BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - An Alabama federal judge on June 11 ruled that a denial of disability coverage should be mediated or remanded for a full and fair administrative review because a number of questions regarding the claimant's physical and mental disabilities remain unanswered (Karen Criss v. Union Security Insurance Co., No. 13-685, N.D. Ala.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 79300).
DENVER - An employer that attempted to re-enter a multiemployer pension plan following the expiration of its collective bargaining agreement without following the required procedures is liable for withdrawal liability under the Multiemployer Pension Plan Amendment Act and is not entitled to a refund of the money it paid to the plan after it withdrew, the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled June 10 in an unpublished order (Trustees of the Utah Carpenters' and Cement Masons' Pension Trust, et al. v. Elizabeth Loveridge, Trustee for Perry Olsen Drywall, Inc., Nos. 13-4025, 13-4120, 10th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 10731).
ATLANTA - A 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on June 11 upheld a summary judgment ruling for an employer accused by an almost-employee of improperly revoking a job offer following a medical exam in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) (John Wetherbee v. The Southern Company, et al., No. 13-10305, 11th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 10843).
NEW ORLEANS - A Louisiana federal judge on June 9 denied a motion to reconsider his determination that plaintiffs could continue their Employee Retirement Income Security Act claims in a health care reimbursement suit, saying that the defendant failed to raise any new issues (Center for Restorative Breast Surgery, et al. v. Humana Health Benefit Plan of Louisiana, et al., No. 10-4346, E.D. La.).
NEW YORK - The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 10 found that a commercial general liability insurer has a duty to defend its insured against underlying Employee Retirement Income Security Act claims, vacating and remanding for the lower court to determine whether the insurer also has a duty to indemnify (Euchner-USA, INC., et al. v. Hartford Casualty Insurance Co., No. 13-2021-cv, 2nd Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 10797).
CINCINNATI - A strategic sourcing manager who failed to disclose a prior termination during the hiring process was unable to prove that her firing, once her past was found out, was in any way improper, the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled June 9 (Venus Springs v. United States Department of Treasury, et al., No. 13-1521, 6th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 10689).
NEW YORK - An arbitrator acted within his authority when he applied the doctrine of collateral estoppel against American Postal Workers Union (APWU), the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled June 6, reversing the judgment of a trial court (American Postal Workers Union, AFL-CIO v. United States Postal Service, No. 13-2579, 2nd Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 10641).
ST. PAUL, Minn. - A Minnesota appeals court on June 9 affirmed a summary judgment ruling in favor of a nursing home and care center, finding that a former employee failed to show that she suffered an adverse employment action after making complaints about mold growth (Joni Quam v. St. Francis Health Services of Morris, et al., No. 13-1437, Minn. App.; 2014 Minn. App. Unpub. LEXIS 553).
LOS ANGELES - Five California statutes regarding the employment and retention of teachers that were challenged by California students are all unconstitutional, a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge found in a tentative decision issued June 10 (Beatriz Vergara, et al. v. State of California, et al., No. BC484642, Calif. Super., Los Angeles Co.).
SAN FRANCISCO - A pension plan participant who challenged the termination of benefits following the plan's rediscovery that he had not met the plan's vesting requirements failed to demonstrate that he was entitled to any equitable remedies available under Employee Retirement Income Security Act Section 502(a)(3), the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled June 6 in a divided opinion (Gregory R. Gabriel v. Alaska Electrical Pension Fund, et al., No. 12-35458, 9th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 10553).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on June 9 denied a petition for certiorari filed by a seaman who sought review of a decision that his injury-related claims must be arbitrated under his employment contact with a cruise line (Mahaveer Singh v. Carnival Corp., No. 13-1203, U.S. Sup.).
ST. LOUIS - The Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 5 reinstated a Nebraska woman's race discrimination claim against her former employer, finding that her prior filings were sufficient to raise a claim under 42 U.S. Code Section 1981 (Ruth C. Coleman v. Correct Care Solutions, No. 14-1096, 8th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 10450).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on June 9 let stand a Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling regarding the appropriate standard of review and the enforcement of an equitable lien by agreement in a disability insurance case arising under the Employment Retirement Income Security Act (Sharon Thurber v. Aetna Life Insurance Co., et al., No. 13-130, U.S. Sup.).
NEW ORLEANS - A claims administrator did not abuse its discretion in finding that a man's death by cardiac arrest was caused by something that constituted an accident under a welfare plan governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed June 6 in an unpublished opinion (Pamela L. Parsons v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, No. 13-60895, 5th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 10600).
ATLANTA - The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 4 affirmed the imposition of $12,000 in sanctions against an attorney who was found to have filed an untimely Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 claim (Shawn D. Jackson v. Hall County Government, State of Georgia, et al., No. 13-14299, 11th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 10339).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A collective bargaining agreement (CBA), through its terms, may not alter the way in which the Office of Inspector General (OIG) conducts its investigations, the District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled June 3 (United States Department of Homeland Security U.S. Customs and Border Protection v. Federal Labor Relations Authority, No. 12-1457, D.C. Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 10231).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 3 reinstated a former security guard's age bias claim against his former employer, finding that two statements made by a supervisor that referenced age constituted direct evidence of discrimination (Theodore R. Wilson v. Timothy C. Cox, Chief Operating Officer, Armed Forces Retirement Home and United States of America, No. 12-5070, D.C. Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 10233).
PASADENA, Calif. - A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel majority on June 3 upheld a class settlement between a janitorial company and franchisees who claimed that they were misclassified as independent contractors and had their franchise agreements breached, finding the terms fair and adequate (Sabrina Laguna, et al. v. Coverall North America, Inc., et al., No. 12-55479, 9th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 10259).
NEWARK, N.J. - A New Jersey federal judge on May 29 conditionally certified a collective action filed by title examiners who allege that their employer improperly included additional compensation they received for certain tasks when calculating their overtime rate (Cora Bath, et al. v. Red Vision Systems, Inc., No. 13-2366, D. N.J.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 73563).
WILMINGTON, Del. - Bankrupt FBI Wind Down Inc. (FBI), formerly known as Furniture Brands International Inc., on June 2 filed a brief in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware objecting to individual pension claims filed against the bankruptcy estate on grounds they are not permitted under the Bankruptcy Code (In Re: FBI Wind Down Inc. f/k/a Furniture Brands International Inc., No. 13-12329, Chapter 11, D. Del. Bkcy.).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A California federal judge on May 30 sent a wage-and-hour class complaint against a bookstore chain back to state court, finding that the employer failed to prove that the amount in controversy exceeds $5 million (Cassandra Carag, et al. v. Barnes & Noble, Inc., et al., No. 14-481, E.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 74215).
NEW YORK - Morgan Stanley's decision to make company contributions to defined contribution plans with company stock after the fund was already active is not a fiduciary act, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled May 29 in affirming the dismissal of participants' stock-drop claims under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (G. Kenneth Coulter, et al. v. Morgan Stanley & Co. Incorporated, et al., Nos. 13-2504-cv, 13-2509, 2nd Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 10027).
OAKLAND, Calif. - A California federal judge on May 28 granted a motion to remand a wage-and-hour class complaint filed by an hourly manager against Urban Outfitters Wholesale Inc., doing business as Anthropologie, finding that the employer failed to prove that the amount in controversy exceeds $5 million (Shakora Abdulhaqq, et al. v. Urban Outfitters Wholesale, Inc., D/B/A Anthropologie, a Pennsylvania corporation, et al., No. 13-3184, N.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 73356).
OAKLAND, Calif. - Just one day after remanding a wage-and-hour class complaint filed by hourly managers employed by Urban Outfitters Wholesale Inc., doing business as Anthropologie, a California federal judge on May 29 withdrew that order, finding that the plaintiffs had failed to refile their remand motion after it was struck as premature (Alexander Moore, et al. v. Urban Outfitters Wholesale, Inc., D/B/A Anthropologie, a Pennsylvania corporation, et al., No. 13-2245, N.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 73218).
CHICAGO - A split Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 28 denied a petition for rehearing and for rehearing en banc in the appeal of the dismissal of a lawsuit filed against two poultry processing companies accused of failing to pay their employees for time spent donning and doffing safety gear (Rochelle Mitchell, et al. v. JCG Industries, Inc., et al., No. 13-2115, 7th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 10073).