Justia Labor & Employment Law Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals
Wilson v. Dollar General Corp.
Plaintiff filed charges of discrimination with the EEOC against his employer, Dollar General, alleging that Dollar General failed to provide reasonable accommodation for his disability in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), 42 U.S.C. 12101-12213. While awaiting the EEOC's notice of his right to sue, plaintiff filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Then plaintiff filed the present suit in district court. Dollar General moved for summary judgment, arguing that the filing of plaintiff's Chapter 13 bankruptcy petition deprived plaintiff of standing to maintain his ADA claim. The court agreed with its sister circuits and concluded that because of the powers vested in the Chapter 13 debtor and trustee, a Chapter 13 debtor could retain standing to bring his pre-bankruptcy petition claims. The court also concluded that because plaintiff was unable to show that he could perform the essential functions of his position with a reasonable accommodation, the district court properly granted summary judgment in Dollar General's favor. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment of the district court. View " Wilson v. Dollar General Corp." on Justia Law
Baldwin v. City of Greensboro
Plaintiff appealed the district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of the City. The district court held that plaintiff's claims under the Uniform Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA), 38 U.S.C. 4301-35, were barred by the four-year federal "catch-all" statute of limitations. The court held that section 1658(a) applied to plaintiff's claims because the language of that section unambiguously applied to civil actions arising under laws which, like USERRA, were enacted after December 1, 1990, and USERRA's successor statute did not apply retroactively. The court also held that plaintiff did not file this action within four years of its accrual, notwithstanding his tolling arguments. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment. View "Baldwin v. City of Greensboro" on Justia Law
Hegab v. Long
Plaintiff, an employee of NGA with a top secret security clearance, informed the NGA of his marriage after the investigation for his security clearance had been completed but before he had begun work. The NGA conducted a reinvestigation into his security clearance and then revoked the security clearance. Plaintiff commenced this action under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), 5 U.S.C. 500 et seq., against the NGA and its Director to reverse the NGA's decision, to reinstate his security clearance, and to award him back pay, benefits, and attorneys' fees. The district court dismissed the complaint, concluding that it did not have subject-matter jurisdiction to review a security clearance determination. The court concluded that plaintiff's speculative and conclusory allegations of constitutional violations were essentially recharacterizations of his challenge to the merits of the NGA's security clearance determination and that the court did not have jurisdiction to review such a determination. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment. View "Hegab v. Long" on Justia Law
Mayo v. Board of Education of Prince George’s County
Plaintiffs, five current or former temporary employees of the School Board, filed a class action complaint asserting employee-compensation claims against the School Board, its chair, and the Union. Plaintiffs alleged that even though the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) excluded "temporary employees" from the bargaining unit, they were entitled to the benefits of an arbitration award entered as the result of an arbitration between the School Board and the Union, as well as benefits from the underlying CBA. The court concluded that the Union adequately consented to the notice of removal to federal court; that neither substantive claim asserted by plaintiffs stated a plausible claim for which relief could be granted; and that the district court did not err in striking plaintiffs' motion for reconsideration of the district court's dismissal order. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment of the district court. View "Mayo v. Board of Education of Prince George's County" on Justia Law
Trail v. Local 2850 UAW
After being fired by General Dynamics, plaintiff sued the local affiliate, the UAW and UAW's regional office, alleging that two local union officials violated the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959 (LMRDA), 29 U.S.C. 101, 102, 609, by retaliating against her for reporting their supposed misconduct to the regional office. The district court dismissed the complaint for failure to state a claim. While the court thought that the district court ruled too broadly against the speech rights of union members under the LMRDA, the court nonetheless affirmed its judgment on narrower grounds. The content of plaintiff's speech - that the president and vice president viewed pornography on a Union computer on a single occasion - was not a matter of union concern. Plaintiff failed to point to a single action by the Union as a whole, let alone a Union action that was the result of an established Union disciplinary process. View "Trail v. Local 2850 UAW" on Justia Law
Glynn v. EDO Corp.
Plaintiff filed a retaliation action under the False Claims Act (FCA), 31 U.S.C. 3729-3733, alleging that defendants, IST and its parent company, EDO, fired plaintiff because he reported IST to the government for what he believed to be fraudulent conduct. IST is a New Hampshire corporation that designs and manufactures counter-improvised explosive devices (C-IEDs) for the government. Plaintiff, hired by IST as an engineer, made complaints regarding what he perceived as the failure of Mobile Multi-Band Jammer systems (MMBJs) devices to function properly at elevated temperatures. The court held that plaintiff's purported investigation activities did not raise a distinct possibility of a viable FCA action and were not protected; the court could not say that IST made a material false certification of compliance with government contracts; and plaintiff's complaint about IST did not raise a distinct possibility of a viable FCA claim. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment. View "Glynn v. EDO Corp." on Justia Law
Balas v. Huntington Ingalls Industries
Plaintiff appealed the district court's denial of relief on her claims of discrimination, retaliation, and hostile work environment, brought under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. 2000e, as well as wrongful discharge, assault, and battery, brought under Virginia law, against Huntington Ingalls, the successor to her former employer. According to plaintiff, Huntington Ingalls subjected her to an ongoing sexually hostile work environment and her claims centered on the actions of her supervisor. The court held that the district court properly declined to consider those allegations not included in plaintiff's EEOC charge; because the district court correctly determined that amending her complaint would be futile, it did not abuse its discretion in denying her leave to do so; because the department manager did not know of the protected activity, and because the supervisor, who allegedly influenced him, was not principally responsible for the decision to terminate plaintiff's employment, the court affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment to Huntington Ingalls on the retaliatory discharge claim; and the court affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment as to the assault and battery claims. View "Balas v. Huntington Ingalls Industries" on Justia Law
Young v. UPS
Plaintiff appealed the district court's grant of summary judgment for her employer, the UPS, pursuant to the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA), 42 U.S.C. 2000e(k), and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq. The court held that plaintiff presented no direct evidence of pregnancy discrimination where the UPS policy at issue, that did not provide light duty work to pregnant workers but did for certain other employees, treated pregnant and nonpregnant workers alike and therefore complied with the PDA. Plaintiff also failed to offer sufficient evidence to make out a prima facie case of discrimination under the McDonnell Douglas framework. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment. View "Young v. UPS" on Justia Law
Laing v. Federal Express Corp.
Plaintiff claimed that FedEx violated the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), 29 U.S.C. 2601 et seq., by terminating her employment in retaliation for her decision to take medical leave and by failing to restore her to an equivalent position upon her return from leave. Plaintiff worked for FedEx as a mail courier and FedEx claimed that she was terminated for falsifying her delivery records. Because plaintiff failed to point to any evidence that FedEx treated similarly situated employees who had not taken FMLA leave more favorably, and because the record showed that FedEx would have suspended and terminated her employment regardless of her decision to take leave, the court affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of FedEx. View "Laing v. Federal Express Corp." on Justia Law
Ashland Facility Operations v. NLRB
Ashland Facility petitioned for review of the Board's order that Ashland Facility cease and desist from refusing to bargain with the Union. Ashland Facility contended on appeal that allegedly racially inflammatory remarks by an executive of the Virginia State Conference NAACP undermined the validity of a representation election certifying the Union as the exclusive bargaining representative of certain Ashland Facility employees. The court concluded that the Board correctly found that even if the Virginia NAACP had been an agent of the Union, the executive's prepetition statements did not provide a basis for setting aside the election. Because the court concluded that the Union was properly certified, the court denied Ashland Facility's petition for review and enforced the Board's order. View "Ashland Facility Operations v. NLRB" on Justia Law