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You Must Be Sober For More Than A Week To Keep Your Truck Driving Job

If a commercial driver is diagnosed with chronic alcoholism, can his employer terminate him a week later because his diagnosis excludes him from performing the essential functions of his job? In Jarvela v. Crete Carrier...more

Arbitration Clauses In Employment Contracts

The Federal Arbitration Act requires courts to enforce clauses in commercial contracts that require arbitration of disputes. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that transportation workers engaged in interstate commerce are...more

Supreme Court Delineates Federal Whistleblower Protections in TSA Disclosure Case

On January 21, 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States decided whether a federal air marshal, who publicly disclosed that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) had decided to cut costs by removing air marshals...more

No Waiver Of PAGA Representative Claims (Yet)

This week, the U.S. Supreme Court denied certiorari in connection with the California Supreme Court’s decision in Iskanian v. CLS Transportation Los Angleles, LLC. Had the Court heard the Iskanian case, it was expected to...more

Supreme Court Decides Department of Homeland Security v. MacLean

On January 21, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court decided Department of Homeland Security v. MacLean, holding that an Air Marshal was entitled to whistleblower status after disclosing plans to remove Air Marshals from certain...more

Whistleblower Protection Extends To Federal Workers Who Violate Agency Regulations

Yesterday the U.S. Supreme Court held that an agent of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) who disclosed information that was prohibited by TSA regulations, was nonetheless protected under the Whistleblower...more

Mainbrace - January 2015 No. 1

In this issue: - A Sea Change Sweeps over Congress: A Look Back and a Look Ahead - Shipping & International Trade Law (Second Edition 2015) - Congress Passes Coast Guard Bill in Waning Hours of 113th...more

Flash No. 44 - 2014 … A Year In Review

2014 was uncomfortably fast. When did you last write 2013 on a check or a letter by mistake? If you did, rest assured that you are not alone. So, while we still have a few weeks before we have to face the start of a new year...more

Construction Case Law Update - November 2014

Personal Injury Liability, Design Standards, Slavin Doctrine, and Certorari Jurisdiction – Certiorari jurisdiction can arise where two parties in the same legal position move for summary judgment under the same theory...more

Agencies Beware: Supreme Court Leans Toward Air Marshal Whistleblower in Oral Argument

On November 4, 2014, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Dep’t of Homeland Security v. MacLean, bringing closer to an end the lengthy dispute between Robert MacLean and his former employer, the Transportation Security...more

FAAAA Does Not Preempt California Meal and Rest Period Requirements

In Godfrey v, Oakland Port Services Corp., which was decided on October 28, 2014, the California Court of Appeal issued a published decision holding that the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act of 1994 (FAAAA)...more

District Judge Allows Rail Union to Side Step Rule 23 with Pattern-Or-Practice Claim

A federal district judge in Hammond, Indiana, has permitted a rail union to pursue injunctive remedies in a Title VII pattern-or-practice discrimination claim on behalf of its black members without compliance with Rule 23. In...more

Conservative Kansas Joins the Liberal Ninth Circuit in Rejecting the Independent Contractor Classification of Delivery Drivers

Last month we blogged about two Ninth Circuit opinions that deemed FedEx Ground drivers to be employees rather than independent contractors under California and Oregon law. Last week the Kansas Supreme Court joined them,...more

First Circuit Favors Broad Application of Analogue to Airline Deregulation Act Preemption Provision

On September 30, 2014, in Massachusetts Delivery Association v. Coakley, No. 13-2307 (September 30, 2014), the First Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a lower court’s refusal to preempt a Massachusetts independent...more

Airline Industry Legal Alert: Ninth Circuit Hears Argument on Strike Injunction Against Non-Union Employees

Yesterday, Douglas Hall, a partner in the Airline Group of FordHarrison, appeared before an en banc panel of the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to defend an injunction obtained on behalf of Aircraft Service...more

Earthquake in the Independent Contractor Misclassification Field: Changed Landscape Following Serious Legal Blow to FedEx Ground...

FedEx Ground has been at the epicenter of the crackdown on IC misclassification by government regulators, state legislators, and plaintiffs’ class action lawyers since 2007, when a California appellate court found...more

Flash No. 42 FedEx Ground Drivers Found to be Employees: A Sequel To Ruiz

In a decision issued on August 27, the Ninth Circuit Federal Court of Appeals, in a case captioned Alexander v. FedEx Ground Package System, determined that FedEx Ground drivers were employees as a matter of law under...more

Federal Ninth Circuit Court Of Appeals Rules FedEx Drivers Are Employees, Not Independent Contractors, Under Both California's and...

Class actions were brought against FedEx in both California and Oregon by FedEx drivers contending they had been misclassified as independent contractors. (Alexander, et al. v. FedEx Ground Package System, Inc. and Slayman,...more

New Hampshire Court Dismisses Negligent Hiring and Retention Claims as Redundant of Motor Carrier’s Vicarious Liability

A New Hampshire trial court recently ruled that negligent hiring and retention claims asserted against a motor carrier on behalf of persons seriously injured in a multi-vehicle accident are redundant of the motor carrier’s...more

Motor Carriers Face Uphill Battle After California Supreme Court Decision

Harris v. Pac Anchor Transportation, Inc., No. S194388 (July 28, 2014): In a unanimous decision, the California Supreme Court has held that the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act of 1994 (FAAAA) does not...more

Supreme Court Poised to Hear TSA Whistleblower Case

The Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) plays a crucial role in our national safety infrastructure. Yet the agency has been subjected to significant criticism — and even been the butt of jokes — for the last several...more

Six Days on the Road and I'm Gonna Park My Truck to Comply with State Laws Tonight

My apologies to Dave Dudley. The song “Six Days on the Road” just doesn’t stand up to the changes we would have to make after the Ninth Circuit’s decision that the state meal and rest break laws are not preempted by federal...more

Third Circuit affirms dismissal of False Claims Act suit, citing contract ambiguity

Ambiguous contract terms are ordinarily a liability for government contractors, opening the possibility of misunderstandings, expensive disputes, and, potentially, unpaid additional work. However, contract ambiguity recently...more

Third Circuit Holds Ambiguous Contract Precludes FCA Liability

The Third Circuit recently upheld summary judgment in favor of the defendant in U.S. Dept. of Transp. ex rel. Arnold v. CMC Engineering, a whistleblower suit alleging the defendant overbilled Pennsylvania’s Department of...more

Illinois Appellate Court: School District’s Subcontracting of Transportation Services is “Part of Bargaining Process” and an...

The Illinois Appellate Court for the Fourth District recently found that a school district did not engage in any unfair labor practices when it subcontracted student transportation services to a third-party vendor and...more

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