by
The Fifth Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment to LRS in an action filed by plaintiff alleging that she was denied a promotion because of her race in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. The court held that it was undisputed that plaintiff established a prima facie case of employment discrimination, but LRS asserted a justification that was not pretextual. In this case, there was no evidence in the record of any discrimination in the promotion decision. The court explained that any difference in qualifications between the two candidates did not create a genuine issue of fact that plaintiff was clearly better qualified for the district supervisor position. The choice to value the other candidate's credentials over plaintiff's strengths was within the realm of reasonable business judgments. View "Roberson-King v. Louisiana Workforce Commission" on Justia Law

by
The Ninth Circuit certified the following question to the Washington Supreme Court: Under what circumstances, if any, does obesity qualify as an "impairment" under the Washington Law against Discrimination, Wash. Rev. Code 49.60.040? View "Taylor v. Burlington Northern Railroad Holdings Inc." on Justia Law

by
Milwaukee County hired Thicklen in 2012 as a jail corrections officer. A zero-tolerance policy forbids corrections officers from having any sexual contact with inmates. The county repeatedly instructed Thicklen not to engage in any such contact and trained him to avoid it. Thicklen gave answers to quizzes indicating he understood the training. He nonetheless raped Shonda Martin in jail. Martin sued him and sued the county for indemnification under Wisconsin Statute 895.46. A jury awarded her $6,700,000 against the county, finding that the assaults were in the scope of employment. The Seventh Circuit reversed. Even viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to Martin and the verdict, no reasonable jury could find the sexual assaults were in the scope of Thicklen’s employment; that the sexual assaults were natural, connected, ordinary parts or incidents of contemplated services; that the assaults were of the same or similar kind of conduct as that Thicklen was employed to perform; or that the assaults were actuated even to a slight degree by a purpose to serve County. No reasonable jury could even regard the sexual assaults as improper methods of carrying out employment objectives. Martin presented no evidence that his training was deficient or that Thicklen did not understand it. View "Martin v. Milwaukee County" on Justia Law

by
The First Circuit affirmed the district court’s grant of summary judgment to MVM, Inc. as to a former employee’s claims under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. 2000, et seq., and related Puerto Rico laws, holding that the district court did not err in granting summary judgment as to these claims. Plaintiff, a former employee of MVM, Inc., brought a variety of federal and Puerto Rico law claims against MVM and other defendants. After dismissing several of Plaintiff’s claims, the district court granted summary judgment to MVM as to the remainder. The First Circuit affirmed the summary judgment ruling, holding that the district court did not err in granting summary judgment to MVM on Plaintiff’s hostile work environment claim, Plaintiff’s claim under Title VII that MVM had unlawfully subjected her to disparate treatment because of her gender, and Plaintiff’s claim under Title VII for retaliation. View "Bonilla-Ramirez v. MVM, Inc." on Justia Law

by
At issue in this case was whether the Labor Management Relations Act completely preempts a Minnesota Human Rights Act claim for disability discrimination brought by a former employee of a nuclear power plant. The Eighth Circuit reversed the district court's denial of remand to state court and grant of judgment on the pleadings to the employer, holding that the employee's claim could not be resolved without interpreting a collective-bargaining agreement. The court held that section 301 of the Act completely preempted plaintiff's disability discrimination claim under the Minnesota Human Rights Act; the district court had jurisdiction over the removed matter; and the judgment on the pleadings was properly granted because the section 301 claim was time-barred. View "Boldt v. Northern States Power Co." on Justia Law

by
In 2015, Wis. Stat. 111.01, changed many provisions of state labor laws. One provision purported to change the rules for payroll deductions that allow employees to pay union dues through dues‐checkoff authorizations. By signing an authorization, the employee directs the employer to deduct union dues or fees routinely from the employee’s paycheck and to remit those funds to the applicable union. The union itself is not a party to the authorization, which is effective if and only if the employee wishes. Federal law allows unions to bargain collectively with employers over the standard terms of dues‐checkoff authorizations: the authorization must be individual for each employee, in writing, and irrevocable for no longer than one year, 29 U.S.C. 186(a)(2), (c)(4). Wisconsin attempted to shorten this maximum period to 30 days. The district court found the matter preempted by federal law and issued a permanent injunction barring enforcement of the provision. The Seventh Circuit affirmed, citing the Supreme Court’s summary affirmance in a case finding a nearly identical state law preempted. Wisconsin’s attempt to short‐circuit the collective bargaining process and to impose a different dues‐checkoff standard is preempted by federal law. View "International Association of Machinists District 10 v. Allen" on Justia Law

by
In this workers’ compensation case, the Supreme Court affirmed summary judgment in favor of Employer, holding that an injury arising from Employer’s failure to provide medical assistance to Employee suffering a stroke arose out of and in the course of the employment, and therefore, Employee’s sole remedy for the injury was workers’ compensation. Employee sued Employer for failure to aid him during the “golden window” of diagnostic and treatment opportunity when he was suffering a stroke. The district court granted summary judgment for Employer, concluding that Employee’s exclusive remedy was workers’ compensation. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that Employee’s exclusive remedy against Employer was workers’ compensation because his injuries occurred in the course of his employment and arose out of his employment. View "Baiguen v. Harrah’s Las Vegas, LLC" on Justia Law

by
William Beaulieu appealed a district court judgment reversing an administrative law judge's ("ALJ") order awarding benefits and affirming prior Workforce Safety & Insurance ("WSI") orders. The ALJ's order finding Beaulieu had a fifty percent permanent partial impairment rating was not in accordance with the law and not supported by the evidence. Therefore, the North Dakota Supreme Court concluded the ALJ erred in awarding permanent partial impairment and permanent total disability benefits. View "WSI v. Beaulieu" on Justia Law

by
The Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court's decertification of two related collective actions brought under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) by LAPD officers, alleging a pervasive, unwritten policy discouraging the reporting of overtime. The panel held that the officers can appeal a decertification order when they were dismissed from the collective action before final judgment and without prejudice to their individual FLSA claims. The panel held that opt-in plaintiffs are parties to the collective action, and an order of decertification and dismissal disposes of their statutory right to proceed collectively. Therefore, they have standing to appeal and may do so after the interlocutory decertification order to which they are adverse merges with final judgment. The panel also held that the collective actions in this case were properly decertified and the officers properly dismissed for failure to satisfy the "similarly situated" requirement of the FLSA. The panel's de novo review of the record demonstrated that the officers failed, as a matter of law, to create a triable question of fact regarding the existence of a Department-wide policy or practice. View "Campbell v. City of Los Angeles" on Justia Law

by
David Martin's employment with Gonzaga University was terminated. He sued, alleging he was wrongfully discharged because of whistle-blowing, and asserted a private cause of action under RCW 49.12.250 for an alleged violation of the statute's requirement he be provided with his complete personnel file. Gonzaga successfully moved for summary judgment, dismissing the case, and the Court of Appeals affirmed dismissal of the wrongful discharge, but remanded the personnel file claim for further findings of fact. The issue this appeal presented for the Washington Supreme Court's review centered on whether the Court of Appeals applied the proper test to Martin's whistle-blower claim. The Supreme Court determined the appellate court applied the incorrect standard, and that the personnel file claim was not yet justiciable. So the Supreme Court affirmed dismissal of the whistle-blower claim, and reversed the personnel file claim, finding Gonzaga was entitled to summary judgment on both claims. View "Martin v. Gonzaga Univ." on Justia Law