ATLANTA — Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Georgia Inc. discriminated against one of its employees when it denied her request to access her workplace using nonrevolving doors, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleges in a Dec. 5 complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Georgia, Inc., No. 19-5484, N.D. Ga.).
ST. LOUIS — An equity partner failed to show that a law firm’s requirement that partners retire at age 70 violates the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) as the equity partner wasn’t an “employee,” an Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Dec. 3, noting that the status of an equity partner was one of first impression for the court (Joseph S. von Kaenel v. Armstrong Teasdale, LLP, No. 18-2850, 8th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 35854).
PHILADELPHIA — A federal judge in Pennsylvania on Nov. 25 denied a motion to dismiss filed by Jiffy Lube International Inc. in a putative class complaint by a former employee over the franchisor’s no-poach provision as it related to a Sherman Act claim but granted it to the extent that Jiffy Lube argued that the employee lacked standing to seek injunctive relief and as to the plaintiffs’ antitrust claims older than four years (Victor Fuentes v. Royal Dutch Shell PLC, et al., No. 18-5174, E.D. Pa.).
COLUMBUS, Ohio — A federal judge in Ohio on Dec. 2 signed off on a class settlement agreement under which JPMorgan Chase Bank N.A. (Chase) will pay $5 million and change its parental leave policy to a “gender-neutral” one to end a complaint by a male employee accusing the employer of discriminating against fathers when it comes to paid parental leave (Derek Rotondo, et al. v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., No. 19-2328, S.D. Ohio, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 208191).
CINCINNATI — An Ohio federal magistrate judge on Dec. 2 found that compensation documents requested by a neurosurgeon from the consultants and accountants of companies he is suing for employment discrimination are not protected by attorney-client privilege, mostly granting his motion to compel and denying the defendants’ motions to quash (Set Shahbabian M.D. v. TriHealth Inc., et al., No. 1:18-cv-00790, S.D. Ohio, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 206939).
NEW YORK — The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Nov. 22 upheld the dismissal of an age and disability discrimination lawsuit saying two former U.S. Postal Service employees failed to make a prima facie case that their employers discriminated against them due to their age or retaliated when they complained about ill treatment (Mary Hatch v. Postmaster General Megan J. Brennan, No. 18-2387, 2ndCir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 34840).
DALLAS — A McDonald’s franchisee in Texas accused of employing a general manager and another employee who sexually harassed female workers will pay $340,000 to the named employees and a class of female workers, provide anti-discrimination and harassment training and never employ the two alleged harassers again, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced Nov. 25 (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Credle Enterprises, LLC, No. 18-239, N.D. Texas).
PORTLAND, Ore. — A former employee of a Native American college cannot pursue federal wrongful termination claims against the school’s operator because it is protected from suit by the sovereign immunity of the three tribes involved, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel held Nov. 20 (Stephen McCoy v. Salish Kootenai College, Inc., et al., No. 18-35729, 9th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 34524).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The text of Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) Section 633a(a) and U.S. Supreme Court precedent require that an employee alleging age discrimination must show that bias was the but-for cause of the action he or she is challenging, the secretary of Veterans Affairs argues in his Nov. 22 respondent brief filed in the U.S. Supreme Court (Noris Babb v. Robert Wilkie, No. 18-882, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A former Catholic school teacher and the estate of a former teacher employed by a different Catholic school recently filed briefs in the U.S. Supreme Court opposing the schools’ separate petitions, one filed by St. James School and one filed by Our Lady of Guadalupe School, seeking clarification of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution’s “ministerial exception” as applied to age and disability bias lawsuits (St. James School v. Darryl Biel, No. 19-348; Our Lady of Guadalupe School v. Agnes Morrissey-Berru, No. 19-267, U.S. Sup.).
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A federal judge in Florida on Nov. 15 declined to preliminarily approve a $500,000 class settlement by The Salvation Army in a former employee’s class complaint concerning her credit report that was pulled when she was hired, finding that the employee lacked standing to bring two of her three claims (LaShannda Jones, et al. v. The Salvation Army, No. 18-804, M.D. Fla., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 198352).
SAN FRANCISCO — The California Supreme Court on Nov. 20 agreed to decide whether Dynamex Operations West Inc. v. Superior Court applies retroactively after the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals certified the question to the high court in a case concerning cleaning service franchisees’ status as employees (Gerardo Vazquez, et al. v. Jan-Pro Franchising International, Inc., No. S258191, Calif. Sup.).
HARRISBURG, Pa. — When the regular rate for salaried employees who work fluctuating hours is calculated using the actual hours worked, the overtime rate should be calculated using a 1.5 multiplier, a split Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled Nov. 20, affirming the Superior Court’s decision as to the multiplier in a class complaint brought by employees (Tawny L. Chevalier, et al. v. General Nutrition Centers, Inc., Nos. 22 WAP 2018 and 23 WAP 2018, Pa. Sup., 2019 Pa. LEXIS 6521).
CHICAGO — Seventeen employees of McDonald’s restaurants in the Chicago area sued corporate- and franchise-owned stores on Nov. 21 in an Illinois state court for failure to protect them from customers’ violent behavior, which has resulted in physical and psychological injuries (Sonia Acuña, et al. v. McDonald’s Corp., et al., No. 2019-CH-13477, Ill. Cir, Cook Co.).
NEW YORK — An arbitrator didn’t exceed her authority when she purported to bind absent class members in a gender discrimination lawsuit as all class members signed the operative arbitration agreement, a Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Nov. 18, noting that on remand, the District Court must consider for the first time whether an opt-out class rather than a mandatory one was appropriate (Laryssa Jock, et al. v. Sterling Jewelers Inc., No. 18-153, 2nd Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 34205).
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — A franchisor of Golden Corral restaurants accused of discrimination was denied summary judgment on Nov. 12 by an Arkansas federal judge, who found evidence that the firing of a server with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) could have been pretextual (Jimmy Davis v. Golden Partners Inc., No. 18-5188, W.D. Ark., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 195763).
CHICAGO — A federal judge in Illinois on Nov. 18 signed off on a $6 million settlement agreement between DolGenCorp LLC (Dollar General) and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in a class lawsuit accusing the retailer of race discrimination (U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. DolGenCorp LLC, No. 13-4307, N.D. Ill.).
JACKSON, Miss. — A Mississippi appeals court on Nov. 5 affirmed a post-trial ruling vacating a $1 million award for future lost wages to a railroad employee who was injured in a two-vehicle accident on the job. The appeals court concluded that there was insufficient evidence about his future work prospects to support the award (Arthur Young v. Illinois Central Railroad Co., No. 2018-CA-00498, Miss. App., 2019 Miss. App. LEXIS 544).
SALEM, Ore. — It is not enough for an employer, under Oregon law, to simply provide a 30-minute unpaid meal break, it must ensure that employees are taking their breaks or pay them wages for the missed breaks, an Oregon appellate panel ruled Nov. 14, vacating decertification of a class suing over missed breaks (Renee Maza, et al. v. Waterford Operations, LLC, et al., No. A165030, Ore. App., 2019 Ore. App. LEXIS 1490).
PORTLAND, Ore. — In a more-than-100-page opinion addressing 15 different summary judgment motions, an Oregon federal judge on Nov. 13 determined that the plaintiffs in a putative class action filed against fast food restaurant franchisor Jack in the Box Inc. are entitled to summary judgment on their claim that Jack in the Box violated Oregon law by failing to pay the plaintiffs and other employees within the period required by law when Jack in the Box transferred its Oregon restaurants to its franchisees (Jessica Gessele, et al. v. Jack in the Box Inc., No. 3:14-cv-1092, D. Ore., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 196627).