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Mealey's Employment

  • February 20, 2019

    3rd Circuit: Virgin Islands’ Retirement Contribution Increase Is Not Biased

    PHILADELPHIA — A mandatory increase to retirement contributions of employees with 30 or more years of service if they chose not to retire within a set time period did not constitute age discrimination because the increase was not based on the employees’ age, a Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Feb. 19, affirming a trial court ruling against a class of employees and in favor of the government of the Virgin Islands (Marie Bryan v. Government of the Virgin Islands, Naomi Clarke Thomas v. Government of the Virgin Islands, No. 18-1941, 3rd Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 4816).

  • February 20, 2019

    Judge Denies Dismissal Of Transmission-Repair Company From Discrimination Case

    CAMDEN, N.J. — In an employee’s discrimination lawsuit against his employer, a New Jersey federal judge on Feb. 14 refused to dismiss a transmission-repair franchise company because a license agreement plausibly shows that it is a joint employer (Zevin Curtis Ward v. Cottman Transmission Systems LLC, et al., No. 18-2155, D. N.J., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 24685).

  • February 20, 2019

    Split 6th Circuit: Hoover Retirees’ Health Benefits Aren’t Unalterable

    CINCINNATI — A trial court erred when it ruled that lifetime health care benefits promised to Hoover Co. retirees in multiple collective bargaining agreements (CBAs) were unalterable as the obligation ended when the last CBA ended, a divided Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Feb. 15 (Joseph Zino, et al. v. Whirlpool Corp., et al., Nos. 17-3851/3860, 6th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 4648).

  • February 20, 2019

    7th Circuit Finds Nursing Home Worker Failed To Show Firing Was Motivated By Race

    CHICAGO — A former nursing home employee who was fired after an incident with a resident prompted an investigation of allegations of resident abuse failed to show that it was her race that caused her termination, a Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Feb. 15 (Fran Watkins v. Riverside Medical Center, et al., No. 18-1411, 7th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 4664).

  • February 19, 2019

    Divided 5th Circuit Panel Reissues Opinions In Parkinson’s Bias Appeal

    NEW ORLEANS — A split Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 15 withdrew its December opinion in an appeal of a railway worker’s disability bias and retaliation claims and substituted in its place a majority opinion reinstating the disability bias claims brought by the worker with Parkinson’s disease who was denied the opportunity to return to his job after co-workers raised concerns about his ability to safely perform his job, but explained in a footnote that it has not imposed a new requirement for assertion of the direct-threat defense (Flora Nall v. BNSF Railway Company, No. 17-20113, 5th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 4638).

  • February 14, 2019

    5th Circuit Finds Plant Worker Failed To Show Bad Faith By Employer In Firing

    NEW ORLEANS — A copper tube plant worker who was fired at the age of 69 after being disciplined four times failed to show that her employer “acted in some manner of bad faith” when it considered the facts that led to the firing, a Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Feb. 12, affirming a summary judgment ruling for the employer on a claim of age discrimination (Margaret Sue Inmon v. Mueller Copper Tube Company, Incorporated, No. 18-60145, 5th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 4223).

  • February 14, 2019

    Panel Upholds Expert Rulings In Race Bias Judgment Against Kansas City

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A state trial court properly allowed expert testimony for a man who sued the Kansas City Fire Department (KCFD) for racial discrimination and correctly excluded opinions by the department’s expert for lack of disclosure, a Missouri appeals court held Feb. 13 in affirming a jury’s $1 million damages and fee award to the accuser (Tarshish Jones v. Kansas City, Mo., No. WD81671, W.D. Mo. App., 2019 Mo. App. LEXIS 152).

  • February 14, 2019

    Federal Class Claims Against Port Authority Alleging Taped Medical Exams To Proceed

    NEW YORK — A New York federal judge on Feb. 12 declined to dismiss federal class claims against the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey alleging that it records medical exams of employees without their consent (Charlese Talarico, et al. v. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, No. 18-909, S.D. N.Y., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 22766).

  • February 14, 2019

    Class Of Railroad Workers Certified In Suit Over Medical Evaluations

    OMAHA, Neb. — A Nebraska federal judge on Feb. 5 certified a class of railroad workers suing over changes to their employer’s fitness-for-duty (FFD) program and ruled that a hybrid trial plan would be the best way to proceed (Quinton Harris, et al. v. Union Pacific Railroad Company, No. 16-381, D. Neb., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 17917).

  • February 14, 2019

    Class Of Rehab Residents Certified In Suit Seeking Wages For Required Work

    FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — An Arkansas federal judge on Jan. 31 certified a class of residents in a drug rehabilitation program seeking wages for work they were required to perform in exchange for a spot in the program, room and board, clothing and other necessities (Mark Fochtman, et al. v. DARP, Inc., et al., No. 18-5047, W.D. Ark., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 16816).

  • February 13, 2019

    Washington Appeals Court: Hospital Waived Right To Arbitrate Nurses’ Class Claims

    SEATTLE — A Washington hospital’s participation in litigation by a proposed class of nurses alleging that they were denied breaks was a waiver of its right to invoke arbitration, a Washington appellate panel ruled Feb. 11 (Jeoung Lee, et al. v. Evergreen Hospital Medical Center, No. 77894-1-I, Wash. App., Div. 1, 2019 Wash. App. LEXIS 341).

  • February 12, 2019

    8th Circuit Denies En Banc Rehearing Of EEOC No Accommodation Retaliation Claim

    ST. PAUL, Minn. — A divided Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 11 denied a petition for rehearing en banc and a petition for panel rehearing, leaving in place a Nov. 13 ruling by a divided panel holding that an employer’s revocation of a conditional job offer following the applicant’s request for religious accommodation was a matter to be resolved under a disparate treatment claim and not a retaliation one (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. North Memorial Health Care, No. 17-2926, 8th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 4112).

  • February 12, 2019

    New Jersey Federal Judge Remands Class Suit Seeking Wages For Misclassified Drivers

    NEWARK, N.J. — A complaint alleging that a class of truck drivers was misclassified as independent contractors rather than employees and seeking to recover wages for those workers belongs in state court, not federal court, a New Jersey federal judge ruled Feb. 11, adopting a magistrate judge’s report and recommendation (Pedro Roberts, et al. v. Tribeca Automotive, et al., No. 18-8330, D. N.J., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 21208).

  • February 12, 2019

    Judge Stays Case Against Cruise Line Pending Philippine Court Ruling

    MIAMI — A Florida federal judge on Feb. 8 granted a widow’s request to stay a lawsuit filed in relation to her husband’s death on a cruise ship pending the outcome of an appeal of an arbitration award in a Philippine court, holding that the outcome of that case will determine whether the cruise line’s motion to compel another arbitration should be granted (Ben Buenaventura v. NCL [Bahamas] Ltd., et al., No. 1:18-cv-22922, S.D. Fla.).

  • February 11, 2019

    5th Circuit Reissues Opinion In Nurse’s Harassment Suit After Attacks By Resident

    NEW ORLEANS — A Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Feb. 6 withdrew a June 2018 opinion in an appeal by a nurse seeking to hold her employer liable for a hostile work environment created by a patient and issued a new opinion holding that the evidence of persistent physical harassment by the patient was sufficient to allow a jury to decide the matter (Kymberli Gardner v. CLC of Pascagoula, L.L.C., No. 17-60072, 5th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 3732).

  • February 7, 2019

    Split 7th Circuit Upholds No Malice Finding In NLRB’s Challenge Of Bankruptcy

    CHICAGO — A Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Jan. 22 ruled 2-1 to reject a collateral estoppel argument by the National Labor Relations Board and affirm a finding that an employer, ordered by the NLRB to provide back pay after firing his employees to avoid unionization, was permitted to challenge the issue of malice when seeking to discharge that debt in his bankruptcy filing (In Re:  Edward L. Calvert, No. 17-1895, 7th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 2012).

  • February 7, 2019

    3rd Circuit: No Preemption Of New Jersey Test In Employment Status Suit

    PHILADELPHIA — New Jersey’s test for determining employment status for the purposes of state wage law claims is not preempted by the Federal Aviation Authorization Administration Act of 1994 (FAAAA) because its effects on prices, routes or services related to the transportation of property “is tenuous and insignificant,” a Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Jan. 29 (Ever Bedoya, et al. v. American Eagle Express Inc., No. 18-1641, 3rd Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 3155).

  • February 7, 2019

    5th Circuit Upholds Ruling For Employer In Transgender Bias Suit

    NEW ORLEANS — A Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Feb. 6 affirmed a trial court’s ruling for an employer in a lawsuit by a job candidate alleging transgender discrimination, finding that the employer offered a non-discriminatory reason for revoking a job offer, but the majority noted that the district court erred when it stated that the Fifth Circuit has not yet addressed transgender discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Nicole C. Wittmer v. Phillips 66 Company, No. 18-20251, 5th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 3731).

  • February 7, 2019

    Vessel Owner To High Court: No Punitive Damages For Unseaworthiness Claims

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — There are no punitive damages for unseaworthiness claims brought under general maritime law, a vessel owner and operator told the U.S. Supreme Court in its Jan. 22 petitioner brief (The Dutra Group v. Christopher Batterton, No. 18-266, U.S. Sup.).

  • February 6, 2019

    NLRB Grants Partial Review In Charter School Dispute And Invites Briefs

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The National Labor Relations Board majority on Feb. 4 granted a union’s request for review in part in a matter involving a charter school and invited briefs on whether it should decline jurisdiction over charter schools as a class under Section 14(c)(1) of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) (KIPP Academy Charter School and Nicole Mangiere, et al. and United Federation of Teachers, Local 2 AFT, AFL-CIO, No. 02-RD-191760, NLRB).