Mealey's Labor & Employment - Removal Of Claimant's Suit To Federal Court Was Proper, Mich. Federal Judge Says

DETROIT - Removal of a disability claimant's suit to Michigan federal court was proper because the claimant's breach of contract claim is clearly preempted by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, a Michigan federal judge said July 3 (Paul Crowley v. Liberty Life Assurance Company...

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Senate Democrats Introduce Contraceptive Coverage Bill Reversing Hobby Lobby

WASHINGTON, D.C. - An employer's religious preferences could not block employee access to contraceptives provided for in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) under legislation introduced by two Senate Democrats on July 9.

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Split 9th Circuit Upholds Verdict For Police Officer On Retaliation Claim

PASADENA, Calif. - A divided Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on July 10 upheld a jury's verdict for a police officer who alleged that he was terminated in retaliation for testifying in a wage-and-hour lawsuit filed by a co-worker (Leonard Avila v. Los Angeles Police Department, et al.,...

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Magistrate Judge: Pension Plan Is Not Exempt From ERISA As Church Plan

DENVER - A federal magistrate judge on July 9 concluded that a Catholic health organization's retirement plan is not a church plan exempt from the funding and reporting requirements of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (Janeen Medina v. Catholic Health Initiatives, et al., No. 13-1249,...

Mealey's Labor & Employment - California Federal Judge Denies Preliminary Approval Of Work Expenses Settlement

SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on July 10 denied preliminary approval of a $750,000 work-related expenses class action settlement, finding that the agreement contains several deficiencies (Lawrence Daniel Christensen, et al. v. Hillyard, Inc., No. 13-4389, N.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS...

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Despite New Consumer Law Ruling, Judge Dismisses Claim Against Restaurant.com

TRENTON, N.J. - Even though the New Jersey Supreme Court found that New Jersey's Truth-in-Consumer Contract, Warrant and Notice Act (TCCWNA) applies to intangible goods, such as gift certificates, a New Jersey federal judge on July 10 declined to apply the high court's ruling retroactively, leading...

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Partial Conditional Class Certification Granted In Call Center Workers' Wage Suit

SEATTLE - A Washington federal judge on July 10 granted in part and denied in part a motion for conditional certification in a class complaint filed by call center employees alleging various wage violations (Kristy Douglas, et al. v. Xerox Business Services LLC, et al., No. 12-1798, W.D. Wash.; 2014...

Mealey's Labor & Employment - California Federal Judge Refuses To Remand Chuck E. Cheese Wage Suit

SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on July 10 ruled that the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) $5 million amount-in-controversy requirement was met and denied a motion requesting that he remand a wage-and-hour class complaint filed by employees of a family restaurant and fun center chain (Franchesca...

Mealey's Labor & Employment - N.J. Federal Judge Grants Final Approval In Class Action Reimbursement Suit

NEWARK, N.J. - In an unpublished opinion, a New Jersey federal judge on July 9 granted final approval of a class action settlement over wrongful reimbursements for out-of-network health care services (Cathleen McDonough v. Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, No. 09-571, D. N.J.; 2014 U.S. Dist...

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Pennsylvania Federal Judge: RadioShack's Overtime Pay Method Violates State Law

PHILADELPHIA - An electronics store chain's method for calculating overtime pay for its salaried employees complies with federal law but violates Pennsylvania state law, a Pennsylvania federal judge ruled July 10 (David Verderame v. RadioShack Corporation, No. 13-2539, E.D. Pa.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS...

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Judge Remands Health Care Breach Of Contract Case, Says No ERISA Preemption

LOS ANGELES - In an unpublished opinion, a California federal judge on July 11 remanded a hospital's health care payment breach of contract case against a self-funded insurance plan to state court, saying the Employee Retirement Income Security Act did not preempt the claims (Cedars-Sinai Medical...

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Ohio Federal Judge Approves $4M Fifth Third Overtime Settlement

CINCINNATI - An Ohio federal judge on July 11 granted final approval of a $4 million settlement ending an overtime class complaint filed by Fifth Third Bank mortgage loan officers (MLOs) (Dustin Swigart, et al. v. Fifth Third Bank, No. 11-88, S.D. Ohio; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 94450).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - 6th Circuit: Sale Of Division Constituted Involuntary Termination Under Plan

CINCINNATI - The sale of an Anheuser-Busch Cos. Inc. subsidiary less than three years after the takeover of Anheuser-Busch entitled the employees of the sold subsidiary to enhanced retirement benefits pursuant to unambiguous pension plan language despite those employees' retaining their jobs, the...

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Citigroup To Pay $7B To Settle Mortgage-Backed Securities Claims

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Citigroup Inc. will pay $7 billion to the Department of Justice and other state and federal agencies to settle claims that it misrepresented the investment quality of mortgage-backed securities it packaged, securitized, marketed, sold and issued prior to Jan. 1, 2009, according to...

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Nevada Federal Judge: Wal-Mart Does Not Owe Waiting Time Penalties

LAS VEGAS - A Nevada federal judge on July 15 refused to reconsider an earlier ruling finding that Wal-Mart Stores Inc. does not owe former workers waiting time penalties for delinquent overtime pay (Charde Evans v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., et al., No. 10-1224, D. Nev.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 96003).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Collective Action Notice Denied In Security Guard's Wage-And-Hour Complaint

DENVER - In a July 14 opinion and order, a Colorado federal judge declined to approve collective action notice in a wage-and-hour lawsuit filed by a security guard who alleges that he and others were denied overtime pay; however, the judge in the same opinion granted the lead plaintiff's motion to...

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Pennsylvania Federal Judge Limits Claims In Suit Alleging Delayed Wage Payments

PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania federal judge on July 15 partially granted a motion to dismiss wage claims in a class complaint filed by a health care aide, finding that the statute of limitations must be measured from the date the plaintiff filed her amended complaint because her original complaint did...

Mealey's Labor & Employment - 10th Circuit: Handyman Can't Sue Property Management Company Under Title VII

DENVER - The 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 15 upheld the dismissal of a worker's claims under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, finding that the target of her lawsuit, a property management company, was not her employer (Lisa M. Knitter v. Corvias Military Living, LLC, f/k/a...

Mealey's Labor & Employment - 5th Circuit Upholds City's Right To Terminate Police Officers When They Turn 65

NEW ORLEANS - An assistant police chief whose employment was terminated when he turned 65 pursuant to a mandatory city ordinance failed to prove discriminatory intent on the part of his employer, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled July 17 (Nary Smith v. City of St. Martinville, No. 13-31233...

Mealey's Labor & Employment - HHS: Closely Held Companies Dropping Birth-Control Have 60-Day Notice Window

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Closely held companies terminating insurance coverage for contraceptive services mid-plan for religious reasons in light of Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, and subject to Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) regulations, must notify participants and beneficiaries of the change,...

Mealey"s Labor & Employment - Iowa High Court Tosses Class Suit Alleging State Discriminates Against Blacks

DES MOINES, Iowa - The Iowa Supreme Court on July 18 upheld a trial court"s rejection of a class complaint alleging that the state unlawfully discriminates against black job applicants (Linda Pippen, et al. v. The State of Iowa, et al., No. 12-0913, Iowa Sup.; 2014 Iowa Sup. LEXIS 82).

Mealey"s Labor & Employment - Former NFL Players Sue Players" Union Over Concussions

ST. LOUIS - Two former professional football players filed a class complaint in Missouri federal court July 17 accusing the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) and NFLPA officials of actively concealing the long-term damage to players caused by concussions (Christian Ballard, et al....

Mealey's Labor & Employment - 5th Circuit Upholds Termination Of SWAT Member Following Medical Leave

NEW ORLEANS - A member of a Texas city police department who was unable to perform all aspects of her job following the expiration of her medical leave was properly fired, a Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled July 17 (Mary Alice Silva v. City of Hidalgo, Texas, et al., No. 13-41064, 5th...

Mealey's Labor & Employment - 3rd Circuit: No Permanent Post For Substitute Teacher Was Not Age Bias

PHILADELPHIA - A substitute teacher who was not chosen for a permanent full-time post failed to show that he was passed over due to age discrimination, the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled July 21 (Francis G. Landmesser v. Hazleton Area School District, No. 14-1188, 3rd Cir.; 2014 U.S. App....

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Pennsylvania Federal Judge Partially Certifies Worker's Wage-And-Hour Claims

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. - A Pennsylvania federal judge on July 18 partially granted conditional certification of a construction company worker's claims seeking unpaid overtime, adopting in part and rejecting in part the recommendations of a magistrate judge (Brian Soles, et al. v. Zartman Construction...