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Mealey's Employment

  • August 16, 2019

    Federal Judge Rules On UCL, Other Claims In Employment Bias, Wage Dispute

    SAN FRANCISCO — Ruling on summary adjudication and summary judgment motions in an employment discrimination and wage-and-hour violations dispute, a federal judge in California on Aug. 14 concluded that there is not enough evidence for a reasonable jury to determine that there was an implied contract regarding severance pay for purposes of claims under California Labor Code Sections and 201 and 203 and California’s unfair competition law (UCL) (Ian Iljas v. Ripley Entertainment Inc., No. 18-00136, N.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 137596).

  • August 15, 2019

    FedEx Driver’s Minimum Wage Class Claim Fails Due To Piecework Exception

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A delivery driver failed to show that FedEx Ground Package System Inc. violated New Mexico’s Minimum Wage Act (MWA) as the work she performed fell under the act’s “piecework” exemption, a federal judge in New Mexico ruled Aug. 6, granting FedEx’s motion for summary judgment and denying as moot the driver’s motion for class certification (Jaime Loree Armijo, et al. v. FedEx Ground Package System, Inc., No. 17-440, D. N.M., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 132546).

  • August 14, 2019

    Foodtown Supermarket Agrees To Pay $285,000 To Settle EEOC Harassment Suit

    NEW YORK — A New York supermarket will pay $285,000 to settle a lawsuit alleging that one of its managers physically and verbally harassed two female employees and then fired them when they resisted his advances, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced Aug. 13 (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. 82-10 Baxter Ave. Food Corp., No. 18-5100, E.D. N.Y.).

  • August 12, 2019

    Federal Magistrate Judge Won’t Reconsider Scope Of Goldman’s Policies In Bias Suit

    NEW YORK — A federal magistrate judge in New York on Aug. 8 declined to reconsider a June order giving Goldman, Sachs & Co. and The Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (collectively, Goldman Sachs) control over which compensation policies and practices beyond the three identified by class plaintiffs in a gender bias suit may be addressed in Phase I of the trial (H. Christina Chen-Oster, et al. v. Goldman, Sachs & Co., et al., No. 10-6950, S.D. N.Y., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 134727).

  • August 8, 2019

    Interlocutory Appeal Denied In Suit Over Jimmy John’s No-Hire Contracts

    CHICAGO — A federal judge in Illinois on Aug. 6 rejected a sandwich shop franchisor’s motion for interlocutory appeal of a dismissal denial in a putative Sherman Act class suit over no-hire contracts with franchisees, noting that bringing the matter before an appellate court as discovery is concluding would be “premature” (Donald Conrad, et al. v. Jimmy John’s Franchise, LLC, et al., No. 18-133, S.D. Ill.).

  • August 8, 2019

    Split Labor Board Finds Walmart Work Stoppage Was Unprotected Strike

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A nearly weeklong work stoppage to allow protesting employees to travel to Walmart Stores Inc.’s annual shareholders’ meeting to demonstrate was an intermittent strike not protected by the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), a split National Labor Relations Board panel ruled July 25 (Walmart Stores, Inc. and The Organization United for Respect at Walmart (Our Walmart), Nos. 16-CA-096240, 16-CA-105873, 16-CA-108394, 16-CA-113087, 16-CA-122578, 16-CA-124099, 21-CA-105401, 26-CA-03558 and 13-CA-107343, NLRB).

  • August 8, 2019

    8th Circuit: Employer Violated NLRA By Suspending Employee With Safety Concerns

    ST. LOUIS — An Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on July 8 enforced a National Labor Relations Board order finding that a refinery violated the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) when it suspended an employee who sought to stop work due to safety concerns (St. Paul Park Refining Co., LLC v. National Labor Relations Board, Nos. 18-2256 and 18-2520, 8th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 20205).

  • August 8, 2019

    Settlement Preliminarily Approved In Uber Driver ‘Upfront Pricing’ Class Suit

    SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal judge on July 22 granted preliminary approval to a modified settlement in a class complaint accusing Uber Technologies Inc. and its subsidiary Rasier LLC (collectively, Uber) of changing the pricing policy in 2016 and keeping a larger percentage of each fare (Martin Dulberg, et al. v. Uber Technologies, Inc., et al., No. 17-850, N.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 121926).

  • August 8, 2019

    2nd Circuit Reinstates Filipino Hotel Worker’s Forced Labor, Trafficking Claims

    NEW YORK — A Filipino man working in the United States on a temporary guest worker visa raised plausible claims of forced labor and human trafficking based on allegations that his employers threatened to revoke their sponsorship of him if he sought other employment or caused any issues, a Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled July 25, partially reversing a trial court’s dismissal of the lawsuit (Noel P. Adia v. Grandeur Management, Inc., et al., No. 18-2991, 2nd Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 22174).

  • August 8, 2019

    2nd Circuit: Honeywell Must Continue Providing Retiree Medical Benefits

    NEW YORK — A Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Aug. 7 affirmed a trial court’s order finding that Honeywell plant workers who retired before an effects bargaining agreement (EBA) expired are entitled to vested lifetime medical benefits pursuant to unambiguous language in the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) and affirmed an order preliminarily enjoining termination of benefits for those who retired after the EBA expiration, finding that there were “sufficiently serious questions going to the merits” and that the retirees would be irreparably harmed with the injunction (David Kelly, et al. v. Honeywell International, Inc., Nos. 17-675, 17-2075, 2nd Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 23561).

  • August 7, 2019

    Outer Continental Shelf Wage Suit To District Court After SCOTUS Ruling

    PASADENA, Calif. — A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on July 23 vacated a district court’s ruling in a lawsuit over the applicability of state and federal wage laws on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) and remanded for further proceedings regarding certain state law claims, following a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in June holding that state laws may be used only where “federal law does not address the relevant issue” (Brian Newton v. Parker Drilling Management Services, Ltd., et al., No. 15-56352, 9th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 21955).

  • August 7, 2019

    6th Circuit Affirms Jury’s Retaliation Verdict For Worker, Reduced Attorney Fees

    CINCINNATI — A former FedEx SmartPost Inc. worker’s claims of retaliation following her filing of a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission were sufficient to allow a jury to find in her favor, and the trial court had “broad discretion” when it came to reducing the plaintiff’s requested attorney fees, a Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Aug. 5 (Sheryl Hubbell v. FedEx SmartPost, Inc., Nos. 18-1373/1727, 6th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 23300).

  • August 7, 2019

    5th Circuit Upholds Injunction Barring Enforcement Of EEOC Felony Hiring Guidance

    NEW ORLEANS — A Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Aug. 6 affirmed an injunction enjoining enforcement against Texas of guidance issued by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission regarding screening convicted felons from pools of job applicants, but modified the phrasing to avoid confusion and clarify that the guidance may not be treated as binding (State of Texas v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, et al., No. 18-10638, 5th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 23498).

  • August 7, 2019

    New York Federal Judge Says Diagnosis That Employer Caused Depression Is Unsound

    NEW YORK — A lack of reliability dooms a mental health expert’s opinion that a hospital’s discrimination against an employee caused her to develop depression and anxiety, so the question of whether the expert should be excluded because of a possible bias need not be answered, a New York federal judge held Aug. 2 (Aigner El Ansari v. Bridget Graham, et al., No. 1:17-cv-3963, S.D. N.Y., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 129997).

  • August 7, 2019

    5th Circuit:  Former Fannie Mae Worker Failed To Prove Defamation Claim

    NEW ORLEANS — A former sales representative who was fired for working with an outside broker failed to show that she was defamed in her employer’s investigative report because her claims that she had been accused of receiving kickbacks were not supported by the report and because truth is a defense against her claims that she was accused of concealing her working relationship in violation of her employer’s policy, a Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Aug. 2 (Stephanie Warren v. Federal National Mortgage Association, No. 18-11211, 5th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 23233).

  • August 6, 2019

    Split NLRB Reverses ALJ’s Finding Of Union Animus By Electrolux

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A National Labor Relations Board panel majority on Aug. 2 dismissed a complaint brought on behalf of a former Electrolux Home Products Inc. employee who claimed that she was fired in retaliation for her union activity, finding that the general counsel failed to sufficiently show that the firing for insubordination, when others accused of insubordination were suspended or given a warning, was due to animus (Electrolux Home Products, Inc. and J’Vada Mason, No. 15-CA-206187, NLRB).

  • August 6, 2019

    7th Circuit Finds No Attorney Fees Owed After Overtime Collective Was Settled

    CHICAGO — The payment of overtime wages owed to a proposed collective by a Wisconsin employer eliminated the plaintiff’s claims but did not equate to a favorable judgment, a Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled July 30, affirming the denial of the plaintiff’s request for attorney fees under Section 216(b) of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) (Timothy J. Fast v. Cash Depot, Ltd., No. 18-3571, 7th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 22581).

  • August 5, 2019

    UCL Claim In Labor Code Dispute Is Not Subject To Arbitration, Panel Affirms

    RIVERSIDE, Calif. — A California appeals panel on Aug. 1 affirmed a lower court’s ruling that denied an employer’s motion to compel arbitration of a former employee’s claim for injunctive relief under California's unfair competition law (UCL), concluding that there was a specific exemption in the arbitration agreement for unfair competition claims that was agreed on by the parties (Yalila Lacayo v. Catalina Restaurant Group Inc., et al., No. E069833, Calif. App., 4th Dist., Div. 2, 2019 Cal. App. LEXIS 706).

  • August 5, 2019

    H&R Block Seeks Arbitration Ruling From 8th Circuit In Employee’s Class Suit

    ST. LOUIS — Franchisors H&R Block Inc. and H&R Block Tax Services LLC (collectively, H&R Block) filed an appellant brief on July 31 in the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals seeking reversal of a trial court’s denial of a motion to compel arbitration in a branch manager’s Sherman Act class complaint (Melissa Ramsey, et al. v. H&R Block, Inc., et al., No. 19-2217, 8th Cir.).

  • August 2, 2019

    DOL ALJ Finds Baltimore Enterprise Should Pay $6.6M For Hiring Bias

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Enterprise RAC Company of Baltimore LLC must pay $6,645,444 in lost earnings and benefits to more than 2,000 black applicants for the company’s management trainee program, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced Aug. 1 after a DOL administrative law judge (ALJ) issued a recommended decision and order (In the Matter of: Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs v. Enterprise RAC Company of Baltimore, LLC, No. 2016-OFC-00006, DOL OALJ).