DAYTON, Ohio — An Ohio federal judge on April 18 certified a class of tree service employees who were allegedly not paid when they had to travel long distances overnight to jobs (Joseph Neville, et al. v. Nelson Tree Service, LLC, No. 18-368, S.D. Ohio, Western Div., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 66446).
BOSTON — The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court on April 12 reversed a trial court’s denial of class certification in a restaurant worker’s reporting pay lawsuit and ruled that two unaccepted settlement offers did not moot the worker’s individual claims (Felice Gammella, et al. v. P.F. Chang’s China Bistro, Inc., No. SJC-12604, Mass. Sup., 2019 Mass. LEXIS 229).
SAN JOSE, Calif. — A California federal judge on April 5 remanded a class complaint accusing an employer of multiple state wage violations based on the amount in controversy and, because the court lacked jurisdiction, declined to address a motion to compel arbitration (Juan Chavez v. Pratt [Robert Mann Packaging], LLC, No. 19-719, N.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 59399).
SANTA ANA, Calif. — A California federal judge on April 5 denied a motion to send a putative class complaint alleging the misclassification of magazine publishers as independent contractors back to state court, finding that the magazine distribution company met its burden to show that the amount in controversy was more than $75,000 (Christopher Lowe v. Lifestyle Publications, LLC, et al., No. 19-198, C.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 59381).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on April 15 denied three petitions in employment-related appeals, two concerning hostile work environment and one alleging discrimination (Terry Haynie v. United Air Lines, Inc., No. 18-1204; Afoluso Adesanya, et al. v. Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation, No. 18-1091; Sybil Little v. CSRA, et al., No. 18-1031, U.S. Sup.).
CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. — A New York federal judge on April 9 declined to dismiss a class complaint accusing Whole Foods Market Group Inc. of failing to comply with New York law by paying manual workers twice a month rather than once a week without prior approval by the labor commissioner, finding that there is an implied private right of action in the law (Dwayne J. Scott, et al. v. Whole Foods Market Group, Inc., No. 18-86, E.D. N.Y., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 61726).
PHILADELPHIA — A Pennsylvania federal judge on April 5 denied Choice Hotels International’s motion to dismiss a collective and class action lawsuit brought by a former housekeeper who sued Choice and one of its franchisees as joint employers for denying her and other workers overtime wages (Gina DiFlavis v. Choice Hotels International, Inc. et al., No. 18-3914, E.D. Pa., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 58924).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The California state wage-and-hour law can’t be borrowed as federal law on the Outer Continental Shelf pursuant to the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA) as there is no gap in the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), an attorney representing Parker Drilling Management Services Ltd. argued before the U.S. Supreme Court on April 16 (Parker Drilling Management Services, Ltd. v. Brian Newton, No. 18-389, U.S. Sup.).
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — An employer violated the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) when it required employees, as a condition of continued employment, to waive their right to discuss and disclose information regarding arbitration, an administrative law judge (ALJ) ruled March 21 (Pfizer, Inc. and Rebecca Lynn Olvey Martin and Jeffrey J. Rebenstorf, Nos. 10-CA-175850 and 07-CA-176035, NLRB).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — With a lack of conflicting rulings and with the U.S. Supreme Court’s prior rejection of similar cases, there is no need for the high court to take on the question of whether the National Labor Relations Board has jurisdiction over Native American casinos and their tribal operators, the NLRB argues in an April 10 response brief (Casino Pauma v. National Labor Relations Board, No. 18-873, U.S. Sup.).
CINCINNATI — A Michigan federal court erred when it ruled in a suit by the U.S. secretary of Labor that ordinary commute time and bona fide meal periods were compensable under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), a Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled April 5, vacating a damages award against an employer and remanding for recalculation (Secretary of Labor v. Timberline South, LLC, et al., No. 18-1763, 6th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 10072).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The National Labor Relations Board erred in ruling that the “majority status rule” established in Pacific Lutheran University extends to faculty subgroups as that decision conflicts with N.L.R.B. v. Yeshiva University, a District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled March 12 (University of Southern California v. National Labor Relations Board, No. 17-1149, D.C. Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 7203).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on April 9 requested a response within one month to a petition for a writ of certiorari filed by non-union personal home health care assistants asking if they need “to prove contemporaneous subjective opposition” to a union that collected fair-share fees from them to establish injury and damages under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (Theresa Riffey, et al. v. Governor J.B. Pritzker, et al., No. 18-1120, U.S. Sup.).
NEW YORK — A former employee of Anthropologie Inc. may proceed with her age-based hostile work environment and retaliation claims after a trial court failed to consider events found to be untimely as background evidence and applied an erroneous legal standard, a Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled April 8 (Blair Davis-Garett v. Urban Outfitters, Incorporated, et al., No. 17-3371, 2nd Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 10210).
CHICAGO — Hotel employees’ putative class claims over the collection, storage and disclosure of their fingerprints for timekeeping purposes is not a “wage or hour violation” subject to arbitration under the hotel’s employment agreement, an Illinois appeals panel ruled April 9 (Tony Liu, et al. v. Four Seasons Hotel, Ltd., et al., No. 17 CH 14949, Ill. App., 1st Dist., 2019 Ill. App. LEXIS 233).
NEW YORK — Because a British resident chose to file a now-dismissed complaint against her former employer, which included her address, in U.S. federal court, a New York federal judge on April 3 held that the information was publicly available and, therefore, the subsequent online publication of the complaint by two websites did not violate the General Data Protection Act (GDPR) (Miheala Popa v. Robert E. Moritz, No. 1:18-cv-11300, S.D. N.Y., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 58458).
ATLANTA — An 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel in an April 5 unpublished opinion ruled that workers that package onions grown on other farms don’t fall within the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) agricultural exemptions and are owed overtime; however, it vacated a liquidated damages award and remanded for the trial court to consider a second argument by the employer that it believed it was complying with the FLSA (R. Alexander Acosta v. Bland Farms Production & Packing, LLC, et al., No. 17-15322, 11th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 10118).
ATLANTA — A grocery store employee who brought a pregnancy discrimination case against her former employer failed to show that a jury’s verdict for the store went against the weight of evidence presented during the trial or that alleged evidentiary errors or improper jury instructions tainted the verdict, an 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled April 4 (Varonica L. Udeh v. Winn-Dixie Montgomery, LLC, No. 16-16867, 11th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 9948).
BROOKLYN, N.Y. — Employers on April 3 sought dismissal of certain claims in a New York federal court class action over an alleged captive insurance and reinsurance scheme in which home health aides allege that they were cheated out of lost wages and benefits (Ynes M. Gonzalez de Fuente, et al. v. Preferred Home Care of New York LLC, et al., No. 18-6749, E.D. N.Y.).
NEW YORK — International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) violated the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act (OWBPA) when it stopped providing comparator information to employees being laid off and started requiring laid off workers to waive their right under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) to bring collective age bias claims in any forum, four employees terminated in May 2016 allege in their March 27 complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York (Steven Estle, et al. v. International Business Machines Corporation, No. 19-2729, S.D. N.Y.).