WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on July 2 denied a petition for a writ of certiorari filed by a California superintendent asking the high court to weigh in on whether prior salary is a permittable reason to pay a female employee less than her male counterparts (Jim Yovino, Fresno County Superintendent of Schools v. Aileen Rizo, No. 19-1176, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on July 2 granted petitions for a writ of certiorari filed by Nestle USA Inc. and Cargill Inc. seeking to challenge the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling that former cocoa farms’ child slaves had Article III of the U.S. Constitution standing to bring claims of aiding and abetting slave labor in violation of the Alien Tort Statute (ATS) and consolidated the two cases (Nestle USA, Inc. v. John Doe I, et al., No. 19-416, Cargill, Incorporated v. John Doe I, et al., No. 19-453, U.S. Sup.).
SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal magistrate judge on June 30 partially granted a former employee’s motion for summary judgment against a franchisee after determining that the former employee met his burden of showing that he is entitled to overtime pay for hours worked in excess of eight hours per day (Decatuer Carter v. Jai-Put Enterprise Inc., et al., No. 18-6313, N.D. Calif., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 114299).
LOS ANGELES — A federal judge in California on June 23 denied a request by professional female soccer players to certify portions of a May 1 summary judgment order to allow them to immediately appeal the ruling against them on their pay discrimination class claims, ruling that “the administrative interests and equities” did weigh in favor of such a ruling (Alex Morgan, et al. v. United States Soccer Federation, Inc., No. 19-1717, C.D. Calif.).
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Nine Ohio restaurants used money from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to implement a new pay scheme that violates state and federal wage-and-hour laws, one employee claims in a June 19 first amended complaint filed in a federal court in Ohio (Kelsey Smith, et al. v. Local Cantina, LLC, et al., No. 20-3064, S.D. Ohio).
COVINGTON, Ky. — A federal judge in Kentucky on June 26 dismissed two class claims under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) brought against employers by employees after their personal information was stolen, finding that the employers are not consumer reporting agencies (CRAs), and declined to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over state law claims (Keram J. Christensen, et al. v. Saint Elizabeth Medical Center, Inc., et al., No. 19-43, E.D. Ky., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 112353).
RIVERSIDE, Calif. — A trial court failed to carry out its duty to carefully consider the declarations from current and former employees submitted by an employer in support of its opposition to class certification in an employee’s lawsuit alleging violations of California’s Labor Code and the unfair competition law (UCL), a split California appellate panel ruled June 26, reversing orders denying motions to strike the declarations and for class certification (Sofia Wilton Barriga v. 99 Cents Only Stores LLC, No. E069288, Calif., App., 4th Dist., Div. 2, 2020 Cal. App. LEXIS 586).
BOSTON — A federal court in Massachusetts erred when it denied preliminary injunctive relief in a class complaint accusing a ride share company of misclassifying its drivers as independent contractors, a Massachusetts driver alleges in his June 30 appellant brief asking the First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeal to reverse (John Capriole, et al. v. Uber Technologies, Inc., et al., No. 20-1386, 1st Cir.).
LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. — An Athens, Ga., hospital is manipulating COVID-19 tests to obtain “false negative” results to keep space for new admissions and avoid negative publicity and oversight, four current and former employees allege in an amended petition for an emergency temporary restraining order (TRO) and interlocutory injunction filed June 22 in a Georgia state court (Jane Doe 1, et al. v. Landmark Hospital of Athens, LLC, No. 20-A-04131-3, Ga. Super., Gwinnett Co.).
RIVERSIDE, Calif. — Target Corp., in a wage-and-hour class complaint, failed to show that class counsel fees of nearly 32 percent of the total recovery being sought should be included in the amount in controversy, a federal judge in California ruled June 25, granting remand of the case for failure to meet the Class Action Fairness Act’s (CAFA) $5 million threshold (Arthur Barnes v. Target Corporation, et al., No. 20-831, C.D. Calif., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 111660).
CHICAGO — A federal judge in Illinois on June 29 approved an agreement between a temporary staffing agency and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission under which Personnel Staffing Group LLC, doing business as Most Valuable Personnel (MVP), and MVP Workforce LLC will pay $568,500 to end claims by the EEOC and employees in three other cases that it discriminated against Black and female workers by not sending them to certain jobs or giving them reduced hours (U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Personnel Staffing Group, LLC, et al., No. 20-3683, N.D. Ill.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Incentive payments by automobile manufacturers to auto sales consultants constitute wages, the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Wage and Hour Division (WHD) wrote in one of five June 25 opinion letters issued in response to various wage-related requests.
CHICAGO — A federal judge in Illinois on June 18 dismissed a 7-Eleven franchisee’s putative class complaint for wages filed against the franchisor, ruling that the profit-sharing agreement contained within the franchise agreement is based on sales only and is not a wage agreement (Niral Patel, et al. v. 7-Eleven, Inc., No. 18-7010, N.D. Ill., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 106827).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The National Labor Relations Board in a June 23 decision overturned Total Security Management Illinois 1, LLC, a 2016 ruling regarding employers’ obligations when employees become union represented and held retroactively that an employer does not need to first bargain with the union before disciplining workers (800 River Road Operating Company, LLC and 1199 SEIU, United Health Care Workers East, No. 22-CA-204545, NLRB).
ALAMEDA, Calif. — A McDonald’s restaurant franchisee should be ordered to remain closed because the restaurant failed to take necessary precautions against the spread of COVID-19, which resulted in the spread of the novel coronavirus to a number of employees and the employees’ families, and failed to provide its employees with proper personal protective equipment or information to combat the spread of the virus, the employees say in a June 16 complaint and an application for a temporary restraining order, both filed in California state court (Yamilett Olimara Osoy Hernandez v. VES Mc Donald’s, et al., No. RG20064825, Calif. Super., Alameda Co.).
NEW YORK — A Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on June 15 affirmed summary judgment for a retailer in a putative collective and class complaint by department managers (DMs) in a lawsuit seeking unpaid overtime due to the employer’s use of the fluctuating workweek (FWW) method, writing that the workers failed to show that two questionable weeks of underpayment out of 1,500 or limited fluctuations in their work weeks were sufficient to support their claims (Danyell Thomas, et al. v. Bed Bath & Beyond Inc., No. 19-1647, 2nd Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 18747).
HARRISBURG, Pa. — A federal judge in Pennsylvania on June 22 approved a settlement under which a Pennsylvania dental practice will pay $100,000 and provide equitable relief to end claims by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that it fired nearly all of its dental hygienists who were older than 40 and replaced them mostly with younger workers (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Michael A. Sisk, DDS, LLC, No. 19-804, M.D. Pa.).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Dollar Tree Stores Inc. created a public nuisance and engaged in unfair business practices in violation of California law by failing to properly provide safety equipment, cleaning products and training to employees in response to the novel coronavirus pandemic, an employee alleges in a class complaint filed June 10 in a California state court (Kiyana Esco, et al. v. Dollar Tree Stores, Inc., et al., No. 2020-00280479-CV, Calif. Super., Sacramento Co.).
ALAMEDA, Calif. — The widow of a Safeway grocery chain employee who died from COVID-19, a respiratory illness caused by the novel coronavirus, sued the chain and its parent company in a California court on May 13, alleging that the defendants advised its workforce not to wear masks and gloves to protect themselves from infection (Norma Zuniga v. Safeway Inc., et al., No. HG20062742, Calif. Super., Alameda Co.).
AUSTIN, Texas — The Farm Animal Activity Act (FAAA) does not protect ranch owners from liability for the death of a ranch hand who died when he was trampled by a 2,000-pound bull they owned, a divided Texas Supreme Court ruled June 12, affirming an appeals court decision (Conway Waak Jr., et al. v. Raul Amparo Zuniga Rodriguez, et al., No. 19-0167, Texas Sup., 2020 Tex. LEXIS 528).