Articles Posted in US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit

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The First Circuit affirmed the district court’s dismissal of Plaintiffs’ third amended complaint in this federal-sector employment discrimination case in which Plaintiffs invoked “extravagant” theories of liability. Specifically, Plaintiffs alleged deprivations of their First, Fourth, Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment rights and sought damages under the Bivens doctrine, see Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of FBN, 403 U.S. 388, 389 (1971). The complaint also proffered claims under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO). The district court dismissed the complaint and entered judgment in Defendants’ favor, ruling that Plaintiffs could not dodge the preclusive effect of the Civil Service Reform Act (CSRA) and Title VII by “creatively” pleading causes of action. The First Circuit agreed with the district court, holding that Plaintiffs’ theories ran “headlong into an impenetrable barrier” forged by the CSRA and Title VII. View "Gonzalez v. Otero" on Justia Law

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In this complaint by a former employee alleging violations of the American Disabilities Act (ADA) there was no error in the district court’s jury instructions. Plaintiff filed a complaint against his former employer alleging that his termination violated the ADA. Plaintiff was fired from his job in the Town of Brookline’s Department of Public Works for unjustified absences from work and failing to provide adequate documentation for his use of sick leave. In his complaint, Plaintiff alleged that he had been suffering from sleep apnea and that the Town violated the ADA by discriminating against him on the basis of his sleep apnea disability, denying him a reasonable accommodation, and failing to engage in an interactive dialogue as required under the ADA. The First Circuit affirmed, holding that, contrary to Plaintiff’s contentions, the district court did not err in its instructions to the jury. View "McDonald v. Town of Brookline, Massachusetts" on Justia Law

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Plaintiff filed suit against the Secretary of Defense alleging discrimination on the basis of sex in violation of Title VII, 42 U.S.C. 2000e-2000e-17 based on his unsuccessful application for two teaching positions at an elementary school run by the Department of Defense. The district court granted summary judgment for Defendant. The First Circuit affirmed, holding that Plaintiff failed to offer any evidence establishing a genuine issue of material fact regarding whether Defendant’s proffered reason for not hiring Plaintiff was pretextual, and therefore, Plaintiff could not succeed in his challenge to the district court’s ruling dismissing his claim on summary judgment. View "Cruz v. Mattis" on Justia Law

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This appeals arose from a dispute over whether application of the Massachusetts Earned Sick Time Law (MESTL), 2014 Mass. Legit. Serv. ch. 505 (West), to interstate rail carriers that employ workers in Massachusetts is preempted by the Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act (RUIA), 45 U.S.C. 351-369. The First Circuit affirmed in part and vacated in part the judgment of the district court, holding that the RUIA, preempts some parts of the MESTL as applied to employees of interstate rail carriers. However, this case must be remanded to determine whether other parts of the MESTL that are not within the preemptive reach of the RUIA and are not otherwise preempted by other federal law might still be applied to interstate rail carriers. View "CSX Transportation, Inc. v. Healey" on Justia Law