HOUSTON - A Texas federal judge on Oct. 25 conditionally certified a class of waste and recycling truck drivers seeking overtime pay (Catalino Villegas, et al. v. Grace Disposal Systems, LLC d/b/a Royal Disposal & Recycling, et al., No. 13-320, S.D. Texas; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 153382).
NEW YORK - A disability plan governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act did not act arbitrarily or capriciously in classifying a participant's disability as a mental illness, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed Oct. 23 (Robert Veryzer, Ph.D., v. American International Life Assurance Company of New York, No. 13-262, 2nd Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 21475).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A California federal judge on Oct. 24 granted a supplemental motion for class certification in an antitrust suit accusing 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.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 153752).
SAN FRANCISCO - Participants in eligible individual account plans (EIAPs) sponsored by a drug manufacturer sufficiently alleged that the plans' fiduciaries breached their fiduciary duty of care imposed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act by retaining company stock in the plans when the stock price was artificially inflated because the company was marketing risky "off label" uses of the drugs, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Oct. 23 in an opinion withdrawing its earlier opinion (Harris, et al. v. Amgen, Inc., et al., No. 10-56014, 9th Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 21503).
SAN FRANCISCO - A split Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Oct. 24 ruled that $125,000 is the maximum punitive damages award in a Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 sexual harassment suit where no compensatory damages were awarded and only $1 in nominal damages was awarded (State of Arizona, et al. v. ASARCO LLC, No. 11-17484, 9th Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 21613).
RICHMOND, Va. - A former Virginia school district's maintenance director may proceed with his age bias claim because a statement that he wished to retire did not equal a submission of a retirement notice, the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Oct. 22 (Alexander Harris v. Powhatan County School Board, No. 12-2091, 4th Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 21393).
DENVER - The 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Oct. 22 upheld the dismissal of a former grocery store employee's suit seeking to review the documentation related to payroll deductions that were to be funneled into an investment fund, finding both failure to state a plausible claim and an expiration of the statute of limitations (Markesha Monique Chase v. Chris L. Divine, et al., No. 13-5081, 10th Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 21402).
CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on Oct. 17 granted in large part a motion by an employee to compel his employer to answer his discovery requests related to his wage-and-hour class complaint (Jimmy Jenkins v. White Castle Management Co., No. 12-7273, N.D. Ill.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 149363).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Oct. 18 granted final approval of a $1.7 million settlement ending a wage-and-hour suit filed by temporary health care workers placed in various California facilities during labor disputes (Shameka Bolton, et al. v. U.S. Nursing Corp., et al., No. 12-4466, N.D. Calif.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 150299).
STATESBORO, Ga. - A Georgia federal judge on Oct. 16 dismissed a national origin discrimination claim brought by a group of American seasonal farm workers but granted the workers' motion for conditional certification of their wage-and-hour claim in a lawsuit in which the workers claim that alien workers were paid more than American workers (Sherry Tomason, et al. v. R.T. Stanley, Jr., et al., No. 13-42, S.D. Ga.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 148932).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 21 granted motions in the appeal of a labor dispute seeking leave for the solicitor general to participate in oral arguments and for divided argument (Unite Here Local 355 v. Martin Mulhall, et al., No. 12-99, U.S. Sup.).
PHILADELPHIA - A New Jersey federal judge erred when she granted an employer's motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict setting aside a jury's ruling for a former employee on his perceived disability claim, a Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Oct. 17 (Russell P. Swiatek, et al. v. Bemis Company, Inc., et al., No. 11-4333, 3rd Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 21024).
PHILADELPHIA - A grocery store chain violated its collective bargaining agreement when it gave wage increases and higher starting wages to certain employees in one of its Pennsylvania stores without first obtaining consent from the union, the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Oct. 16 (Giant Eagle, Inc. v. United Food & Commercial Workers Union Local 23, No. 12-4588, 3rd Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 20917).
SAN FRANCISCO - A surviving spouse's state law claim to proceeds of a life insurance policy pursuant to community property law is preempted by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed Oct. 15 in an unpublished opinion (Devon Larie Orr v. Michelle Orr, No. 12-35560, 9th Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 20809).
RICHMOND, Va. - A Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Oct. 16 vacated an order by the National Labor Relations Board finding that an automotive components manufacturer violated the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) after determining the NLRB lacked a quorum at the time the order was issued (Gestamp South Carolina, L.L.C. v. National Labor Relations Board, No. 11-2362, National Labor Relations Board v. Gestamp South Carolina, L.L.C., No. 12-1041, 4th Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 20898).
CAMDEN, N.J. - A New Jersey federal magistrate judge on Oct. 11 denied a motion by a glass manufacturer seeking a protective order regarding its wage-and-hour compliance reports (Cindy Bobryk, et al. v. Durand Glass Manufacturing Company, Inc., No. 12-5360, D. N.J.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 147564).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 15 denied a motion to direct the clerk to file a petition for writ of certiorari out of time in the appeal of a racial discrimination case involving the assignment of work (Reggie Anders v. Cellco Partnership, dba Verizon Wireless, No. 13M36, U.S. Sup.; 2013 U.S. LEXIS 7510).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A beneficiary's claim for wrongful denial of disability benefits under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act does not accrue for limitations purposes until the plan's internal benefits resolution process has been exhausted, notwithstanding a plan provision providing that the limitations period commences before the plan has resolved the claim for benefits, a plan participant told the U.S. Supreme Court in oral arguments on Oct. 15 (Julie Heimeshoff v. Hartford Life & Accident Insurance Co., et al., No. 12-729, U.S. Sup.).
KANSAS CITY, Kan. - A pro se plaintiff alleging breach of fiduciary duty under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act may join 27 individual defendants, including partners of the plan's sponsor and directors and officers of the plan's insurer, a federal magistrate judge in Kansas ruled Oct. 10 (Kristopher Yarbary v. Martin, Pringle, Oliver, Wallace & Bauer, L.L.P., et al., No. 12-2773, D. Kan.; Ralph G. Mabone v. Martin, Pringle, Oliver, Wallace & Bauer, L.L.P., et al., No. 12-2794, D. Kan.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 146291).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 15 in a per curiam, one-sentence decision dismissed the appeal of a government worker's age discrimination case "as improvidently granted" (Lisa Madigan, et al. v. Harvey Levin, No. 12-872, U.S. Sup.; 2013 U.S. LEXIS 7251).
ATLANTA - A Georgia federal judge on Oct. 10 granted a pharmacy chain's motion for summary judgment as to a former employee's declaratory judgment claim but denied a motion to decertify a wage-and-hour claim (Philip Bradford, et al. v. CVS Pharmacy, Inc., No. 12-1159, N.D. Ga.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 146501).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Oct. 10 granted a lead plaintiff's request for equitable tolling of prospective plaintiffs' claims in a class complaint filed by a trainer accusing his employer of requiring workers to work "off the clock," failing to reimburse certain business expenses and failing to provide meal and rest breaks (Osabemi-Ye Adedapoidle-Tyehimba, et al. v. Crunch LLC, et al., No. 13-225, N.D. Calif.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 147531).
DENVER - A domestic partner who is not legally married to a health plan participant lacks standing to assert a claim for benefits under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act and, therefore, the health care provider who was assigned the domestic partner's rights also lacks standing, the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Oct. 9 in an unpublished opinion (Denver Health and Hospital Authority v. Beverage Distributors Company, LLC, et al., No. 12-1355, 10th Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 20537).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - An animal rights activist's allegations that circus employees' harassment necessitated longer recordings and forced her to purchase additional memory cards satisfies the California unfair competition law (UCL) injury standard, a federal judge held Oct. 4 (Shannon Campbell and Mark Ennis v. Feld Entertainment Inc., James Dennis, Matthew Gillett, Mike Stuart, David Bailey, DOES 1 through 20, Nos. 12-4233, 13-0233, N.D. Calif.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 145495).
NEW ORLEANS - A school teacher who was terminated after she exhausted her medical leave and was unable to provide a date on which she would return to work failed to provide claims of discrimination or retaliation, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Oct. 8, upholding a trial court (Karen Darlene Mann Owens v. Calhoun County School District, No. 12-60897, 5th Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 20498).