Employer Liability Issues Appeals

News & Analysis as of

Third Circuit Expands FMLA Interpretation

In Deborah Hansler v. Lehigh Valley Hospital Network, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit overturned a motion to dismiss granted to Lehigh Valley based on FMLA regulations and its interpretation regarding...more

Appellate Court Delivers for FedEx—Second Class Cert Denial Affirmed by Ninth Circuit

When an employer has a denial of class certification remanded by an appellate court, it has a reason to worry. And while the employer might breathe a sigh of relief when the district court on remand again denies class...more

Wis. Supreme Court Applies the Discovery Rule to Accrual of Wrongful Death Claims

On June 24th, Wisconsin’s supreme court decided that the discovery rule—that is, the rule that a tort claim for which the legislature has provided no other rule “accrues” for statute-of-limitations purposes when the plaintiff...more

Second Circuit Tackles “Whistleblower” Protection Under Dodd-Frank

Last week, the Second Circuit heard oral arguments in Berman v. Neo@Ogilvy, a case that places squarely before the Court the question of who is a “whistleblower” within the meaning of the Dodd-Frank Act Wall Street Reform and...more

Labor Commissioner's Uber Decision: A Reminder of Misclassification Dangers

On June 3, 2015, the California Labor Commissioner ruled that a San Francisco-based driver for the popular ride coordination service Uber Technologies, Inc. (“Uber”), was an employee rather than an independent contractor....more

Berwick V. Uber: Small Decision, Uber-Sized Headache

In a somewhat unexpected, but not that surprising, ruling, the California Labor Commissioner, on June 3, 2015, issued a 12-page decision in favor of a pro se plaintiff driver against mighty Uber Technologies, Inc. for...more

NLRB Affirms Its Previous Decision Requiring Employer to Continue Providing Annual Wage Increases Beyond Contract Expiration

We previously blogged about the NLRB’s relatively shocking September 2012 decision in Finley Hospital (359 NLRB No. 9), in which the Board held that an employer was required to continue providing wage increases after the...more

California Court of Appeal Refuses to Enforce Forum Selection Clause Because Employer Would Not Stipulate to Apply California Law...

In Verdugo v. Alliantgroup, L.P., the California Court of Appeal held that a forum selection clause in an employment agreement was unenforceable because the employer could not prove that the employee’s rights under the...more

Ninth Circuit Overturns Injunction Against Air Carrier’s Unilateral Work Rule Changes During Bargaining for First Contract

The Railway Labor Act (RLA) did not require Allegiant Air to maintain the status quo with respect to work rules negotiated with an uncertified employee advocacy group during bargaining for a first contract with the Teamsters,...more

Retaliation in the Fourth Circuit: Recent Decision Creates New Challenges for Employers

In May 2015, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals (which has jurisdiction over federal courts in Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina) issued an opinion with negative consequences for employers...more

Fifth Circuit Finds Settlement Agreement Did Not Release Employees’ FLSA Claims

In Bodle v. TXL Mortgage Corp., No. 14-20224 (June 1, 2015), the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals held that a generic, broad-form settlement release between an employer and two of its former employees did not bar those...more

Texas Don’t Hold ‘Em: Forum Selection Clause Is Unenforceable

California courts generally favor forum selection clauses entered into freely by parties and where enforcement is not unreasonable. This general principle is true even if the forum selection clause is “mandatory” and requires...more

Court Issues Cautionary Edict to Users of Misclassified Workers

On June 1, 2015, the California Court of Appeal (Second Appellate District) in Noe v. Superior Court of Los Angeles (Levy) (Case No. B259570) extended the scope of liability under California Labor Code section 226.8....more

No-Hire Clauses Common to Settlement Agreements Now Void In California

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently broadened California's already expansive interest in promoting employee mobility by voiding any contract provision imposing a meaningful obstacle to a California resident's ability...more

Second Circuit Confirms That Providing “Effective” Reasonable Accommodation Sufficient Under ADA and NYS Law

In Noll v. Int’l Bus. Machs. Corp., 13-cv-4096 (2d Cir May 21, 2015), the Second Circuit Court of Appeals addressed the extent to which, under the ADA and New York State law, an employee must be provided with the precise...more

Airline Industry Alert: Ninth Circuit Reverses Status Quo Injunction against Airline

In a unanimous decision, a panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed a preliminary injunction arising out of an airline's alleged violation of the status quo provisions of the Railway Labor...more

California Appellate Court Reverses Trial Court, Grants Motion To Compel Arbitration

A state appellate court in California reversed a trial court’s decision to deny defendant Santa Lucia Preserve Company’s (“Santa Lucia”) motion to compel arbitration, holding that plaintiffs failed to prove that the...more

Fourth Circuit Orders Class Certification for African-American Steelworkers—Again

For the second time, the Fourth Circuit has determined that African-American employees at a South Carolina steel plant are entitled to Rule 23 class certification. In Brown v. Nucor Corporation and Nucor Steel-Berkeley,...more

Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals Holds Hostile Work Environment Can Be Created With A Single Racial Epithet

Despite consistent direction from the United States Supreme Court that courts should look at "all the circumstances" in determining whether a workplace environment is sufficiently hostile or abusive to give rise to an...more

Punitive Damages Not Authorized for State Employment Discrimination Claims, Says Court

In yesterday’s post, I talked about the case of Tomick v. UPS in looking at the prima facie case for disability discrimination. But the new Appellate Court case may be even more significant for its discussion of...more

California Court Ruling Pulls the Spurs Off PAGA Deputies' Boots

A new California appellate court decision provides much needed guidance regarding the proper scope of discovery in representative actions brought under the California Private Attorneys' General Act of 2004 (PAGA), Cal. Lab....more

Fourth Circuit Reverses Position on Single Racial Slur as Sufficient to Create Hostile Work Environment

For years, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals (which includes North Carolina and South Carolina) set a high bar for plaintiffs suing for workplace harassment. The court rejected multiple claims involving obnoxious and crude...more

Delay in Calling 911 After Accident Results in Willful OSHA Violation

Last week, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a willful OSHA citation against an employer that delayed calling for emergency services for 90 minutes after an employee became trapped in a permit-required confined...more

Fourth Circuit Lowers the Bar in Title VII Harassment and Retaliation Cases

On May 7, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit (covering Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, West Virginia and Maryland) issued an opinion that potentially makes it easier for employees to survive...more

The Ever-Broadening Definition of “Disability” Under the ADA Remains a Source of Anxiety for Employers

A recent decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit (the federal appeals court that covers Virginia, North Carolina, West Virginia, Maryland, and South Carolina) reconfirms what many employers have long...more

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