Articles Posted in US Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit

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The Eighth Circuit denied the hospital's petition for review of the Board's determination that it violated section 8(a)(1) of the National Labor Relations Act by interfering with nonemployee union representatives' use of its cafeteria; the Board's determination that it violated section 8(a)(5) by unilaterally changing its cafeteria access rules; and the Board's determination that the hospital violated section 8(a)(1) when it engaged in surveillance of two nonunion representatives. The court held that substantial evidence supported the Board's determination that the hospital violated the Act when it prohibited an employee from wearing union insignia in the hospital's atrium on the day of picketing. Therefore, the court denied the hospital's petition for review as to this issue. However, the Board incorrectly determined that the hospital violated the Act by telling two nonemployees that they were prohibited from wearing union shirts in the facility. Accordingly, the court granted the cross application for enforcement in part and granted the petition for review in part. View "North Memorial Health Care v. NLRB" on Justia Law

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Plaintiff filed suit against his former employer, NCC, for breach of contract and alleging claims under the Nebraska Wage Payment and Collection Act. Applying Nebraska's two-part test to determine whether an agreement was voidable as a product of duress, the court held that there was, at least, a genuine issue of material fact as to whether the threat of termination would support a claim of duress. Therefore, the court remanded for a determination of this factual issue. The court also held that, considering all relevant circumstances then existing and viewing the facts in the light most favorable to plaintiff, the Term Sheet was unjust and thus voidable as a product of duress given the alleged pressure brought to bear on him to sign the Mutual Rescission and Term Sheet. Therefore, the district court erred by granting summary judgment for NCC on the breach of contract claim. Likewise, the district court erred in granting summary judgment for NCC on the state law claim. View "Gilkerson v. Nebraska Colocation Centers" on Justia Law

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Plaintiff filed suit against his former employer, Skybridge, alleging claims under federal and state law based on Skybridge's denial of a promotion and ultimate termination of plaintiff based on his age. The Eighth Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment for Skybridge, holding that the CEO's statement that the company was looking for a "New Face" was facially and contextually neutral when made to plaintiff. Under the McDonnell Douglas burden-shifting analysis, Skybridge articulated legitimate, nondiscriminatory reasons for selecting another person over plaintiff for the CTO position and for ultimately terminating plaintiff. In this case, plaintiff's position as IT director of fulfillment became superfluous. The court rejected plaintiff's two remaining claims of intentional misrepresentation and negligent misrepresentation. View "Aulick v. Skybridge Americas, Inc." on Justia Law

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Plaintiff filed suit against his former employer, MAT, alleging retaliation under the Minnesota Whistleblower Act, Minn. Stat. 181.932. The Eighth Circuit reversed the district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of MAT, holding that a supervisor's comment -- viewed most favorably to plaintiff -- was sufficient to support a finding by a reasonable fact finder that an illegitimate criterion actually motivated the adverse employment action. In this case, the supervisor stated that plaintiff would be "on the street" if he did not falsify testing data regarding a particular product. The court explained that the comment provided a specific link between plaintiff's protected conduct and his termination. View "Sellner v. MAT Holdings, Inc." on Justia Law

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The Eighth Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment to the employer on plaintiff's claim of retaliatory discharge in violation of the Minnesota Whistleblower Act (MWA). The court held that there was no genuine issue for trial because no rational trier of fact could conclude on this record that plaintiff's protected activity was causally connected to his termination. Therefore, the district court thus did not err in concluding that plaintiff failed to satisfy his initial burden of establishing a causal connection between his protected activity and his termination sufficient to establish a prima facie case of retaliation under the MWA. Even assuming that plaintiff had established a prima facie case of retaliation, he has not shown that Plant Engineering's stated reason for terminating his employment—unsatisfactory job performance—was pretext for retaliation. View "Mervine v. Plant Engineering Services" on Justia Law