WASHINGTON, D.C. — The whistleblower anti-retaliation provision of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 does not extend to individuals who report a securities law violation but do not report it to the Securities and Exchange Commission, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Feb. 21 in narrowing the statute’s definition of a whistleblower (Digital Realty Trust Inc. v. Paul Somers, No. 16-1276, U.S. Sup.).
SAN FRANCISCO — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 16 issued an order granting a rehearing en banc in consolidated cases all concerning employers accused of improperly claiming tip credits toward the required minimum wage (Alec Marsh v. J. Alexander’s LLC, No. 15-15791, Crystal Sheehan v. Romulus Incorporated, No. 15-15794, Silvia Alarcon v. Arriba Enterprises Incorporated, No. 15-16561, Sarosha Hogan, et al. v. American Multi-Cinema, Inc., No. 15-16659, Nathan Llanos v. P.F. Chang’s China Bistro, Inc., No. 16-15003, Kristen Romero v. P.F. Chang’s China Bistro, Inc., No. 16-15004, Alto Williams v. American Blue Ribbon Holdings LLC, No. 16-15118, Stephanie R. Fausnacht v. Lion’s Den Management, LLC, No. 16-16033, 9th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 3781).
SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal judge in an order filed Feb. 16 certified a class of drivers suing Uber Technologies Inc. and its subsidiary Rasier LLC (collectively, Uber) for changing the pricing policy in 2016 and keeping a larger percentage of each fare, allegedly violating its agreement with the drivers (Martin Dulberg, et al. v. Uber Technologies, Inc., et al., No. 17-850, N.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 26222).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on Feb. 16 granted a motion for divided argument by the respondents in an appeal over mandatory public-sector agency fees for employees who choose not to join a union and also granted a motion by the solicitor general for leave to participate in the oral arguments scheduled to occur on Feb. 26 (Mark Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, Council 31, et al., No. 16-1466, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on Feb. 20 denied a petition for writ of certiorari filed by an employer challenging a District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel’s decision finding that it violated the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) when it suspended contributions to one out of four union trust funds and implemented its company medical plan for returning strikers (Oak Harbor Freight Lines, Inc. v. National Labor Relations Board, No. 17-531, U.S. Sup.).
INDIANAPOLIS — Res judicata and U.S. Supreme Court precedent require judgment in favor of the federal government in a state’s and school district’s attack on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) employer mandate, a federal judge in Indiana held Feb. 14 (Indiana, et al. v. Internal Revenue Service, et al., NO. 13-1612, S.D. Ind., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 24863).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on Feb. 20 issued a per curiam decision in an appeal over retiree’s health care benefits and reversed a ruling by a Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel majority for the retirees, referencing a dissenting opinion that called the decision “Yard-Man [UAW v. Yard-Man, Inc., 716 F.2d 1476 (6th Cir. 1983)] re-born, re-built, and re-purposed for new adventures” (CNH Industrial N.V., et al. v. Jack Reese, et al., No. 17-515, U.S. Sup.).
PHOENIX — Granting a joint discovery resolution motion filed by the parties in a wrongful termination suit, an Arizona federal magistrate judge on Feb. 14 found that an employee who was purportedly terminated for whistleblowing related to data breaches experienced by his former employer was entitled to conduct discovery into why documents related to lawsuits over those breaches were designated as confidential (Miguel Corzo v. Maricopa County Community College District, et al., No. 2:15-cv-02552, D. Ariz.).
NEW YORK — Sports broadcaster Warner Wolf filed an age discrimination complaint on Feb. 15 in a New York state court, his attorneys announced, against radio personality Don Imus and other former employers after he was abruptly fired and replaced with a sportscaster decades younger (Warner Wolf v. Don Imus, et al., No. N/A, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).
DENVER — A Colorado federal judge on Feb. 2 certified five of six classes and all 13 subclasses proposed by au pairs who are suing their employers alleging suppression of wages (Johana Paola Beltran, et al. v. InterExchange, Inc., et al., No. 14-3074, D. Colo., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 23764).
NEW YORK — A New York federal magistrate judge on Feb. 9 granted final approval of a $1 million settlement to be paid by a Jewish school in Orange County, N.Y., to end class wage claims brought by the school’s kitchen workers (Oscar Vivaldo, et al. v. United Talmudical Academy of Kiryas Joel, Inc., et al., No. 14-2636, S.D. N.Y., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 22863).
BOSTON — A Massachusetts federal judge on Jan. 23 granted final approval of a $650,000 settlement to be paid by a pizza shop franchisor and franchisee to end class claims by delivery drivers who claim that they were denied delivery fees that customers believed were tips, proper wages and reimbursement of business expenses (Alexander Mooney, et al. v. Domino’s Pizza, Inc., et al., No. 14-13723, D. Mass.).
PORTLAND, Maine — A Maine dairy company and a class of workers entangled in a wage-and-hour lawsuit stemming from the lack of a serial comma in a list of activities exempted from Maine’s overtime law filed a motion on Jan. 8 for preliminary review of a proposed $5 million settlement (Christopher O’Connor, et al. v. Oakhurst Dairy, et al., No. 14-192, D. Maine).
NEW YORK — Harvey Weinstein (HW), The Weinstein Co. LLC (TWC), The Weinstein Company Holdings LLC and Robert Weinstein (RW) were named as respondents in a Feb. 11 lawsuit filed by New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman alleging that Harvey Weinstein “repeatedly and persistently sexually harassed female employees at TWC” and “repeatedly and persistently used his position at TWC, female employees at TWC, and the resources at his disposal as the co-CEO of TWC, to serve his interests in sexual contact” (New York v. The Weinstein Company LLC, et al., No. N/A, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).
SAN FRANCISCO — The California Supreme Court on Feb. 8 reversed an appeals court finding that a district attorney’s claims for violation of California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and false advertising law asserted against a plastics maker in relation to an explosion that killed two employees were not preempted by federal occupational safety and health law, finding that those claims remain within a state’s responsibility under federal law to regulate worker safety (Solus Industrial Innovations LLC, et al. v. The Superior Court of Orange County, et al., No. S222314, Calif. Sup., 2018 Cal. LEXIS 934).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in a Feb. 2 one-page order denied a motion by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 350 seeking reconsideration of its Dec. 22 remand of an appeal concerning joint employment; the union argued that the sole basis for the decision — the National Labor Relations Board’s recent decision in Hy-Brand Industrial Contractors, Ltd., 365 NLRB No. 156 (2017) — is “defective” (Browning-Ferris Industries of California, Inc. v. National Labor Relations Board, Nos. 16-1028, 16-1063 and 16-1064, D.C. Cir.).
CHICAGO — A $10,125,000 settlement between Ford Motor Co. and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission reached in August 2017 to end claims of racial and sexual harassment largely moots relief being sought by Ford workers in a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Ford argues in its Jan. 16 motion to deny class certification (Christie Van, et al. v. Ford Motor Company, No. 14-8708, N.D. Ill.).
DENVER — A fire chief who was investigated and then fired after concerns were raised about other members of the fire department misappropriating funds failed to show that he was targeted or treated differently due to his race, a 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Jan. 26 (Proctor Andrew Young v. City of Idabel, et al., No. 16-7018, 10th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 2056).
NEW ORLEANS — A tutor with anxiety and other health issues offered sufficient evidence of a disability to proceed with her claims of disability discrimination and retaliation, a Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Jan. 18 in a per curiam opinion in which it upheld a finding that the appellant’s Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) claims are time-barred (Christy L. Williams v. Tarrant County College District, No. 16-11804, 5th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 1196).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on Jan. 22 denied a petition for writ of certiorari filed by two merged airlines that were seeking reversal of a Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling on a pilots’ seniority list dispute (Flight Options, LLC, et al. v. International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Airline Division, et al., No. 17-748, U.S. Sup.).