AUSTIN, Texas - The exclusive remedy provision of the Texas Workers' Compensation Act (TWCA) barred a man's premises liability claims against a general contractor for injuries he sustained while working as a subcontractor on a construction site, a Texas appellate panel ruled July 22, affirming summary judgment for the general contractor (Matthew Eric Kershner v. Samsung Austin Semiconductor, LLC, No. 03-15-00529-CV, Texas App., 3rd Dist.; 2016 Tex. App. LEXIS 7801).
DALLAS - After finding that it is possible that an arbitration clause falling under the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards could provide a defense to claims asserted by two entities against former employees, a Texas federal judge on July 21 refused to remand the case to state court (Valtech Solutions Inc., et al. v. Deborah Davenport, et al., No. 3:15-CV-3361, N.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 95098).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A California federal judge on July 20 dismissed a petition to confirm an arbitral award, finding that the claimant invoked the wrong cause of action, but granted him leave to refile to properly invoke 9 U.S. Code Section 207 (Xiangkai Xu v. China Sunergy [US] Clean Tech Inc., et al., No. 15-cv-04823-HRL, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 94906).
NEW ORLEANS - A district court must reconsider whether an employment agency should have known about its client's possible discriminatory transfer request after the worker, who alleges that she was discriminated against because of her age, showed that the agency failed to follow its usual practice of investigating employee removal requests, a Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled July 18 (Helen Nicholson v. Securitas Security Services USA, Incorporated, No. 15-10582, 5th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 13127).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on July 15 vacated a decision by the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) rejecting a customs officer's claim that his retirement pay was miscalculated and failed to include the full amount of overtime pay he received in the relevant three years (Daniel A. Grover v. Office of Personnel Management, No. 2015-3160, Fed. Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 12978).
PITTSBURGH - A Pennsylvania federal judge on July 14 granted summary judgment in favor of an employer in a wage-and-hour class complaint filed by a former employee finding that employee's severance agreement included a bar on participation in a class or collective action (Jonathan Kubischta, et al. v. Schlumberger Tech Corp., No. 15-1338, W.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 91556).
PASADENA, Calif. - A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 15 granted a petition for panel rehearing and/or clarification filed by the lead plaintiff in lawsuit accusing a retailer of wage violations but issued an accompanying order nearly identical to the one issued on May 19 in which it reversed a district court's denial of the employer's motion for judgment on the pleadings (L. Anderson v. Michaels Stores Inc., No. 14-56726, 9th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 13055 and 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 13056).
CHICAGO - A Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on July 15 affirmed a district court's ruling in favor of the employers in a wage class suit brought by servers alleging violations of state and federal laws regarding their tips (Robert Schaefer, et al. v. Walker Bros. Enterprises, Inc., et al., No. 15-1058, 7th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 12985).
ALBANY, N.Y. - A New York federal judge on July 12 denied a motion to remand a case against SEIU Local 200 United Benefit Fund alleging breach of fiduciary duty and granted Local 200's cross-motion for judgment on the pleadings (Kevin Boyle, et al. v. SEIU Local 200 United Benefit Fund, et al., No. 5:15-cv-517, N.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 89810).
ST. LOUIS - A United Parcel Service (UPS) supervisor who had numerous conflicts at work failed to show that his termination was due to racial discrimination rather than because of his behavior and attitude, the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled July 12 (Gary T. Smith v. United Parcel Service, No. 15-1487, 8th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 12770).
DENVER - A truck driver whose cancer was in remission and who claimed that he was told his job application was being denied because of his prior diagnosis failed to show that he was a qualified individual under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled July 12 (Mark Kilcrease v. Domenico Transportation Co., No. 15-1320, 10th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 12777).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on July 13 refused to dismiss claims asserted by delivery drivers for a food service company for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and Labor Code, finding that their claims were sufficiently pleaded at the present stage of the case (Andrew Tan, et al. v. Grubhub Inc., et al., No. 15-cv-05128, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 91071).
LOS ANGELES - A California federal judge on July 11 granted final approval of a $2.25 million settlement to be paid by Bath & Body Works LLC (BBW) to end wage claims filed by a class of nonexempt sales associates (Adam Jones v. Bath & Body Works, Inc., et al., No. 13-5206, C.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 89681).
BOSTON - A First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on July 13 affirmed dismissal of a putative class action filed by retirement plan participants and a plan administrator alleging breach of fiduciary duties under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (In Re: Fidelity ERISA Float Litigation; Timothy M. Kelley, et al. v. Fidelity Management Trust Co., et al., No. 15-1445, 1st Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 12874).
PHOENIX - An Arizona trial court erred when it decertified a class of truck drivers alleging systemic underpayment, an Arizona appellate panel ruled July 12 in an opinion in which it also determined that Arizona law applies to the drivers' claim for breach of the duty of good faith and fair dealing (Leonel Garza, et al. v. The Honorable J. Richard Gama, et al., No. 1 CA-SA 15-0315, Ariz. App., Div. 1).
NEW ORLEANS - A Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on July 11 affirmed dismissal of claims against Acme Building Brands Inc. in an Employee Retirement Income Security Act suit over reductions in the company's pension and 401(k) plans (Judy Hunter, et al. v. Berkshire Hathaway Inc., et al., No. 15-10854, 5th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 12744).
DENVER - A 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on July 11 affirmed dismissal of claims that a pension plan consultant breached a fiduciary duty by misstating the amount of pension payments that a member could expect upon retirement for failure to state a valid claim (Trent Lebahn, et al. v. National Farmers Union Uniform Pension Plan, et al., No. 15-3201, 10th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 12708).
SAN FRANCISCO - Various wage claims brought by employees of a fast food franchisee may proceed with some of their wage claims against the franchisor as a class, a California federal judge ruled July 7, denying the franchisor's claim that allegations of ostensible agency may not be resolved on a classwide basis (Stephanie Ochoa, et al. v. McDonald's Corp., et al., No. 14-2098, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 88323).
PHILADELPHIA - The Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 7 determined that summary judgment in favor of a disability insurer was not appropriate because issues of material fact exist regarding whether the medical evidence supports the insurer's termination of benefits and whether the termination was arbitrary and capricious (Frank Reed v. Citigroup Inc., et al., No. 15-2094, 3rd Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 12523).
NEW ORLEANS - A Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on July 6 affirmed summary judgment for an employer and an insurance company in a woman's lawsuit seeking to recover benefits she claimed were due to her under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (Linda Singletary v. United Parcel Service Inc., et al., No. 15-30762, 5th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 12475).
NEW ORLEANS - A panel of the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 8 affirmed that the Employee Retirement Income Security Act governs a case in which a laid-off employee was denied severance compensation for failing to return all company property as required by a severance agreement (Mark Gomez v. Ericsson Inc., No. 15-41479, 5th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 12604).
FRESNO, Calif. - A California federal judge on July 5 determined that a disability claims administrator did not abuse its discretion in terminating a claimant's benefits because the administrator identified two reasonable jobs within the proper zone that could be performed by the claimant (William Barnett v. Southern California Edison Company Long Term Disability Plan, No. 12-130, E.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 86828).
PASADENA, Calif. - A worker bringing a prima facie claim of disability bias against a union does not need to show a breach of the duty of fair representation, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled July 5 (Rosemary Garity v. APWU National Labor Organization, No. 13-15195, 9th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 12395).
SAN DIEGO - A California federal judge on June 29 denied a motion for a temporary restraining order (TRO) sought to stop the Internal Revenue Service from tapping a pension plan to collect back taxes (Jim Nemlowill v. United States of America, No. 16CV1642, S.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 84843).