NEW YORK - A New York federal judge's determination that the New York State Psychiatric Association (NYSPA) lacks associational standing to sue a claims administrator for violations of the Employment Retirement Income Security Act was reversed by the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 20 (New York State Psychiatric Association Inc., et al. v. UnitedHealth Group, et al., No. 14-20, 2nd Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 14641).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A trial court erred when it invalidated the U.S. Department of Labor's (DOL) extension of the Fair Labor Standards Act's (FLSA) minimum wage and overtime coverage to workers employed by third-party agencies who provide in home care and companionship services, the District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Aug. 21 (Home Care Association of America, et al. v. David Weil, et al., No. 15-5018, D.C. Cir.).
ST. LOUIS - A Missouri power plant failed to show that it was the statutory employer of a repairman and thus entitled to the protection of the workers' compensation exclusivity after the worker was injured while performing a repair, a Missouri appellate panel ruled Aug. 18, reversing a trial court's decision (James E. Eaker v. Kansas City Power & Light Company, No. WD77851, Mo. App., Western Dist.; 2015 Mo. App. LEXIS 822).
YOLO, Calif. - An arbitrator will decide if armed security guards who allege that they were not properly reimbursed by their employer for equipment and training may proceed with their class claims or must arbitrate their claims individually, a California appellate panel ruled Aug. 18 (Universal Protection Service, LP, et al. v. The Superior Court of Yolo County, No. C078557, Calif. App., 3rd Dist.; 2015 Cal. App. LEXIS 708).
SAN FRANCISCO - An arbitration policy distributed to employees of an aviation support company after a wage-and-hour class complaint was already filed is unenforceable against the members of the class because there was insufficient communication regarding its impact and no clear opt-out opportunities, a California federal judge ruled Aug. 17 (Jessica Jimenez, et al. v. Menzies Aviation Inc., et al., No. 15-2392, N.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 108223).
NEW ORLEANS - The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 17 affirmed a district court's dismissal of a second amended class action complaint alleging that Verizon Communications Inc. violated the Employee Retirement Income Security Act by removing retirees from the company's pension plan and funding their benefits through the purchase of a single premium group annuity contract, finding no error in the transfer of benefits (William Lee, et al. v. Verizon Communications Inc., et al., No. 14-10554, 5th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 14588).
NEW YORK - Individuals who volunteered at Major League Baseball's FanFest are exempt from receiving wages under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Aug. 14 (John Chen, et al. v. Major League Baseball Properties, Inc., et al., No. 14-1315, 2nd Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 14275).
CHICAGO - A trial court erred when it ruled that a union could be denied participation in staffing changes at a juvenile detention center where it represents workers, a split Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Aug. 17 (Jimmy Doe, et al. v. Cook County, Ill., et al., No. 10-2746, 7th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 14433).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The National Labor Relations Board on Aug. 17, in a unanimous decision, declined to assert jurisdiction in a case in which the College Athletes Players Association (CAPA) claims that Northwestern University football players who receive grant-in-aid scholarships are employees within the meaning of Section 2(3) of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) (Northwestern University and College Athletes Players Association [CAPA], No. 13-RC-121359, NLRB).
ST. LOUIS - The lessee of a struggling nursing home was responsible for the patients' care but not delinquent medical insurance premiums for the staff, the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Aug. 12, reversing a district court's ruling that the lessee was responsible for the insurance payments under the theory of successor liability (Kevin Nutt, et al. v. Stafford Kees, et al., No. 14-3364, 8th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 14134).
LOS ANGELES - Nothing in the record indicates that a vessel owner controlled the area where a man suffered fatal exposure to asbestos or that it had knowledge of the dangers he did not possess, a California appeals court held Aug. 11 in finding the action preempted (Mary Murat, et al. v. Exxon Mobil Corp., et al., No. B247889, Calif. App., 2nd Dist.; 2015 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 5710).
ST. LOUIS - A multiemployer health fund is not entitled to equitable relief in the amount it paid in medical benefits to students who were also covered by student accidental medical insurance under the fund's coordination-of-benefits provision pursuant to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed Aug. 10 (Central States, Southeast and Southwest Areas Health and Welfare Fund v. Student Assurance Services, Inc., et al., No. 14-2376, 8th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 13941).
RICHMOND, Va. - A former Verizon Corporate Services Group Inc. contract worker failed to show that he was eligible to receive overtime wages or that he was discharged for refusing to work more than 40 hours per week without compensation, a Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Aug. 5 in a per curiam opinion (Robert Schmidt v. Bartech Group, Inc., et al., No. 14-2321, 4th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 13663).
RICHMOND, Va. - Two similar disputes between a franchisor and franchisees must be broken up and partially litigated in federal court and partially decided via arbitration based on clear language in the franchise agreements, the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Aug. 5 (Chorley Enterprises, Inc., et al. v. Dickey's Barbecue Restaurants, Inc., et al., Nos. 14-1799 and 14-1833, Justin Trouard, et al. v. Dickey's Barbecue Restaurants, Inc., et al., No. 14-1800 and 14-1834, 4th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 13652).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The owner of two car dealerships that merged following the Chrysler bankruptcy needed to bargain with the union that represented the mechanics of the dealership that closed, the District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Aug. 4, enforcing a ruling by the National Labor Relations Board (Dodge of Naperville, Inc., et al. v. National Labor Relations Board, No. 12-1032, D.C. Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 13527).
ATLANTA - The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 5 affirmed a district court's decision granting a cruise line's motion to compel arbitration of a seaman's claims in the Republic of the Philippines, finding that his injury-related claims were governed by his employment contract (Emmanuel Navarette v. Silversea Cruises Ltd., et al., No. 14-13324, 11th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 13634).
SAN FRANCISCO - A border patrol agent who was not chosen for a promotion despite being eligible for the position presented sufficient evidence to proceed with his age-bias suit, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Aug. 3 (John M. France v. Jeh Johnson, Secretary, Department of Homeland Security, No. 13-15534, 9th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 13487).
NEW YORK - A Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Aug. 3 partially reinstated a former City of New York worker's disparate treatment and retaliation claims, finding that she proffered sufficient evidence to withstand motions to dismiss by the city and her former supervisor (Dawn F. Littlejohn v. City of New York, et al., No. 14-1395, 2nd Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 13475).
BOSTON - The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 31 affirmed a trial court's decision that a drywall company's letter that contained a "layman's choice of words" was still sufficient to terminate the company's agreement with Massachusetts unions and, as a result, the company had no obligation to comply with the unions' audit requests (New England Carpenters Central Collection Agency, et al. v. Labonte Drywall Company, Inc., No. 14-1739, 1st Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 13386).
PASADENA, Calif. - In a lawsuit where both class claims and nonclass claims are being pursued, the amount sought for the nonclass claims may not be added together with the amount sought for class claims to meet the Class Action Fairness Act's (CAFA) amount-in-controversy requirement, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled July 30 (Porfiria Yocupicio, et al. v. PAW Group, LLC, et al., No. 15-55878, 9th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 13273).
SANTA ANA, Calif. - A California federal judge on July 29 partly denied a university's motion to dismiss wiretap and privacy class claims against it related to campus police officers' assertions that their conversations were covertly recorded (Federated University Police Officers' Association, et al. v. The Regents of the University of California, et al., No. 8:15-cv-00137, C.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 99147).
LOS ANGELES - A lawsuit filed by an insurance claims examiner who alleges that she and other similarly situated examiners were improperly classified as exempt from receiving overtime is not appropriate to proceed as a class action because individual issues predominate, a California appellate panel ruled July 27, affirming a trial court's ruling (Anna Marie Gentile v. Keenan & Associates, No. B253097, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 3; 2015 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 5256).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A complainant who failed to update his mailing address with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and, as a result, did not receive his right-to-sue notice when it was first sent is not entitled to equitable tolling, a split District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled July 24 (Matthew Maggio v. Wisconsin Avenue Psychiatric Center, Inc., No. 13-7181, D.C. Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 12787).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 24 affirmed in part and reversed in part the National Labor Relations Board's decision in a meat-processing plant's union organizing dispute (Bruce Packaging Company, Inc. v. National Labor Relations Board, No. 12-1054, D.C. Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 12784).
KANSAS CITY, Kan. - A Kansas federal judge on July 27 granted preliminary approval of a settlement worth at least $550,000 to end claims by former hospital workers who allege on behalf of themselves and a similarly situated class that they were improperly denied separation benefits at the time they were laid off (Patricia Geiger, et al. v. Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth Health System, Inc., et al., No. 14-2378, D. Kan.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 97362).