ST. PAUL, Minn. - A pathologist was under contract with a hospital as an independent contractor, not an employee, the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Sept. 30, upholding a trial court's rejection of the doctor's discrimination claims (Larry Alexander, M.D. v. Avera St. Luke's Hospital, No. 13-2592, 8th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 18633).
ATLANTA - A coal producer and its subsidiaries constitute a single employer and violated the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) when they failed to bargain with the union representing their employees before laying off 21 workers, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Oct. 2, enforcing a decision by the National Labor Relations Board (Taft Coal Sales & Associates, Inc., et al. v. National Labor Relations Board, No. 14-10618, 11th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 18823).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 2 granted motions by the U.S. solicitor general for leave to participate in oral argument and for divided argument in the appeal of a lawsuit filed by warehouse employees seeking compensation for the time they spend at the end of each shift passing through a security check (Integrity Staffing Solutions, Inc. v. Jesse Busk, et al., No. 13-433, U.S. Sup.; 2014 U.S. LEXIS 4904).
CLEVELAND - Because a hospital's human resources department was not involved in the investigation of an employee's complaint, an Ohio federal judge on Sept. 29 held that notes from a meeting between department personnel are not subject to attorney-client privilege and are, therefore, discoverable (Marianne Joyce v. Cleveland Clinic Foundation, et al., No. 1:13-cv-01224, N.D. Ohio; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 137680).
NEW YORK - A New York jury on Sept. 29 awarded $7 million to a man who contracted mesothelioma after exposure to asbestos during the construction of a National Grid Generation LLC predecessor's facility, sources told Mealey's Publication (Ralph North v. National Grid Generation LLC, No. 190114/13, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).
SAVANNAH, Ga. - Changes the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) made to the False Claims Act public disclosure bar apply prospectively, a Georgia federal judge held Sept. 29 (United States of America and State of Georgia, ex rel. Chad Willis v. SouthernCare Inc., No. 10-124, S.D. Ga.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 137457).
ODMULGEE, Okla. - Tax subsidies are available only to individuals who enroll through state exchanges under the language Congress chose to include in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), and it is not a judge's place to revise those terms, an Oklahoma federal judge held Sept. 30 (State of Oklahoma, ex rel. Scott Pruitt v. Sylvia Mathews Burwell, et al., No. 11-30, E.D. Okla.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A District of Columbia federal judge on Sept. 29 denied a motion for class certification and a motion to supplement the records in a lawsuit filed by federal secretaries and clerical workers who allege race discrimination (Cynthia Artis, et al. v. Janet L. Yellen, No. 01-400, D. D.C.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 136753).
CAMDEN, N.J. - A New Jersey federal judge on Sept. 29 granted a motion filed by current and former employees of Durand Glass Manufacturing Co. who are seeking unpaid overtime and wages for conditional certification for a collective action pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) but denied a motion for class certification pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23 regarding their New Jersey state law wage claims (Cindy Bobryk, et al. v. Durand Glass Manufacturing Company, Inc., No. 12-5360, D. N.J.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 137168).
CLEVELAND - A judge properly admitted expert testimony linking asbestos exposure and a man's Hodgkin's lymphoma, and sufficient evidence supports the jury's resulting verdict permitting the man to participate in the state's workers' compensation system, an Ohio appeals court held Sept. 25 (Brett H. Walker v. Ford Motor Co., et al., No. 100759, Ohio App., 8th Dist.).
MONTGOMERY, Ala. - The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals should reject plaintiffs' attempt to transform religious protections from a "shield into a sword" in a challenge to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) contraceptive mandate, the government argued in a Sept. 26 brief (Eternal Word Television Network Inc. and State of Alabama v. Secretary, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, et al., No. 14-12696, 11th Cir.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A Maryland woman who works for a company with government contracts filed a class complaint on Sept. 19 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, alleging that she and other help desk specialists have been improperly classified as exempt from receiving overtime pay (Jacqueline R. Thompson, et al. v. Digicon Corporation, No. 14-1597, D. D.C.).
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 costs (Darren Cuff v. Trans States Holdings, Inc., et al., No. 13-1241, 7th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 18091).
NEW YORK - The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept. 19 upheld the dismissal of a New York woman's discrimination lawsuit against her former employer, finding that she failed to exhaust her administrative remedies by naming a different type of discrimination in her federal complaint than she named in her complaint filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (Lyubov Faktorovich v. Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, No. 13-4051, 2nd Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 17958).
BATON ROUGE, La. - A man's numerous other health conditions as well as the indignities his disease imposed upon him make his mesothelioma action timely and support the resulting $2,314,208 asbestos verdict, a Louisiana appeals panel held Sept. 19 (Maria Elena Luna, et al. v. A.W. Chesterton Co., et al., No. 2013 CA 2177, La. App., 1st Dist.).
MILWAUKEE - The administration's decision to delay implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) employer mandate does not provide a cash-only physicians group with standing, a Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel held Sept. 19 (Association of American Physicians & Surgeons Inc., and Robert T. McQueeney v. John Koskinen, commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service, in his official capacity, No. 14-2123, 7th Cir.).
PITTSBURGH - A former doughnut shop assistant manager filed a class complaint on Sept. 19 accusing her employer of intentionally misclassifying her and other assistant managers as ineligible to receive overtime pay (Helen Rambo, et al. v. Heartland Restaurant Group, d/b/a Dunkin' Donuts, No. 14-1257, W.D. Pa.).
PHILADELPHIA - An employee whose previous gender, age and national origin discrimination claims against her former employer failed cannot now bring a new lawsuit alleging violations of the Equal Pay Act, a Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Sept. 18 (Tomoko Funayama v. Nichia America Corporation, No. 14-1923, 3rd Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 17910).
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 immediately appealable final decision and that, therefore, there is no appellate jurisdiction (Susan Mead v. Reliastar Life Insurance Company, No. 11-192-cv, 2nd Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 17771).
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 panel ruled Sept. 17 (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Simbaki, Limited, et al., No. 13-20387, 5th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 17881).
ATLANTA - A former body shop employee who was fired after fighting at work failed to prove that he was terminated due to his race, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Sept. 16 (Eric Archie v. Frank Cockrell Body Shop, Inc., No. 13-14108, 11th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 17741).
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept. 16 denied en banc rehearing in a pair of cases challenging the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) contraceptive mandate opt-out, leaving stand a June decision affirming denial of injunctive relief (Michigan Catholic Conference, et al. v. Kathleen Sebelius, et al., No. 13-2723, The Catholic Diocese of Nashville, et al. v. Kathleen Sebelius, et al., Nos. 13-2723, 13-6640, 6th Cir.).
MILWAUKEE - A cash-only physicians group challenging the Internal Revenue Service's implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) faced repeated questioning during Sept. 16 oral arguments from a Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel seemingly skeptical of its standing (Association of American Physicians & Surgeons Inc., and Robert T. McQueeney v. John Koskinen, commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service, in his official capacity, No. 14-2123, 7th Cir.).
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. 12 upholding a trial court's decision (Arthur J. Petrikonis v. Wilkes-Barre Hospital Company, LLC, No. 13-4403, 3rd Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 17642).
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 Sept. 15 (Christian Cutler v. Stephen F. Austin State University, et al., No. 13-40685, 5th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 17715).