WASHINGTON, D.C. - A District of Columbia federal judge on Sept. 4 declined to certify a class of current and former nonliturgical Protestant U.S. Navy chaplains who allege that they were subjected to religious discrimination (In Re: Navy Chaplaincy, No. 07-269, D. D.C.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 122936).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Security officers formerly employed in federal courts may amend their complaint to add claims for newly fired officers, a District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Sept. 5, partially reversing a trial court (Ann J. Barkley, et al. v. United States Marshals Services, et al., No. 12-5306, D.C. Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 17191).
ATLANTA - A former U.S. Postal Service (USPS) worker failed to prove claims that she was subjected to a hostile work environment and harassment, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Sept. 3 upholding a trial court's decision (Erainnia B. Byrd v. Postmaster General, et al., No. 13-15914, 11th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 17055).
BOSTON - A university employee who needed on-the-job accommodations due to Crohn's disease failed to show that the nonrenewal of her contract constituted disability discrimination, the First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Sept. 2 (Maria J. Collazo-Rosado v. University of Puerto Rico, et al., No. 13-1641, 1st Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 16914).
CHICAGO - The Indiana Right to Work Act is not preempted by federal labor legislation and does not violate any constitutional rights, a split Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Sept. 2 (James M. Sweeney, et al. v. Michael Pence, Governor of the State of Indiana, et al., No. 13-1264, 7th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 16896).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A California judge on Aug. 29 granted preliminary approval to a settlement agreement between the State of California and eBay Inc. in which the company will pay $3.75 million to settle claims that it harmed employees and the state's economy by agreeing to not hire workers from another Silicon Valley employer (The State of California v. eBay, Inc., No. 12-5874, N.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 121349).
NEW ORLEANS - Certain restrictions placed on a police detective that hinder his ability to perform his job duties following a suspension may constitute an adverse employment action, a divided Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Sept. 3 (Allen Thompson v. City of Waco, Texas, No. 13-50718, 5th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 17089).
COLUMBUS, Ohio - Manufacturers present at a man's deposition did not share the required similar motives or predecessor-in-interest status with an employer embroiled in a workers' compensation case involving asbestos exposure, a divided Ohio Supreme Court held Sept. 3 in excluding the testimony (Mary Lou Burkhart v. H.J. Heinz Co., et al., No. 2013-0580, Ohio Sup.).
PITTSBURGH - A Pennsylvania federal judge on Aug. 29 conditionally certified a class of former Department of Veterans Affairs nurses suing over unpaid pension benefits for the sole purpose of providing class members with notice that they are eligible for recalculation of their annuities (Sylvia Wigton, et al. v. Elaine Kaplan, Director of the United States Office of Personnel Management, No. 10-1768, W.D. Pa.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 120696).
LOS ANGELES - The State of California and its governor filed a notice on Aug. 29 in the Los Angeles County Superior Court that they will appeal the decision, made final on Aug. 27, that five state statutes regarding the employment and retention of teachers that were challenged by California students are all unconstitutional (Beatriz Vergara, et al. v. State of California, et al., No. BC484642, Calif. Super., Los Angeles Co.).
ATLANTA - The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 28 affirmed a federal court's decision to dismiss a homeowner's complaint against a bank and a law firm in relation to the foreclosure of his home, finding that he failed to properly serve the complaint and for failure to state a claim (Ronald Fitzpatrick v. The Bank of New York Mellon, et al., No. 14-10051, 11th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 16595).
PHILADELPHIA - Pennsylvania would not burden employers with a duty to protect against take-home asbestos exposures given the weight the state gives public policy considerations, the judge overseeing the federal asbestos multidistrict litigation held Aug. 27 (Marilyn Gillen v. The Boeing Co., et al., No. MDL 875, 13-3118, E.D. Pa.).
PHILADELPHIA - Philadelphia-area health care workers who alleged wage violations in five separate class actions failed to prove that any of the named plaintiffs actually worked any overtime hours for which they were not paid, the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Aug. 26 in a single opinion addressing all of the cases (Collette Davis, et al. v. Abington Memorial Hospital, et al., No. 12-3512, Kenneth Lynn, et al. v. Aria Health System, et al., No. 12-3514, Kenneth Lynn, et al. v. Jefferson Health System, et al., No. 12-3515, Cassandra Ruff, et al. v. Albert Einstein Healthcare Network, et al., No. 12-3521, John Duncheskie, et al. v. Temple University Health, et al., No. 12-3522, 3rd Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 16472).
RENO, Nev. - A Nevada federal judge on Aug. 26 granted an insurer's motion for summary judgment on an insured's claim for tortious breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, leaving only the breach of contract claims to survive in a coverage dispute over an underlying Employee Retirement Income Security Act lawsuit (International Game Technology Inc. v. Federal Insurance Co., No. 13-00026, D. Nev.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 118961).
PHILADELPHIA - A hospital worker who was told by her employer to continue her leave after her doctor cleared her to return to work may proceed with claims that her former employer interfered with her rights under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and retaliated against her for taking leave, the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Aug. 27, partially vacating a trial court ruling in favor of the employer (Vanessa Budhun v. Reading Hospital and Medical Center, No. 11-4625, 3rd Cir.).
PORTLAND, Ore. - A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel issued two opinions on Aug. 27, finding that FedEx Ground Package System Inc. drivers were employees, not contractors, as a matter of law under Oregon and California law (Edward Slayman, et al. v. FedEx Ground Package System, Inc., DBA FedEx Home Delivery, Inc., Nos. 12-35525 and 12-35559; Dean Alexander, et al. v. FedEx Ground Package System, Inc., DBA FedEx Home Delivery, Nos. 12-17458 and 12-17509, 9th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 16585).
LOS ANGELES - A former transportation supervisor failed to show that all employees with that title had the same duties and that a class action is the superior method to adjudicate the employees' wage-and-hour claims, a California federal judge ruled Aug. 22 (Curtis Hamilton, et al. v. Genesis Logistics, Inc., No. 13-1848, C.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 117607).
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Alabama employers owe a duty to prevent foreseeable injuries arising from take-home asbestos exposures, and the state would adopt the substantial factor causation standard, a federal judge held Aug. 26 (Melissa Ann Bobo and Sharon Jean Cox, as co-personal representatives of the estate of Barbara Bobo v. Tennessee Valley Authority, No. 12-1930, N.D. Ala.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 117917).
NEW YORK - A Connecticut detective may proceed with his claims that denying his repeated requests to be assigned to a special unit that investigates homicides constituted race discrimination, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Aug. 26 in its second consideration of the appeal by the detective (Frederick M. Abrams v. Department of Public Safety, State of Connecticut, et al., No. 13-111, 2nd Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 16490).
ST. PAUL, Minn. - The Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 25 upheld a trial court's ruling finding that Tyson Foods Inc. meat-processing workers are not owed wages for time spent donning and doffing equipment and clothing beyond the compensation the employer already provides to them (Maria Guyton, et al. v. Tyson Foods, Inc., doing business as Tyson Fresh Meats, Inc., No. 13-2036, 8th Cir.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 16278).
ST. PAUL, Minn. - A split Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Aug. 25 affirmed a final judgment totaling $5,785,757.40 for a class of employees who sued Tyson Foods Inc., alleging that they were denied pay for overtime activities including donning and doffing before and after their shifts (Peg Bouaphakeo, et al. v. Tyson Foods, Inc., No. 12-3753, 8th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 16283).
BALTIMORE - Although a Maryland federal judge on Aug. 21 declined to permit an employment discrimination plaintiff to add disputed claims to his complaint, the judge agreed to narrow the scope of third-party subpoenas served on the plaintiff's subsequent employers and to grant a protective order to cover material unrelated to the present case (Unray Peters Sr. v. Baltimore City Board of School Commissioners, No. 1:13-cv-03114, D. Md.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 116338).
CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on Aug. 22 denied a health plan sponsor and insurer summary judgment on a breach of fiduciary claim in a health care denial of benefits dispute, saying a summary judgment motion was not the proper forum for deciding the issue (James E. Killian v. Concert Health Plan, et al., No. 07-4755, N.D. Ill.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 116835).
MADISON, Wis. - The transfer of asbestos fibers from a workplace to a car or home does not negate the exclusivity provision of the Wisconsin Workers' Compensation Act, a federal judge held Aug. 22, granting dismissals in six cases (Milton Boyer and Kathy Boyer v. Weyerhaeuser Co., et al., No. 14-286, W.D. Wis.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 117062).
SAN FRANCISCO - National cleaning products company Hillyard Inc. will pay $750,000 to settle class claims that it violated California labor laws and unfair competition law (UCL) by failing to reimburse sales representatives for work-related expenses in a deal that received preliminary approval from a federal magistrate judge on Aug. 22 on the third try (Lawrence Daniel Christensen, et al. v. Hillyard, Inc., No. 13-4389, N.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 117499).