LAS VEGAS - A Nevada federal judge on Oct. 19 dismissed a casino worker's disability discrimination claims against his employer, finding that his complaint is untimely and that he failed to provide sufficient evidence to establish that he received an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission notice letter five days after it was mailed (Jeffrey Martin Schulman v. Wynn Las Vegas, LLC, et al., No. 2:12-cv-01494, D. Nev.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 151496).
BOSTON - Investment funds that invested in a company that later went bankrupt were not liable for the company's withdrawal liability under the Multiemployer Pension Plan Amendments Act of 1980, a federal judge in Massachusetts ruled Oct. 18 (Sun Capital Partners III, LP, et al. v. New England Teamsters and Trucking Industry Pension Fund, No. 10-10921, D. Mass.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15001).
ANDERSON, S.C. - A South Carolina federal judge on Oct. 22 granted summary judgment in favor of a plaintiff suing his health care plan for failing to pay the appropriate amount for his hospitalization (John G. Hill v. Senenet Inc. Employee Health Care Plan, No. 10-1913, D. S.C.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 151399).
CHICAGO - While an Illinois federal judge on Oct. 19 approved the total dollar amount of a $49,000 settlement of class action wage-and-hour claims by employees of a nonprofit social services company, he denied a request to keep the settlement confidential and found that the agreement's release of claims is too broad (Barbara Otto, et al., v. South-East Asia Center, et al., No. 12-203, N.D. Ill.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 150508).
NEW YORK - A trial court erred in not crafting injunctive relief in a case brought by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against a grocery store accused of fostering a sexually hostile work environment, a Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Oct. 19 (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. KarenKim, Inc., d/b/a Paul's Big M, d/b/a Paul's Big M Grocery, No. 11-3309, 2nd Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 21908).
CHICAGO - A landscaping company violated federal and state law by not paying several employees overtime, the minimum wage or the prevailing wage for public works projects, an Illinois federal judge held Oct. 19 in granting the workers summary judgment on the issue of liability (Jose Guzman, et al., v. Laredo Systems, Inc., et al., No. 10-1499, N.D. Ill.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 150447).
ATLANTA - A federal court in Alabama properly ruled in favor of an employer in a former employee's racial bias suit, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Oct. 18, after finding that the employee failed to establish a prima facie case (Vanessa A. Felder v. Bradford Health Services d.b.a Addiction & Mental Health Services, Inc., No. 11-13982, 11th Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 21726).
PHILADELPHIA - A hospital secretary who was terminated as part of a large cost-cutting reduction in force failed to prove that the selection of her position was motivated by race discrimination or retaliation, the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Oct. 18 (Christy Jackson v. Temple University Hospital, Inc., No. 11-1011, 3rd Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 21733).
LOS ANGELES - An arbitration agreement may not be enforced in a case where the employee failed to sign the agreement, a California appellate panel ruled Oct. 16, upholding a trial court decision (Susan Gorlach v. The Sports Club Company, et al., No. B233672, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 4; 2012 Cal. App. LEXIS 1074).
DALLAS - Class action claims and the lead named plaintiff's individual claims in a gender discrimination suit that was filed against Wal-Mart Stores Inc. after the U.S. Supreme Court issued its ruling in Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes, (131 S. Ct. 2541 ; 2011 U.S. LEXIS 4567) are time-barred, a Texas federal judge ruled Oct. 15 (Stephanie Odle, et al. v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., No. 11-2954, N.D. Texas). A complimentary copy of the order is available in the attachment below.
DALLAS - Disability discrimination claims by a former employee of a company that administers the Medicare program fail because the employee did not file an administrative charge on time and did not prove that she was denied a reasonable accommodation, a Texas federal judge held Oct. 15 (Karla Fallon v. TrailBlazer Health Enterprises, LLC. No. 3:11-cv-1449, N.D. Texas; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 148015).
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A Missouri federal judge on Oct. 16 granted summary judgment in favor of a company, finding that a former employee's lawsuit was barred by res judicata because he previously entered a settlement that resolved all of his mold-related exposure claims (Roger Mueller v. Woodmen of the World Life Insurance Society, et al., No. 12-0283, W.D. Mo.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 148340).
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A class action filed by two black men alleging that the reality TV shows "The Bachelor" and "The Bachelorette" discriminate against people of color by not allowing them to be hired to star on the shows fails because the programs and their producers are protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, U.S.C.S. Const. Amend. 1, a Tennessee federal judge held Oct. 15 (Nathaniel Claybrooks and Christopher Johnson v. American Broadcasting Companies, Inc., et al., No. 3:12-cv-00388; M.D. Tenn.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 147884).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California appellate panel on Oct. 12 upheld the denial of class certification in a lawsuit accusing a clothing retailer of violating California law by requiring employees to purchase its clothing and travel between stores without paying them for the mileage (Crystal Morgan, et al. v. Wet Seal, Inc., et al., No. A133590, Calif. App., 1st Dist., Div. 2; 2012 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 7426).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 15 denied review of a divided Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling adopting the presumption of prudence and finding that Citigroup Inc., Citibank N.A. and certain corporate officers and directors (collectively, Citigroup) did not breach their fiduciary duties under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), 29 U.S.C.S. § 1001 et seq.,by continuing to offer company stock as an investment option in current and former employees' 401(k) plans, even though the company would suffer huge losses from its subprime-mortgage-related investments (Stephen Gray, et al. v. Citigroup, Inc., et al., No. 11-1531, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 15 declined to review a Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling that McGraw-Hill Cos. Inc. and its officers and directors (collectively, McGraw-Hill) did not breach their fiduciary duties under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), 29 U.S.C.S. § 1001 et seq., by continuing to offer company stock as an investment option in its 401(k) plans, despite problems in its financial services division (Patrick L. Gearren, et al. v. The McGraw-Hill Companies, Incorporated, et al., No. 11-1550, U.S. Sup.).
CHICAGO - In separate opinions issued Oct. 12, an Illinois federal judge issued rulings on motions for summary judgment and for judgment on the pleadings and declined to grant class certification to 32 proposed classes in a wrongful reimbursement suit brought by chiropractors (Pennsylvania Chiropractic Association, et al. v. Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, et al., No. 09-5619, N.D. Ill; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 147026; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 146955).
GALVESTON, Texas - A Texas federal judge on Oct. 11 conditionally certified a class of salespersons of new homes for their unpaid overtime claim against a national homebuilding company but declined to certify a class for their minimum wage claim (Margery McCarragher, et al., v. The Ryland Group, Inc., et al., No. 11-55, S.D. Texas; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 146464).
RIVERSIDE, Calif. - A California federal court lacks subject matter jurisdiction in a wage-and-hour mass action because "no individual putative class member's claim exceeds $75,000 by the preponderance of the evidence," a California federal judge ruled Oct. 9, remanding the lawsuit (Alba Corral v. Watson Laboratories, Inc., et al., No. 12-1650, C.D. Calif.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 145596).
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on Oct. 10 rejected objections to conditional collective action certification in a wage-and-hour dispute brought by former assistant store managers (Stevens v. HMSHost Corporation, et al., No. 10-3571, E.D. N.Y.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 146150).
ST. PAUL, Minn. - A Minnesota federal judge on Oct. 9 declined to dismiss gender discrimination claims filed by a former Norwegian embassy employee against the embassy, finding that the worker states plausible claims for relief and that discovery is needed to resolve the claims so dismissal is premature (Ellen S. Ewald v. Royal Norwegian Embassy, No. 11-cv-2116, D. Minn.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 145282).
ATLANTA - The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Oct. 9 upheld a trial court's rejection of a former Federal Express Corp. employee's gender discrimination lawsuit, finding that the employer provided legitimate, nondiscriminatory reasons for the employee's termination (Nancy L. Barnette v. Federal Express Corporation, No. 12-10969, 11th Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 20907).
BALTIMORE - A Maryland federal judge on Oct. 5 remanded a reimbursement dispute to state court, holding that the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), 29 U.S.C.S. § 1001 et seq., did not preempt the plaintiff's claims (Feldman's Medical Center Pharmacy Inc., et al. v. CareFirst Inc., et al., No. 12-613, D. Md.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 144784).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A split en banc Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Oct. 5 overruled its 2001 decision in Williams v. United States, (240 F.3d 1019 [Fed. Cir.]) and opined that Congress may not withhold the cost of living adjustments for Article III judges provided for in the Ethics Reform Act of 1989 (Peter H. Beer, et al. v. United States, No. 2010-5012, Fed. Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 20875).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 9 denied review of a Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling that a company is liable for retiree health care benefits and reimbursement for Medicare Part B premiums for retirees of the company's predecessors (Newell Window Furnishings Inc., et al. v. Willard Bender, et al., No. 12-163, U.S. Sup.).