SANTA ANA, Calif. — A California federal judge on June 19 granted final approval of a nonreversionary $750,000 class settlement that will be paid by Pier 1 Imports U.S. Inc. to end a complaint alleging that workers of the home furnishings and accessories chain were denied rest breaks (Jennifer Pedraza v. Pier 1 Imports U.S. Inc., et al., No. 16-1447, C.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 103490).
CINCINNATI — A receptionist who requested a longer lunch period to allow her more time to exercise and then quit while her request, supported by a note from her doctor, was being considered failed to show disability bias, retaliation or constructive discharge, a Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled June 21 (Shannan McDonald v. UAW-GM Center for Human Resources, No. 17-1875, 6th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 16752).
TAMPA, Fla. — A Florida federal judge on June 20 decertified a collective of food delivery drivers who allege that they were misclassified and denied minimum and overtime wages, ruling that the drivers failed to show that they are similarly situated (David Roberson, et al. v. Restaurant Delivery Developers, LLC, et al., No. 17-769, M.D. Fla., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 103044).
DENVER — A Wal-Mart Stores Inc. worker who was fired after requesting that she not be required to clean the men’s restrooms failed to establish a prima facie case of disability discrimination despite being exempted from that task for several years because cleaning restrooms was an essential function of her job, a 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled June 20 (Simone Mielnicki v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., No. 17-1396, 10th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 16594).
PHILADELPHIA — Because an ex-employee of The Coca-Cola Co. (Coke) failed to establish a causal connection between credit card fraud and the theft of company-owned laptops containing employees’ personally identifiable information (PII), a Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on June 20 affirmed the dismissal of his putative breach of contract and negligence class claims against the soft drink manufacturer (Shane K. Enslin v. The Coca-Cola Co., et al., Nos. 17-3153 and 17-3256, 3rd Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 16613).
ST. LOUIS — A one-day strike by workers at a Missouri Burger King franchise was protected under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) as any previous strikes they participated in against another employee don’t constitute “intermittent or recurrent strikes,” an Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled June 12 (National Labor Relations Board v. EYM King of Missouri, LLC, No. 17-1944, 8th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 15760).
SAN DIEGO — The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a complaint on June 11 in a California federal court accusing franchisor Tapioca Express Inc. and two of the milk tea company’s franchisees of subjecting female employees to sexual harassment and causing some to quit as a result of the hostile environment (U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Tapioca Express, Inc., et al., No. 18-1217, S.D. Calif.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A former Georgia county employee who claims that he was fired from his job due to his sexual orientation filed a petition for writ of certiorari in the U.S. Supreme Court on May 25 asking the high court justices to resolve a circuit split and decide whether sexual orientation discrimination falls under the protections of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Gerald Lynn Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia, No. 17-1618, U.S. Sup.).
PORTLAND, Maine — A Maine federal judge on June 19 granted final approval of a $5 million settlement to be paid by a Maine dairy company to end a wage-and-hour class lawsuit stemming from the lack of a serial comma in a list of activities exempted from Maine’s overtime law (Christopher O’Connor, et al. v. Oakhurst Dairy, et al., No. 14-192, D. Maine, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 102244).
SAN FRANCISCO — A former Jones Day partner filed a Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) representative action complaint on June 19 in a California state court on behalf of herself and other female attorneys employed by the firm in California, alleging that it operates as a “fraternity” where female attorneys are “marginalized” and paid less than male counterparts (Wendy Moore, et al. v. Jones Day, et al., No. CGC18567391, Calif. Super., San Francisco Co.).
SAN FRANCISCO — A group of restaurant workers on June 18 sued the restaurant and its owner in a California state court, asserting claims for violation of California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and labor code (Pedro Mejia Garcia v. Nass Enterprise Inc., No. 567366, Calif. Super., San Francisco Co.).
NEW ORLEANS — A Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on June 18 rejected an appeal by a former veterans home worker who challenged a verdict in her former employer’s favor and the jury instructions in her disability bias suit filed after she was terminated while placed on light-duty tasks following a back injury (Tamisha Pegues v. Mississippi State Veterans Home, No. 17-60766, 5th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 16373).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on June 18 denied a petition for writ of certiorari filed by a gentleman’s club after an appeals court declined to enforce arbitration agreements given to the club’s exotic dancers after a wage-and-hour complaint was already filed and also denied petitions in three other employment-related cases (Crazy Horse Saloon and Restaurant Inc. v. Alexis Degidio, et al., No. 17-1573, U.S. Sup.).
NEW ORLEANS — A Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on June 12 partially reinstated a hospital’s claims for unpaid or underpaid benefits, ruling that claims for benefits under 29 U.S.C. Section 1132(a)(1)(B) don’t need to identify the specific language of every plan provision to survive dismissal (Innova Hospital San Antonio, Limited Partnership v. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia, Incorporated, et al., No. 14-11300, 5th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 15786).
OWENSBORO, Ky. — Bias based on a worker’s sexual orientation is not barred under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 or Kentucky state law, a Kentucky federal judge ruled June 12, citing a 2009 decision by the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (Terry Lindsey v. Management & Training Corporation, No. 17-146, W.D. Ky., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 98001).
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — A West Virginia federal judge on June 12 signed off on a $3.2 million settlement to be paid by CSX Transportation Inc. to end a lawsuit by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleging that required strength tests for certain jobs was discriminatory against women (U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. CSX Transportation, Inc., No. 17-3731, S.D. W.Va.).
By Mark W. Lerner and Jonathan L. Shapiro
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A District of Columbia federal judge on June 11 granted a motion to certify for interlocutory appeal a March order to allow the District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to rule on whether the jurisdictional limits outlined in Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. v. Superior Court of California, 137 S. Ct. 1773 (2017), extend to unnamed, nonresident members of a putative nationwide class in federal court (Michael Molock, et al. v. Whole Foods Market Group, Inc., No. 16-2483, D. D.C., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 97428).
RICHMOND, Va. — A Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on June 12 affirmed denial of a motion to compel arbitration in a wage-and-hour class complaint by a cable technician, ruling that the technician’s claims don’t rely on the agreements he signed that reference arbitration and the district court did not abuse its discretion in declining to apply equitable estoppel (Patrick Weckesser, et al. v. Knight Enterprises S.E., LLC, No. 17-1247, 4th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 15751).
NEW ORLEANS — A medical center did not commit gender discrimination when it fired a police officer for failing to report that a security guard was in possession of a stolen gun but did not fire the security guard, a Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled June 5 (Joe W. Collier v. The University of Mississippi Medical Center, No. 18-60025, 5th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 15111).