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This case was the second arising from the near-fatal assault of Michael Kuligoski by Evan Rapoza, who had previously been diagnosed with schizophreniform disorder. Here, members of the Kuligoski family(plaintiffs) brought suit against Evan’s grandparents, claiming that they were liable for Evan’s assault of Mr. Kuligoski while Mr. Kuligoski was repairing the furnace at their rental property. Plaintiffs claimed, among other things, that the grandparents were vicariously liable for Evan’s father’s negligent hiring or supervision of Evan, who was there to help his father repaint an apartment. On appeal, plaintiffs sought to reverse the grant of summary judgment in favor of the grandparents. Plaintiffs argued the trial court erred by determining that grandparents could not be held vicariously liable for the attack because it was not reasonably foreseeable. In granting the grandparents' motion, the trial court concluded: (1) to the extent plaintiffs were alleging direct liability on the part of grandparents based on a claim of negligent supervision, that claim failed as a matter of law because it was undisputed that on the day of the assault grandparents were unaware of Evan’s mental-health issues; and (2) notwithstanding the ambiguity as to whether father was grandparents’ employee, grandparents owed no duty to Mr. Kuligoski because Evan’s parents did not undertake to render services by monitoring Evan’s treatment after his release from the Brattleboro Retreat and because, even assuming that father was grandparents’ employee, Evan’s assault against Mr. Kuligoski was not foreseeable. Given the Vermont Supreme Court's determination that, as a matter of law, no employer-employee relationship existed between grandparents and father that would subject grandparents to vicarious liability for any negligence on father’s part in bringing Evan to the workplace on the day he assaulted Mr. Kuligsoki, plaintiffs’ remaining claim in this lawsuit was unsustainable. The Court therefore affirmed, but on grounds different than those used by the trial court. View "Kuligoski v. Rapoza" on Justia Law

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Labor Code section 244, which does not require a litigant to exhaust administrative remedies before bringing a civil action, applies only to claims before the Labor Commissioner. The Court of Appeal explained that section 244 has no effect on Campbell v. Regents of University of California, (2005) 35 Cal.4th 311, which held that public employees must pursue appropriate internal administrative remedies before filing a civil action against their employer. In this case, plaintiff appealed the trial court's grant of summary judgment in favor of her former employer, the County, in a wrongful termination action. The court held that plaintiff did not exhaust her administrative remedies on her claims that the County terminated her job to discriminate against her; there were no triable issues of fact on plaintiff's claim that she was terminated because of her sexual orientation; and the trial court erred by awarding the County costs on the Fair Employment and Housing Act cause of action. View "Terris v. County of Santa Barbara" on Justia Law

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The Eighth Circuit affirmed the district court's dismissal of plaintiff's complaint that alleged claims related to his termination from the police department. The court held that plaintiff's retaliation claim, on its face, was outside the bounds of the Title VII statute; nothing in plaintiff's complaint or his deposition testimony indicated that he was pursuing a Title VII claim encompassing race-based discrimination and thus he could not submit a claim via an affidavit at the summary judgment stage; and the district court correctly dismissed plaintiff's contract claim where the strain of public policy that plaintiff sought to invoke was simply inapposite to the facts in this case. View "Winfrey v. Forrest City, Arkansas" on Justia Law

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Felton, then employed by Hewlett-Packard, sustained a minor injury to his knee while volunteering on a Douglas County search and rescue team. Felton sought insurance benefits from Douglas County and its workers' compensation insurance carrier. The third-party claims adjustor, ASC, notified Felton that it had calculated his average monthly wage (AMW) for the purpose of determining the amount of benefits based upon the statutorily deemed wage of a search and rescue volunteer as set forth in NRS 616A.157, which is $2,000 per month. ASC awarded Felton a one-percent permanent partial disability (PPD) or whole person impairment (WPI). A hearing officer affirmed the award. Felton appealed only the determination that his AMW should be set at the statutorily deemed wage of a search and rescue volunteer. The appeals officer affirmed, holding that Felton was not entitled to an AMW that aggregated his statutorily deemed wage and his earned wage from his private employment. The Nevada Supreme Court reversed. The plain language of the statutes and regulations requires the aggregation of concurrently earned wages. View "Felton v. Douglas County" on Justia Law

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Jaworski provided construction services to Master Hand, an Illinois general contractor, over several years. Some of these services went unpaid. Jaworski alleged violations of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, the Illinois Minimum Wage Law, the Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act, and the Employee Classification Act, which makes it unlawful for construction firms to misclassify an employee as an independent contractor. The Classification Act presumes that the complainant is an employee unless the contractor proves otherwise; a misclassified employee is entitled to double “the amount of any wages, salary, employment benefits, or other compensation denied or lost to the person by reason of the violation.” The judge held that Master Hand had misclassified Jaworski and was entitled to the compensation guaranteed by the Minimum Wage Law and Wage Payment and Collection Act without having to prove that he is an employee. Those statutes do not include the presumption that plaintiffs are employees. The judge rejected Master Hand’s insolvency defense and ordered Master Hand to pay $200,000 in damages, plus $150,000 in attorneys’ fees. The Seventh Circuit affirmed, adding attorneys’ fees for the frivolous appeal. The court declined to review the rulings challenged by Master Hand, as a sanction for failure to follow court rules. View "Jaworski v. Master Hand Contractors, Inc." on Justia Law

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Plaintiff, Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District (TriMet), sought a declaration that planned, future collective bargaining sessions between TriMet’s bargaining team and the bargaining team for defendant Amalgamated Transit Union Local 757 (ATU) would not be “meetings” subject to the open meetings requirements of Oregon’s Public Meetings Law, ORS 192.610 to ORS 192.695. ATU opposed the declaration, and the parties filed cross-motions for summary judgment. The trial court agreed with TriMet and granted its motion, but the Court of Appeals vacated and remanded, reasoning that, even if the bargaining sessions were not “meetings” as that term was defined in the Public Meetings Law, ORS 192.610(5), when the TriMet team participates in the sessions, it may be subject to the prohibition in ORS 192.630(2) that, generally: “A quorum of a governing body may not meet in private for the purpose of deciding on or deliberating toward a decision on any matter[.]” The Oregon Supreme Court concluded the Court of Appeals’ construction of that statute was correct, and TriMet failed to establish, on this summary judgment record, that no “quorum” of the TriMet team would “meet” during the negotiations; thus, TriMet failed to establish as a matter of law that the bargaining sessions at issue will not be subject to ORS 192.630(2). Finally, the Supreme Court rejected ATU’s proposal that another provision of the Public Meetings Law, ORS 192.660(3), required that all bargaining sessions of a public body be conducted in an “open meeting” unless both parties consent to private meetings. View "TriMet v. Amalgamated Transit Union Local 757" on Justia Law

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In this case, a sheriff’s termination of a deputy sheriff was not constrained by the procedural due process protections purportedly afforded to the deputy sheriff under a now-outdated version of Ky. Rev. Stat. 15.520. Plaintiff, the deputy sheriff, sued the sheriff, alleging that the sheriff violated the due process procedures set forth in section 15.520, otherwise known as the Police Officers’ Bill of Rights. The trial court granted summary judgment for the sheriff. The Court of Appeals reversed, concluding that section 15.520 mandates that a sheriff who, like the sheriff in this case, elects to receive Kentucky Law Enforcement Foundation Program funding is bound by the due process procedures of that statute. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that section 15.520 was not meant to provide due process rights to sheriffs’ deputies. View "Elliott v. Lanham" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the Court of Appeals reversing the decision of the Workers’ Compensation Board (Board), which reversed the ALJ’s rejection of Plaintiff’s claim for enhanced benefits and reinstated the judgment of the ALJ. Plaintiff, an employee of VanMeter Contracting, Inc., was critically injured in a workplace accident. After an investigation, the Kentucky Occupational Safety and Health Administration (KOSHA) issued a citation against VanMeter, charging it with violating 29 CFR 1926.703(a)(1). Plaintiff filed a claim for workers’ compensation benefits and asserted a claim for a thirty percent benefit enhancement provided by Ky. Rev. Stat. 342.165(1) for the workplace injury. Plaintiff alleged the same regulatory violations asserted by KOSHA and a violation of the general workplace safety duty of Ky. Rev. Stat. 338.031(1)(a). The ALJ declined to grant the thirty percent enhancement, finding that Plaintiff had not presented sufficient evidence to prove the intentional violation of any safety statute or regulation. The Board reversed. The Court of Appeals reversed the Board. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the Board misconstrued or overlooked controlling law when, in contradiction of the ALJ’s findings, it accorded conclusive weight to the KOSHA settlement agreement. View "Groce v. Vanmeter Contracting, Inc." on Justia Law

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A plaintiff may bring a private right of action under Ky. Rev. Stat. 446.070 against an employer for an alleged violation of Ky. Rev. Stat. 341.990(6)(a), Kentucky’s criminal prohibition against making false statements during unemployment proceedings. Plaintiff brought suit against Employer, alleging that he suffered damages due to being temporarily deprived of his unemployment benefits. Employer’s successor-in-interest, the real party-in-interest, removed the case to federal court and moved to dismiss Plaintiff’s section 446.070 claim for failure to state a cognizable legal claim. The federal court denied the motion to dismiss and requested certification of law from the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court answered the question as set forth above and held that Plaintiff’s section 446.070 claim for an alleged violation of section 341.990(6)(a) was cognizable under Kentucky law. View "Hickey v. General Electric Co." on Justia Law

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The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the decision of the superior court affirming a determination by the Contributory Retirement Appeal Board (CRAB) that sick or vacation payments, when used to supplement workers’ compensation payments, are not “regular compensation” as defined in Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 32, 1. On appeal, the Public Employee Retirement Administration Commission (PERAC) argued that CRAB erred in determining that the supplemental pay received pursuant to Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 152, 69 does not constitute “regular compensation” as defined in Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 32, 1 when received in conjunction with workers’ compensation. The Supreme Judicial Court disagreed, holding that CRAB’s decision was not incorrect as a matter of law. View "Public Employee Retirement Administration Commission v. Contributory Retirement Appeal Board" on Justia Law