Mealey's Labor & Employment - Plan's Forum-Selection Clause Is Enforceable, Divided 6th Circuit Rules

CINCINNATI - A federal judge properly dismissed without prejudice a pension plan participant's claim that the plan improperly reduced his benefits, where the suit was not brought in the federal court specified in the plan's forum-selection clause, the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled...

Mealey's Labor & Employment - 7th Circuit Holds That Physician-Shareholder Is Employer, Not Employee

CHICAGO - A physician who was also a shareholder and member of the board of directors of the anesthesiology practice where she worked was an employer, not employee, so she has no standing to sue the practice for disability discrimination after she was terminated, the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals...

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Multiemployer Funds Entitled To Enforce Unsigned Document, 7th Circuit Rules

ST. LOUIS - An employer that complied with the terms of a document written by the union representative is liable for delinquent contributions to a multiemployer fund pursuant to that document under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, even though the employer did not sign the document containing...

Mealey's Labor & Employment - District Court's Order Is Not Final Order, Not Appealable, 2nd Circuit Rules

NEW YORK - A federal district court order that held that a plan sponsor is a plan administrator within the meaning of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act and remanded for additional evidence is not an immediately appealable final order, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Oct. 15 in...

Mealey's Labor & Employment - 4th Circuit: N.C. City Not Immune From Officers' Contract, Estoppel Claims

RICHMOND, Va. - A Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Oct. 22 upheld a trial court's ruling that a North Carolina city is not immune from claims in four separate lawsuits brought by police officers and fire fighters who bring breach of contract and estoppel claims related to the city's...

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Disability Plan Is Not Church Plan Exempt From ERISA, Federal Judge Rules

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - A disability plan sponsored by a hospital that is associated with a church is not exempt from the Employee Retirement Income Security Act as a "church plan" because the hospital's principal purpose is not the administration of the benefits plan, a federal judge in Kentucky...

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Construction Contractor Settles EEOC Gender Bias Claims For $215,000

NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on Oct. 27 approved a $215,000 settlement between the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Vamco Sheet Metals Inc., a construction contractor, in a gender discrimination lawsuit filed on behalf of four individuals (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v....

Mealey's Labor & Employment - 9th Circuit: Union Stewards May Be Chosen Based On Affiliation

SEATTLE - The duty of fair representation in no way bars a union from appointing and removing stewards based on their affiliation, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Oct. 28 (United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America, et al. v. Metal Trades Department, AFL-CIO, et al., No. 13...

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Michigan Federal Judge Denies Summary Judgment In Gender Identity Suit

DETROIT - A Michigan federal judge on Oct. 31 denied motions for summary judgment filed by both sides in a lawsuit brought by a transgender individual who alleges that her employer discriminated against her because of that and because of her health issues (James Hughes A/K/A Jamie Hughes v. William Beaumont...

Mealey's Labor & Employment - 9th Circuit: Breach Of Fiduciary Duty Sufficiently Pleaded In Stock-Drop Case

SAN FRANCISCO - On remand from the U.S. Supreme Court following the high court's recent presumption-of-prudence ruling in Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer (134 S.Ct. 2459 [2014]), the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Oct. 30 held that participants in eligible individual account plans (EIAPs...

Mealey's Labor & Employment - U.S. High Court: Solicitor General May Participate In Pregnancy Accommodation Suit

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Nov. 3 granted a motion by the U.S. solicitor general for leave to participate in oral argument as amicus curiae in the appeal of the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals' opinion finding that a driver failed to prove that her employer, United Parcel Service...

Mealey's Labor & Employment - 1st Circuit: Highly Compensated Project Managers Are Not Owed Overtime

BOSTON - Project managers who made more than $100,000 per year were highly compensated and, as a result, exempt from receiving overtime pay, a First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Nov. 4 (Crystal Litz, et al. v. The Saint Consulting Group, Inc., et al., No. 13-2437, 4th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App...

Mealey's Labor & Employment - 2nd Circuit Partially Reinstates Claims In Delivery Drivers' Wage Dispute

NEW YORK - The statute of limitations bars New York Franchise Sales Act (FSA) claims brought by all but two delivery drivers who are challenging the subscription agreements (SA) they entered into with a delivery-service company, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Nov. 4 in a decision in which...

Mealey's Labor & Employment - MassMutual Settles Revenue- Sharing Class Action Brought By Retirement Plans

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co., a service provider for 401(k) plans, on Oct. 31 moved for preliminary approval of a $9,475,000 settlement of class action claims that it violated the Employee Retirement Income Security Act when it received revenue-sharing payments from third...

Mealey's Labor & Employment - No Wrongful Denial Of Benefits In Coordination-Of-Benefits Case, 5th Circuit Rules

NEW ORLEANS - A federal judge properly dismissed a health plan participant's putative class action claim that the plan's claim administrator violated the Employee Retirement Income Security Act by denying claims until it is provided evidence regarding whether there is a collateral source for...

Mealey's Labor & Employment - U.S. High Court Hears Arguments On Life Of Retiree Health Benefits

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Ordinary contract interpretation should be applied to a dispute over the life of retiree health benefits and, where the contract is silent, courts should apply the relevant default principles, an attorney representing M&G Polymers USA LLC told the high court on Nov. 10 in a dispute...

Mealey's Labor & Employment - 9th Circuit: Health Care Provider Has Standing To Sue Plan Administrator

SAN FRANCISCO - A health care provider has constitutional standing as an assignee of health plan beneficiaries to bring claims for payment of benefits against the plan administrator under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held Nov. 5 (Spinedex Physical...

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Suit Seeking Survivor Benefits Is Time-Barred, 3rd Circuit Panel Says

PHILADELPHIA - Because a lawsuit seeking survivor retirement benefits was not filed within four years of the termination of benefits, the suit is time-barred pursuant to Pennsylvania's applicable four-year statute of limitations, the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said Nov. 12 (Lynn K. Christian...

Mealey's Labor & Employment - 9th Circuit Sets Requirements For Plausible FLSA Claim

SAN FRANCISCO - An employee claiming failure to pay minimum or overtime wages must, at a minimum, allege at least one workweek where overtime hours were worked and either overtime pay or minimum wages were not provided, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Nov. 12 in an issue the panel identified...

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Equitable Relief Not Available To Fund For Overpayment, Magistrate Judge Says

GREENBELT, Md. - A federal magistrate judge in Maryland recommended Nov. 13 that no default judgment be awarded to a multiemployer health fund in its action seeking to recover overpayments under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act under the equitable theories of unjust enrichment and restitution...

Mealey's Labor & Employment - 5th Circuit Panel Reinstates College Program Manager's Pay Disparity Claims

NEW ORLEANS - A Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Nov. 14 reinstated pay differential claims brought by a college program manager who alleges that she was denied the ability to negotiate higher pay while a male counterpart hired at the same time was allowed to negotiate (Margaret D. Thibodeaux...

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Reimbursement Action Seeks Legal, Not Equitable Relief, 2nd Circuit Rules

NEW YORK - A multiemployer welfare fund was not entitled to reimbursement from another insurer for benefits paid on behalf of a plan beneficiary who was covered by both insurers because the claims were not "appropriate equitable relief" under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, the...

Mealey's Labor & Employment - 6th Circuit Upholds Ruling Against Nuns In Their Bias Suit

CINCINNATI - Two nuns who spent much of their time volunteering for two nonprofits that they later sued failed to show that they were actually employees of those organizations or that they were discriminated against because of their religious beliefs, the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Nov...

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Pharmacy, Pharmacist Are Liable For $1.44M In Damages In Privacy Breach Suit

INDIANAPOLIS - The Indiana Court of Appeals on Nov. 14 upheld a jury ruling that a pharmacy and pharmacist are liable for damages sustained by a customer as a result of the pharmacist's privacy breach (Walgreen Co. v. Abigail E. Hinchy, No. 49A02-1311-CT-950, Ind. App.; 2014 Ind. App. LEXIS 560)...

Mealey's Labor & Employment - 6th Circuit: City Does Not Owe Firefighters Wages For Training Time

CINCINNATI - A Tennessee city does not owe its firefighters wages for time they spent in training for a paramedic certification even though they are required to complete the certification within a set amount of time to keep their jobs, the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Nov. 14 (Jon Misewicz...