them from renting housing within the city, are pre-empted by federal immigration law, and accordingly, the district court's order enjoining enforcement of these provisions is again affirmed.

Fourth Circuit

Appeals from federal district (trial level) courts in Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia

Hunter v. Town of Mocksville, NC (17-1374)

Decision Date: July 26, 2018

Affirmed in part and reversed in part a judgment that three police officers were terminated because they blew the whistle on what they viewed as corruption within a police department. After a jury found in the officers' favor, they appealed certain pre-trial and post-trial rulings. The Fourth Circuit held that the trial judge should not have dismissed the officers' First Amendment claims against the town, and also reversed the judge's conclusion that the town's insurance policy covered only $1 million of the aggregate damages.

Degidio v. Crazy Horse Saloon and Restaurant Inc. (No. 171145)

Decision Date: January 18, 2018

Affirming the district court denial of the Crazy Horse gentleman's club's motion to compel arbitration in a putative collective and class action case brought against them by a former exotic dancer complaining of labor violations where the club included clauses compelling arbitration and waiving the right to participate in class actions into agreements with their dancers during the course of litigation because the court found a unilateral, unsupervised, and misleading pattern of communication with absent class members.

Villa v. Cavamezze Grill, LLC (No. 15-2543)

Decision Date: June 7, 2017

In a Title VII retaliation case against a parent company of several restaurants, the district court's grant of summary judgment against plaintiff is affirmed where plaintiff had failed to create a genuine factual dispute concerning whether her supervisor's desire to retaliate against her was the but-for cause of her termination.

Waag v. Sotera Defense Solutions, Inc. (No. 15-2521)

Decision Date: May 16, 2017

In an action alleging that plaintiff's former employer violated the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), 29 U.S.C. section 2601 et seq., by not restoring plaintiff to his position when he returned from two-months-plus of medical leave, by placing him in a new job that was not equivalent to the one he held before he went on leave, and by terminating plaintiff from the new job because he took medical leave, the district court's grant of summary judgment to defendant is affirmed where plaintiff failed to adduce sufficient evidence to create a genuine issue of material fact such that a reasonable fact-finder could conclude the adverse employment action was taken for an impermissible reason, i.e., retaliation.

Woods v. City of Greensboro (No. 16-1044)

Decision Date: May 5, 2017

(United States Fourth Circuit) - In a racial discrimination suit under 42 U.S.C. section 1981, brought by a minority-owned television network that was granted and then subsequently denied an economic development loan from the City, involving the issue of whether it is plausible to believe that, in twenty-first century America, a municipal government may seek to contract with a minority-owned enterprise under some conditions, yet, on account of race, avoid contracting with a minority-owned company under other conditions, the district court's dismissal of the complaint with prejudice is reversed where plaintiff plausibly pled that the conditions under which the City was willing to grant it a loan were more stringent than those the City applied to similarly situated white-owned applicants.

Muchira v. Al-Rawaf (no. 15-2198)

Decision Date: March 3, 2017

In a suit brought by a Kenyan plaintiff who worked as a domestic servant, alleging that her employer, a Saudi family, forced her to provide labor in violation of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (TVPA), 18 U.S.C. section 1589 the district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of defendants is affirmed where plaintiff has failed to present sufficient evidence that the Saudi family knowingly coerced her into providing her labor and services 'by means of the abuse or threatened abuse of law or legal process,' 18 U.S.C. section 1589(a)(3).

Crouse v. Town of Moncks Corner (no. 16-1039)

Decision Date: February 15, 2017

In a suit by two police officers who appeal their dismissal from the force, claiming that it was in retaliation for the exercise of their First Amendment rights, the district court's grant of qualified immunity to the police chief is affirmed where it was reasonably unclear to the chief whether the officers had acted as private citizens or government employees.

Abilt v. CIA (no. 15-2568)

Decision Date: February 8, 2017

In a suit brought by a former CIA agent who suffered from narcolepsy, alleging discrimination and ultimately termination based on his disability, failure to accommodate, and retaliation, the district court's dismissal of the complaint based on the state secrets doctrine is affirmed where the district court correctly concluded that the information in question is properly privileged and that litigation of the case would present an unjustifiable risk of disclosure of that information.

Salinas v. Commercial Interiors, Inc. (no. 15-1915)

Decision Date: January 25, 2017

In a suit against a now-defunct framing and drywall installation contractor alleging violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), 29 U.S.C. sections 201 et seq., the Maryland Wage and Hour Law, Md. Code Ann., Lab. & Empl. sections 3-401 et seq., and the Maryland Wage Payment and Collection Law, Md. Code Ann., Lab. & Empl. sections 3-501 et seq, the district court's grant of summary judgment to defendant, holding that it did not jointly employ plaintiffs for purposes of the FLSA, is reversed where, based on the undisputed facts, that defendant jointly employed plaintiffs for purposes of the FLSA and the analogous Maryland law.

Brown & Pipkins, LLC v. Service Employees Int'l Union (no. 15-1931)

Decision Date: January 23, 2017

In a labor dispute involving four arbitration awards involving janitorial employees, the district court's judgment is affirmed where: 1) the arbitration awards were properly confirmed, based in large part upon the limited scope of this court's review of a labor-arbitration decision pursuant to a collective bargaining agreement (CBA); and 2) the Union waived its claim for attorneys' fees by not complying with Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 54.

Butts v. Prince William County School Board (15-1989)

Decision Date: December 21, 2016

In an action where plaintiff claims she was improperly reemployed in violation of Section 4313 of USERRA, the district court is affirmed where (1) any claim for reinstatement would be futile, (2) the Board already paid for past lost wages and benefits, (3) plaintiff cannot show that a future lost wages claim could proceed, and (4) plaintiff has not argued, nor presented any facts to demonstrate, that the Board willfully violated USERRA.

Liverman v. City of Petersburg (no. 15-2207)

Decision Date: December 15, 2016

In a case brought by two police officers challenging disciplinary actions for violations of their Department's social networking policy, the district court's judgment denying relief on most of the claims is affirmed in part, reversed in part and remand for further proceedings where, although the court is sensitive to the Department’s need for discipline throughout the chain of command, the policy here and the disciplinary actions taken pursuant to it would, if upheld, lead to an utter lack of transparency in law enforcement operations that the First Amendment cannot countenance.

RB&F Coal, Inc. v. Mullins (No. 15-1656)

Decision Date: November 18, 2016

In an action relief from an order of the Department of Labor's (DOL) Benefits Review Board (BRB) holding petitioner responsible for the payment of benefits to a coal miner and survivor's benefits to his widow under the Black Lung Benefits Act (BLBA), 30 U.S.C. section 901 et seq., the decision of the BRB is affirmed where petitioner, and not another operator, is liable for the claim.

Amaya v. Power Design, Inc. (No. 15-1691)

Decision Date: August 16, 2016

In a suit brought by over 20 electrical construction workers under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), 29 U.S.C. section 201 et seq., seeking unpaid hourly and overtime wages for work completed under a federally funded subcontract, the District Court's grant of summary judgment to defendant is vacated where, in light of the statutory texts, which admit of no conflict, and the similarities between Powell, Masters, and this case, the statutes at issue apply concurrently to the plaintiffs' employment arrangement.

Guessous v. Fairview Property Investments (15-1055)

Decision Date: July 6, 2016

In a suit alleging 42 U.S.C. section 1981 claims for race discrimination hostile work environment and retaliation and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. section 2000(e), claims for discrimination based on religion, national origin, and pregnancy, hostile work environment, and retaliation, the District Court's grant of summary judgment to defendant on all counts is vacated where genuine issues of material fact exist with respect to all claims.

Morrison v. County of Fairfax (14-2308)

Decision Date: June 22, 2016

In a suit under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), involving the question of whether the fire captains of Fairfax County, Virginia, firefighters who serve as first responders to fires and other emergencies, fall within that exception so that they are not entitled to overtime compensation, the District Court's judgment in favor of the Government, finding that the fire captains are exempt, is reversed where no reasonable jury could find by the requisite clear and convincing evidence that any of the Captains is exempt from the FLSA's overtime requirement.

McFeeley v. Jackson Street Entertainment (15-1583)

Decision Date: June 8, 2016

In a suit brought by exotic dancers against their dance clubs for failure to comply with the Fair Labor Standards Act and corresponding Maryland wage and hour laws, the District Court's judgment in favor of plaintiffs is affirmed over defendant's claims of error where plaintiffs were employees of the defendant companies and not independent contractors.

Conrad v. CSX Transportation, Inc. (15-1035)

Decision Date: May 25, 2016

In an employment action under the Federal Railroad Safety Act (FRSA), 49 U.S.C. section 20109, alleging plaintiff was disciplined in retaliation for his activities as local chairman of the transportation union, the District Court's grant summary judgment in favor of employer-defendant is affirmed where defendant had failed to show that any employee of defendant involved in the disciplinary process had also known about his union activities.

NLRB v. Bluefield Hospital (No. 15-1203)

Decision Date: May 6, 2016

In a labor dispute between hospitals and their employees, the NLRB's application for enforcement of its final decision concluding the hospitals violated the National Labor Relations Act, 29 U.S.C. section 151 et seq., by refusing to bargain with the union, is granted where the hospitals' sole challenge to the merits of the Board's final decision to be baseless.

Calderon v. GEICO Gen. Ins. Co. (No. 142111)

Decision Date: December 23, 2015

In an employment action brought by insurance investigators working for defendant and alleging denial of overtime pay under the Fair Labor Standards Act and related New York state law, the district court's grant of partial summary judgment to plaintiffs is affirmed in part where defendant failed to show plaintiff investigators' primary duty is directly related to GEICO's management or general business operations. The Court reversed in part on the issue of prejudgment interest.

Williams v. Genex Services (14-1996)

Decision Date: December 18, 2015

In an employment action, the district court's grant of summary judgment to defendant employer on plaintiff's Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and Maryland Wage and Hour Law claims are affirmed where plaintiff, a registered nurse working in the health care field, is exempt from FLSA overtime rules as an employee working in a bona fide professional capacity whose primary duty involves work requiring knowledge of an advanced type of science or learning acquiring through a prolonged course of specialized instruction.

Lorenzo v. Prime Communications (14-1727)

Decision Date: November 24, 2015

In an a consolidated employment action seeking wages for unpaid overtime work under the Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C . section 201 et seq., and the North Carolina Wage and Hour Act, N.C. Gen. Stat. section 95-25.1, the district court's dismissal of defendant's motion to compel arbitration is affirmed where the defendant's employee handbook, which expressly stated its contents did not constitute a binding contract, was insufficient to demonstrate that plaintiff had agreed to arbitrate any claims. The court also dismissed defendant's petition for permission to appeal the district court's class certification order under F.R.C.P. Rule 23(f) as untimely.

DeMasters v. Carilion Clinic (No. 13-2278 )

Decision Date: August 10, 2015

In a former-employee's suit under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, alleging that he was terminated for engaging in protected activity, including opposing an unlawful employment practice, the district court's dismissal of the complaint, on the grounds that no individual activity in which plaintiff engaged by itself constituted protected oppositional conduct and that the co-called "manager rule" prevented an employee whose job responsibilities included reporting discrimination claims from seeing protection under Title VII's anti-retaliation provision, is reversed where: 1) the proper test for analyzing oppositional conduct requires consideration of the employee's course of conduct as a whole; and 2) the "manager rule" has no place in Title VII jurisprudence.

Jahir v. Ryman Hospitality Properties, Inc. (No. 14-1485)

Decision Date: July 29, 2015

In an action brought by hotel servers against their employer, alleging violations of the tip-credit provision of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), 29 U.S.C. section 203(m), their collective bargaining agreement, and Maryland's Wage Payment and Collection Law, the district court's dismissal of the complaint is affirmed where plaintiffs concede that their wages do not fall below the statutory minimum, and the "the statutory language," of the FLSA, including section 203(m), "simply does not contemplate a claim for wages other than minimum or overtime wages."

Adams v. Anne Arundel County Public Schools (No. 14-1608 )

Decision Date: June 15, 2015

In a suit by a former assistant principal contending that the board of education violated her rights under the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and alleging interference with medical leaves, retaliation for taking those leaves, discrimination and retaliation on the basis of disability, and failure to accommodate his condition, the district court's judgment is affirmed where there is no merit in the claims.

Reyazuddin v. Montgomery County (No. 14-1299)

Decision Date: June 15, 2015

In an action by a blind government employee who was not transferred to or hired at a call center along with her sighted workers, alleging violations of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C.A. section 794, or Title II of the American Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), 42 U.S.C. section 12131, the district court's order granting summary judgment to defendants is: 1) reversed as to plaintiff's Section 504 claims where genuine issues of material fact remain; and 2) affirmed as to the Title II claim because public employees cannot use Title II to bring employment discrimination claims against their employers.

Foster v. Univ. of Maryland-Eastern Shore (No. 14-1073)

Decision Date: May 22, 2015

In a case dealing with the effect of the Supreme Court's decision in University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center v. Nassar, 133 S. Ct. 2517 (2013), on what Title VII retaliation plaintiffs must show to survive a motion for summary judgment, the district court's grant of summary judgment is reversed in part where: 1) the Nassar Court was silent as to the application of but-for causation in McDonnell Douglas pretext cases, and 2) Nassar did not alter the McDonnell Douglas analysis for retaliation claims.

Brown v. Nucor Corp. (No. 13-1779 )

Decision Date: May 11, 2015

In a case concerning the certification of a class of black steel workers who allege endemic racial discrimination at a South Carolina plant owned by defendants, alleging discriminatory job promotion practices and a racially hostile work environment under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and 42 U.S.C. section 1981, the district court's second denial of class certification is again reversed and remanded where it misapprehended the reach of the Supreme Court's decision in Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes, 131 S.Ct. 2541 (2011), where: 1) statistics indicate that promotions at Nucor depended in part on whether an individual was black or white; 2) substantial anecdotal evidence suggests discrimination in specific promotions decisions in multiple plant departments; and 3) there is also significant evidence that those promotions decisions were made in the context of a racially hostile work environment.

Boyer-Liberto v. Fontainebleau Corp. (No. 13-1473 )

Decision Date: May 7, 2015

In an action alleging discrimination and hostile work environment in violation of both the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and 42 U.S.C. section 1981, summary judgment to defendants is vacated where: 1) under Faragher v. City of Boca Raton, 524 U.S. 775 (1998), an isolated incident of harassment, if extremely serious, can create a hostile work environment; 2) an employee is protected from retaliation when she reports an isolated incident of harassment that is physically threatening or humiliating, even if a hostile work environment is not engendered by that incident alone; and 3) to the extent this decision is in conflict with Jordan v. Alternative Resources Corp., 458 F.3d 332 (4th Cir. 2006), Jordan is hereby overruled

Freight Drivers and Helpers Local Union 557 Pension Fund v. Penske Logistics LLC (14-1464)

Decision Date: April 21, 2015

A party to an arbitration proceeding under the Multiemployer Pension Plan Amendments Act of 1980 (MPPAA) can obtain review of the arbitration order, as provided in 29 U.S.C. section 1401(b)(2), by commencing an action by filing a complaint. Here, the amended complaint related back to the filing date of the original complaint, thus rendering it timely.

Antonio v. SSA Security, Inc (13-1031)

Decision Date: April 3, 2015

In this case, plaintiffs seek to hold defendant SSA Security responsible for a residential arson that was allegedly committed by one of its security guards. The district court granted summary judgment to SSA on plaintiffs' negligence-based claims and on their claim under the Maryland Security Guards Act (MSGA), concluding that the MSGA merely codified and did not expand the common-law doctrine of respondeat superior with regard to security companies. The judgment is affirmed, where MSGA section 19-501 does not impose liability beyond the common law principles of respondeat superior such that an employer would be responsible for the off-duty criminal acts of an employee, even if the employee planned any part of the off-duty criminal acts while he or she was on duty.

Jacobs v. N.C. Administrative Office of the Courts (No. 13-2212 )

Decision Date: March 12, 2015

In this case, plaintiff, who suffered from social anxiety disorder, brought suit against her employer under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), alleging that her employer waited three weeks without acting on her request for accommodation and subsequently terminated her. The district court granted summary judgment to the employer on all counts. The judgment is reversed in part and the case is remanded for trial, where: 1) the district court erred by resolving disputed facts in favor of the movant; 2) a reasonably jury could conclude that plaintiff has made out each of the elements of a prima facie case of discriminatory discharge and has set out sufficient evidence of pretext as to the disability discrimination and retaliatory discharge claims; and 3) a reasonable jury could find that with a reasonable accommodation, plaintiff could perform the essential functions of her position as a deputy clerk.

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Freeman (13-2365)

Decision Date: February 20, 2015

In this case, defendant Freeman conducted background checks on its job applicants, which plaintiff Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) alleges had an unlawful disparate impact on black and male job applicants. Judgment of the district court granting summary judgment to Freeman after excluding the EEOC's expert testimony as unreliable under Federal Rule of Evidence 702 is affirmed, where: 1) the district court properly excluded the EEOC's expert testimony as unreliable given the sheer number of mistakes, omissions, and fallacies in the expert's analysis, which rendered it outside the range where experts might reasonably differ; and 2) without this testimony, the agency failed to establish a prima facie case of discrimination.

Power Fuels v. Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission (14-1450)

Decision Date: January 27, 2015

In this case, Power Fuels petitions for review of a final order of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission assigning jurisdiction over Power Fuels' coal facility to the Department of Labor's Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) rather than the nonspecialized Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The petition for review is denied, where: 1) the Secretary of Labor permissibly concluded that a facility that blends coal for a nearby power plant was subject to the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act (the Mine Act); and 2) because the Mine Act covers this kind of activity, MSHA's assertion of jurisdiction was proper.

Jones v. Southpeak Interactive Corporation of Delaware (13-2399)

Decision Date: January 26, 2015

In this case, defendant video game publishing company fired plaintiff, its chief financial officer, after she raised concerns about a misstatement on one of the companies filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. A jury found that the company and two of its top officers violated the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which makes it illegal for publicly traded companies to retaliate against employees who report potentially unlawful conduct. Judgment of the district court awarding the chief financial officer more than $500,000 in back pay and emotional distress damages is affirmed, where: 1) the Sarbanes-Oxley Act retaliatory discharge claims are subject to the four-year statute of limitations under 28 U.S.C. section 1658(a), and not the two-year limitations under section 1658(b)(1); 2) the administrative complaint in this case satisfies the exhaustion requirement; and 3) emotional distress damages are available under the statute.

Weidman v. Exxon Mobil Corporation (13-2007)

Decision Date: January 8, 2015

In this case, plaintiff sued his former employer, alleging that he was fired in retaliation for reporting illegal pharmacy practices, which caused him to suffer a heart attack and emotional distress. The district court's denial of plaintiff's motion to remand and dismissal of plaintiff's fraud, intentional infliction of emotional distress (IIED), personal injury, and wrongful discharge claims is affirmed in all respects except as to the wrongful discharge claim, where: 1) defendants have satisfied there burden of showing there is "no possibility" of plaintiff succeeding in any of his tort claims against any of the non-diverse defendants; 2) plaintiff did not sufficiently plead his fraud, IIED, or personal injury claims; and 3) plaintiff sufficiently stated a claim that his termination violated Virginia's public policy exception to its at-will employment doctrine.

Walker v. Mod-U-Kraf Homes (14-1038)

Decision Date: December 23, 2014

Summary judgment against plaintiff on her claims of a sexually hostile work environment and retaliation is vacated and remanded as to the hostile work environment claim and affirmed as to the retaliation claim, where: 1) the totality of the record creates too close of a question as to whether an objectively hostile or abusive work environment was created to be decided on summary judgment, as there is a genuine dispute of material fact; and 2) plaintiff has failed to produce evidence creating a triable issue as to whether defendant's proffered explanation for terminating her was pretext for retaliation, and as such, the district court did not err in granting summary judgment on this claim.

Cruz v. Maypa (13-2363)

Decision Date: December 1, 2014

In this case, plaintiff alleges that she was forced tow work for the defendants for wages well below the minimum from 2002 until her escape in 2008. The district court dismissed all of her claims, brought under the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act (TVPA), the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), and Virginia state contract law, as time-barred. The dismissal of plaintiff's state law claims is affirmed, and the dismissal of plaintiff's TVPA and FLSA claims are reversed and remanded, where: 1) the TVPA claims may be timely under the ten-year limitations period if they were tolled until within four years of the TVPRA's enactment; and 2) the FLSA claim may be timely if plaintiff received actual notice of her rights within three years of filing this suit.

Martin v. Wood (13-2283)

Decision Date: November 18, 2014

In this unpaid wages case, plaintiff-nurse sued two supervisors at the hospital where she was formerly employed for their alleged improper refusal to authorize overtime pay. Denial of defendants' motion to dismiss is reversed and remanded with instructions to dismiss plaintiff's complaint, where: 1) because the actions of the supervisors were inextricably tied to their official duties, the Commonwealth of Virginia is the real party in interest in this action; and 2) the Eleventh Amendment has withdrawn jurisdiction over suits of this nature against the States, effectively giving the Commonwealth immunity.

Davis v. City of Greensboro (13-1820)

Decision Date: October 22, 2014

In this unpaid wages action, plaintiff police officers and firefighters brought separate suits against defendant-city. Denial of motions to dismiss is affirmed, where: 1) the orders denying defendant's motions to dismiss plaintiffs' contract and estoppel claims on governmental immunity grounds constitute final orders subject to interlocutory review under the collateral order doctrine, and this court therefore has jurisdiction; and 2) the district court properly denied the motions to dismiss because plaintiffs have sufficiently alleged that they have valid contracts for longevity pay with defendant, and thus defendant cannot prevail on its governmental immunity defense. - See more at: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/summary/opinion/us-4th-circuit/2014/10/22/271868.html#sthash.oRecW5f3.dpuf

Gestamp South Carolina v. NLRB (11-2362)

Decision Date: October 8, 2014

Petition for review of an order of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) affirming a finding that petitioner Gestamp discharged employees in violation of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) is: 1) granted in part, where the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) never found that any Gestamp official involved in the decisions to suspend or fire the employees-at-issue were aware of their union activity, nor could the ALJ have made such a finding based on the record before him; and 2) denied with respect to the threat claim. - See more at: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/summary/opinion/us-4th-circuit/2014/10/08/271706.html#sthash.wwk8xe0u.dpuf

Freeman v. Dal-Tile Corporation (No. 13-1481 )

Decision Date: April 29, 2014

Summary judgment in favor of defendant-employer on plaintiff's claims of racial and sexual hostile work environment, constructive discharge, and common law obstruction of justice is: 1) reversed in part and remanded, with regard to plaintiff's hostile work environment claims, where the harassment by the third party was unwelcome, a reasonable jury could find that the harassment was based on her sex or race, a reasonable jury could find the harassment was objectively severe or pervasive, and a reasonable jury could find that defendant knew or should have known of the harassment and failed to take any remedial action; but 2) affirmed in part, as to the claims of constructive discharge and common law obstruction of justice.

EEOC v. Baltimore County (No. 13-1106 )

Decision Date: March 31, 2014

In an action alleging that defendant-county's employee retirement benefit plan unlawfully discriminated against older county employees based on their age in violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), partial summary judgment in favor of plaintiff-EEOC on the issue of liability is affirmed, where: 1) the district court correctly determined that defendant-county's plan violated the ADEA, because the plan's employee contribution rates were determined by age, rather than by any permissible factor; and 2) the ADEA's "safe harbor provision" applicable to early retirement benefit plans does not shield defendant-county from liability for the alleged discrimination.

McCray v. Maryland Department of Transportation (No. 13-1215 )

Decision Date: January 30, 2014

Dismissal of plaintiff's employment discrimination suit is: 1) vacated in part and remanded, where plaintiff's complaint alleges discriminatory conduct that occurred before any legislative activity and the suit was dismissed before plaintiff had an opportunity to discover evidence necessary to her claims; but 2) affirmed in part, where plaintiff's age discrimination and disability discrimination claims are barred by sovereign immunity

Summers v. Altarum Institute, Corporation (No. 13-1645 )

Decision Date: January 23, 2014

Summary judgment for defendant-employer in an action alleging disability discrimination and failure to accommodate is reversed and remanded, where: 1) pursuant to recent amendments to the Americans with Disabilities Act, a sufficiently severe temporary impairment may constitute a disability; and 2) the district court erred in holding to the contrary.

Durden v. US (No. 12-2212 )

Decision Date: November 20, 2013

Dismissal of plaintiff's Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) action against the government alleging that the Army was negligent and liable for the sexual assault against her by a U.S. Army Specialist in her residence on Fort Bragg, is affirmed, where: 1) the complaint fails to establish that the Army breached a duty to plaintiff under North Carolina law; 2) the district court did not abuse its discretion by ruling on the government's motion without granting discovery to plaintiff; but 3) the district court erred in its alternative holding because although the government's ability to control a tortfeasor must be independent of the tortfeasor's status as a government employee, knowledge of the tortfeasor's propensity for violence or criminal history gained as a result of such status does not, per se, nullify an FTCA claim.

Waugh Chapel South, LLC v. United Food and Commercial Workers (No. 12-1429 )

Decision Date: August 26, 2013

Dismissal of plaintiffs' action under the Labor Management Relations Act (LMRA) alleging that defendants orchestrated fourteen separate legal challenges against their commercial real estate project in order to force plaintiffs to terminate their relationship with a non-unionized supermarket, which plaintiffs allege was an illicit "secondary boycott," is: 1) affirmed in part, where the district court correctly concluded that defendant Fund is not a "labor organization" under the National Labor Relations Act; but 2) vacated in part and remanded, where under the "sham litigation" exception to the Noerr-Pennington doctrine, the pleadings and evidence in this case are sufficient to show that the defendant unions have abused their right to petition the courts beyond the point of constitutional protection.

Mingo Logan Coal Company v. Owens (No. 11-2418)

Decision Date: July 31, 2013

Petition for review of an order of the Benefits Review Board (BRB) affirming the Administrative Law Judge's (ALJ) award of benefits to claimant, is denied, where: 1) the ALJ did not in fact apply rebuttal limitations to petitioner; instead, the ALJ considered all of the evidence that petitioner offered to demonstrate that pneumoconiosis did not cause or substantially contribute to claimant's total disability, and the Board affirmed the ALJ's analysis; and 2) petitioner's other challenges to the ALJ's factual findings and sufficiency of the evidence lack merit.

NLRB v. Enterprise Leasing Company (No. 12-1514 )

Decision Date: July 17, 2013

The President's three January 4, 2012 appointments to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) are constitutionally infirm, because the appointments were not made during "the Recess of the Senate," which is limited to intersession recesses, and accordingly, the NLRB's applications for enforcement of its orders are denied.

Union Carbide Corporation v. Richards (No. 12-1294)

Decision Date: July 5, 2013

In consolidated cases involving claims for survivors\' benefits under the Black Lung Benefits Act (BLBA), the Department of Labor Benefits Review Board\'s awards of survivor benefits to widows of coal miners are affirmed, where: 1) because a recent amendment to the BLBA created a new cause of action that was unavailable to the widows when they brought their initial claims, res judicata does not bar their subsequent claims; and 2) the deceased husbands were both determined to be eligible to receive BLBA benefits at the time of their deaths, the widows meet the dependency and relationship criteria for eligible survivors, and thus, the widows are entitled to automatic derivative benefits under 30 U.S.C. section 932(l).

Fifth Circuit

Appeals from federal district (trial level) courts in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas

Sanders v. Christwood (No. 19-30550)

Decision Date: August 17, 2020

A federal district court In Louisiana erroneously dismissed a claim under the Louisiana Whistleblower Statute by a discharged employee of a nonprofit corporation on the grounds that nonprofits aren’t considered to be covered “employers” under the statute. The trial court shouldn’t have looked to the Louisiana Employment Discrimination Law’s definition of “employer"—which excludes nonprofits—in determining whether the nonprofit was an “employer” under the LWS, the appeals court said, as the fact that the anti-discrimination statutes and whistleblower statutes concern similar subject matter doesn’t justify incorporating all of the LEDL’s exceptions.

Patterson v. Greenbrier Hosp., LLC (No. 19-9234)

Decision Date: April 27, 2020

Greenbrier Hospital, LLC is entitled to summary judgment on the Louisiana whistleblower retaliation claim of a discharged “Infection Control Nurse” for the Covington Behavioral Health Hospital, who was fired for an alleged inability to communicate in a tactful and respectful manner with fellow staff members. The nurse alleged that she regularly reported violations internally pursuant to her job duties, but this is insufficient to show that she engaged in protected activity, if there is no basis for the court to determine whether Greenbrier’s conduct violated state law, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana held.

Fort Bend County, Texas v. Davis (No.18-525)

Decision Date: November 27, 2019

Lois Davis was an information technology (IT) supervisor for Fort Bend County, Texas. She filed a complaint with the county human resources department alleging that the IT director had sexually harassed and assaulted her, and following an investigation by the county, the director resigned. Davis alleges that after the director’s resignation, her supervisor—who was a personal friend of the director—retaliated against her for making the complaint.

Gardner v. CLC of Pascagoula, L.L.C. (No. 17-60072)

Decision Date: November 13, 2019

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act requires healthcare employers to protect their medical staff and employees from harassment and discrimination and respond to any such behaviors swiftly and effectively, even if the actor is a patient, rather than a coworker or supervisor. This decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit illustrates employers’ obligations when the harasser is a patient.

Harville v. City of Houston, Mississippi, (No. 18-60117)

Decision Date: August 16, 2019

Affirmed. The court affirmed the dismissal of a suit claiming race discrimination and retaliation under Title VII in the firing of a deputy clerk of a city that was part of a group of layoffs intended to offset a budget shortfall. The plaintiff failed to present a genuine issue of material fact that her race was the motivating factor in her termination or that there was a causal connection between an EEOC complaint and the termination.

Maldonado v. Rodriguez (No. 18-40318)

Decision Date: August 6, 2019

Partially reversed, partially dismissed. A newly elected district attorney who fired seven employees that alleged they were removed because of their support for his opponent was entitled to qualified immunity as to four of the plaintiffs, but genuine issues of material fact existed as to the remaining three.

State of Texas v. EEOC (No. 18-10638)

Decision Date: August 6, 2019

Affirmed. A lawsuit in which Texas complained that EEOC regulations relating to the use of criminal records in hiring was an unlawfully promulgated substantive rule properly dismissed the suit but enjoined EEOC enforcement until the agency complies with notice and comment rulemaking requirements under the Administrative Procedure Act.

Wood Group Production Services v. DOWCP (No. 18-60542)

Decision Date: July 22, 2019

Petition for review denied. A man injured while unloading a vessel on a fixed platform in Louisiana territorial waters met the requirements for coverage under the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act.

Southern Hens, Inc. v. Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission (No. 18-60436)

Decision Date: July 18, 2019

Petition denied. A company's petition for review of an administrative law judge's finding of violations and imposition of a monetary penalty against a poultry processing plant following a worker injury was upheld.

Melgar v. T.B. Butler Publishing Co. (No.18-41080)

Decision Date: July 10, 2019

Affirmed. Plaintiff appealed from a summary judgment in favor of Defendant on claims of discrimination based on age, disability, and national origin. The district court found that Plaintiff had failed to exhaust his administrative remedies prior to filing in federal court. Appeals court found no reversible error.

Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. et. al. v Alvarez (No. 18-40246)

Decision Date: July 2, 2019

Reversed judgment. In 2016, a Texas federal court enjoined the Department of Labor from implementing a proposed Overtime Rule. In 2017, Defendant, Carmen Alvarez a worker for Plaintiff in New Jersey, sued for unpaid overtime pay, relying on the new Overtime Rule. The Texas court held Alvarez in contempt, reasoning that she was bound by the injunction. The appeals court held that the Texas court did not have the authority to hold Alvarez in contempt and that the Texas court lacked personal jurisdiction over Alvarez.

Horner v. American Airlines, Inc. (No. 18-10036)

Decision Date: June 13, 2019

In a labor case, addressed a dispute over the seniority rights of certain pilots following a merger of two commercial air carriers. Affirmed dismissal and summary judgment rulings against the pilots' claims, in this lawsuit brought under the Railway Labor Act.

Cicalese v. University of Texas Medical Branch (No. 18-40408)

Decision Date: May 15, 2019

Revived claims brought by two physicians (a married couple) that an academic health center discriminated against them based on their Italian national origin. Reversed a dismissal in relevant part.

O'Daniel v. Industrial Service Solutions (No. 18-30136)

Decision Date: April 19, 2019

Upheld a human resources manager's termination for her rant on Facebook about gender identity and the use of bathrooms. She claimed that she was unlawfully fired for being heterosexual and engaging in "pro-heterosexual speech." However, the Fifth Circuit affirmed dismissal of her Title VII retaliation and Louisiana law claims.

Frey v. US Department of Health and Human Services (No. 18-60205)

Decision Date: April 8, 2019

Affirmed that a vice president of a company involved in identifying Medicaid fraud was not fired for whistleblowing. The case involved the whistleblower provision contained in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, an economic stimulus package enacted in 2009.

Bogan v. MTD Consumer Group, Inc. (No. 17-60697)

Decision Date: March 26, 2019

Held that an employee who was fired because of her race and sex might be entitled to reinstatement to her job. Remanded for reconsideration of the feasibility of that remedy following a jury verdict in her favor.

Parrish v. Premier Directional Drilling, L.P. (No. 17-51089)

Decision Date: February 28, 2019

Held that individuals who worked for an oil drilling firm were properly classified as independent contractors, not employees. Reversed a summary judgment that had been granted in their favor on their Fair Labor Standards Act misclassification claim, and rendered judgment for the drilling firm.

Johnson v. Halstead (No. 17-10223)

Decision Date: February 14, 2019

In an amended opinion, held that a police sergeant could move forward with his claims that he was subjected to a campaign of racial harassment. Affirmed the denial of the police chief's motion for judgment on the pleadings based on qualified immunity, in relevant part.

Thompson v. Dallas City Attorney's Office (No. 17-10952)

Decision Date: January 11, 2019

Held that res judicata barred an employment discrimination lawsuit. The plaintiff could not litigate in federal court after her other claims were dismissed in state court. Affirmed a dismissal.

Gurule v. Land Guardian, Inc. (No. 17-20710)

Decision Date: December 27, 2018

Held that it was appropriate to reduce an attorney fee award because the plaintiff had rejected a Rule 68 offer of judgment that would have given her more than what she ultimately obtained at trial. Affirmed the district court, in this Fair Labor Standards Act case.

Nall v. BNSF Railway Co. (No. 17-20113)

Decision Date: December 27, 2018

Revived a railroad employee's claim that he was discriminated against based on a disability. The issue involved whether he could safely perform his job as a trainman after developing Parkinson's disease. Reversed a summary judgment ruling in relevant part.

Johnson v. Halstead (N0. 17-10223)

Decision Date: December 19, 2018

Held that a police sergeant could move forward with his claims that he was subjected to a campaign of racial harassment, in violation of 42 U.S.C. sections 1981 and 1983. Affirmed the denial of the police chief's motion for judgment on the pleadings based on qualified immunity, in relevant part.

Acosta v. Hensel Phelps Construction Co. (No. 17-60543)

Decision Date: November 26, 2018

Held that the U.S. Secretary of Labor has authority under the OSHA statute to issue a citation to a general contractor at a multi-employer construction worksite who controls a hazardous condition at that worksite, even if the condition affects another employer's employees. Criticized a circuit precedent, Melerine v. Avondale Shipyards, Inc., 659 F.2d 706 (5th Cir. 1981), which had held that the Act protects only an employer's employees.

Cristain v. Hunter Buildings and Manufacturing, L.P. (No. 17-20667)

Decision Date: November 14, 2018

Reinstated an employee's claim that he was fired for filing a workers' compensation claim, in violation of the Texas Labor Code. Reversed a judgment as a matter of law entered at the close of evidence at trial and remanded for a new trial on this particular claim.

IberiaBank v. Broussard (17-30662)

Decision Date: October 25, 2018

Affirmed that a former high-level bank employee breached his severance agreement and violated the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. Remanded for further proceedings on the bank's Louisiana Unfair Trade Practices Act claim in a lawsuit commenced after the employee, and some of the employees he supervised, departed to work at a competitor bank.

Sixth Circuit

Appeals from federal district (trial level) courts in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee

Stanley v. Expressjet Airlines, Inc. (No. 19-1034)

Decision Date: October 12, 2020

An airline flight attendant said her Muslim beliefs prevented her from serving alcohol, but she can't sue the company for requiring her to sell alcohol on its planes because her claim fell under a collective bargaining agreement (CBA), the 6th Circuit recently ruled.

Hurt v. Commerce Energy, Inc. (No. 18-4058)

Decision Date: August 31, 2020

Plaintiffs sued, alleging that Just Energy misclassified them as outside salespeople in order to qualify for an exemption from the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the Ohio Minimum Fair Wage Standards Act (OMFWSA). The court granted conditional class certification and instructed the jury “to consider the extent to which the employee has the authority to bind the company” and whether “the employer retains and/or exercises discretion to accept or reject any transactions for reasons that are unrelated to regulatory requirements.”

The jury found Just Energy liable for minimum wage and overtime pay under the FLSA and the OMFWSA. The Sixth Circuit affirmed, noting that Just Energy retained discretion to reject the sale. Plaintiffs did not benefit from minimal supervision; their jobs did not comport with the purpose of the outside sales exemption. The court upheld the admission of compensation evidence and the jury instruction.

Popeck v. Rawlings Company, LLC (No. 19-5092)

Decision Date: December 2, 2019

Tthe U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit affirmed summary judgment for the Rawlings Company on Popeck’s claims under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), finding that regular, in-person attendance was an essential function of Popeck’s job as a claims auditor. The Sixth Circuit’s decision is noteworthy because it sheds light on how courts determine whether on-site attendance is required under the ADA.

Popeck v. Rawlings Company LLC (No. 19-5092)

Decision Date: October 16, 2019

The Sixth Circuit affirmed summary judgment in favor of the employer where employee with IBS was denied accommodation of leaving work early or arriving late. The question for the court as explained earlier in Hostettler v. College of Wooster, 895 F.3d 844 (6th Cir. 2018), was whether regular in-person attendance at work was an essential function of the particular job at issue.The court held that Rawlings succeeded in showing time and presence requirements for Popeck's specific job and therefore summary judgment was warranted.

Logan v. MGM Grand Detroit Casino (No. 18-1381)

Decision Date: September 25, 2019

The contractual limitation period cannot supersede the statutory limitation period for bringing suit under Title VII. The Title VII limitation period is part of an elaborate pre-suit process that must be followed before any litigation may commence. Contractual alteration of this process abrogates substantive rights and contravenes Congress’s uniform nationwide legal regime for Title VII lawsuits.

CNH Industrial N.V. v. Reese (No. 17–515)

Decision Date: February 20, 2018

Whether the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit misinterpreted the Supreme Court's decision in M & G Polymers USA, LLC v. Tackett, thus creating a conflict with the decisions of other circuits and within the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit itself, by employing rules of contract interpretation explicitly repudiated in Tackett to deem a general duration clause in the collective bargaining agreement ambiguous, and then using extrinsic evidence to hold the healthcare benefits of the retiree class vested for life.

The Court held that because the decision was not consistent with Tackett, the petition for a writ of certiorari and the motions for leave to file briefs amici curiae are granted. They reversed the judgment of the Court of Appeals and remand the case for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.


See also: http://www.scotusblog.com/case-files/cases/cnh-industrial-n-v-v-reese/

Seventh Circuit

Appeals from federal district (trial level) courts in Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin

Stegall v. Andrew M. Saul, Commissioner of Social Security (No. 18-2345)

Decision Date: February 12, 2020

The plaintiff filed suit against the Social Security Administration (SSA) in connection with her 2010 application for employment as a service representative. The case proceeded to a jury trial on the plaintiff's claim that SSA discriminated on the basis of physical disability when it failed to hire her. Although the jury determined that the plaintiff had a disability and that SSA regarded her as having a disability, it found that even without her disability, the plaintiff would not have been hired

Lavite v. Dunstan (No. 18-3465)

Decision Date: December 23, 2019

Lavite’s right to assemble on government property was not violated because the ban on his presence in the building was viewpoint-neutral and reasonably motivated by legitimate safety concerns. None of the evidence supports a reasonable inference of causation between the ban imposed on Lavite in 2015 and his 2013 objections to the proposals to divert some of his Commission’s budget to other purposes. Lavite, having no alleged liberty or property interest, did not establish any due process violation.

Chaidez v. Ford Motor Company (No. 18-2753)

Decision Date: August 29, 2019

Vacated and remanded. The district court dismissal of a suit for failure to exhaust remedies was vacated because the claims of discrimination had been exhausted before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Local 702 v. NLRB (No. 18-3322)

Decision Date: August 9, 2019

Affirmed. A longtime employee was discharged for strike related conduct, but the company's action didn't violate the National Labor Relations Act.

Fast v. Cash Depot, Ltd. (No. 18-3571)

Decision Date: July 30, 2019

Affirmed. An employee who sued under the Fair Labor Standards Act over unpaid wages whose case was dismissed when the company paid what was owed was not entitled to attorney's fees because he didn't technically prevail in the legal action.

Collins v. University of Notre Dame du Lac (No. 18-2559)

Decision Date: July 12, 2019

Reversed and Remanded. The Court of Appeals dismissed an appeal and reversed a District Court order in the case of the dismissal of a tenured professor. The professor's guilty plea to felony charges relating to the dismissal were serious cause sufficient to support his firing.

Freeman v. Metropolitan Water Reclamation District (18-3737)

Decision Date: June 14, 2019

Revived a city employee's claim that he was fired from his job because of his race and perceived disability (alcoholism). Reversed a dismissal.

Madison v. U.S. Department of Labor Administrative Review Board (No. 18-1800)

Decision Date: May 24, 2019

Held that an individual's petition to the Department of Labor's Administrative Review Board was untimely, in a case where she claimed that her private-sector employer terminated her in retaliation for filing an OSHA complaint. Denied her petition for review.

Sparre v. LABR (No. 18‐1105)

Decision Date: May 10, 2019

Plaintiff, a locomotive engineer, challenged the final orders and judgments in his lawsuit where he asserted violations of the Federal Railroad Safety Act. Seventh circuit denied his appeal for failing to exhaust his administrative remedies before appealing.

Sansone v. Brennan (No. 17-3534)

Decision Date: March 6, 2019

Held that the U.S. Postal Service unlawfully failed to accommodate a wheelchair-confined employee who sought a parking place with room to deploy his van's wheelchair ramp. Affirmed on most issues but remanded for a new trial on compensatory damages because of an erroneous jury instruction, in this Rehabilitation Act case.

Silva v. Wisconsin Department of Corrections (No. 18-2561)

Decision Date: February 22, 2019

Revived a correctional sergeant's claims that he was fired because he is Latino. Reversed summary judgment on his Title VII and equal protection claims, in relevant part.

Gates v. Board of Education of the City of Chicago (No. 17‐3143)

Decision Date: February 20, 2019

Revived a public-school building engineer's claim that his supervisor subjected him to a racially hostile work environment by using racial epithets. Reversed a summary judgment ruling.

Lee v. Northeast Illinois Regional Commuter Railroad Corp. (No. 18-1930)

Decision Date: January 8, 2019

Affirmed the dismissal of a race discrimination lawsuit brought by employees of a commuter railroad. Held that they failed to remedy deficiencies in their complaint despite having opportunities to amend.

Jacob Lewis v. Epic Systems Corporation (15-2997)

Decision Date: May 26, 2016

The Seventh Circuit ruled Thursday that arbitration agreements containing class waivers are illegal, adopting the position of the National Labor Relations Board and creating a split with the Fifth Circuit that leaves the issue on the U.S. Supreme Court's doorstep.

Eighth Circuit

Appeals from federal district (trial level) courts in Arkansas, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota

Cellular Sales of Missouri, LLC v NLRB (15-1620)

Decision Date: June 2, 2016

Cellular Sales petitions for review of the Board's determination that it violated the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), 29 U.S.C. 157, 158(a)(1). The court concluded that Cellular Sales did not violate section 8(a)(1) by requiring its employees to enter into an arbitration agreement that included a waiver of class or collective actions in all forums to resolve employment-related disputes. Therefore, the court granted the petition for review and declined to enforce the Board’s order with respect to this issue. Because the class-action waiver did not violate section 8(a)(1), Cellular Sales’s attempt to enforce the class-action waiver likewise did not violate section 8(a)(1). Therefore, the court granted the petition for review and declined to enforce the Board’s order with respect to this issue. The court also declined to enforce the Board’s remedies related to this issue. Because Cellular Sales’s unlawful arbitration agreement remained in effect and governed a former employee both as a current and as a former employee during the section 10(b) limitations period, his unfair labor practice charge was not time-barred. Accordingly, the court granted in part and denied in part the petition for review, and denied in part and enforced in part the Board's order

Ninth Circuit

Appeals from federal district (trial level) courts in Alaska, Arizona, California, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington

U.S. EEOC v. Air Systems, Inc. (No. 5:19-cv-07554)

Decision Date: August 24, 2020

A San Jose-based electrical subcontractor at the Apple Park construc­tion project, Air Systems Inc. (ASI), will pay $1,250,000 to eight African American former employees and provide other relief to settle a racial harassment lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency announced today.

California vs. Uber Technology INC. (No. CGC-20-584402)

Decision Date: August 10, 2020

A California judge has ordered Uber and Lyft to reclassify their workers from independent contractors to employees with benefits, a ruling that could be consequential for gig economy workers if it survives the appeals process.

The judge said Uber and Lyft have refused to comply with a California law passed last year that was supposed to make it harder for companies in the state to hire workers as contractors, so gig economy workers such as drivers for the ride-hailing companies would receive health insurance, workers' compensation and paid sick and family leave. As independent contractors, Uber and Lyft drivers are not provided these benefits.

Saensinbandit v. Alaska Airlines (No. 3:18-CV-00267)

Decision Date: April 6, 2020

An Alaska Airlines Inc. supervisor’s alleged comment that “black people are replaceable” and evidence rebutting the airline’s claim that a probationary customer service agent was discharged for poor performance may show the customer service agent was actually terminated because of her race and entitles her to a trial. The supervisor’s alleged comment wasn’t a stray remark, the court said, as it makes an explicit racial reference, generalizes employees based on race, and it also was directed at the probationary employee during a discussion regarding her future with the airline.

American Society of Journalists and Authors, Inc., et al. v. Xavier Becerra (No. CV 19-10645 PSG (KSx))

Decision Date: March 23, 2020

A federal judge has denied a bid by freelance journalists and photographers to block parts of a California labor law designed to require gig economy companies to offer employee status and benefits to their workers.

Rizo v. Yovino (No.16-15372)

Decision Date: March 4, 2020

The Fresno County Office of Education paid new hires 5 percent more than their prior salary. The plaintiff in this case, a math consultant, sued the county when she discovered that her male co-workers were earning more than she was earning. The county's superintendent conceded that the plaintiff was paid less but argued that the salary differential was permissible because it was based on a factor other than sex: the plaintiff's prior salary.

The 9th Circuit disagreed. "Contrary to Fresno County's argument, we conclude that only job-related factors may serve as affirmative defenses to EPA claims," the court said Feb. 27, overruling its 1982 opinion in Kouba v. Allstate Ins. Co., 691 F.3d. 873 (9th Cir. 1982).

Fesser v. West Linn Police Department et al (No. 3:2018cv01516)

Decision Date: February 26, 2020

Fesser is receiving $600,000 from a settlement after suing the West Linn Police Department, the former chief of police and two former detectives, saying they fabricated a case and arrested him on a charge he did not commit.

Democratic National Committee v. Hobbs (No. 18-15845)

Decision Date: February 5, 2020

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals invalidated a law that was designed to stop Native American, Hispanic, and black voters from casting a ballot. The court ruled that Arizona Republicans’ recent crackdown on voting rights was motivated by racism. Arizona’s “long history of race-based voting discrimination,” combined with legislators’ “false, race-based” claims of voter fraud “unmistakably reveal” an intent to discriminate on the basis of race, the 9th Circuit announced.

Charles Ridgeway, et al v. Walmart Inc., DBA Wal-Mart Transportation LLC, (D.C. No. 3:08-cv-05221-SI)

Decision Date: January 13, 2020

A $54.6 million jury verdict against Walmart for its pay practices for truckers in California has been upheld. The decision shows that an employer's control over employees, even when they aren't working, can lead to wage and hour liability in California.

Murray v. Mayo Clinic, (No. 17-16803)

Decision Date: August 20, 2019

Affirmed. The panel held that the district court correctly instructed the jury to apply a “but for” causation standard, rather than a motivating factor standard; an ADA discrimination plaintiff must show the adverse employment action would not have occurred but for the disability.

Tijerino v. Stetson Desert Project, LLC (No. 18-16013)

Decision Date: August 16, 2019

Reversed. The district court dismissed an action brought by exotic dancers for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. Reversing, the panel held the statutory requirement that plaintiffs must be employees as defined in the FLSA is a merits-based determination, not a jurisdictional limitation.

Greisen v. Hanken (No. 17-35472)

Decision Date: May 31, 2019

In a First Amendment retaliation case, held that a police chief was entitled to prevail on his claim that the city manager unlawfully took adverse employment action against him for expressing concerns about the city's financial management. Affirmed a jury verdict, concluding that the statements were made as a private citizen, not a public

Perez v. City of Roseville (No. 15-16430)

Decision Date: May 21, 2019

In an amended opinion, held that a former probationary police officer who was terminated after an alleged affair with a married coworker could not proceed with her civil rights claims, including infringement of her constitutional rights to privacy and intimate association. Affirmed summary judgment for the defendants based in part on qualified immunity.

Wojciechowski v. Kohlberg Ventures, LLC (No. 17-15966)

Decision Date: May 8, 2019

Held that claim preclusion did not bar employees' claims under the federal WARN Act alleging that they were fired without statutorily required advance notice. Reversed a dismissal, holding that a settlement agreement in a prior case did not preclude their claims.

Weil v. Citizens Telecom Services Co. LLC (No. 16-3581316-35813)

Decision Date: April 29, 2019

Revived a manager's claim of discriminatory failure to promote. Held that a coworker's statement he relied upon was not hearsay. Reversed a summary judgment ruling in relevant part.

Wadler v. Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc. (No. 17-16193)

Decision Date: February 26, 2019

Held that the trial judge erroneously instructed the jury on a whistleblower retaliation claim brought under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. The plaintiff, a former general counsel, alleged that he was fired for making internal reports of Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations. Reversed a jury verdict in relevant part and remanded.

EEOC v. Global Horizons, Inc., (No. 16-35528)

Decision Date: February 6, 2019

Reinstated certain claims that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission had brought against two farming businesses. According to the government, the farms hired Thai citizens for seasonal agricultural work and subjected them to poor working conditions and substandard living conditions on the basis of their race and national origin. Reversed a dismissal and a summary judgment ruling.

Frost v. BNSF Railway Co. (No. 17-35513)

Decision Date: January 30, 2019

Revived a railroad employee's claim that he was unlawfully retaliated against for filing an injury report, in violation of the Federal Railroad Safety Act. Held that the trial judge erroneously instructed the jury. Reversed and remanded for a new trial.

Gilberg v. California Check Cashing Stores, LLC (No. 17-16263)

Decision Date: January 29, 2019

Revived a job applicant's claim relating to a consumer credit report. Held that the disclosure she received did not comply with the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act because it included extraneous information relating to various state disclosure requirements and also was not sufficiently clear. Reversed a summary judgment ruling, in relevant part, in this proposed class action.

State of California v. Azar (No. 18-15144)

Decision Date: December 13, 2018

Modified a nationwide injunction relating to contraceptive coverage under the Affordable Care Act. When several states sued to block federal regulations on group plan contraceptive coverage that exempt employers with religious or moral objections, the district court issued a nationwide preliminary injunction. On appeal, the Ninth Circuit affirmed the injunction but held that the record did not support its nationwide scope. The panel vacated the portion of the injunction barring enforcement of the regulations in states other than the plaintiff states.

Acosta v. Brain (No.16-56529)

Decision Date: December 4, 2018

In a Department of Labor civil enforcement action, affirmed that a union trust fund's trustee and legal counsel unlawfully retaliated against a whistleblower in violation of ERISA. However, reversed a bench trial finding that they breached ERISA fiduciary duties.

Rookaird v. BNSF Railway Co. (No. 16-35786)

Decision Date: November 8, 2018

Vacated a judgment entered after trial that a train conductor was unlawfully fired because he refused to stop performing a safety test on a train he was tasked with moving. Remanded for further proceedings regarding the contributing-factor element of his Federal Railroad Safety Act retaliation claim.

King v. Great American Chicken Corp., Inc. (18-55911)

Decision Date: September 6, 2018

Held that the district court erred in remanding a class action to state court under the Class Action Fairness Act's local-controversy exception. The plaintiff argued that her wage-hour class action against a fast-food chain belonged in state court because more than two-thirds of the putative class members were California citizens. Unconvinced, the Ninth Circuit reversed and remanded for additional discovery regarding how many former employees had moved to other states, among other things.

Dent v. National Football League (15-15143)

Decision Date: September 6, 2018

Held that federal labor law did not preempt retired football players' claims that the National Football League encouraged them to take pain-masking medications without warning them of the drugs' risks. The NFL contended that the players' claims were preempted by sections 301 of the Labor Management Relations Act. Rejecting the league's argument, the Ninth Circuit concluded that, as pleaded, the players' negligence and other state law claims did not arise from collective bargaining agreements or require their interpretation. The panel therefore reversed dismissal of the proposed class action suit.

Harris v. County of Orange (No. 13-56061)

Decision Date: September 5, 2018

Reinstated claims brought by retired county employees alleging that the county government violated their vested rights when it restructured its health benefits program. The class-action complaint challenged two reforms made by the county in 2006 that the retirees said violated the county's contractual obligations to them. On appeal, the Ninth Circuit held that the district court erred in dismissing certain of retirees' contract claims. However, the panel affirmed dismissal of the retirees' age discrimination claim.

Barone v. City of Springfield (17-35355)

Decision Date: September 5, 2018

Reinstated a police department community service officer\'s claim that she was subjected to an unconstitutional prior restraint on speech after she made certain public comments that displeased the police chief. The officer argued that the chief could not constitutionally require her to sign a last-chance agreement that barred her from saying or writing anything negative about the police department or the city, even as a private citizen. Agreeing with her, the Ninth Circuit reversed summary judgment in relevant part and remanded for further proceedings on her First Amendment prior restraint claim.

McCray v. Marriott Hotel Services, Inc. (17-15767)

Decision Date: August 31, 2018

Ordered a remand to state court of a Marriott Hotel employee's lawsuit contending that he and other employees were paid less than the City of San Jose's $10/hour minimum wage. Marriott had removed the case to federal court on the basis that the claims were preempted by federal labor law. On appeal, the Ninth Circuit held that the employee's lawsuit must be returned to state court because the case amounted to an interpretive challenge to the San Jose minimum-wage ordinance, not one that required substantial analysis of the collective-bargaining agreement.

EEOC v. BNSF Railway Co. (16-35457)

Decision Date: August 29, 2018

Affirmed that a railway company violated the Americans with Disabilities Act but vacated the issuance of a nationwide injunction. The company had required a job applicant to submit an MRI exam at his own expense as part of a post-offer medical review. On appeal, the Ninth Circuit affirmed that the company's action violated the ADA but remanded with instructions to make further factual findings in order to establish the proper scope of the injunction.

Rangel v. PLS Check Cashers of California, Inc. (16-56826)

Decision Date: August 16, 2018

Christie v. Georgia-Pacific Co. (17-70853)

Decision Date: August 2, 2018

Reversed a denial of benefits under the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act. An employee argued that he was entitled to receive workers' compensation benefits for a permanent and disabling on-the-job injury even though he had already taken early retirement from his job. On review of the Benefits Review Board's denial of his claim for benefits, the Ninth Circuit held that his decision to retire early did not make him ineligible for workers' compensation benefits under the Act. The panel therefore reversed the administrative decision and remanded.

Alaska Airlines Inc. v. Schurke (13-35574)

Decision Date: August 1, 2018

Held that the federal Railway Labor Act (RLA) did not preempt a flight attendant's claim against an airline. The flight attendant alleged that her employer had violated her state law right to take family medical leave. She argued that her claim was not preempted by the RLA, which covers airlines. In an en banc 6-5 decision, the Ninth Circuit agreed with her that there was no preemption.

Hicks v. PGA Tour, Inc. (16-15370)

Decision Date: July 27, 2018

Affirmed in part and vacated in part the dismissal of antitrust and state law claims of golf caddies who participated in the PGA Tour, who were required to wear bibs containing advertisements. The court reasoned that the caddies consented to wearing the bibs when they filled out the participation form and that they had not alleged plausible product markets to support antitrust claims. The court, however, vacated the decision to deny leave to amend caddies’ complaint

Rodriguez v. Taco Bell Corp. (16-15465)

Decision Date: July 18, 2018

Affirmed that Taco Bell Corp. did not violate its employees' rights to meal breaks when it provided a special offer that employees could purchase a meal from the restaurant at a discount, as long as they ate the meal in the restaurant. An employee argued that Taco Bell should pay employees for their time because the company required them to eat the discounted meal in the restaurant; the idea behind the offer related to deterring theft. However, the Ninth Circuit found no violation of California meal break requirements, and affirmed summary judgment against the proposed class claim.

Chamber of Commerce of the United States of America v. City of Seattle (No. 17-35640)

Decision Date: May 11, 2018

Reversing a district court dismissal of claims that an ordinance authorizing collective bargaining between driver coordinators like Uber and Lyft violates and is preempted by the Sherman Antitrust Act because the act sanctions price fixing by private cartels of independent contractor drivers but affirming the dismissal of claims that the ordinance was preempted by the National Labor Relations Act and remanding for further proceedings.

Local Joint Executive Board of Las Vegas v. National Labor Relations Board (No.15-72878)

Decision Date: February 27, 2018

Granting a petition for review, vacating an order of the National Labor Relations Board and remanding to award standard make-whole relief in a case involving a Las Vegas hotel and casino's unilateral termination of culinary and bartending unions without bargaining to agreement or impasse because the Board abused its discretion when it only awarded prospective-only relief instead of the standard make-whole relief.

Digital Realty Trust, Inc. v. Somers (No. 16-1276)

Decision Date: February 21, 2018

Respondent Paul Somers alleges that petitioner Digital Realty Trust, Inc. (Digital Realty) terminated his employment shortly after he reported to senior management suspected securities-law violations by the company. Somers filed suit, alleging, inter alia, a claim of whistleblower retaliation under Dodd-Frank. Digital Realty moved to dismiss that claim on the ground that Somers was not a whistleblower under §78u–6(h) because he did not alert the SEC prior to his termination. The District Court denied the motion, and the Ninth Circuit affirmed. The Court of Appeals concluded that §78u–6(h) does not necessitate recourse to the SEC prior to gaining “whistleblower” status, and it accorded deference to the SEC’s regulation under Chevron U. S. A. Inc. v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc., 467 U. S. 837. Digital Realty appealed the decision to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court, in a unanimous decision held that Dodd-Frank’s anti-retaliation provision does not extend to an individual, like Somers, who has not reported a violation of the securities laws to the SEC.

Perez v. City of Roseville (No. 15-16430)

Decision Date: February 9, 2018

Reversing the district court's summary judgment in favor of the defendants in a former probation officer's claim of the violation of her rights to privacy and intimate association and affirming the grant of summary judgment on the former officer's due process and gender discrimination claims in a case involving an internal affairs investigation that turned up a romance between officers because a genuine factual dispute existed regarding whether the relationship and termination had a connection to negative job performance.

Brown v. Cinemark USA, Inc. (No. 16-15377)

Decision Date: December 7, 2017

Denying a motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction a class action complaint alleging wage and hour violations because, as in Microsoft Corp. v. Baker the plaintiffs had voluntarily settled some of their claims, but the mutual considerations in the instant case did not raise the same concerns as in Baker because the plaintiffs here continued to litigate their remaining claims.

Douglas v. Xerox Business Service (No. 16-35425)

Decision Date: November 15, 2017

Affirming the district court's summary judgment in favor of the defendants in an action brought by call center workers under the Fair Labor Standards Act and deciding that minimum-wage compliance should be determined on a per-workweek rather than a per-individual hour basis in a case involving Xerox's complicated payment system that paid a variety of different wages for different work activities.

Clemens v. Qwest Corp. (No. 15-35160)

Decision Date: November 3, 2017

In a labor and employment action, the district court's order denying an adjustment in plaintiff's damages award from a successful discrimination suit, to account for increased tax liabilities from his lump-sum back-pay award, is vacated and remanded where district courts may, at their discretion, 'gross up' a lump-sum payment in employment discrimination suits to account for a prevailing employee's resulting increased tax liability.

Huhmann v. Federal Express Corp. (No. 15-56744)

Decision Date: November 2, 2017

In a labor law action, brought by a FedEx Express pilot returning from active duty service in the Air Force and seeking payment of a larger signing bonus he would have been entitled to without his service interruption, the district court's judgment for plaintiff is affirmed where the district court properly applied the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act, 38 U.S.C. section 4311(a), to plaintiff's claims.

Flores v. City of Westminster (No. 14-56832)

Decision Date: October 11, 2017

A mixed decision that partially affirmed, vacated, and remanded aspects of the trial, judgment, and resulting awards of fees and costs was issued in the case of three Latino police officers who won a jury trial in which they alleged that the City of Westminster and former police chiefs discriminated and retaliated against them on the basis of race and national origin.

Roybal v. Toppenish School District (No. 15-35541)

Decision Date: September 20, 2017

Reversing the grant of summary judgment to the plaintiff pursuant to the district court's erroneous ruling that a school district violated a principal's due process rights when it failed to comply with procedures required under state law relating to the reduction of his salary and holding that the court lacks jurisdiction to review the denial of qualified immunity as to First Amendment retaliation claims.

Trevizio v. Berryhill (No. 15-16277)

Decision Date: July 10, 2017

Reversing an order affirming the denial of disability benefits by the Commissioner of the Social Security Administration and remanding for the calculation and award of benefits to a morbidly obese former security guard who suffered from a wide range of relatively minor illnesses where the court improperly rejected the medical opinion of her treating physician and erroneously discounted her testimony relating to symptoms.

McKeen-Chaplin v. Provident Savings Bank FSB (No. 15-16758)

Decision Date: July 5, 2017

Reversing the district court's grant of summary judgment to the defendant in an action under the Fair Labor Standards Act and holding that mortgage underwriters are entitled to overtime compensation for work in excess of 40 hours a week because the primary job duty did not relate to the employer bank's management or general business operations, so that the administrative employee exemption did not apply.

Sato v. Orange County Department of Education (No. 15-56402)

Decision Date: June 28, 2017

Affirming the district court's dismissal of a former Orange County Department of Education employee's Fourteenth Amendment and breach of contract claims, finding that the OCDE is entitled to sovereign immunity.

Guido v. Mount Lemmon Fire Dist. (No. 15-15030)

Decision Date: June 19, 2017

In an action brought by two firefighter captains under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, brought against a political subdivision, the district court's summary judgment in favor of defendants is reversed where a political subdivision of a State need not have twenty or more employees in order to qualify as an employer subject to the requirements of the ADEA.

US EEOC v. McClane Co., Inc. (No. 13-15126)

Decision Date: May 24, 2017

On remand from the U.S. Supreme Court, in an action challenging the EEOC's issuance of an administrative subpoena requesting 'pedigree information' (name, Social Security number, last known address, and telephone number) for employees or prospective employees who took an employer's physical capability strength test, as part of an investigation of a sex discrimination claim, the district court's order denying the enforcement of the subpoena is vacated where the district court abused its discretion because the information was relevant to the EEOC's investigation.

Orzechowski v. The Boeing Company Non-Union Long-Term Disability Plan (No. 14-55919)

Decision Date: May 11, 2017

In an ERISA action challenging a decision to terminate the plaintiff's long-term disability benefits, the district court's judgment after bench trial in favor of defendants is reversed where: 1) de novo review was required under California Insurance Code section 10110.6, which voided the discretionary clause contained in the plan; 2) section 10110.6 is not preempted by ERISA because it falls within the savings clause set forth in 29 U.S.C. section 1144(b)(2)(A); and 3) section 10110.6 applied to the plaintiff's claim because the relevant insurance policy renewed after the statute's effective date.

Santillan v. USA Waste of California, Inc. (no. 15-55238)

Decision Date: April 7, 2017

In an employment discrimination dispute between a garbage truck driver and his employer of 32 years, the district court's judgment is: 1) reversed as to grant of summary judgment to employer-defendant on the wrongful termination claim under California law based on age discrimination and retaliation, where the district court erred in holding that plaintiff failed to establish a prima facie age discrimination claim; and 2) affirmed as to the district court's denial of plaintiff's request for leave to amend the complaint.

Brunozzi v. Cable Communications, Inc. (no. 15-35623)

Decision Date: March 21, 2017

In consolidated actions brought by cable and internet service technicians, alleging that a company's compensation plan violates the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), 29 U.S.C. section 207, Oregon's statutory requirement that an employer pay all wages earned and unpaid after terminating an employee, ORS 652.140, and Oregon's laws prohibiting discrimination against a private employee who engages in whistleblowing, ORS 659A.199, and wage-claim discussions, ORS 652.355, the district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of defendants is reversed where: 1) defendant's pay plan violates the FLSA's overtime provisions; and 2) plaintiffs' state law claims also survive summary judgment.

Zetwick v. County of Yolo (no. 14-17341)

Decision Date: February 23, 2017

In an action under Title VII and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, in which county correctional officer alleged that the county sheriff created a sexually hostile work environment, the district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of defendants is reversed where: 1) a reasonable juror could conclude that differences in the sheriff’s hugging of men and women were not, as the defendants argued, just 'genuine but innocuous differences in the ways men and women routinely interact with members of the same sex and the opposite sex.' and 2) the district court's contrary conclusion may have been influenced by application of incorrect legal standards.

Mayes v. WinCo Holdings, Inc. (no. 14-35396)

Decision Date: February 3, 2017

In an employment action alleging gender discrimination claims under Title VII and the Idaho Human Rights Act, a claim under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, and wage claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act and the Idaho Wage Claim Act, the district court\'s grant of summary judgment to employer-defendant is reversed where: 1) as to the gender discrimination claims, plaintiff presented sufficient evidence that defendant\'s proffered reasons for terminating her were pretextual because she offered ample direct evidence of discriminatory animus, as well as specific and substantial indirect evidence challenging the credibility of defendant\'s motives; 2) as to the COBRA claim, there was a genuine dispute of fact regarding the true reason for the plaintiff\'s termination; and 3) summary judgment was improper on the state and federal wage claims.

Reynaga v. Rosebud Forest Products ( no. 14-35028)

Decision Date: January 26, 2017

In an action brought by a millwright under Title VII, 42 U.S.C. section 1981, and Oregon state law, alleging that during the course of his employment, he was subjected to disparate treatment and a hostile work environment because of his race or national origin, the district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of defendant employer is: 1) reversed in part as to the hostile work environment claim,including employer liability through negligence, the disparate treatment claim with regard to the breaking of the plaintiff’s lock and the termination of his employment, the retaliation claim with regard to the termination of the plaintiff’s employment, and corresponding state law claims; and 2) affirmed in all other respects.

Navarro v. Encino Motorcars, LLC (no. 13-55323)

Decision Date: January 9, 2017

On remand from the U.S. Supreme Court, in action brought under the Fair Labor Standards Act against an automobile dealership, the district court's dismissal of the action is: 1) reversed as to dismissal of a federal claim for overtime compensation, where service advisors do not fall within an exemption from the FLSA's overtime-compensation requirement for 'any sales man, partsman, or mechanic primarily engaged in...servicing automobiles,' 29 U.S.C. section 213(b)(10)(A); and 2) affirmed as to dismissal of plaintiffs' other federal claims and reversed as to the dismissal of state-law claims for reasons given in an earlier opinion.

Matson v. United Parcel Service, Inc. (No. 13-36174)

Decision Date: November 4, 2016

In a state equal employment case alleging a hostile work environment against plaintiff's employer, asserting, among other claims, a state law gender-based hostile work environment claim, the District Court's judgment is reversed where the District Court erred erred in holding that an employee's state law gender-based hostile work environmental claim was preempted under section 301 of the Labor Management Relations Act (LMRA).

Rollins v. Community Hosp. of San Bernadino (No. 14-55971)

Decision Date: October 26, 2016

In a claim under section 301 of the Labor Management Relations Act, arising out of a reduction in workforce, the District Court’s grant of summary judgment to union defendant, plaintiff's former union, is reversed where: 1) the Seniority Agreement, which had been negotiated on her behalf by a union representative, was neither inadmissible under the parol evidence rule nor superseded by the 2008 CBA; and 2) plaintiff also established a triable issue whether the union breached its duty of fair representation by processing her grievance in a perfunctory manner.

Pauluck v. Savage (no. 14-15027)

Decision Date: September 8, 2016

In an action brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. section 1983 by the widow and daughters of a deceased employee of the Health District, who died allegedly from toxic mold in his workplace, the district court's order, on summary judgment, denying qualified immunity to two employees of the Clark County Health District is reversed where: 1) the court jurisdiction to decide whether the evidence demonstrated a violation by the defendant employees, and whether such violation was in contravention of federal law that was clearly established at the time; 2) plaintiffs had shown a violation of a constitutional right, grounded in the Fourteenth Amendment's Due Process Clause, to be free of state-created danger; but 3) the court improperly denied qualified immunity because it was not clearly established, at the time of the unconstitutional actions, that the state-created danger doctrine applied to claims based on physical conditions in the workplace.

Mohamed v. Uber Technologies, Inc. (no. 15-16178)

Decision Date: September 7, 2016

In actions brought by two former Uber drivers on behalf of themselves and a proposed class of drivers, alleging defendant's violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and other state laws, the District Court's denial of defendant's motion to compel arbitration is: 1) affirmed in part as to the denial of a motion to compel arbitration filed by an independent background check company also named in the complaint; and 2) reversed in part where a) the district court erred in assuming the authority to decide whether the parties' arbitration agreements were enforceable, b) the question of arbitrability as to all but plainitiff Gillette's California Private Attorney General Act (PAGA) claim was delegated to the arbitrator, c) under the terms of the agreement plaintiff Gillette signed, the PAGA waiver should be severed from the arbitration agreement and Gilette's PAGA claim may proceed in court on a representative basis, and d) all of plaintiff Mohamed's remaining arguments, including both plaintiff's challenge to the PAGA waiver in the agreement he signed and the challenge by both plaintiffs to the validity of the arbitration agreement itself, were subject to resolution via arbitration.

Morris v. Ernst & Young (No. 13-16599)

Decision Date: August 22, 2016

In a dispute resolution and arbitration action, arising from a bar on concerted legal claims contained in the employment contracts of defendant Ernst & Young, the district court's order compelling individual arbitration is vacated where an employer violates sections 7 and 8 of the National Labor Relations Act when it requires employees to sign an agreement precluding them from brining, in any forum, a concerted legal claim regarding wages, hours, and terms of conditions of employment.

Stilwell v. City of Williams (No. 14-15540)

Decision Date: August 5, 2016

In a suit brought by a City employee who alleged that he was fired for planning to testify against the City in a lawsuit relating to age discrimination, the District Court's grant of summary judgment to defendant is vacated and remanded where: 1) plaintiff was engaged in speech as a citizen for First Amendment purposes because his sworn statements and imminent testimony about the City's retaliatory conduct were outside the scope of his ordinary job duties and were on a matter of public concern; and 2) he retaliation provision of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), did not preclude plaintiff’s 42 U.S.C. section 1983 First Amendment retaliation claim.

Martin v. Yasuda (15-55696)

Decision Date: July 21, 2016

In a class action brought by plaintiffs are individuals who enrolled in defendant's cosmetology program, alleging violations of state labor law and the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the district court's denial of defendants' motion to compel arbitration is affirmed where the defendants waived their right to arbitration by their litigation conduct.

Pacific Maritime Assoc. v. NLRB (13-35818)

Decision Date: July 8, 2016

In a case in which an employer-plaintiff filed an unfair labor practice charge against a union, and the National Labor Relations Board issued a Notice of Hearing under section 10(k) of the National Labor Relations Act, which directs the Board to hear and determine disputes concerning unfair labor practice charges, the District Court's grant of summary judgment to plaintiff is reversed where the District Court lacked subject matter jurisdiction to vacate an interlocutory decision of the Board issued under section 10(k).

Bermudez v. Ashley Furniture Indus., Inc. (13-56606)

Decision Date: June 8, 2016

In a class action alleging violations of California's minimum wage and hour laws, the District Court's order granting class certification under Fed. R. Civ. P. 23 to a plaintiff representing a class of former and current sales associates of Stoneledge Furniture, LLC is affirmed where: 1) plaintiff established commonality, as required by Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(a), and the District Court permissibly concluded that plaintiff pleaded a common injury capable of class-wide resolution; 2) plaintiff established the predominance of class claims, as required by Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(b)(3), and the District Court permissibly ruled that individual claims did not predominate in this case; and 3) class certification did not alter the parties' substantive rights, and the District Court did not violate the Rules Enabling Act in certifying the class.

Arizona ex rel. Horne v. The Geo Group, Inc. (13-16081)

Decision Date: March 14, 2016

In an employment action brought by the EEOC and the Arizona Civil Rights Division against defendant Geo Group for violating the employment rights of its female employees, the district court's grant of summary judgment to defendant is vacated where: 1) plaintiffs sufficiently conciliated their class claims against defendant in light of Mach Mining, LLC v. EEOC, 135 S.Ct. 1645 (2015); 2) plaintiffs can maintain their claims on behalf of aggrieved employees provided that the employee has alleged at least one act of misconduct that occurred within 300 days prior to the date the first aggrieved employee filed her charge against defendant; and 3) an aggrieved employee is not required to file a new charge of discrimination with the EEOC if her claim is already encompassed within the Reasonable Cause Determination or is like or reasonably related to the initial charge.

Ai v. US (13-17491)

Decision Date: December 17, 2015

In a tax action, the district court's entry of judgment on the pleadings to the government is affirmed where temporary foreign workers in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) and their employers are required to pay FICA taxes under section 606(b) of the Covenant governing relations between the U.S. and the CNMI.

SEIU v. Los Robles Reg'l Med. Ctr. (No. 13-55672)

Decision Date: December 3, 2015

In a labor action, the district court's dismissal of plaintiff union's petition to compel arbitration and grant of summary judgment to defendant is reversed where the six-month statute of limitations period for filing a petition to compel arbitration under Section 301 of the Labor Management Relations Act, 29 U.S.C. section 185, started to run upon defendant's official reply to the plaintiff's letter demanding arbitration and not an earlier email.

NLRB v. Fresh and Easy Neighborhood Market, Inc. (12-55828)

Decision Date: November 13, 2015

In a subpoena enforcement action arising from an NLRB dispute between the United Food and Commercial Workers Union and defendant Fresh & Easy over alleged unfair labor practices, the district court's judgment for petitioner union is affirmed on other grounds where petitioner's failure to serve the subpoena on Fresh & Easy's counsel of record made service defective but no prejudice to defendant resulted.

France v. Johnson (13-15534)

Decision Date: October 13, 2015

In an action alleging that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security discriminated against plaintiff, a U.S. Border Patrol agent, by refusing to promote him on the basis of age in violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, 29 U.S.C. section 623(a)(1), the district court's grant of summary judgment for defendant is reversed where: 1) plaintiff established a prima facie case that defendant considered age to be significant in making promotion decisions; and 2) plaintiff raised a genuine dispute of material fact as to whether defendant's nondiscriminatory reasons for not promoting him were pretextual.

Sakkab v. Luxottica Retail N. Am. (13-55184)

Decision Date: September 27, 2015

In an employment action raising the question of whether the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) preempts California law barring waiver of representative claims under the Private Attorneys General Act of 2004 (PAGA), as announced in Iskanian v. CLS Transportation Los Angeles, 59 Cal. 4th 348 (2014), the district court's granting of defendant's motion to compel arbitration and dismiss the amended complaint is reversed and where Iskanian does not obstruct the FAA's objectives and is not preempted by the FAA.

Int'l Franchise Ass'n, Inc. v. City of Seattle (15-35209)

Decision Date: September 24, 2015

In an action challenging Seattle's minimum wage law with regard to classifying franchisees as large employers subject to steeper wage raise increments, the district court's denial of plaintiff's motion for preliminary injunction is affirmed where plaintiff did not show that it was likely to succeed on the merits or that an preliminary injunction is in the public interest.

Resilient Floor Covering Pension Trust Fund Bd. of Trustees v. Michael's Floor Covering, Inc. (12-17675)

Decision Date: September 10, 2015

In an ERISA case, the district court's judgment, after a bench trial, holding that a construction industry employer was not subject to "withdrawal liability" under the Multiemployer Pension Plan Amendment Act (MPPAA), is reversed where: 1) a bona fide successor employer in general and a construction industry successor employer in particular, can be subject to MPPAA withdrawal liability, so long as the successor took over the business with notice of the liability; and 2) the most important factor in assessing whether an employer is a successor for purposes of imposing MPPAA withdrawal liability is whether there is substantial continuity in the business operations between the predecessor and the successor, as determined in large part by whether the new employer has taken over the economically critical bulk of the prior employer's customer base.

Brennan v. Opus Bank (No. 13-35580)

Decision Date: August 11, 2015

In a wrongful termination dispute involving an executive employment agreement containing an arbitration clause, the district court's judgment is: 1) affirmed as to dismissal of plaintiff's diversity action in favor of arbitration; and 2) reversed at to denial, as moot, of employer-defendant's motion for reconsideration of its motion to seal plaintiff's complaint.

France v. Johnson, (No. 13-15534 )

Decision Date: August 5, 2015

In an action by a border patrol agent alleging violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), the district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of the US Department of Homeland Security is reversed where plaintiff has established a prima facie case of age discrimination.

Addington v. US Airlines Pilots Association (No. 14-15874 )

Decision Date: June 26, 2015

In a labor dispute over the pilot seniority list of two airlines that merged in 2005, the district court's judgment is: 1) reversed as to the conclusion that union-defendant did not violate its duty of fair representation to the plaintiffs; and 2) vacated as moot the portion of the district court's decision denying the plaintiffs separate representation in the McCaskill-Bond proceedings.

Teamsters Local Union No. 117 v. Washington Dep't Corrections (No. 13-35331 )

Decision Date: June 12, 2015

In a Title VII action, alleging unlawful discrimination against male correction officers on the basis of sex by designating a number of female-only correctional positions in women's prisons, the district court's grant of summary judgement in favor of defendant is affirmed where the Department's individualized, well-researched decision to designate discrete sex-based correctional officer categories was justified because sex was a bona-fide occupational qualification reasonably necessary to the normal operation of the women's prisons.

Int'l Brotherhood of Teamsters, Airlines Division v. Allegiant Air, LLC (No. 14-16465 )

Decision Date: June 8, 2015

In an union's action against an airline under the Railway Labor Act (RLA), the district court's preliminary injunction, enjoining the airline from making policy changes to pilot work rules during the negotiation of a new contract between the union and airline following the National Mediation Board's certification of the union as the pilot's representative, is vacated where the court erred in entering an injunction because the RLA does not require an airline to maintain the status quo during negotiations of an initial labor agreement

Nigro v. Sears, Roebuck and Co. (12-57262)

Decision Date: April 10, 2015

In a diversity action alleging disability discrimination under California's Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), summary judgment in favor of Sears is reversed where the employee presented triable claims under FEHA that Sears: 1) discriminated against the employee because of his disability; 2) declined to accommodate the employee's disability; and 3) did not engage in an interactive process to determine possible accommodation for the employee's disability.

Navarro v. Encino Motorcars (13-55323)

Decision Date: March 24, 2015

In this action brought under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), plaintiff "service advisors" who worked at defendant car dealership allege that defendant violated the FLSA by failing to pay overtime wages. Dismissal of the action is reversed as to the FLSA overtime claim and supplemental state-law claims and affirmed as to the dismissal of other federal claims not challenged on appeal, where: 1) "service advisers" at a car dealership are not exempt from the FLSA's overtime pay requirements under 29 U.S.C. section 213(b)(10)(A), which exempts "any salesman, partsman, or mechanic primarily engaged in selling or servicing automobiles"; and 2) under the Chevron standard, the regulation was reasonable.

Ali v. Rogers (13-15145)

Decision Date: March 19, 2015

Plaintiff-seamen brought suit against defendants, the H.R. director and the captain of the ship. Plaintiff Abdhulhalim alleges that the H.R. director ordered the ship's captain to fire him because he is of Yemeni origin. Plaintiff Mohamed alleges that he was not hired by the same government-owned ship on the orders of the H.R. director because of his religion and his Yemeni national origin, violating both his constitutional rights and his union's collective bargaining agreement with the company. Dismissal of the complaint for lack of jurisdiction is affirmed, where: 1) Abdulhalim's complaint includes at least one claim that could have been brought as a "civil action in admiralty" against the private wrongdoers, and therefore, pursuant to the Suits in Admiralty Act and the Public Vessels Act, should have been brought against the United States rather than against the H.R. director; and 2) because Mohamed could have brought suit in admiralty for breach of the collective bargaining agreement relating to the crewing of the vessel, his exclusive remedy was against the United States.

Nigro v. Sears, Roebuck, and Co. (12-57262)

Decision Date: February 25, 2015

In this disability discrimination action brought by plaintiff under California's Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) against his former employer, summary judgment in favor of defendant is reversed and the case is remanded, where: 1) plaintiff presented triable claims under FEHA; and 2) it was irrelevant that some of plaintiff's evidence was self-serving, as such testimony was admissible, though absent corroboration, it may have limited weight by the trier of fact at trial.

Ibarra v. Manheim Investments (14-56779)

Decision Date: January 8, 2015

In this putative class action alleging violations of California's Labor Code, order remanding the case to state court is vacated, and the case is remanded to the district court to allow both parties the opportunity to submit evidence and arguments whether the $5 million amount in controversy requirement had been satisfied, where: 1) because the complaint did not allege that defendant universally, on each and every shift, violated labor laws by not giving rest and meal breaks, defendant bore the burden to show that its estimated amount in controversy relied on reasonable assumptions; 2) defendant relied on an assumption about the rate of its alleged labor law violations that was not grounded in real evidence; and 3) given that the damages assessment included assumptions, the chain of reasoning and the assumptions needed some reasonable ground underlying them.

Curley v. City of North Las Vegas (12-16228)

Decision Date: December 2, 2014

In this case involving alleged employment discrimination and retaliation in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, summary judgment in favor of defendant City is affirmed, where the hearing-impaired plaintiff failed to establish a genuine issue of material fact as to whether the City's stated reason for firing him (his long history of threatening coworkers) was pretextual.

Landers v. Quality Communications (12-15890)

Decision Date: November 12, 2014

In this action brought under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) for defendants' alleged failure to pay minimum wages and overtime wages, dismissal is affirmed, where: 1) under Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly and Ashcroft v. Iqbal, a complaint brought under the FLSA cannot merely allege that the employer failed to pay minimum wages or overtime wages, but must plausibly state such a claim; and 2) the complaint in this case did not state a plausible claim because it did not allege facts showing that there was a specific week in which plaintiff was entitled to but denied minimum wages or overtime wages.

Tamosaitis v. URS, Inc. (12-35924)

Decision Date: November 7, 2014

In this retaliation suit brought by a URS Energy employee alleging violations of the Energy Reorganization Act whistleblower protection provision (42 U.S.C. section 5851(b)(4)), dismissal of the US Department of Energy (DOE) and URS Corp. from the suit is affirmed, and summary judgment in favor of URS Energy & Construction is reversed, where: 1) before an employee may opt out of the agency process and bring a retaliation suit against a respondent in federal court, the respondent must have had notice of, and an opportunity to participant in, the agency action for one year; 2) plaintiff-employee prematurely filed suit against DOE in federal court; 3) URS Corp. was not adequately named in the employee's original administrative complaint; 4) there was a triable issue as to whether the whistleblowing activity was a contributing factor in the adverse employment action URS Energy took against plaintiff; and 5) plaintiff had a constitutional right to a jury trial for his claims seeking money damages under section 5851(b)(4).

EEOC v. Peabody Western Coal Co. (12-17780)

Decision Date: September 26, 2014

In this action, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) alleges that the tribal hiring preference contained in defendant's leases with the Navajo Nation violate Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. Summary judgment against the EEOC is affirmed, where the Navajo hiring preference was a political classification rather than a national origin classification, and therefore did not violate Title VII. - See more at: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/summary/opinion/us-9th-circuit/2014/09/26/271597.html#sthash.YPePFXPG.dpuf

The Retail Property Trust v. UBCJA (No. 12-56427)

Decision Date: September 23, 2014

The district court's grant of a motion to dismiss state-law claims and a motion for judgment on the pleadings is reversed, and dismissal of a federal claim is affirmed, where: 1) section 303 of the Labor Management Relations Act (LMRA) did not preempt state-law claims for trespass and private nuisance related to union activity that may also have constituted secondary boycott activity; 2) federal law does not so thoroughly occupy the field that it always preempts such claims; and 3) the LMRA did not conflict with the plaintiff mall owner's trespass and nuisance claims because the claims touched interests deeply rooted in local feeling and responsibility - See more at: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/summary/opinion/us-9th-circuit/2014/09/23/271535.html#sthash.9fbWfJTg.dpuf

Alexander v. FedEx (No. 12-17458)

Decision Date: August 27, 2014

In this class action brought by plaintiff FedEx drivers against defendant FedEx alleging that, under California Law, plaintiffs were employees rather than independent contractors, summary judgment in favor of defendant and denial of plaintiffs' motion for partial summary judgment is reversed, where plaintiffs are employees as a matter of law under California's right-to-control test.

Slayman v. FedEx (No. 12-35525)

Decision Date: August 27, 2014

In this class action brought by plaintiff FedEx drivers against defendant FedEx alleging that, under Oregon Law, plaintiffs were employees rather than independent contractors, summary judgment in favor of defendant and denial of plaintiffs' motion for partial summary judgment is reversed, where plaintiffs are employees as a matter of law under Oregon's right-to-control and economic-realities tests.

Perez v. USDC (State of Washington Department of Social and Health Servs.) (No. 13-72195 )

Decision Date: April 18, 2014

In the US Department of Labor Secretary's action against the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) alleging violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act, the district court's order compelling the Secretary's response to interrogatories, which would disclose the identities of employees who supported the FLSA claims, is vacated and a writ of mandamus issued to protect these identities because: 1) the timing of employees' statements did not affect their status as informants; and 2) knowledge of their identities would not significantly aid DSHS.

Haro v. City of Los Angeles (No. 12-55062 )

Decision Date: March 18, 2014

Summary judgment for plaintiffs, fire department dispatchers and aeromedical technicians employed by defendant-city, in an action under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), is affirmed, where: 1) plaintiffs were entitled to standard overtime pay because they did not fall within an exemption for employees "engaged in fire protection;" 2) plaintiffs did not have the legal authority and responsibility to engage in fire suppression under FLSA sections 207(k) and 203(y); 3) the statute of limitations should be extended from two to three years because of defendant-city's willful violation of the FLSA; 4) liquidated damages should be awarded because defendant-city could not show good faith or reasonable grounds for violating the FLSA; and 5) offsets for overtime payments defendant-city had already made should be calculated on a week-by-week basis.

Rea v. Michaels Stores (No. 14-55008 )

Decision Date: February 18, 2014

In an action which alleged that defendant had improperly classified its managers as exempt from overtime, the district court's order remanding the case back to state court is reversed and remanded, where: 1) the action was not moot based on the state court's subsequent determination to certify the class; 2) the second removal of the case under the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) was timely; and 3) the CAFA's amount-in-controversy requirement was met.

Aircraft Service International, Inc. v. International Brotherhood of Teamsters (No. 12-36026)

Decision Date: January 10, 2014

In an action brought under the Railway Labor Act (RLA) against "carrier employees" of an aircraft service provider, the district court's issuance of a preliminary strike injunction is affirmed, where: 1) the district court's exercise of jurisdiction in this case proper, because the employees are covered by the RLA and have a legal obligation to engage in the RLA's procedures with which they have not complied; and 2) the strike injunction was not overbroad in violation of the First Amendment.

Muniz v. United Parcel Service, Inc. (No. 11-17282 )

Decision Date: December 5, 2013

The district court's order awarding attorneys' fees to a prevailing plaintiff under California's Fair Employment and Housing Act is: 1) affirmed in part, where the district court did not abuse its discretion in awarding the prevailing plaintiff $697,971.80 in attorneys' fees where the jury awarded her only $27,280 in damages because, although there was a clear disparity between the damages recovered and the fees awarded, California law did not require the district court to reduce the disparity; but 2) vacated and remanded in part, where the fee award to a paralegal was based upon inadmissible hearsay.

Chavarria v. Ralphs Grocery Company (No. 11-56673 )

Decision Date: October 28, 2013

The district court properly denied defendant-employer's motion to compel arbitration in an action asserting claims under California labor law on behalf of the plaintiff and a proposed class of other employees, where: 1) the arbitration policy was procedurally and substantively unconscionable under California contract law and therefore unenforceable; and 2) the state law supporting the unconsionability holding was not preempted by the Federal Arbitration Act because it applied to contracts generally and did not in practice impact arbitration agreements disproportionately.

Abdullah v. U.S. Security Associates, Inc. (No. 11-55653 )

Decision Date: September 27, 2013

The district court's order certifying a class of former and current employees of defendant, who allege that defendant committed numerous violations of California labor law, is affirmed, where: 1) the district court did not abuse its discretion by certifying a meal break sub-class, 2) plaintiffs' claims will yield a common answer that is "apt to drive the resolution of the litigation," and 3) common issues of law or fact will predominate

Petitt v. Sause Brothers (No. 12-70740 )

Decision Date: September 20, 2013

Under the Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act, scheduled wage increases given by a non-union employer to all employees in a certain class based solely upon seniority were a general increase in wages and did not increase a claimant's wage-earning capacity, and therefore, should not be calculated into petitioner's wage-earning capacity for the purposes of calculating disability benefits.

Wang v. Chinese Daily News, Inc. (No. 08-56740 )

Decision Date: September 3, 2013

In a new opinion following remand from the U.S. Supreme Court for reconsideration in light of in light of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes, 131 S. Ct. 2541 (2011), in an action in which plaintiffs allege violations of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), California's Unfair Business Practices Law, and the California Labor Code, the district court\'s certification of the FLSA claim as a collective action and the state-law claims as a class action, is: 1) reversed as to the district court\'s class certification under Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(b)(2) for purposes of monetary relief; 2) vacated and remanded in part, as to the findings of commonality and predominance; and 3) vacated and remanded in part, for reconsideration of class certification under Rule 23(b)(2) for purposes of injunctive relief.

Smith v. Clark County School District (No. 11-17398 )

Decision Date: August 21, 2013

Summary judgment for defendant-employer on plaintiff's claims of disability discrimination and failure to accommodate under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 is: 1) affirmed in part, where the district court did not abuse its discretion by granting defendant-employer's motion for reconsideration of its initial order denying summary judgment; but 2) reversed in part and remanded, where viewing the facts in the light most favorable to plaintiff, a reasonable juror could conclude that plaintiff's applications for disability benefits are consistent with her ADA claim, and thus triable issues of fact remain.

Dahlia v. Rodriguez (No. 10-55978 )

Decision Date: August 21, 2013

The district court's dismissal of a 42 U.S.C. 1983 action brought by plaintiff-police officer who alleged that he was placed on administrative leave in retaliation for disclosing fellow officers' misconduct is reversed and remanded, where: 1) Huppert v. City of Pittsburg, 574 F.3d 696 (9th Cir. 2009) is overruled; 2) after Garcetti v. Ceballos, 547 U.S. 410 (2006), courts must make a "practical" inquiry when determining the scope of a government employee's professional duties and that Huppert erred in concluding that California broadly defines police officers' duties as a matter of law for the purpose of First Amendment retaliation analysis; and 3) placement on administrative leave can constitute an adverse employment action

Blantz v. California Dept. of Corr. and Rehab. (No. 11-56525)

Decision Date: August 15, 2013

In an action brought under 42 U.S.C. section 1983 and state law, alleging plaintiff was terminated without explanation from her independent contractor position as a nurse for the California prison medical care system and given negative job references that effectively barred her from further employment in the system, the district court's dismissal of the action is affirmed where: 1) plaintiff did not have a constitutionally protected interest in her independent contractor position; and 2) a state agency does not create protected property interests for its independent contractors simply by instituting performance review procedures.

Urbino v. Orkin Servs. of Cal., Inc. (No. 11-56944)

Decision Date: August 13, 2013

In an action brought under the Private Attorneys General Act of 2004 alleging multiple wage claims, the district court's order denying plaintiff's motion to remand and directing matter to state court is vacated where federal courts lack subject matter jurisdiction over this California dispute because the recoveries at issue cannot be aggregated to meet the amount in controversy requirement.

Ketchikan Drywall Services, Inc. v. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (No. 11-73105 )

Decision Date: August 6, 2013

The petition for review from an Administrative Law Judge's (ALJ) decision which upheld the defendant's finding that petitioner violated the Immigration and Nationality Act and the resulting civil penalty is denied, where: 1) petitioner violated 8 U.S.C. section 1324a(b), which requires employers to verify that their employees are legally authorized to work in the United States; 2) it is neither arbitrary nor capricious to require that employers complete Employment Eligibility Verification Forms (I-9 Forms), and copying and retaining documents is neither necessary nor sufficient for compliance; and 3) the penalties were imposed for substantive deficiencies on the I-9 Forms themselves, and the ALJ's refusal to reduce the penalty was neither arbitrary nor capricious.

Keller v. Electronic Arts, Inc. (No. 10-15387)

Decision Date: July 31, 2013

In a putative class-action alleging that defendant violated former college football player-plaintiffs' rights of publicity under California Civil Code § 3344 and California common law by using his likeness as part of the NCAA Football video series, the district court's denial of defendant's anti-SLAPP motion to strike and holding that defendant had no First Amendment defense against the right-of-publicity claims of plaintiffs is affirmed, where: 1) under the "transformative use" test developed by the California Supreme Court, defendant's use did not qualify for First Amendment protection as a matter of law because it literally recreated plaintiff in the very setting in which he had achieved renown; 2) the Rogers test which had been created to evaluate Lanham Act claims does not apply in the right-of-publicity arena; and 3) the state-law defenses for the reporting of factual information did not protect defendant's use.

Pride v. Correa (No. 10-56036 )

Decision Date: July 16, 2013

The district court's dismissal of plaintiff-prisoner's claim that defendants violated his Eighth Amendment rights by acting with deliberate indifference towards his serious medical needs is reversed and remanded, where because plaintiff's claim for injunctive relief concerns only his individual medical care, his claim is not already encompassed by the Plata class action, which seeks systemic reform of medical care in California prisons.

Mortensen v. Bresnan Communications, LLC (No. 11-35823 )

Decision Date: July 15, 2013

The district court's decision not to enforce an arbitration clause and a choice of law clause in defendant's broadband Internet service subscriber agreement is vacated and remanded, where: 1) the Federal Arbitration Act preempted Montana's public policy invalidating adhesive agreements running contrary to the reasonable expectations of a party; and 2) the district court erred in not applying New York law because a state's preempted public policy was an impermissible basis on which to reject the parties' choice-of-law selection.

Ahearn v. International Longshore and Warehouse Union (No. 11-35848)

Decision Date: July 5, 2013

The district court's orders finding defendant's Locals 21 and 4 in contempt and ordering it to pay compensatory damages arising when defendant engaged in protest activities at a grain terminal and the grain terminal filed charges against defendant with the National Labor Relations Board is: 1) affirmed in part, where the district court did not abuse its discretion when it awarded compensatory damages to the grain terminal, the record supported the amount of damages awarded to the grain terminal and the NLRB, and the grain terminal's participation in the civil contempt proceedings did not exceed the statutorily limited role under Section 160(l) of the National Labor Relations Act given to charging parties in an action before the NLRB; but 2) reversed in part, where the district court abused its discretion when it awarded compensatory damages to Burlington Northern Sante Fe, and the various law enforcement agencies that responded to the scenes of defendant's protests, because those entities were not parties to the underlying NLRB actions

Tenth Circuit

Appeals from federal district (trial level) courts in Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Utah, and Wyoming

Jordan v. Maxim Healthcare Servs. (No. 18-1290)

Decision Date: June 15, 2020

The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals found that home health workers are exempt from Colorado's state overtime laws.

Under the state law, employers are obligated to issue nonexempt employees overtime pay. According to the law, a list of employees, including companions and domestic employees employed by households, are exempt. However, in a class action brought by the plaintiff, alleging that the defendant, Maxim Healthcare Services, violated Colorado's overtime laws, the Tenth Circuit, on appeal, disagreed.

The Court held that home health workers in Colorado are exempt from the state's overtime laws. While addressing the lack of clarity in the language of the law, the Court ultimately concluded that the employers interpreted its meaning correctly. It is the intent of the legislation that companions employed by third parties, such as home health care workers, be exempt from overtime laws.

Lindsey Hunger v. Walmart Inc. (No. 19-cv-03090 )

Decision Date: October 30, 2019

The Department of Justice filed a complaint today in the United States District Court for the District of Colorado on behalf of Naval Petty Officer Third Class Lindsey Hunger against Walmart Inc. The complaint alleges that Walmart violated the law when it declined to hire Hunger due to her upcoming naval reserve duties.

Ray v. County of Los Angeles (No. 17-56581)

Decision Date: August 22, 2019

Affirmed in part, reversed in part. The panel affirmed Los Angeles County was not entitled to 11th Amendment immunity because the County was not an arm of the state when it administered the In-Home Supportive Services program. The court reversed on the collective period’s effective date.

GCIU-Employer Retirement Fund v. Quad/Graphics, Inc. (No. 17-55667)

Decision Date: December 7, 2018

Affirmed a judgment against an employer in an action brought under the Multiemployer Pension Plan Amendments Act of 1980. At issue was how to calculate the employer's liability for withdrawing from a multiemployer pension plan after its employees voted to decertify a union as their bargaining representative.

Eleventh Circuit

Appeals from federal district (trial level) courts in Alabama, Florida, and Georgia

Joel Rainey v. United Parcel Service, Inc. (No. 19-11770)

Decision Date: June 29, 2020

The Plaintiff, and former employee of the defendant, United Parcel Service, Inc. (UPS), brought claims for age and disability discrimination after being fired. The plaintiff argued that he was protected from this discrimination under the Florida Civil Rights Act; however, both the district court and Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals disagreed.

After customers complained to UPS about his delivery, the plaintiff was eventually terminated. He then filed an Equal Employment Opportunity Charge against the manager who fired him arguing age discrimination. The plaintiff also sued UPS, alleging both age and disability discrimination, which are prohibited under the Florida Civil Rights Act.

Additionally, in order to succeed in an age discrimination claim the employee must prove that the employer's nondiscriminatory reason for termination is untrue. The plaintiff's disciplinary record showed that he had been disciplined on two prior occasions for missing business deliveries and had been fired twice for dishonesty. UPS' stated reason for firing the plaintiff was also dishonesty.

Given this, the Court of Appeals held that the plaintiff failed to show that the nondiscriminatory reason for his termination, offered by UPS, was untrue. The claims were dismissed.

Morrisey v. West Virginia AFL-CIO (No. 17-0187)

Decision Date: April 20, 2020

After a nearly five-year battle, the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that state’s Right to Work law allowing people to opt out of union dues was legal.

Lewis v. Governor of Alabama (No. 17-11009)

Decision Date: December 18, 2019

“[W]e hold that plaintiffs lack ... standing to bring their equal-protection claim against the Alabama attorney general because they have failed to establish that their injuries (while real and cognizable) are fairly traceable to the attorney general’s conduct or that those injuries would be redressed by a decision in their favor," the court ruled.

The appeals court did not consider the merits of the case because it found that the plaintiffs improperly sued the defendants. The court said the fast food workers could have sued their employers but “for reasons unexplained, they didn’t.”

Trevisan Hudson, et al. v. P.I.P Inc., et al. (No. 19-11004)

Decision Date: December 11, 2019

A clause in a Florida pest-control company’s employment agreement requiring each side to cover their own attorney fees in arbitration can’t be enforced because it conflicts with a Fair Labor Standards Act provision that allows workers who win suits to recoup legal costs. The Eleventh Circuit affirmed the district court's conclusion that the fees and costs clause of the arbitration provisions were unenforceable.

Smith v. Haynes & Haynes P.C. (No. 17-14150 )

Decision Date: October 15, 2019

Affirmed in part and vacated in part on Plaintiff's claims of unpaid overtime, retaliation, breach of contract, and slander. The court vacated the district court's holding that the Plaintiff's overtime and breach of contract claims were barred by judicial estoppel and affirmed the lower court's summary judgment in favor of the Defendant on the retaliation claim.

D.C. Circuit

Appeals from federal district (trial level) courts in the District of Columbia

Manus v. Hayden (No. 18-cv-1146 (KBJ))

Decision Date: May 25, 2020

A coordinator of communications strategy for the Library of Congress may not proceed with her claim that she was forced to retire because of her age. She didn’t show that she suffered any tangible consequences from her supervisor’s allegedly negative reviews and treatment of her or his preference for younger employees, the court said, and her assertion that he constantly criticized her and wrote a formal performance counseling memorandum wasn’t enough to show that her working conditions were so intolerable that she had no choice but to retire. In addition, the facts suggest that she was considering leaving her position.

National Treasury Employees Union v. USA et al (No. 1:2019cv00050)

Decision Date: March 16, 2020

A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit brought by the National Treasury Employees Union and another group of federal workers challenging the legal basis by which the federal government forces employees to work without pay during shutdowns, finding that the case is now moot.

Duquesne University v. NLRB (No.18-1063)

Decision Date: January 29, 2020

Duquesne University’s Catholic affiliation puts it outside the purview of the National Labor Relations Board, a split D.C. Circuit ruled Tuesday, finding that the labor board improperly asserted authority over the school by ordering it to bargain with adjunct professors looking to unionize.

National Women's Law Center v. Office of Management and Budget ( No. 17-cv-2458)

Decision Date: October 29, 2019

On October 29, 2019, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ordered that the EEOC must continue to take all steps necessary to complete EEO-1 Component 2 data collection for calendar years 2017 and 2018. The judge ruled that the U.S. EEOC must keep collecting compensation information from employers, rejecting the agency's request that the court-mandated data collection be deemed complete.

Iyoha v. Architect of the Capitol (No. 17-5252)

Decision Date: July 2, 2019

Partially affirmed, partially reversed. The district court properly granted summary judgment for the Architect in a suit alleging retaliation, but improperly dismissed discrimination claims because a reasonable jury could agree that the employee was transferred due to his national origin.

Figueroa v. Pompeo (No. 18-5064)

Decision Date: May 10, 2019

In an employment discrimination case, adopted a new set of legal principles for evaluating the second step of the McDonnell Douglas framework. Revived a foreign service officer's lawsuit against the State Department for alleged national origin bias, reversing summary judgment in relevant part.

University of Southern California v. NLRB (No. 17-1149)

Decision Date: March 12, 2019

Addressed whether non-tenure-track faculty of a private university's school of art and design had the right to join a labor union. The university contended that these full- and part-time faculty members lacked a protected right to unionize because they were, in effect, managerial employees. Granting the university's petition for review in part, the D.C. Circuit held that one aspect of the National Labor Relations Board's decision on this question conflicted with Supreme Court precedent.

Federal Circuit

Appeals from Merit Systems Protection Board and other federal agencies

Eby v. United States ( No. 1:15-cv-00553-CFL)

Decision Date: July 20, 2020

A former National Institutes of Health employee, who successfully argued that she was denied a GS-13 job with the Food and Drug Administration due to NIH’s retaliation, wasn’t entitled to damages based on the back pay she would’ve received if she had been given a promotion to a GS-14 two years after starting work at the FDA, the Federal Circuit ruled. NIH was found to have breached a settlement agreement that resolved her prior discrimination claim against it, and because the agreement was silent as to remedies, she accepted the EEOC’s offer to pursue a retaliation claim. The U.S. Court of Federal Claims properly found that she failed to prove she would have been promoted to a GS-14 position and therefore failed to prove her expectation damages with reasonable certainty, the Federal Circuit held, because the position for which she applied had a maximum promotion of GS-13 and appointment to a GS-14 position would have required her to compete with other applicants.

Sistek v. Dept. of Veterans Affairs (No. DE-1221-18-0100-W-1)

Decision Date: April 13, 2020

Federal agencies can launch retaliatory investigations against employees who blow the whistle on wrongdoing without violating anti-reprisal laws, a federal court has said in a precedent-setting ruling.

While agencies cannot dock pay, deny promotions or engage in several other retaliatory personnel actions against whistleblowers, investigating a worker who has attempted to shed a light on inappropriate or illegal behavior is allowable, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit said. Federal whistleblowers have long complained agencies seek to turn the tables on them in an effort to discredit their claims or remove them from their positions.

Waterman v. Paul G. White Interior Solutions (No. 2:19-cv-00032-JDL)

Decision Date: January 6, 2020

A terminated employee may proceed with his Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) retaliation claim even though he never specifically requested leave under that statute, a Maine federal court has ruled.

Villareal v. Bureau of Prisons (17-2275)

Decision Date: August 24, 2018

Affirmed an arbitrator’s decision sustaining plaintiff’s removal from employment as a corrections officer with the Bureau of Prisons. The Federal Circuit reasoned that there was no claim of prejudice for the delay between the notice of employment infractions and the date of termination and it found plaintiff’s other arguments unpersuasive.

DWA Holdings, LLC v. US (No. 17-1358)

Decision Date: May 9, 2018

Reversing and remanding a US Court of Federal Claims summary judgment ruling that a company's overseas earnings did not entitle them to transitional benefits under the American Jobs Creation Act because their holding that the law only provided transitional relief for income earned between 2006 and 2006 was incorrect.

Saunders v. Wilkie (No. 17-1466)

Decision Date: April 3, 2018

Reversing a Veterans Court determination that a former serviceperson wasn't entitled to disability benefits because the court erred in holding as a matter of law that pain alone cannot constitute a disability without a specific diagnosis or otherwise identified disease.

Holton v. Department of the Navy (No. 17-1430)

Decision Date: March 9, 2018

Affirming the decision of the Merit Systems Protection Board that the dismissal of a rigger supervisor who tested positive for a prohibited substance in a drug test administered following a crane accident because there was reasonable suspicion he was the cause of the accident, so the drug test was properly administrated and did not violate his constitutional rights.

O'Farrell v. Department of Defense (No. 17-1223)

Decision Date: February 9, 2018

Reversing a Merit Systems Protection Board decision denying a claim under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act that the Department of Defense failed to grant military leave to an employee for active military service because the Board abused its discretion in determining that the employee wasn't entitled to additional leave.

US Capitol Police v. Office of Compliance (No. 16-2712)

Decision Date: January 8, 2018

Affirming the decision of the Board of Directors of the Office of Compliance affirming the Hearing Officer's finding that the US Capitol Police engaged in unfair labor practices when it issued a Discipline Warning in response to an officer's protection union activity.

Lentz v. Merit Systems Protection Board (No. 17-1285)

Decision Date: December 12, 2017

Vacating the decision of the Merit Systems Protection Board that a man's resignation from federal employment was voluntary and not a constructive discharge because the Board's decision was based on incorrect evidentiary procedures, including the inappropriate application of collateral estoppel.

Snyder v. Dep't of the Navy (no. 2016-1940)

Decision Date: April 26, 2017

In an appeal of the Final Decision of the Merit Systems Protection Board affirming the decision of the Department of the Navy to furlough petitioner for six days between July and September of 2013 as a result of the federal government sequestration of 2013, the Board's decision is affirmed where there is no reversible error.

Wilson v. Dep't of the Navy (no. 2015)

Decision Date: December 7, 2016

In an action seeking review of the Merit Systems Protection Board's decision denying petitioner's request for corrective action under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA), 38 U.S.C.section 4301, alleging that the Department of Energy improperly revoked his security clearance and the Navy improperly terminated his employment thereafter, the Board's decision is affirmed where it lacked the authority to review adverse security clearance determinations and the Navy had not acted improperly in terminating petitioner given the revoked clearance.

Miller v. Dep't of Justice (no. 2015-3149)

Decision Date: December 2, 2016

In an appeal of the decision of the Merit Systems Protection Board denying petitioner relief for a personnel action taken by the Department of Justice involving claims under the Whistleblower Protection Act, the district court's decision is reversed where the Board's holding that the Government successfully rebutted petitioner's prima facie case, by showing independent causation for the personnel action, is not supported by substantial evidence.

Cleaton v. Dep't of Justice (no. 2015-3126)

Decision Date: October 13, 2016

In an appeal of the Merit Systems Protection Board's decision sustaining petitioner's removal from his position as Correctional Officer pursuant to 5 U.S.C. section 7371, which mandates the removal of any law enforcement officer who is convicted of a felony, the Board's decision is affirmed where the Board did not err in finding that petitioner was convicted of a felony on May 6, 2014.

Lal v. Merit Sys. Prot. Bd. (No. 2015-3140)

Decision Date: May 11, 2016

In an action brought by a plaintiff who was terminated from her position as a distinguished consultant at the Centers for Disease Control, the Board's decision that it lacked jurisdiction over petitioner's removal because she had been appointed pursuant to 42 U.S.C. section 209(f), is reversed where although 209(f) places petitioner into the excepted service, it does not exempt her from the Civil Service Due Process Amendments of 1990, which provide appeal rights to certain excepted service employees.

Mueller v. Government Printing Office (2015-3032)

Decision Date: January 15, 2016

In a grievance against petitioner's employer, which was referred to an arbitrator pursuant to a collective bargaining agreement, the arbitrator's dismissal of the grievance as not arbitrable on the ground that a four-month deadline for holding a hearing, as required by the agreement, had passed, is reversed where: 1) the arbitrator erred because the contractual provision does not require dismissal of the grievance in the event of noncompliance with the four-month deadline; and 2) the deadline is merely a nonbinding housekeeping rule to encourage timely arbitration, one that is addressed to the arbitrator as well as the parties.

National Federation of Federal Employees, Local 1442 v. Dep't of the Navy (14-3175)

Decision Date: October 19, 2015

In a joint petition for review of an arbitrator's decisions denying grievances filed by a union, challenging the furloughing of bargaining unit employees for six discontinuous days, which was the result of an automatic process of federal agency spending reductions known as "sequestration," the decisions are affirmed where the arbitrator did not err in finding that the furloughs promoted the efficiency of the service and were in accordance with law.

Personalized User Model, LLP v. Google, Inc. (No. 14-1841)

Decision Date: August 18, 2015

In a breach of employment contract counterclaim in an underlying infringement suit involving patents for inventions related to "Personal Web," the district court's judgment is affirmed where: 1) the court did not err in granting judgment as a matter of law (JMOL); and 2) the court lacks jurisdiction to hear the counter-claim.

Mercier v. US (No. 14-5074 )

Decision Date: May 15, 2015

In a suit brought by nurses employed by the Department of Veterans Affairs, claiming entitlement to overtime pay under 38 U.S.C. section 7453(e)(1), the Court of Federal Claims final decision dismissing the complaint is reversed where the court erred in requiring that the nurses' overtime be officially ordered or approved by express direction to be compensable.

Wrocklage v. DHS (13-3159)

Decision Date: October 21, 2014

Removal of petitioner Wrocklage from his position as Customs and Border Protection Officer at defendant Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is vacated and remanded, where the charges of unauthorized disclosure and lack of candor are not supported by substantial evidence. -

Cunningham v. US (No. 2013-5055 )

Decision Date: April 9, 2014

In an action for breach of contract, in which plaintiff alleges that defendant-former employer, the government, disclosed details about him to another employer and thereby violated a confidentiality provision of a settlement agreement, the Court of Federal Claims' decision that res judicata barred his claim because plaintiff declined the recission and reinstatement remedies offered by the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB), is reversed and remanded, where: 1) the Claims Court possessed jurisdiction under the Tucker Act; but 2) because jurisdictional limits on the MSPB's remedial authority did not permit plaintiff to seek monetary damages for defendant's breach of contract, the MSPB's prior judgment of dismissal does not preclude his suit in the Claims Court.

Mitchell v. Merit Systems Protection Board (No. 2013-3056 )

Decision Date: January 15, 2014

Dismissal by the Merit Systems Protection Board of petitioner's appeal of her removal from her position as an Assistant United States Attorney is reversed and remanded, where: 1) the seven-plus months during the pendency of petitioner's background check in the months before August 2009 count toward the required 2 years of current continuous service; and as such, 2) petitioner worked for more than two years in the same or similar positions and she comes within the statutory definition of an "employee" who may appeal to the Board.

Cencast Services, L.P. v. US (No. 12-5142 )

Decision Date: September 10, 2013

In consolidated tax refund cases brought by entities that remit payroll and employment taxes on behalf of motion picture and television production companies, the judgment of the United States Court of Federal Claims rejecting plaintiffs' claims for tax refunds is affirmed, where: 1) the scope of plaintiffs' liability for employment taxes under the Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA) and the Federal Insurance Contribution Act (FICA) is determined by reference to the employees' employment relationships with the common law employers for which plaintiffs remit taxes; 2) the common law employers cannot decrease their liability by retaining entities such as plaintiffs to actually make the wage payments to the employees; and 3) plaintiff is barred from raising its theory that it overpaid the FUTA and FICA taxes because some of the individuals classified as employees were independent contractors.

Tierney v. Department of Justice (No. 11-3159)

Decision Date: June 20, 2013

The decision by the Merit Systems Protection Board (Board) denying petitioner's request for corrective action with respect to days for which he alleged that he was improperly charged annual leave or leave without pay while performing reserve military duties, is reversed and remanded, where the Board's decision is not supported by substantial evidence

California Supreme Court

California v. Uber Technologies, Inc.; Lyft, Inc.; & DOES 1-50 (Complaint for Injunctive Relief, Restitution, and Penalties)

Decision Date: May 4, 2020

California and three of its biggest cities sued Uber and Lyft Tuesday for misclassifying hundreds of thousands of drivers as independent contractors, in violation of a new state law. The suit argues that drivers are company employees, entitled to minimum and overtime wages, paid sick leave, health benefits, and access to social insurance programs like unemployment.

OTO, L.L.C. v. Kho (No. 244630)

Decision Date: August 29, 2019

Reversed. The Defendant was an employee of Plaintiff and during the course of his employment he was required to sign a document that contained an arbitration agreement. He was not afforded the opportunity to read the document before signing and the document was not explained or provided in his first language, Chinese. After his employment with Plaintiff ended, he filed a complaint with the Labor Commissioner. Plaintiff sought to enforce the arbitration agreement. The Supreme Court held that arbitration agreements are not categorically unconscionable as a waiver of the “Berman procedure” found in Labor Code 98, but an agreement to arbitrate must provide an accessible and affordable process. However, in this case the Court reversed the appeals court because the agreement had unusually high degree of procedural unconscionability and the Plaintiff was coerced and misled into accepting this agreement.

Wilson v. Cable News Network, Inc. (No. 239686)

Decision Date: July 22, 2019

Affirmed in part and reversed in part. Plaintiff filed suit for employment discrimination, retaliation and defamation. Defendant filed an anti—SLAPP motion, Code of Civil Procedure section 425.16. The Supreme court held that the anti-SLAPP statute is applicable to the claims of discrimination and retaliation, but not to the defamation cause of action because it was not made in connection with any issue of public significance.

Stoetzl v. Dept. of Human Resources (No. 244751)

Decision Date: July 1, 2019

Reversed. Plaintiffs are state correctional employees who sought additional compensation for pre and postwork activities that include walking from outermost gate of prison to their work posts. The court divided Plaintiffs into two groups: union and non-union. The appeals court held that the non-union employees were entitled to overtime. The California Supreme Court held the union employees were not entitled to additional compensation because their collective bargaining agreement took that into account. And the non-union were not entitled because the walking time did not fit the definition of compensable work time under the Pay Scale Manual.

Goonewardene v. ADP, LLC (No. 238941)

Decision Date: February 7, 2019

Held that an employee could not sue a payroll company (that is, an independent payroll service provider) for violating California wage orders. The employee had brought suit against both her former employer and the company it hired to handle payroll tasks. However, the California Supreme Court concluded that the payroll company was not subject to such claims, reversing the appellate court.

Boling v. Public Employment Relations Board (242034)

Decision Date: August 2, 2018

Ruled for labor unions on a meet-and-confer issue in a case where the mayor of San Diego sponsored a citizens' initiative to eliminate pensions for new municipal employees. Unions for the municipal employees argued that the failure to meet and confer over the measure constituted an unfair labor practice. On review, the California Supreme Court agreed with the unions that the appellate court erred by taking an unduly constricted view of the duty to meet and confer, among other errors, and reversed and remanded the decision.

Troester v. Starbucks Corp. (234969)

Decision Date: July 26, 2018

Answered a certified question regarding compensation of store employees for the several minutes that they spend closing the store after clocking out. Responding to a question certified by the Ninth Circuit, the California Supreme Court held that California wage-hour law has not incorporated the de minimis doctrine found in the Fair Labor Standards Act, but that the relevant state statutes and wage order do not allow employers to require employees to routinely work for minutes off-the-clock without compensation.

Liberty Surplus Insurance Corporation v. Ledesma & Meyer Construction Company, Inc. (No. 236765)

Decision Date: June 4, 2018

Affirming that when a third party sues an employer for the negligent hiring, retention, and supervision of an employee who intentionally injured a third party this can count as an occurrence under the employer's commercial general liability policy because the injury can be considered accidental in a suit involving an assistant superintendent to a middle school construction project that was accused of sexually abusing a 13 year old student.

Solus Industrial Innovations, LLC v. The Superior Court of Orange County (No. 222314)

Decision Date: February 8, 2018

Reversing the Court of Appeals determination that an action brought by the Orange County District Attorney for civil penalties under state unfair competition laws was preempted by federal Occupational Safety and Health Act regulations because the state regulations did not encroach on a field fully occupied by federal law or thwart federal objectives, nor did the structure and language of the federal act indicate Congress's clear intent to preempt such claims.

Augustus v. ABM Security ServicesAugustus v. ABM Security Services (no. 224853)

Decision Date: December 22, 2016

In an employment law class action, the Court held that California Labor Code section 226.7 prohibits on-duty and on-call rest periods and requires employers to relieve their employees of all duties and relinquish any control over how employees spend their break time during rest periods. The Court of Appeal's contrary judgment is reversed.

Sandquist v. Lebo Automotive, Inc. (Case No. 220812)

Decision Date: July 28, 2016

In a case to determine whether a court or an arbitrator decides if an arbitration agreement permits or prohibits classwide arbitration, the Court of Appeal decision in favor of the arbitrator is affirmed where: 1) no universal rule allocates this decision in all cases to either arbitrators or courts; 2) who decides is in the first instance a matter of agreement, with the parties' agreement subject to interpretation under state contract law; 3) under state law, these parties' arbitration agreement allocates the decision to the arbitrator; and 4) under federal arbitration law, no contrary presumption requires a different result, so the issue remains one for the arbitrator.

Williams v. Chino Valley Independent Fire Dist. (No. S213100)

Decision Date: May 4, 2015

In a suit against a fire district alleging employment discrimination in violation of the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), Gov. Code section 12900, the court of appeals' decision affirming the trial court's grant of summary judgment and costs to the district is reversed where: 1) Government Code section 12965(b) governs cost awards in FEHA actions, allowing trial courts discretion in awards of both attorney fees and costs to prevailing FEHA parties; and 2) in awarding attorney fees and costs, the trial court's discretion is bounded by the rule of Christiansburg Garment Co. v. EEOC, 434 U.S. 412 (1978), and an unsuccessful FEHA plaintiff should not be ordered to pay the defendant's fees or costs unless the plaintiff brought or continued litigating the action without an objective basis for believing it had potential merit.

Dynamex v. Super. Ct. (B24956)

Decision Date: October 15, 2014

This petition for writ of mandate alleges that the superior court's certification of the proposed class improperly adopted the definition of "employee" found in Industrial Welfare Commission (IWC) wage orders and failed to use the Borello common law test for distinguishing between employees and independent contractors. The petition is: 1) denied in part, where the superior court correctly allowed plaintiffs to rely on the IWC definition for purposes of those claims falling within the scope of Wage Order No. 9; and 2) granted in part, with respect to claims falling outside the scope of Wage Order No. 9, where the superior court must reevaluate whether class certification remains appropriate by focusing its analysis on differences in the defendant's right to exercise control, as per Ayala v. Antelope Valley Newspapers, Inc

City of Los Angeles v. Superior Court (Engineers & Architects Association) (No. S192828)

Decision Date: June 20, 2013

The Court of Appeals' conclusion that petitioner-city could not be compelled to arbitrate the union's claims regarding a furloughs dispute because arbitration would constitute an unlawful delegation to the arbitrator of discretionary policy-making powers that the city's charter vested in its city council, is reversed, where: 1) of the dispute at issue here does not constitute an unlawful delegation of discretionary authority to the arbitrator; and 2) the city is contractually obligated to arbitrate the employee furloughs dispute

California Court of Appeal

Hoeper v. City & County of San Francisco (Nos. A152539)

Decision Date: February 19, 2020

The California Court of Appeal has upheld a unanimous jury verdict in a retaliation case involving San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera.

On Thursday, the court upheld the jury’s finding that Herrera illegally retaliated against San Francisco Chief Trial Deputy Joanne Hoeper by firing her after she claims to have discovered a scheme happening at Herrera’s office.

Gonzales v. San Gabriel Transit (No. 282377)

Decision Date: October 8, 2019

Plaintiff filed a putative class action against SGT, alleging violations of the Labor Code and Industrial Welfare Commission's (IWC) wage orders. Plaintiff alleged that SGT misclassified drivers as independent contractors. The case was remanded for further proceedings in accordance with the recent decision by the California Supreme Court in Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court where the "ABC test" was adopted for analyzing the distinction between employees and independent contractors in wage order claims.

Jeffra v. Cal. State Lottery (No.292775)

Decision Date: August 29, 2019

Affirmed. Plaintiff was an investigator employed by the California State Lottery. He sued Defendant alleging retaliation in violation of the California Whistleblower Protection Act. Defendant filed an anti-SLAPP motion to strike Plaintiff’s complaint. The trial court denied the motion. The appeals court agreed finding Plaintiff had established his complaint arose from a protected activity and that he was likely to succeed on the merits of his claim.

Mejia v. Merchants Building Maintenance, (No. 074620)

Decision Date: August 13, 2019

Affirmed denial of motion to compel arbitration. An employee bringing a Private Attorney General’s Act claim may not be compelled to arbitrate that portion of the claim that seeks to recover underpaid wages.

Pearl v. City of Los Angeles (No. 285235)

Decision Date: June 18, 2019

Upheld a multimillion-dollar judgment in favor of a Los Angeles city employee who brought an employment lawsuit against the city for harassment and retaliation. The city argued that the damages were excessive.

Nunez v. Nevell Group, Inc. (No. 056585)

Decision Date: May 28, 2019

Held that a construction contractor waived its right to compel arbitration of a unionized employee's wage-hour claim by waiting too long to file a motion to compel arbitration.

Muller v. Roy Miller Freight Lines, LLC (No. 055053)

Decision Date: May 1, 2019

Held that a truck driver did not have to arbitrate his claim for unpaid wages. He fell within the Federal Arbitration Act's exemption for transportation workers engaged in interstate commerce. Affirmed the ruling below.

Diaz v. Sohnen Enterprises (No. 283077)

Decision Date: April 10, 2019

Held that a company was entitled to compel arbitration of discrimination claims, because the employee had impliedly accepted an arbitration agreement by continuing to work for the company. Reversed the denial of a motion to compel arbitration.

Subcontracting Concepts (CT), LLC v. De Melo (No. 152205)

Decision Date: April 10, 2019

Held that an employee who filed an administrative wage claim with the California Labor Commissioner could not be forced into arbitration, because his employment contract's arbitration clause was permeated with unconscionability. Affirmed the denial of a petition to compel arbitration.

Zakaryan v. The Men's Wearhouse, Inc., (No. 289192)

Decision Date: March 28, 2019

Held that a store manager complaining of wage-and-hour violations did not have to arbitrate his claim under California's Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA). Also, courts may not split a solitary PAGA claim and send only part of it to arbitration. Affirmed the denial of the store's motion to compel arbitration.

Salgado v. Carrows Restaurants Inc. (No. 285756)

Decision Date: March 25, 2019

Addressed whether an arbitration agreement could be enforced, given that it was signed only after the employee filed her employment discrimination lawsuit. Reversed and remanded for further findings.

Jimenez-Sanchez v. Dark Horse Express, Inc. (No. 072599)

Decision Date: February 14, 2019

Held that the trial court erred in denying class certification to truck drivers bringing wage and hour claims against their employer. Reversed and remanded for further proceedings, explaining that errors were made in analyzing whether predominantly common issues existed.

Ward v. Tilly's, Inc., (No. 280151)

Decision Date: February 4, 2019

Revived a sales clerk's claim that a retail store engaged in unlawful on-call scheduling. The sales clerk alleged that she and other employees were required to call in two hours before their scheduled shifts to check whether they should actually come in to work, and if they were not needed received no pay. Reversing a dismissal, the California Court of Appeal held that such a practice would violate a California Wage Order.

Siri v. Sutter Home Winery, Inc. (No. 141335)

Decision Date: January 23, 2019

Revived a whistleblowing employee's claim that she was unlawfully terminated for reporting her employer's failure to pay certain taxes. Reversed a summary judgment ruling and remanded.

Rall v. Tribune 365 LLC (No. 284566)

Decision Date: January 17, 2019

Held that a political cartoonist and blogger could not proceed with his lawsuit alleging that a newspaper wrongfully terminated his employment and also defamed him by telling its readers that it had serious questions about the accuracy of one of his blog posts. Affirmed the granting of the newspaper's anti-SLAPP motion.

Duffey v. Tender Heart Home Care Agency LLC (No. 152535)

Decision Date: January 11, 2019

Revived a domestic worker's claim that she was denied overtime wages. Held that she may have been an employee, rather than an independent contractor, of a home care agency and thus entitled to overtime protection under California's Domestic Worker Bill of Rights. Reversed a summary adjudication.

Furry v. East Bay Publishing LLC (No. 151986)

Decision Date: January 4, 2019

Revived an employee's claim for unpaid overtime wages, holding that because his employer failed to keep accurate records of his work hours, his own imprecise evidence of his hours could suffice. Reversed a bench trial ruling in relevant part and remanded.

Public Employment Relations Board v. Bellflower Unified School District (No. 288594)

Decision Date: December 4, 2018

Upheld orders issued by the California Public Employment Relations Board that a school district must, among other things, post two specific notices to its employees in connection with unfair labor practice charges. The school district had refused to post the notices. Affirmed the issuance of a writ of mandate.

Jones v. Sorenson (084870)

Decision Date: August 2, 2018

Revived a claim that a homeowner was liable for injuries that a gardener's helper suffered by falling from a ladder while trimming a tree. The gardener's helper argued that the gardener was negligent and that the homeowner was liable in tort under a respondeat superior theory by virtue of being their employer. On appeal, the Third Appellate District held that the negligence claim could proceed to trial, reversing the entry of summary judgment.

Honeycutt v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. (281982)

Decision Date: August 2, 2018

Held that an arbitration award had to be vacated because the arbitrator failed to disclose a conflict of interest. In this employment-related lawsuit, an employee who lost her case in arbitration filed a petition to vacate the arbitration award on grounds that the arbitrator had failed to disclose his work as an arbitrator in other cases involving the employer's counsel. The Second Appellate District agreed with the employee that the arbitrator's nondisclosure was grounds for vacating the arbitration award, and reversed and remanded with instructions to grant the petition to vacate the award.

Nishiki v. Danko Meredith, APC (147733)

Decision Date: August 1, 2018

Affirmed that a law firm paralegal who was not paid for her unused vacation time within 72 hours of resigning was entitled to waiting-time penalties. The law firm appealed from an order of the California Labor Commissioner requiring it to pay waiting-time penalties of more than $4000. The First Appellate District reduced the penalty amount to $2,250 but otherwise affirmed the judgment, including an award to the paralegal of attorney fees.

Moen v. Regents of the University of California (153386)

Decision Date: August 1, 2018

Reversed decertification of a class of retired University of California employees who claimed they were denied promised health insurance benefits. The retirees, who had worked at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, appealed the trial court's ruling that decertified the class for lack of commonality. On appeal, the First Appellate District held that the trial court's decertification ruling had relied on erroneous legal standards.

Camacho v. Target Corporation (No. 073280)

Decision Date: June 8, 2018

Reversing a trial court judgment that language included in an addendum to a preprinted compromise and release form used to settle a former employee's workers' compensation action against Target constituted a broad release of any and all potential claims he may have had against the company, including claims falling outside the workers' compensation system because construing this as including a general release of all civil claims including claims for harassment and discrimination were in error.

Diaz v. Grill Concepts Services, Inc. (No. 280846)

Decision Date: May 24, 2018

Affirming the trial court's order finding an employer liable for waiting time penalties in a case involving the nonpayment of wages required by law when they fired them because the nonpayment was found to be willful where the employer suspected the required wage had gone up but continued paying the old wage after a halfhearted investigation and later made the unreasonable argument that the wage law was unconstitutionally vague.

Abed v. Western Dental Services, Inc. (No. 150933)

Decision Date: May 23, 2018

Reversing in part and reinstating a California Fair Employment and Housing Act claim in the case of a pregnant woman who was falsely told by a potential employer that they were not hiring because although she never applied for a job she raised triable issues of material fact as to whether she was discriminated against when they made these misstatements.

Blue v. California Office of the Inspector General (No. 083175)

Decision Date: May 10, 2018

Reversing the portion of a trial court order denying an anti-SLAPP motion with respect to the first and second causes of action in a suit in which the Office of the Inspector General and the Inspector General himself conducted interviews with five correctional officers who previously worked at High Desert State Prison regarding the excessive use of force against inmates and alleging in the first and second causes of action that the Public Safety Officers Procedural Bill of Rights were violated by when officer requests for representation during the interviews were denied.

Hernandez v. Rancho Santiago Community College District (No. 054563)

Decision Date: May 3, 2018

Affirming the trial court's judgment for the plaintiff in a suit under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act for her employer's failure to make reasonable accommodation for her temporary disability leave during her probationary period because the court found the district could have accommodated her by extending her probationary period, deducting leave time from the probationary period, or making other adjustments to avoid the outcome they claimed would occur, namely her retention as a permanent employee without having a performance evaluation.

EHM Productions, Inc. v. Starline Tours of Hollywood, Inc. (No. 281594)

Decision Date: March 28, 2018

Affirming the award of costs to bus drivers employed by a Hollywood tours company because the sole contention on appeal was that the court erred in entering two consecutive judgments resulting from the same arbitration, but the confirmation of award and costs award did not result in error.

County of San Diego v. Workers Compensation Appeals Board (No. 072648)

Decision Date: March 6, 2018

Annulling a Workers Compensation Appeals Board order denying the County's petition for reconsideration and affirming a workers compensation administrative law judge's order awarding temporary disability benefits for periods of disability occurring more than five years after a worker's injury because the Labor Code precludes the award of temporary disability payments beyond five years.

Delgadillo v. Television Center, Inc. (No. 270985)

Decision Date: February 27, 2018

Affirming the grant of summary judgment in the negligence suit brought by the surviving family of a window washer who fell to his death because caselaw holds that when a property owner hires an independent contractor the property owner isn't liable for the contractor's employees unless the defendant's affirmative conduct contributed to the injuries.

Kim v. Reins International California, Inc. (No. 278642)

Decision Date: January 29, 2018

Affirming a trial court grant of a defendant's motion to dismiss a Labor Code Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) claim advanced as part of a wage and hour violation suit by a former employee after they accepted an offer to settle their individual claims against the company because the dismissal of individual claims with prejudice foreclosed his standing under PAGA.

Lampe v. Queen of the Valley Medical Center (No. 146588)

Decision Date: January 23, 2018

Affirming a trial court order denying class certification in wage and hour claims against a medical center because substantial evidence led to the court's conclusion that individualized issues were predominant and the claims couldn't be proven efficiently as a class.

Bustos v. Global P.E.T., Inc. (No. 065869)

Decision Date: January 16, 2018

Affirming a trial court ruling denying attorney fees in the case of a disability discrimination claim where a disability was found to be a substantial motivating reason in the decision of an employer to terminate an employee because the defense defeated all of the claims and although attorney fees could be provided in such a circumstance there was no error in the trial court's decision.

Simers v. Los Angeles Times Communications, LLC (No. 269565)

Decision Date: January 5, 2018

Affirming trial court orders granting judgment notwithstanding the verdict in the case of a longtime sports reporter whose writing allegedly suffered following a mini-stroke as to his constructive termination claim, finding substantial evidence supported age and disability discrimination claims because the company's actions following the writer's stroke were not, alone or in combination, an unusually aggravated or continuous pattern of mistreatment, and granting a new trial as to damages because it was impossible to separate the amounts from the individual charges.

The International Brotherhood of Boilermakers v. Nassco Holdings, Inc. (No. 070620)

Decision Date: November 30, 2017

Affirming the superior court's decision that an employer failed to comply with the California WARN Act, requiring 60 days notice to affected employees prior to a mass layoff, holding that this obligation arises even if the layoffs were not permanent and were for less than six months.

Turman v. the Superior Court of Orange County (No. 051871)

Decision Date: November 29, 2017

Granting a petition for writ of mandate in the case of former employees suing their former employer, its president and sole shareholder, and a corporation held by the same man in the same manner claiming labor violations and unfair competition, holding that the trial court erred by granting a motion to certify a class action that limited its members because they used the wrong criteria, that the court erred by sanctioning plaintiff's counsel and denying a revised motion to compel responses, vacating findings that the companies are not alter egos, and finding other errors in the interpretation of caselaw and the definition of the term 'employer.'

Whitehall v. County of San Bernadino (No. 065672)

Decision Date: November 15, 2017

Affirming the trial court's denial of a special motion to strike the complaint made by a County being sued by an ex-employee who was terminated for releasing information that she had been submitting false information to the juvenile court at the behest of her superiors because the plaintiff met her burden in showing her likelihood of success.

M.F. v. Pacific Pearl Hotel Management, LLC (No.070150)

Decision Date: October 26, 2017

Reversing and remanding the superior court's dismissal of a claim under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act brought by a housekeeping employee who was raped by a drunk non-employee trespasser that the employer knew or should have known was on the premises and had aggressively propositioned other employees prior to the attack because the claims were sufficient under the statute to survive the employer's demurrer.

Baxter v. Genworth North America Corporation (No. 144744)

Decision Date: October 26, 2017

Affirming the trial court's denial of a motion to compel arbitration in a wrongful termination suit because they agreed that the arbitration agreement at issue was both procedurally and substantively unconscionable because signing the agreement was a condition of employment and the procedural deadlines shortened the statute of limitations, accelerated hearing procedures to the employee's disadvantage, and precluded the meaningful opportunity for prelitigation investigation.

Melendez v. San Francisco Baseball Assoc. (No. 149482)

Decision Date: October 17, 2017

In a wage and hour dispute between a security guard and his employer, the San Francisco Giants, the trial court's denial of defendant's motion to compel arbitration is reversed where: 1) arbitration is not compelled by the collective bargaining agreement; but 2) is required under the Labor Relations Management Act, 29 U.S.C. section 185(a).

Linton v. Desoto Cab Company, Inc. (No. 146162)

Decision Date: October 5, 2017

Reversing a judgment in favor of the defendant cab company in a case involving a claim for unfair wages where the Labor Commissioner had already ruled in favor of the plaintiff because the court erred in the legal analysis and distinguishing employee and independent contractor cases.

Lopez v. Friant and Associates, LLC (No. 148849)

Decision Date: September 26, 2017

Reversing the trial court's grant of summary judgment to the defendant employer in a case involving their failure to provide required information on itemized wage statements because the Private Attorneys General Act does not require that such failure be knowing or intentional under the specific section on which the plaintiff was proceeding.

Levi v. The Regents of the University of California (No. 069526)

Decision Date: September 26, 2017

Reversing the trial court's orders granting summary judgment to the defendant employer on several causes of action relating to alleged harassment, discrimination, and retaliation because sufficient evidence was presented to overcome summary judgment by raising triable issues of fact, but affirming the court's refusal to hear certain evidentiary objections that were untimely or improperly framed.

Diego v. City of Los Angeles (No. 268266)

Decision Date: September 14, 2017

Reversing a four million dollar damages verdict in the case of two police officers who complained that the LAPD engaged in discrimination against Hispanic officers because their claims had been based on an improper legal theory and failed to submit sufficient evidence in support of their claim of retaliation.

Aviles-Rodriguez v. Los Angeles Community College District (No. 278863)

Decision Date: August 29, 2017

Reversing a judgment dismissing the third amended complaint in a Fair Employment and Housing Act suit alleging discrimination in the denial of tenure to a Los Angeles Community College District professor because although there is a one-year statute of limitations period for such claims the period began when the professor was no longer employed by the school, rather than a year from the denial of tenure, in which to file his complaint.

OTO, LLC. v. Kho (No. 147564)

Decision Date: August 21, 2017

Reversing the trial court's denial of a petition to compel arbitration in the case of a former employee who was seeking unpaid wages pursuant to an arbitration agreement the former employer had their employee execute while employed by them because the agreement satisfied the requirements of affordability and accessibility.

Light v. California Dept. of Parks and Recreation (No. 070361)

Decision Date: August 8, 2017

Reversing summary adjudication of a retaliation claim and a ruling that workers' compensation exclusivity barred claims for intentional infliction of emotional distress but affirming the summary adjudication of a disability discrimination claim and affirming all judgments in favor of one of the defendants in a complicated case involving one employee's complaints about pressure on her to discriminate against a colleague perceived as being gay and the fallout from her unwillingness to participate.

Husman v. Toyota (No. 268300)

Decision Date: June 21, 2017

In the case of a Toyota executive manager who alleged that they were terminated on account of his employer's sexual orientation and statements about the company's commitment to diversity, the trial court's grant of summary judgment in favor of defendant is: 1) reversed where sufficient evidence had been submitted to establish that prejudice was a substantial motivating factor in the termination; but 2) affirmed where plaintiff failed to raise a triable issue of material fact to support his retaliation and common law tort claim.

Kao v. Joy Holiday (No. 147540)

Decision Date: June 15, 2017

In an employment action alleging breach of contract and violation of federal and state statutes regulating wages and overtime pay, the trial court's judgment against plaintiff is reversed where plaintiff is entitled to compensation under the wage statutes, making an equitable remedy unnecessary.

Tartaglia v. Dep't of Veterans Affairs (No. 2016-2226)

Decision Date: June 7, 2017

In a petition appealing a final order of the Merit Systems Protection Board, which upheld his removal from employment with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the Board's decision is vacated where it abused its discretion when it upheld petitioner's removal.

Featherstone v. S. Cal. Permanente Med. Group ( no. 275225)

Decision Date: April 19, 2017

In an action brought by a former employee against her employer, alleging defendant refused to rescind her resignation in violation of the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), Gov.Code section 12940 et seq., and public policy, the district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of defendants is affirmed where: 1) defendant's refusal to allow plaintiff to rescind her resignation was not an adverse employment action under the FEHA.; and 2) plaintiff failed to raise a triable issue of fact as to whether the defendant employees who accepted and promptly processed her resignation knew of her alleged temporary disability at the time they took those actions.

Applied Medical Corporation v. Thomas (no. 145867)

Decision Date: April 12, 2017

In a corporate governance action, arising from plaintiff corporation's suit over the exercise of its right to repurchase shares of its stock, given to defendant under a stock incentive plan for outside directors on its board, the trial court's grant of summary judgment to defendant is: 1) reversed because plaintiff's conversion claim could be based on either ownership or the right to possession at the time of conversion; and 2) affirmed because plaintiff's fraud claims were not timely under either the discovery rule or relation back doctrine, and thus barred by the statute of limitations.

Gerard v. Orange Coast Memorial Med. Center (no. 048039)

Decision Date: March 21, 2017

In a putative class and private attorney general enforcement action brought by care workers against their hospital employer for alleged Labor Code violations and related claims, primarily contending the hospital illegally allowed its health care employees to waive their second meal periods on shifts longer than 12 hours, the previous Court of Appeals' ruling in favor of plaintiffs is reversed where, in light of the enactment of Statutes 2015, chapter 506, the order of the Industrial Welfare Commission (IWC) that authorizes employees in the health care industry to waive one of those two required meal periods on shifts longer than 8 hours, is valid.

Gateway Community Charters v. Spiess (no. 078677)

Decision Date: March 8, 2017

In a wage dispute between a former at-will employee and charter school defendant, a nonprofit public benefit corporation that operates charter schools, the trial court's award to plaintiff of penalties pursuant to Labor Code section 203 is affirmed where an defendant does not qualify as an 'other municipal corporation' for purposes of Labor Code section 220(b) and is thereby not exempt from assessment of waiting time penalties described in section 203.

Beck v. Stratton (no. 270826)

Decision Date: March 8, 2017

In an attorney's fees portion of a labor case, in which plaintiff received an award of unpaid wages and penalties against his former employer, the trial court's grant of attorney's fees to plaintiff is affirmed over defendant's arguments that the motion for attorney's fees -- filed by plaintiff under Labor Code section 98.2 58 days after defendant's unsuccessful appeal -- was untimely because the case was a limited civil case, and even if the motion was timely, the fee award was unreasonably high and unsupported by competent billing evidence.

Vaquero v. Stoneledge Furniture (no. 269657)

Decision Date: March 1, 2017

In a class action complaint alleging defendant's commission pay plan did not comply with California law, the trial court's ruling granting summary judgment in favor of the employer is reversed where: 1) employees paid on commission are entitled to separate compensation for rest periods mandated by state law; and 2) employers who keep track of hours worked, including rest periods, violate this requirement by paying employees a guaranteed minimum hourly rate as an advance on commissions earned in later pay periods.

Lynn v. Tatitlek Support (no. 063585)

Decision Date: February 22, 2017

In a wrongful death action involving the issue of whether defendant-employer's temporary employee was acting within the scope of his employment when he caused the automobile accident that killed plaintiff, the trial court's grant of summary judgment in favor of defendant is affirmed on the ground it is undisputed defendant was not vicariously liable for the accident under the doctrine of respondeat superior, as plaintiffs have failed to present evidence supporting these exceptions to the going and coming rule.

Secci v. United Independent Taxi Drivers (no. 270082)

Decision Date: February 15, 2017

In a suit for damages suffered after a motorcycle crash with a driver who was driving a taxi marked defendant's insignia, in which the jury found driver to be defendant's agent, but not an employee, the trial court's grant of defendant's motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict (JNOV) under Code of Civil Procedure section 629, finding the evidence insufficient to support the jury's finding that driver was defendant's agent, is reversed and the verdict reinstated where California law does not preclude consideration of controls required by public regulations in finding an agency relationship.

Flores v. Nature's Best Distribution, LLC (no. 052410)

Decision Date: December 28, 2016

In an action alleging several claims under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, denial of defendant's petition to compel arbitration is affirmed where: 1) defendants failed to prove plaintiff agreed to arbitrate a claim; and 2) the arbitration provision contained in the Agreement was unenforceable because it is unconscionable.

Driscoll v. Granite Rock (no. 037662)

Decision Date: November 30, 2016

In a suit brought on behalf of a class of approximately 200 current and former concrete mixer drivers, claiming that construction company defendant failed to provide concrete mixer drivers with off-duty meal periods and failed to provide them with one additional hour of pay for meal periods during which the drivers opted to continue working, the trial court's verdict in favor of defendant, finding that defendant did not violate labor laws in its meal period policies, is affirmed where there was substantial evidence presented at trial to support the trial court's finding that defendant provided its concrete mixer drivers with an off-duty meal period as required by law.

Soria v. Univision Radio Los Angeles (No. 263224)

Decision Date: November 15, 2016

In a former on-air radio personality's action for disability discrimination, wrongful termination and related employment claims, the trial court's grant of summary judgment to employer-defendant is reversed where material issues of fact exist regarding each of plaintiff's claims.

Dinslage v. City and County of San Francisco (No. 142365)

Decision Date: November 9, 2016

In a suit brought by a former employee of Recreation and Parks Department, who was one of a large number of employees who were laid off and retired after unsuccessfully applying to be rehired in a newly created classification, alleging age discrimination, retaliation, and harassment in violation of the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), Gov. Code section 12940, subds. (a), (h), (j), the trial court's judgment in favor of defendants is affirmed where plaintiff failed to make out a prima facie case of retaliation.

Soto v. Motel 6 Operating, L.P. (No. 069403)

Decision Date: October 20, 2016

In a suit by a former employee in her individual capacity and on behalf of all aggrieved workers under the Private Attorney General Act of 2004 (PAGA), against her former employer, alleging defendant violated Labor Code section 226(a) by failing to include the monetary amount of accrued vacation pay in its employees' wage statements, the trial court's decision sustaining defendant's demurrer without leave to amend is affirmed where Section 226(a) does not require employers to include the monetary value of accrued paid vacation time in employee wage statements unless and until a payment is due at the termination of the employment relationship.

Dang v. Maruichi Am. Corp (No. 269005)

Decision Date: September 22, 2016

In a worker's suit against his former employer for wrongful termination in violation of public policy, claiming that defendant discharged him for engaging in concerted activity relating to unionizing effort, the trial court's grant of summary judgment in favor of defendant, on grounds that the court lacked jurisdiction because plaintiff's claim was preempted by the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), 29 U.S.C. section 151 et seq., is reversed where based on the evidence presented on the motion for summary judgment, there is no basis to conclude plaintiff's claim is arguably subject to the NLRA.

Perez v. U-Haul Co. of CA (no. 262029)

Decision Date: September 16, 2016

In a representative action under the Private Attorneys General Act of 2004 (PAGA), Lab. Code sections 2698 et seq., alleging that defendant violated several provisions of the Labor Code, including overtime and meal break requirements, the trial court's denial of defendant's motion to compel plaintiffs to individually arbitrate whether they qualified as 'aggrieved employees,' and therefore had standing to pursue a PAGA claim, under Labor Code section 2699(a), is affirmed where California law prohibits an employer from compelling an employee to split the litigation of a PAGA claim between multiple forums.

Bodi v. Shingle Springs Band of Miwok Indians (No. 14-16121)

Decision Date: August 8, 2016

In a suit brought by a former employee of a health clinic owned by a Tribe under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), 29 U.S.C. sections 2601–2654, the District Court's denial of a motion to dismiss the claims is reversed where a federally recognized Indian tribe does not waive its sovereign immunity from suit by exercising its right to remove to federal court a case filed against it in state court.

Mitchell v. Dept. of Public Health (Case No. 265769)

Decision Date: July 27, 2016

In a former employee's suit against his former government employer for racial discrimination in violation of the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), Gov. Code section 12900 et seq., the trial court dismissal of the complaint after sustaining a demurrer on the statute of limitations ground is reversed where the allegations of the complaint are sufficient to establish a claim of equitable tolling.

Weisner v. Santa Cruz County Civil Service Comission (041850)

Decision Date: June 22, 2016

In an appeal arising from the 2008 termination of plaintiff's employment with the County of Santa Cruz, which after several years of litigation ended with plaintiff's reinstatement without back pay, the trial court's denial as moot of plaintiff's petition for administrative writ of mandamus seeking back pay and other benefits as part of the reinstatement of employment is reversed where the Santa Cruz Civil Service Commission did not lose jurisdiction to grant relief because plaintiff resigned from his reinstated employment with the County.

Daza v. LA Community College Dist. (No. 261525)

Decision Date: May 6, 2016

In an action arising out of a case in which an adult student sued her school and a guidance counselor alleging sexual assault, which she later dropped after the school settled her main case, the trial court's denial of the guidance counselor's motion seeking indemnity and reimbursement for his defense is reversed where, although the sexual assault alleged in the main lawsuit fell outside the scope of the guidance counselor's employment as a matter of law, under a proper interpretation of Gov. Code section 996.4, the determination of whether an employee acted within the scope of employment is factual and cannot be limited to the third party's allegations in the underlying lawsuit when the employee denies those allegations, and the employee's version of events would demonstrate acts within the scope of employment.

Guerra v. WCAB (266633)

Decision Date: April 27, 2016

In a Workers' Comp case in which claimant died from a pulmonary hemorrhage while taking out the garbage at work, the Workers' Compensation Appeals Board rejection of a doctor's opinion as speculative and ruling that it had not been shown that claimant's death arose out of and in the course of his employment, is annulled and remanded where the death arose out of and in the course of employment.

Baughn v. Dep't of Forestry (072462)

Decision Date: April 6, 2016

In a government employment suit appeal from the denial of an anti-SLAPP motion under Code of Civil Procedure section 425.16, and an award of attorney fees to the successful plaintiff, the trial court's judgment is: 1) affirmed as to denial of the motion where defendant failed to demonstrate plaintiffs' action arose from conduct taken by defendant in furtherance of its right of speech in connection with a public issue or an issue of public interest; and 2) reversed as to the award of attorney fees, where the trial court relied on an improper basis for awarding fees to plaintiff.

Ling v. P.F. Chang's China Bistro, Inc. (039367)

Decision Date: March 25, 2016

In an award for attorney's fees arising from an employment action in arbitration, the trial court's correction of an award of attorney's fees to plaintiff as opposed to defendant was affirmed where: 1) the arbitrator's award to employer-defendant was contrary to California Labor Code section 1194's one-way fee shifting provision; 2) statutory rights to attorney's fees are not waived or forfeited by an arbitration agreement; 3) trial court's remand to the arbitrator did not violate federal law; and 4) additional award of attorney's fees to plaintiff which was vacated as it was not supported by the arbitration agreement or statute.

Wallace v. County of Stanislaus (068068 )

Decision Date: February 25, 2016

In a discrimination case was brought by a sheriff's deputy against a county under Government Code section 12940, alleged disability discrimination based on county's removing him from his job as bailiff and placing him on an unpaid leave of absence because of its incorrect assessment that he could not safely perform his duties as a bailiff even with reasonable accommodation, the trial court's judgment is reversed and remanded for retrial where: 1) the instruction on what role animus plays in defining the employer's intent to discriminate against a disabled employee and the related question in the special verdict form contained error; 2) the instructional error was prejudicial.

Construction Ind. Force Acct. Council v. Ross Valley Sanitation (139069)

Decision Date: February 19, 2016

In an action for mandamus and declaratory relief brought by a contractor trade association, the trial court's ruling, that sanitary district defendant lacked statutory authority under Public Contact Code section 20803 to engage its own work force to complete a sewer system improvement project without putting the project out for competitive bid and contract, is reversed where nothing in the statutory language or scheme of section 20803 would limit defendant's autonomy to complete its pipebursting project or projects using its own labor force.

Palacio v. Jan & Gail's Care Homes (No. 070861)

Decision Date: December 7, 2015

In a putative class action suit alleging violations of the wage and hour laws arising out of employer's failure to inform employees that they have the right to revoke an agreement waiving the right to uninterrupted meal periods, the trial court's order denying plaintiff's motion for class certification is affirmed where she failed to establish a well-defined community of interests among class members.

Cal. Dep't Justice v. Bd. of Admin. Of Cal. Pub. Employees' Retirement Sys. (B257492)

Decision Date: November 12, 2015

In the DOJ's appeal from a judgment in favor of CalPERS, in an action concerning reinstatement to a peace officer position following disability retirement, the trial court's judgment is affirmed where: 1) CalPERS properly made its reinstatement determination based on the condition for which the employee received disability retirement; 2) DOJ has a mandatory duty to reinstate employee after CalPERS concludes she in no longer incapacitated; and 3) DOJ may not require employee to comply with conditions prior to reinstatement.

Jumaane v. City of Los Angeles (B255763)

Decision Date: November 10, 2015

In an employment suit brought by an African-American fireman alleging racial discrimination, racial harassment and retaliation, the trial court's partial grant of summary judgment to the city employer defendant is reversed where: 1) most of plaintiff's claims are barred by the statute of limitations; and 2) the evidence of events within the limitations period was insufficient to establish a prima facie case of disparate impact discrimination, harassment or retaliation.

Jumaane v. City of Los Angeles (B255763)

Decision Date: November 10, 2015

In an employment suit brought by an African-American fireman alleging racial discrimination, racial harassment and retaliation, the trial court's partial grant of summary judgment to the city employer defendant is reversed where: 1) most of plaintiff's claims are barred by the statute of limitations; and 2) the evidence of events within the limitations period was insufficient to establish a prima facie case of disparate impact discrimination, harassment or retaliation.

Performance Team Freight Systems, Inc. v. Aleman (B259146)

Decision Date: November 1, 2015

In a suit brought by truck drivers who entered into Independent Contractor Agreements with defendant, alleging wage claims, the trial court's denial of defendant's petition to compel arbitration on grounds that the agreements were exempt from the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA), 9 U.S.C. section 1 et seq., because the individual plaintiffs were transportation workers and arbitration was not compelled under California law, is reversed where: 1) plaintiffs presented no evidence supporting their arguments that the agreements were exempt from the FAA; and 2) the arbitration provisions in the Independent Contractor Agreements were broad enough to cover the claims asserted.

Batten v. WCAB, Long Beach Memorial (B260916)

Decision Date: October 27, 2015

In a workers' compensation action in which petitioner claims she suffered a workplace injury to her psyche, the Workers Compensation Appeals Board refusal to admit her privately retained expert's report is affirmed where the admission of medical evaluation petitioner obtained is barred by Labor Code section 4061(i).

SingerLewak LLP v. Gantman (B259722)

Decision Date: October 21, 2015

In an appeal of a petition to confirm an arbitration award, which determined that the non-compete agreement attorney-defendant signed with plaintiff-law firm was enforceable, the trial court's order finding the non-compete agreement unenforceable under California law is reversed, where the general rule prohibiting review of an arbitration award applied in this case.

CVS Pharmacy v. Super. Ct. (Deluca) (C077622)

Decision Date: October 14, 2015

In an action alleging pharmacy defendants have a corporate policy of automatically terminating employees who do not work any hours for 45 consecutive days, seeking injunctive relief to challenge the policy, which she argued discriminated against qualified individuals with disabilities in violation of the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), Gov. Code section 12900 et seq., the trial courts rulings are: 1) affirmed as to the sustainment of defendant's demurrer based on plaintiff's lack of standing and dismissal of plaintiff individually; 2) affirmed as to grant of 90 days' leave to amend for plaintiff to find a substitute plaintiff; but 3) vacated as to the grant of her motion to compel discovery of the names and contact information of current and former employees of defendants where trial court abused its discretion in allowing the proposed precertification discovery.

Cardenas v. M. Fanaian, D.D.S., Inc. (F069305)

Decision Date: September 30, 2015

In an employment action arising out of plaintiff's termination after she reported that a coworker may have stolen her wedding ring at her workplace, alleging retaliation in violation of Labor Code section 1102.5 and wrongful termination in violation of public policy under Tamney v. Atlantic Richfield Co. (1980) 27 Cal.3d 167, the trial court's entry of judgment on the verdict against defendant is affirmed where the plain and unambiguous language of section1102.5(b) creates a cause of action for damages against an employer who retaliates against an employee for reporting to law enforcement a theft of her property at the workplace.

Tellez v. Rich Voss Trucking (H040375)

Decision Date: September 29, 2015

In a putative class action in a wage-and-hour dispute involving truck drivers, the trial court's denial of plaintiff's motion for class certification, is reversed and remanded for an explanation of the court's reasoning in denying the motion.

Negron v. Los Angeles County Civ. Serv. Comm. (B258031)

Decision Date: September 28, 2015

In a case involving whether the LA County Sheriff's Department can discharge a deputy sheriff for misconduct while the deputy was on unpaid, relieved-of-duty status, the trial court's decision in favor of plaintiff is reversed where: 1) the Department had the authority to do so; and 2) the Supreme Court's decision in Garvin v. Chambers (1924) 195 Cal. 212 does not compel a different result.

Nosal-Tabor v. Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center (No. D065843)

Decision Date: August 27, 2015

In an action brought by a registered nurse alleging wrongful termination and two causes of action premised on claims of improper workplace retaliation, the trial court's grant of summary judgment in favor of employer is reversed where the document that hospital-employer-defendant maintains constitute its standardized procedures do not contain several elements that are required by the Board of Registered Nursing and the Medical Board of California, and in light of these deficiencies, a reasonable juror could find that defendant improperly retaliated against, and wrongfully terminated plaintiff when she complained about, and refused to perform, nurse-led stress testing pursuant to defendant's legally deficient procedures.

Carlson v. Home Team Pest Defense, Inc. (No. A142219)

Decision Date: August 17, 2015

In a wrongful termination action brought against plaintiff's former employer and related parties, the trial court denial of defendant's motion to compel arbitration of plaintiff's claims is affirmed where the arbitration agreement plaintiff signed when defendant first hired her was procedurally and substantively unconscionable.

Oregel v. PacPizza (No. A141947)

Decision Date: June 1, 2015

In a class action brought by a pizza delivery driver against his former employer, alleging failure to reimburse expenses in violation of Labor Code section 2802 and violation of California's Unfair Competition Law, Bus. & Prof. Code section 17200 et seq., denial of defendant-employer's motion to compel a purported arbitration agreement between the parties is affirmed where, after seventeen months of litigation and more than 1,300 attorney hours, defendant waived his right waived its right to enforce the agreement.

Noe v. Super. Ct. (No. B259570 )

Decision Date: June 1, 2015

In a wage and hour class action against an entertainment company brought by food and beverage vendors contracted by the company, alleging failure to pay minimum wage and willfully misclassifying plaintiffs as independent contractors in violation of Labor Code section 226.8, plaintiff's petition for writ of mandate denied where: 1) section 226.8 is not limited to employers who make the misclassification decision, but also extends to any employer who is aware that a co-employer has willfully misclassified their joint employees and fails to remedy the misclassification; but 2) section 226.8 cannot be enforced through a direct private action.

Higgins-Williams v. Sutter Medical Foundation (C073677)

Decision Date: May 26, 2015

In an action for disability discrimination and wrongful termination, summary judgment in favor of the defendant employer is affirmed because the plaintiff employee's alleged disability -- an inability to work under a particular supervisor because of anxiety and stress related to the supervisor's standard oversight of job performance -- is not a disability recognized in California's Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) Gov. Code section 12900 et seq.

Vector Resources, Inc. v. Baker (D065224)

Decision Date: May 26, 2015

In an action arising out of a determination by the Department of Industrial Relations that plaintiff failed to pay the appropriate prevailing wages to its workers on a public works project for the San Diego Unified School District, the trail court's denial of plaintiff's action seeking a declaration that the Important Notice and Stamp are invalid and unenforceable as "underground regulations" because they were not promulgated in compliance with the notice and hearing requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), and grant of the Department's motion for summary judgment is affirmed where under Government Code section 11340.9(g), the Important Notice and the Stamp are exempt from the notice and hearing requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) because they are part of an overall prevailing wage determination process that constitutes "rate setting."

Williams v. Superior Court (Marshalls of CA, LLC) (No. B259967 )

Decision Date: May 15, 2015

In a representative action against a retail employer under the Labor Code Private Attorneys General Act of 2004 (PAGA), alleging employer failed to provide its employees with meal and rest breaks or premium pay in lieu thereof, provide accurate wage statements, reimburse employees for necessary business-related expenses, and pay all earned wages during employment, plaintiff's action for a writ of mandate compelling the superior court to vacate its discovery order and enter a new order granting plaintiff's motion to compel production a list of all nonexempt employees who worked for employer beginning on March 22, 2012, is denied where the trial court's measured approach to discovery was reasonable.

Robles v. Employment Development Dep't (No. A139774 )

Decision Date: May 5, 2015

In a controversy involving the wrongful denial of unemployment compensation benefits, the trial court's order directing the EDD to award benefits is affirmed where, absent the EDD's error, plaintiff would have been entitled to the benefits at issue.

Flethez v. San Bernardino Co. Employees Retirement Assn. (D066959)

Decision Date: April 22, 2015

In a petition for writ of mandamus seeking retroactive disability retirement benefits, the trial court's judgment, granting the petition and award of Civil Code section 3287(a) prejudgment interest on the retroactive benefits, is reversed where the trial court erred by awarding prejudgment interest on retroactive disability benefits before payments of those benefits were due and before his right to recover those payments became vested under section 3287(a).

Protect Our Benefits v. City and County of San Francisco (A140095)

Decision Date: March 27, 2015

In November 2011, City and County of San Francisco voters passed Proposition C, an initiative measure that, among other things, amended the Charter of the City and County of San Francisco to condition the payment of supplemental cost of living allowance (supplemental COLA) to retired employees of the City and County on the retirement fund being "fully funded" based on the market value of the assets for the previous year. Petitioner, a political action committee representing the interests of retired City employees, appeals from a superior court order denying its petition for writ of mandate seeking to invalidate Proposition C as an impairment of a vested contractual pension right under the contract clauses of the federal and state Constitutions. The judgment is affirmed and part and reversed in part, where: 1) with respect to current City employees and employees who retired after the supplemental COLA first went into effect in November 1996, the full funding requirement cannot stand; and 2) with respect to employees who retired prior to November 1996, they had no vested contractual right in the supplemental COLA and consequently, the 2011 amendment may be applied to their pensions.

Marenco v. DirecTV LLC (B238421)

Decision Date: February 5, 2015

In a putative class action, alleging that defendant violated state wage and unfair competition laws, Lab. Code Section 212; Bus. & Prof. Code Section17200 (UCL), the trial court's grant of defendant's motion to stay the class claims and compel arbitration of the individual claims is affirmed where: 1) defendant has standing to enforce the agreement; 2) the agreement's class action waiver is enforceable under AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion (2011) 563 U.S. ___, 131 S.Ct. 1740 (Concepcion); and 4) the California Supreme Court's recent decision in Iskanian v. CLS Transportation Los Angeles LLC (2014) 59 Cal.4th 348, which was issued while this appeal was pending, is controlling.

Wright v. State of California (A139034)

Decision Date: January 30, 2015

In a personal injury action for injuries sustained by plaintiff who lived and worked at San Quentin prison and had already received workers' compensation for the injury, summary judgment in favor of employer, based on the "premises line" doctrine, is reversed where: 1) it was error to hold plaintiff's tort claim barred solely because he was on his employer's premises at the time of his fall, particularly where he lived on those very premises; and 2) there is a triable issue of material fact whether plaintiff's injury arose out of and in the course of his employment.

Augustus v. ABM Security Services (B243788)

Decision Date: January 29, 2015

In this employment class action, plaintiff security guards formerly employed by defendant ABM allege that ABM failed to provide rest periods required by California law in that it failed to relieve security guards of all duties during rest breaks. ABM instead required its guards to remain on call during breaks. Summary adjudication in plaintiffs' favor and summary judgment on the issue of damages are reversed, where California law does not require employers to relieve their workers of all duties during their rest breaks.

Bower v. Inter-Con Security Systems (A135940)

Decision Date: December 31, 2014

Order denying defendant's petition to compel arbitration of a putative wage and hour class action is affirmed, where there was substantial evidence to support the trial court's finding that defendant waived its right to compel arbitration by engaging in litigation conduct, including discovery, delaying arbitration, and seeking a class-wide settlement, that is inconsistent with the right to demand arbitration.

Diego v. Pilgrim United Church of Christ (D063734)

Decision Date: November 21, 2014

In this wrongful termination suit, plaintiff alleges that she was terminated from her employment as assistant direct of defendant preschool as a result of the director's mistaken belief that she had lodged a complaint with the Community Care Licensing Division of the California Department of Social Services. Summary judgment in favor of defendant on the basis that plaintiff had not, in act, lodged a complaint is reversed and remanded, where the public policy delineated in former Labor Code section 1102.5(b) applies to preclude retaliation by an employer not only against employees who actually notify government agencies of suspected violations, but also against employees whom the employer suspects of such notifications.

Hoang v. California State Board of Pharmacy (G049275)

Decision Date: October 8, 2014

Denial of plaintiff-pharmacist's petition for a writ of mandate seeking to overturn a decision by defendant California State Board of Pharmacy revoking plaintiff's pharmacy license and his pharmacy business's permit is affirmed, where: 1) license revocation does not require the existence of a victim; 2) plaintiff never presented any evidence reflecting that he was remorseful of his behavior or that he had made efforts to obtain counseling; 3) plaintiff financially benefited from a scheme that involved fraudulent use of another pharmacy's billing authority; and 4) it was not an abuse of discretion for defendant to revoke plaintiff's license and his business's permit. - See more at: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/summary/opinion/ca-court-of-appeal/2014/10/08/271716.html#sthash.j4hsRW6n.dpuf

Solus Industrial Innovations v. Super. Ct. (No. G047661)

Decision Date: September 22, 2014

In this action brought by a district attorney to recover civil penalties under California's Unfair Competition Law (UCL) based on defendant's alleged violation of workplace safety standards, petition for writ of mandate is granted and the superior court's order overruling defendant's demurrer is vacated, where: 1) state regulation of workplace safety standards is explicitly preempted by federal law under OSHA, and consequently, California is entitled to exercise its regulatory power only in accordance with the terms of its federally approved workplace safety plan; and 2) the UCL, in its current form, was not even in effect when California's plan was approved.

Piccinini v. California Emergency Management Agency (No. A137275 )

Decision Date: May 27, 2014

Dismissal of plaintiff\'s complaint alleging that he incurred damages when he relied on defendant\'s offer of employment but then on the Friday night before he was to report for work, he was told not to come because the position for which he was hired had been eliminated, is: 1) reversed in part, where plaintiff\'s first amended complaint stated facts sufficient to constitute a cause of action in the nature of promissory estoppel under Government Code section 19257; but 2) affirmed in part, where defendant-state\'s demurrer to the causes of action for wrongful termination and breach of contract were properly sustained.

Butts v. Board of Trustees (No. B243793)

Decision Date: April 23, 2014

Judgment for defendant-employer on plaintiff's claims of discrimination and retaliation is: 1) reversed in part, where the trial court erred in denying plaintiff's claim, on summary judgment, for the right to retreat from her management position to her former bargaining unit position, and this ruling on plaintiff's claim for retreat rights was prejudicial; but 2) otherwise affirmed.

Global Hawk Ins. Co. v. Le (No. A137976 )

Decision Date: April 14, 2014

In an suit brought by a truck driver who sustained injuries in an accident during a cross-country trip, summary judgment in favor of employer's insurance carrier are reversed where the trial court erroneously ignored pertinent facts in the case and held that the definition of employee in certain federal regulations, which are not mentioned in the insurance policy, controlled.

Ellis v. U.S. Security Associates (No. A136028 )

Decision Date: March 20, 2014

Dismissal of plaintiff's employment discrimination action alleging three claims under the Fair Employment and Housing Act and two nonstatutory claims is reversed and remanded, where: 1) defendant had a policy that employees agree upon hiring that any claim or lawsuit must be filed no more than six months after the date of the employment action, and waive any statute of limitations to the contrary, which plaintiff signed; 2) plaintiff filed her action after the six month cut-off date in the agreement; but 3) the shortened limitation provision is unreasonable and against public policy.

Taylor v. Nabors Drilling USA, LP (No. B241914 )

Decision Date: January 13, 2014

Judgment for plaintiff-employee in an action alleging hostile work environment sexual harassment is affirmed but modified, where: 1) substantial evidence supports the verdict because a heterosexual male is subjected to harassment because of sex under the FEHA when attacks on his heterosexual identity are used as a tool of harassment in the workplace, irrespective of whether the attacks are motivated by sexual desire or interest; 2) defendant waived or forfeited his claim that the special verdict was fatally defective because it had failed to object before the jury was discharged; 3) a defective special verdict form is subject to harmless error analysis, and here, any error was harmless; 4) the evidence is insufficient to support the award of economic damage so plaintiff's total recovery is reduced from $160,000 to $150,000; and 5) the trial court did not abuse its discretion in calculating the attorney fee award for plaintiff.

Vasquez v. Franklin Management Real Estate (No. B245735 )

Decision Date: December 31, 2013

The trial court's dismissal of plaintiff-employee's claims for constructive discharge in violation of public policy and intentional infliction of emotional distress, which alleged that defendant-employer violated the Labor Code by assigning plaintiff tasks that required extensive use of his vehicle and refusing to reimburse him for mileage is reversed and remanded, where: 1) plaintiff did not assert facts sufficient to support the intentional infliction of emotional distress claim; but 2) plaintiff should have been permitted leave to amend his claim of constructive discharge in violation of public policy.

Lexin v. City of San Diego (No. D062970 )

Decision Date: December 23, 2013

In an action arising from the City of San Diego's underfunding of its employment retirement system and a decision by the Board of Directors of the San Diego City Employees' Retirement System (SDCERS) which approved the City's proposal to modify the funding plan to delete the potential of a balloon payment if the underfunded ratio fell to a certain level, in exchange for the City's resolution to indemnify the board members from liability for "any claim or lawsuit" arising from the approval, summary judgment for the plaintiff board members in their declaratory relief action is affirmed, where: 1) the City's resolution requires it to pay the board members' criminal defense costs; and 2) there is no statutory impediment.

Edwards v. Broadwater Casitas Care Center (No. B247596 )

Decision Date: December 5, 2013

Defendants' motion to dismiss plaintiff's appeal of the trial court's award of cost and attorney's fees against her, following the unsuccessful arbitration of her employment discrimination claim, is denied, where: 1) the trial court's authority to impose costs and attorney's fees was not actually litigated in plaintiff's bankruptcy court proceeding; and 2) the confirmed chapter 13 plan does not preclude plaintiff's appeal challenging the trial court's cost and attorney fees award.

Kurz v. Syrus Systems (No. H038694 )

Decision Date: November 25, 2013

In a wrongful termination action, the trial court's order denying plaintiff's special motion to strike defendant-employer's cross complaint for malicious prosecution is reversed and remanded, where: 1) the malicious prosecution claim arose from petitioning activity protected under California Code of Civil Procedure section 425.16; and 2) defendant-employer does not have a probability of prevailing on the claim because Unemployment Insurance Code section 1960 prohibits an employer from using a decision of the Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board as evidence in the employer's malicious prosecution action arising from a former employee's unsuccessful claim for unemployment insurance benefits.

Moncada v. West Coast Quartz Corp. (No. H036728 )

Decision Date: November 25, 2013

In a dispute between plaintiffs, former employees of defendant-company and defendants, shareholders of defendant-company, over a promised retirement bonus that was never paid, judgment for defendants is reversed, where: 1) the first amended complaint states a cause of action for promissory fraud, breach of contract, and promissory estoppel; but 2) the alleged conduct as stated is not extreme or outrageous to support a cause of action for intentional infliction of emotional distress, nor do they sufficiently allege negligent misrepresentation, and 3) estoppel in pais cannot be stated as an independent cause of action in California.

Volpei v. County of Ventura (No. B243954 )

Decision Date: November 7, 2013

A provision in a collective bargaining agreement that the union may submit a grievance to arbitration does not preclude an employee in that union with a statutory grievance against his employer from filing a judicial action, where, as here the agreement does not provide for a clear and unmistakable waiver of plaintiff-employee's right to a judicial forum for his statutory discrimination claims.

Yanez v. Plummer (No. C070726 )

Decision Date: November 5, 2013

In an action against defendant-former employer for wrongful discharge and its in-house counsel, for legal malpractice, breach of fiduciary duty, and fraud arising out of plaintiff's firing for dishonesty for a discrepancy between a witness statement that plaintiff wrote and a deposition answer he gave concerning a co-employee's on-the-job injury, summary judgment for defendant-attorney is reversed and remanded, where plaintiff has raised a triable issue of material fact that but for defendant-attorney's conduct, defendant-former employer would not have fired plaintiff.

Poole v. Orange County Fire Authority (No. G047691 )

Decision Date: November 4, 2013

Judgment entered in favor of defendant denying petitioner's requested relief that defendant comply with the requirements of the FireFighters Procedural Bill of Rights (FFBOR), is reversed and remanded, where: 1) the FFBOR provides that a firefighter shall not have any comment adverse to his or her interest entered in his or her personnel file, or any other file used for any personnel purposes by his or her employer, without the firefighter having first read and signed the instrument containing the adverse comment indicating he or she is aware of the comment; 2) the daily logs maintained by the captain on firefighters are used for personnel purposes; and thus, 3) they are subject to provisions of FFBOR.

Kern, Inyo, & Mono Counties Training Committee v. California Apprenticeship Council (No. A136680 )

Decision Date: October 29, 2013

The trial court improperly overturned defendant-council's decision which found in favor of an applicant apprenticeship committee, where: 1) the trial court incorrectly concluded that an existing program must have been identified as deficient during an audit conducted pursuant to Labor Code section 3073.1 before section 3075,(b)(3) authorizes approval of a new apprenticeship program; 2) defendant-council has authority to identify deficiencies in an existing committee's program during the process of reviewing an application for approval of a new apprenticeship and training program; and 3) substantial evidence supports defendant-council's finding that the existing committee's program was deficient based on its substandard graduation rates.

Garcia v. Governing Board of Bellflower Unified School District (No. B247320 )

Decision Date: October 24, 2013

The trial court's order awarding attorney fees to plaintiff as the prevailing party in a proceeding under the California Public Records Act is affirmed, where the results that plaintiff obtained through this litigation justify the finding that she prevailed.

Cornejo v. Lightbourne (No. C070704 )

Decision Date: October 22, 2013

Dismissal of plaintiff's action for damages for violations of the California Whistleblower Protection Act (WPA) is reversed and remanded, where: 1) the WPA is not subject to the Government Claims Act because it has a comprehensive administrative procedure that satisfies the purposes of the presentation procedure in the Claims Act; 2) the trial court erred in concluding that plaintiff was required to file a claim before filing suit; 3) the trial court erred in concluding that the limitations period for actions subject to the claims presentation requirement had expired; and 4) defendant's remaining arguments fail.

Rope v. Auto-Chlor System of Washington, Inc. (No. B242003 )

Decision Date: October 16, 2013

Dismissal of plaintiff's complaint against defendant employer alleging violations of the Donation Protection Act (DPA) and other provisions of the Labor Code, violation of the Fair Employment and Housing Act, the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), and wrongful termination in violation of public policy, when he was fired after advising his employer that he planned to donate a kidney to his physically disabled sister and requested leave to do so, is: 1) affirmed in part, where the trial court properly sustained without leave to amend demurrers to plaintiff's claims for violations of the DPA, violations of the Labor Code, and for direct or perceived disability discrimination under FEHA; and 2) reversed in part, where plaintiff has pleaded facts sufficient to support a claim for association-based disability discrimination and failure to maintain a discrimination free workplace in violation of FEHA, and a common law claim for wrongful termination in violation of public policy.

Davis v. Kiewit Pacific Co. (No. D062388 )

Decision Date: October 8, 2013

The trial court's summary adjudication of plaintiff's claim for punitive damages, concluding there were no triable issues of material fact whether a managing agent of defendant had engaged in or ratified any oppressive, malicious and/or fraudulent conduct against her, in her suit for gender discrimination, harassment and retaliation, is reversed and remanded, where a triable issue of material fact exists for determination by a jury regarding whether certain employees were managing agents of defendant.

Halliburton Energy Services v. Dept. of Transportation (No. F064888 )

Decision Date: October 1, 2013

In consolidated cases, summary judgment in favor of defendant Halliburton is affirmed, where: 1) the undisputed facts demonstrated that defendant cannot be held vicariously liable for the tortious conduct of its employee; 2) the employee was not acting within the scope of his employment at the time of the motor vehicle accident; and 3) the requirements for imposing respondeat superior liability cannot be established.

Moradi v. Marsh USA, Inc. (No. B239858 )

Decision Date: September 17, 2013

Summary judgment for defendant-employer in an action brought by plaintiff for personal injuries when defendant-employee collided with plaintiff while driving her car, is reversed and remanded, where: 1) because the employer required the employee to use her personal vehicle to travel to and from the office and make other work-related trips during the day, the employee was acting within the scope of her employment when she was commuting to and from work; and 2) defendant-employee's planned stops for frozen yogurt and a yoga class on the way home did not change the incidental benefit to the employer of having the employee use her personal vehicle to travel to and from the office and other destinations; and thus, 3) under the required vehicle exception to the going and coming rule, defendant-employee was acting within the scope of her employment at the time of the accident

Bain v. Tax Reducers Inc. (No. H037452)

Decision Date: August 28, 2013

Judgment awarding plaintiff damages for unpaid wages and for breach of contract based on a judicially supervised settlement of plaintiff's wage claim, but holding that defendant's president was not personally liable, is affirmed but modified, where: 1) plaintiff's statutory wage claims under Labor Code sections 202, 203, and 1194, which are subject to a three-year limitations period, were not time-barred because the limitations period was equitably tolled while plaintiff pursued his administrative claim before the Labor Commissioner; 2) plaintiff's claim for a statutory penalty for failure to pay minimum wages under section 1194.2 was time-barred and thus the trial court erred when it imposed that penalty; 3) substantial evidence supports the trial court's finding that plaintiff was an employee under the multi-factor test and there was no prejudicial error in the court's use of the presumption of employment; 4) the trial court did not err in imposing a section 203 penalty for defendant's failure to timely pay final wages upon plaintiff's resignation; and 5) the trial court correctly determined that defendant's president could not be held personally liable for plaintiff's wage claims

Reilly v. Inquest Technology, Inc. (No. G046291)

Decision Date: July 31, 2013

Judgment for plaintiff awarding him damages for owed commissions for his work as a wholesale sales representative for defendant-manufacturer, including treble damages pursuant to the penalty provisions of the Independent Wholesale Sales Representatives Contractual Relations Act, is affirmed, where: 1) the trial court did not err in concluding that the Act applied; and 2) there was sufficient evidence to support the jury's verdict and damage award.

Purton v. Marriott International, Inc. (No. D060475)

Decision Date: July 31, 2013

In a personal injury action in which plaintiff alleged that defendant-employee consumed alcoholic beverages at an employer hosted party, became intoxicated, arrived home safely, but when he left to drive a co-worker home, the defendant-employee struck another car and killed its driver, summary judgment for defendant-employer is reversed and remanded, where: 1) an employer may be found liable for its employee's torts as long as the proximate cause of the injury (here, alcohol consumption) occurred within the scope of employment; 2) a reasonable trier of fact could conclude that the employee was acting within the scope of his employment while ingesting alcoholic beverages at the party; and 3) no legal justification exists for terminating the employer's liability as a matter of law simply because the employee arrived home safely from the employer hosted party.

Farmers Insurance Exchange v. Superior Court (Wilson) (No. B246901 )

Decision Date: July 23, 2013

Petition for writ of mandate to compel trial court to reconsider its ruling granting plaintiff's motion for class certification based solely on a single appellate court opinion, that was later depublished by the California Supreme Court, is granted, where: 1) the depublication of an opinion can constitute a change in the law sufficient to warrant reconsideration; 2) in this case, where the sole legal basis for the trial court's order was the depublished decision, the depublication order necessarily constituted a change of law pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 1008; and 3) under the unique circumstances of this case, it would be an abuse of discretion to deny reconsideration.

Avery v. Integrated Healthcare Holdings, Inc. (No. G046202 )

Decision Date: July 23, 2013

The trial court's order denying defendant's motions to compel plaintiffs to individually arbitrate the wage and hour claims they allege in this class action is affirmed, where: 1) defendant failed to establish plaintiffs agreed to the specific arbitration agreement defendant submitted to the trial court; and 2) without sufficient evidence of the actual arbitration policy to which plaintiffs agreed when they signed the acknowledgments and other documents, the policy may not be enforced against plaintiffs.

Acuna v. San Diego Gas & Electric Co. (No. D060064 )

Decision Date: July 18, 2013

Judgment for defendant-employer on plaintiff's action under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) and related claims is: 1) reversed in part and remanded on plaintiff's causes of action for retaliation under the FEHA and for wrongful termination in violation of public policy based on the retaliation claim, where defendant did not show these claims were untimely as a matter of law; but 2) affirmed in part, as to plaintiff's remaining claims, where the trial court correctly concluded that plaintiff's remaining FEHA claims were time-barred and plaintiff failed to sufficiently state a cause of action on her remaining claims.

Mendiola v. CPS Security Solutions ( No. B240519 )

Decision Date: July 3, 2013

The trial court's order granting a preliminary injunction requiring defendant to compensate its employee-trailer guards for all on-call time spent in trailers is: 1) affirmed in part, where defendant must compensate the trailer guards for the nighttime hours spent on the jobsites during the week; but 2) reversed in part and remanded, where defendant is permitted to deduct eight hours for sleep time on those weekend days when the trailer guards are on duty for 24 hours, provided the guards are afforded a comfortable place to sleep, the time is not interrupted, the guards are compensated for any period of interruption, and on any day they do not receive at least five consecutive hours of uninterrupted sleep time, they are compensated for the entire eight hours.




  • Tracking image for JustAnswer widget
  • Find an Employment Lawyer

  • Support Workplace Fairness

Follow us on:

 
 

Find an Employment Attorney

The Workplace Fairness Attorney Directory features lawyers from across the United States who primarily represent workers in employment cases. Please note that Workplace Fairness does not operate a lawyer referral service and does not provide legal advice, and that Workplace Fairness is not responsible for any advice that you receive from anyone, attorney or non-attorney, you may contact from this site.

Tracking image for JustAnswer widget