NEW ORLEANS — A former employee of an Ameriprise franchisee may proceed with allegations against a practice affiliated with Ameriprise that she was fired in retaliation for complaining of gender bias, but failed to successfully challenge a federal court's jurisdiction over her challenge of an arbitration award dismissing her claims against the franchisees, a Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled in two separate opinions, one issued Sept. 15 and the other on Sept. 11 (Denise A. Badgerow v. Greg Walters, et al., No. 19-30766, 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 29339, Denise A. Badgerow v. REJ Properties, Incorporated, No. 19-30584 and 19-30687, 5th Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 28954).
SEATTLE — The owner of a Kent, Wash., Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham violated federal law when it allowed a manager to sexually harass two housekeepers and retaliate against one of them after she complained, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleges in a complaint filed Sept. 17 in a federal court in Washington (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. GIPHX10, LLC, No. 20-1369, W.D. Wash.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept. 17 denied an intervening union's petition for en banc rehearing after a divided panel on Jan. 28 ruled that a nonprofit Pennsylvania Catholic university's religious mission places it outside the jurisdiction of the National Labor Relations Board (Duquesne University of the Holy Spirit v. National Labor Relations Board, No. 18-1063, D.C. Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 29616).
NEW YORK — A Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Sept. 9 ruled that it lacked appellate jurisdiction over the consolidated appeals of five cases, three of which were putative class actions, by former World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. (WWE) wrestlers for head injuries; four appeals were deemed untimely in light of Hall v. Hall, the fifth was found to contain time-barred claims and the appeals of sanctions orders in two of the cases were found to be not appealable as the amount of sanctions were not yet set (William Albert Haynes, III, et al. v. World Wrestling Entertainment, Incorporated, Nos. 18-3278, 18-3322, 18-3325, 18-3326, 18-3327, 18-3328 and 18-3330, 2nd Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 28606).
SAN FRANCISCO — A federal judge in California on Sept. 11 granted in part and denied in part e-cigarette maker Juul Labs Inc.'s motion to dismiss an ex-employee's whistleblower complaint against it and to strike parts of her complaint, finding that while most of her allegations failed to state a claim, she presented an argument that Juul violated California law by offering her pay after termination if she waived her right to bring certain claims against the company (Marcie Hamilton v. Juul Labs Inc., No. 20-3710, N.D. Calif., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 166718).
SEATTLE — A Washington federal judge on Sept. 11 trimmed the proposed testimony of two experts for FedEx and denied the company's bid to exclude an expert for a truck driver who is pursuing disability discrimination and wrongful discharge claims against FedEx (David Goldstine v. FedEx Freight, Inc., No. 18-1164, W.D. Wash., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 166747).
PHILADELPHIA — A trial court erred in an employee misclassification suit by holding a renewed motion for class certification to a higher standard applied to motions for reconsideration and by misapplying ascertainability case law, a split Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Sept. 9, extending Tyson Foods, Inc. v. Bouaphakeo and Anderson v. Mt. Clemens Pottery Co. to the determination of a class's ascertainabiltiy and holding that it may be proven by workers where an employer failed to keep records as required by law (Sam Hargrove, et al. v. Sleepy's LLC, No. 19-2809, 3rd Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 28501).
GREENBELT, Md. — A federal judge in Maryland on Sept. 11 conditionally certified collective action over allegations that a franchisee of 700 Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) or Taco Bell restaurant franchises violated the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and certain Maryland wage laws with regard to the franchisee's failure to pay for all time worked, including overtime (Latoya Lancaster, et al. v. FQSR, LLC, No. 19-2632, D. Md., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 166285).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) on Sept. 14 announced that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited five employers for failing to protect their employees from the novel coronavirus, which causes COVID-19, and collectively has proposed penalties of more than $80,000.
BOSTON — The First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals lacks jurisdiction to hear an appeal by an Uber driver seeking reversal of a trial court's denial of preliminary injunctive relief in a putative class complaint accusing the ride share company of misclassifying its drivers, Uber Technologies Inc. and its CEO argue in a Sept. 11 answering brief (John Capriole, et al. v. Uber Technologies, Inc., et al., No. 20-1386, 1st Cir.).
BOSTON — A federal judge in Massachusetts on Sept. 10 awarded summary judgment to 7-Eleven Inc. on claims brought by four franchisees who sought class certification for being misclassified as contractors rather than employees, finding that the Federal Trade Commission's regulatory regime for franchises governs over the state's independent contractor law (Dhananjay Patel, et al. v. 7-Eleven Inc., et al., No. 17-11414, D. Mass., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 165057).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) on Sept. 11 posted revisions to the Families First Coronavirus Response Act's (FFCRA) paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave provisions that will be published Sept. 16.
LONDON, Ky. — Walmart Inc. will pay $20 million and provide other relief, including ending its use of a pre-employment test, to settle a lawsuit brought by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission accusing the retailer of companywide, gender-based hiring discrimination, according to a consent decree approved by a federal judge in Kentucky on Sept. 9 (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Walmart, Inc., No. 20-163, E.D. Ky.).
EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. — Finding that both sides "were in the wrong" in a disagreement over discovery related to newly revealed declarants in an employment antitrust putative class action, an Illinois federal judge on Sept. 4 partly granted Jimmy John's Franchise LLC's motion to stay third-party discovery on the declarants, while extending a deadline for the lead plaintiff to conduct additional discovery on some of the declarants without broadening the overall scope of discovery (Donald Conrad, et al. v. Jimmy John's Franchise, LLC, et al., No. 18-133, S.D. Ill., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 162146).
AUSTIN, Texas — The Texas Supreme Court issued a two sentence order on Sept. 4 granting an unopposed motion to dismiss a lawsuit brought by a Texas teachers' union seeking to halt in-person professional development due to the novel coronavirus (In re Mark Henry, No. 20-0631, Texas Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The National Labor Relations Board in an Aug. 31 decision dismissed without prejudice a union's petition to represent a unit of Las Vegas casino employees while they are laid off due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, finding that there are presently no eligible voters (NP Texas LLC and Local Joint Executive Board of Las Vegas, No. 28-RC-261253, NLRB).
CINCINNATI — A former Ford Motor Co. employee can't show retaliatory termination where he was offered a replacement position following a yearlong medical leave, rejected it and instead chose a higher paying job with another company and failed to offer sufficient proof to support a jury's finding of a hostile work environment, a Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Aug. 31, reversing a trial court's denial of Ford's judgment as a matter of law (JMOL) (Faisal G. Khalaf, Ph.D. v. Ford Motor Company, et al., Nos. 19-1435 and 19-1468, 6th Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 27677).
CHICAGO — A federal judge in Illinois on Aug. 13 granted a motion by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to release United Parcel Service Inc. from its remaining obligations under a 2017 consent decree that settled an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) lawsuit by the agency (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. United Parcel Service, Inc., No. 09-5291, N.D. Ill.).
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — An ex-employee of a Kansas-based steel conglomerate alleges in an Aug. 26 complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District Of Missouri that management of the steel firms misappropriated sensitive medical information of hundreds of its employees in a scheme to mitigate liability from the novel coronavirus pandemic and then retaliated against and ultimately fired him for reporting the abuse of privacy (Micah Morrison v. SPS Companies Inc., et al., No. 5:20-cv-06129, W.D. Mo.).
PASADENA, Calif. — A district court erred in applying the standard for reviewing a factual attack to a facial attack by the lead plaintiff in a wage-and-hour putative class complaint in a dispute over jurisdiction, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Sept. 8, vacating the trial court's remand order and holding that under Dart Cherokee Basin Operating Sys. Co., LLC v. Owens, the employer needed only to make a "plausible allegation" that the Class Action Fairness Act's (CAFA) threshold was met where the complaint did not clearly state an amount in controversy (Clayton Salter, et al. v. Quality Carriers, Inc., et al., No. 20-55709, 9th Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 28364).