LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, on behalf of one named worker and a class of similarly affected female workers, sued Pei Wei Asian Diner LLC, doing business as Pei Wei Fresh Kitchen, on Oct. 15 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas alleging that female workers at the chain’s Little Rock, Ark., location were subjected to sexual harassment and a sexually hostile work environment (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Pei Wei Asian Diner, LLC, No. 19-718, E.D. Ark.).
EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. — Former Wal-Mart Stores Inc. employees who sued for pregnancy discrimination based on the alleged denial of pregnant employees’ request for accommodations filed a motion on Oct. 15 in an Illinois federal court seeking preliminary approval of a $14 million class settlement (Talisa Borders, et al. v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., No. 17-506, S.D. Ill.).
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The removal of a class wage complaint under the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) nearly a year after plaintiffs moved for class certification wasn’t untimely as the plaintiffs did not provide the defendant, AT&T Mobility Services LLC, with sufficient facts to properly ascertain the amount in controversy, a federal judge in West Virginia ruled Oct. 15 (Joseph Atkins, et al. v. AT&T Mobility Services, LLC, No. 18-599, S.D. W.Va., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 178208).
CHICAGO — A former pizza delivery driver who worked for two different Domino’s Pizza franchisees before bringing a collective and class action wage lawsuit on Oct. 9 moved for preliminary approval of a $807,500 settlement agreement with the franchisees (Samantha Young, et al. v. Rolling in the Dough, Inc., No. 17-7825, N.D. Ill.).
SAN JOSE, Calif. — A former Comcast employee who brought putative class claims over alleged improper background check disclosures and various wage violations must arbitrate his claims on an individual basis, a California federal judge ruled Oct. 11, finding that the employer’s class action waiver in its arbitration provision was enforceable (Mario Azeveda v. Comcast Cable Communications LLC, et al., No. 19-1225, N.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 177765).
SYRACUSE, N.Y. — A New York federal judge on Oct. 11 dismissed an employment discrimination suit filed by a former Indian casino employee at the recommendation of a magistrate judge for lack of subject matter jurisdiction (Lucinda A. Johnson v. Oneida Nation Enterprise, LLC, No. 5:19-cv-853, N.D. N.Y., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 176808).
OMAHA, Neb. — A divided Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Oct. 10 vacated a district court’s judgment for student truck drivers on some of their collective and class action claims, finding an error when the deadline for the disclosure of expert reports was extended, and remanded for further proceedings, ruling that the error was not harmless (Philip Petrone, et al. v. Werner Enterprises, Inc., et al., Nos. 18-1574 and 18-1647, 8th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 30344).
SAN JOSE, Calif. — A federal judge in California held on Oct. 11 that there are genuine issues of material fact that preclude summary judgment in favor of International Business Machines Corp. on certain claims in a software sales representative’s suit alleging that IBM owed him unpaid commissions (David Swafford v. International Business Machines Corporation, No. 18-04916, N.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 177346).
MADISON, Wis. — A Wisconsin federal jury on Oct. 10 issued a $5.2 million verdict against Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Wal-Mart Stores East L.P. (collectively Wal-Mart), finding that they violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), by failing to provide a deaf and visually impaired employee with a reasonable accommodation and firing him (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., et al., No. 17-739, W.D. Wis.).
SAN FRANCISCO — A cleaning service franchisor filed a petition on Oct. 8 seeking a panel rehearing or rehearing en banc after a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Sept. 24 ruled that franchisees may proceed with claims that they are employees under the ABC test established in Dynamex Operations West Inc. v. Superior Court (Gerardo Vazquez, et al. v. Jan-Pro Franchising International, Inc., No. 17-16096, 9th Cir.).
LOS ANGELES — The fact that the four proposed class representatives for the U.S. Senior Women’s National Soccer Team (WNT) in a equal pay lawsuit made more than members of the Senior Men’s National Team (MNT) doesn’t eliminate their claims or standing as “they worked in far more games, had far greater success and thus were able to earn more money in salary and bonuses,” the female soccer players argue in their Oct. 8 reply in support of their motion for class certification filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California (Alex Morgan, et al. v. United States Soccer Federation, Inc., No. 19-1717, C.D. Calif.).
CHICAGO — A federal judge in Illinois on Sept. 30 entered judgment as a matter of law in favor of Volvo Group North America LLC on a former worker’s disability bias claim, finding that a jury’s multimillion verdict for the worker was “grossly excessive and irrational,” and granted a new trial on the worker’s claim that her firing violated the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) (LuzMaria Arroyo v. Volvo Group North America, LLC, No. 12-6859, N.D. Ill., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 168213).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A Howard University laboratory veterinarian who alleges that she complained for nine months about conditions where the laboratory animals were housed before taking her complaint to the federal government may proceed with her claim under the False Claims Act’s anti-retaliation provision as the district court that dismissed her case took “too narrow a view of the [FCA’s] protection for whistleblowers,” a divided District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Sept. 20 (Sylvia Singletary, D.V.M. v. Howard University, No. 18-7158, D.C. Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 28468).
SAN DIEGO — A federal judge in California on Oct. 7 dismissed without prejudice a Catholic high school’s former employee’s unfair competition law (UCL) claim based on a violation of California Labor Code Section 203 but allowed the remainder of his UCL claim, four other claims and his request for punitive damages to proceed in the adverse employment action (Torrey Eason v. The Roman Catholic Bishop Of San Diego, et al., No. 19-577, S.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 173964).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — An apparel company on Oct. 1 filed a petition for a writ of certiorari, asking the U.S. Supreme Court to decide whether the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is permitted under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to continue investigating a discrimination complaint after issuing a right-to-sue letter and after that charging employee pursues private litigation (VF Jeanswear, LP v. U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, No. 19-446, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A District of Columbia Department of Public Works (DPW) sanitation worker filed a disability discrimination complaint on Oct. 4 in the District of Columbia Superior Court alleging that she has been placed on leave with no pay for using medical marijuana outside of work hours in violation of the District of Columbia Human Rights Act (DCHRA) (Doretha Barber v. District of Columbia, No. 2019 CA 006564, D.C. Super.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 7 denied petitions for writ of certiorari filed in five employment-related cases — one related to on-the-job injury to a railroad worker, three concerning discrimination claims and one regarding wage violations.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments on Oct. 8 on Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protections from the attorney representing Aimee Stephens, a transgender worker, the attorney representing the funeral home where Stephens used to work and the solicitor general on behalf of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which originally brought the lawsuit on Stephens’ behalf and now supports a ruling in favor of the employer (R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes, Inc. v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, et al., No. 18-107, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Oral arguments on whether the protections of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 reach sexual orientation were presented Oct. 8 before the U.S. Supreme Court with the attorney representing the former employees in two cases that were consolidated arguing the reach is clear, while the attorney representing the employers and the U.S. solicitor general representing the United States as amicus curiae, both argued that there is no protection (Gerald Lynn Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia, No. 17-1618, Altitude Express, Inc., et al. v. Melissa Zarda, et al., No. 17-1623, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 7 denied a petition for a writ of certiorari filed by an employer accused of discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and retaliation in connection with an alleged rumor circulated about a female employee sleeping with her male boss for a promotion (Reema Consulting Services, Inc. v. Evangeline J. Parker, No. 18-1442, U.S. Sup.).