NEW ORLEANS - A claims administrator did not abuse its discretion in finding that a man's death by cardiac arrest was caused by something that constituted an accident under a welfare plan governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed June 6 in an unpublished opinion (Pamela L. Parsons v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, No. 13-60895, 5th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 10600).
ATLANTA - The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 4 affirmed the imposition of $12,000 in sanctions against an attorney who was found to have filed an untimely Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 claim (Shawn D. Jackson v. Hall County Government, State of Georgia, et al., No. 13-14299, 11th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 10339).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A collective bargaining agreement (CBA), through its terms, may not alter the way in which the Office of Inspector General (OIG) conducts its investigations, the District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled June 3 (United States Department of Homeland Security U.S. Customs and Border Protection v. Federal Labor Relations Authority, No. 12-1457, D.C. Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 10231).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 3 reinstated a former security guard's age bias claim against his former employer, finding that two statements made by a supervisor that referenced age constituted direct evidence of discrimination (Theodore R. Wilson v. Timothy C. Cox, Chief Operating Officer, Armed Forces Retirement Home and United States of America, No. 12-5070, D.C. Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 10233).
PASADENA, Calif. - A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel majority on June 3 upheld a class settlement between a janitorial company and franchisees who claimed that they were misclassified as independent contractors and had their franchise agreements breached, finding the terms fair and adequate (Sabrina Laguna, et al. v. Coverall North America, Inc., et al., No. 12-55479, 9th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 10259).
NEWARK, N.J. - A New Jersey federal judge on May 29 conditionally certified a collective action filed by title examiners who allege that their employer improperly included additional compensation they received for certain tasks when calculating their overtime rate (Cora Bath, et al. v. Red Vision Systems, Inc., No. 13-2366, D. N.J.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 73563).
WILMINGTON, Del. - Bankrupt FBI Wind Down Inc. (FBI), formerly known as Furniture Brands International Inc., on June 2 filed a brief in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware objecting to individual pension claims filed against the bankruptcy estate on grounds they are not permitted under the Bankruptcy Code (In Re: FBI Wind Down Inc. f/k/a Furniture Brands International Inc., No. 13-12329, Chapter 11, D. Del. Bkcy.).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A California federal judge on May 30 sent a wage-and-hour class complaint against a bookstore chain back to state court, finding that the employer failed to prove that the amount in controversy exceeds $5 million (Cassandra Carag, et al. v. Barnes & Noble, Inc., et al., No. 14-481, E.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 74215).
NEW YORK - Morgan Stanley's decision to make company contributions to defined contribution plans with company stock after the fund was already active is not a fiduciary act, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled May 29 in affirming the dismissal of participants' stock-drop claims under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (G. Kenneth Coulter, et al. v. Morgan Stanley & Co. Incorporated, et al., Nos. 13-2504-cv, 13-2509, 2nd Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 10027).
OAKLAND, Calif. - A California federal judge on May 28 granted a motion to remand a wage-and-hour class complaint filed by an hourly manager against Urban Outfitters Wholesale Inc., doing business as Anthropologie, finding that the employer failed to prove that the amount in controversy exceeds $5 million (Shakora Abdulhaqq, et al. v. Urban Outfitters Wholesale, Inc., D/B/A Anthropologie, a Pennsylvania corporation, et al., No. 13-3184, N.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 73356).
OAKLAND, Calif. - Just one day after remanding a wage-and-hour class complaint filed by hourly managers employed by Urban Outfitters Wholesale Inc., doing business as Anthropologie, a California federal judge on May 29 withdrew that order, finding that the plaintiffs had failed to refile their remand motion after it was struck as premature (Alexander Moore, et al. v. Urban Outfitters Wholesale, Inc., D/B/A Anthropologie, a Pennsylvania corporation, et al., No. 13-2245, N.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 73218).
CHICAGO - A split Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 28 denied a petition for rehearing and for rehearing en banc in the appeal of the dismissal of a lawsuit filed against two poultry processing companies accused of failing to pay their employees for time spent donning and doffing safety gear (Rochelle Mitchell, et al. v. JCG Industries, Inc., et al., No. 13-2115, 7th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 10073).
LONDON, Ky. - A Kentucky man saw most of his claims regarding benefits of his wife's life insurance policy dismissed by a Kentucky federal judge on May 30, who held that they were preempted by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (Samuel Burgett, et al. v. Appalachian Regional Healthcare Inc., et al., No. 6:13-cv-00191, E.D. Ky.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 73762).
ATLANTA - A former shipping center manager failed to show that she was the victim of age or disability discrimination when she was terminated after it was discovered that she participated in improperly editing employees' timecards, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled May 27 (Vicki Washington v. United Parcel Service, Inc., No. 13-14559, 11th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 9688).
ATLANTA - The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 27 reinstated a network administrator's on-the-job race and national origin discrimination claims, finding that the trial court failed to consider those claims when rejecting the employee's claim that the decision given for his termination was pretext for unlawful discrimination (Cegeste Barthelus v. G4S Government Solutions, Inc., No. 13-14121, 11th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 9692).
CHICAGO - The appeal of bias and retaliation claims in the fourth federal complaint filed by a former employee of an Illinois jail was "frivolous," and the plaintiff must show cause why she should not be sanctioned, the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled May 28 (Yvonne Averhart v. Sheriff of Cook County, Illinois, et al., No. 13-2949, 7th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 9874).
SAN FRANCISCO - The California Supreme Court on May 29 reversed a verdict of approximately $15 million for a class of loan officers seeking unpaid overtime, finding that the trial plan relied on flawed statistical sampling (Samuel Duran, et al. v. U.S. Bank National Association, No. S200923, Calif. Sup.).
NEW ORLEANS - A former Verizon Wireless supervisor failed to show that there was any link between her termination and her complaint of gender discrimination, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled May 28, upholding a trial court's ruling in favor of the employer (Amy R. Gorman v. Verizon Wireless Texas, L.L.C., et al., No. 13-20562, 5th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 9870).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on May 22 conditionally certified a class of female workers' Equal Pay Act (EPA) claims and partially granted a motion for tolling the claims, opining that potential opt-in plaintiffs may not be aware of the alleged pay disparity (Sara Wellens, et al. v. Daiichi Sankyo, Inc., No. 13-581, N.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 70628).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - Employees who are accusing high-tech companies of conspiring to fix and suppress employee compensation and to restrict employee mobility by entering into agreements not to compete for one another's employees in violation of federal antitrust law moved for preliminary approval of $324.5 million in partial class action settlements with Apple Inc., Google Inc., Intel Corp. and Adobe Systems Inc. on May 22 in a federal district court in California (In Re: High-Tech Employee Antitrust Litigation, No. 11-2509, N.D. Calif.).
NEW ORLEANS - The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 23 reinstated a former postal clerk's disability discrimination suit finding that a magistrate judge wrongly dismissed the case without addressing the plaintiff's challenge to being included in a pending administrative class action (Blanca Ruiz v. Patrick R. Donahoe, Postmaster General, United States Postal Service [Southwest Area] Agency, No. 12-11008, 5th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 9660).
CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. - A New York federal judge on May 21 conditionally certified a class of employees of a landscaping company who allege they were illegally denied overtime pay and authorized the plaintiffs to post and circulate a notice of pendency and consent to join form in both English and Spanish (Roberto Batres, et al. v. Valente Landscaping, Inc., et al., No. 14-1434, E.D. N.Y.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 69719).
ST. LOUIS - The Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 22 upheld a trial court's ruling finding that a former American Red Cross supervisor failed to show that several denied promotions and her ultimate termination was caused by discrimination and retaliation rather than a number of on-the-job documented incidents (Ellen Robinson v. American Red Cross, No. 13-2394, 8th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 9512).
HARRISBURG, Pa. - A federal judge in Pennsylvania overseeing a wrongful termination and retaliation suit on May 20 ordered the parties to share the costs of a forensic examination of the plaintiff's computer and denied in part the plaintiff's motion to bar his former employer from serving subpoenas on prospective employers, ruling that the information was relevant to the mitigation of damages (Richard F. Zeller v. South Central Emergency Medical Services Inc., et al., No. 13-CV-2584, M.D. Pa.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 68940).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A California federal judge on May 20 remanded a wage-and-hour class complaint, finding that the defendant employers failed to show that the amount in controversy exceeds $5 million (Melvyn Letuligasenoa, et al. v. International Paper Company, et al., No. 13-5272, N.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 69884).