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Claimant Lionel Beasley appealed a decision of the Employment Security Board, which denied him unemployment compensation benefits because it found that he performed services for an educational institution and was considered to have a reasonable assurance to perform services in a similar capacity for the next regularly scheduled academic term under 21 V.S.A. 1343(c)(1). Claimant was first employed by Champlain College as an adjunct professor during the 2015-2016 academic year. He taught three classes during both the fall and spring terms. At the end of the spring 2016 term, claimant applied for unemployment compensation benefits. Although his claim was initially denied by a claims adjudicator, on appeal, an administrative judge reversed and granted benefits. In granting benefits, the administrative judge noted that because claimant had not received an employment offer letter for the upcoming academic term and had been notified that at least one of his classes may not be offered due to low enrollment, “the uncertainties for the upcoming term are sufficiently great that [claimant] cannot be said to have a reasonable assurance of returning to the same or similar work that he performed in the previous academic term.” However, at the end of the spring 2017 term, he again applied for unemployment compensation benefits and was denied. The claims adjudicator found he had a reasonable assurance of employment during the following term. The administrative judge agreed with the claims adjudicator that claimant had reasonable assurance to perform the same services during the next academic term and noted that claimant “and his attorney want[ed] to interpret the term ‘reasonable assurance’ as an absolute guarantee of employment, and that simply is not the correct interpretation.” The administrative judge commented that “the Department [of Labor] must only find that it is highly probable that the same job is available, and the credible facts in the record show[ed] that to be the case in this instance.” Claimant appealed the administrative judge’s decision to the Employment Security Board. After hearing and review, the Board issued a decision upholding the denial because it found the administrative judge’s conclusions “factually supported and legally correct.” Finding no reversible error in the Board's adjudication, the Vermont Supreme Court affirmed denial of benefits. View "Beasley v. Department of Labor (Champlain College, Inc., Employer)" on Justia Law

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A Louisiana charter school did not qualify for the "political subdivision" exemption of the National Labor Relations Act and was therefore subject to the Act. In this case, petitioners challenged the NLRB's finding that petitioners, Louisiana charter school operators, committed an unfair labor practice and ordered it to recognize and bargain with the union. The Fifth Circuit denied the petition for review, holding that petitioners, like most other privately controlled employers, was subject to the Act because Louisiana chose to insulate its charters from the political process. View "Voices for International Business and Education, Inc. v. NLRB" on Justia Law

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William Hendrickson, Jr. worked as a fire safety inspector with the Department of Community Affairs. While on duty, he uttered an obscene and belittling remark about a female supervisor overheard by two of his colleagues. The DCA brought three disciplinary charges against Hendrickson. In September 2014, after a departmental hearing on the disciplinary charges, the DCA issued an order terminating Hendrickson’s employment. The ALJ held that Hendrickson uttered a gender slur in a workplace environment and therefore violated the State’s policy prohibiting gender discrimination and engaged in conduct unbecoming a public employee. Although the ALJ was troubled by Hendrickson’s failure to acknowledge his wrongdoing, she reasoned that removal was “too harsh” a punishment given Hendrickson’s lack of a disciplinary record in the fifteen months before and nine months after the incident. She instead ordered Hendrickson suspended for six months. The ALJ forwarded the decision to the Civil Service Commission, and both parties filed exceptions. Hendrickson argued that the discipline was too severe, and the DCA argued that termination was the appropriate punishment. Failing to reach a quorum, the ALJ's decision was deemed adopted by the Civil Service Commission. The Appellate Division reversed the ALJ’s decision and reinstated the DCA’s termination of Hendrickson’s employment, acknowledging the ALJ’s decision “was 'deemed-adopted’ as the Commission’s final decision. Nevertheless, the panel held that because the vacancies on the Commission disabled it from forming a quorum and acting, “the deemed-adopted statute does not require traditional deferential appellate review of the ALJ’s decision.” The New Jersey Supreme Court determined the Appellate Division erred in suggesting appellate review of a disciplinary sanction imposed by a judge was de novo and different from traditional appellate review of an agency determination. Consequently, and based on a deferential standard of review, the Supreme Court could not conclude the ALJ's decision was shocking to a sense of fairness, and affirmed the ALJ's decision. View "In the Matter of William R. Hendrickson, Jr., Department of Community Affairs" on Justia Law

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Plaintiffs filed suit challenging a California statute, Cal. Lab. Code 1720.9, that amended the prevailing wage laws to ensure that delivery drivers of ready-mix concrete are paid a minimum wage. The district court denied IBT's motion to intervene and granted the State's motion to dismiss the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act of 1994 (FAAAA) claim. The district court granted plaintiffs summary judgment on the equal protection claim. The Ninth Circuit reversed the district court's grant of summary judgment for plaintiffs and held that the district court wrongly disregarded as irrelevant certain differences between ready-mix drivers and other drivers that the legislature could have relied on in extending the prevailing wage law. The panel reversed the district court's denial of IBT's motion for leave to intervene and held that IBT had a significantly protectable interest in the case. Finally, the court affirmed the district court's dismissal of the FAAAA claim, holding that the prevailing wage law was not related to prices, routes, and services within the meaning of the FAAAA's preemption clause. View "Allied Concrete and Supply Co. v. Baker" on Justia Law

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The dispute in this case concerned the correct characterization of Xerox's payment play under Washington law. Xerox had compensation formula fo call center employees based on "production minutes" - a unit of time during which an employee services incoming calls. If the production minute formed the basis for a bona fide piecework system, then one set of minimum wage rules and regulations applied. If the minute formed the basis for an hourly payment system, then a different set of hourly minimum wage protections applied. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals certified a question regarding Washington's labor law with respect to Xerox's compensation under "production minutes," and whether they qualified as piecework under the Washington Administrative Code. The Washington Supreme Court responded with a "no," "an employer's payment plan that includes as a metric an employee's 'production minutes' does not qualify as piecework under WAC 296-126-021. View "Hill v. Xerox Bus. Servs., LLC" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court issued a writ of mandamus ordering the Board of Beavercreek Township Trustees and its members (collectively, the Board) to rescind two resolutions setting the annual salaries for two assistants to the Beavercreek Township Fiscal Officer and to consider a new compensation proposal submitted by the Fiscal Officer. The Supreme Court held (1) Ohio Rev. Code 507.021(A) authorized the Fiscal Officer to hire two assistants and to set compensation for those positions, subject to prior approval by the Board; (2) the Fiscal Officer’s request for a writ of mandamus compelling the Board to approve and fund the two assistant positions at the specific salaries proposed is denied because the Fiscal Officer did not demonstrate that the Board abused its discretion in denying her specific salary requests; but (3) the Board exceeded its authority when it adopted the resolutions setting the annual salaries for the two assistants. View "State ex rel. Beavercreek Township Fiscal Officer v. Graff" on Justia Law

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This appeal related to a purported agreement resolving a lawsuit between Kevin Seward and Musick Auction, LLC (“Musick”). Seward claimed that the parties entered into a binding oral settlement agreement and he moved to enforce the agreement. The district court granted Seward’s motion. Musick contended on appeal the district court erred in several respects when it held that the parties had entered into a binding settlement agreement. Finding no reversible error in the district court's judgment, the Idaho Supreme Court affirmed. View "Seward v. Musick Auction, LLC" on Justia Law

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Palardy, a Millburn police officer, was involved in union leadership, participating in contract negotiations and disciplinary hearings for fellow officers. Gordon was responsible for Millburn's personnel matters. Palardy testified that other officers told him Gordon repeatedly disparaged Palardy’s union activity. In 2010, when Millburn was without a chief, Palardy was the department’s senior lieutenant, next in line to become a captain. During Gordon’s tenure, Millburn always selected its chief from among its captains. Palardy believed that he could be promoted to captain for a short time and then promoted to chief. Gordon stated that he did not believe any of the lieutenants had enough experience to become chief. Captain Weber became chief in 2011. Palardy stepped down as union president because he “knew" Gordon "had a problem with [his] union affiliation.” Gordon retained a consultant to study the department’s structure and vacancies and promoted Palardy to captain in 2012. Weber was scheduled to retire in 2015. In 2013, Palardy was offered a part-time position with the Board of Education. He says he believed that he would never become chief, so he retired and accepted that job offer. Palardy then sued the Township and Gordon. The district court rejected all claims. The Third Circuit reversed in part. The court should have analyzed Palardy’s speech and association claims separately; his union association deserves constitutional protection. Palardy’s speech claim must fail; he claims that Gordon retaliated against him because of his union membership, not because of his advocacy on any particular issue. View "Palardy v. Township of Millburn" on Justia Law

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Local Union 3-G represents employees at Kellogg’s Battle Creek plant and is affiliated with the International Union, which represents employees at additional Kellogg’s plants. “Regular” employees and “non-regular” employees, including casual employees, make up the 3-G bargaining unit. There is a Master Agreement between Kellogg, the International Union, and local unions at four plants, which have Supplemental Agreements. A Memorandum of Agreement, appended to the Battle Creek Supplemental Agreement, states that the Supplemental and Master Agreements will not apply to casual employees and the Company may terminate casual employees without being subject to the grievance procedure. A 2015 Master Agreement “established wage rates, a signing ratification bonus for all employees, the establishment of a transitional employee classification to replace casual employees, and other changes" for all Battle Creek bargaining unit employees. After the ratification vote, Kellogg refused to pay a ratification bonus to casual employees, seasonal employees, and some regular employees. The parties went through the grievance procedure, but Kellogg refused to arbitrate, arguing that the arbitration provisions do not apply to casual employees. The Sixth Circuit previously held that arbitration provisions in the “Memphis Supplemental Agreement” did not cover casual employees. The district court determined that judicial estoppel did not apply to the Battle Creek action and granted the motion to compel arbitration. The Sixth Circuit affirmed, The Agreement has a broad arbitration clause, so the presumption of arbitrability is particularly applicable. View "Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union AFL-CIO v. Kellogg Co." on Justia Law

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Integrity provides thousands of hourly workers, like Plaintiffs, to fill orders, track merchandise, and process returns at Amazon facilities. Other Plaintiffs were directly employed by Amazon. Plaintiffs claim “Amazon.com exercises direct control over the hours and other working conditions,” and sued, concerning a policy that is enforced at all Amazon locations. Plaintiffs and other hourly employees must undergo a security clearance check at the end of each shift and before taking lunch breaks, to deter theft and reduce inventory shrinkage. Plaintiffs allege that the policy "was solely for the benefit of the employers and their customers” and that this process took approximately 25 minutes each day. Because employees were required to “clock out” before the screening, they were not compensated for time spent waiting in line and undergoing the screenings. Plaintiffs alleged violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C. 201 (FLSA) and state labor laws. The district court dismissed. The Sixth Circuit reversed in part. While time spent undergoing mandatory security checks is not compensable under federal law, neither Nevada nor Arizona incorporates the federal Portal-to-Portal Act; the time is compensable under the states' laws, but the Arizona Plaintiffs failed to satisfy Arizona’s “workweek requirement,” by identifying a particular workweek in which, taking the average rate, they received less than the minimum wage per hour. View "Busk v. Integrity Staffing Solutions, Inc." on Justia Law