NEW ORLEANS - The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 4 reversed a District Court's injunctive relief award in an age discrimination suit, finding that the employee waived his right to seek such relief (David O. Peterson v. Bell Helicopter Textron, Incorporated, No. 14-10249, 5th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 9342).
NEW YORK - The denial of a claimant's benefits under a disability pension plan was not arbitrary or capricious because it was not clear that the disability was permanent or that she was disabled while employed, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said June 1 (Francy Ocampo v. Building Service 32B-J Pension Fund, et al., No. 14-0877, 2nd Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 9020).
NEWARK, N.J. - A New Jersey federal judge on June 1 certified two classes of chiropractors suing insurers for allegedly systematically denying payment for certain services rendered (Alphonse DeMaria, et al. v. Horizon Healthcare Services Inc. d/b/a Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, et al., No. 11-7298, D. N.J.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 70176).
CHICAGO - A National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) regional director on June 1 ruled that most of the part-time faculty of a Chicago-based university may vote on union representation because the university failed to meet its burden of establishing that those employees "serve a specific role in creating or maintaining the University's religious educational environment" (Saint Xavier University and St. Xavier University Adjunct Faculty Organization, IEA-NEA, No. 13-RC-022025, NLRB Region 13).
NEW ORLEANS - A district court correctly determined that a long-term disability administrator did not abuse its discretion or act arbitrarily and capriciously in denying a long-term disability claim, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeal said May 29 (Angel Dix v. Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association Long Term Disability Program, No. No. 14-31200, 5th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 8930).
PASADENA, Calif. - A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on June 2 vacated a district court's final approval of a $4.5 million settlement in a wage suit brought by day laborers, finding that the district court failed to satisfy the procedural standard outlined in In re Bluetooth Headset Products Liab. Litig. (654 F.3d 935 [9th Cir. 2011]) (Jeffrey Lee Allen, et al. v. Margie Bedolla, et al., No. 13-55106, 9th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 9139).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on June 1 sought the solicitor general's view as to whether the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals erred in ruling that 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 (Roger L. Smith v. AEGON Companies Pension Plan, No. 14-1168, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - To prove religious discrimination by an employer, a prospective employee needs to show only that his or her need for an accommodation was a motivating factor in the employer's decision, not that the employer had "actual knowledge" of the applicant's need for an accommodation, a divided U.S. Supreme Court ruled June 1 (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Abercrombie & Fitch Stores, Inc., No. 14-86, U.S. Sup.).
NEW YORK - Pennsylvania law allowing employee tort actions where a disease arises outside the window for a workers' compensation action applies to an asbestos action filed in New York and alleging exposure in Pennsylvania, a New York justice held in an opinion posted May 27 (Venetia Kontogouris, et al. v. A.O. Smith Water Products Inc., et al., No. 190397/2014, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.; 2015 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 1839).
ST. LOUIS - An Arkansas federal court erred in granting injunctive relief in a union dispute as the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) failed to demonstrate irreparable injury, the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled May 27 (M. Kathleen McKinney, Regional Director of Region 15 of the National Labor Relations Board and on behalf of the National Labor Relations Board v. Southern Bakeries, LLC, No. 14-3017, 8th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 8710).
DENVER - Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964's requirement that a claimant verify the charges against an employer is a nonjurisdictional matter, the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled May 27 (Sabreen Gad v. Kansas State University, No. 14-3050, 10th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 8782).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A California federal judge on May 22 granted partial class certification in a lawsuit brought by California employees suing over the collection of union fees from non-union members (Kourosh Kenneth Hamidi, et al. v. Service Employees International Union Local 1000, et al., No. 14-319, E.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 67419).
CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on May 22 certified a class of Chicago teachers alleging that mass layoffs in 2011 disproportionately affected black educators (Chicago Teachers Union, et al. v. Board of Education of the City of Chicago, No. 12-10338, N.D. Ill.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 66960).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on May 26 declined to review the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling that a shareholder-owner's state law claims related to improper cancellation of her health care coverage were preempted by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (CeCelia Catherine Ibson v. United Healthcare Services, Inc., No. 14-1119, U.S. Sup.).
NEW ORLEANS - The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 20 upheld the dismissal of a former hospital employee's federal bias claims after determining that the employee waited too long after receiving her right-to-sue letter from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to file her suit but reversed dismissal of the worker's state law claim, opining that the same deadline did not apply (Shawlean Lee v. Columbia/HCA of New Orleans, Incorporated, No. 14-30761, 5th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 8292).
PORTLAND, Ore. - A wage-and-hour class complaint filed by Jack in the Box Inc. workers belongs in federal court, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled May 19, reversing a trial court's remand of the suit (Jessica Gessele, et al. v. Jack in the Box, Inc., No. 15-35262, 9th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 8227).
RICHMOND, Va. - The U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center v. Nassar (133 S. Ct. 2517 ) did not alter the analysis for retaliation claims established in McDonnell Douglas Corp. v. Green (411 U.S. 792 ), the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled May 21 (Iris Foster v. University of Maryland-Eastern Shore, No. 14-1073, 4th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 8384).
MARSHALL, Texas - A Texas federal judge on May 18 denied an employer's motion to decertify a class of account managers alleging that, based on their duties, they were misclassified as ineligible to receive overtime pay (Sandra Kelly, et al. v. Healthcare Services Group, Inc., No. 13-441, E.D. Texas; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 64258).
CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on May 18 found that an insurer has no duty to defend its interstate motor carrier insured against an underlying suit brought by one of its independent truck drivers because the directors and officers and company coverage is barred by the policy's unpaid compensation and breach of contract exclusions (Altom Transport Inc. v. Westchester Fire Ins., et al., No. 14-cv-9547, N.D. Ill., Eastern Div.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 64397).
CHICAGO - Notre Dame is not entitled to a preliminary injunction while it challenges the opt-out provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA)'s contraceptive mandate, a divided Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held May 19 (University of Notre Dame v. Kathleen Sebelius, et al., No. 13-3853, 7th Cir.).
GRETNA, La. - A split Louisiana appellate panel on May 14 vacated a trial court's grant of summary judgment in favor of a Louisiana city in a class lawsuit filed by firefighters over changes to pension contributions (Michael Dunn, et al. v. City of Kenner, No. 14-CA-113, La. App., 5th Cir.; 2015 La. App. LEXIS 937).
FRESNO, Calif. - A California federal magistrate judge on May 15 recommended certifying a class of FedEx Freight Inc. drivers alleging various wage-and-hour violations (Roy D. Taylor, et al. v. FedEx Freight, Inc., et al., No. 13-1137, E.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 64177).
CINCINNATI - The majority of the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 14 determined that a disability insurer arbitrarily and capriciously denied a claim for "any occupation" long-term disability benefits because the insurer disregarded reliable medical evidence in support of the claimant's disability (Samuel Niswonger v. PNC Bank Corp. and Affiliates Long Term Disability Plan, et al., No. 13-4282, 6th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 8076).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A trial court erred when it concluded that Department of Veterans Affairs nurses seeking unpaid overtime pay must show that the overtime was officially ordered or approved by express direction to be compensable, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled May 15 (Stephanie Mercier, et al. v. United States, No. 2014-5074, Fed. Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 8003).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a unanimous opinion on May 18 that the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals erred in holding that Employee Retirement Income Security Act Section 413(1) bars breach of fiduciary duty claims based on the fiduciaries' initial selection of plan investments without considering "the contours of the alleged breach of fiduciary duty" under trust law (Glenn Tibble, et al. v. Edison International, et al., No. 13-550, U.S. Sup.).