by
The judicially mandated exhaustion requirement is a nonjurisdictional precondition to suit under section 301(a) of the Labor Management Relations Act. Plaintiff filed suit against his union and former employer under section 301 for breach of a collective bargaining agreement that governed his employment. The Fourth Circuit reversed the district court's dismissal of the action based on failure to exhaust the agreement's grievance procedures. The court held that the district court erred in treating exhaustion as a matter of jurisdiction. The court also held that the district court erred in holding that the collective bargaining agreement in fact required exhaustion. View "Staudner v. Robinson Aviation, Inc." on Justia Law

by
The Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court's judgment against Quad in an action brought under the Multiemployer Pension Plan Amendments Act of 1980 (MPPAA). In this case, after the last of Quad's employees voted to decertify the union as their bargaining representative, Quad completely withdrew from the fund. The panel held that the Fund correctly applied the partial withdrawal credit pursuant to 29 U.S.C. 1386(b) against Quad's complete withdrawal liability before calculating the twenty-year limitation on annual payments provided for in 29 U.S.C. 1399(c)(1)(B). View "GCIU-Employer Retirement Fund v. Quad/Graphics, Inc." on Justia Law

by
The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the Court of Appeals affirming the decision of the North Carolina Industrial Commission awarding Plaintiff ongoing disability compensation and medical compensation for her medical conditions and remanded this case for further proceedings before the Commission, holding that it could not be determined from the record if the Commission, as the Court of Appeals concluded, made findings of causation independent of the application of any presumption. In affirming the Commission’s award of benefits, the Court of Appeals concluded that the Commission made adequate findings that Plaintiff met her burden of proving causation with a presumption of causation and therefore had an alternative factual basis for its award. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the Court of Appeals erred by failing to remand this case to the Commission for additional findings and conclusions because the Court could not determine from the record the extent to which the Commission relied on a presumption of causation or whether it had an independent, alternate basis for its determination of causation. View "Pine v. Wal-Mart Associates, Inc." on Justia Law

by
The Eighth Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment to Allina in an action brought by a former employer under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Minnesota Human Rights Act (MHRA), after she was terminated for refusing to fulfill a job requirement that she take necessary steps to develop immunity to rubella. The court held that, although the district court erred in denying plaintiff's inquiry claim based on a lack of injury, summary judgment was proper where Allina's decision to require employees with client contact to complete an inquiry and exam was job-related, consistent with business necessity, and no more intrusive than necessary. Therefore, the health screening that plaintiff was required to take as a condition of her employment complied with the ADA and the MHRA The court also held that the evidence was insufficient to support plaintiff's claim that she was disabled under the ADA where the evidence was insufficient to support the conclusion that plaintiff's chemical sensitivities or allergies substantially or materially limited her ability to perform major life activities. Therefore, plaintiff's failure to accommodate claim failed. Likewise, her retaliation claim failed. View "Hustvet v. Allina Health System" on Justia Law

by
Petitioner Kyle Guillemette challenged a determination by the Administrative Appeals Unit (AAU) of the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) that the notice requirements set forth in RSA 171-A:8, III (2014) and New Hampshire Administrative Rules, He-M 310.07 did not apply when Monadnock Worksource notified Monadnock Developmental Services of its intent to discontinue providing services to petitioner because that act did not constitute a “termination” of services within the meaning of the applicable rules. Petitioner received developmental disability services funded by the developmental disability Medicaid waiver program. MDS was the “area agency,” which coordinated and developed petitioner’s individual service plan. Worksource provides services to disabled individuals pursuant to a “Master Agreement” with MDS. Worksource began providing day services to the petitioner in August 2012. On March 31, 2017, Worksource notified MDS, in writing, that Worksource was terminating services to petitioner “as of midnight on April 30.” The letter to MDS stated that “[t]he Board of Directors and administration of . . . Worksource feel this action is in the best interest of [the petitioner] and of [Worksource].” Petitioner’s mother, who served as his guardian, was informed by MDS of Worksource’s decision on April 3. The mother asked for reconsideration, but the Board declined, writing that because the mother “repeatedly and recently expressed such deep dissatisfaction with our services to your son, the Board and I feel that you and [petitioner] would be better served by another agency . . . .” Thereafter, petitioner filed a complaint with the Office of Client and Legal Services alleging that his services had been terminated improperly and requesting that they remain in place pending the outcome of the investigation of his complaint. Because the New Hampshire Supreme Court concluded that the AAU’s ruling was not erroneous, it affirmed. View "Petition of Kyle Guillemette" on Justia Law

by
Nicholas Lechner appealed a judgment affirming an administrative order sustaining a Workforce Safety and Insurance ("WSI") order denying his claim for workers' compensation benefits. Lechner argued he proved by the greater weight of the evidence that he suffered a compensable injury and that his claim was timely. The North Dakota Supreme Court affirmed, concluding the administrative law judge's finding that Lechner failed to file a timely claim for benefits is supported by a preponderance of the evidence. View "Lechner v. WSI" on Justia Law

by
The Illinois Department of Human Services pays personal home health care assistants to care for elderly and disabled persons. The assistants are public employees under the Illinois Public Labor Relations Act, which authorizes collective bargaining. The Union is their exclusive representative, required to represent all public employees, including non-members. Under the collective bargaining agreement, the Union collected limited "fair share" fees from workers who chose not to join, which were automatically deducted from the assistants' pay. Workers who objected to this arrangement sued under 42 U.S.C. 1983. The Seventh Circuit affirmed the dismissal of their claim; the Supreme Court reversed. On remand, the Objectors sought certification of a class, arguing that their proposed class of around 80,000 members was entitled to a refund of approximately $32 million. The Seventh Circuit affirmed a holding that class certification was inappropriate, stating that: the class definition was overly broad in light of evidence that a substantial number of class members did not object to the fee and could not have suffered an injury; named plaintiffs were not adequate representatives; individual questions regarding damages predominated over common ones; the class faced manageability issues; and a class action was not a superior method of resolving the issue. Following a second remand, the Seventh Circuit affirmed, holding that the Supreme Court’s 2018 “Janus” decision does not require a different result on whether the class-action device is proper for use in seeking refunds of fair-share fees. View "Riffey v. Rauner" on Justia Law

by
Wilmot commenced employment with the Fire Protection District in 1985. He was a member of the retirement program, administered by the Contra Costa County Employees’ Retirement Association (CCERA). In 2012, Wilmot decided to retire. His final day on the job was December 12; he applied for a service retirement” to CCERA the following day. On January 1, 2013, the Public Employees’ Pension Reform Act took effect, mandating the complete or partial forfeiture of pension benefits/payments if a public employee is convicted of “any felony under state or federal law for conduct arising out of or in the performance of his or her official duties.” (Gov. Code 7522.72(b)(1).) In February 2013, Wilmot was indicted. In April 2013, the CCERA approved his retirement application, fixing Wilmot’s actual retirement as December 13, 2012. Wilmot began receiving pension checks. In December 2015, pled guilty to embezzling county funds for 12 years, ending in December 2012. CCERA reduced Wilmot’s monthly check in accordance with the forfeiture provision. The court of appeal held that the forfeiture provision applies to Wilmot and declined to address whether it would amount to an unconstitutional impairment of his employment contract or an ex post facto law for someone in a different situation. Finishing the last day of work does not automatically make a public employee a “retired” former employee. View "Wilmot v. Contra Costa County Employees' Retirement Association" on Justia Law

by
Wilkerson mined coal for over 25 years. In 1994, he retired from the Island Creek’s Crescent mine, where he had worked most recently as an electrician. In 2012, Wilkers sought benefits under the Black Lung Benefits Act, which provides compensation to miners disabled by pneumoconiosis, 30 U.S.C. 902(b), 922(a)(1). The Sixth Circuit denied a petition for review, upholding the Benefits Review Board’s award of benefits. The defendant forfeited an argument that the ALJ lacked authority to hear the case under the Appointments Clause by failing to raise it in its opening brief. Appointments Clause challenges arise under the U.S. Constitution, but are “not jurisdictional and thus are subject to ordinary principles of waiver and forfeiture.” Substantial evidence supports the award. An ALJ may presume an applicant suffers from the disease if he worked for 15 years at a qualifying coaling mine and suffers “a totally disabling respiratory or pulmonary impairment.” Wilkerson worked for more than 15 years at a qualifying mine, and substantial evidence showed that he suffered total disability due to a respiratory or pulmonary impairment. Faced with the conflicting medical evidence, the ALJ turned to the four doctors who testified, credited testimony from one doctor, discounted the three others for legitimate reasons, and concluded that Wilkerson suffered from a disability. The doctor’s conclusion about Wilkerson’s disability tracked the newest available data. View "Island Creek Coal Co. v. Wilkerson" on Justia Law

by
Haddad sued under 42 U.S.C. 1983 alleging his employment was terminated by the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (MDIFS), for exercising his First Amendment rights. The Sixth Circuit affirmed summary judgment in favor of the employer. Haddad argued that he was acting as a “virtual private citizen” because his duties as an MDIFS examiner required him to speak in the public interest and work to end the inclusion of intra-family exclusion clauses (IFEs) in insurance policies. By making this argument, however, Haddad acknowledged that he was acting pursuant to his official duties when he sought to end the use of IFEs through his examinations, the very activity that he claims was the basis for his termination. “[W]hen public employees make statements pursuant to their official duties, the employees are not speaking as citizens for First Amendment purposes, and the Constitution does not insulate their communications from employer discipline.” Haddad’s purpose was to further his official work to end what he believed to be an unfair insurer practice; his conduct was part of the performance of his job, and the district court did not err by concluding that Haddad was not speaking as a private citizen. View "Haddad v. Gregg" on Justia Law