Transportation Labor & Employment Civil Procedure

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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

California Delivery Drivers Gain Employee Status Despite Independent Contractor Agreements

On June 16, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that home-delivery drivers who transported furniture and appliances for a leading transportation and logistics company under independent contractor agreements...more

Alcoholic Truck Driver Case Is Good For Transportation Employers, But Be Careful

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, which hears appeals from federal courts in Alabama, Florida, and Georgia, recently affirmed summary judgment for Crete Carrier Corporation. Crete fired one of its truck drivers...more

Delivery Drivers Classified As Employees Despite Signed Agreement Purporting To Establish Independent Contractor Relationship

Recently, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, applying California law, concluded that delivery drivers who signed agreements stating they were independent contractors and not employees would still be...more

Delivery Drivers are Employees, Not Independent Contractors, Ninth Circuit Rules

Sometimes a title tells you all you need to know. If you listen to the 1969 Pink Floyd track, “Several Species of Small Furry Animals Gathered Together in a Cave and Grooving with a Pict,” you pretty much know what you are...more

DOT Proposes to Fine Motor Carriers and Others Who Coerce Drivers to Violate Safety Rules

The Surface Transportation Act currently provides commercial drivers with recourse if they are retaliated against for refusing to violate federal motor carrier safety rules. Earlier this month, the Department of...more

Bankruptcy Court Dismisses Class Action DFR Complaint Involving Airline Merger

One deliberately ironic facet of the 2004 film Howard Hughes bio-pic The Aviator (the one with Leonardo DiCaprio) is the fact that the airlines fighting for world dominance in the 1940s were Howard Hughes’ TWA and Juan...more

The Supreme Court’s Ginsberg Decision Could Significantly Affect the Outcome of Motor Carrier Preemption Cases

In a unanimous decision, the U.S. Supreme Court recently held that the Airline Deregulation Act (ADA) can preempt even common law claims for breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing if such claims relate...more

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