HOUSTON — The Houston Texans football team and its cheerleading coach wrongfully require cheerleaders to work off the clock and fail to pay minimum and overtime wages, one former cheerleader, referred to only by her initials, alleges in her May 21 collective action filed in a Texas federal court (P.G.G., et al. v. Houston NFL Holdings, L.P. D/B/A Houston Texans, et al., No. 18-1662, S.D. Texas).
URBANA, Ill. — An Illinois federal jury on May 18 returned a verdict for a rent-to-own retailer in a transgender discrimination suit brought by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on behalf of a former employee who alleged that she was fired after transitioning (U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Rent-A-Center East, Inc., No. 16-2222, C.D. Ill.).
CENTRAL VALLEY, N.Y. — S&P Enterprises Inc., a McDonald’s franchisee, has paid $8,829 in penalties to resolve child labor violations in 11 New Jersey fast food restaurants, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) announced May 18.
DENVER — A Colorado federal judge on May 18 signed off on an equal pay settlement between the Equal Employment Opportunity and the University of Denver under which the university will pay $2.66 million in damages to seven female professors and increase those same professors’ salaries (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. University of Denver, No. 16-2471, D. Colo.).
SEATTLE — A Washington federal judge on May 18 partially granted a plaintiff's motion to strike a 403(b) plan administrator’s affirmative defenses in a putative class action lawsuit alleging breach of fiduciary duties under the Employee Retirement Income Security, but allowed the affirmative defense under ERISA’s safe-harbor provision to stand (Jenny Johnson, et al. v. Providence Health & Services, et al., No. 17-1779, W.D. Wash., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 84108).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A sharply divided U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 on May 21 in three consolidated cases that arbitration agreements barring class action proceedings must be enforced (Epic Systems Corp. v. Jacob Lewis, No. 16-285, Ernst & Young, et al. v. Stephen Morris, et al., No. 16-300, NLRB v. Murphy Oil USA, Inc., et al., No. 16-307, U.S. Sup.).
SAN FRANCISCO — A delivery courier on May 15 filed a class action complaint against a same-day delivery courier service in a California state court, alleging that it violated California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and labor code when it misclassified employees as independent contractors (Raef Lawson v. Deliv Inc., No. 566577, Calif. Super., San Francisco Co.).
PASADENA, Calif. — A district court erred in several ways when it denied class certification in a wage-and-hour lawsuit, including via its limitation of class certification proof to admissible evidence, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled May 3 (Marilyn Sali, et al. v. Corona Regional Medical Center, et al., No. 15-56460, 9th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 11497).
DETROIT —A Michigan appeals panel on May 10 held that a lower court erred in rejecting a claim against a Popeye’s franchise and its owner for unlawful retaliation in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and the Elliot-Larsen Civil Rights Act (ELCRA), reversing and remanding (Wayne Watkins v. Saginaw's Famous Fried Chicken, LLC, et al., No. 337288, Mich. App., 2018 Mich. App. LEXIS 2241).
LOS ANGELES — Wells Fargo Bank N.A. filed a notice of appeal on May 15, a week after a California federal judge awarded a class of Wells Fargo Bank N.A. home mortgage consultants (HMCs) more than $97 million in damages on claims that they were denied rest breaks and a derivative California’s unfair competition law (UCL) claim (Jacqueline F. Ibarra, et al. v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., et al., No. 17-4344, C.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 78513).
HELENA, Mont. — A trial court didn’t err when it found that a woman who sued a company performing background checks over the inclusion of obsolete information in checks carried out for potential employers failed to satisfy the element of superiority under Montana Rule of Civil Procedure 23(b)(3) in her motion for class certification, a divided Montana Supreme Court ruled May 15 (Nissa Ascencio, et al. v. Orion International Corp., No. DA 17-0353, Mont. Sup., 2018 MT 121).
ATLANTA — An 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on May 10 reaffirmed the precedent established in Evans v. Ga. Regional Hospital, 850 F.3d 1248, 1255 (11th Cir. 2017), and ruled that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq., does not cover bias based on sexual orientation (Gerald Lynn Bostock v. Clayton County Board of Commissioners, et al., No. 17-13801, 11th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 12405).
ASHEVILLE, N.C. — A magistrate judge erred in recommending dismissal of a former casino employee’s wage-and-hour class claims based on the employer’s connection to an Indian tribe, the ex-worker says in a May 11 objection to the magistrate judge’s memorandum and recommendation in North Carolina federal court (Joseph Clark v. Harrah’s NC Casino Company, LLC, et al., No. 1:17-cv-00240, W.D. N.C.).
SAN FRANCISCO — Lyft Inc., an app-based taxi service, has deceived and violated California’s unfair competition law (UCL) by misrepresenting and changing fare practices, one driver alleges in his May 10 class complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California (Fernando Villaseñor, et al. v. Lyft, Inc., et al., No. 18-2769, N.D. Calif.).
MADISON, Wis. — Direct employers are not subject to liability in a case alleging discrimination against transgender individuals in the provision of health insurance, but claims against the providers of that insurance may proceed, and the plaintiffs can amend their Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) claims, a federal judge in Wisconsin held May 11 (Alina Boyden and Shannon Andrews v. State of Wisconsin Department of Employee Trust Funds, et al., No. 17-264, W.D. Wis., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 191306).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on May 14 agreed to hear an appeal over the payment of employment taxes under the Railroad Retirement Tax Act (RRTA) on a railroad’s payment to a worker for time lost from work due to work-related injuries (BNSF Railway Company v. Michael D. Loos, No. 17-1042, U.S. Sup.).
NORFOLK, Va. — A Virginia federal judge on May 9 issued two separate opinions, one granting conditional certification and the second partially granting dismissal in a complaint brought by a former Virginia school district computer specialist who alleges that a decision to force all specialists to reapply for their jobs discriminated against older employees (Joseph H. Andreana et al. v. Virginia Beach City Public Schools, et al., No. 17-574, E.D. Va., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 78799, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 78801).
ATLANTA — A lawsuit accusing a Home Depot USA Inc. of racial discrimination after a job offer to a black man was rescinded was improperly dismissed and must go before a jury, an 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled April 25, vacating a trial court’s grant of judgment as a matter of law and remanding (Steve L. Thomas v. Home Depot USA, Inc., No. 17-11380, 11th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 10896).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A nursing staffing company that stopped pension payments when a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) expired without first negotiating with the union violated Sections 8(a)(5) and (1) of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), a District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled May 4 (StaffCo of Brooklyn, LLC v. National Labor Relations Board, No. 16-1311, D.C. Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 11652).
BOSTON — Calling their opinion “a lesson straight out of the school of hard knocks,” a First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on April 30 affirmed a district court’s ruling for a franchisee on a worker’s claims that his disabilities caused by a robbery during work were not properly accommodated (Victor A. Sepúlveda-Vargas v. Caribbean Restaurants, LLC, No. 16-2451, 1st Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 11113).