MIAMI - After finding that an arbitration provision in a sailor's employment contract must be enforced, a Florida federal judge on April 30 granted a cruise line's motion to compel arbitration of his injury-related claims in Monaco (Vitalii Pysarenko v. Carnival Corp., d/b/a Carnival Cruise Lines, No. 14-20010, S.D. Fla.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 59990).
SAN DIEGO - A California federal judge on April 28 declined to approve a wage-and-hour class settlement to be paid by Home Depot U.S.A. Inc., finding that the parties failed to show the settlement was fair and reasonable (John Ambrosino, et al. v. Home Depot U.S.A, Inc., No. 11-1319, S.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 58809).
SAN FRANCISCO - A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on April 24 reversed denial of certification for a class of San Francisco police officers alleging employment discrimination, finding that the trial court "disregarded the existence of common questions of law and fact and impermissibly addressed the merits of the class's claims" (Juanita Stockwell, et al. v. City and County of San Francisco, No. 12-15070, 9th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 7694).
HOUSTON - A Texas federal judge on April 23 partially granted a health insurance company's motion to dismiss a reimbursement suit brought by a health care provider related to the payment of out-of-network services (Mid-Town Surgical Center v. Humana Health Plan of Texas Inc., No. 13-2620, S.D. Texas; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 56260).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - An employee's testimony before a federal grand jury was protected under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution because he spoke as a citizen on a matter of public concern not pursuant to his job responsibilities, and that protection was well known at the time, the employee's attorney argued before the U.S. Supreme Court April 28 (Edward R. Lane v. Steve Franks, et al., No. 13-483, U.S. Sup.).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - Apple Inc., Google Inc., Intel Corp. and Adobe Systems Inc. on April 24 told a federal judge in California that they have reached an agreement to settle an antitrust suit brought by their employees accusing the 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 Re: High-Tech Employee Antitrust Litigation, No. 11-2509, N.D. Calif.).
CINCINNATI - A split Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on April 22 ruled that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission may proceed with its lawsuit alleging that Ford Motor Co. violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by denying a former employee the opportunity to telecommute and by firing her after she filed an EEOC charge (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Ford Motor Company, No. 12-2484, 6th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 7502).
PORTLAND, Ore. - A railway worker may proceed with his claim against his employer for negligent mismanagement after a collision between the hi-rail truck he was driving on the rails and a freight train, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled April 23, partially reversing a trial court's ruling (Scott R. Wolfe v. BNSF Railway Company, No. 12-35054, 9th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 7611).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The National Labor Relations Board on April 24 agreed to review a March 26 decision by the Chicago regional director finding that a university's football players who receive scholarships to play football at the university are employees under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) and are entitled to vote on whether to be represented by the College Athletes Players Association (CAPA) for collective bargaining purposes (Northwestern University and College Athletes Players Association [CAPA], No. 13-RC-121359, NLRB).
LOS ANGELES - A California federal judge on April 22 declined to remand a wage-and-hour class complaint filed by a former employee of a clothing retailer, finding that the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) amount-in-controversy requirement was met by just one of the class claims (Pa'Sha Jones, et al. v. Tween Brands, Inc., et al., No. 14-1631, C.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 56003).
ALEXANDRIA, La. - A Louisiana federal judge on April 21 concurred with a magistrate judge's finding that a reimbursement dispute over the payment of health care benefits should be dismissed for failure of the plaintiff to exhaust administrative remedies (Sanat V. Sanghani, M.D. v. Aetna Life Insurance Co., No. 12-632, W.D. La.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 55747).
CINCINNATI - A printing company failed to prove that a widespread reduction-in-force was the cause of a plant facilities manager being terminated, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled April 18, reinstating the former employee's age bias claims (James C. Pierson v. Quad/Graphics Printing Corp., et al., No. 13-5784, 6th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 7277).
PORTLAND, Ore. - The identities of Washington state employees who allege violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act's overtime and record-keeping provisions are protected from discovery under the government's informants privilege, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled April 18 (In re: Thomas E. Perez, Thomas E. Perez, Secretary, United States Department of Labor v. United States District Court, Tacoma, No. 13-72195, 9th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 7301).
SAN DIEGO - A wage-and-hour class complaint filed by current and former employees of Hewlett Packard Co. belongs in state court because the $5 million amount in controversy required under the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) was not proven to have been met, a California federal judge ruled April 17 (Michael Karlbom, et al. v. EDS, an HP Company, et al., No. 13-2996, S.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 54423).
ATLANTA - Participants in an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) sponsored by Delta Air Lines Inc. failed to overcome the presumption that the plan fiduciaries acted prudently by continuing to invest in company stock during the period that the stock declined in value by 92 percent, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled April 17 in an unpublished opinion affirming the dismissal of the participants' breach of fiduciary duty claims under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (Dennis Smith, et al. v. Delta Air Lines Inc., et al., No. 13-15155, 11th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 7209).
BOSTON - Two engineers' hourly wages included their per diem expense reimbursement for the purposes of calculating overtime because their per diem pay each week was based on the number of hours they worked, the First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled April 18 (Eric Newman, et al. v. Advanced Technology Innovation Corp., No. 13-1132, 1st Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 7363).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on April 21 denied a petition for writ of certiorari filed by a former office supply company employee whose race bias, retaliation and hostile work environment claims were tossed by the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (Anna Maria Agolli v. Office Depot, Inc., No. 13-9320, U.S. Sup.; 2014 U.S. LEXIS 2620).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on April 21 denied review of a Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling that profit-sharing plan participants' breach of fiduciary duty claims related to the termination of the plan were barred by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act's six-year statute of limitations because the participants failed to demonstrate fraud or concealment sufficient to extend the limitations period (Sharon Laskin, et al. v. Veronica Siegel, et al., No. 13-942, U.S. Sup.).
CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. - The U.S. Department of Labor's (DOL) Wage and Hour Division announced April 16 that seven Long Island, N.Y., restaurants will pay a total of $1,693,507.22 to 363 workers to settle wage and record-keeping violations (Thomas E. Perez v. Wasabi Japan Inc., dba Nishiki, et al., No. 14-1114, Thomas E. Perez v. DRMA Corp., dba Crystal Garden-Ronkonkoma, et al., No. 14-1116, Thomas E. Perez v. JTBR Corp., dba Hotoke, et al., No. 14-1117, Thomas E. Perez v. SBKU Services Inc., dba Kumo Sushi & Steakhouse, et al., No. 14-1118, Thomas E. Perez v. Wei Mei Restaurant Corp., dba Good Taste Buffet, et al., No. 14-1119, Thomas E. Perez v. KJSS Corp., dba Kashi Sushi & Steakhouse, et al., No. 14-1120, Thomas E. Perez v. LLP Restaurant Inc., dba Crystal Garden Buffet, et al., No. 14-1121, E.D. N.Y.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Embassy of France waived its right to sovereign immunity and must face a former employee's discrimination claims, a District of Columbia federal judge ruled April 17 (Saima Ashraf-Hassan v. Embassy of France in the United States, No. 11-805, D. D.C.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 53293).
NEW ORLEANS - The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 16 denied a petition filed by the National Labor Relations Board seeking a rehearing or rehearing en banc of a December panel decision allowing employers to condition employment on signing an arbitration agreement containing a class action waiver (D.R. Horton, Incorporated v. National Labor Relations Board, No. 12-60031, 5th Cir.).
MINNEAPOLIS - Three former National Hockey League (NHL) players filed a class complaint on April 15 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota, seeking financial compensation, injunctive relief and medical monitoring for concussions they allege are the result of the NHL's tortious and fraudulent misconduct (David Christian, et al. v. National Hockey League, No. 14-1140, D. Minn.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The actions of Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) supervisors may have been "unprofessional, uncivil, and somewhat boorish," but they did not rise to the level of race and gender discrimination, the District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled April 15 (Patricia A. Brooks v. Susan Tsui Grundmann, Chairman, Merit Systems Protection Board, No. 12-5171, D.C. Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 6942).
SAN FRANCISCO - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 15 held that there is no directors and officers (D&O) liability coverage for underlying allegations that an insured violated California Military and Veterans Code Section 394 and the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act when it fired an employee (Forest Meadows Owners Assoc. v. State Farm General Insurance Co., No. 12-16073, 9th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 6993).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - An administrative law judge properly found reliable marine animal expert testimony regarding the dangers killer whales pose to trainers at SeaWorld, a District of Columbia U.S. Court of Appeals panel held April 11 in affirming a workplace safety violation stemming from a trainer's death (SeaWorld of Florida v. Thomas E. Perez, No. 12-1375, D.C. Cir..; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 6660).