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In this workers’ compensation case, the Court of Appeals clarified an exception to the "going and coming rule" - the special mission or errand doctrine. Employee, who was employed by Montgomery County, was injured in a car accident while driving from her home to a mandatory work training on a Saturday, which was normally her day off. The Workers’ Compensation Commission awarded compensation, finding that Employee’s injury arose out of and in the course of employment. The County sought judicial review, arguing that the going and coming rule prohibited recovery because accidental injuries sustained while going to or coming from work do not ordinarily arise out of and in the course of employment, and none of the exceptions to the rule applied. The circuit court granted summary judgment for the County. The Court of Special Appeals affirmed. The Court of Appeals reversed, holding (1) the going and coming rule, rather than the traveling employee doctrine, controlled Plaintiff’s case; but (2) the undisputed facts permitted a reasonable conclusion that the special mission exception to the going and coming rule applied in this case. View "Calvo v. Montgomery County, Maryland" on Justia Law

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Despite employment contracts providing for individualized arbitration to resolve employment disputes, employees sought to litigate Fair Labor Standards Act claims through collective actions. The Federal Arbitration Act generally requires courts to enforce arbitration agreements, but the employees argued that its “saving clause” removes that obligation if an arbitration agreement violates some other federal law and that the agreements violated the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). The National Labor Relations Board ruled that the NLRA effectively nullifies the Arbitration Act in such cases. The Supreme Court disagreed. The Arbitration Act requires courts to enforce the arbitration terms the parties select, 9 U.S.C. 2-4. The saving clause allows courts to refuse to enforce arbitration agreements only on grounds that exist for the revocation of any contract, such as fraud, duress, or unconscionability. The NLRA, which guarantees employees “the right to self-organization, to form, join, or assist labor organizations, to bargain collectively . . . , and to engage in other concerted activities for the purpose of collective bargaining or other mutual aid or protection,” 29 U.S.C. 157, does not mention class or collective actions nor indicate a clear and manifest wish to displace the Arbitration Act. The catchall term “other concerted activities” should be understood to protect the things employees do in exercising their right to free association in the workplace. The Board’s interpretation of the Arbitration Act, which it does not administer, is not entitled to Chevron deference. View "Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis" on Justia Law

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Plaintiff, the Regional Director of the National Labor Relations Board, filed suit against DISH, seeking an injunction against unilateral changes to employee wages during collective bargaining. The Fifth Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of an injunction in part, holding that the district court did not err in recognizing the nearly 25 percent disparity between union wages and non-union wages; such a basis provided sufficient factual support to survive an abuse of discretion standard of review; and the district court did not abuse its discretion by granting relief under Section 10(j) of the National Labor Relations Act where exceptional circumstances were present. Finally, the court did not evaluate the district court's failure to issue a cease and desist order against other future unilateral changes by DISH. View "Kinard v. Dish Network Corp." on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court vacating an arbitration award that reinstated Michael Crenshaw to his position as a campus police officer for the Community College of Rhode Island. Crenshaw was allowed to continue in his employment for almost a year without completing the statutorily required police training academy or receiving a waiver from having to do so. When, eventually, Crenshaw’s application for a waiver was not approved, the college terminated his employment. CCRI Educational Support Professional Association/NEARI (the union) brought this grievance. The college denied the grievance, and arbitration ensued. The arbitrator ordered that Crenshaw be reinstated to his position and compensated for lost time. The superior court granted the college’s petition to vacate the arbitration award on the grounds that it was irrational and manifestly disregarded a statutory requirement. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the arbitrator exceeded his powers by arbitrating a dispute that was nonarbitrable from the start because Crenshaw’s conditional offer of employment was conditioned on his satisfaction of the statutorily mandated academy requirement. View "Community College of Rhode Island v. CCRI Educational Support Professional Ass’n" on Justia Law

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Indiana juvenile courts may establish juvenile facilities; the judge must appoint staff and determine budgets. The county must pay the facility's expenses from general funds. The Allen Superior Court established a juvenile center, where Harris began working in 1995. His offer of employment included the seal of the “Allen Superior Court,” and he signed the Court’s Employee Handbook, acknowledging an employment relationship with the Court. His job description bore the seal of the Board of Commissioners; his medical records authorization identified the Commissioners as his employer and the juvenile center as his department. Harris’s discipline was handled by the Court; his evaluations were titled “Allen County Employee Performance Appraisal.” Harris injured his back at work. County Attorney Murphy sent Harris a form listing “Allen County Government” as his employer so that he could collect workers’ compensation benefits. A doctor determined that Harris had reached maximum medical improvement and imposed work restrictions. Murphy stated that his restrictions prevented Harris from “perform[ing] the essential functions” of his position “with or without a reasonable accommodation.” Harris applied to several county jobs but did not obtain employment. Harris sued under the Americans with Disabilities Act. The district court granted the County summary judgment, concluding that the Board was not Harris’s employer. Harris voluntarily dismissed the Court. The Seventh Circuit affirmed. Harris did not establish that the Board sufficiently controlled his employment, so a reasonable trier of fact could only conclude that the Board was not Harris’s employer. View "Harris v. Allen County Board of Commissioners" on Justia Law

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Petitioner challenged the Board's finding that it violated the unilateral change doctrine and the duty to provide relevant information during negotiations with its employees' bargaining representatives, SEIU, 121RN, and UHW. At issue in this appeal were the unfair labor practice charges filed by 121RN. The DC Circuit agreed with the Board that petitioner breached its duty to bargain when it unilaterally terminated employee anniversary step increases after the expiration of the parties' agreement. The court also held that the Board's conclusion that 121RN had no duty to provide any further explanation to justify the relevance of its employee health care program information requests was supported by substantial evidence. View "Prime Healthcare Services-Encino LLC v. NLRB" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the district court denying Employer’s motion for summary judgment on Employee’s lawsuit filed under the Iowa Civil Rights Act (ICRA) alleging that Employer discriminated against him based on his age, sex, and national origin. Matthew Jahnke, an employee of Deere & Co., worked as a factor manager at Harbin Works in Harbin, China under a contract with a Deere Chinese subsidiary. As discipline for Jahnke engaging in sexual relationships with two Chinese employees, Jahnke was ultimately removed as the factor manager, repatriated back to the United States, and assigned to a position of lesser authority and lower pay in Waterloo, Iowa. Jahnke filed suit under the ICRA. In its motion for summary judgment, Deere claimed that the ICRA did not apply extraterritorially and that Jahnke based his claims on allegations of discriminatory acts that occurred outside of Iowa. The district court denied the motion. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) the ICRA does not apply extraterritorially; and (2) because Jahnke failed to show that either he or Deere was located within Iowa for purposes of the alleged discriminatory act, Jahnke had no claim under the ICRA. View "Jahnke v. Deere & Co." on Justia Law

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In this complaint alleging violation of the Maine Whistleblower Protection Act (WPA), Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. tit. 26, 833, the district court faithfully followed the teachings of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court (the Law Court), correctly applied that court’s new, Maine-specific retaliation paradigm to Appellant’s WPA retaliation claim, and properly granted summary judgment in favor of Appellee. Invoking diversity jurisdiction, Appellant sued Appellee in Maine’s federal district court, alleging that Appellee violated the WPA. The district court granted summary judgment for Appellee. On appeal, Appellant argued that the district court ignored the prescriptions of the Law Court and improperly relied on the McDonnell Douglas framework, see McDonnell Douglas Corp. v. Green, 411 U.S. 792 (1973), in granting summary judgment for Appellee. The First Circuit affirmed, holding that the district court did not rely on the McDonnell Douglas framework but, rather, followed the teachings of the Law Court and properly determined that Appellant had not made out a cognizable claim for retaliation under state law. View "Theriault v. Genesis Healthcare LLC" on Justia Law

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The Fifth Circuit vacated the jury's verdict in favor of plaintiffs, former employees of Crest, in an action alleging violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act. The court held that the magistrate judge incorrectly placed the burden of proof on Crest as to the SAFETEA-LU Technical Corrections Act's applicability, and plaintiffs presented no evidence to meet their burden of proving the weight of the vehicles they operated. In this case, there was no legally cognizable evidence provided by plaintiffs to refute Crest's evidence that the gross vehicle weight rating of the vehicles was more than 10,000 pounds and thus the Corrections Act was applicable. View "Carley v. Crest Pumping Technologies, LLC" on Justia Law

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Plaintiff, a police officer and former police union official, filed suit alleging that defendants violated his First Amendment right to freedom of speech by retaliating against him for criticizing management decisions by police officials. The district court ruled in favor of defendants. The Second Circuit held that plaintiff's union remarks were not made under his official duties as a police officer and thus he spoke as a private citizen for purposes of the First Amendment. However, Defendants Moran and Mueller were entitled to qualified immunity, and plaintiff failed to allege a plausible claim for municipal liability against the city. Accordingly, the court affirmed in part, vacated in part, and remanded for further proceedings. View "Montero v. City of Yonkers" on Justia Law