SAN FRANCISCO — A district court erred when it ruled that no reasonable juror could find that McDonald’s Corp. and McDonald’s U.S.A. LLC, along with franchisees, are joint employers of fast food crew members under California’s wage-and-hour law, a class of workers argue in their appellant brief filed Oct. 2 in the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (Guadalupe Salazar, et al. v. McDonald’s Corp., et al., No. 17-15673, 9th Cir.).
OAKLAND, Calif. — A California federal magistrate judge on Oct. 6 denied a school bus driver’s motion to remand his waiting time wages class complaint, finding that his employer sufficiently showed that just one of the claims is worth well above the Class Action Fairness Act’s (CAFA’s) $5 million threshold (Bhanu Vikram v. First Student Management, LLC, No. 17-4656, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 166396).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — An employer that removed a wage-and-hour class suit to federal court under the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) initially sufficiently challenged the plaintiffs’ amount-in-controversy calculation but then failed to meet its heightened burden when the plaintiffs moved to remand, a California federal judge ruled Oct. 5, sending the case back to state court (Juan Contreras, et al. v. J.R. Simplot Company, et al., No. 17-585, E.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 166359).
SAN JOSE, Calif. — On Oct. 13, just two days after a California federal magistrate judge granted summary judgment to Converse Inc. in a class complaint over no pay for time spent waiting for and going through bag checks, the lead plaintiff filed a notice of appeal (Eric Chavez v. Converse, Inc., No. 15-3746, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 169167).
PHILADELPHIA — Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), employers must pay employees for all rest breaks lasting 20 minutes or less, a Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Oct. 13 (Secretary United States Department of Labor v. American Future Systems, Inc., et al., No. 16-2685, 3rd Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 19991).
NEW ORLEANS — A class proposed by a former coffeehouse worker who claims that she and other workers were paid cash for overtime hours rather than time and a half was granted conditional certification by a Louisiana federal judge on Oct. 6 following the employer’s failure to respond to the plaintiff’s motion (Hernandez v. Morning Call Coffee Stand, Inc., No. 17-2613, E.D. La., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 166018).
CINCINNATI — A split Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Oct. 12 reversed a trial court’s dismissal of a collective action accusing hhgregg Inc. and Gregg Appliances Inc., owner and operator of more than 220 appliance and electronic stores across the country, of violating federal and state wage laws in part by advancing commission-only employees a “draw” when their commissions fall below minimum wage and then requiring it to be paid back upon termination (Robert Stein, et al. v. hhgregg Inc., et al., No. 16-3364, 6th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 19908).
FRESNO, Calif. — Dash Dream Plant Inc., a Merced County, Calif., orchid grower, will pay $110,000 to settle claims that it threatened employees that they would be fired if they got pregnant, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced Oct. 16 (U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Dash Dream Plant, Inc., et al., No. 16-1395, E.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 169984).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A class complaint accusing an ambulance service company of rest break violations belongs in federal court because the employer has shown that the claims are preempted and that federal question jurisdiction exists, a California federal judge ruled Oct. 12 (Meghan Silva, et al. v. Medic Ambulance Service, Inc., No. 17-876, E.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 169128).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 16 denied a petition for writ of certiorari filed by an employee asking the high court to decide the type of motive and causation necessary in cases brought under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) (Richard Duane Bartels v. 402 East Broughton Street, Inc., No. 17-208, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 16 denied a petition for writ of certiorari filed by a department store seeking to challenge the enforcement of Iskanian v. CLS Transportation Los Angeles, LLC, 327 P.3d 129 (Cal. 2014), and Sakkab v. Luxottica Retail N. Am., Inc., 803 F.3d 425 (9th Cir. 2015), in which has been determined that pre-dispute agreements to arbitrate Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) claims on an individual basis are unenforceable (Bloomingdale’s, Inc. v. Bernadette Tanguilig, No. 16-1503, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 16 refused to hear an appeal filed by a pharmacist whose more than $1.8 million award on his wrongful termination and retaliation claims brought when he was fired after citing a needle phobia as the reason he could not give immunizations was reversed by the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (Christopher Stevens v. Rite Aid Corporation, No. 17-227, U.S. Sup.).
CHICAGO — Too many individualized issues predominate in a suit over public employees who were forced to pay fees to a union, even if they were not members, a Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Oct. 11, upholding a trial court’s ruling in a case on remand from the U.S. Supreme Court (Theresa Riffey, et al. v. Bruce V. Rauner, et al., No. 16-3487, 7th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 19868).
CHICAGO — The Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals is set to hear oral arguments on Oct. 23 in a case concerning whether job applicants may bring disparate impact claims under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) (Dale E. Kleber v. CareFusion Corp., No. 17-1206, 7th Cir.).
PASADENA, Calif. — A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Sept. 11 enforced a decision by the National Labor Relations Board that a medical center committed unfair labor practices before and after a nurses union election, including enforcement of an oral ban on employees speaking to the media, and remanded to the NLRB a related matter raised by the union: rescission of the employer’s written policy banning employees from speaking to the media (United Nurses Associations of California/Union of Health Care Professionals, No. 15-70920, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 17491).
PHILADELPHIA — A Pennsylvania county’s failure to pay overtime to employees who each worked in two different part-time jobs was not willful, and a damages award for those employees does not prove otherwise, a Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Sept. 20 (Michael Souryavong, et al. v. Lackawanna County, Nelson Rolon v. Lackawanna County, Nos. 15-3895 & 16-2214, 3rd Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 18173).
NEW ORLEANS — A fired school counselor who complained of medical issues that prevented him from standing for long periods of time failed to show that his termination was the result of disability discrimination or his filing of a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, a Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Oct. 6 (Karl B. Molden v. East Baton Rouge Parish School Board, No. 17-30344, 5th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 19598).
CHICAGO — Nearly a dozen Chicago police officers who had served on the mayor’s security detail at a higher pay grade but were not retained when a new mayor was elected failed to show that their reassignments were in any way biased, a Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Sept. 8, affirming a trial court’s ruling (Daniel Houlihan, et al. v. City of Chicago, et al., No. 16-2949, 7th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 17427).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court must resolve “without delay” whether Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation, an employee who claims she was fired after marrying her girlfriend argues in her Sept. 7 petition for writ of certiorari (Jameka K. Evans v. Georgia Regional Hospital, et al., No. 17-370, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Only Congress can set the jurisdiction of trial courts under the nation’s constitutional structure, and based on that principle, Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 4(a)(5)(C) is nonjurisdictional, the attorney representing an employee in an age bias dispute argued Oct. 10 before the U.S. Supreme Court, adding that as a result, a district court may extend the time to appeal “as long as a motion is timely filed and there has been a showing of excusable neglect or good cause” (Charmaine Hamer v. Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago, et al., No. 16-658, U.S. Sup.).