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AC operates transit buses in and around Alameda County. Bus routes range from 15 minutes to over an hour, with a small recovery time scheduled at the end of each route, which may not be available depending on whether the driver is running on schedule. Drivers can be behind the wheel for up to 10 hours a shift. AC operated 695 buses; only 20 percent were air-conditioned. In 2007, the Department of Industrial Relation’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health cited AC for violations of California Code of Regulations, title 8 section 3395 with respect to the buses: failure to supply adequate drinking water to drivers; failure to make shade continuously available for drivers; and failure to develop heat illness procedures and related training for employees and supervisors. The standards apply to “outdoor” places of employment. The Occupational Safety and Health Appeals Board affirmed an ALJ's dismissal of the violations. The trial court ordered the Board to reconsider. The court of appeal agreed, reasoning that the trial court’s broader construction of section 3395 is well-supported by the regulation's language and related regulatory history and comports with the underlying purpose of the entire statutory scheme: the achievement of safe working environments. View "California Department of Industrial Relations v. AC Transit" on Justia Law

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United Airlines pilot instructors sued their union, ALPA, alleging that ALPA had breached its duty of fair representation in its allocation of a retroactive pay settlement among different groups of pilots. The district court dismissed the case. The Seventh Circuit reversed. A claim of discrimination or bad faith must rest on more than a showing that a union’s actions treat different groups of employees differently and must be based on more than the discriminatory impact of the union’s otherwise rational decision to compromise. The Instructors sufficiently and plausibly pleaded that ALPA acted in bad faith in its allocation of retroactive pay between the line pilots and pilot instructors. A union may not make decisions “solely for the benefit of a stronger, more politically favored group over a minority group.” The plaintiffs have alleged that pilot instructors make up a minority of ALPA’s membership and that ALPA acted with the intent to appease its majority membership, the line pilots, after a lengthy and contentious CBA negotiation. View "Bishop v. Air Line Pilots Association, International" on Justia Law

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Employees of WinCo Foods, LLC and/or WinCo Holdings, Inc. (collectively WinCo) were undisputedly subject to a collective bargaining agreement which purported to provide that an employee who worked a shift of less than six hours was not entitled to a meal break. The Employees filed this action claiming, among other things, that WinCo was violating Labor Code section 512(a), which provided that an employee who worked more than five hours was entitled to a meal break, “except that if the total work period per day of the employee is no more than six hours, the meal period may be waived by mutual consent of both the employer and employee.” The trial court ruled that the collective bargaining agreement waived the Employees’ statutory right to a meal break whenever they worked more than five but not more than six hours. The Employees appealed, arguing the trial court erred because the waiver in the collective bargaining agreement was not “clear and unmistakable,” as required by federal law. The Court of Appeal held the waiver was clear and unmistakable, because it specifically mentioned meal breaks and it was irreconcilable with the statutory right to a meal break during a shift of more than five but not more than six hours. View "Ehret v. WinCo Foods, LLC" on Justia Law

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The Eighth Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment for Wells Fargo in an action alleging that the bank violated the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) in terminating plaintiff's employment. The court held that the district court identified exactly the two policies that plaintiff challenged. The court also held that plaintiff failed to establish a prima facie case of disparate impact discrimination under the ADEA where plaintiff was disqualified for the job he held due to a prior conviction for fraud and he failed to present statistical evidence of any kind that the two challenged policies created a disparate impact among Wells Fargo employees older than 40. View "Eggers v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A." on Justia Law

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The First Circuit reversed in part the district court’s grant of summary judgment against Plaintiff, a faculty member, on her claim of retaliation under Title VII and the Maine Human Rights Act against Defendant, the university that employed her, holding that genuine issues of material fact precluded summary judgment. In her complaint, Plaintiff alleged that the university retaliated against her after she complained about sexual harassment by her department chair and supervisor. The alleged retaliatory acts included Plaintiff’s transfer to a new department after obtaining her consent to transfer by making misrepresentations about how the transfer would affect her professional responsibilities. The First Circuit remanded the case, holding that summary judgment was improper because there were genuine disputes of material fact as to whether Defendant misled Plaintiff into transferring departments and as to whether Plaintiff’s transfer was the true reason for her change in teaching assignments. View "Carlson v. University of New England" on Justia Law

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The Eleventh Circuit reversed the district court's award of sanctions against plaintiff and his attorneys in an action against Pro Transport and its owners, seeking to recover unpaid wages under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The court held that Slater v. U.S. Steel Corp., 871 F.3d 1174 (11th Cir. 2017) (en banc), made clear that plaintiff and his attorneys did not act in bad faith or took legal action that had no reasonable chance of success in litigating the FLSA claim. Therefore, the district court abused its discretion by imposing sanctions. View "Antonio Silva v. Pro Transport, Inc." on Justia Law

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The DC Circuit denied the hospital's petition for review of the Board's determination that the hospital failed to make a showing that prohibiting the employees' picketing conduct was necessary to avoid disrupting patient care. In this case, the hospital tried to stop employees from displaying picket signs—without any chanting, marching, or obstructing of passage—informing visitors to the facility about an ongoing labor dispute. The court held that the Board's interpretation of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) was reasonable; the Board's approach permissibly balanced employees' rights to organize against an employer's interests in controlling its property; and the Board was not compelled to adopt a categorical rule that picketing of any kind—including the stationary, nonobstructive holding of a picket sign at issue here—was necessarily more disruptive, and less entitled to the NLRA's protections, than distribution of union literature. View "Capital Medical Center v. NLRB" on Justia Law

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The DC Circuit reversed the district court's grant of summary judgment to the Department of Defense in an action brought by plaintiff, a former instructor, under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act against the National Defense University's College of International Security Affairs. The court held that the Department failed to provide a consistent and sufficient explanation for plaintiff's discharge, and plaintiff provided evidence that a supervisor directly involved in the decisionmaking process made repeated discriminatory remarks. In this case, a reasonable jury could credit plaintiff's version of events given, inter alia, the evidence that he used to support his prima facie case, the gaps and variations in the College's proffered explanation for the firing, his ultimate replacement by a younger employee, the hiring of several other younger faculty members within the same year as his budgetary termination, and the comments overtly hostile to older employees made by his front-line supervisor who was directly involved in discussions about his termination. View "Steele v. Mattis" on Justia Law

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The Eighth Circuit affirmed the district court's dismissal of plaintiffs' claims against ConAgra in an action under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the Arkansas Minimum Wage Act. Plaintiffs alleged that they were entitled to compensation for time spent donning and doffing their protective equipment. The court held that plaintiffs' claims under the FLSA failed where ConAgra did not create a custom or practice under the 2012 Collective Bargaining Agreement for employees not to be compensated for donning and doffing their protective equipment. Rather, ConAgra continued a custom or practice that was in effect under the 2008 Collective Bargaining Agreement. Furthermore, the union and its employees have not objected to this practice. After reviewing Gerber Prods. Co. v. Hewitt, 492 S.W. 3d 856 (Ark. 2016), Act 914, and the codified text of the Act, the court predicted that if this issue were before the Arkansas Supreme Court today, it would not follow Gerber but would instead apply the terms of the parties' Collective Bargaining Agreement. Finally, the court held that plaintiffs' claim for "tool time" was correctly viewed as de minimis. View "Lyons v. Conagra Foods Packaged Foods LLC" on Justia Law

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The Eighth Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment for St. Luke's in an action brought by a former employee, alleging discrimination in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). The court held that plaintiff failed to show that St. Luke's reason for his termination was pretext for unlawful discrimination. In this case, St. Luke's terminated plaintiff for his disclosure of confidential information in violation of hospital policies. The court also held that plaintiff failed to exhaust his administrative remedies on that claim, and he could not pursue it in federal court. View "Lindeman v. Saint Luke's Hospital of Kansas City" on Justia Law