ATLANTA - A warehouse employee failed to prove that she was the victim of pregnancy discrimination when she was fired three months after giving birth, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled April 27, affirming (Kendyl Grace v. Adtran, Inc., No. 11-11263, 11th Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 8583).
MINNEAPOLIS - A disability discrimination claim by a former employee of a nationwide food service company fails because the man's eye injury did not cause him to be disabled, a Minnesota federal judge held April 27 (Jeff Knutson v. Schwan's Home Service, Inc. and The Schwan Food Company, No. 10-4823, D. Minn.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 58832).-->
PHILADELPHIA - Treating federal employees applying for another federal position differently from those candidates who have not worked for the federal government does not violate Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 or the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled April 27 (Warren K. Gladden v. Thomas J. Vilsack, Secretary US Department of Agriculture, No. 11-3001, 3rd Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 8596).
SAN DIEGO - A California federal judge on April 26 certified a class of field technicians that work for a global computer services company in that state in a lawsuit alleging unpaid overtime and other wage-and-hour claims (George Schulz and Pablo Cardona v. QualxServ, LLC, and Worldwide TechServices, LLC, No. 09-cv-17, S.D. Calif.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 58561).
RALEIGH, Miss. - A Mississippi judge on April 25 entered judgment on a defense verdict after a retrial in an asbestos case in which the plaintiffs initially netted a $322 million verdict (Thomas Brown Jr. v. Phillips 66, et al., No. 2006-196, Miss. Cir., Smith Co.). Subscribers may view the judgment and verdict sheet available within the full update.
MIAMI - An order by Florida's governor for mandatory random drug testing of more than 85,000 state workers cannot be implemented because it is unconstitutional, a federal judge held April 26, saying that the "privacy interests infringed upon here outweigh the public interest sought" (American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Council 79 v. Rick Scott, No. 11-civ-21976, S.D. Fla.). View related prior history, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 141792. Subscribers may view the opinion available within the full update.
ORLANDO, Fla. - A company's tender of payment to a former employee on his unpaid overtime claim does not constitute a settlement of the claim because it is not a "full payment" and the worker did not accept the offer, a Florida federal judge held April 25 (James Evans v. General Mechanical Corporation, No. 6:12-cv-229, M.D. Fla.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 57715).
NEW ORLEANS - A Louisiana woman who claims that she was fired in retaliation for complaints of age bias may proceed with all her claims except her hostile work environment claims, which are time-barred, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled April 25 (Sharon Walton-Lentz v. Innophos, Incorporated, No. 11-30299, 5th Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 8368).
HARRISBURG, Pa. - A disability discrimination claim by a former auto dealership worker that was remanded by the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, which had overturned a Pennsylvania federal judge's grant of summary judgment on the claim, still fails because the employee did not prove that he has a disability, the same judge held April 23 (Stephen Corey James v. Sutliff Saturn, Inc., No. 1:09-cv-1081, M.D. Pa.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 56870).
FORT SMITH, Ark. - The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission sufficiently pleads that a trucking company acted with bias in not allowing an employee who admitted to a drinking problem to work as a driver and then terminating the employee, an Arkansas federal judge held April 23 in denying the company's motion to dismiss a disability discrimination lawsuit filed by the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Old Dominion Freight Line, Inc., No. 11-2153, W.D. Ark.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 57649).
NEWARK, N.J. - In an unpublished opinion, a New Jersey federal judge on April 24 dismissed a putative class action case against a health insurer, saying the plaintiff failed to state a cause of action because the actions taken by the defendant in seeking repayment of money for services provided failed to implicate the Employment Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), 29 U.S.C.S. § 1001 et seq. (TR13 Enterprises v. Aetna Inc., et al., No. 11-3021, D. N.J.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 57158).
ATLANTA - A probationary college employee who went from full-time hours to part-time hours in the wake of financial problems the college was facing failed to prove that she was the victim of reverse racism, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled April 24 (Deborah D. Patrick v. Bishop State Community College, et al., No. 11-13009, 11th Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 8219).
TULSA, Okla. - A reasonable jury could find that a factory work environment in which a female employee is subjected to repeated comments about her sexual activity and exposed to many sexually explicit pictures or cartoons that refer to her specifically is objectively hostile, an Oklahoma federal judge held April 23 (Debra D. Vanskyock v. Saint-Gobain Containers, Inc., No. 11-cv-0388, N.D. Okla.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 56148).
CINCINNATI - The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 24 upheld a trial court's denial of qualified immunity for a Tennessee city mayor accused of quashing an employee's right to speak out about a matter of public concern (Lindsey Whitney v. City of Milan, et al., No. 11-5261, 6th Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 8182).
ATLANTA - A former bank vice president failed to show that her age, illness or medical leave caused her change in responsibilities and ultimate termination, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled April 23, upholding a district court ruling (Linda L. Diehl v. Bank of America, N.A., No. 11-11917, 11th Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 8083).
BROOKLYN, N.Y. - A New York City heating, ventilation and air conditioning company has paid $30,000 to settle a former employee's wage-and-hour lawsuit, according to a New York federal judge's April 20 order approving the settlement (Henry Volberg v. A.D. Winston Services, Inc., et al., No. 11-cv-2700, E.D. N.Y.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 56040).
MINNEAPOLIS - A bank consumer loan underwriter was fired for kiting checks, not because she is black, a Minnesota federal judge held April 20 in granting the bank summary judgment on the former employee's discrimination claims (Leslie Luster v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., No. 10-3676, D. Minn.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 55530).
DETROIT - A Michigan federal judge on April 18 dismissed a claim for breach of settlement agreement from a wrongful denial of benefits suit, saying that the Employment Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), 29 USCS § 1001 et seq. preempted the claim (Paul Goldman v. BCBSM Foundation, No. 11-14043, E.D. Mich.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 54469).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 20 enforced a National Labor Relations Board ruling finding that a Hawaii newspaper committed multiple unfair labor practices (Stephens Media, LLC, doing business as Hawaii Tribune-Herald v. National Labor Relations Board, No. 11-1054, D.C. Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 7999).
CHICAGO - A divided Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on April 19 affirmed in part and remanded in part a wrongful denial of benefits case, holding that a lower court correctly granted the defendants summary judgment on the denial of benefits and breach of fiduciary duty claims but incorrectly calculated the plaintiffs' statutory damages award (James E. Killian v. Concert Health Plan, et al., No. 11-1112, 7th Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. Lexis 7880).
BOSTON - A Massachusetts federal judge on April 18 dismissed with prejudice a complaint alleging overtime violations against a Boston hospital, finding that the plaintiffs failed to state a claim just as the plaintiffs have done in several similar cases filed by the same law firm against other medical centers (Elizabeth Manning, et al. v. Boston Medical Center Corporation, et al., No. 09-11463, D. Mass.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 54692).
MILWAUKEE - A Wisconsin federal judge on April 19 dismissed a wrongful denial of benefits case against a third-party administrator, saying that the administrator did not breach its fiduciary duty in denying a claim for gastric bypass surgery because the plan clearly excluded the procedure (Jeffrey Smith v. Medical Benefit Administrators, No. 09-538, E.D. Wis.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 54913).
RICHMOND, Va. - The Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 18 upheld the denial of a former government employee's motion to withdraw his guilty plea in a case in which he was accused of fraudulently obtaining workers' compensation benefits after being injured on the job (United States of America v. Lester Nicholson, No. 11-4531, 4th Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 7811).
BOSTON - The First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 18 upheld a finding that two hospital employees failed to sufficiently plead their wage-and-hour claims but rejected the dismissal with prejudice and remanded the suit to give the employees one more chance to amend their complaint (Ashleigh Pruell, et al. v. Caritas Christi, et al., No. 11-1929, 1st Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 7859).
PHILADELPHIA - Participants in 401(k) plans who alleged that John Hancock Life Insurance Company (U.S.A.) and its related entities violated the Employment Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), 29 USCS § 1001 et seq., by charging excessive fees were not required to make a presuit demand on the trustees or join the trustees as defendants, the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled April 16 in reversing a federal district court's judgment on the ERISA claims (Danielle Santomenno, et al. v. John Hancock Life Insurance Company (U.S.A.), No. 11-2520, 3rd Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 7545).