AUSTIN, Texas — An Austin luxury car dealer has been sued in a federal court in Texas for allegedly retaliating against an employee who warned others about potential COVID-19 hazards in the workplace, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced Oct. 13.
DENVER — A federal magistrate judge in Colorado on Oct. 14 granted a joint motion for entry of a consent decree under which a grocery store chain operator will pay $280,000 to three deaf job applicants and provide other significant relief to settle complaints filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and one of the applicants.
DENVER — A former employee of the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) who brought several bias, retaliation and constitutional claims after she was terminated during her 90-day probation failed to show that a signed document issued several days after her firing that eliminated the probation period for employees like her impacted her firing, a 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Oct. 6.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Two briefs were filed in the U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 12, one by the California attorney general and other state officials and one by a union, opposing a petition challenging the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals’ holding that the California bill that codified the “ABC test” for classifying worker status isn’t preempted by the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act of 1994.
CINCINNATI — One of five Ohio hospital systems hit with a putative class complaint by health care workers challenging the requirement that they be vaccinated before Oct. 1 or face adverse employment action filed a motion to dismiss in a federal court in Ohio on Oct. 4, arguing that the plaintiffs already filed and dismissed three similar cases, lack standing and failed to state a claim upon which relief could be granted.
COLUMBUS, Ohio — The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced on Oct. 7 that it proposed $709,960 in penalties against an Ohio resin and coating manufacturer following an April explosion that killed one worker and injured eight and placed the company in its Severe Violator Enforcement Program.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 12 denied a motion for leave to intervene to file a petition for a writ of certiorari filed by the charging party in a religious accommodation lawsuit brought by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against Walmart.
PHILADELPHIA — A class of American Airlines Inc. pilots suing after being denied pay and profit sharing credits for short-term military leave was certified by a federal judge in Pennsylvania on Oct. 8 who distinguished this class seeking monetary relief from the class denied certification in Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The New York City Department of Education (NYC DOE) and teachers and paraprofessionals challenging a COVID-19 vaccine mandate filed briefs in the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals addressing their opposing sides in the dispute on Oct. 8, a week after U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor denied their application for injunctive relief.
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A federal judge in Michigan on Oct. 8 denied a motion for a preliminary injunction filed by a Michigan State University (MSU) employee in her putative class complaint challenging the school’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate policy for faculty, staff and students who have what the plaintiff describes as “naturally acquired immunity,” finding the plaintiff failed to show that the “mandate does not meet rational basis.”
FRESNO, Calif. — A California appellate panel on Sept. 30 reversed a trial court’s finding that newspaper home delivery carriers who allege that a newspaper company violated California’s unfair competition law (UCL) by failing to pay their mileage expenses are independent contractors and remanded the case without ruling on the carriers’ employment status.
DENVER — A Texas-based insurance company was cited for ignoring coronavirus safety requirements at its Denver location where an employee died of COVID-19 and permitting other workers with symptoms to continue coming to the office, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced Oct. 7.
PHILADELPHIA — Where a federal court is sitting in diversity, it must decide state laws, including state arbitrability, a divided Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Sept. 8, holding that until Congress creates a different approach to arbitration, “courts can return the FAA [Federal Arbitration Act] to its ordinary meaning and give ordinary workers the benefits and obligations of arbitration written into law.”
SAN FRANCISCO — A divided Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Sept. 15 vacated the preliminary injunction issued by a trial court in a case challenging a California law addressing mandatory arbitration agreements after reversing the conclusion that the law’s regulation of pre-employment behavior is preempted by the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) but ruling that the civil and criminal sanctions that come with such a violation are preempted.
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — An employee who was fired shortly after requesting and being granted the right to work a hybrid schedule when her son’s school closed filed a notice of appeal on Oct. 5, days after a federal judge in Puerto Rico ruled that because her request did not seek leave, she has no grounds to sue for violation of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).
DENVER — A 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Sept. 13 affirmed a trial court’s application of the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 damages cap to a jury’s verdict for a transgender university professor who alleged bias and retaliation after being denied tenure but reversed the court’s denial of front pay and reinstatement and remanded for an order awarding front pay and reinstatement with tenure.
NEW ORLEANS — A divided en banc Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept. 9 reversed a trial court’s summary judgment ruling for an employer in a case by an “executive” who was allegedly paid a daily rate and sought overtime, writing that its “job is to follow the text—not to bend the text to avoid perceived negative consequences for the business community.”
SANTA ANA, Calif. — A federal judge in California on Oct. 5 denied as moot a motion to dismiss filed by the regents of the University of California (UC) in a lawsuit by a professor challenging the school’s COVID-19 vaccine requirement for those who already had the virus as the professor had a few days earlier voluntarily dismissed the regents leaving only the university president as a defendant.
SAN FRANCISCO — A federal jury in California in a verdict filed Oct. 4 determined that a former worker was jointly employed by Tesla Inc. and was owed nearly $137 million on claims of racial discrimination and hostile work environment.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals’ ruling that the Airline Deregulation Act (ADA) does not preempt applying California wage-and-hour laws to flight attendants’ class claims was consistent with the Supreme Court’s precedent and does not warrant review, the flight attendants argue in a Sept. 22 brief opposing two airlines’ petition for a writ of certiorari.