RIVERSIDE, Calif. - A California federal judge on June 22 denied a motion to remand a wage-and-hour class complaint seeking, in part, unpaid compensation for missed meal and rest breaks, finding that the amount in controversy exceeds $12 million (Belen Torrez, et al. v. Freedom Mortgage, Corp., et al., No. 17-867, C.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 97704).
NEW YORK - The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 22 reversed a district court's ruling that a disability insurer was entitled to offset a claimant's benefits based on the claimant's settlement of his personal injury claim after determining that New York law bars the disability insurer from offsetting benefits when a claim for personal injuries is settled (Salvatore Arnone v. Aetna Life Insurance Co., No. 15-2322, 2nd Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 11055).
COPPELL, Texas - A Texas charter school is a political subdivision of the state and is exempt from the National Labor Relation Act's (NLRA) jurisdiction, a National Labor Relations Board administrative law judge (ALJ) ruled June 21 (LTTS Charter School, Inc. d/b/a Universal Academy and Kimberly Free, No. 16-CA-170669, NLRB).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on June 26 agreed to decide whether the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010's whistleblower provision extends to individuals who have not reported the alleged misconduct to the Securities and Exchange Commission (Digital Realty Trust, Inc. v. Paul Somers, No. 16-1276, U.S. Sup.).
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on June 21 dismissed an Employee Retirement Income Security Act putative class action that alleged that a record keeper's advice arrangement constituted a breach of fiduciary duty resulting in excessive fees, saying that the plaintiff failed to allege facts showing that the defendants were ERISA fiduciaries with respect to their fees (Lisa Patrico v. Voya Financial Inc., et al., No. 16-cv-7070, S.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 95735).
CHICAGO - A racial bias claim brought by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on behalf of a sales manager who claimed that he was transferred out of a particular store because he was a different race than the surrounding neighborhood fails as the claimant must show an action that adversely affected his employment status, a Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled June 20 (United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. AutoZone, Inc., et al., No. 15-3201, 7th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 10903).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Review of a dismissal of a mixed case by the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) where, like the present case, an employee complains of adverse action prompted at least in part by the employing agency's violation of federal anti-discrimination laws must occur in the district court, rather than the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, a U.S. Supreme Court majority ruled June 23 (Anthony W. Perry v. Merit Systems Protection Board, No. 16-399, U.S. Sup.).
BOSTON - A Massachusetts federal judge on June 19 dismissed the remaining claims in an Employee Retirement Income Security Act class action, saying that the plaintiffs have failed to show that the defendants breached their duties of loyalty and prudence and failed to make a prima facie showing of loss (John Brotherston, et al. v. Putnam Investments LLC, et al., No. 1:15-cv-13825, D. Mass., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 93654).
BOSTON - A Massachusetts federal judge on June 19 granted Fidelity Management Trust Co.'s motion for summary judgment in a class action alleging that Fidelity breached its fiduciary duties pursuant to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act by mismanaging the Fidelity Group Employee Benefit Plan Managed Income Portfolio Comingled Pool (MIP), saying the plaintiffs did not carry their burden to establish a fiduciary breach (John Ellis, et al. v. Fidelity Management Trust Co., No 1:15-14128, D. Mass., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 93656).
OKLAHOMA CITY - On remand, a trial court must consider whether a woman's class action claiming that a hospital improperly sought collection from her in violation of its contract with her insurer invokes an Employee Retirement Income Security Act plan or whether the plan is merely part of the "factual backdrop" of the case, a divided Oklahoma Supreme Court held June 21 (Elizabeth Cates v. INTEGRIS Health Inc., No. 114314, Okla. Sup., 2017 Okla. LEXIS 53).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal jury returned a verdict on June 20 against Trans Union LLC in a class action accusing the credit-reporting agency of failing to provide proper disclosures and failing to ensure the maximum accuracy on its credit reports for individuals with names potentially matching the names of individuals on the U.S. government's list of terrorists and drug traffickers and individuals involved in activities related to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (Sergio L. Ramirez v. Trans Union, LLC, No. 12-632, N.D. Calif.).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A federal judge in California on June 15 granted class certification to a group of plaintiffs seeking reprocessing of mental health insurance claims after their insurer allegedly imposed overly strict definitions of medically necessary care in contravention of the plans' terms (Charles Des Roches, et al. v. California Physicians' Service, et al., No. 16-2848, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 92573).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on June 19 denied a petition for a writ of certiorari to review a judgment of the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling that a pension fund had no standing to assert breach of fiduciary duty claims under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act against its investment adviser for continuing to recommend investment in a Ponzi scheme when the adviser had privately expressed significant doubts about the continued prudence of that investment vehicle (Trustees of the Upstate New York Engineers Pension Fund v. Ivy Asset Management, et al., No. 16-1377, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The United States filed an amicus curiae brief on June 16 in the U.S. Supreme Court fully supporting the employers in three consolidated appeals challenging the barring of class or collective action waivers in employment agreements, noting that it was changing its position as it had previously filed a petition for a writ of certiorari on behalf of the National Labor Relations Board in one of the cases, NLRB v. Murphy Oil USA, Inc., et al., No. 16-307, U.S. Sup. (Epic Systems Corp. v. Jacob Lewis, No. 16-285, Ernst & Young, et al. v. Stephen Morris, et al., No. 16-300, NLRB v. Murphy Oil USA, Inc., et al., No. 16-307, U.S. Sup.).
NEW ORLEANS - The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 14 affirmed a district court's ruling that a disability insurer did not abuse its discretion in terminating a claimant's long-term disability benefits because there is substantial evidence supporting the insurer's termination of benefits (Lashondra Davis v. Aetna Life Insurance Co., No. 16-10895, 5th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 10576).
PHILADELPHIA - A Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on June 15 affirmed summary judgment for Johnson Controls Inc. in an Employee Income Retirement Act lawsuit, saying that language in collective bargaining agreements (CBAs) and insurance booklets indicates that the company never intended for retirees' health insurance benefits to vest (William Grove Sr., et al. v. Johnson Controls Inc., et al., No. 16-2178, 3rd Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 10615).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on June 19 denied a petition for writ of certiorari filed by Macy's Inc., seeking a ruling on "[w]hether the National Labor Relations Board must explain the legal significance of factual distinctions between included and excluded employees when deciding if a petitioned-for 'unit [is] appropriate for collective bargaining'" (Macy's Inc. v. National Labor Relations Board, No. 16-1016, U.S. Sup.).
CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on June 15 granted the Illinois Department of Human Services' motion for summary judgment in an Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) lawsuit, saying the plaintiff failed to show that any of the claims she alleged constituted a materially adverse employment action (Diannah Evans v. Illinois Department of Human Services, No. 15-cv-4098, N.D. Ill., Eastern Div., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 91908).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - AARP and the AARP Foundation on June 15 filed an amicus curiae brief with the U.S. Supreme Court asking the high court to review an "errant" Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals holding that no damages beyond lost wages are available in retaliation cases under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), saying the appeals panel's reasoning runs counter to the underlying logic of many of the high court's opinions (Susan L. Vaughan v. Anderson Regional Medical Center, No. 16-1386, U.S. Sup.).
SAN FRANCISCO - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 12 affirmed a district court's ruling that the termination of a disability claim was reasonable based on the plan's mental health coverage limitation and the medical evidence considered by the disability insurer (Kathee A. Colman v. American International Group Inc. Group Benefit Plan, et al., No. 15-15903, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 10394).
SAN DIEGO - After finding that a proposed settlement of class action claims seeking penalties under the Private Attorneys General Act of 2004 (PAGA) did not leave the class members with a clear option for asserting their non-PAGA claims, a California federal judge on June 12 denied a joint motion for approval of the agreement (David Vargas v. Central Freight Lines Inc., et al., No. 3:16-cv-00507, S.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 90070).
ORLANDO, Fla. - A woman who alleges that her age was the motivating factor in a decision to not renew her employment contract has established a prima facie case of age discrimination, a Florida federal judge ruled June 12, finding that genuine issues of fact precluded granting her former employer's motion for summary judgment (Carmel Saxon v. Seminole County Public Schools, No. 6:15-cv-01854, M.D. Fla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 89663).
RICHMOND, Va. - A Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on June 13 affirmed the grant of summary judgment to defendants in a case where a plaintiff sued under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act seeking additional reimbursement for a series of steroid knee injections that an orthopedic surgeon administered to his spouse, finding no abuse of discretion in the defendants' decision to not provide additional insurance coverage and no error in the trial court's refusal to consider information that the plaintiff failed to provide during the administrative appeals process (Monte Hooper, et al. v. UnitedHealthcare Insurance Co., et al., No. 15-2157, 4th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 10482).
COLUMBUS, Ohio - A man who claims that J.P. Morgan Chase Co. (JPMC) violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and Ohio Fair Employment Practices Act by denying his request for parental leave on the ground that only women can be primary caregivers for children on June 14 filed a charge asking the Ohio Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to investigate his allegations on a classwide basis.
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A California federal judge on June 9 granted in part and denied in part a retired bus driver's motion to conditionally certify a collective action under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) (Robert Estorga v. Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority, No. 16-02668, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 89200).