Employer did not waive right to arbitrate current wage claims by settling previous lawsuit alleging similar claims

Despite settling a previous minimum-wage suit filed by one of the plaintiffs, an employer did not waive its right to arbitrate newly filed FLSA and state-law claims, a federal district court in Illinois ruled (Goodale v George S. May Int’l Co, April 5, 2011, Hibbler, W). The plaintiffs filed claims under the FLSA and state […]

EEOC’s suit alleges that Iowa workers with intellectual disabilities were abused by Texas-based company for more than 20 years

A group of 31 men with intellectual disabilities were subjected to severe abuse and discrimination for more than 20 years at the hands of Hill County Farms, doing business as Henry’s Turkey Service, according to an ADA lawsuit filed by the EEOC. The company is based in Goldthwaite, Texas, but the work and abuse occurred […]

Union lawfully fined member who reported safety rule violation, prompting coworker’s suspension; 30-year NLRB rule overturned

The NLRB’s longstanding policy that it is a per se unfair labor practice for a union to discipline a member who complies with an employer’s safety rules is not in accord with the NLRA, the DC Circuit concluded (Int’l Assoc of Operating Eng’rs, Local 513 v NLRB, April 5, 2011, Silberman, L). The appeals court […]

State legislature’s work rule reforms at Chicago convention center preempted by NLRA

Attempts by the Illinois legislature to bring down labor costs at Chicago’s McCormick Place convention center by reforming the center’s work rules were preempted by the NLRA, a federal district court in Illinois has ruled (Local 727 v Metro Pier and Exposition Auth, March 31, 2011, Guzman, R). The legislative efforts were regulatory in nature […]

Employees’ claims of political discrimination provided enough detail to provide defendant with fair notice of claim

Allegations in a complaint by 14 maintenance and domestic workers that they were unconstitutionally terminated from their public employment at a governor’s mansion because they belonged to an opposition party stated a plausible claim of political discrimination, ruled the First Circuit (Ocasio-Hernandez v Fortuno-Burset, April 1, 2011, Lipez, K). The appeals court concluded that a […]

JP Morgan Chase could not circumvent EEOC deposition request by claiming it had already shown that it did not engage in bias against women

JP Morgan Chase Bank, NA must designate one or more witnesses to testify to information that will permit the EEOC to explore an alleged disparity in assignment of mortgage consultant “skills” and the purported manipulation of the bank’s automated call distribution system in favor of male employees, a federal district court in Ohio has ruled […]

USERRA does not provide a cause of action for hostile work environment, noting absence of "terms or conditions" of employment in text of statute

Becoming the first circuit court to rule on the issue, the Fifth Circuit has held that USERRA does not provide a cause of action for hostile work environment (Carder v Continental Airlines, Inc, March 22, 2011, Davis, W). Affirming the district court’s dismissal of the class action claim, the appeals court based its ruling on […]

Oral complaints protected under FLSA's antiretaliation provisions; Supreme Court sets "fair notice" standard for employee complaints to be protected

Oral complaints are protected under the FLSA’s antiretaliation provisions, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled this morning in a 6-2 opinion authored by Justice Breyer (Kasten v Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics, Dkt No 09-834, March 22, 2011, Breyer, S). Resolving a conflict among the circuits, the majority found the scope of the statutory term “filed any complaint […]

Delaware can't penalize out-of-state contractor's use of Pennsylvania apprentices by imposing "permanent place of business" requirement; market participant doctrine did not apply

An out-of-state electrical contractor successfully challenged the state of Delaware’s practice of refusing to recognize out-of-state registered apprentices under its prevailing wage law regulations under the dormant Commerce Clause (Tri-M Group, LLC v Sharp, March 21, 2011, Rendell, M). The Third Circuit upheld a federal district court’s finding that the regulations facially discriminated against out-of-state […]