CINCINNATI - The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 30 partially reinstated wage claims brought by a food distributor's sales representatives who sued alleging that they were improperly misclassified as exempt from receiving overtime (Thomas E. Killion, et al. v. KeHE Distributors, LLC, Nos. 13-3357/4340, 6th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 14528).
BOSTON - A Boston University (BU) information technology employee who was laid off during a department reorganization failed to prove that his age cause his termination, the First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled July 30 (Michael Dunn v. Trustees of Boston University, No. 13-2272, 1st Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 14556).
PHILADELPHIA - A trial court, not an arbitrator, must decide whether employees' employment agreements that don't directly address it permit classwide arbitration, a Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled July 30, vacating the trial court's order directing an arbitrator to decide the matter (David Opalinski, et al. v. Robert Half International Inc., et al., No. 12-4444, 3rd Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 14538).
DENVER - The 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 28 reinstated one of five Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 claims filed by a former postmaster in which he claims that being placed on off-duty status was an adverse action because being placed on unpaid leave could dissuade a reasonable employee from engaging in a protected activity (Marvin Green v. Patrick R. Donahoe, Postmaster General, United States Postal Service, No. 13-1096, 10th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 14290).
RICHMOND, Va. - The Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 25 let stand the certification of a class of employees alleging hostile work environment claims, finding that the petition filed by the employer for interlocutory review of a trial court's refusal to decertify the class was untimely (Nucor Corporation, et al. v. Quinton Brown, et al., No. 14-154, 4th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 14182).
INDIANAPOLIS - An Indiana federal judge on July 28 conditionally certified a class of satellite television technicians who are paid per job but are seeking overtime compensation (Freddy Simmons, et al. v. Broadway Home Improvement Inc., d/b/a ABC Hi-Def Communications, et al., No. 14-483, S.D. Ind.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 102420).
SAN FRANCISCO - The Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act (FAAAA) does not preempt a California unfair competition law (UCL) lawsuit filed by the state alleging that a trucking company misclassifies drivers as independent contractors in order to avoid paying payroll taxes or provide workers' compensation, the California Supreme Court held July 28 (The People ex rel. Kamala D. Harris, etc. v. Pac Anchor Transportation, Inc., et al., No. S194388, Calif. Sup.; 2014 Cal. LEXIS 5181).
NEW YORK - The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 24 reinstated hostile work environment claims brought by a former employee of Telesector Resources Group Inc., doing business as Verizon Services Group, and ordered Verizon to compel certain documents requested by the former employee that may support her claims of gender bias (Cindy Moll v. Telesector Resources Group, Inc., DBA Verizon Services Group, AKA Verizon New York Inc., Nos. 12-4688 and 13-918, 2nd Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 14066).
NEW ORLEANS - The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 23 vacated a decision by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) finding that Dresser-Rand Co. committed numerous unfair labor practices by locking out its employees in the wake of a strike (Dresser-Rand Company v. National Labor Relations Board, No. 12-60638, 5th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 14018).
MARSHALL, Texas - A Texas federal judge on July 22 denied a motion to reconsider his decision to conditionally certify a class of workers seeking pay for overtime hours (Sandra Kelly, et al. v. Healthcare Services Group, Inc., No. 13-441, E.D. Texas; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 99025).
ATLANTA - The former IT director of a Florida law firm failed to prove that he was fired from his post after eight years due to his age, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled July 23, affirming a district court's ruling (Menas Barsorian v. Grossman Roth, P.A., No. 13-14156, 11th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 13945).
ST. LOUIS - A disability plan administrator did not abuse its discretion under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act in concluding that a participant's taking vitamin A supplements at his doctor's direction constituted medical treatment for purposes of the plan's pre-existing conditions exclusion clause, a divided Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled July 21 (Marc Kutten v. Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada, No. 13-2559, 8th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 13814).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on July 21 granted a motion to remand a former assistant store manager's wage-and-hour class complaint to state court, finding that the employer failed to show that the federal amount in controversy requirement was met (Payal Patel v. Nike Retail Services, Inc., No. 14-851, N.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 98918).
ANNAPOLIS, Md. - An asbestos-related lung cancer death is an indivisible injury not subject to apportionment, Maryland's top court held July 21 in a divided opinion affirming more than $4 million in verdicts (The Wallace & Gale Asbestos Settlement Trust v. Sonia Carter, et al., No. 84, September Term, 2013, Md. App.).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal magistrate judge on July 21 granted preliminary approval of a $504,000 settlement to end a wage class complaint filed by employees of a spa franchise, but he cautioned that prior to final approval, the parties must either explain why he erred in calculating the maximum recovery to be more than $6 million or why such a low recovery was warranted (Yvette R. Balderas, et al. v. Massage Envy Franchising, LLC, No. 12-6327, N.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 99966).
CHICAGO - A long-term disability (LTD) insurer wrongfully denied a claimant's request for benefits because the insurer refused to consider the claimant's medical evidence in support of the claim, an Illinois federal judge said July 18 in remanding the claim to the insurer for a proper determination of disability (Joseph Mirocha v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co., No. 13-5724, N.D. Ill.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 98025).
SAN FRANCISCO - Seven minor league baseball players filed a class complaint on July 21 in California federal court accusing 30 major league baseball clubs and the commissioner of Major League Baseball (collectively, MLB) of colluding to violate federal and state wage-and-hour laws and state unfair competition laws (Yadel Marti, et al. v. Office of the Commissioner of Baseball, et al., No. 14-3289, N.D. Calif.).
ST. LOUIS - A Missouri federal judge on July 21 granted conditional certification to a class of directly employed individuals and contract workers seeking wages for time spent donning, doffing and showering (Shane Bowman, et al. v. The Doe Run Resources Corp., et al., No. 13-2519, E.D. Mo.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 98333).
WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. - A Pennsylvania federal judge on July 18 partially granted conditional certification of a construction company worker's claims seeking unpaid overtime, adopting in part and rejecting in part the recommendations of a magistrate judge (Brian Soles, et al. v. Zartman Construction, Inc., et al., No. 13-29, M.D. Pa.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 98181).
PHILADELPHIA - A substitute teacher who was not chosen for a permanent full-time post failed to show that he was passed over due to age discrimination, the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled July 21 (Francis G. Landmesser v. Hazleton Area School District, No. 14-1188, 3rd Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 13822).
NEW ORLEANS - A member of a Texas city police department who was unable to perform all aspects of her job following the expiration of her medical leave was properly fired, a Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled July 17 (Mary Alice Silva v. City of Hidalgo, Texas, et al., No. 13-41064, 5th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 13658).
ST. LOUIS - Two former professional football players filed a class complaint in Missouri federal court July 17 accusing the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) and NFLPA officials of actively concealing the long-term damage to players caused by concussions (Christian Ballard, et al. v. National Football League Players Association, et al., No. 14-1267, E.D. Mo.).
DES MOINES, Iowa - The Iowa Supreme Court on July 18 upheld a trial court"s rejection of a class complaint alleging that the state unlawfully discriminates against black job applicants (Linda Pippen, et al. v. The State of Iowa, et al., No. 12-0913, Iowa Sup.; 2014 Iowa Sup. LEXIS 82).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Closely held companies terminating insurance coverage for contraceptive services mid-plan for religious reasons in light of Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, and subject to Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) regulations, must notify participants and beneficiaries of the change, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) confirmed July 17 in a "frequently asked question."
NEW ORLEANS - An assistant police chief whose employment was terminated when he turned 65 pursuant to a mandatory city ordinance failed to prove discriminatory intent on the part of his employer, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled July 17 (Nary Smith v. City of St. Martinville, No. 13-31233, 5th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 13697).