PHILADELPHIA - An employer's appeal of a former employee's right to unemployment compensation can be considered an adverse employment action even though it occurred after the employee had been discharged if it can be shown that the employer's actions negatively affected the individual's future employment opportunities, a Pennsylvania federal judge held Oct. 4 (Gloria Stezzi v. Citizens Bank of Pennsylvania, No. 10-4333, E.D. Pa.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 143607).
SAVANNAH, Ga. - A district attorney does not have to respond to a discovery request for admissions that he is attracted to men and has made sexual advances to men because the request, filed by three women alleging employment gender discrimination, is related to a sexual favoritism claim, which is not actionable, a Georgia federal magistrate judge held Oct. 3 (Charrae Herron, et al., v. Larry Chisolm, No. 4:12-cv-00041, S.D. Ga.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 143279).
CINCINNATI - A couple's claims that the husband was discriminated against at work because of his wife's disability fail because the couple provides no evidence that the disability had anything to do with the husband's firing, an Ohio federal judge held Oct. 2 (Steven Turner, et al., v. Humana, Inc., No. 1:11-cv-260, S.D. Ohio; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 142231).
SIOUX CITY, Iowa - An Iowa federal judge on Oct. 1 denied summary judgment to a composite products manufacturer on a former employee's claims that he was racially and sexually harassed by co-workers and then fired by the company for complaining about the harassment (Sigisfredo Torres v. Quatro Composites, LLC, A Division of Tec Industries, L.L.C., No. 11-cv-4051, N.D. Iowa; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 141332).
PHILADELPHIA - A substitute teacher who was fired after an alleged altercation with a student failed to prove his multiple discrimination claims, the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Oct. 1 (Irving Courtley Jones v. Camden City Board of Education, No. 12-1323, 3rd Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 20462).
DENVER - With genuine issues of material fact established by the evidence, a jury must decide whether a potato wholesaler was negligent and therefore liable for allowing a hostile work environment created by a supervisor's sexual harassment of female workers, a Colorado federal judge held Sept. 30 in denying the company's bid for summary judgment (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, et al., v. The Spud Seller, Inc., No. 10-cv-02381, D. Col.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 141374).
ALEXANDRIA, La. - A Louisiana federal judge on Sept. 28 granted conditional certification to a class of Target Corp. employees who were allegedly subjected to an adverse employment action as a result of their age (Joseph P. Rodgers v. Target Corp., No. 08-1300, W.D. La.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 141012).
ATLANTA - A federal judge in Florida properly applied Section 502(g)(1) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, 29 U.S.C.S. § 1001 et seq., to deny attorney fees to both a pension plan and its participant who challenged the plan's vesting calculation, after the parties settled their dispute, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed Sept. 27 in an unpublished opinion (Melissa C. Cross v. The Quality Management Group, LLC, et al., No. 11-15146, 11th Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 20250).
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - A federal judge in Connecticut on Sept. 27 certified a class of pension plan administrators on their claim that ING Life Insurance & Annuity Co. (ILIAC) violated the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, 29 U.S.C.S. § 1001 et seq., by receiving revenue-sharing payments (Healthcare Strategies, Inc., et al. v. ING Life Insurance & Annuity Co., No. 3:11-CV-282, D. Conn.). View related prior history, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 6233.
CHICAGO - A participant in an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) may proceed with his claim that his former employer violated the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, 29 U.S.C.S. § 1001 et seq., by failing to pay him benefits because a factual issue existed as to the company's financial condition, but the participant's breach of fiduciary duty claim failed, a federal judge in Illinois ruled Sept. 27 (Paul Crane v. Charlotte Sartain, et al., No. 11 C 1743, N.D. Ill.).
KANSAS CITY, Kan. - A Kansas federal judge on Sept. 27 conditionally certified a nationwide class of approximately 227,000 nonexempt employees of Bank of America NA for a consolidated complaint alleging that the bank violated overtime regulations, finding that the plaintiffs "have made the modest factual showing necessary for purposes of sending notice of the action to putative class members" (In re: Bank of America Wage and Hour Employment Practices Litigation, No. 10-md-2138, D. Kan.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 140701).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 1 denied a petition for a writ of certiorari filed by retirees of SBC Communications Inc. seeking review of a Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling that concession benefits that they received were not pension benefits within the meaning of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) 29 U.S.C.S. § 1001 et seq. (Frank Stoffels, et al. v. SBC Communications, Inc., et al., No. 12-73, U.S. Sup.).
ST. LOUIS - A Missouri federal judge on Sept. 28 conditionally certified a class of satellite installation and repair technicians suing for unpaid wages and overtime, finding that a similar class suit in a Louisiana federal court does not prevent the present case from proceeding (Jamie Arnold, et al. v. DirecTV, Inc., d/b/a DirecTV Home Services, et al., No. 10-352, E.D. Mo.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 140777).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 1 denied review of a union's petition asking the court to consider whether the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals erred by ruling that a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) provision that requires the union to indemnify the employer for liability for withdrawal from a multiemployer pension plan does not violate public policy because the fiduciary is still liable (General Drivers, Warehousemen and Helpers, Local Union No. 89 v. Shelter Distribution, Inc., No. 11-1521, U.S. Sup.). View related prior history, 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 5501.
CINCINNATI - The Employee Retirement Income Security Act, 29 U.S.C.S. § 1001 et seq., preempts former Chrysler executives' state law claims of breach of fiduciary duty, fraud and promissory estoppel but not state law claims of age discrimination related to the company's top-hat plan, the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Sept. 25 in a split unpublished decision (John Loffredo v. Daimler AG, et al., No. 11-1824, 6th Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 20219).
NEW YORK - Attorneys for bankrupt law firm Dewey & LeBoeuf on Sept. 27 sent a letter to the bankruptcy judge presiding over its Chapter 11 proceeding, contending that claims asserted by the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. (PBGC) do not meet the criteria set forth in the bankruptcy code for fixed or liquidated claims and should therefore be denied (In Re: Dewey & LeBoeuf, No. 12-12321, Chapter 11, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.). Subscribers may view the letter available within the full article.
SAN FRANCISCO - Two nationwide classes of female employees in a gender discrimination action against club warehouse retail giant Costco Wholesale Corp. were certified by a California federal judge Sept. 25, a year after the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals vacated the original class certification (Shirley "Rae" Ellis, et al., v. Costco Wholesale Corporation, No. 04-3341, N.D. Calif.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 137418).
EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. - A federal judge in Illinois on Sept. 24 granted class certification on breach of fiduciary duty claims by participants in retirement plans sponsored by Lockheed Martin Corp. (LMC) related to excessive fees and company stock funds (CSFs) but denied certification on claims related to a stable value fund (SVF) (Anthony Abbott, et al. v. Lockheed Martin Corporation, et al., No. 06-cv-0701-MJR, S.D. Ill.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 135848).
BOSTON - An insurance sales director who submitted a request for accommodation only after learning that he would be terminated failed to prove that he was the subject of disability discrimination, the First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Sept. 26 (Mark Jones v. Nationwide Life Insurance Company, et al., No. 12-1414, 1st Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 20217).
NEW YORK - An apartment building superintendent failed to provide more than vague testimony that he was owed unpaid overtime, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Sept. 25, affirming a trial court's judgment in favor of the building's owner (Joseph Daniels v. 1710 Realty LLC, 1710 Realty Associates, No. 11-3674, 2nd Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 20044).
CINCINNATI - The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept. 25 reinstated a claim by a former Memphis, Tenn., employee that she was fired in retaliation for speech she made about a matter of public concern (Bridgett Handy-Clay v. City of Memphis, Tennessee, et al., No. 11-5518, 6th Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 20046).
BALTIMORE - A college police officer failed to establish a prima facie case on racial discrimination claims against his employer but provided sufficient evidence to defeat a summary judgment bid on his unpaid overtime claim, a Maryland federal judge ruled Sept. 25 (Steven L. Jones v. Carolane Williams, et al., No. 11-793, D. Md.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 137254).
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - A fast-food restaurant employee's claims that her gay supervisor discriminated against her because she is heterosexual fail because sexual orientation is not a protected category under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C.S. § 2000e, a Florida federal judge held Sept. 21 (Hilda Espinosa v. Burger King Corporation, No. 11-62503, S.D. Fla.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 135162).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Sept. 21 refused to dismiss regionalized class claims of gender discrimination against Wal-Mart Stores Inc. following the 2011 reversal of certification for a nationwide class by the U.S. Supreme Court, finding that the lack of a remand order by the high court does not preclude the plaintiffs from presenting their case to certify a more narrow class (Dukes, et al. v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., No. 01-02252, N.D. Calif.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 135554).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A music teacher's claim that a school district used a reduction in force (RIF) as a scheme to replace dozens of older employees with younger workers was filed on time and is not barred by res judicata, collateral estoppel or parallel litigation, a District of Columbia federal judge held Sept. 20 in denying the school district's motion to dismiss the teacher's complaint (Willie Brewer v. District of Columbia, et al., No. 11-1206, D. D.C.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 134242).