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Plaintiffs brought suit under the Fair Labor Standards Act against their employer, FTS, a cable-television business for which the plaintiffs work or worked as cable technicians. The district court certified the case as an FLSA collective action. FTS Technicians are paid pursuant to a piece-rate compensation plan; each assigned job is worth a set amount of pay, regardless of the amount of time it takes. FTS Technicians are paid by applying a .5 multiplier to their regular rate for overtime hours. They allege that FTS implemented a time-shaving policy that required its employees to systematically underreport overtime hours. A jury returned verdicts in favor of the class, which the district court upheld. The Sixth Circuit affirmed certification of the case as a collective action and a finding that sufficient evidence supports the verdicts, but reversed the calculation of damages. Following a remand by the Supreme Court, for further consideration in light of Tyson Foods, Inc. v. Bouaphakeo (2016), the Sixth Circuit held that Tyson does not compel a different resolution; the court again affirmed certification of the case as a collective action and that sufficient evidence supports the jury’s verdicts, and again for recalculation of damages. View "Monroe v. FTS USA, LLC" on Justia Law

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Petitioner, an in-home caretaker for the Department of Social Services, was riding her bicycle from one private home where she worked to another home where she was scheduled to work when she was struck and injured by a car. The Workers' Compensation Appeals Board concluded that the going and coming rule barred her claim for benefits. However, the workers' compensation judge (WCJ) found that the required vehicle exception to the going and coming rule applied because petitioner was impliedly required to provide her own transportation between patients' homes. The appeals board then concluded that petitioner's injury arose out of and in the course of employment. In this case, petitioner's transit was for the benefit of the Department and was impliedly requested by the Department. The Court of Appeal annulled the appeals board's earlier decision and remanded with directions to issue a new decision and opinion consistent with this opinion. View "Yu Qin Zhu v. Workers' Compensation Appeals Board" on Justia Law

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From 2008-2012, Stuckey worked as an AutoZone manager and was transferred between Chicago-area stores several times. None of the transfers entailed any loss in pay, benefits, or responsibilities. In 2012 he was transferred again, this time from a store on Kedzie Avenue that serves a largely Hispanic clientele. Stuckey never reported for work at his new assignment. He filed an EEOC complaint. Stuckey is black; he claimed that AutoZone transferred him out of the Kedzie location in an effort to make it a “predominantly Hispanic” store. The EEOC filed suit on Stuckey’s behalf alleging that the transfer violated 42 U.S.C. 2000e-2(a)(2), an infrequently litigated provision of Title VII that makes it unlawful for an employer “to limit, segregate, or classify his employees … in any way which would deprive or tend to deprive any individual of employment opportunities or otherwise adversely affect his status as an employee, because of such individual’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.” The Seventh Circuit affirmed summary judgment for AutoZone, holding that the transfer was not an adverse employment action. The court rejected EEOC’s argument that the statute does not require the claimant to prove that the challenged action adversely affected his employment opportunities or status. View "Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. AutoZone, Inc." on Justia Law

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Hanson provides public refrigerated warehousing and transportation services. It employs dozens of workers in Michigan and Indiana. Teamsters Union Local 142 filed a petition to be the exclusive collective‐bargaining representative for a subset of Hanson’s Indiana employees; 37 employees voted. Hanson and the union disputed two of the votes, a sufficient number to affect the outcome of the election. Hanson argued that one vote should not count, claiming that the voter’s intent could not be discerned from the ballot; the union argued that another vote should not count, claiming that the voter was not employed by the employer at the time of the vote. The National Labor Relations Board rejected Hanson’s argument and counted the first disputed vote as a vote in favor of representation, then concluded that the second disputed vote was no longer outcome determinative and certified the union. The Seventh Circuit reversed, finding it impossible to divine the voter’s intent from the face of the ballot. View "National Labor Relations Board v. Hanson Cold Storage Co. of Indiana" on Justia Law

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Section 306(a.2) of the Workers' Compensation Act allowed employers to demand that a claimant undergo an impairment -rating evaluation (IRE), during which a physician must determine the "degree of impairment" that is due to the claimant's compensable injury. In order to make this assessment, the Act required physicians to apply the methodology set forth in "the most recent edition" of the American Medical Association (AMA) Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment. In consolidated appeals, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court considered whether this mandate violated the constitutional requirement that all legislative power "be vested in a General Assembly, which shall consist of a Senate and a House of Representatives." In 2007, Mary Ann Protz sustained a work -related knee injury. Her employer, Derry Area School District (Derry), voluntarily began paying temporary total disability benefits. An IRE physician evaluated Protz and assigned to her a 10% impairment rating based upon the Sixth Edition of the American Medical Association Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment (the Guides). Because Protz's impairment rating was less than 50%, Derry filed a modification petition seeking to convert Protz's disability status from total to partial -the effect of which would be to limit the duration that Protz could receive workers' compensation benefits. A Workers' Compensation Judge (WCJ) granted the petition. Protz appealed to the Workers' Compensation Appeal Board, arguing that the General Assembly unconstitutionally delegated to the AMA the authority to establish criteria for evaluating permanent impairment. The Board rejected Protz's constitutional argument and affirmed the WCJ's decision. The Commonwealth Court reversed the Board, finding that the Act lacked "adequate standards to guide and restrain the AMA's exercise" of its delegated power to create a methodology for grading impairment. Derry and Protz appealed. The Supreme Court concluded the Pennsylvania Constitution prevented the General Assembly from passing off to another branch or body de facto control over matters of policy. The Court affirmed the Commonwealth Court's holding that Section 306(a.2) violated the non-delegation doctrine, however, found that Section 306(a.2) was unconstitutional in its entirety. View "Protz v. Workers Compensation Appeals Board" on Justia Law

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Nicholson has been a Peoria police officer since 1991. In 2003, she became the Asset Forfeiture investigator. Five years later, Nicholson had serious issues with fellow officer Wilson, whom she accused of using department equipment to place her under surveillance. The department conducted an investigation, after which Wilson was suspended for 20 days Nicholson then filed an EEOC charge of discrimination, followed by a lawsuit, which was settled. A new Rotation Policy, implemented in 2012, provided that all specialty assignments, including the Asset Forfeiture investigator position, were subject to three-year rotations. Nicholson sought reappointment. According to the panel that interviewed her, Nicholson “[i]nterviewed very poorly, seemed angry [and] controlling.” She began her interview by refusing to answer questions until she read aloud a nine-page manifesto. The panel selected another officer. After failing to retain the Asset Forfeiture position and having not applied to any other position, Nicholson was reassigned to patrol by default. Nicholson filed another EEOC charge, alleging that sex discrimination and unlawful retaliation. She then filed suit. The Seventh Circuit affirmed summary judgment in favor of defendants, stating that Nicholson did not present enough evidence to survive summary judgment on either claim and that her motion to recuse the judge was frivolous. View "Nicholson v. City of Peoria" on Justia Law

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The issue before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in this matter was whether a recently terminated employee was an "employee" and, thus, entitled to inspect her personnel file, according to the Inspection of Employment Records Law ("the Personnel Files Act" or "the Act"). Reading the Personnel Files Act according to its plain terms, the Court concluded that former employees, who were not laid off with re-employment rights and who are not on a leave of absence, have no right to access their personnel files pursuant to the Act, regardless of how quickly following termination they request to do so. The Court reversed the contrary holding of the Commonwealth Court. View "Thomas Jefferson Univ Hosp v. Dept of Lab. & Ind." on Justia Law

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Ferrill was hired as Edgewood Elementary School's principal for an initial two-year term with an automatic third-year rollover unless the Board of Education opted out. Ferrill is black; the district serves predominantly white suburbs on the southern edge of Milwaukee County. While she was principal, Edgewood's staff had exceedingly low morale. Ferrill had multiple performance complaints. Staff described her as confrontational, inconsistent, and quick to claim racism. The superintendent hired a consultant to improve Ferrill’s performance. The consultant recommended termination. The Board opted out of the rollover, at the superintendent's recommendation. Ferrill found a new job, which the Board treated as a functional resignation. She sued, alleging racial discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and 42 U.S.C. 1981, and retaliation under Title VII and the First Amendment. The district judge granted the Board summary judgment on some claims. A jury rejected others after less than 30 minutes of deliberation. The Seventh Circuit affirmed. Ferrill’s shortcomings were well documented and confirmed by an independent consultant, so she did not establish that she was meeting legitimate performance expectations and thus did not establish a prima facie case of discrimination. The retaliation claim failed for lack of evidence connecting the Board’s decision to activity protected by Title VII. View "Ferrill v. Oak Creek-Franklin Joint School District" on Justia Law

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Tibbs, an administrative assistant in the Illinois court system, was suspended the day she returned to work after taking leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act, 29 U.S.C. 2601. She was then fired after she chose not to attend a disciplinary meeting. Her supervisor, a judge in the judicial circuit in which she was employed, sent a letter citing several instances of misconduct, including insubordination. Tibbs sued the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts, contending that the agency employed her and that she was fired in retaliation for taking FMLA leave. The district court granted summary judgment for the agency, reasoning that it never employed Tibbs and thus could not have discharged her, and that in any event, there was no evidence of retaliation. The Seventh Circuit affirmed. Tibbs cannot point to evidence from which a jury could reasonably infer that any of her supervisors harbored retaliatory animus against her. The court did not resolve the question whether the Administrative Office employed Tibbs. View "Tibbs v. Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts" on Justia Law

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Plaintiff filed a wrongful termination suit under 42 U.S.C. 1983 and 1988, alleging violations of procedural and substantive due process stemming from legislation that abolished the University of Texas-Pan American (UTPA) and the University of Texas at Brownsville (UTB). The Fifth Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of defendants' motion for judgment on the pleadings with respect to plaintiff's section 1983 claims because plaintiff failed to demonstrate that he had a constitutionally protected interest in employment or tenure at UTRGV or the UT System at large. The court explained that plaintiff's protected property interests were limited to an interest in continuing appointment at the institution that granted him tenure, UTPA, an interest which terminated when the university was abolished. Furthermore, the court denied by implication plaintiff's motion for leave to amend pleadings, and denied plaintiff's motion to alter or amend the judgment. The court also declined to exercise jurisdiction over and dismissed plaintiff's declaratory judgment claim. View "Edionwe v. Bailey" on Justia Law