WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. House of Representatives on Nov. 21 filed suit in the District of Columbia federal court against Sylvia Burwell, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and others over implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) (United States House of Representatives v. Sylvia Mathews Burwell, et al., No. 14-1967, D.D.C.).
MIAMI - A Florida jury on Nov. 18 awarded a widow $5,635,080 for fatal asbestosis a husband contracted during work as a boilermaker at power plants owned by the lone remaining defendant (Magaly Fernandez, et al. v. Florida Power & Light Co., et al., No. 11-17044, Fla. Cir., Miami-Dade Co.).
DETROIT - The government may not enforce the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) contraceptive mandate against a privately held for-profit company, a Michigan federal judge held Nov. 17 (M & N Plastics Inc., et al. v. Sylvia Burwell, et al., No. 13-14754, E.D. Mich.).
OKLAHOMA CITY - An Oklahoma federal judge on Nov. 19 enjoined application of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) contraceptive mandate against Hobby Lobby Stores Inc. but limited his judgment to the regulation as it existed at the time of the Supreme Court's ruling on the issue (Hobby Lobby Stores Inc., et al. v. Kathleen Sebelius, et al., No. 12-1000, W.D. Okla.).
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - The government on Nov. 18 responded to two religious schools' argument that Hobby Lobby was not an implicit endorsement of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) accommodation allowing religious objectors to avoid paying for contraceptive insurance coverage as a means of ensuring insurance coverage while protecting religious rights (Dordt College and Cornerstone University v. Sylvia Burwell, et al., No. 14-2726, 8th Cir.).
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, et al. v. City of Memphis, Tennessee, No. 14-5053, 6th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 21619).
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).
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. 14 (Sister Michael Marie, et al. v. American Red Cross, et al., No. 13-4052, 6th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 21620).
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 Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed Nov. 14 (Central States, Southeast and Southwest Areas Health and Welfare Fund, et al. v. Gerber Life Insurance Company, et al., No. 13-4834-cv, 2nd Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 21742).
INDIANAPOLIS - An Indiana federal judge on Nov. 14 granted a defendant's motion to exclude expert evidence submitted by a former employee in an age discrimination suit, finding that the expert's testimony ignored pertinent information and cherry-picked certain factors to support the plaintiff's claims (Charles M. Bingham v. Raytheon Technical Services Co., LLC, No. 1:13-cv-00211, N.D. Ind.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 160499).
CHICAGO - A federal court judge must consider a former Chicago police officer's due process claim filed against the Chicago Police Board, the entity that fired him, the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Nov. 13 (Orlando Brown v. City of Chicago, et al., No. 13-2020, 7th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 21532).
NEW ORLEANS - Tankermen perform seaman work when loading and unloading vessels, and as a result are not owed overtime, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Nov. 13 (Keith Coffin, et al. v. Blessey Marine Services, Incorporated, No. 13-20144, 5th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 21622).
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-Woody v. Houston Community College, No. 13-20738, 5th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 21664).
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 (Food Employers Labor Relations Association and United Food & Commercial Workers Health and Welfare Fund v. David Dove, No. 8:14-cv-01273, D. Md.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 159773).
NEW YORK - A New York man filed a collective action complaint on Nov. 12 in New York federal court accusing Google Inc. and the outside agencies it uses of intentionally misclassifying employees as independent contractors to avoid various wage law requirements including overtime (Jacob McPherson, et al. v. Google, Inc., et al., No. 14-9026, S.D. N.Y.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Two veterans, the National Veterans Legal Services Program and the Vietnam Veterans of America filed a class complaint on Nov. 14 in the District of Columbia federal court. alleging that the Army Board for Correction of Military Records (ABCMR) has failed to review applications for correction of military records filed by thousands of veterans (National Veterans Legal Services Program, et al. v. The United States Department of Defense, et al., No. 14-1915, D. D.C.).
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on Nov. 14, ruling on pretrial motions, ordered the employers of adult entertainers to pay more than $10.8 million in damages for various violations of federal and state wage laws (Sabrina Hart, et al. v. Rick's Cabaret International, Inc., et al., No. 09-3043, S.D. N.Y.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 160264).
OAKLAND, Calif. - A federal judge in California on Nov. 12 partially granted and partially denied plaintiffs' motion to certify eight putative classes in a wage and labor dispute. Among the classes denied was a state unfair competition law class, which was denied as being redundant to the class and subclasses certified (Charles Brewer, et al. v. General Nutrition Corp., No. 11-3587, N.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 159380).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Nov. 17 denied review of a Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals unpublished opinion ruling that participants in an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) challenging the plan's fiduciaries' decision to continue investing in company stock failed to sufficiently plead causation under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (Thomas J. Metyk, et al. v. KeyCorp, et al., No. 14-240, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Nov. 17 let stand a divided Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling that Employee Retirement Income Security Act Section 510 does not protect a one-time unsolicited complaint to an employer about alleged violations of ERISA (Brian Sexton v. Panel Processing, Inc., et al., No. 14-152, U.S. Sup.).
PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania man filed a class complaint on Nov. 12 against The Coca-Cola Co. and its divisions, alleging that the personal information of more than 70,000 employees has been compromised due to the theft of 55 laptop computers from Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE) between 2007 and 2013 (Shane K. Enslin, et al. v. The Coca-Cola Company, et al., No. 14-6476, E.D. Pa.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The de minimus "bit of paperwork" required to opt out of contraceptive coverage under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA)'s contraceptive mandate does not substantially burden religious exercise and is the least restrictive means of ensuring universal access to such coverage, the District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held Nov. 14 (Priests for Life, et al. v. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, et al., No. 13-5368; Roman Catholic Archbishop of Washington, et al. v. Kathleen Sebelius, et al., Nos. 13-5371, 14-5021, D.C. Cir.).
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 as one of first impression (Greg Landers, et al. v. Quality Communications, Inc., et al., No. 12-15890, 9th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 21440).
NEW YORK - A New York City restaurant will pay $2.4 million to end wage-and-hour claims filed against it by wait staff, bussers and chefs, according to a settlement granted final approval by a New York federal judge on Nov. 12 (Sakiko Fujiwara, et al. v. Sushi Yasuda Ltd., et al., No. 12-8742, S.D. N.Y.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 159140).
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 v. Honeywell Retirement Benefit Plan, No. 14-1084, 3rd Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 21410).