Justia Labor & Employment Law Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals
Liu v. Siemens AG
Plaintiff, a citizen and resident of Taiwan, filed suit alleging that by firing him Siemens had violated the antiretaliation provision of the Dodd-Frank Act, 15 U.S.C. 78u-6(h)(1)(A). The court concluded that the district court properly dismissed the complaint because legislation is presumed to apply only domestically unless there is evidence Congress intended otherwise; (2) there is no indication Congress intended the whistleblower protection provision to have extraterritorial application; and (3) the facts in the complaint unequivocally demonstrate that applying the statute in this case would constitute an extraterritorial application. Therefore, section 78u-6(h) does not protect a foreign worker employed abroad by a foreign corporation where all events related to the disclosures occurred abroad. View "Liu v. Siemens AG" on Justia Law
Nielsen v. AECOM Technology Corp.
Plaintiff filed suit against AECOM and AME under the whistleblower retaliation provision created by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, 18 U.S.C. 1514A. The district court dismissed plaintiff's claim against AECOM and plaintiff appealed. The court concluded that an alleged whistleblowing employee's communications need not "definitively and specifically" relate to one of the listed categories of fraud or securities violations in section 1514A in order for that employee to claim protection under the statute; a complaint under section 1514A must, however, plausibly plead that plaintiff engaged in protected activity - that plaintiff reasonably believed the conduct he challenged constituted a violation of an enumerated provision; in this case, plaintiff did not plausibly allege that it was objectively reasonable for him to believe that there was such a violation here; and, therefore, the court affirmed the judgment of the district court. View "Nielsen v. AECOM Technology Corp." on Justia Law
Stampf v. Trigg
Plaintiff filed suit against her coworker and her employer, LIRR, and others asserting violations of the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA) and 42 U.S.C. 1983; state law claims of false arrest, malicious prosecution, negligent and intentional infliction of emotional distress; and violations of state and city human rights laws. On appeal, the coworker challenged the district court's award of damages to plaintiff on her claim of malicious prosecution. The incident leading up to the suit concerned the coworker's accusation that plaintiff touched her breast in the workplace parking lot. The court affirmed the district court's denial of the coworker's motions for judgment as a matter of law and for a new trial on liability. The court concluded, however, that the jury's award of damages exceeded limits reasonably allowable in the district court's discretion. Therefore, the court reversed the district court's denial of the coworker's motion seeking a new trial on damages unless plaintiff accepted remittitur reducing the amount of the judgment. View "Stampf v. Trigg" on Justia Law
Mirabilio v. Regional School District 16
Plaintiff, a tenured culinary arts teacher, filed suit against the school board, alleging that the school board violated her due process rights under the Fourteenth Amendment and Connecticut General Statute 10-151 when it failed to provide notice and a hearing before reducing her full-time position to half-time. The court affirmed the district court's dismissal of her claim, concluding that plaintiff was not entitled to notice or a hearing where the reduction in hours and salary did not constitute a "termination" under Connecticut law. View "Mirabilio v. Regional School District 16" on Justia Law
Kirkland v. Cablevision Systems
Plaintiff filed suit against his former employer, Cablevision, alleging claims of race discrimination and retaliation under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. 2000e et seq. On appeal, plaintiff challenged the district court's grant of summary judgment for Cablevision on both claims and the district court's dismissal of plaintiff's pendant state law claims. The court concluded that the district court overlooked evidence raising a genuine factual dispute as to whether Cablevision's justifications for firing plaintiff were a pretext for race discrimination and retaliation, and a rational jury could find that Cablevision discriminated against plaintiff and fired him in violation of Title VII. Accordingly, the court vacated and remanded for trial. View "Kirkland v. Cablevision Systems" on Justia Law
Moll v. Telesector Resources Group, Inc.
Plaintiff filed suit against Verizon, alleging that the company discriminated against her, subjected her to a sexually hostile work environment, retaliated against her, and paid her less than her male colleagues for equal work. On appeal, plaintiff challenged the district court's grant in part of Verizon's motion to dismiss and motion for summary judgment, and denial of plaintiff's motion to compel production of documents. The court concluded that the district court erred when it refused to consider all allegations in the complaint in their totality, including those that were not sexually offensive in nature; the district court abused its discretion when it denied plaintiff's motion to compel documents related to Verizon's Reduction in Force events; and the district court erred when it refused to consider a witness's statements in an affidavit that contradicted prior deposition testimony. Accordingly, the court vacated the district court's judgment and remanded for further proceedings. View "Moll v. Telesector Resources Group, Inc." on Justia Law
Cox v. Onondaga Cnty. Sheriff’s Dep’t.
Plaintiffs filed suit under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. 2000e-3, against the Department, alleging claims of retaliation for their complaints of racial harassment to the EEOC. Plaintiffs had shaved their heads to demonstrate solidarity with one of the plaintiffs who had cancer and lost his hair as a result of chemotherapy. The Department subsequently investigated complaints that plaintiffs were "skinheads." The court held that the Department's initiation and conduct of an investigation into the white plaintiffs' claims of racial harassment alleged to have been generated by an African American officer, and a complaint against plaintiffs for filing false reports with the EEOC of such harassment, were not adverse employment actions. The court also held that threats by the Department to charge plaintiffs with making a false report to the EEOC established a prima facie case of illegal retaliation but that the Department has shown a non-retaliatory purpose, and plaintiffs have presented no evidence of pretext. Accordingly, the court affirmed the district court's dismissal of plaintiffs' retaliation claims. View "Cox v. Onondaga Cnty. Sheriff's Dep't." on Justia Law
Pippins v. KPMG LLP
Plaintiffs, employed as "Audit Associates," filed suit under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), 29 U.S.C. 201-219, against KMPG, alleging that they were entitled to overtime compensation. The court concluded that Audit Associates are learned professionals who perform work requiring advanced knowledge requiring the consistent exercise of discretion and judgment, and who have customarily received this advanced knowledge through a prolonged course of specialized intellectual instruction. Therefore, they are learned professionals and are exempt from the FLSA overtime requirements. The court concluded that plaintiffs' remaining arguments were without merit and affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment to KPMG. View "Pippins v. KPMG LLP" on Justia Law
Abrams v. Dept. of Pub. Safety
Plaintiff filed suit against DPS under 42 U.S.C. 1983 and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. 2000e et seq., against DPS. The court affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment as to the Title VII retaliation claim regarding plaintiff's Casino Unit transfer and the jury's verdict in favor of DPS as to the Title VII retaliation claim; vacated the district court's grant of summary judgment of the Title VII race discrimination claims where, balancing the McDonnell Douglas factors, the court concluded that it was simply too close to call and should be a question for a jury; vacated the corresponding race discrimination claim brought under the Equal Protection Clause under 42 U.S.C. 1983; and remanded for further proceedings. View "Abrams v. Dept. of Pub. Safety" on Justia Law
Brown v. Daikin America Inc.
Plaintiff appealed the district court's dismissal of his original complaint against DIL and his amended complaint against DIL's wholly-owned subsidiary, Daikin America. Plaintiff, a white male of United States origin, alleged that DIL and Daikin discriminated against him on the basis of his race and national origin. Plaintiff claimed that, for discriminatory reasons, Daikin America did not consider terminating any of the Japanese rotational employees or any employees of Japanese national origin who had been hired directly by Daikin America. The court concluded that, under the standards articulated in Cook v. Arrowsmith Shelburne, Inc., plaintiff sufficiently alleged that DIL was part of a "single integrated enterprise" with Daikin America to be properly named as a codefendant; plaintiff plausibly alleged a claim of race and national origin discrimination against both defendants; and, therefore, the court vacated and remanded for further proceedings. The court affirmed the judgment of the district court dismissing plaintiff's breach of contract claim because he failed to allege that either defendant maintained a written policy of terminating employees only for cause. View "Brown v. Daikin America Inc." on Justia Law