SAN FRANCISCO — An attorney representing the named plaintiffs in a wage-and-hour class complaint must pay $7,706.32 in sanctions after acting in an “unprofessional” and “disrespectful” manner during deposition, a California federal magistrate judge ruled March 21, adding that the attorney “might benefit from mental health treatment and sensitivity training” (Shaon Robinson, et al. v. The Chefs’ Warehouse, No. 15-5421, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 40824).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — In-N-Out Burger Inc. violated the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) when it prohibited employees from wearing unauthorized buttons or insignia that referenced union activity and wages, the National Labor Relations Board ruled March 21 (In-N-Out Burger, Inc. and Mid-South Organizing Committee, Nos. 16-CA-156147 and 16-CA-163251, NLRB).
BOSTON — Noting that the lack of a serial comma in a list of activities exempted from Maine’s overtime law caused the present dispute, the First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 13 reversed summary judgment for a Maine dairy company in a wage-and-hour lawsuit filed by delivery drivers, finding that state law requires that the exemption must be construed in the narrow manner favored by the drivers (Kevin O’Connor, et al. v. Oakhurst Dairy, et al., No. 16-1901, 1st Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 4392).
SAN FRANCISCO — A network of “vendors” who perform maintenance and repair services at properties owned by Field Asset Services Inc. (FAS) are employees, not independent contractors, and are owed overtime and business expenses, a California federal judge ruled March 17 in an order granting the vendors’ motion for partial summary judgment and denying FAS’s motion to decertify the class of vendors (Fred Bowerman, et al. v. Field Asset Services Inc., et al., No. 13-57, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 39000).
CARSON CITY, Nev. — Nevada’s Minimum Wage Amendment (MWA), which allows employers to pay a lower minimum wage if they provide health benefits, is not preempted by the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) or the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) and is not unconstitutionally vague, the Nevada Supreme Court ruled March 16 (Western Cab Company v. The Eighth Judicial District Court of the State of Nevada, in and for the County of Clark, et al., No. 69408, Nev. Sup., 2017 Nev. LEXIS 16).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Section 3345(b)(1) of the Federal Vacancies Reform Act of 1998 (FVRA) prevents any acting office for an office under this section from serving as a nominee and acting official, a divided U.S. Supreme Court ruled March 21 (National Labor Relations Board v. SW General, Inc., doing business as Southwest Ambulance, No. 15-1251, U.S. Sup.).
CINCINNATI — A glass factory worker who suffered from bipolar disorder and was fired after losing his temper at work and screaming at co-workers failed to show that his firing constituted violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled March 14 (Michael Waggoner v. Carlex Glass America, LLC, No. 16-6241, 6th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 4621).
SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal judge on March 10 granted McDonald’s Corp.’s second motion for summary judgment in a wage-and-hour putative class action brought by a franchisee’s workers, again finding that McDonald’s Corp. does not exercise control over the plaintiffs’ wages, hours or working conditions (Guadalupe Salazar, et al. v. McDonald’s Corp., et al., No. 3:14-cv-02096, N.D. Calif.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 34886).
MIAMI — A Florida federal judge on March 13 compelled arbitration of a sous chef's injury-related claims against the owner of a ship, finding that they directly related to an underlying mandatory arbitration provision in her employment contract but remanded her claims against another vessel owner to a state court for lack of jurisdiction (Linnea Wexler v. Solemates Marine Ltd., et al., No. 16-cv-62704, S.D. Fla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 36376).
CHICAGO — An Illinois federal judge on March 3 dismissed, with leave to amend, a proposed nationwide pregnancy discrimination class suit against United Parcel Service Inc. (UPS) based on the lead plaintiff’s failure to show that UPS accommodated other employees while denying accommodation to pregnant ones (Jamie Anfeldt, et al. v. United Parcel Service, Inc., No. 15-10401, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 30150).
ST. LOUIS — A Missouri federal judge on March 6 decertified a class of call center agents in a wage-and-hour lawsuit, finding that after discovery, the plaintiffs were unable to provide reliable evidence to overcome a lack of common policy (Penny Davenport, et al. v. Charter Communications, LLC, No. 12-7, E.D. Mo., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 31076).
BISMARCK, N.D. — A company provided sufficient evidence to support its misappropriation of trade secrets claims against a former employee, a federal judge in North Dakota ruled March 13 in denying the former employee’s motion to dismiss (Aggreko LLC v. Guillermo Barreto, et al., No. 16-353, D. N.D., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 35573).
SAN FRANCISCO — A motion for a partial stay filed by an employer in a wage-and-hour dispute pursuant to the Colorado River Water Conservation Dist. v. United States, 424 U.S. 800 (1976), doctrine must be denied because it was an attempt to dismiss “the potentially meritorious” claims of a nationwide class, a California federal judge ruled March 13 (Lacey Hernandez, et al. v. Sephora USA, Inc., No. 16-5392, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 35758).
ATLANTA — Job discrimination based on an individual’s gender nonconformity is protected under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, but discrimination based on sexual orientation is not, a divided 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled March 10 (Jameka K. Evans v. Georgia Regional Hospital, et al., No. 15-15234, 11th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 4301).
LOS ANGELES — A California federal judge on March 10 remanded a class action lawsuit filed by product specialists who assert wage-related claims against a car maker and staffing companies, finding that the amount in controversy did not meet federal jurisdictional requirements (Henry Chen, et al. v. United Talent Agency LLC, et al., No. 17-1848, C.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 34960).
SEATTLE — A Washington federal judge on March 10 denied a motion to dismiss filed by Costco Wholesale Corp. in a class complaint accusing the retailer of violating the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) by failing to provide a full and correct disclosure when requesting authorization to conduct background checks of job applicants (Julius Terrell v. Costco Wholesale Corp., No. 16-1415, W.D. Wash., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 34821).
SAN DIEGO — A California federal judge on March 8 found that former employees, who sold skincare products for various entities, failed to show that a company was the alter ego of other defendants named in the case, granting the owner of the product's motion to dismiss claims for violation of California labor code and California's unfair competition law (UCL) (Candle Horton, et al. v. NeoStrata Company Inc., et al., No. 3:16-CV-02189, S.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 34059).
SAN FRANCISCO — A little more than seven months after a class of minor league baseball players was decertified in a lawsuit seeking unpaid wages from the Office of the Commissioner of Baseball, its member franchises and former Commissioner Allan H. “Bud” Selig, a California federal magistrate judge granted in part a motion class certification and recertification of a Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) collective action (Aaron Senne, et al. v. Kansas City Royals Baseball Corp., et al., No. 14-608, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 32949).
DENVER — A Colorado federal judge failed to consider, when ruling in favor of the employer in a wage-and-hour complaint, whether the employer was entitled to treat the server’s tips as wages for all hours worked, a 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled March 7, reversing and remanding (Aarica Romero v. Top-Tier Colorado LLC, et al., No. 16-1057, 10th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 3996).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The due process clause bars Montana state courts from exhibiting personal jurisdiction over BNSF Railway Co. in two personal injury cases, BNSF tells the U.S. Supreme Court in its Feb. 27 petitioner brief (BNSF Railway Company v. Kelli Tyrrell, as Special Administrator for the Estate of Brent T. Tyrrell, et al., No. 16-405, U.S. Sup.).