Articles Posted in US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

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The Second Circuit reversed the district court's denial of Attending's motion to compel arbitration in an action under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and New York Labor Law (NYLL). The court held that the arbitration clause mandated arbitration of the relevant claims and did not deny due process to Attending's employees. In this case, the union agreed to mandatory arbitration in the collective bargaining agreement on behalf of its members and the arbitration agreement here clearly and unmistakably encompassed the FLSA and NYLL claims. Furthermore, the challenged portion of the arbitration clause, which simply specified with whom arbitration will be conducted in accordance with established Supreme Court precedent, did not violate due process. View "Abdullayeva v. Attending Homecare Services, LLC" on Justia Law

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In an action alleging that her employer and union engaged in disability-based discrimination under New York state law, plaintiff appealed the district court's judgment denying her motion to remand to state court. The Second Circuit affirmed, holding that the district court properly denied plaintiff's motion for remand because all of her claims were preempted by section 301 of the Labor Management Relations Act. Section 301 governs claims founded directly on rights created by collective bargaining agreements, and also claims substantially dependent on analysis of a collective bargaining agreement. In this case, plaintiff's claims against the hospital defendants and the union were preempted because they were substantially dependent upon analysis of the collective bargaining agreement. The court considered plaintiff's remaining arguments and concluded that they were meritless. Accordingly, the court dismissed the complaint. View "Whitehurst v. United Healthcare Workers East" on Justia Law

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Employer petitioned for review of the Board's holdings that it engaged in unfair labor practices in violation of the National Labor Relations Act. The Second Circuit granted the petition to the extent it challenged the Board's rulings and orders with regard to "interrogation" and the discharge of an employee for insubordination, and the order that the Board's remedial notice be read aloud at a meeting of employees. The court denied the petition for review in all other respects and granted the cross-petition for enforcement in part, denying in part. View "Bozzuto's Inc. v. NLRB" on Justia Law

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The Second Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment to defendants in an action alleging violations of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, as well as state and city law. Plaintiff claimed that he experienced several adverse employment actions while he was employed at the DOI, because of his hearing disability. The district court held, among other things, that no reasonable jury could conclude that plaintiff had experienced any adverse employment action "solely by reason of" his disability. The court affirmed on different grounds and held that a plaintiff alleging an employment discrimination claim under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act must show that the plaintiff's disability was a but‐for cause of the employer's action, not the sole cause. The court agreed with the district court that plaintiff failed to provide sufficient support for his claim that he was retaliated against for making complaints, he was demoted in retaliation for appealing a negative performance review, and that the DOI subjected him to a slew of retaliatory actions. View "Natofsky v. City of New York" on Justia Law

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The Second Circuit vacated the district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of defendants in an action alleging claims of retaliation and hostile work environment discrimination in violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967. The court held that the district court erred in refusing to consider evidence of events that, though they preceded the actionable time period if viewed as discrete events, remain actionable as part of a hostile work environment and relevant as background for a claim of retaliation; that in assessing the claims of retaliation, the district court erroneously applied the standard applicable to claims of discrimination rather than claims of retaliation; and that the evidence, viewed in the light most favorable to plaintiff, sufficed to present triable issues of material fact as to the claims of hostile work environment and retaliation. View "Davis-Garett v. Urban Outfitters, Inc." on Justia Law

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Plaintiff filed suit against the university and others, alleging in part that defendants violated his procedural due process rights under the Fourteenth Amendment when they placed him on involuntary leave and later terminated his employment. The Second Circuit held that the district court erred in denying summary judgment to the then-President of the University, John Schwaller, on the ground of qualified immunity. The court held that failure to comply with a state procedural requirement—such as the New York Civil Service Law—does not necessarily defeat a claim for qualified immunity under federal law. Because the district court based its holding almost exclusively on Schwaller's failure to comply with the New York State Civil Service Law, it legally erred by not accessing whether his conduct violated the procedural guarantees of the federal Due Process Clause. The court held that plaintiff's placement on involuntary leave was not a deprivation of a property interest sufficient to trigger due process requirements. Therefore, Schwaller's conduct did not violate clearly established federal law and he was entitled to qualified immunity as a matter of law. Accordingly, the court reversed in part and remanded with instructions to dismiss the due process claim against Schwaller. View "Tooly v. Schwaller" on Justia Law

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Plaintiff appealed the district court's dismissal of his complaint, alleging claims for hostile work environment, disparate treatment, failure to accommodate, and retaliation. Plaintiff suffered from Tourette's Syndrome and Obsessive‐Compulsive Disorder since birth. The Second Circuit affirmed the dismissal of plaintiff's disparate treatment, failure to accommodate, and retaliation claims. However, the court held that plaintiff's hostile work environment claim was cognizable and that there were disputes as to material facts in this case. Viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to plaintiff, the court held that plaintiff has raised an issue of fact as to whether the frequency and severity of mockery he received rose to the level of an objectively hostile work environment. Accordingly, the court vacated in part and remanded for further proceedings. View "Fox v. Costco Wholesale Corp." on Justia Law

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Plaintiff filed suit against the Academy, alleging violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and Articles 6 and 19 of the New York Labor Law (NYLL). The Second Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of judgment on the pleadings. The court held that individuals enrolled in a for‐profit vocational academy, who are preparing to take a state licensure examination and who must first fulfill state minimum training requirements, fulfill those requirements by working under Academy supervision for a defined number of hours, without pay; the primary beneficiary test in Glatt v. Fox Searchlight Pictures, Inc., 811 F.3d 528, 536‐537 (2d Cir. 2015), governs in the for‐profit vocational training context; and plaintiff, as a former student of the Academy, was the primary beneficiary of the relationship, thus excusing the latter from potential compensation obligations under FLSA or NYLL related to plaintiff’s limited work there as a trainee. View "Velarde v. GW GJ, Inc." on Justia Law

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Plaintiffs appealed the district court's holding that the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) preempted a two-tiered security bond provision contained in New York City Local Law 62 for the Year 2015, entitled the Car Wash Accountability Law. The law reduced the required bond amount when an applicant seeking a license to operate a car wash in New York City was a party to a collective bargaining agreement providing certain protections. The Second Circuit vacated the district court's order, holding that the district court erred in granting summary judgment on federal preemption prior to the completion of discovery. Accordingly, the court remanded the case so that the parties could take discovery. View "Association of Car Wash Owners Inc. v. City of New York" on Justia Law

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The Second Circuit affirmed the district court's dismissal of the Fund's claims against the DOE for delinquent withdrawal liability payments under the Multiemployer Pension Plan Agreements Act (MPPAA). The court held that the DOE had no obligation to contribute to the Fund under the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) nor its transportation contracts that would render it an employer for the purposes of the MPPAA. Furthermore, the Fund did not adequately plead that the DOE and each of the Contractors were a single employer, and thus the DOE was not bound by the contractors' CBAs as a single employer. Finally, the DOE had no obligation to contribute under 29 U.S.C. 1392(a)(1) and (a)(2). View "Division 1181 A.T.U -- New York Employees Pension Fund v. City of New York Department of Education" on Justia Law