Civil Rights Transportation

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August 2015 Update on Significant DOT, FAA and Other Federal Agencies’ Aviation-Related Regulatory Actions

This edition of the Cozen O’Connor Aviation Regulatory Update discusses DOT’s launch of an investigation of alleged price gouging by airlines following Amtrak train service disruption in the Northeast Corridor, the agency’s...more

Preventing Whistleblower Claims in the Automotive Industry

Whistleblower and retaliation claims are some of the most costly claims brought by employees and they are on the rise. OSHA, who governs complaints for over 20 whistleblower statutes, reports a 58% increase in whistleblower...more

New DOT Rules Close Unintended Gap Regarding ADA Obligation To Modify Operating Practices

The U.S. Department of Transportation ("DOT") has issued new rules effective July 13, 2015 requiring transportation entities to modify their operating practices in certain circumstances to accommodate disabled passengers....more

"Supreme Court: A Term-End Review"

As the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2014-15 term draws to a conclusion, the Court has resolved — or will resolve in a matter of days — several cases with potentially wide-reaching implications for a range of important policy and...more

Federal Guidance Clarifies When and How Employers Can Accept California’s New AB 60 Driver’s Licenses from Possibly Unauthorized...

Since early 2015, qualified California residents have been able to apply for and receive a driver’s license issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles without proving that their presence in the United States is authorized...more

Uber’s ADA Conundrum

When you think of Uber (or similar companies like Lyft and Sidecar) you probably think of a transportation company. You request a ride on the company’s app and a driver (in his own vehicle) picks you up. The nature of the...more

Federal Lawsuit Challenging Uber X’s Exclusion of Service Animals Shifts into Discovery

Recently, a Federal court in Northern California denied Uber Technologies, Inc.’s request to dismiss an access lawsuit. The plaintiffs, National Federation of the Blind of California (“NFBC”) and individual blind members with...more

Senate Approves Auto Industry Whistleblower Bill

Under the “Motor Vehicle Safety Whistleblower Act” (the Bill), which the U.S. Senate approved on April 28, 2015, whistleblower protections and bounties would be available to individuals who report motor vehicle defects. In...more

Could The SEC Ask Airlines To Produce Data On Delayed And Canceled Flights?

The following story is fiction.   It was imagined following the SEC’s recently settled action against KBR, Inc. Airlines were caught completely off guard yesterday by SEC letters asking that they produce five years of...more

Southwest Airlines Reaches Settlement in Whistleblower Lawsuit

A Southwest Airlines employee claims that he was retaliated against for uncovering and reporting two cracks while investigating the fuselage of a Boeing 737-700 during his regular maintenance checks. Now, Southwest has agreed...more

Supreme Court Expands Whistleblower Protections

The Supreme Court has been showing a tendency towards increasing whistleblower protections. The most recent installment of this trend was a recently decided case in which the Court granted whistleblower status to an Air...more

Treaty Preempts Discrimination and Contract Claims From Seat Assignment Dispute - Although the Complaint Did Not Plead a Montreal...

The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia granted an airline's pre-answer motion to dismiss a passenger's discrimination and breach of contract claims arising from the airline's alleged failure to assign the...more

Federal Air Marshal Could Proceed With Whistleblower Lawsuit

Robert J. MacLean became a federal air marshal for the TSA in 2001. In that role, MacLean was assigned to protect passenger flights from potential hijackings. In July 2003, the Department of Homeland Security issued a...more

InterConnect - Winter/Spring 2015

In this Issue: - Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Employers Must Walk a Narrow Path to Comply with DOT and EEOC Directives - New FDA Guidance for 3PLs on License Reporting Under the DSCSA - Moving Ahead in...more

Pam Transport Ordered to Pay $477,399 In EEOC Disability Case

Trucking Company Subjected a Class of Drivers to Unlawful Medical Inquiries, Federal Agency Charged - DETROIT - PAM Transport, Inc. has been ordered to pay 12 of its former truck drivers a total of $477,399 in a...more

Lift Off for Commercial Drone Regulations

Drones are everywhere. Technological innovations have created countless commercial opportunities for drones, also known as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Until recently, however, the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA)...more

Can Federal Immigration Law And AB 60 Be Reconciled?

On Jan. 1, 2015, the California Department of Motor Vehicles began accepting applications for the new A.B. 60 driver's license, named after the California legislative enactment that amended the state Vehicle Code to permit...more

Job descriptions continue to be critical in defending against disability claims

The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals recently affirmed summary judgment on behalf of the employer in a case where the employee claimed that the requirement to be a Department of Transportation-certified driver was not an...more

Supervisor Not "Qualified Individual" Under ADA after Failing DOT Medical Certification

Determining the essential functions of a job can be tricky, especially if there is no information or documentation with which to compare and consider. In this case, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit considered...more

Supreme Court Issues Major Ruling Affecting Federal Workers Violating Agency Regulations

On January 21, 2015, the United States Supreme Court issued a ruling determining that federal workers that violate agency regulations are still covered by federal whistleblower protections. The case was DHS v. MacLean, and...more

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

Supreme Court Continues to Advance Broad View of Whistleblower Protections

Various whistleblower laws protect employees who "lawfully" disclose confidential information in good faith to bring to light illicit or illegal activity. Generally, therefore, employees do not receive whistleblower...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

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

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