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Plaintiff, employed as a police officer with the city, filed suit under 42 U.S.C. 1983, alleging violation of his First Amendment rights when the city and the mayor arranged for plaintiff's termination based on plaintiff's support of a purported political enemy. The Eleventh Circuit reversed summary judgment for defendants and held that plaintiff did not voluntarily leave his employment with the city but rather was effectively terminated. Because a reasonable jury could conclude that plaintiff's resignation was not a product of his free will, plaintiff presented sufficient evidence to establish that he suffered an adverse employment action when his employment with the city ended abruptly. The court remanded for further proceedings. View "Rodriguez v. City of Doral" on Justia Law

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The Second Circuit vacated the district court's judgment in favor of defendants, agreeing with plaintiff that the district court wrongly instructed the jury that "but for" causation applied to Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) claims. The court held that FMLA retaliation claims of the sort plaintiff brought here were grounded in 29 U.S.C. 2615(a)(1) and a "motivating factor" causation standard applied to those claims. The court also held that the district court exceeded the bounds of its discretion in admitting and permitting the adverse inferences to be drawn in this case. Accordingly, the court remanded for further proceedings. View "Woods v. START Treatment & Recovery Centers" on Justia Law

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The Second Circuit vacated the district court's determination that plaintiff asserted claims only under federal law, its dismissal of claims against the individual defendants, and its dismissal of plaintiff's hostile work environment claim. At issue in this appeal was whether a pro se litigant forfeits her claims under New York state and local discrimination law where she has alleged facts supporting such claims, but fails to check a blank on a form complaint indicating that she wishes to bring them. The court held that such a bright-line rule runs counter to the court's policy of liberally construing pro se submissions, and that plaintiff's complaint in this case should have been read by the district court to assert claims under New York state and local discrimination law as well as under federal law. The court addressed the balance of plaintiff's claims on appeal in a summary order issued simultaneously with this opinion, and remanded for further proceedings. View "McLeod v. The Jewish Guild for the Blind" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals that granted a limited writ of mandamus ordering the Industrial Commission to amend its order awarding permanent-total-disability compensation to adjust the start date of the benefits awarded to Terry Phillips. Phillips suffered a workplace injury in 2011. In 2013, Phillips applied for permanent-total-disability compensation. After a hearing, a staff hearing officer concluded that Phillips was permanently and totally disabled based on the reports of Dr. Amol Soin, Dr. Steven Rosen, and Dr. Norman Berg. R&L Carriers Shared Services, LLC filed a complaint in mandamus arguing that the Commission’s order was not supported by the evidence. The magistrate recommended that the court of appeals issue a writ of mandamus ordering the Commission to amend its order to eliminate from consideration the reports of Dr. Soin and Dr. Rosen and to adjust the start date of the award to coincide with the date of Dr. Berg’s report. The court of appeals adopted the magistrate’s decision. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that R&L failed to demonstrate that the Commission abused its discretion by entering an order not supported by some evidence in the record. View "State ex rel. R&L Carriers Shared Services, LLC v. Industrial Commission of Ohio" on Justia Law

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In 2007, plaintiff filed with the EEOC a charge of race and disability discrimination against her employer, the school board. In 2009, the Commission dismissed the charge and provided her notice of her right to sue within 90 days, but plaintiff failed to file within that period. Instead, in 2011, plaintiff filed a request for reconsideration with the Commission, which then vacated the dismissal of her first charge. The DOJ then granted plaintiff's request for a new notice of her right to sue about the same allegations of discrimination, and she filed suit within 90 days of the second notice. The district court then dismissed the complaint as untimely. The Fourth Circuit affirmed, holding that the Commission lacked the authority to issue the second notice of the right to sue and thus plaintiff failed to establish she was entitled to equitable tolling. View "Stamper v. Duval County School Board" on Justia Law

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Casinos petitioned for review of the Board's order concluding that the casinos violated section 8(a)(1) and (5) of the National Labor Relations Act, 29 U.S.C. 158(a)(1), (5), when they refused to bargain with the Union, which represents several non-guard employees of the casinos. The DC Circuit granted the casinos' petitions, denied the Board's cross-applications for enforcement, and vacated the Board's decisions and orders. The court held that, under section 9(b)(3) of the Act, surveillance techs are guards who can be represented only by an all-guard union. The court explained that the techs' day-to-day duties—sensitive ones peculiar to the modern gaming industry—call for them to enforce against coworkers and others the rules that protect the casinos' property and guests. View "Bellagio, LLC v. NLRB" on Justia Law

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The Fifth Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment against plaintiff on his failure to accommodate and hostile work environment claims. Because plaintiff failed to brief his intentional infliction of emotional distress claim, the court confined its review to his Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq., claims. The court held that plaintiff's failure to accommodate claim was unexhausted and plaintiff failed to provide sufficient evidence showing that defendants knew of his disability. The court also held that plaintiff failed to demonstrate that either defendant failed to take prompt, remedial action addressing the alleged harassment. View "Patton v. Jacobs Engineering Group, Inc." on Justia Law

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In 2013, Scheurer applied to work at Richelieu which outsourced its staffing needs to Remedy, a temporary staffing agency. The application form she signed with Remedy for placement with Richelieu contained an arbitration agreement. She was assigned to work for Richelieu, but that assignment ended after some months. About a year later, Remedy placed Scheurer with Fromm. Scheurer alleges that while working at Fromm, her supervisor sexually harassed her and that Fromm took no serious action to address the sexual harassment and instead fired her. Fromm tried to arrange a work situation that would have separated Scheurer from the supervisor, but when that proved “impossible,” Fromm asked Remedy to assign Scheurer to another client. Scheurer filed suit against Fromm, but not Remedy, alleging sexual harassment and retaliation, 42 U.S.C. 2000e‐2(a)(1) & 2000e‐3(a). Fromm argued that arbitration should be compelled under the contract law principle of equitable estoppel and because Fromm was a third‐party beneficiary of the Remedy agreement. The district court denied Fromm’s motion. The Seventh Circuit affirmed. There was no basis for finding that Fromm relied on Scheurer’s arbitration agreement since Fromm did not even know about it and Fromm was not a third‐party beneficiary of Remedy’s agreement with Scheurer. View "Scheurer v. Fromm Family Foods, LLC" on Justia Law

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Crosby, a tenured professor at the University of Kentucky’s College of Public Health, brought suit under 42 U.S.C. 1983 and state law, claiming that his removal as Department Chair amounted to a deprivation of his protected property and liberty interests without due process of law. He claimed that the defendants were not protected by qualified immunity and were liable under contract law for monetary damages. Before his removal, Crosby had been investigated for being “[v]olatile,” “explosive,” “disrespectful,” “very condescending,” and “out of control.” The report included an allegation that Crosby stated that the Associate Dean for Research had been appointed “because she is a woman, genitalia” and contained claims that the Department’s performance was suffering as a result of Crosby’s temper and hostility toward other departments. The University declined Crosby’s request to handle his appeal under a proposed Governing Regulation and stated that existing regulations would apply. The Sixth Circuit affirmed dismissal of his claims.Crosby identified no statute, formal contract, or contract implied from the circumstances that supports his claim to a protected property interest in his position as Chair; “the unlawfulness” of the defendants’ actions was not apparent “in the light of pre-existing law,” so they were entitled to qualified immunity. View "Crosby v. University of Kentucky" on Justia Law

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The Unions represents the pilots of merged airlines Flight Options and Flexjet. Flight Options and its pilots have had a collective bargaining agreement since 2010, while Flexjet’s pilots are newly unionized and are not yet party to a CBA. The parties dispute whether the integration of the pilot groups’ seniority lists (ISL) is solely a Union matter, so that the airlines must accept the Union's list or whether the airlines should have been allowed to participate in negotiating the list. The 2010 CBA governs the creation of the ISL when Flight Options acquires another carrier. The district court, acting under the Railway Labor Act (RLA), 45 U.S.C. 152, entered a preliminary injunction ordering the airlines to accept the Union’s ISL. On appeal, the airlines argued that the dispute was “minor” and subject to exclusive arbitral jurisdiction. The Sixth Circuit affirmed in part. The 2010 CBA does not arguably justify the airlines' assertion that they have a right to participate in the ISL process; the dispute is major. The district court properly enjoined the airlines to honor the express terms of the CBA, but those terms provide that if the airlines refuse to accept the Union’s proffered ISL, the Union may invoke an expedited grievance-arbitration process, which uniquely applies to such disputes. The court ordered modification of the injunction accordingly. View "Flight Options v. International Brotherhood of Teamsters" on Justia Law