ATLANTA - The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Nov. 25 affirmed the dismissal of an action Indian stateroom workers filed against a cruise line to vacate an arbitration award, finding that the action was barred under a three-month limitation period (Agnelo Gonsalvez, et al. v. Celebrity Cruises Inc., 13-11189, 11th Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 23629).
ATLANTA - A chaplain resident who was fired by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) failed to prove pretext because the supervisor who allegedly made a biased statement did not participate in the termination decision, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Nov. 25 (Bernard Campbell v. Eric Shinseki, Secretary, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, No. 13-11974, 11th Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 23611).
PHILADELPHIA - A former customer service representative failed to prove her claims of race discrimination, hostile work environment and retaliation, the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Nov. 25 (Leandra Allen v. Nutrisystem, Inc., No. 13-2505, 3rd Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 23627).
NEW YORK - The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Nov. 21 affirmed a ruling that a coffee chain's policy of allowing shift supervisors to participate in tip pooling does not violate New York Labor Law Section 196-d (Jeana Barenboim, et al. v. Starbucks Corporation, No. 10-4912, 2nd Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 23370).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Nov. 21 granted preliminary approval of a $415,000 settlement in a class complaint seeking reimbursement for managers employed by a chain of home goods stores who were not reimbursed when they used their personal vehicles for business purposes (Sean Boring, et al. v. Bed Bath & Beyond of California Limited Liability Company, No. 12-5259, N.D. Calif.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 165909).
HARRISBURG, Pa. - The exclusivity provision in Pennsylvania's workers' compensation act does not bar a tort action when the injury arises outside the act's 300-week limit for compensation, the state Supreme Court held Nov. 22 in a 5-1 opinion reinstating two asbestos actions (Kathleen Tooey, et al. v. AK Steel Corp., et al., Spurgeon E. Landis and Mary Landis v. A.W.Chesterton Co., et al., Nos. 21 WAP 2011, 22 WAP 2011, Pa. Sup.).
HOUSTON - A Texas federal judge on Nov. 19 conditionally certified a class of security guards working for the same company, some as employees and some as independent contractors, in a Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) suit seeking unpaid overtime (Ibrahim Abdur-Rahim, et al. v. Amerom, Inc., et al., No. 13-2105, S.D. Texas; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 164221).
ST. LOUIS - The Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Nov. 18 upheld a federal jury's verdict in favor of a terminated employee on one of his claims in his complaint alleging that he was laid off after reporting a supervisor's offensive language on the job (Tony Sayger v. Riceland Foods, Inc., Nos. 12-3301 and 12-3395, 8th Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 23184).
TAMPA, Fla. - A Florida federal judge on Nov. 15 denied for a second time class certification in a lawsuit filed by independent contractors (ICs) alleging breach of contract and other violations by FedEx National LTL Inc. (Britt Green Trucking, Inc., et al. v. FedEx National, LTL, Inc., No. 09-445, M.D. Fla.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 4130).
SAN FRANCISCO - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Nov. 18 denied a petition for permission to appeal an Aug. 2 district court order denying class certification in the more than decade-long gender bias complaint against Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (Betty Dukes, et al. v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., No. 13-80184, 9th Cir.).
CHICAGO - A Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Nov. 15 reinstated an Illinois man's complaint against an employer alleging that he was denied a position as a truck driver based on his race and age, after determining that his attempts to amend his complaint were not untimely (Eddie L. Rainey v. Lipari Foods, Inc. and Thom Lipari, No. 13-2225, 7th Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 23056).
JOHNSTOWN, Pa. - A health insurance company's motion to dismiss a call center manager's wage-and-hour class complaint was denied Nov. 15 by a Pennsylvania federal judge (Jacqueline Rummel, et al. v. Highmark, Inc., No. 13-87, W.D. Pa.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 162757).
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. - A New York federal judge on Nov. 14 partially granted the defendants' motion to dismiss a health care reimbursement dispute (Bridget M. Curran v. Aetna Life Insurance Co., et al., No. 13-289, S.D. N.Y.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 163162).
RICHMOND, Va. - A split Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Nov. 14 denied a petition for a panel rehearing filed by a discount retail chain facing a reinstated gender bias and equal pay class action (Luanna Scott, et al. v. Family Dollar Stores, Inc., No. 12-1610, 4th Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. 22961).
ORLANDO, Fla. - A Florida federal judge on Nov. 15 ordered that a wage-and-hour class complaint must be decided by an arbitrator but left the matter of whether the claims would proceed on an individual or collective basis up to the arbitrator (Ryan Jackson v. Home Team Pest Defense, Inc., No. 13-916, M.D. Fla.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 163068).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Nov. 15 dismissed a class complaint filed by a retail store clerk who filed various wage-and-hour claims based on the employer's alleged failure to provide meal and rest breaks, finding that the lead plaintiff's failure to show that the lack of breaks was due to the employer not providing them (Patrick Bellinghausen v. Tractor Supply Company, et al., No. 13-2377, N.D. Calif.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 163193).
BOSTON - A former Maine county employee hired to oversee workforce development being funded by federal dollars failed to show that she was fired in retaliation for blowing the whistle on the lack of a formal fiscal agent agreement, the First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Nov. 15, upholding a trial court ruling (Dena Winslow v. Aroostook County, No. 13-1319, 1st Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 23068).
NEW ORLEANS - A Texas federal court judge erred in reducing an award of costs to an employer that prevailed in a wage-and-hour suit based on the difference between the employer's and employees' wealth, a split Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Nov. 12 (Steve Moore, et al. v. CITGO Refining and Chemicals Company, L.P., No. 12-41175, 5th Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 22834).
DENVER - A Colorado federal judge on Nov. 13 granted approval of a $2.49 million settlement ending a collective action filed by salaried assistant general managers (AGMs) of a fast food chain seeking unpaid overtime (Jaquelyn Ann Whittington, et al. v. Taco Bell of America, Inc., et al., No. 10-1884, D. Colo.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 161665).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - An agreement between an employer and union regarding access to the premises, employee information, monetary support for a ballot initiative and a promise not to picket did not violate Section 302 of the Labor Management Relations Act (LMRA), an attorney representing Unite Here Local 355 told the U.S. Supreme Court on Nov. 13 (Unite Here Local 355 v. Martin Mulhall, et al., No. 12-99, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The whistle-blower protection provision of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act protects both contractors and subcontractors working for private companies employed by public companies, the attorney representing two workers told the U.S. Supreme Court in oral arguments on Nov. 12 (Jackie Hosang Lawson, et al. v. FMR LLC, et al., No. 12-3, U.S. Sup.).
OAKLAND, Calif. - A California federal judge on Nov. 8 denied a plaintiff's motion for a temporary restraining order to keep her health insurance company from allegedly wrongfully denying benefits for her continued residential treatment for eating disorders (Alison O. v. Anthem Blue Cross Life and Health Insurance Co., No. 13-4787, N. D. Calif.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 160663).
CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on Nov. 8 denied a motion to dismiss a class complaint accusing a motel chain of privacy violations related to its installation of a monitoring and recording system on its phone system (Robert C. Burrow, et al. v. Sybaris Clubs International, Inc., et al., No. 13-2342, N.D. Ill.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 159817).
NEW ORLEANS - Former UBS Financial Services Inc. financial advisers and branch managers must arbitrate their claims that the company violated the Employee Retirement Income Security Act by deeming certain funds in their benefits plan forfeited upon their separation from the company, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Nov. 11 in an unpublished opinion (Bill Hendricks, et al. v. UBS Financial Services, Incorporated, Nos. 13-40692, 13-40693, 5th Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 22779).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Nov. 12 denied review of a divided en banc Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling that the Employee Retirement Income Security Act permits health plan fiduciaries to seek reimbursement for medical benefits the plan paid on behalf of a participant from a special needs trust funded by a third-party tortfeasor settlement (Larry Griffin Special Needs Trust, et al. v. ACS Recovery Services, Inc., et al., No. 13-182, U.S. Sup.).