Mealey's Labor & Employment - 4th Circuit Remands Fiduciary Duty Case Involving Diversification Of Plan Assets

RICHMOND, Va. - The Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 on Aug. 4 that a federal judge applied the wrong causation standard to claims by participants in R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.'s 401(k) plan that the plan fiduciaries are monetarily liable for breaching their fiduciary duties under the...

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Retirees Properly Awarded Attorney Fees For Challenge To Reduction In Health Benefits

CHICAGO - A federal district court did not abuse its discretion in awarding retirees more than $400,000 in attorney fees under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act following the retirees' settlement of their claims that their employer's successor unlawfully eliminated their health care...

Mealey's Labor & Employment - 3rd Circuit: ERISA Governs Supplemental Coverage; State Law Claims Are Preempted

PHILADELPHIA - Supplemental disability and life insurance coverage is governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act because the supplemental policies cannot be unbundled from the employer's broader ERISA benefits plan, the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Aug. 6 in holding that...

Mealey's Labor & Employment - 10th Circuit: Participant's Suit Against Medical Provider Was Properly Removed

DENVER - A health plan participant's state law contract and tort claims against a health care provider were properly removed to federal court because a single claim for tortious interference with contract, which was related to the discount for services provided by the participant's health plan...

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Cash-Balance Plans, Participants Reach Settlements On Lump-Sum Calculations

MILWAUKEE - Participants in two S.C. Johnson & Son Inc. retirement plans who received early retirement benefits on Aug. 7 sought approval of two class action settlement agreements totaling $44.4 million on their claims challenging the legality of the plans' method for calculating pre-age-65 lump...

Mealey's Labor & Employment - 5th Circuit Panel Reinstates School District Employee's Race Bias Claim

NEW ORLEANS - The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 15 reinstated a discrimination claim filed by a Louisiana school district employee who alleges that she was passed over for a promotion based on her race (Sandra A. Pace v. Livingston Parish School Board, No. 13-30919, 5th Cir.; 2014 U.S....

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Split 9th Circuit Panel Finds Officer's ADHD Was Not A Disability

PORTLAND, Ore. - A police officer's attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) did not qualify as a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a split Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Aug. 15 (Matthew Weaving v. City of Hillsboro, No. 12-35726, 9th Cir.; 2014...

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Claim That Denial Of Flexible Hours Violated Rehabilitation Act Is Reinstated

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 15 reinstated two claims by a former government worker who alleges that the denial of her request for substantial flexibility in her working hours - known as a "maxiflex" schedule - violated the Rehabilitation...

Mealey's Labor & Employment - 10th Circuit Upholds Ruling For Tyson Employees In Donning, Doffing Suit

DENVER - The 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 19 upheld a trial court's denial of a motion for judgment as a matter of law filed by Tyson Foods Inc. in a donning and doffing dispute and denied Tyson's request to reduce the nearly $3.4 million attorney fee award (Adelina Garcia, et al...

Mealey's Labor & Employment - 2nd Circuit Reinstates Detective's 2 Claims Over Denied Special Assignment

NEW YORK - A Connecticut detective may proceed with his claims that denying his repeated requests to be assigned to a special unit that investigates homicides constituted race discrimination, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Aug. 26 in its second consideration of the appeal by the detective...

Mealey's Labor & Employment - 9th Circuit: FedEx Drivers In Oregon, California Were Employees

PORTLAND, Ore. - A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel issued two opinions on Aug. 27, finding that FedEx Ground Package System Inc. drivers were employees, not contractors, as a matter of law under Oregon and California law (Edward Slayman, et al. v. FedEx Ground Package System, Inc., DBA FedEx...

Mealey's Labor & Employment - 3rd Circuit: Worker Terminated After Leave May Proceed With FMLA Claims

PHILADELPHIA - A hospital worker who was told by her employer to continue her leave after her doctor cleared her to return to work may proceed with claims that her former employer interfered with her rights under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and retaliated against her for taking leave, the...

Mealey's Labor & Employment - 11th Circuit Finds Property Owner Failed To Properly Serve Complaint On Law Firm

ATLANTA - The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 28 affirmed a federal court's decision to dismiss a homeowner's complaint against a bank and a law firm in relation to the foreclosure of his home, finding that he failed to properly serve the complaint and for failure to state a claim...

Mealey's Labor & Employment - California, Governor File Notice Of Appeal In Teacher Statutes Suit

LOS ANGELES - The State of California and its governor filed a notice on Aug. 29 in the Los Angeles County Superior Court that they will appeal the decision, made final on Aug. 27, that five state statutes regarding the employment and retention of teachers that were challenged by California students...

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Split 5th Circuit: Restrictions On Job May Constitute Adverse Action

NEW ORLEANS - Certain restrictions placed on a police detective that hinder his ability to perform his job duties following a suspension may constitute an adverse employment action, a divided Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Sept. 3 (Allen Thompson v. City of Waco, Texas, No. 13-50718...

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Split 7th Circuit Panel: Indiana Right To Work Act Is Not Preempted

CHICAGO - The Indiana Right to Work Act is not preempted by federal labor legislation and does not violate any constitutional rights, a split Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Sept. 2 (James M. Sweeney, et al. v. Michael Pence, Governor of the State of Indiana, et al., No. 13-1264, 7th...

Mealey's Labor & Employment - 1st Circuit: Fired Worker With Crohn's Failed To Prove Bias Claims

BOSTON - A university employee who needed on-the-job accommodations due to Crohn's disease failed to show that the nonrenewal of her contract constituted disability discrimination, the First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Sept. 2 (Maria J. Collazo-Rosado v. University of Puerto Rico, et al....

Mealey's Labor & Employment - D.C. Circuit: Plaintiffs May Amend Complaint To Add Claims Of Newly Fired Officers

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Security officers formerly employed in federal courts may amend their complaint to add claims for newly fired officers, a District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Sept. 5, partially reversing a trial court (Ann J. Barkley, et al. v. United States Marshals Services...

Mealey's Labor & Employment - 6th Circuit: Trial Court Erred In Ordering Arbitration In Worker's Age Bias Suit

CINCINNATI - The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept. 5 reinstated age bias claims filed by a fired worker, finding that the District Court erred in concluding that the employee must arbitrate his claims (Robert Kay v. The Minacs Group [USA], Inc., No. 13-1974, 6th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS...

Mealey's Labor & Employment - 5th Circuit Revives Public Information Officer's Gender Bias Claims

NEW ORLEANS - The former director of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice's (TDCJ) Public Information Office, who was demoted for various time-keeping violations, may proceed with her gender bias claims, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Sept. 9, reversing a trial court's summary...

Mealey's Labor & Employment - 5th Circuit: Former University Director May Proceed With Free Speech Claim

NEW ORLEANS - A university director who was forced to resign after telling a member of a U.S. representative's staff that he believed the representative was a "fear monger" may proceed with his free speech claim against his former employer, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled...

Mealey's Labor & Employment - 3rd Circuit Upholds Nurse's Firing, Orders Him To Pay Back Student Loan

PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania nurse who was fired from his job just a few months after he started failed to prove that his termination was due to anything other than his poor performance, so he must pay back the student loan provided by his employer, the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Sept...

Mealey's Labor & Employment - 5th Circuit: Represented Parties May Invoke Exceptions To Named-Party Requirement

NEW ORLEANS - People who are represented by counsel when filing charges with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission may, like pro se parties, invoke the judicially recognized exceptions to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964's named-party requirement, a Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals...

Mealey's Labor & Employment - 2nd Circuit: Remand To ERISA Plan Administrator Is Not Final Appealable Order

NEW YORK - The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept. 16 dismissed a disability plan administrators' appeal of a federal district court's order remanding a claim for benefits under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act to the administrator, ruling that the remand order is not an...

Mealey's Labor & Employment - 7th Circuit Upholds $43,200 Award, Attorney Fees In Wrongful Firing Suit

CHICAGO - The Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept. 19 upheld a jury's $43,200 award for a man found to have been jointly employed by several companies and, as a result, wrongly denied leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) as well as the $331,000 award for attorney fees and...