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The Supreme Court denied Petitioner's petition for a writ of quo warranto, which Petitioner filed after the Governor suspended her as Superintendent of Schools for Okaloosa County, holding that the Governor did not exceed his suspension authority. In an executive order, Governor Ron DeSantis invoked his authority under Fla. Const. art. IV, 7(a) to suspend Petitioner. In her petition for writ of quo warranto, Petitioner asserted that the misconduct alleged in the executive order was limited to conduct that occurred "exclusively" in Petitioner's prior term in office, and therefore, the Governor exceeded his suspension power. The Supreme Court disagreed, holding that the executive order alleged misconduct occurring in Petitioner's current term and satisfied the standard set forth in State ex rel. Hardie v. Coleman, 155 So. 129, 133 (Fla. 1933). View "Jackson v. DeSantis" on Justia Law

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Plaintiff was hired as an Assistant Principal at Grosse Pointe South High School in 2012. In 2014, Hamka became principal of GPSHS. Plaintiff had difficulties with changes instituted by Hamka and complained about Hamka’s comments and conduct toward her. After a series of incidents, Plaintiff received a “minimally effective” rating for the 2014–2015 school year in her personnel file, but an “effective” rating was sent to the State of Michigan as a “placeholder” pending Plaintiff’s job search. Plaintiff received only a one-year contract instead of a two-year rolling contract. She became ineligible for any merit pay or step increases and was placed on an Individualized Development Plan (IDP). In 2015, the district’s superintendent transferred Plaintiff to Parcells Middle School because of her complaint against Hamka and the other incidents. Plaintiff took Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave from November 2015 to March 2016 due to stress but nonetheless received an “effective” rating and was given a two-year contract and taken off the IDP. Plaintiff filed an EEOC charge in December 2015 alleging gender discrimination and retaliation for her earlier complaint of gender discrimination and harassment, then filed suit under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. 2000e, the FMLA, 29 U.S.C. 2601, and state law. The district court granted the school district summary judgment. The Sixth Circuit reversed with respect to the gender discrimination and retaliation claims but affirmed with regard to the FMLA retaliation claim. View "Redlin v. Grosse Pointe Public School System" on Justia Law

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To be "final" for purposes of 33 U.S.C. 921(d), an order must at a minimum specify the amount of compensation due or provide a means of calculating the correct amount without resort to extra-record facts. The Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court's dismissal of plaintiff's action against Vortex, seeking enforcement of a Department of Labor order requiring payment of plaintiff's future medical expenses under the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act. The panel held that the district court correctly found that it lacked jurisdiction over plaintiff's section 921(d) enforcement claim. In this case, the ALJ's order stated that Vortex must pay or reimburse plaintiff, but did not list an amount to be paid or a means of calculating what Vortex owed. The panel also held that the district court correctly rejected plaintiff's Medicare Secondary Payer Act claim as premature. View "Grimm v. Vortex Marine Construction" on Justia Law

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In this case brought under the Wage Act, Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 149, 150, the Supreme Judicial Court reversed the denial of Plaintiff's motion for class certification, holding that Mass. R. Civ. P. 23, as amended, provides the correct standard for determining class certification in a claim under the wage laws and that Plaintiff met his burden of demonstrating numerosity under that rule. Plaintiff alleged on behalf of himself and a putative class of similarly situated employees that Defendant had a practice of violating the "reporting pay" or "three hour" requirement of 454 Code Mass. Regs. 27.04(1). At issue was whether either the Wage Act or the minimum fair wage law, Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 151, 20, specify a different standard for class certification from that set forth in Rule 23 and whether the numerosity requirement was satisfied in this case. The motion judge denied Plaintiff's motion for class certification, concluding that the class was insufficiently numerous to satisfy the certification requirements of Rule 23. The Supreme Judicial Court reversed and remanded for further proceedings, holding that the motion judge correctly used the Rule 23 factors to analyze Plaintiff's claim but that the judge abused his discretion in denying class certification. View "Gammella v. P.F. Chang's China Bistro, Inc." on Justia Law

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The Washington South Education Association was the representative of all licensed teachers within the Northfield schools. The Northfield School Board and the Association negotiated and entered into the CBA, which was in effect from July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018. Paul Clayton was a middle-school physical-education teacher at the Northfield Middle High School (the School) and was a member of the Association. Therefore, Clayton’s employment was subject to the CBA. In late fall 2017, administrators at the School received complaints about Clayton’s workplace conduct. The complaints alleged that Clayton created a hostile work environment by intimidating his colleagues and advised a student (his daughter) to punch another student in the face. In response to the allegations, Clayton was placed on paid leave while the administrators investigated the complaints and interviewed a number of the School’s staff. Upon the conclusion of their investigation, the administrators wrote a letter to the School’s superintendent describing their findings and noting that while they gave Clayton the opportunity to respond, Clayton declined to respond in a follow-up meeting and then a second meeting scheduled to receive his rebuttal a few days later. After receiving the administrators’ letter, the superintendent wrote a letter to Clayton offering him an opportunity to meet with her to discuss the matter, and attached to the letter a summary of the allegations against Clayton. About a week later, the superintendent met with Clayton and his Association representation. Clayton did not file a notice of appeal of his ultimate suspension. Shortly thereafter, Clayton and the Association, now represented by the Vermont affiliate of the National Education Association (Vermont-NEA), submitted a grievance alleging a violation the CBA. The Board declined to accept the grievance, noting Clayton did not follow the prescribed termination procedures outlined in the CBA. Vermont-NEA thereafter invoked the CBA's arbitration procedures. A trial court agreed with the Board, and Clayton and the Association appealed. The Vermont Supreme Court determined Clayton and the Association failed to exhaust statutory remedies as required by 16 V.S.A. 1752, thus the trial court properly enjoined arbitration. View "Northfield School Board v. Washington South Education Association" on Justia Law

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In this appeal concerning the statutory definition of "idiopathic causes" contained in the statute excluding benefits for certain accidents or injuries the Supreme Court held that the Workers Compensation Appeals Board improperly denied benefits to Terrill Graber, who was injured when he fell down a workplace stairway, holding that there was not substantial competent evidence to support the Board's finding that the accident or injury arose directly or indirectly from an idiopathic cause under the statutory exclusion. There was no evidence presented in this case showing why Graber fell down the workplace stairway. The Board construed the term "idiopathic causes" in Kan. Stat. Ann. 44-508(f)(3)(A)(iv) broadly to cover all unknown causes and denied compensation. The court of appeals reversed after defining the term more narrowly. The Supreme Court affirmed and remanded the case to the Board for reconsideration consistent with this opinion, holding that the term "idiopathic causes" in this context means medical conditions or medical events of unknown origin that are peculiar to the injured individual. View "Estate of Graber v. Dillon Companies" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the district court's decision affirming the decision of the State Personnel Board dismissing Appellant's grievance challenging her termination as a teacher at the Youth Rehabilitation and Treatment Center, holding that the district court did not err in affirming the dismissal of Appellant's grievance. After the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) terminated Appellant's employment for cause Appellant completed a grievance form challenging her termination. Appellant initiated the grievance proceedings provided by the government collective bargaining agreement (CBA). The proceedings concluded with the Board dismissing Appellant's grievance appeals. The district court affirmed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that Appellant waived the right to continue to pursue her grievance under the terms of the CBA, and therefore, the district court did not err in affirming the Board's dismissal of Appellant's grievance. View "Bower-Hansen v. Nebraska Department of Health & Human Services" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of the trial court in favor of the Town of Denmark on Plaintiff's claim that the Town violated Maine's Whistleblowers' Protection Act (WPA), Me. Rev. Stat. 26, 831-40, by suspending Plaintiff after he engaged in what he alleged was WPA-protected activity, holding that the Town's actions were not unlawful. The trial court granted the Town's motion for summary judgment, concluding that Plaintiff had not engaged in WPA-protected activity, a necessary element to succeed in a WPA claim. The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed, holding (1) a dispute over the interpretation of an employment contract, without more, does not constitute a report of illegal activity; and (2) even if Plaintiff subjectively believed that the Town's action violated Maine law or the Town's charter, his subject belief alone was insufficient to meet the WPA's "reasonable cause" requirement. View "Lee v. Town of Denmark" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court vacated the September 20, 2016 judgment of the superior court entering judgment against Family Dollar Stores of Rhode Island, Inc. and affirmed the November 9, 2016 order of the superior court granting Family Dollar's emergency motion for a thirty-day extension of time within which to file its notice of appeal, holding that the hearing justice erred in dismissing Family Dollar's declaratory judgment action. Family Dollar filed this action against Justin B. Araujo seeking a declaratory judgment that the parties had entered into an enforceable settlement agreement releasing Family Dollar from claims that Araujo asserted against it in his charge before the Rhode Island Commission for Human Rights and also alleging breach of contract. The Commission was added as an additional party to the case. The hearing justice granted Defendants' motions to dismiss on the basis that the proper forum for this action was before the Commission. Family Dollar later filed an emergency motion for a thirty-day time extension, which the hearing justice granted. The Supreme Court affirmed in part and vacated in part, holding (1) the hearing justice did not abuse his discretion in finding excusable neglect in this case; and (2) Family Dollar's declaratory judgment action may proceed in superior court on remand. View "Family Dollar Stores of Rhode Island, Inc. v. Araujo" on Justia Law

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When De Melo was hired, he signed SCI’s “Owner/Operator Agreement,” five pages long, typed in small font, with 27 clauses. The arbitration clause provides that if the parties are unable to settle a dispute, disputes “within the jurisdictional maximum for small claims will be settled in the small claims court.” All other disputes shall be settled by arbitration in accordance with the Federal Arbitration Act. The clause prohibits consolidating claims in arbitration or arbitrating any claim as a representative member of a class or in a private attorney general capacity. All parties may examine up to three witnesses per party. Each deposition is limited to two hours. Any objections based on privilege and/or confidential information are reserved for arbitration. The arbitrators have authority to award actual monetary damages only. No punitive or equitable relief is authorized. All parties bear their own costs; no attorney’s fees or other costs may be granted. "The arbitrator’s decision shall be final and legally binding and judgment may be entered thereon.” De Melo’s native language is Portuguese; he cannot fully understand documents written in English. No one asked if he wanted the documents translated nor explained the documents. He was not given time to carefully review the documents; no one told him he could have an attorney review them. De Melo filed a claim with the Labor Commissioner, seeking unpaid overtime, meal, and rest period wages, reimbursement of unlawful wage deductions and business expenses, and statutory penalties. (Lab. Code, 203, 226, 2802.) . The court of appeal affirmed the denial of a petition to compel arbitration, finding that the arbitration clause was procedurally and substantively unconscionable and that severance of the substantively unconscionable provisions was not possible because the clause was permeated with unconscionability. View "Subcontracting Concepts (CT), LLC v. De Melo" on Justia Law