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♦       June 12,  ..  11th Cir.:     Robinson v. Holman (USMS)  ..  Mr. Robinson was an employee of Akal Security {Akal}, which contracted with the United States Marshals Service (“USMS”) to provide security for the Richard B. Russell Federal Building in Atlanta, Georgia.    He worked as a court security officer for approximately three years before being fired on January 6, 2017. Robinson alleges that during those three years, he and a fellow security officer were harassed because of their sexuality.    After complaining to his supervisors, Robinson claims, Akal and USMS retaliated against him in a variety of ways, including by changing his “schedule weekly in an effort to harass him and cause him to violate time rules.”    Robinson also claims that he was assaulted by Michael Holman, a lead court security officer.    Holman and a supervisor called Robinson into a meeting to discuss his tardiness to work a few days earlier.    At this meeting, Robinson claims that Holman, without being provoked, “puff[ed] out his chest” to threaten Robinson and then struck him in the face, causing Robinson’s mouth to bleed.    Robinson—in a counseled complaint—alleged Title VII retaliation claims against Akal and USMS, state-law claims of defamation and false light invasion of privacy against Akal, and state-law claims of battery and assault against both Akal and Holman.  ..  CONTINUED  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)

♦       June 12,  ..  3rd Cir.:     Walley v. Amazon.com  ..  Ms. Walley filed suit pro se against Amazon alleging that it wrongfully placed her on leave, prevented her from clocking in, and changed her stock maturity date and her health benefits.    Her only specific claim was that Amazon took these steps in retaliation for her filing of a Delaware worker’s compensation claim for injuries that she suffered in an automobile accident.    But Walley also checked a box on the civil cover sheet identifying her suit as arising under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), and she alleged that a doctor previously had cleared her to work with restrictions.    HERE, Ms. Walley appeals from an order dismissing her complaint against Amazon.com.  ..  CONTINUED  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)

♦       June 12,  ..  SCV:     Potanas v. Department of Corrections  ..  Plaintiff, Mr. Potanas, was employed by DOC as the superintendent of Southern State Correctional Facility (SSCF).    In January 2017, DOC terminated plaintiff from his position for cause after finding that he engaged in misconduct and gross misconduct.    DOC determined that plaintiff “intimidated a health services professional into changing her clinical recommendations” for a seriously functionally impaired inmate from “segregation is contra-indicated” to “segregation is contraindicated for more than 14 days.”    He treated the health-services professional in a demeaning manner.    DOC further found that plaintiff was unprofessional and disrespectful to the health-services professional’s supervisor and had, on multiple occasions, attempted to assert control over the supervisor’s staff’s professional mental health assessments, which was outside the scope of plaintiff’s authority.    DOC considered this an example of a larger pattern of unprofessional behavior.    It added that plaintiff’s actions clearly influenced supervisors to also engage in behavior that had been determined as misconduct.    DOC had no confidence in plaintiff’s ability to perform his duties as superintendent.    For these and other reasons, DOC terminated plaintiff from his position. Plaintiff sued DOC, arguing that DOC improperly fired him in retaliation for engaging in activity protected by 3 V.S.A. § 973.    That law prohibits the State from retaliating against an employee for:  ..  CONTINUED  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)

♦       June 07,  ..  OCA:     Darling v. AFSCME Union  ..  On December 19, 2022, twelve public sector employees filed a complaint alleging their employers continued to authorize automatic payroll deductions for union membership fees after the employees voluntarily resigned from each of their respective unions.       After the United States Supreme Court rendered its decision in Janus v. AFSCME,   each appellant sought to terminate their union membership   and requested that the termination take effect immediately,   including their removal from the membership rolls   and the cessation of membership dues.    While OAPSE agreed to terminate their membership,   it continued to receive membership dues deductions from appellant’s paycheck.    OAPSE informed the appellants they were bound by their union membership contract,   which only permitted the revocation of payroll deduction authorization for membership dues during specified periods each year,   referred to as “opt- out windows.”    OAPSE informed the appellants it would honor their requests   and cease collecting membership dues at the next soonest opt-out window.  ..  CONTINUED  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)

♦       June 07,  .. FLRA:  DVA v. AFGE  ..  Proof The Federal Labor Relations Apparatus Is Rigged Against Good Management Practices ..  The grievant is an Advanced Medical Support Assistant (AMSA) at a Department of Veteran Affairs (DVA) clinic, and assists patients with scheduling and other matters related to seeing medical-care providers.     Before 2021, DVA consistently rated the grievant’s performance as “exceptional” in all elements, resulting in annual “overall” ratings of “outstanding.”    The grievant’s supervisor changed and, on November 18, 2021, the new supervisor rated the grievant as “fully successful” for the “Scheduling Process and Procedures” element (the scheduling element), which resulted in an overall rating of fully successful.    The appraisal contained no explanation for the rating.    On December 16, 2021, the grievant emailed her supervisor and several others in her supervisory chain, requesting an explanation for the scheduling element’s rating.     When the grievant received no response, she contacted her supervisor again on December 21, 2021.    The grievant’s supervisor responded she would provide the results of an audit of the grievant’s work on which the rating was based (the scheduling audit).    On December 21, 2021, the Union filed a grievance, alleging DVA failed to provide “any counseling or direction” to the grievant “for a mark down on the critical element,” and seeking to have the grievant’s overall rating “upgraded” to “outstanding.”    The matter proceeded to arbitration.
   Arbitrator David V. Breen issued an award   (1) finding a grievance concerning an employee’s (the grievant’s) performance appraisal procedurally arbitrable and   (2) granting the grievance on the merits.    Specifically, the Arbitrator found that DVA violated the article in the parties’ agreement governing performance appraisals (Article 27).    As a remedy, he directed DVA to raise the grievant’s performance rating.    The Agency filed exceptions to the award on nonfact, essence, and contrary‑to‑law grounds.    In particular, DVA argues that the award unlawfully interferes with its management rights to assign work and direct employees under § 7106(a)(2) of the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute.  ..  CONTINUED  ..  FLRA DECISION:   (.html)   (.pdf)

♦       June 06,  .. FLRA:  AFGE v. DVA  ..  The Department of Veterans Affairs (The Agency) hired the grievant on October 25, 2020 as a chaplain through a temporary appointment at the General Schedule (GS)-12 level (GS-12 position).     In November 2021, while serving in this temporary position, the grievant applied for a GS‑13 supervisory chaplain position (GS-13 position).     On December 13, 2021, the Agency rejected his application, informing the grievant he did not meet the minimum requirements for the GS-13 position because he should not have been hired at the GS-12 level.     The Agency explained this “hiring error” occurred due to changes in the chaplain position requirements made after the grievant applied for, but before he assumed, the GS‑12 position.      The Agency further explained he needed one year of experience at the GS-12 level to qualify for the GS-13 position, and his error-based service in the GS-12 position could not be credited toward that requirement.    The DVA retroactively reduced the grievant’s grade to GS-9, effective as of his hiring date.    The Agency then retroactively changed his grade to GS-11, effective October 2021, which the Agency determined was when he obtained the certification required for that grade.     On June 19, 2022, the Agency appointed the grievant to a permanent GS-11 position.    The Union filed a grievance challenging the grievant’s non-selection for the GS-13 position, and his “constructive demotion” to the GS-9 and GS-11 levels.    To remedy the grievance, the Union requested, in relevant part, the Agency promote the grievant to the GS-13 position, and rescind the two personnel actions that effectuated his reductions in grade.     The Agency denied the grievance, and the parties proceeded to arbitration.  ..  CONTINUED  ..  FLRA DECISION:   (.html)   (.pdf)

♦       June 06,  ..  5th Cir.:     Cavalier v. LA Dept Pub Sfty & Corr  ..  Cavalier was fired from his job as a Louisiana State Police Trooper.    On September 30, 2021, Cavalier, represented by counsel, filed suit against his former employers.    Cavalier alleged retaliatory discharge in violation of the First Amendment, and wrongful termination under Louisiana’s whistleblower law.    On October 6, 2022, the parties attended a mandated settlement conference with the magistrate judge and agreed to settle the case.    The magistrate judge confirmed the terms of the settlement with each party— including Cavalier—and each verbally expressed agreement.    The settlement conference was not transcribed, but Cavalier has acknowledged in an affidavit that he verbally agreed to the settlement at that time.    Among other terms, the agreement stated that the Defendants would pay Cavalier $200,000, that Cavalier resigned from his previous position, and Cavalier would not seek to be rehired.    That same day, the magistrate judge issued an order stating the parties had reached a settlement, and the next day, October 7, 2022, the district judge conditionally dismissed the case, to be reopened if the settlement was not consummated.    About a week later, on October 13, 2022, Cavalier expressed dissatisfaction with the settlement to his counsel, who subsequently withdrew from representing Cavalier.    Cavalier obtained new counsel, who filed a motion to reopen the case and rescind the settlement.  ..  CONTINUED  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)

♦       June 06,  ..  VSC:     in re dissolution of Koffee Kup Bakery  ..  On October 30, 2018, Hubert Aubery, Koffee Kup Bakery's Chairman, offered Mr. Morin employment as KKB's CEO, with an anticipated start date no later than December 3, 2018. Mr. Morin accepted the offer on November 1, 2018 The agreement provided for an annual base salary of $260,000, plus several bonuses. First, the agreement promised "a signing bonus; $15,000 as a sign-on bonus, payable with your first paycheck." It also promised that "[a]fter six months of employment, you are eligible for an additional $15,000 bonus." Finally, the agreement stated: "You are eligible for an annual bonus which is targeted at 35% of base salary and linked to objectives defined annually. In the first year, KKB will guarantee 25% out of 35%. First year objectives will be defined by you and the Chairman." The agreement also provided that in the event of termination without cause, Mr. Morin “will be provided a severance of six (6) months payable through regular payroll” as well as an additional month of severance up to a maximum of 12 months for each year of completed service after one year.  ..  CONTINUED  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)

♦       Jun 5,  ..  MCSA:     Ingersoll v. State  ..  Shortly after midnight on June 4, 2001, Gregory Collins, a correctional officer at the Eastern Correctional Institution (“ECI”), age 32, was shot and killed while driving home from his job.    Mr. Ingersoll was a person-of-interest in the initial investigation into the murder, along with others, but the case went cold. Eighteen years later, ... ...    In June 2019, Ms. Doe told Special Agent Ryan McCabe, a member of an FBI narcotics taskforce assigned to the Eastern Shore of Maryland, that the tenant living with her might have information about Mr. Collins’ murder.    Ms. Doe had been working with Special Agent McCabe since February 2019 on an unrelated case.    Because the crime was not within the FBI’s jurisdiction, Agent McCabe contacted Corporal Scott Sears with the MSP Homicide Division in Salisbury and arranged a meeting with him, Cpl. Sears, and Ms.Doe.    As a result of that meeting,    Ms. Doe was given a digital recorder    and agreed to record conversations between    herself and    Mr. Ingersoll.  ...  CONTINUED  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)

♦        Jun 5,  ..  5th Cir.:     Young-Trezvant v. Lone Star College  ..  Ms. Young-Trezvant was employed by Lone Star College, a Texas junior college, as a library assistant.    Ms. Young-Trezvant, was fired on February 21, 2023, because she refused to come to work and failed to meet with her supervisors.    Young- Trezvant has filed this lawsuit, in which she has alleged sixteen claims against LSC.    Specifically,   she alleges seven state-based tort claims (negligent misrepresentation,   negligence,   gross negligence,   fraud,   breach of duty of good faith and fair dealing,   defamation,   and wrongful termination),   two state- based contract claims (breach of policy and breach of contract),   one consumer protection claim (a Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act violation),   and six employment-based claims,   including harassment, discrimination,   and retaliation.  ...  CONTINUED    CONTINUED  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)

♦       Jun 5,  ..  DC Cir.:     Absolute Healthcare v. NLRB  ..  Absolute Healthcare, which does business as Curaleaf, operates medical marijuana dispensaries throughout the United States.    The National Labor Relations Board found that Curaleaf committed four unfair labor practices, including unlawfully firing an employee for trying to unionize a Curaleaf store in Gilbert, Arizona.    The Board also ordered Curaleaf to read aloud to its Gilbert-based employees a notice describing the Board’s findings and to grant the union access to Curaleaf’s Gilbert store.    Because the The National Labor Relations Board’s unlawful-discharge finding is not supported by substantial evidence, we grant Curaleaf’s petition for review and deny the Board’s cross-application for enforcement as to the unlawful-discharge finding and the notice-reading and union-access remedies.  ...  CONTINUED    CONTINUED  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)

♦       Jun 3,  ..  6th Cir.:     Montez Morton v. Greater Cleveland Reg'l Transit Auth  ..  Mr. Morton, a former bus operator for the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (“GCRTA”), lost his job twice in 2020.    After successfully obtaining reinstatement in the spring of that year, he was permanently terminated in late fall.    Morton was first terminated after testing positive for a prohibited substance under GCRTA’s substance abuse policy.    He was terminated again after he knocked a passenger off of the waiting area platform    and    onto the train tracks of a commuter train as he awaited the train’s arrival.    Morton says that each of his terminations was attributable to discrimination—first disability discrimination then race discrimination.    Morton filed suit against GCRTA, arguing that it violated the Americans with Disabilities Act.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)

♦       Jun 3,  ..  OCA:     Giant Eagle v. Indus. Comm  ..  Mr. Jefferson worked for Giant Eagle Grocery Stores.    On July 12, 2022 Jefferson was injured while working as a diesel mechanic for Giant Eagle.    His workers’ compensation claim was allowed for the physical conditions of:   (1) laceration right index finger, and   (2) displaced fracture distal phalanx right index finger.    On the date of the injury, Jefferson was transported to University Hospitals Ahuja Medical Center emergency room.    Audrey Demarco, PA-C, completed an “Attending Physician Form” indicating Jefferson was capable of returning to work with the restriction of sedentary work only.    Demarco also signed another form addressed to the “Treating Physician,” which included a provision entitled “Safety Review Program Summary.”    That summary stated “all team members who experience a work related accident, receive medical attention, and are released to return to work their next scheduled working day, must return to work and participate in the Safety Review Program unless prohibited from doing so by the treating physician.”      The form did not include Jefferson’s name or the date of injury.    Demarco checked a box on the form indicating that “team member can return to work for the Safety Review Program.”    After Jefferson returned to the workplace on July 12, 2022, he was terminated from his employment    based on Giant Eagle’s investigation into allegations that Jefferson had previously physically threatened a co-worker    in violation of Giant Eagle’s anti-harassment policy.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)

♦       Jun 3,  ..  MD CSA:     Gundlach v. Morgan Stanley  ..  In November 2019, the Maryland Workers’ Compensation Commission (the “Commission”) issued a decision finding that Mr. Gundlach, appellee, had “sustained an occupational disease of pneumonitis (lungs) arising out of and in the course of employment” as a financial advisor for Morgan Stanley & Co., one of the appellants.     The Commission found that Mr. Gundlach had an average weekly wage of $6,730.27, and it ordered Morgan Stanley and its insurer to pay Mr. Gundlach’s causally related medical expenses.    It further ordered that the case be held for consideration whether Mr. Gundlach had sustained permanent partial disability.    Appellants sought judicial review of the Commission’s decision, and the case was tried before a jury in the Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County.    Appellants moved for judgment at the close of all the evidence, arguing that, as a matter of law, Mr. Gundlach did not sustain an occupational disease compensable under the Maryland Workers’ Compensation Act (the “Act”)  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)

♦    May 31,  ..  SCP:     Com. v. Vo, T.  ..  If Your Girlfriend Got Drugs In Her Panties ... She Probably Gonna Blame You. ..  The police were surveilling Destiny Barnes [(Barnes)] in a hotel room, believing that she was distributing controlled substances.    Police heard Barnes speaking on the telephone.    They then heard her advising other individuals in her hotel room that they had to leave because the “re-up” was on its way.    A “re-up” is a delivery of drugs.    Upon the door opening, the police detained everyone in the room.    Several were females.    While the individuals were being detained, one of the officers left the room and hotel so that a female officer could replace him to assist in searching the female suspects.    While Sergeant Hoffman was walking through the hotel lobby, he saw Appellant and Codefendant, Kara Mason [(Mason)], walking into the hotel lobby.    Hoffman contacted the officers that were in the hotel room to advise them he believed the two individuals were coming to the hotel room.    The two individuals did.    They were also detained.    While detained, Appellant told Mason numerous times to not say anything.    When the female police officer arrived, she took Mason to the bathroom and searched her wherein she found methamphetamines and fentanyl packets in her underwear.    Upon returning Mason to the detaining area,    Ms. Mason advised two officers that    “he made me hold the drugs”,    “he made me hold the drugs for him”.  ..  CONTINUED  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)

♦       May 31,  ..  6th Cir.:     Tressa Sherrod v. Wal-Mart Stores  ..  While visiting Wal-Mart’s sporting goods department, John H. Crawford, III picked up an unpackaged Crosman MK-177 pellet gun.    He then carried the pellet gun—which resembles an AR-15 assault rifle—around the store.    Alarmed at the sight, a fellow customer phoned 911 to report that someone was loading and waving a weapon in the building.    Responding officers Sean Williams and David Darkow arrived at the scene.    Observing Crawford with the pellet gun, Darkow commanded him to drop the weapon and get on the ground.    Williams believed that Crawford was carrying a genuine assault rifle, which he was about to fire.    So Williams fatally shot Crawford within seconds of Darkow’s command.    Tressa Sherrod, executrix of Crawford’s estate, along with members of Crawford’s family, filed suit against Wal-Mart, asserting negligence, premises liability, survivorship, loss of consortium, and wrongful death.  ..  CONTINUED  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)

♦       May 31,  ..  9th Cir:     Daniel Garcia v. Walmart  ..  Daniel Garcia appeals from the district court’s summary judgment in favor of Walmart, Inc., in his employment action alleging federal and state claims for disability discrimination, failure to accommodate, and retaliation, as well as state law tort claims.     “We review de novo the district court’s order granting summary judgment.”    “We view the evidence and determine whether there are any genuine issues of material fact and whether the district court correctly applied the relevant substantive law.”    We affirm in part, reverse in part, and remand.    The district court erred in granting summary judgment to Walmart on Garcia’s disability-discrimination claims under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) and Washington Law Against Discrimination (“WLAD”).    Walmart argues that Garcia remaining on leave, not returning to work, and resigning were due to Garcia’s own actions and inactions rather than any discrimination by Walmart.    QUESTION: Did Walmart subjected him to three adverse employment actions: (1) remaining on involuntary leave; (2) not returning him to work for four months; and (3) forcing him to resign (constructive discharge).    If so, these would constitute adverse employment actions    Now, the plaintiff must show that the defendant’s alleged nondiscriminatory reason for the adverse employment action was pretextual.  ..  CONTINUED  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)

♦       May 30,  ..  8th Cir.:     Ringhofer v. Mayo Clinic Ambulance  ..  During the Covid-19 pandemic, Mayo required all employees to receive the vaccine.    Any employee exempted from vaccination was required to test weekly.    On December 3, 2021, Mayo notified all employees that they must comply with the policy by January 3 or be terminated.    Alleging failure to accommodate their religious beliefs under Title VII and the Minnesota Human Rights Act, five employees sued The Mayo Clinic, Mayo Clinic Health System–Southeast Minnesota Region, and Mayo Clinic, Ambulance (collectively “Mayo”).    They claimed Mayo terminated them for refusing Covid-19 vaccinations or testing.    The district court dismissed the claims, ruling that   (1) Ms. Miller and Ms, Ihde did not exhaust their administrative remedies under Title VII,   (2) the other plaintiffs failed to plausibly plead religious beliefs that conflict with Mayo’s Covid-19 policies, and   (3) the MHRA fails to provide relief for not accommodating religious beliefs.    This court REVERSES and REMANDS.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)

♦       May 30,  ..  5th Cir.:     Berry v. Sheriff's Ofc Ouachita Prsh  ..  In October 2000, Mr. Berry, who is African American, was hired by the OPSO as a deputy and assigned to the Ouachita Parish Correctional Center as a correctional officer.    In February 2003, he was promoted to the rank of corporal, a position he held for thirteen years.    In August 2016, Berry transferred to the Transitional Work Release Center.    After transferring, he was demoted in rank, and his pay was decreased.    In November 2017, Berry filed a racial discrimination complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”), contending that Caucasian employees of the OPSO were allowed to transfer while maintaining their rank and pay. Defendants learned of Berry’s EEOC complaint sometime in February 2018.    Also in January or February 2018, Berry qualified to run for the city council of Winnsboro, Louisiana.    He did not inform anyone in his chain of command at the OPSO of his run for office.    Berry went on to win the election on March 24, 2018.    Berry’s superiors at the OPSO learned of his election to the city council from the television news or through the newspaper.    Four days after the election, the OPSO terminated Berry’s employment because he could not be a deputy with the OPSO and a councilman at the same time.    His separation paper stated that he was terminated for violating Louisiana law, i.e., Louisiana’s prohibition on dual officeholding.    After his termination, Berry filed another complaint with the EEOC, asserting that he was terminated unlawfully as retaliation for prior EEOC complaint.    After receiving right-to-sue letters from the EEOC, Berry filed the instant action.   ...   CONTINUED  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)

♦       May 30,  ..  MSC:     State v. N. Puccinelli  ..  Appellant Neldia Marie Puccinelli (Neldia) worked for ProMark in Florence.    Her employment was terminated when it was discovered she had taken funds from the company through payroll and company checks and also had inappropriately used the company credit/debit card for personal expenditures.    ProMark filed a civil suit - Ravalli County—against Neldia seeking damages in the amount taken by Neldia from ProMark together with costs of suit and other relief the court deems just and proper.    On December 9, 2009, Neldia and ProMark entered into a Settlement Agreement “to fully, finally and forever settle and resolve all claims for relief, causes of action, claims for injuries and damages, and any other issues or matters related to or stemming from the facts, circumstances and allegations that form the basis for this lawsuit[.]”    Pursuant to the Settlement Agreement, Neldia was to transfer to ProMark all right, title and interest to specific items of personal property listed in the agreement and then make 84 monthly payments of $350 to ProMark commencing May 5, 2010.    Neldia transferred all the items of personal property delineated in the Settlement Agreement to ProMark, commenced making the $350 per month payments on May 5, 2010, and continued to make monthly payments thereafter.    On January 4, 2010, the civil case was dismissed as fully settled with prejudice.    Nineteen months after the civil case was dismissed as settled, on August 9, 2011, the State filed an Information charging Neldia with three counts of theft by embezzlement totaling approximately $30,000       Appellant Neldia Marie Puccinelli (Neldia) appeals from the August 25, 2022 Judgment on Revocation of Suspended Sentence issued by the Twenty-First Judicial District Court, Ravalli County.   ...   CONTINUED  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)

♦       May 24,  ..  CAW:     Norwood v. Multicare Health System  ..  Norwood is an anesthesiologist.    She signed a “Services Agreement” with LT, agreeing to provide services to LT’s clients as an independent contractor of LT.    The Services Agreement included an arbitration provision that mandated arbitration in Atlanta, Georgia of “any controversy or claim.    Norwood worked for a short time for both Tacoma and Rainier at MultiCare facilities. During her time at both facilities, Norwood alleged that she witnessed unsafe medical practices.    She claims that after she reported these unsafe practices she was forced to resign from Tacoma and was terminated from Rainier.    Norwood sued Tacoma, Rainier, and MultiCare, asserting claims of tortious interference with contractual relations,   wrongful constructive discharge in violation of public policy,   wrongful discharge in violation of public policy,   and intentional infliction of emotional distress.    Tacoma, Rainier, and MultiCare moved to arbitrate Norwood’s claims pursuant to the arbitration provision in her Services Agreement with LT.  ..  CONTINUED  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)

♦       May 23,  ..  6th Cir.:     Craddock v. FedEx Corp  ..  Ms. Craddock began working at FedEx in 1983. She started her FedEx career sorting packages at a facility part-time; over time, she was promoted several times.    In April 2015, Craddock became a senior project process analyst in FedEx’s Supply Chain Office.    To help acclimate Craddock to her new role, Scallions assigned her a training partner, Cindy Fischer.    Despite not serving as Craddock’s supervisor, Fischer monitored Craddock’s office arrival and departure times, for which Fischer ultimately received a verbal warning to stop tracking Craddock’s whereabouts.    On December 3, 2015, Ms. Craddock went to Ms. Fischer’s cubicle and asked why she kept emailing Scallions about Craddock’s comings and goings.    Ms. Fischer got upset, began yelling, and then stood up facing Craddock toe-to-toe.    The parties dispute what happened next;    Craddock says she raised her forearm and “brushed up against” Fischer as Fischer stepped closer to her, and    Fischer says Craddock pushed her.    Later that day, Scallions called and notified Craddock that she was suspended.    Rich Psyzniak, a representative from FedEx’s Human Resources department, stated that he called Craddock later that day and spoke with her about the contents of the suspension letter and the underlying incident;    Craddock claims this conversation never took place.    On January 27, 2016, Scallions and Psyzniak called Craddock and notified her that FedEx was terminating her for workplace violence.    Ms. Craddock filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.  ..  CONTINUED  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)

♦       May 23,  .. FLRA:  Army National Guard v. ACT Union  ..  Statement of the Case:    The grievants work as Military and Family Readiness Specialists, directing military members and their families to governmental and private services, and documenting those activities in an electronic records system.     Because the grievants’ position was classified as FLSA exempt, the Agency compensated the grievants with compensatory time instead of overtime pay when they worked over forty hours in a week.     The Union filed a grievance alleging the Agency violated the FLSA by failing to pay the grievants time and a half for overtime.     The Agency denied the grievance, and the parties proceeded to arbitration.  ..  CONTINUED  ..  FLRA DECISION:   (.html)

♦       May 22,  ..  CA DC:     Hockaday v. WMATA  ..  Ms. Hockaday worked for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority as a police officer in the Metro Transit Police Department (MTPD) from 2002 until she retired in 2022. She was repeatedly promoted and eventually became a lieutenant. Ms. Hockaday claims to have been subjected to a hostile environment because of her race, sex, and protected activity. Answering contention interrogatories, she asserted that eight alleged acts constituted the hostile environment:   First, in 2008, supervisor George Burns allowed unnamed male employees to make sexist remarks. The employees said that the MTPD did not “need any more women sergeants,” and one of them joked that, if Hockaday had not returned from sick leave, he would have given her a “lap dance.”  ...  CONTINUED  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)

♦       May 22,  ..  CCA:     Hoglund v. Sierra Nevada Memorial-Miners Hospital  ..  In 2004, the Hospital hired Ms. Hoglund as a phlebotomist trainee.    In February 2011, at age 56, Hoglund became the sole laboratory supervisor, supervising all of the phlebotomists at the Hospital.    She loved her job and worked well with her supervisor. Hoglund hoped to work at the Hospital until she was 72.     In May 2011, the Hospital hired Horne as its director of clinical operations, making Horne Hoglund’s new supervisor.    Horne was six years younger than Hoglund.    From the time Horne was hired until Hoglund was terminated, Horne made derogatory comments to Hoglund about her age.    Horne and Hoglund would have frequent one-on- one meetings, in which Horne would tell Hoglund    she looked “sloppy,”    that she disliked her hair and manner of dress,    and that she thought Hoglund was “old-fashioned.”    Hoglund found Horne’s critiques unnerving, as she felt her appearance was perfectly acceptable, and had never been criticized for her dress before.    Horne also asked Hoglund multiple times how long she was planning on staying, and if she was going to retire.  ...  CONTINUED  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)

♦       May 22,  ..  NJSC AD:     I/M/O Michael Maudlin, Etc  ..  Former state trooper Maudlin was employed by the New Jersey State Police as a state trooper from November 19, 1987, to July 30, 2009.    For his over twenty years of service, Maudlin was entitled to a State Police pension.    Effective May 6, 2008, Maudlin was suspended without pay pending an internal affairs investigation into allegations of misconduct.    On July 27, 2009, Maudlin pleaded guilty to the charges and separated from service pursuant to a plea agreement he entered into with the State Police.    In exchange for his resignation, the State Police agreed Maudlin would retain his right to collect a pension.    On August 12, 2021, Maudlin applied for a RLEO permit ... which was denied.       HERE, Michael Maudlin appeals.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)

♦       May 21,  ..  8th Cir.:     Meinen v. Bi-State Development Agency  ..  Bi-State Development Agency provides public transportation services in the St. Louis area.    Meinen, a white male, began working as a Transit Security Specialist (“TSS”) Lead on the night shift in Bi-State’s Public Safety Department.    In early 2021, he began experiencing harassing behavior from an unidentified female African American TSS employee.    On several occasions the female TSS employee intentionally rubbed her backside on him, which Meinen reported to both his supervisor and to her supervisor.    Another time, the female TSS employee loudly told Meinen:    “It’s not cheating if it’s not in your race.”    Once again, Meinen reported this comment to both his supervisor and her supervisor.    Meinen was terminated on May 17, 2021.    On July 8, 2021, Meinen filed a claim with the EEOC alleging discrimination based on race and gender along with a retaliation claim.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)

♦       May 20,  ..  OCA:     Michalek v. Ohio State Univ. Wexner Med. Ctr.  ..  wow ... you gotta read this case ... -> a slow descent into hospital hell  ..  On February 22, 2019, Kyle and Stephanie L. Michalek were preparing for the next day’s gender reveal party for their first child.   Stephanie, who had previously suffered two miscarriages early in the first trimester, was 29 weeks pregnant.   Kyle and Stephanie had invited 70 of their friends and family members to celebrate their baby’s arrival at their new house in Utica, Ohio.     As Stephanie, Kyle, and their family readied Kyle and Stephanie’s house for the party, Stephanie began feeling sick.   Kyle’s mom, Lisa Michalek, urged Stephanie to lie down and rest.   When Lisa checked on Stephanie 15 minutes later, Stephanie told Lisa that she was feeling worse.   Lisa and Stephanie agreed that Stephanie needed to go to the emergency room.    CONTINUED --- A SLOW DESCENT INTO HOSPITAL HELL  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)

♦       May 20,  ..  OCA:     State v. Chappell  ..  they didn't prove that i thought about it ... before i murdered him  ..  aggravated murder, murder, attempted murder, felonious assault, tampering with evidence,   carrying a concealed weapon.     Ms. Chappell was employed at Springco, an industrial plant in Cleveland, Ohio. On November 25, 2021, Chappell worked third shift. Springco had an unusual work environment: employees and their friends, who seemingly could come and go at will even though they were not employed by the company, would drink alcohol, smoke marijuana, and have sex while working or visiting the company; these activities were especially prevalent during third shift.     What was not allowed at the plant, however, were firearms. Witness testimony and exhibits entered into evidence at trial established that Springco prohibited anyone from carrying firearms into the building. Despite that rule, it is undisputed that Chappell had a firearm in her purse, which she admitted she concealed and brought into the plant on the night of the shooting; according to Chappell, she always carried her gun for protection.     Defendant-appellant, Katia Chappell (“Chappell”), appeals her conviction in the shooting death of Dominique Johnson (“Johnson”) and shooting of Rebecca Patterson (“Patterson”), which was rendered after a jury trial.     In challenging her conviction for aggravated murder, Chappell contends her conviction was not supported by sufficient evidence because the state failed to prove that she acted with prior calculation and design.    CONTINUED  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)

JUDGE JUDY :   How Do You Know When Teenage Girls Are Lying ?    Their Lips Are Moving.

♦       May 15,  ..  OCA:     Murtha v. Rossford Schools  ..  "Evil Cheerleaders" Upset With Uniform Colors , LIE To Get Vice Principle Fired  ..  Background :    Appellee was formerly the REVS assistant high school principal and athletic director.    On February 7, 2019, three female Rossford high school students complained to the Rossford high school principal that appellee had inappropriately touched them on their hair, faces, or bodies and that he made inappropriate comments to them.    The principal called appellant, then the superintendent of Rossford, to inform him that students had made complaints against appellee.    Appellant put appellee on a paid administrative leave beginning February 8, verbally informing appellee that a complaint had been made against him.    On February 11, 2019, appellant sent a letter to appellee stating that Rossford had received a complaint that appellee had engaged in misconduct with a student.    Spangler’s Investigation    Appellant instructed Megan Spangler, a Rossford anti-harassment compliance officer, to investigate the complaints.    Spangler’s report detailed the three complaints made by students whom she designated as Students 5, 11, and 12.    All three complainants alleged that appellee had inappropriately touched them on their hair, faces, or arms, as well as made inappropriate comments about their appearances.    Student 11 stated that appellee had touched her hair, ears, or nose over 40 times in the past year, and she had heard appellee make a derogatory comment about another student’s body.    Student 12 stated that appellee had played with or twirled her hair and massaged her shoulders more than once, and appellee had looked down her shirt and stared at her chest.    Student 5 stated that appellee touched her hair and had grazed her buttocks with his hand, made inappropriate comments and jokes, and would stand too close to her.    All three stated that they felt uncomfortable due to appellee’s actions.    During her investigation, Spangler asked students and staff members whether they knew of anyone who would want to get appellee in trouble, and she discovered that the complainants likely had a retaliatory motive in making the complaints.    Spangler included approximately two paragraphs summarizing the potential motive in her investigation report.     CONTINUED  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)

♦       May 15,  ..  11th Cir.:     Faile v. Hart  ..  On April 3, 2020, Plaintiff was living in his office at a rental property he managed in Leesburg, Florida.    That afternoon, Plaintiff had an altercation with the tenant and her boyfriend during which the boyfriend pushed Plaintiff to the ground.    As Plaintiff walked away, he “exposed a small portion of skin on the right side of his lower back and approximately one to two inches . . . of his right upper buttocks,” slapped the exposed area, and told the boy- friend, “Kiss my ass.”    The tenant and her boyfriend recorded a video of Plaintiff as he walked away.    Both Plaintiff and the tenant contacted the Leesburg police to report the altercation, and Defendants Hart and Carter responded to the scene.    The officers questioned Plaintiff, the tenant, and her boyfriend about the most recent altercation and the incidents that had occurred previously during the day.    The tenant and her boyfriend told Carter during questioning that they had a video recording of Plaintiff exposing his buttocks and possibly his genitalia as he walked away from them earlier.    Plaintiff was booked and remained in the Lake County jail until 8:00 p.m. that evening, when he bonded out.     CONTINUED  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)

♦       May 15,  .. FLRA:  Federal Bureau of Prisons  v. AFGE  ..  The grievants are medical personnel working at the Agency’s prison facility, which does not maintain around-the-clock medical staff on site.     To manage medical issues arising after work hours, the Agency requires the grievants to remain “on call,” on a rotating schedule, from 10:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. in order to receive phone calls from the facility.    During these on-call phone conversations, the grievants answer medical questions and prescribe medications to inmates at the facility.     Previously, the Agency paid the grievants overtime for the time spent on these calls.       In July 2019, the Agency notified the grievants that, based on its interpretation of a regulation regarding the compensability of time spent “on call,” the Agency would “no longer be compensat[ing]” them for their time spent on work calls while in an on-call status.    After attempting informal resolution, the Union filed a grievance in August 2022.     The grievance proceeded to arbitration.   ..  FLRA DECISION:   (.html)

♦       May 13,  ..  VAOIG:     VA Improperly Awarded $10.8 Million in Incentives to Central Office Senior Executives  ..  In September 2023, VA announced it had erroneously awarded millions of dollars in critical skill incentive (CSI) payments to senior executives at its central office. VA cancelled the payments, notified Congress, and requested the Office of Inspector General (OIG) review the matter.  ..  VAOIG REPORT:   (.html)

♦       May 13,  ..  DC Cir.:     Maria Esparraguera v. Department of the Army  ..  Maria Esparraguera served as a career appointee in the Senior Executive Service—the top corps of managers in the federal government—until the Department of the Army removed her from those ranks.    Esparraguera sued, claiming that the Army violated her constitutional due process rights.    That claim depends on showing that the removal implicated a property interest protected by the Due Process Clause.    The district court dismissed her suit for failing that threshold requirement.    WE REVERSE.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)

♦       May 13,  ..  SC NJ:     Savage v. Township of Neptune  ..  Plaintiff Ms. Savage began her career as a police officer with the Neptune Township Police Department in 1998.    In December 2013, she filed a lawsuit against the Department, the Township of Neptune, and others for sexual harassment, sex discrimination, and retaliation, contrary to the Law Against Discrimination (LAD).    The parties entered into a settlement agreement in 2014.    Savage filed a second action in April 2016 against a number of the same defendants, alleging that they had violated the settlement agreement and engaged in continuing -- and “intensified” -- sex discrimination, harassment, and retaliation.    The parties entered into another settlement agreement in July 2020.    Paragraph 10 of the agreement requires in part that the parties agree not to make or cause others to make any statements “regarding the past behavior of the parties” that “would tend to disparage or impugn the reputation of any party.    A television news show aired a story about the case and an interview with Savage in August 2020.    Defendants contend that Savage violated the non- disparagement provision of the settlement agreement during the interview both through comments she made, such as “you abused me for about 8 years,” and comments by the interviewer, such as “Savage says the harassment and retaliation intensified with bogus disciplinary charges.”    Defendants filed a motion to enforce the second settlement agreement. The trial court granted the motion, finding that the LAD barred only non-disclosure and confidentiality agreements and that Savage instead violated a non-disparagement clause.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)

♦       May 13,  ..  OSC:     Disciplinary Counsel v. VanBibber  ..  In a two-count complaint, relator, disciplinary counsel, charged VanBibber with a total of five ethical violations, arising primarily from his being charged with and convicted of traffic offenses in multiple Ohio counties, his dishonesty with law-enforcement officers during traffic stops, his failure to comply with court orders related to his traffic violations, his mismanagement of his client trust account, and his failure to cooperate in the ensuing disciplinary investigation.    The parties submitted stipulations of fact, misconduct (including three ethical violations that were not charged in relator’s complaint), and aggravating and mitigating factors. They also submitted 70 stipulated exhibits.    The matter proceeded to a hearing before a three-member panel of the Board of Professional Conduct.    The panel found by clear and convincing evidence that VanBibber had committed the charged misconduct and the additional stipulated violations.    After considering the relevant aggravating and mitigating factors and our relevant precedent, the panel recommended that VanBibber be suspended from the practice of law in Ohio for two years with the entire suspension conditionally stayed.    The board adopted the panel’s findings of fact, conclusions of law, and recommended sanction.    VanBibber Appealed.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)

♦       May 07,  .. FLRA:  VA v. AFGE  ..  AFGE filed a grievance alleging a VA manager notified firefighters at the Department of Veteran Affairs' Bath, New York facility (Bath facility) in June 2021 that they could receive training and certifications to satisfy the directive’s requirements only from nationally accredited programs (accreditation requirement).      The grievance alleged the accreditation requirement violated VA policy and a past practice whereby the VA permitted firefighters to satisfy the directive’s requirements by receiving training from state‑accredited certification programs.     The grievance also alleged the VA violated the CBA and committed an unfair labor practice (ULP) by not providing the AFGE with notice and an opportunity to bargain before implementing the accreditation requirement.     The VA denied the grievance, and the parties proceeded to arbitration.  ..  FLRA DECISION:   (.html)   (.pdf)

♦       May 07,  ..  OCA:     GROB Sys v. McDermott  ..  GROB Systems, Inc. (“GROB”) is an engineering company that builds automation systems.    In order to fill its needs for skilled labor, GROB utilizes an apprenticeship program to recruit, educate, and train employees.    Generally, the apprenticeship requires an individual to “make their services available solely to GROB for a period of 4- years.”    In exchange for the 4 years of service, GROB paid the apprentices and agreed to provide practical training and specialized training.    In addition, GROB also paid tuition for the apprentices to earn an associate’s degree.    The full provision in the contract reads as follows:    As a condition of being selected to participate in the Apprenticeship, the Apprentice agrees to make their services available solely to GROB for a period of 4-years.    For nearly 46 months after joining the apprenticeship program, McDermott worked for GROB.    Because McDermott had a year of his education completed when he started the apprenticeship, he was “fast-tracked” into specialized training.    On March 26, 2021, McDermott resigned his employment with GROB effective April 7, 2021.    At the time McDermott notified GROB of his resignation, McDermott was 71 days shy of 4 years in the program.    Following his resignation, GROB’s CFO sent McDermott a letter informing him that he was required to reimburse GROB pursuant to paragraph 14 of the parties’ contract.    McDermott responded that he believed he fulfilled the requirements of the agreement.    On June 9, 2021, GROB filed a complaint against McDermott alleging, inter alia, breach of contract.    GROB sought to recover $25,000 pursuant to paragraph 14 in the contract. McDermott denied breaching the contract, maintaining that he had fulfilled the agreement.    CONTINUED  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)

♦       May 03,  ..  10th Cir.:     Freeman v. Raytheon Tech  ..  Collins Aerospace is a subsidiary of defendant Raytheon, a frequent DOD contractor.    In February 2021, almost a year into the COVID-19 pandemic, Collins Aerospace hired Mr. Freeman as a schedule analyst manager.    Later that year, the President issued an executive order instructing all federal agencies to insert a clause into new government contracts requiring the contracting company to comply with COVID-19 guidance issued by the federal government.    Around that time, Collins Aerospace implemented a policy promulgated by Raytheon requiring all employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or apply for an exemption (“Covid Policy”).    Mr. Freeman has Beta Thalassemia, a genetic blood disorder that causes anemia like symptoms and increases his risk profile with respect to the COVID-19 vaccine.    Because of this condition, he opted against the vaccine and requested and received an exemption.    He refused to comply with the Covid Policy requirements for unvaccinated employees, however, because he believed the policy was ineffectual and discriminatory towards unvaccinated employees.    Mr. Freeman made this complaint to the Collins Aerospace Human Resources department to no avail.    And in January 2022, Collins Aerospace fired him for his refusal to comply with the Covid Policy.    Mr. Freeman subsequently filed a complaint with the EEOC complaining of discrimination but withdrew the complaint before the EEOC completed its investigation.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)

♦       May 03,  ..  10th Cir.:     Oldridge v. Layton  ..  Mr. Oldridge was a longstanding Wichita Police Department (WPD) veteran who was assigned to the Professional Standards Bureau and later the WPD academy.    In 2019, the Wichita Eagle published an article quoting statements that WPD Chief Gordon Ramsay had made in a deposition in a case related to questionable police practices.    According to that article, Chief Ramsay was concerned that police officers—including, potentially, Oldridge—had engaged in misconduct during criminal investigations.    The article reported that Chief Ramsay had testified that he had reassigned several officers as a result. Although not named directly, those officers impliedly included Oldridge.    In response to the article, Chief Ramsay issued a public statement claiming that the reassigned officers “committed no legal or WPD internal violations.”    Based on that public statement, Oldridge believed that Chief Ramsay had been caught in a lie: he had testified in his deposition that police officers had committed WPD violations, but he had said the opposite in the public statement issued after the deposition.    Accordingly, Oldridge delivered a dossier containing Chief Ramsay’s deposition, his public statement, and copies of Kansas statutes pertaining to false communications to the Sedgwick County District Attorney. This supposedly provided a basis to support a prosecution of Chief Ramsay for violating Kansas law.    He was terminated in 2019 after a series of disputes with his supervisors.    Mr. Oldridge sued the City of Wichita and several of its employees after his dismissal from the police department, alleging First Amendment retaliation.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)

♦       May 03,  ..  DCCA:     Royal v. D.C. Metropolitan Police  ..  Appellant Mr. Royal is a lieutenant with the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD).    Before the Office of Employee Appeals (OEA), he challenged two decisions of the MPD to suspend him without pay.    The first suspension, for a period of fifteen days, was for Lt.    Royal’s allegedly deficient response to an incident of possible domestic violence on February 7, 2015.    The second suspension, for twenty days, was for using unnecessary force in an off-duty altercation on April 16, 2015, and for “inefficiency” in the performance of his duties apart from that matter.    The inefficiency charge was based on three sustained adverse actions within a 16-month period, namely, his suspension for the February 2015 incident and two earlier suspensions.    After an evidentiary hearing, an OEA Administrative Judge (AJ) concluded that the MPD failed to prove either the February 2015 misconduct charges or the April 2015 unnecessary force charge on which it had relied.    But while the AJ therefore reversed Lt.    Royal’s 15-day suspension, he did not overturn the 20-day suspension.    The AJ upheld that suspension based on other charges concerning Lt.    Royal’s conduct in the April 2015 incident that the MPD itself had considered and rejected, and on the inefficiency charge.    The AJ did not explain why he upheld the inefficiency charge even though he had rejected the February 2015 complaints on which that charge was partly grounded.    The Superior Court affirmed the AJ’s decision on Lt.    Royal’s petition for review.    In this court, Lt. Royal contends he is entitled to reversal of his 20-day suspension as well as his 15-day suspension.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)

♦       May 1,  ..  NYCA:     The People v. Harvey Weinstein  ..  Every person accused of a crime is constitutionally presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial and the opportunity to present a defense.    Defendant was convicted by a jury for various sexual crimes against three named complainants and, on appeal, claims that he was judged, not on the conduct for which he was indicted, but on irrelevant, prejudicial, and untested allegations of prior bad acts.    We conclude that the trial court erroneously admitted testimony of uncharged, alleged prior sexual acts against persons other than the complainants of the underlying crimes because that testimony served no material non-propensity purpose.    The court compounded that error when it ruled that defendant, who had no criminal history, could be cross examined about those allegations as well as numerous allegations of misconduct that portrayed defendant in a highly prejudicial light.    The synergistic effect of these errors was not harmless.    The only evidence against defendant was the complainants’ testimony, and the result of the court’s rulings, on the one hand, was to bolster their credibility and diminish defendant’s character before the jury.    On the other hand, the threat of a cross-examination highlighting these untested allegations undermined defendant’s right to testify.    The remedy for these egregious errors is a new trial.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)

♦       May 1,  ..  MCA:     Sandra Ziots v. Promedica Employment Services  ..  Plaintiff testified that, on January 27, 2020, she arrived at Bay County Medical “to service hospice patients” at approximately 7:30 a.m., and that she and another certified nursing assistant physically moved a patient wearing a gait belt after the patient’s shower at approximately 8:00 a.m. According to plaintiff, the other nursing assistant was to hold onto the patient’s gait belt to stabilize the patient while plaintiff helped the patient dress, but failed to manipulate the gait belt effectively, and the patient fell upon plaintiff, injuring plaintiff’s back and right hip. Plaintiff testified that she “took the resident back to her room, and when [she] went to bend down, [her] back was shooting, having pain,” such that she was not “able to bend.” Plaintiff reported her injury to a charge nurse at Bay County Medical, who provided plaintiff with an incident report, which plaintiff completed, and instructed plaintiff to proceed to North Pine Clinic. Plaintiff drove herself to North Pine Clinic, arriving at approximately 8:45 a.m. Plaintiff remained in her car for a time because she said she was in too much pain to exit the vehicle.     Plaintiff testified that when she entered North Pine Clinic, she provided the paperwork from Bay County Medical to the receptionist, Nichol Raymond, and asked to use the restroom, upon which Raymond escorted her to the restroom while handing her a cup and asking her to provide a urine sample. According to plaintiff, after providing the sample, Raymond escorted plaintiff into an examination room, where Raymond presented her with an evidential breath test device (EBT), and asked plaintiff to take a deep breath and exhale into it. After she complied with Raymond’s instructions, Raymond left the room “for a few minutes,” then returned to the room with the EBT machine and instructed plaintiff to repeat the exercise, which she did. Plaintiff estimated that the time between the first and the second test was “maybe 25 minutes.” According to plaintiff, Raymond then left her in the exam room momentarily, then returned and informed her that she had “failed” the alcohol breath test. Plaintiff immediately protested that she had not been drinking and the test was not accurate. Raymond then informed her that three others had recently used the same machine and registered blood-alcohol levels of zero, and therefore “there [was] no way” plaintiff’s results could have been a false reading. Plaintiff’s test results were a blood-alcohol level of 0.043 at 9:45 a.m. and 0.015 at 10:00 a.m.     Raymond provided plaintiff with a document stating that she passed the drug test but failed the alcohol test, and after plaintiff again challenged the accuracy of the positive test results, Raymond reiterated that plaintiff did fail the test, and stated that Raymond was going to contact plaintiff’s employer. A medical note from North Pine Clinic indicated that a person “from Bay county medical was notified [of plaintiff’s positive alcohol test results] and stat[ed] [that] we are to instruct [plaintiff] to go to her place of employment right away.”     While plaintiff waited for her boyfriend (now husband) to pick her up from North Pine Clinic, defendant’s human resources administrator, Julie Rousse, called plaintiff and instructed her to immediately report to work for observation and to complete an investigative interview. However, plaintiff and her boyfriend first went to the Bay City Police Department in hopes of obtaining another breathalyzer test, but were informed that the department did not provide such service to the public. They then proceeded to Covenant HealthCare’s MedExpress Bay City, an urgent care facility, and requested a breathalyzer test, which was administered, revealing a result of 0.00 at 12:04 p.m.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)

♦       May 1,  ..  5th Cir.:     United States v. Coles  ..  Mr. Coles worked as a security guard at a Minnesota bar and restaurant, Cowboy Jack’s, for about two weeks in August 2019 before he was fired. Around 9:00 a.m. the day after being terminated, Coles returned to Cowboy Jack’s prior to opening time under the guise of looking for his cell phone. Sarah Baker, a Cowboy Jack’s employee, allowed Coles inside. When they went into the management office, Coles closed the door, pulled a shotgun from under his trench coat, cocked it, and ordered Baker to fill a backpack with money from the safe. Coles ordered Baker to kneel on the ground and used a phone cord to restrain her. When Baker turned towards Coles, he struck her in the back of the head, “kind of knock[ing] [Baker] out.” While Baker laid on the ground, Coles fled. A security camera captured the whole robbery.     Less than a month later, on September 7, 2019, a security guard employed by Clé Nightclub in Houston robbed Clé. The robber entered the Clé management office around 2:00 a.m. and asked to retrieve his briefcase he left there earlier. He introduced himself as “Wyatt” to Breanna Wilson, Clé’s assistant general manager, retrieved the briefcase, briefly exited, and returned moments later to request change for a $100 bill. “Wyatt” then pulled out a gun, cocked it, and ordered Wilson and Michael Wheatley, who was also in the office, to fill the briefcase with money, telling them that they could “consider [themselves] dead” if they did not put in at least $20,000.     After about two minutes, Jonathan Hellard, a Clé bartender, entered the office. “Wyatt” said, “excuse me,” to Hellard and exited. Hellard paused for a moment before realizing that Clé had been robbed and then chased the robber out Clé’s back door. The robber jumped into the driver’s side of a vehicle, lowered the passenger’s window, fired a bullet at Hellard, and drove away. An inconclusive analysis of the bullet later determined that it could have been fired from a .40 caliber handgun. Cle’s surveillance system recorded the robbery.     Harris County Deputy Sheriff Broderick Green worked for Clé at night but had left a few hours prior to the robbery. Green returned to Clé after the robbery, wrote a report, and obtained an arrest warrant for “Cordale Glover,” the name on the Minnesota Identification Card the robber had presented to Clé when he applied for the security guard position and interviewed with Wheatley.     On September 17, 2019, Officer Shayne LeRouge pulled over a car driven by Coles in Gretna, Louisiana. LeRouge asked Coles to exit the vehicle after LeRouge smelled marihuana. Coles told LeRouge his name was “Wyatt Glover.” Upon searching the vehicle, LeRouge found a bag of marihuana and a .40 caliber pistol and ammunition, and a Minnesota Identification Card bearing the name “Cordale Glover.”     LeRouge noticed that Coles did not match the height, weight, or photograph on the identification card.     LeRouge transported Coles to a local police station.     Coles refused to identify himself at the police station, even asserting that he was Jamaican.     When Coles began speaking with a Jamaican accent during the interrogation, LeRouge contacted Immigration and Customs Enforcement, who identified Coles through a fingerprint analysis.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)

♦       Apr 29,  ..  CAW     Jamie Litvack, V. University Of Washington  ..  Dr. Litvack appeals the summary judgment dismissal of her gender discrimination claim under the Washington Law Against Discrimination.    Dr. Litvack argues that the trial court erred in ruling that she failed to provide sufficient evidence under the pretext prong of the burden shifting McDonnell Douglas framework which requires she produce evidence of a genuine dispute over either   (1) that the defendant’s reason is pretextual or   (2) that although the employer’s stated reason is legitimate, discrimination nevertheless was a substantial factor motivating the employer.    Because the evidence shows competing inferences of discrimination and nondiscrimination, there is a genuine issue of material fact as to whether discrimination was a substantial factor motivating the employment decision.    We reverse the order granting summary judgment dismissal of the discrimination claim and remand to the trial court for further proceedings.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)

♦       Apr 29,  ..  9th Cir.:     Mattioda v. Nelson (NASA)  ..  Dr. Mattioda, a scientist with NASA, has physical disabilities related to his hips and spine that he alleged required him to purchase premium-class airlines tickets for flights over an hour long.    He sued NASA under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, alleging that he suffered a hostile work environment after informing his supervisors of his disabilities and requesting upgraded airline tickets for work travel, and alleging he was discriminated against due to his disability by being passed over for a promotion. Addressing the hostile-work-environment claim, the panel held that a disability-based harassment claim is available under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and the Rehabilitation Act.     Turning to the merits of Dr. Mattioda’s claim, the panel held that the district court correctly applied the Iqbal/Twombly standard in assessing his complaint.    The district court erred, however, in concluding that Dr. Mattioda failed to allege a plausible causal nexus between the claimed harassment and his disabilities.    The panel also rejected NASA’s argument that Dr. Mattioda’s hostile-work environment claim failed on the alternative ground that he did not allege sufficiently severe or pervasive harassment.    The panel concluded that Dr. Mattioda alleged sufficiently severe or pervasive harassment to survive NASA’s motion to dismiss, and plausibly alleged a hostile-work environment claim based on his disability.   ... CONTINUED:  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)

♦       Apr 29,  ..  ICAWV:     Quanta Services, Inc. v. Bolling  ..  Mr. Bolling, a power transmission lineman, sustained an electrocution injury on March 10, 2021, while employed by Quanta. He received TTD benefits from March 10, 2021, through April 6, 2021. Mr. Bolling attempted to return to work on April 7, 2021. Mr. Bolling was seen by Crystal Mitchell, PA-C, on April 15, 2021, who removed Mr. Bolling from work and noted that Mr. Bolling was experiencing increased anxiety about returning to work. PA Mitchell’s assessment was anxiety disorder, memory impairment, and a history of sudden cardiac arrest successfully resuscitated. Ms. Mitchell noted that Mr. Bolling was continuing treatment with Dr. Vaught for his memory impairment. On June 8, 2021, PA Mitchell indicated that the claimant was able to return to work without any restrictions.     On February 21, 2023, the claim administrator issued an order denying a request for TTD benefits for the period from April 15, 2021, through June 8, 2021, due to a finding that Mr. Bolling was not temporarily and totally disabled for that time period. Mr. Bolling protested this order.     Carl Musser, Jr., M.D., signed an affidavit dated November 29, 2021. Dr. Musser stated that he was a cardiac electrophysiologist and he had provided consultation and evaluation of Mr. Bolling while he was at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital in March 2021. Dr. Musser indicated that Mr. Bolling had sustained an electric shock on March 10, 2021, which caused a cardiac and respiratory event. Dr. Musser noted that the injury necessitated Mr. Bolling’s admission to the hospital, subsequent treatment, and a clinic follow-up. Dr. Musser opined that Mr. Bolling’s compensable injury caused him to miss work from the date of his injury through April 6, 2021, and from April 15, 2021, through June 15, 2021.     On September 11, 2023, the Board reversed the claim administrator’s order, which denied a request for temporary total disability benefits for the period from April 15, 2021, through June 8, 2021. The Board found that Mr. Bolling had established that he was temporarily and totally disabled from April 15, 2021, through June 8, 2021. Further, the Board found that the fact that Mr. Bolling did not file an application for further adjustment of benefits was a technicality.     Quanta now appeals the Board’s order.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)

♦       Apr 29,  ..  ICAWV:     Williamson v. WV Board of Registered Nurses  ..  Petitioner Ms. Williamson (“Nurse Williamson”) appeals the March 28, 2023, final order of the West Virginia Board of Registered Nurses (“Board”), which found that she had engaged in professional misconduct and imposed disciplinary sanctions.     During her administrative hearing, Nurse Williamson indicated that around 9:00 a.m. Patient exhibited severe vaginal swelling. In response, Nurse Williamson applied ice to the affected area, changed Patient’s position, and used a “peanut ball” to open her pelvis. Nurse Williamson notified Patient’s treating OB-GYN, Dr. Hamilton, of Patient’s status and the actions taken. Dr. Hamilton, who was present at the Hospital, told Nurse Williamson to continue taking those types of actions to promote the progress of labor.     Nurse Harris performed a vaginal examination of Patient at 11:06 a.m. A second vaginal examination was performed by Nurse Williamson at 11:48 a.m. at which time Patient had been in labor for approximately two hours. According to Nurse Williamson, her examination revealed that Patient was fully dilated and that her vaginal swelling had reduced but was still present. Nurse Williamson testified that at that time, Patient’s numbness prevented her from wiggling her toes or feeling the necessary pressure to begin the pushing necessary for the baby’s delivery, and that as a result, the baby was travelling back up the birth canal instead of down.     At this time, without consulting Dr. Hamilton or the attending anesthesiologist, Nurse Williamson turned off the epidural. At some point between the two vaginal examinations, Dr. Hamilton was advised of Patient’s status. Then, at 11:57 a.m., Dr. Hamilton was informed by Nurse Williamson that the epidural had been stopped. According to Nurse Williamson, Dr. Hamilton was not alarmed by her actions but instructed her to restart the epidural. However, the notes in Patient’s medical record indicate that Dr. Williamson told the Anesthesia Department that Patient’s epidural had fallen out. The Anesthesia Department was contacted, and the epidural infusion was restarted approximately fifteen minutes after it was discontinued; however, Patient’s chart indicates that the epidural had been disconnected for an unknown period of time prior to notifying the anesthesia provider. Further, the restarting of the epidural is noted in Patient’s chart, but Nurse Williamson’s actions prior to that are not. In her testimony, Nurse Williamson stated she had been too busy to chart her other actions and had trusted Nurse Harris to chart the information for her.     A complaint was made to Nurse Williamson’s supervisor by the Hospital’s Anesthesia Department. The supervisor then filed an incident report with the Director of Nursing, Ms. Denny (“Director Denny”). Director Denny investigated the matter and met with Nurse Williamson who refused to respond to the internal complaint and obtained legal counsel. On June 15, 2020, Director Denny filed a complaint with the Board, alleging, among other things, that Nurse Williamson had engaged in professional misconduct by practicing beyond the scope of professional nursing when she discontinued the epidural without a doctor’s order.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)

♦       Apr 23,  ..  10th Cir.:     Rhoads v. Stormont Vail HealthCare  ..  Dr. Rhoads specializes in internal medicine.    He was a hospitalist at Stormont employed under a contract he signed in 2019.    In 2020, other doctors at Stormont reported concerns that Dr. Rhoads was exhibiting signs of dementia and that his work was showing a steady decline in quality.    These concerns led to the formation of an internal committee at Stormont.    That committee recommended a temporary restriction of Dr. Rhoads’s clinical privileges and referred him to Acumen Assessments, Inc. (Acumen) for evaluation.    Dr. Rhoads scheduled an appointment with Acumen for January 2021 and worked his last shift as a hospitalist in November 2020.    Acumen diagnosed Dr. Rhoads with mild neurocognitive disorder.    He was not considered fit to return to the practice of medicine at that time, and he agreed he would likely not be able to return to his work as a hospitalist.    ... CONTINUED  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)

♦       Apr 23,  ..  7th Cir.:     Tabatha Washington v. City of Chicago  ..  In the evening of May 30, 2018, plaintiffs Tabatha Washington and Donte Howard, along with Washington’s cousin Carlton White, all engaged in physical altercations with Kim Edmondson outside Washington’s apartment in Chicago. When the conflict ended, Edmondson left the area and walked about half a mile north. There he encountered three of his friends, Anthony Beard, Khadijah Hill, and Larry Nelson, in a parking lot. Edmondson was shirtless and bleeding from his lip and chest. He told his friends that he had been jumped by two men and one or two women with a pole. He then walked behind a nearby dumpster to urinate. Soon after that, someone else told Beard, Hill, and Nelson that Edmondson had collapsed. They walked over and saw him behind the dumpster lying on his back, not breathing, with blood pooling around his head. They called 911 and flagged down nearby police officers, but first responders were unable to revive Edmondson. He was pronounced dead at the scene. The medical examiner later concluded that Edmondson died from blunt-force trauma to the back of the head.     Chicago Police Department detectives Vincent Alonzo, Adrian Garcia, and Demosthenes Balodimas arrived to investigate. The three parking-lot witnesses each told them of Edmondson’s wounds to the chest and lip, and they told the detectives Edmondson’s story about being beaten up by several of his neighbors. One of the parking-lot witnesses knew where Edmondson had lived and led detectives to the apartment building, about a half-mile away—the same building where Washington lived.     The detectives canvassed the building to see if anyone knew about an altercation with Edmondson. Detective Balodimas later said that, when he was standing outside Washington’s apartment, he heard her say, “F*** that b**** he got what he deserved,” and “he ain’t gonna get my gun.” Balodimas also said he heard White say, “You gotta protect, you gotta fight.” Plaintiffs dispute all of these assertions. A detective knocked on the door of Washington’s apartment and Washington, White, and Howard opened the door. Howard at first told the detectives they could not enter without a warrant. The detectives asked if everything was alright, and Washington told them “there was an altercation earlier, with some guy that had been evicted from this building.” She also said, “He was trying to fight me.”     Washington then allowed the detectives to enter her apartment. She and White spoke to detectives in one room while Howard and another friend, Cynthia Cage, sat on a couch nearby. White explained that there was an altercation with a man who had been evicted from the building who “kept coming around trying to fight,” and White was defending himself. Washington added “he tried to hit me,” saying she hit him to defend herself. Detective Garcia told the group that they needed to come to the police station to straighten everything out. Washington said that Cage had not been involved in the altercation and that Howard had just gotten there. Howard told detectives falsely that his name was Jeremiah Johnson and claimed that he had just arrived at the apartment.     The detectives handcuffed Washington and White, placed them in separate squad cars, and took them to the police station for further investigation.
This case presents claims for unlawful pretrial detention under the Fourth Amendment and 42 U.S.C. § 1983, along with state-law claims for malicious prosecution.    Plaintiffs Tabatha Washington and Donte Howard claim that defendants, Chicago Police Department detectives Vincent Alonzo, Adrian Garcia, and Demosthenes Balodimas, deliberately misled judges and a grand jury to secure judicial determinations of probable cause to detain plaintiffs on charges of first-degree murder.    After over a year in custody, Washington and Howard were tried and acquitted on all charges.    They then filed this suit.    The district court granted summary judgment to the defendants, and plaintiffs have appealed.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)

♦       Apr 23,  ..  CAW:     Worland, V. Kitsap County  ..  Mr. Worland worked for the County in various roles from 2012.    Worland was a member of the Teamsters Union Local 58.    At some point, Worland alleged that the County failed to properly compensate him for overtime.    He maintained that the County ordered him to change his time card to omit overtime he had claimed.    And when Worland refused, the County began retaliating against him in a myriad of ways.    Around July 2019, Worland met with the Assistant Director of Public Works of the Utilities Division (Assistant Director) to discuss alleged harassment Worland suffered over the past couple years—some of the harassment related to Worland’s use of sick leave.    The Assistant Director received several allegations of misconduct regarding Worland, and in December 2019, the Assistant Director asked the County’s Department of Human Resources to investigate the allegations.    Subsequently, the County held a pre-termination hearing.    In February 2020, the County terminated Worland based on seven categories of alleged misconduct.    The Union filed a grievance seeking Worland’s reinstatement, which proceeded to arbitration.    An arbitrator determined the County terminated Worland for just cause.    Worland subsequently brought this action for wrongful termination in violation of public policy.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)

♦       Apr 22,  ..  11th Cir.:     Jean Charles v. GEO Group Inc  ..  Ms. Jean Charles, a Black, Haitian woman, worked as a case specialist for GEO Group Inc a government contractor in Orlando, Florida, which administered a federal immigration program.    Jean Charles received raises every year until 2011, when she “reached a cap.”    After she hit the cap, she received “lump sum payments every year but no raises and no promotions.”    She was the only Black, Haitian employee in her office, and the “only employee in her group to reach a cap,” which her employer failed to justify or explain.    In 2016, she was denied a promotion without explanation.    Then, after she filed a charge of discrimination raising these allegations with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”), she was fired despite being in good standing and having “no previous record of discipline.”    Marie Jean Charles, a Black, Haitian woman, filed a lawsuit alleging discrimination and retaliation under Title VII following her termination as a case specialist for a government contractor.    After the defendants answered, and discovery began, the district court sua spone dismissed the operative amended complaint as a shotgun pleading and ordered Jean Charles to replead.    When Jean Charles did so, the defendants moved to dismiss, and the court granted that motion, dismissing the action with prejudice on shotgun-pleading grounds and for failure to state a claim.    U.S. 11TH CIRCUIT:    After careful review, we hold that the district court abused its discretion by invoking the shotgun-pleading doctrine, and we vacate and remand for further proceedings.    A plaintiff in Jean Charles’s position may not be able to identify in a complaint which defendant was responsible for which acts or omissions she experienced as an employee.    Nor would such allegations add any clarity to the essence of her claims—that is, that she experienced discrimination and retaliation prohibited by Title VII as an employee of the facility operated by the defendants.    Having concluded that the district court improperly invoked the shotgun-pleading doctrine, we vacate and remand for further proceedings.    VACATED AND REMANDED.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)

♦       Apr 18,  ..  Supreme Court of the United States:     Muldrow v. City of St. Louis  ..  THE U.S. SUPREME COURT MADE IT EASIER FOR WORKERS TO BRING EMPLOYMENT DISCRIMINATION SUITS OVER JOB TRANSFERS BASED ON SEX, RACE, RELIGION.    Sergeant Jatonya Clayborn Muldrow maintains that her employer, the St. Louis Police Department, transferred her from one job to another because she is a woman.    From 2008 through 2017, Muldrow worked as a plainclothes officer in the Department’s specialized Intelligence Division.    In 2017, the new Intelligence Division commander asked to transfer Muldrow out of the unit so he could replace her with a male police officer.    Against Muldrow’s wishes, the Department approved the request and reassigned Muldrow to a uniformed job elsewhere in the Department.    While Muldrow’s rank and pay remained the same in the new position, her responsibilities, perks, and schedule did not.    After the transfer, Muldrow no longer worked with high-ranking offi- cials on the departmental priorities lodged in the Intelligence Division, instead supervising the day-to-day activities of neighborhood patrol of- ficers.    She also lost access to an unmarked take-home vehicle and had a less regular schedule involving weekend shifts.    Muldrow brought this Title VII suit to challenge the transfer.    She alleged that the City, in ousting her from the Intelligence Division, had “discriminated against” her based on sex “with respect to” the “terms [or] conditions” of her employment.  ..  U.S. SUPREME COURT DECISION:   (.html)     NPR Discussion

♦       Apr 18,  ..  11th Cir.:     Allred v. Florida  ..  Allred had a romantic relationship with Tiffany Barwick.    They ended their relationship with a fight.    The fight happened during Allred’s 21st birthday party,    which was attended by 50 guests.    In attendance was Michael Ruschak, who was Allred’s closest friend.    After the breakup, Allred learned that Barwick and Ruschak had begun a sexual relationship.    Allred messaged Ms. Barwick calling her a “whore” because of her relationship with Ruschak.    Allred said he could not forgive her for that and threatened,    “if I ever see Ruschak again I will kill him.”    Allred pulled up to the house.    He repeatedly rammed his truck into Barwick’s car, which was parked outside.    Allred then walked to back of the house and banged on a sliding glass door.    Ms. Barwick ran away to hide.    Allred walked into the house, gun in hand.    The occupants scattered.    Allred noticed Mr. Ruschak peering from the kitchen    and pursued him,    shooting him four times.    Ruschak was killed instantly.    Allred continued to the bathroom,    where he found Barwick hiding in the bathtub.    He shot her six times.    She, too, died instantly.    As Allred moved through the house,    Roberts grabbed him,    trying to stop him.    Allred shot Roberts in the leg and escaped.    Allred left the crime scene and drove home.    He called 911 and reported that he had killed two people.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)

♦       Apr 18,  .. FLRA:  VA v. AFGE  ..  As relevant here, the issues before the Arbitrator were:     “Did the Union fail to follow the Master Agreement Grievance Procedure as outlined in Article 43, Sections 6 and 7?     If so, what is the appropriate remedy?”     The Agency argued that, by filing the grievance at Step 3, the Union violated:  (1) Article 43, Section 6, which states that “every effort will be made to settle grievances at the lowest possible level”;     and    (2) Article 43, Section 7, Note 5 (Note 5), which states that “grievances should normally be resolved at the lowest level possible.”    The Arbitrator interpreted the parties’ agreement as stating, “as a general rule,” that grievances should be resolved at the lowest possible level.     However, he also observed that Note 5 permits filing a grievance at a higher step “when the supervisor at the lower level clearly has no authority to resolve the issue.”     The Arbitrator noted the Union’s grievance alleged an unfair labor practice (ULP), an equal‑employment‑opportunity (EEO) violation, and “discrimination against [the] Union President . . . based on Union activity.”     The Arbitrator found those were “the type of assertions, if true, which would affect the entire bargaining unit,” and that, “by their nature, . . . were not capable of being settled at the preliminary stages of the grievance procedure and must be resolved at a higher level of management.”     Therefore, “based on the specific allegations found in the Union’s [g]rievance,”    the Arbitrator concluded the Union properly filed its grievance at Step 3.      As such, he denied the Agency’s grievance.    On January 10, 2024, the Agency filed exceptions to the award,    and on February 6, 2024, the Union filed an opposition.  ..  FLRA DECISION:   (.html)   (.pdf)

♦       Apr 17,  ..  MSPB:     Shepherd v. Department of Homeland Security  ..  Ms. Sheppard, (The appellant) was employed by the agency’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as a Reservist Emergency Management Specialist.    On October 22, 2021, the agency terminated her based on charges of conduct unbecoming and lack of candor.    The basis of the conduct unbecoming charge was that she allegedly discussed a subordinate employee’s medical condition with her while on speakerphone and within earshot of other employees, including a nurse practitioner, without her consent.    The agency also alleged that she called the same subordinate employee a “bitch” on another occasion.    She was charged with lack of candor because she later stated that her subordinate consented to having the nurse listen on speakerphone, which her subordinate denied.    The appellant filed a timely appeal to the Board,    alleging that the agency investigated her alleged misconduct and terminated her in retaliation for, among other matters, her participation in her coworker’s EEO case, her counseling of her subordinate, and her April 16, 2021 report of her Group Supervisor’s behavior.  ..  MSPB DECISION:   (.html)

♦       Apr 17,  ..  SCI:     Attorney Disciplinary Board v. Neff  ..  Attorney Mr. Neff made at least nine comments that are at issue in this disciplinary proceeding.    At least some of his comments were made in front of his employees Ms. Tanvi Yenna and Ms. Carly Schoemaker.    Three of Neff’s comments related to defendants in criminal cases pending at the county attorney’s office.    While prosecuting a criminal defendant, Neff told Yenna that a criminal defendant’s “asshole” would be “this big” by the time the criminal defendant left prison.    Neff formed a circular shape with his hands when he made the statement.    Another time, while prosecuting a case involving sexual exploitation of a minor, Neff told Yenna that the defendant should “lube up” and “grab his ankles.”    After losing a criminal sex abuse case, Neff told Yenna and Schoemaker that he wished the defendant would be “raped by antelopes and mauled by lions at the same time.”    Neff also made inappropriate comments about judges.    Neff “occasionally” referred to judges as “bitches” following an unfavorable decision.    Neff once referred to a particular judge as a “limp dick” because Neff was frustrated about how the judge presided over a sexual assault trial in which the defendant was acquitted.    Finally, Neff told several off-color stories and jokes in the workplace.    While discussing false accusations in criminal cases, Neff relayed to Yenna and Schoemaker that he was falsely accused of sexual assault in college.    In the fall of 2019 or spring of 2020, Neff told Yenna and Schoemaker about a college memory in which another student came to class wearing pajamas and no shirt.    The student’s penis fell out of his pajama pants, and the professor yelled at the student that he “[did] not care how proud he was of his size, get out.”    Sometime in early 2020, Neff made a joke. Upon arriving late to the office after snow-blowing his driveway, Neff remarked that he spent the morning blowing five inches, though he did not believe his wife minded.    In response to a staff member’s smirk, Neff quipped, “That’s what she said.”    This statement was a quotation from a running joke made on the TV show “The Office.” Yenna and Schoemaker frequently used the quote in the workplace.    The final statement relates to a telephone call Neff received from a member of the public.    Neff related to Yenna that the caller referred to Neff’s predecessor as a “faggot.”  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)

♦       Apr 17,  ..  SCI:     White v. State of Iowa And Iowa Department Of Human Services  ..  Ms. White's (The plaintiff) hostile-work-environment complaints about her boss led to his termination.    The State argues that we should decide “under what circumstances can evidence of harassment of other employees be used to prove that the plaintiff’s work environment was impermissibly hostile?”    The district court denied the employer’s pretrial motion in limine to exclude so-called “me too” evidence1 as unduly prejudicial, and the employer lodged a “standing” objection to certain exhibits.    Considerable me-too testimony was admitted at trial without objection.    The plaintiff’s own job duties as a supervisor included receiving reports of alleged discrimination experienced by other employees, and she relied, in part, on such reports to support her own hostile-work-environment claim.    The jury found that the plaintiff proved a hostile work environment and awarded her $260,000 for past emotional distress and $530,000 for future emotional distress.    State employer appeals judgment on jury verdict awarding damages for a hostile-work-environment claim under the Iowa Civil Rights Act.    Suprene Court of Iowa:    We conclude that the harassment the plaintiff personally experienced was not objectively severe or pervasive enough to alter the terms or conditions of her employment.    On that ground, the district court erred by denying the State’s motion for JNOV.    We REVERSE the judgment for the plaintiff and REMAND.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)

♦       Apr 16,  ..  OCA:     Colerain Twp. v. AFSCME  ..  In February 2021, an employee of the township was placed on FMLA leave after submitting a doctor’s note to the township that provided that the employee could not lift, push, or pull anything over ten pounds, and must be allowed to take certain breaks due to an issue with his lumbar spine.    The employee and the township stayed in communication over the next couple of months concerning the employee’s treatment and pending return-to-work date.    The township informed the employee that the restrictions in place were "severely limiting to the requirements” of his position and emphasized the importance of a date certain that the employee could return to work with no restrictions.    The employee submitted additional physician certifications to the township—one in March and one in April—and continued communication with the township regarding the status of his treatment.    The employee’s restrictions remained in place, but he was cleared by his physician for light duty as of April 7, 2021.    On April 28, 2021, the township sent a letter to the employee informing him that his FMLA leave was set to end on May 5, 2021, and, because the restrictions in place did not allow him to perform the essential functions of his position, he would need to provide a physician certification releasing him for full duty as of May 13, 2021.    The letter stated, “Failure to be medically cleared and appear for full-duty work on May 13, 2021, will be considered an absence without approved leave for which you may be subjected to discipline up to and including termination.”  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)

♦       Apr 16,  ..  11th Cir.:     Thomas v. Walmart, Inc  ..  Mr.Thomas began working as a maintenance associate at the Walmart in Snellville, Georgia around October 2019.    He alleges that, beginning in August 2021, another employee named Nathalee Gooden would sometimes approach him at work and speak to him.    She complimented his vintage car and mentioned that she wanted to go for a ride in it, once asked whether he was married or dated, once asked where he lived, and once allegedly touched his arm to see whether he was wearing a ring.    Thomas never complained about the behavior or otherwise alerted anyone at Walmart, other than briefly discussing the interactions with a supervisor “in a sort of hilarious fashion” that “wasn’t in a ... serious way.”    As part of his normal work routine, Mr. Thomas would place trash into a compactor in the back of the store.    One day while compacting trash, some of the waste fell onto Thomas’s body.    Frustrated, he began cursing.    Gooden overheard the language and approached him, instructing him to calm down and refrain from using profanity.    Gooden then says that Thomas began to verbally attack her, using profanity and making negative references to her race.    Thomas concedes that he used profanity during the altercation and that he told her to get away from him.    Gooden immediately reported the incident to Jewel Hemphill, the temporary store manager, who then investigated the incident by interviewing Thomas, Gooden, and other associates in the area at the time of the altercation.    When all associates corroborated Gooden’s account of events, Hemphill fired Thomas after deciding that such behavior was inappropriate and inconsistent with Walmart’s culture and values.    Separately, before the altercation with Gooden, Thomas requested a leave of absence with Walmart’s third-party medical leave coordinator so he could undergo cancer treatment for six weeks beginning in October.    His request was still pending at the time he was fired.    Thomas filed a pro se complaint against Walmart, alleging claims under Title VII and the ADA for sexual harassment, disability discrimination, and retaliation.    He alleged that he worked under different terms of employment from similarly situated employees, faced sexual harassment, did not receive disability accommodations, was retaliated against, and was ultimately fired.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)

♦       Apr 15,  ..  DCAF:     Carroll v. State of Florida  ..  When the results of Tate High School’s 2020 homecoming queen election came in, Ms. Carroll’s daughter appeared to have won convincingly.    But not everyone was convinced.    The teacher responsible for administering the election reported to school officials that many votes in the election had been flagged by the election application software—and that every flagged vote had been cast for Carroll’s daughter.    At the time, Ms. Carroll was an assistant principal at Bellview Elementary School, with district- wide access to all student accounts in the school district’s FOCUS portal.    It was suspected by some that Carroll’s daughter had access to her mother’s credentials to the FOCUS portal and had used that access to acquire confidential student information.    Information that she then used to cast votes for herself in the homecoming queen election.    The school district appointed Gary Marsh to investigate the report.     ... CONTINUED  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)

♦       Apr 15,  ..  ICA:     Kerwood v. Elkhart County Sheriff  ..  On November 30, 2017, the Elkhart County Sheriff’s Department (the “Sheriff’s Department”) received a report from loss prevention at a Walmart regarding a radio which had been left in a cart. The radio “appeared to be a police radio” and “had A227 written on it.”    Officer Eric Schuman was assigned to the call. Sergeant Adam Leeper, the officer in charge, was informed that a video taken from a security camera showed that the radio had been left by a person wearing a Concord Township Fire Department (“Concord Fire”) shirt, and the officers contacted Concord Fire Assistant Chief Sean Miller, who identified Kerwood as the person wearing the shirt.    Assistant Chief Miller indicated that Kerwood had been recently hired as a volunteer, he was serving a probationary period, and during that period he was not permitted to wear department-identifying clothing or carry a radio when he was not on duty.    According to Sergeant Leeper, “A227” was “a unit number for then Sergeant Lanzen” with the Sheriff’s Department, the officers contacted Sergeant Lanzen to check if he had his radio, he did have his radio, and the concern was that the radio discovered at the Walmart had been illegally obtained.    Also on November 30, 2017, a meeting was held at a Concord Fire station at which Kerwood, Assistant Chief Miller, Sergeant Leeper, Officer Schuman, and other individuals were present. During the meeting, Sergeant Leeper stated: “We have to be careful when it comes to you because of your past.”    Kerwood asked “what history or past,” and Sergeant Leeper “said [his] arrest for the police impersonation.”    According to Kerwood, he was later forced to resign from Concord Fire, and he signed a resignation letter dated May 28, 2018.    Kerwood later began a volunteer firefighter position at Kankakee Township Fire Department (“Kankakee Fire”).    Kankakee Fire terminated Kerwood’s position as a volunteer firefighter.    Kerwood sought a volunteer position with the Springfield Township Fire Department but was not accepted due to its relationship with Kankakee Fire.    In June 2019, Kerwood filed a complaint alleging that he was found not guilty for a prior criminal charge, the court ordered the Sheriff’s Department to expunge and seal all records of the charge and arrest, the Sheriff’s Department failed to comply with the order, employees of the Sheriff’s Department disseminated information about his prior arrest, and as a result he was terminated from Kankakee Fire.     ... CONTINUED  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)

♦       Apr 15,  ..  3rd Cir.:     Ingram v. Dunbar  ..  In March 2020, the Pennsylvania House Republican Caucus (“PHRC”) hired Ms. Ingram to serve as the district office manager for State Representative Eric Davanzo.    The district office in question is in West Newton, Pennsylvania and is open to the public. Constituents are often present.    Ms. Ingram worked in this role for two years.    Then, in May 2022, something quite literally started not smelling right.    Ms. Ingram and a coworker “began sporadically smelling strong, foul odors” reminiscent of “raw chicken” while at work.    The intense stench burned their eyes and caused headaches.    Ms. Ingram voiced her concerns several times to Representative Davanzo, who each time referred her to the office landlord, Joyce Pawlik.    But after several complaints, Ms. Pawlik claimed to be unable to locate the source of the miasma.    For a month, Ms. Ingram’s ailments were her only clues in the office mystery.    Then, in June, Ms. Pawlik responded to a text message about the stink’s “vengeful” return by suggesting that a leak in the building may be to blame.    Days later, Ms. Ingram observed water coming in through the floor of the office.    At an apparent dead end with Representative Davanzo and Ms. Pawlik, Ms. Ingram also emailed Lisa Zaucha, the Southwest Regional Coordinator of District Operations for the PHRC.    Ms. Zaucha appears to have been responsible for hiring and supervising employees such as Ms. Ingram.    For a month and a day, Ms. Ingram’s request bore no fruit.    At last, on July 7, Ms. Zaucha responded to follow up on the “mold situation.”    When Ms. Ingram explained that the situation was very much still an issue, Ms. Zaucha forwarded their exchange to PHRC Senior Deputy Chief Counsel James Mann.    Mr. Mann advised Ms. Zaucha to purchase an at-home mold test to assess the office.    Ms. Zaucha forwarded this prescription back to Ms. Ingram, calling it “good advice” and offering to reimburse Ms. Ingram for the purchase.    As instructed, Ms. Ingram purchased a test and, removing the cover from an air vent, soon discovered “a significant amount of a mold-like substance.”    The test revealed that substance to be a mixture of Aspergillus/Penicillium and Stachybotrys, the latter of which is the genus that includes black mold.    The same day, Ms. Ingram reported her findings to Representative Davanzo “in order to protect herself, her colleagues, and Rep[resentative] Davanzo’s constituents.”    But when she did, Representative Davanzo bluntly asked: “Who the f— gave you permission to do this?”    The representative then wrote a profanity-laden email to PHRC staff and another Pennsylvania representative demanding that Ms. Ingram and Ms. Zaucha be fired.     ... CONTINUED  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)

♦       Apr 12,  ..  TWCAB:     Jordan v. McDonald's Restaurant  ..  Ms. Jordan (“Employee”) was working as a cook for McDonald’s Restaurant (“Employer”) on May 5, 2023, when she allegedly injured her back.    Specifically, Employee asserts she was lifting a heavy box of french fries in the walk-in freezer of the store when the injury occurred.    Employee contends she told a manager she 1 had injured her back, but the manager “just went on by.”    In her responses to interrogatories propounded by Employer, Employee noted that “an exact date of notice” was May 8, when she told her manager that she “picked up a heavy box of fries” and was told to “go to the doctor.”    Employee also noted in her responses that the store manager told her to return to work with paperwork after she was seen by a physician.    On May 15, Employee sought medical treatment due to worsening pain.    She used health insurance coverage from a second job to cover that treatment.    The records of that visit indicate a history of suffering a lifting injury from an “unknown” location.    The documentation of this visit reflects that Employee reported a history of left lumbar pain radiating into her left leg, but it does not document any history of a work injury.    Employee was diagnosed with a lumbar strain, was prescribed medication and work restrictions, and was instructed to follow up with a physician.    During the expedited hearing, Employee testified that she reported her injury to Employer’s general manager, Mitchell Fox, on May 16.    She also stated that she gave her report of injury to whoever answered the phone.    Employee testified that she worked on May 18 and 19 and provided Employer with the records from her medical visit but asserted that    Employer would not review the documentation.    Employee also testified she was told on May 19 that a claim would be filed and that an adjuster would call her.    Employee explained that, when she did not receive a call from an adjuster, she went to Employer’s corporate office and reported her injury.    Thereafter, she purportedly met with Mr. Fox on May 26 to complete paperwork for her claim.    Mr. Fox also testified, asserting he did not know about Employee’s alleged work injury until May 30, when a manager told him that Employee had called on May 29 asking about her workers’ compensation claim.    He later discussed with Employee the possibility of a work transfer, but Employee was terminated on May 25 for no call/no show.    ...CONTINUED  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)

♦       Apr 12,  ..  10th Cir.:     Shulick v. State of Wyoming  ..  In 2014, the Wyoming Department of Corrections (WDOC) hired Mr. Shulick as a correctional officer at the Wyoming State Penitentiary (WSP).    In February 2019, Mr. Shulick requested reasonable accommodations for his medical conditions under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).    At that time, his disabilities were sufficiently accommodated by permanently moving him to the checkpoint post.    In June 2019, Mr. Shulick applied for the correctional captain position at WSP.    The hiring panel interviewed Mr. Shulick and three other candidates for the position, grading each candidate based on their responses to several interview questions.    Mr. Shulick received the lowest score. None of the candidates were hired and the position was later reopened.    Mr. Shulick reapplied but was not offered a second interview.    On December 24, 2019, the on-duty Watch Commander, Lieutenant Brown, assigned Mr. Shulick to a different post.    Mr. Shulick told him that he was permanently assigned to the checkpoint post.    Major Hobson then directed Lieutenant Brown to assign Mr. Shulick to the checkpoint post going forward based on his reasonable accommodation.    On January 2, 2020, Mr. Shulick was ordered to provide a urine sample for random drug testing.    Mr. Shulick initially refused, asserting the drug test was retaliation for the incident on December 24, but he ultimately provided a urine sample later that day.    Mr. Shulick’s name was included on the randomized list sent by the WDOC’s Drug-Free Workplace Coordinator on December 17, 2019.    On January 22, 2020, Captain McManis gave Mr. Shulick verbal counseling about his initial refusal to submit to the random drug test.    This was noted on a counseling form in Mr. Shulick’s file.    The next day, Mr. Shulick complained to Director Lampert about the counseling form and alleged ongoing harassment.    Director Lampert assigned Deputy HR Manager Tripp and Deputy Warden Molden to investigate Mr. Shulick’s complaint.    On March 18, based on the investigation, Director Lampert issued a grievance determination finding the counseling form was not based on retaliation and that Mr. Shulick’s harassment claim was unsubstantiated.    ...CONTINUED  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)

♦       Apr 11,  ..  MAC:     John Doe v. Sex Offender Registry Board  ..  Doe's girlfriend of two months went to Doe's trailer to end their relationship.    An argument followed, and Doe took the victim's wallet, keys and phone, and wrapped his arm around her to prevent her from leaving the trailer. The victim tried to push him away and was "hitting him in the back telling him to put her down."    The victim also repeatedly told Doe that she did not want to have sex. Doe threw the victim over his shoulder, carried her to his bedroom, and penetrated her vagina with his penis.    The victim left Doe's trailer. The victim reported to police that she had been sexually assaulted by Doe.    She also underwent a sexual assault examination at a local hospital.    A deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) profile developed from a vaginal swab taken from the victim was later linked to Doe.    Doe was arrested and charged with rape and kidnapping. He pleaded guilty to the lesser included offense of indecent assault and battery on a person aged fourteen or older and kidnapping, and was sentenced to two and a half years in the house of correction, with six months to serve and the balance suspended for a period of two years.    Other offenses.    On May 20, 2007, Doe was arrested in Rhode Island for masturbating on a public street.    He was charged with disorderly conduct, convicted, and received a six month probation sentence. As part of the Rhode Island sentence, Doe was ordered to undergo a sex offender evaluation with follow up treatment if deemed necessary.    In addition, Doe has a lengthy criminal history in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Georgia from 1990-2019.    Offenses include crimes of violence, drug and alcohol offenses, property crimes, and motor vehicle offenses.      The plaintiff, John Doe, appeals from a Superior Court judgment affirming his final classification by the Sex Offender Registry Board (board) as a level two sex offender.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)

♦       Apr 11,  ..  5th Cir.:     Taylor v. McDonough  ..  In April 2013, Plaintiff-Appellant Candace E. Taylor began working at the Department of Veteran Affairs (“VA”).    She was originally hired as a Medical Administrative Support (“MAS”) Assistant, a position which she maintained from 2013 to 2017.    In her capacity as an MAS assistant, Taylor worked with William Hardy, a Program Manager in the VA’s Equal Employment Opportunity (“EEO”) office.    During this time, Taylor agrees that her personal interactions with Hardy were “very respectful” and professional.    In March 2017, Taylor transitioned into a new role as the EEO Program Assistant and began directly reporting to Hardy.    As part of her job duties, Taylor received and acknowledged the VA’s internal memoranda and policies about reporting sexual harassment, instructed other employees on how to file sexual harassment claims, and taught other employees that the 45- day deadline for filing such claims was a “firm” deadline.    Taylor alleges that shortly after her transition, Hardy began sexually harassing her. Taylor testified that in April 2017, Hardy revealed to her that he was “sexually frustrated,” and began commenting on her “pretty physique.”    Taylor also states that around the same time, Hardy “pressed his body up against [her]” and told her that she had “very nice jugs.”    Additionally, Hardy sent Taylor a series of text messages which stated, inter alia, “R u getting dress for work . . . I guess you have clothes on ?” and “I asked to kiss your jugs that has not happened.”    On May 24, 2017, Hardy sent Taylor a photograph of himself via text message, accompanied by the caption, “I look great . . . Get FaceTime and you could see more lol . . . Thank you.”    Also in May, while at a work event, Taylor alleges that Hardy told her that “he was just tempted to take Taylor into the bathroom to have sex,” and he let her know that he was allergic to latex condoms as an “FYI.”    Although Taylor testified that she knew how to report these alleged harassment incidents in accordance with VA policies, she explained that she did not do so because she feared retaliation and believed Hardy would not be disciplined.    Over the next three months, from June to August, Taylor testified that Hardy engaged in “bad management” and continued to make inappropriate comments to her, such as, “Hopefully I’ll get lucky one of these days.”    ... CONTUNUED  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)

♦       Apr 10,  ..  Fed Cir.:     Rosario-Fabregas v. Army  ..  Mr. Rosario-Fábregas was employed as a Biologist (Project Manager) with the United States Army Corps of Engineers (Army or agency).    On August 24, 2017, Mr. Rosario-Fábregas sent a mass-distribution email suggesting that promotions of various agency employees, including two specifically named employees, were illegal and offering to “represent” employees “against irresponsible managers.”    Later that day, Ms. White sent Mr. Rosario-Fábregas an email “directing that [he] not send district wide, regulatory wide, or any other email blasts to Corps employees without [her] approval.”    On September 1, 2017, Mr. Rosario-Fábregas sent another mass-distribution email, using lists that included his former supervisor, as well another email to his former supervisor and one other individual, without sending the communication through Ms. White.    In a response the same day, Ms. White informed Mr. Rosario-Fábregas that his massdistribution email violated her previous instruction and clarified that her orders did not limit him from exercising his rights to contact the Army Inspector General, Civilian Personnel Advisory Center, Office of Counsel, Equal Employment Opportunity office, or the deciding official in the removal proposal.    Based on the foregoing events, on October 11, 2017, Ms. White rescinded the pending removal proposal and issued a new one that included three charges: AWOL, excessive Case: 23-2170 Document: 23 Page: 5 Filed: 04/09/2024 absence, and insubordination.    In 2018, Mr. Rosario-Fábregas was removed from his position based on charges of absence without leave (AWOL), excessive absence, and insubordination.    ... CONTUNUED  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)

♦       Apr 9,  ..  11th Cir.:     Oirya v. Mando American Corporation  ..  Oirya suffered from several medical conditions, including major depression and PTSD, for which he received treatment at Columbus Psychological Associates.    And Columbus diagnosed Oirya with a sleep disorder.    Oirya also had chronic bouts of gastrointestinal problems, including food poisoning, stomach flu, and severe stomach pains.    Oirya maintained that he notified all of his supervisors, including Regier, of these disabilities.    As a result of his conditions, Oirya sometimes had trouble sleeping at night and then could not stay awake at work.    To treat his symptoms, Oirya took over-the-counter medications that also made him drowsy.    February 2, 2018: Oirya Disciplined for Sleeping on Job In late 2018 and early 2019, Oirya’s supervisor Regier was advised by Mando’s then-Human Resources manager, Darlene Schumacher, that three Mando employees, Brandon Yoon, Kayte Dulaney, and Felix Owen, had observed Oirya on multiple occasions sleeping at his desk while not on a break.    Because sleeping on the job violated Mando’s conduct policy, Regier decided to issue Oirya a “Last Chance Agreement,” a decision approved by senior Human Resources manager, Gerald Wyatt.    At a February 2, 2018 meeting, Regier presented Oirya with the Last Chance Agreement.    In the Last Chance Agreement, Regier noted that on February 1, 2018, Oirya was witnessed violating Mando’s conduct policy “by sleeping on the job and abusing [his] designation [sic] lunch period.”    The Last Chance Agreement stated that, in lieu of termination, Oirya was being placed under the terms of the Agreement and was required to review and sign Mando’s conduct policy.    The Last Chance Agreement stated that Oirya’s continued employment was contingent on following Mando’s policies for conduct and behavior and would remain in effect for two years. Oirya denied the accusations of the other Mando employees that he had been sleeping on the job and challenged Regier to produce evidence supporting the accusations.    In response, Regier conceded she had not investigated the accusations and did not have evidence to prove them.    Defendant Mando American Corporation (“Mando”) terminated plaintiff Mr. Oirya for sleeping on the job.    Subsequently, Oirya filed this action alleging that Mando failed to accommodate his medical conditions that caused drowsiness and retaliated against him for requesting an accommodation and complaining about disability discrimination, all in violation of the American Disabilities Act (“ADA”).  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)

♦       Apr 8,  ..  MSPB:     Janice Davis v. Department of Defense  ..  We reverse the administrative judge’s conclusion that the appellant failed to make a nonfrivolous allegation of a regulatory right to appeal her removal.    We agree with the administrative judge’s conclusion that the appellant did not allege that her termination was based upon either partisan politics or marital status, which would give rise to a regulatory right of appeal under 5 C.F.R. § 315.806(b).    The administrative judge, however, did not consider that, under 5 C.F.R. § 315.806(c), a probationary employee also has a regulatory right of appeal on the grounds that the agency terminated her for reasons arising preappointment without complying with the procedural requirements of 5 C.F.R. § 315.805, e.g., advance written notice of the proposed termination and the opportunity to provide a written response.    Here, although the Standard Form 50 (SF-50) effecting the appellant’s removal indicated that she was removed for “disrespectful behavior,”    the agency’s August 12, 2022 notice of termination, of which the appellant submitted a copy, stated that she was removed because she had failed to “demonstrate fitness for continued employment” and had “exhibited a pattern of conduct and performance . . . inconsistent with that required of her position,”    [...] [...] [...]    Based on the above, we find that the appellant has made a nonfrivolous allegation that the agency effected her removal for reasons based in part on conditions arising before her appointment; indeed, the appellant alleged, and the decision letter suggested, that her removal was precipitated, at least in part, by the agency’s belief that she had falsified her résumé.    Moreover, the record suggests that the appellant was not provided with written notice and an opportunity to respond to her notice of termination, i.e., that the agency failed to comply with the procedural requirements of 5 C.F.R. § 315.805.    We therefore find that the appellant has made nonfrivolous allegations of Board jurisdiction and that she is entitled to a jurisdictional hearing;    accordingly,    we remand the matter.  ..  MSPB DECISION:   (.html)

♦       Apr 4,  ..  CAC:     State v. Roberts, AC46906  ..  Mr. Roberts, grew up in Bridgeport, Connecticut where he attended and graduated from high school.     He intended to go to college in Ohio, where he was living with his father in 2018.     On November 15, 2018, Mr. Roberts purchased a Smith & Wesson semiautomatic pistol from the Gold Star Pawn Shop in Eastlake, Ohio.     He left from there and drove to Connecticut, where he had plans to spend the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday with his family in the state.     He had with him both the Smith & Wesson pistol he had just purchased and a .45 caliber semiautomatic Taurus pistol he had purchased from the same shop in Ohio on November 7, 2018, eight days earlier.     Mr. Roberts testified that he brought the Smith & Wesson pistol with him ‘‘for protection to be out here .     ’’ As he explained in his statement to the police, he had once been shot and injured in Bridgeport.     He also testified that he brought the Taurus pistol with him to sell in Connecticut, which he ultimately did, ‘‘to somebody on the street .     ’’ In fact, Mr. Roberts admitted during cross-examination that he ‘‘came to Connecticut with the intention of committing a crime of selling a firearm on the street.’’     Mr. Roberts became acquainted with Ms. Todd after he arrived in Connecticut.     He connected with her through an online dating application called ‘‘Plenty of Fish.’’     They met in person for the first time on November 20, 2018, and started a relationship.     After that meeting, Ms. Todd sent Mr. Roberts a text message asking him to ‘‘explain to me why you’re here if you actually live here or if you’re visiting that’s all.’’     Mr. Roberts responded: ‘‘And I told you this last night.     I plan on living here.     I jus came out here.’’     Ms. Todd’s mother testified that Ms. Todd ‘‘fell hard’’ for Mr. Roberts and immediately considered him her boyfriend.     Ms. Todd gave Mr. Roberts money when he asked for it, let him use her car, and even tried to convince her mother to let him stay with her in her bedroom at her parents’ house in Bethel, where she lived with her parents and her brother.     Mr. Roberts and Ms. Todd had unprotected sexual relations on several occasions, and they discussed the possibility that Ms. Todd might have become pregnant.     Mr. Roberts admitted that he was in constant need of money and that Ms. Todd had been particularly generous with hers.     Ms. Todd routinely gave Mr. Roberts money for gas and food.     She also gave Mr. Roberts money to repair his car, which, as he explained to her in a text message, he ‘‘had to find a way to get up and ready so I can get a job!     Delivery jobs are everywhere.’’     After Mr. Roberts sent Ms. Todd a text message on December 6, 2018, asking for ‘‘help’’ with his car, as he had an interview the next day, she gave him approximately $250.     Ms. Todd also shared with Mr. Roberts the PIN for her ATM card     and told him, in a December 6, 2018 text message, that she had $1200 in her bank account.     During his testimony at trial, Mr. Roberts described the brief relationship he had with Ms. Todd as an ‘‘iffy situation, iffy as in one minute Ms. Todd wants to continue the relationship, the next minute Ms. Todd wants to break it off . . . .’’     Ms. Todd’s family did not approve of the relationship and Ms. Todd felt ‘‘stuck.’’     Mr. Roberts ‘‘was getting tired of the iffy situation’’ and felt that Ms. Todd was ‘‘playing with his emotions.’’     On December 7, 2018, he told her in a series of text messages that a ‘‘hot moment has an cold ending’’ and that ‘‘you really push me to the point where I stop giving chances.’’     On December 8, 2018, Ms. Todd sent a text message to Mr. Roberts stating that she and Mr. Roberts should just be friends.     Mr. Roberts sent a text message in response asking if they could ‘‘hang one last time?’’     He told her that he wanted Ms. Todd to meet him so ‘‘we can discuss things in person and I can tell you how I feel.     We can park up by the sand and water and discuss some real shit.’’     Ms. Todd agreed.     They met, as ‘‘per usual,’’ at the hotel in Stratford, where Mr. Roberts had been staying with his uncle, Bradford Belcher.     They drove in Ms. Todd’s car to a Dunkin Donuts and then, at Mr. Roberts’s suggestion, to the beach by the boat ramp on Seaview Avenue in Bridgeport.     After they got out of the car and walked onto the beach and up to the water,     Mr. Roberts pulled his Smith & Wesson pistol out of the waistband of his pants     and shot Ms. Todd in the back of her head.     Mr. Roberts then took Ms. Todd’s belongings, including her cell phone and her ATM card, left in Ms. Todd’s car, drove to a nearby ATM and withdrew $450 from Ms. Todd’s bank account.     He realized after doing so that there was still money left in Ms. Todd’s account, so he drove in Ms. Todd’s car to a nearby market that had an ATM inside and withdrew an additional $50 from Ms. Todd’s bank account.     Mr. Roberts then discarded Ms. Todd’s cell phone on the side of the highway and drove to a New York rest area where he slept in Ms. Todd’s car.     The following morning, Mr. Roberts drove Ms. Todd’s car back to the hotel in Stratford, left it there, and picked up his own car.     He then drove to his father’s home in Ohio.     A few days later, he went to a corner store in Cleveland, Ohio, and sold the Smith & Wesson pistol to someone there.     Before he sold the murder weapon, he had it with him ‘‘in the car, in the apartment, wherever he] went.’’     Mr. Roberts was subsequently apprehended at his father’s home in Ohio and brought back to Connecticut, where he was arrested and charged with, among other things, carrying a pistol without a permit.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)

♦       Mar 28,  ..  NJSC:     Zack v. Integra Lifesciences  ..  Plaintiff, Ms. Zack, is a White woman who was employed as a manager at Integra Lifesciences.    On June 14, 2020, during the protests of police violence following the murder of George Floyd,   Plaintiff posted on her Facebook account ...    "it's so frustrating . . . what everyone fails to realize is that if you're home on the couch doing what you're supposed to be doing you won't ever be one of those numbers no matter what your race, religion, or political affiliation!"    She also said, " ... if you were on the right side of the law,   you wouldn't be on the list in the first place . . . .   This hate will continue as long as everyone keeps making it about skin color."    Evoli reviewed the post and comments, and determined plaintiff violated Integra's policies and expectations.    The matter was investigated by Morolake Esi, Integra's Head of Human Resources ... and Lisa Evoli, Vice President of Human Resources.    Prior to her Facebook post, Ms. Zack was already on a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP), for, among other things, unprofessional behavior,    and —in part for behavioral issues.    Esi and Evoli concluded plaintiff's violation warranted termination.    Evoli terminated plaintiff.    Plaintiff, Ms. Zack, appeals.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)

♦       Mar 28,  ..  DcDc:     Jones v. District of Columbia  ..  Plaintiff, Ms. Jones, an African American female, was hired at the Washington D.C. Metropolitan Police Department (“MPD”) in 2006 as a Property Technician.    After being placed in a management role, plaintiff alleges that she “was subjected to noticeable and impactful disparate treatment.”    As examples of such treatment, plaintiff alleges that she “was required to provide documentation and proof of the need to attend physical therapy for a work related injury, and documentation proving her academic studies, when her male colleagues were not required to do so.”    According to plaintiff, her disability “caused her severe pain and numbness in her hands and forearms” because of the amount of typing that she did and “the physical orientation of her workstation.”    Plaintiff filed an EEOC complaint on March 3, 2021.    Plaintiff says she “was subjected to near daily insults, bullying, harassment, denigration, frivolous and unfounded investigations, and disparate terms and conditions of employment in retaliation for filing the EEOC complaint.    Plaintiff was terminated on or about March 21, 2023.    Plaintiff claims that because of her race, she was treated more harshly than two colleagues who worked at her same level, including a white male and a Hispanic female,    and asserts this was part of MPD’s pattern and practice of devaluing and discriminating against Black women and women of color.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)

♦       Mar 28,  ..  PCC:     Williams v. City of Philadelphia  ..  On March 4, 2021, Ms Williams (Claimant) sustained work-related injuries during the scope and course of her employment with the City of Philadelphia (Employer) as a correctional officer at the Curran Fromhold Correctional Facility.    On July 22, 2021, Employer issued an Amended Notice of Compensation Payable (NCP) acknowledging injuries described as a thumb strain or tear, right wrist sprain, right hand sprain, and right shoulder sprain.    Employer paid wages in lieu of compensation benefits effective March 5, 2021.    On August 2, 2021, Claimant filed a Claim Petition in which she alleged that she also sustained work-related injuries in the nature of carpal tunnel syndrome and aggravation of preexisting arthritis.    She accordingly sought temporary total disability benefits payable as of July 1, 2021, together with medical expenses and counsel fees.    In this workers’ compensation case, Ms Williams petitions for review of the March 8, 2023 opinion.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)

♦       Mar 28,  ..  NYAD:     Bornholz v. DiNapoli  ..  Petitioner, a police officer, filed an application for accidental disability retirement benefits alleging that he was permanently incapacitated from the performance of his duties as the result of an injury to his left shoulder that was sustained while responding to a medical emergency.    Petitioner testified that the water was running in the bathroom sink when he forced open the door and surmised that the sink had overflowed, causing the bathroom to flood.    Although petitioner testified that he could hear the victim's "faint breathing" through the locked wooden door,    he denied being able to hear the running water prior to entry    The New York State and Local Police and Fire Retirement System denied the application upon the ground that the incident did not constitute an accident within the meaning of Retirement and Social Security Law § 363, and petitioner thereafter retired, receiving performance of duty disability retirement benefits.    Following a hearing and redetermination, the Hearing Officer denied petitioner's application, finding that the incident occurred during the course of petitioner's routine employment duties and was a risk inherent in the performance thereof and, hence, did not constitute an accident.    Respondent upheld the Hearing Officer's decision, and petitioner thereafter commenced this CPLR article 78 proceeding to challenge respondent's determination.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)

♦       Mar 25,  ..  7th Cir.:     United States v. Foxx  ..  A grand jury charged Ms. Foxx, Ms. Lee, and Ms. Bledsoe with engaging in a scheme to defraud by filing hundreds of fraudulent tax returns.    According to the indictment, “the purpose of the scheme was to:   (1) file hundreds of fraudulent federal tax returns that generated improper refunds for clients who paid fees ranging from $400 to $3,000;  and   (2) to file fraudulent federal tax returns for the defendants, generating improper refunds.”    The indictment described the scheme in detail.    As part of the scheme, Ms. Foxx, Ms. Lee, and Ms. Bledsoe would recruit clients, promising them maximum tax refunds, and would obtain the clients’ personal information including names, dates of birth, social security numbers, and dependent and income information.    Ms. Bledsoe and Ms. Foxx then used the information they collected from their own clients, as well as the information provided by Lee to Bledsoe and Foxx pertaining to Lee’s clients, to electronically file federal tax returns with the IRS on behalf of those clients.    Furthermore, the indictment detailed that the fabricated information on the tax returns included, but was not limited to, claiming that very young children attended college to claim the American Opportunity Tax Credit (“AOTC”), creating fake Form W-2s, listing false itemized deductions on Schedule A, and listing false profits and losses on Schedule C, all in order to obtain inflated tax refunds.    To conceal their fraudulent behavior, Ms. Bledsoe and Ms. Foxx filed those fraudulent federal returns as “self-prepared” returns, rather than disclosing that they were paid to prepare them.    For their services, Ms. Lee, Ms. Bledsoe, and Ms. Foxx required a tax preparation fee from their clients, ranging between $400 and $3,000.    They also included false information on their own federal returns, thereby obtaining inflated returns for themselves.    Count 3, to which Ms. Foxx pled guilty, set forth one use of the wires “in executing the scheme to defraud,” specifically that Lee sent a text to Bledsoe from Indiana to Chicago that she had initially received from Foxx, which contained the personally identifying information relating to a resident of Indiana.    Ms. Foxx entered a blind guilty plea to one count of wire fraud under 18 U.S.C. § 1343,    and    was sentenced to 18 months’ imprisonment, one year of supervised release,    and    $1,261,903 in restitution.    Ms. Foxx now appeals.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)

♦       Mar 25,  ..  DcDc:     Kalejaiye v. Quality Investigations, Inc  ..  As relevant here, Quality Investigation, Inc. (“QI”) contracted with the government to provide security officers at a Department of Transportation (“DOT”) facility and a Department of Labor (“DOL”) facility.    Mr. Kalejaiye—Plaintiff in this case—was one of the officers that QI employed to staff its DOT facility contract.    When QI hired Mr. Kalejaiye, he had a beard.    Under QI’s policies, QI employees were required to maintain certain grooming standards.    Specifically, QI employees were required to either   (1) shave,   (2) maintain a beard shorter than 1/4 of an inch with a medical waiver, or   (3) receive an accommodation to grow their beard longer than 1/4 inch.    Prior to beginning work at QI, Kalejaiye obtained a medical waiver permitting him to grow a beard of 1/4 inch in length, but after starting work with QI he requested a religious accommodation so that he could grow his beard longer.    QI’s grooming policies ostensibly regulated beard length to ensure that security guards at the DOT facility could use gas masks effectively if the need arose.    The parties disagree about what precisely happened next.    The parties do not dispute that QI eventually informed Kalejaiye that DOT would not permit an accommodation and that if Kalejaiye did not shave his beard to 1/4 inch or shorter he would not be allowed to work on the DOT contract.    Kalejaiye did not shave his beard and, consequently, QI eventually removed him from the security guard rotation at the DOT facility.    Mr. Kalejaiye filed a charge of discrimination.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)

♦       Mar 25,  ..  2nd Cir.:     King v. Aramark Services Inc  ..  Aramark is a corporation whose business includes providing food and other services to hospitals.    From 2005 to 2010, Ms. King worked for an Aramark entity before beginning a program to receive a master’s degree.    In 2012, after completing her degree program, King worked for Aramark in various leadership positions.    In 2016, Ms. King’s job required her to manage as much as $23 million in “total managed volume,” and her team transacted approximately $10 million in business annually.    King reported directly to Griffith Thomas, a district manager. From that point on, King suffered a steady course of mistreatment from Ms. Thomas.    For example, during district-wide conference calls, Thomas would single out King in front of other Aramark employees and cite her performance with VHS as a negative example of what not to do.    King also maintains that Thomas fabricated performance-related complaints to try to get her fired.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)

♦       Mar 21,  ..  MAC:     Commonwealth v. Squadrito  ..  On an evening in November 2018, the victim went to dinner with a friend and then to a series of bars in Boston.    The victim drank several beers, several mixed drinks, and several shots of tequila.    At about 2:30 A.M., the victim left a bar near Quincy Market.    She was extremely drunk.    Using her cell phone, she ordered a ride service to take her to her home address.    The car arrived at 2:45 A.M., driven by the defendant, and the victim got into the back passenger seat.    The next thing the victim knew, she awoke with the defendant on top of her, thrusting his penis into her vagina.    His mouth was on her neck, and her jeans and underpants were on the ground.    The defendant said, "I think we're done here," and offered the victim a ride home.    The victim said, "Absolutely not," got out of the car, put on her pants, and ran in the opposite direction from which the defendant's car was headed so she could get away as quickly as possible.    Beginning at 3:23 A.M., the victim telephoned her friend eight times and then her sister, but neither of them answered.    At 3:29 A.M., the victim telephoned her mother and, sobbing, said she had been raped by a ride service driver.    The victim saw a subway station, realized she was near her home, and told her mother where she was.    When the mother found the victim, she asked if it was possible that the victim had consented, because the mother did not want to believe that the victim had been raped;    the victim replied, "no."    The mother took the victim to a Boston hospital.       The defense theory was that the victim had consented to sex.    The defendant testified that during the ride, the victim asked him several times if he wanted to "party,"    and when they neared her address,    she directed him to a side street and told him to pull over.    She motioned for him to join her in the back seat and they kissed.    The defendant testified that the victim verbally consented to sex,    took off her own pants,    and then    "used her hands to get my penis into her."     ... CONTINUED  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)

♦       Mar 21,  ..  CAV:     Greene v. City of Portsmouth  ..  Appellant, Ms. Greene, served as the chief of police for the City of Portsmouth, Virginia. Late on the evening of June 9, 2020, a group of individuals gathered at the site of a Confederate monument located in the City of Portsmouth. The monument was comprised of a stone obelisk surrounded by four statues at its base. It sat in the middle of a street and was surrounded by a fence. The individuals who gathered around the monument intended to deface it, and one member of the group told a police officer on scene that members of the city council had told them “they could deface the monument.”     Upon learning of this statement, appellant attempted to contact Patton to determine whether any authorized person or valid authority had given permission for the monument to be defaced, damaged, or destroyed. Patton did not return appellant’s calls. Appellant then contacted the city attorney and asked him whether the city council or authorized person “gave permission” for individuals to deface, damage, or destroy the monument. The city attorney told appellant that no such permission had been given. Appellant then spoke with police officers at the scene and told them not to allow any damage, destruction, or defacement to occur.     The individuals gathered at the monument later hung signs on the fence surrounding the obelisk and used washable chalk to write messages in the area. They also placed a trash bag and/or a sheet around the face of one of the monument’s statues. Police told the protestors that they would be arrested for destruction of property if the monument was defaced or damaged.     ... CONTINUED  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)

♦       Mar 21,  ..  OCA:     Kelley v. Dayton Pub. Schools  ..  The Dayton Public Schools Board of Education (DPS hired Dr. Ms. Kelley, an African-American woman, as its director of strategic communication and community relations.    Kelley also oversaw the district’s Males of Color program and implementing a corresponding program for female students, Girls Achieve.    Five days later, the district hired Marsha Bonhart, also an African-American woman, as director of communications and media.    Kelley and Bonhart collectively oversaw the district’s communications department and shared supervisory responsibilities.    Both women were part of the executive cabinet and reported directly to the superintendent, who was then Dr. Rhonda Corr.    On January 28, 2018, Kelley traveled to New York City to attend the National Mentoring CARES Movement event to foster a relationship between that group and DPS.    She used the district’s purchasing (credit) card (“P-card”) to purchase her airfare, hotel stay, and a $1,000 ticket to the National Mentoring CARES gala.    Kelley had previously received training from the assistant treasurer regarding the protocol for making purchases and using the district’s P-card. (This training stemmed from the improper use of the P-card to buy pizza for a Males of Color trunk-or-treat event.)    Kelley stated that she had received approval for the trip from the assistant treasurer.    However, she believed that she did not need to obtain approval for the trip from Lolli, explaining “your budget, your decision.”    On March 12, 2018, Lolli met with Kelley and presented her final evaluation of Kelley’s job performance, which indicated that she would not be recommending the renewal of Kelley’s contract with DPS.    Kelley was placed on administrative on April 27, 2018. In May, Kelley received a copy of her final performance evaluation, which rated her as “ineffective” for most performance standards.    In January 2019, Kelley filed suit against DPS, Lolli, and individual school board members, alleging race discrimination and sex discrimination. The defendants filed a joint answer denying the allegations and raising several affirmative defenses.    DPS also brought counterclaims for fraud, conversion, and breach of contract, which Kelley denied.    On February 10, 2021, Kelley brought this action against DPS and Lolli, raising the same race discrimination and sex discrimination claims.    DPS again asserted counterclaims for fraud, conversion, and breach of contract.     ... CONTINUED  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)

♦       Mar 20,  ..  CCP:     Mazur v. Cuthbert  ..  Ms. Mazur worked as one of the Southwestern Veterans Center’s (SWVC) two accounting assistants.     On May 16, supervisor Darren Lindsay (Lindsay) signed a check directing First National Bank to pay Mazur $4,784.00.     Mazur was instructed to cash the check and use the money to replenish a petty cash fund that was used by SWVC’s residents.     After Mazur arrived at the bank, a teller accepted the check and handed the cash to Mazur.    Mazur placed the cash in a bag, put it in her car, and drove back to the SWVC.     Warden was not in her office when Mazur returned to the SWVC.     Mazur entered Warden’s office and placed the bag of money on Warden’s chair.     When Warden returned to her office, she and Mazur started to count the money.    At some point, they realized that $500.00 was missing and called the situation to Lindsay’s attention.     Mazur, Warden, and Lindsay were not able to locate the missing money.     Lindsay contacted the bank and asked that an investigation be conducted.     The next day, Lindsay went to the bank, discussed the situation with the relevant bank employees, and viewed videotaped footage of Mazur’s encounter with the teller.     The relevant account at the bank was properly balanced.     The missing money was never located.     Cuthbert was asked to conduct an internal investigation into the disappearance of the missing $500.00.     ... CONTINUED  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)

♦       Mar 20,  ..  DcDc:     Ani v. Power  ..  Plaintiff, Ms. Ani filed suit against Defendant, United States Agency for International Development (USAID), alleging that she was wrongly terminated because of her protected whistleblowing activity as well as her race, age, national origin, and disability.     On October 11, 2020, Ani was hired as an accountant within USAID to serve a two-year probationary period.     On December 13, 2021, she was terminated.     Shortly thereafter, Plaintiff contacted the Agency’s Office of Civil Rights, claiming that she was subjected to unlawful discrimination on the bases of race, national origin, age, and disability.     Plaintiff also contacted the Office of Special Counsel, to whom she raised additional claims of unlawful reprisal for protected whistleblowing activity.     On January 6, 2022, Ani appealed her termination to the MSPB, which promptly dismissed her case for lack of jurisdiction because Ani, as a probationary employee, had no statutory right to appeal an adverse action directly to the MSPB.     After the EEOC Agency completed its investigation of the complaint and issued its report on May 26, 2022, Ani requested a hearing before the EEOC.     On January 30, 2023, the EEOC Administrative Judge dismissed Ani’s request without prejudice due to Ani’s then-pending proceedings before the MSPB.     Ani opted to appeal her decision to the EEOC on August 16, 2023, but then filed suit in this Court on November 29, 2023, before the EEOC had ruled on her appeal.     ... CONTINUED  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)

♦       Mar 20,  ..  NJSC:     Reid v. City of Plainfield  ..  Plaintiff, Mr. Reid, was employed by the the Plainfield Police Department ("Plainfield PD") since 1984 and rose to the rank of lieutenant.    At the time of his retirement, he was fifty-eight years old. Plaintiff was assigned to the Patrol Bureau.    On December 2, 2015, the Plainfield PD was dispatched for a single motor vehicle accident involving an intoxicated driver.    Officer Stephen Bailey and Sergeant Scott Gwinn noted the driver was unconscious and unable to communicate.    Suspecting the driver was intoxicated, they requested a blood draw search warrant ("blood warrant").    Because Officer Bailey had never applied for a blood warrant, Sergeant Gwinn called in Officer Carl-Magnus Kallner to assist.    While Officer Kallner began the paperwork, Officer Bailey searched for the driver's identification but was only able to locate the vehicle's registration.    The two officers then called a Union County Assistant Prosecutor, who asked if they could positively identify the driver.    The Assistant Prosecutor advised she would not approve the warrant without properly identifying the driver.    Officer Bailey, at the direction of Officer Kallner, later misrepresented they had obtained the driver's identity, and a search warrant was issued.    Officer Kallner admitted he coached Officer Bailey to tell the prosecutor there was a positive identification when in fact there was none.    After returning from the hospital, Officer Bailey felt uncomfortable with what occurred and advised plaintiff, his commanding officer.    Plaintiff advised Bailey he had a personal relationship with the Assistant Prosecutor and that he would contact her the following morning about what occurred.    However, plaintiff never contacted the Assistant Prosecutor.    Five days later, Officer Bailey went to the Prosecutor's Office, believing plaintiff had already contacted the office, and apologized to the prosecutor involved with the issuance of the warrant.    She advised Bailey she had no idea what had transpired.    The Prosecutor's Office subsequently conducted an investigation. On February 2, 2016, the Prosecutor's Office advised Director Riley it had decided not to pursue criminal charges, but because plaintiff had not notified the Prosecutor's Office, it recommended administrative discipline against him and the other officers for their respective involvement in the incident.    In late January 2016, just before the internal affairs investigation commenced for the blood warrant episode, Director Riley brought separate disciplinary charges against plaintiff for "failing to properly supervise" Sergeant Gwinn, who allegedly spent a significant amount of time engaged in prohibited computer activity while on duty.    Plaintiff was ultimately charged for failing to submit a report requested by his supervisor, Captain Kevin O'Brien, as well as failing to supervise Sergeant Gwinn, and was given a four-hour suspension on February 2, 2016.    Plaintiff contends this was the beginning of defendants building a case against him to force him to retire.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)

♦       Mar 18,  ..  DcDc:     Pappas v. Police Department, Washington D.C.  ..  Plaintiffs Mr. Pappas, Ms. Lindsay, Ms. Mathies, and Mr. Malik— served as police officers in the Washington DC Metropolitan Police Department (“MPD”).    Each Plaintiff alleges that he or she was involuntarily retired from MPD pursuant to the department’s involuntary disability retirement policy.    Under MPD’s policy, police officers “who cannot resume full- duty status after 172 cumulative workdays over any 24-month period as a result of any disability” are involuntarily disability retired.    MPD does not offer the “possibility of reassignment, job restructuring, or extended leave” as an alternative to involuntary disability retirement.    The disability retirement process works as follows:    First, a police clinic staffed by doctors monitors MPD officers with injuries or illnesses on behalf of the department to determine whether those officers are able to serve in a full-duty capacity;    Second, after an officer has accumulated 172 days of less than full duty service in a 24-month period, the clinic refers the officer to MPD’s retirement board;    Third the retirement board holds a hearing—at which a physician testifies and explains why the officer is not able to return to full-duty work—and the board makes a final determination on whether to retire the officer and what benefits the officer may receive.    At no point during this process does DC assess whether an officer is eligible to be reassigned as a reasonable accommodation for his or her disability in lieu of involuntary disability retirement.    Plaintiffs contend that their retirements from MPD were involuntary and that they would have preferred to keep working with a reasonable accommodation for their disabilities, had that been an option.    Accordingly, Plaintiffs contend that MPD’s involuntary disability retirement policy violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”).    Here, Plaintiffs—on their own behalf and on behalf of a proposed class of similarly situated individuals—sue the District of Columbia for violating the Americans with Disabilities Act.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)

♦       Mar 18,  ..  OSC:     Disciplinary Counsel v. Bell  ..  Attorney Mr. Bell, of Warren, Ohio, was admitted to the practice of law in Ohio in 2016.    Bell was hired by the Cuyahoga County, Ohio Prosecutor’s Office in February 2020.    He served as an assistant prosecutor assigned to the child-support unit of the juvenile division.    While at work on July 30, 2021, Bell visited a website on his personal phone that listed profiles of sex workers.    At 10:27 a.m. that day, Bell sent a text message to a phone number that he had obtained from a profile on that website.    He believed that he was texting a female sex worker, but he was actually texting an undercover officer with the Mahoning Valley Human Trafficking Task Force.    In the course of that text-message exchange, the undercover officer asked Bell his age and race and told Bell,    “I’m alot younger than you.”    Bell responded with texts asking, “How young[?]” and added, “If I’m too old I understand.”    The undercover officer replied, “I'm 15,” to which Bell responded, “You’re a little too young.”    When the undercover officer protested,    Bell responded, “15 isn’t even legal.”    Bell also stated, “I don’t want to be a jerk but when someone that young is involved in this kinda thing I worry they are being forced against their will.”    The undercover officer replied, “Hell no.”    At that point, Bell responded, “Okay[.] You sure you aren’t looking for someone closer to your age[?]”    Then he asked, “How much[?]”    The undercover officer responded, “[D]epends [on] wat u want daddy.” (Spelling sic.) Bell requested an hour of “[h]alf and half,” and when prompted by the undercover officer, Bell explained that that meant “Bj and sex.”    The undercover officer quoted a price of $80 and asked, “Cool? Time?”    Bell replied, “Yeah. Depends where are you?”    The undercover officer told him, “Canfield.”    Bell responded, “Hmm wouldn’t likely be able to get there till after 6.”    The undercover officer replied,    “That’s cool jus hit me up around then then.”    Although Bell continued texting the undercover officer after he left work, he did not follow through with the meeting.    On August 5, 2021, the undercover officer text-messaged Bell again and sent him a photo of a clothed female.    Bell replied with a photo of himself with his dog.    Bell told the undercover officer that since she was 15, she was too young for him to do anything with “besides talk.”    The conversation ended without any plans to meet.    That was the last conversation between Bell and the undercover officer.    On August 20, 2021, Bell was arrested at his office in the juvenile division of the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office and was simultaneously terminated from his employment.    In November 2021, Bell was indicted on one count of importuning in violation of R.C. 2907.07(D)(2), a fifth-degree felony.    He pleaded guilty to an amended count of unlawful use of a telecommunication device in violation of R.C. 2913.06(A), also a fifth-degree felony.    ... CONTINUED  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)

♦       Mar 18,  ..  3rd Cir.:     Gardner v. Ulta Inc  ..  Ms. Gardner began working as a Prestige Sales Manager at Ulta Salon Cosmetics and Fragrance Inc’s Newton Square, Pennsylvania store when she was fifty-three years old.    In February 2020, Gardner, age fifty-seven, signed a statement admitting to distributing to herself and others complimentary products from brand partners known as “gratis.”    The statement acknowledges that doing so violated Ulta’s policy permitting only the General Manager, or an authorized employee, to distribute gratis to employees.    Gardner disputes that policy and says Ulta employees had a practice of distributing gratis without approval.    On February 12, 2020, Gardner requested a leave of absence to begin on March 1, 2020, citing depression and anxiety.    Ulta terminated Gardner’s employment six days later following an investigation relating to the distributed gratis.    A younger, non-disabled employee Vanessa Jones received a final written warning and was not terminated for violating the gratis policy by accepting gratis from Gardner.    Jones did not know that her conduct violated the policy because she did not know that Gardner was not authorized to distribute gratis.    Ms. Gardner claims that her employer Ulta Salon Cosmetics and Fragrance Inc (“Ulta”) terminated her due to her disability and age.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)

♦       Mar 15,  .. FLRA:  Army Picatinny Arsenal v. Firefighter Union  ..  The Army, U.S. Army Garrison, Picatinny Arsenal, New Jersey operates a fire department that comprised two fire stations.     On September 28, 2021, the Agency notified the Union that it planned to close one of the stations—station two.    The Agency closed station two on October 12 and reduced the fire department’s per-shift staffing level from twelve to nine positions.     In a November 8 grievance, the Union alleged the Agency “failed to properly staff” the fire department on “October 12-17, 20-31, November 1-3, and on a continuing occurrence” (the alleged improper-staffing events).    The Union asserted the staffing reduction violated the parties’ collective‑bargaining agreement and various guidelines, instructions, standards, and regulations.    At arbitration, the Agency alleged the Union failed to timely file the grievance.    However, the Arbitrator issued an arbitrability award reflecting that the grievance arose from the alleged improper-staffing events and was “continuing . . . such that each day that passed created a new timeline for filing.”    Here, The Army requests reconsideration.  ..  FLRA DECISION:   (.html)   (.pdf)

♦       Mar 15,  ..  DcDc:     Garcia v. District of Columbia  ..  Plaintiff Mr. Garcia, a Hispanic male, alleges that Defendant District of Columbia (“District of Columbia” or “District”) terminated his employment as a District of Columbia Metropolitan Police Department (“MPD”) officer after taking a promotional exam because of racial animus against Hispanic officers.    The Underlying Offense Giving Rise to Plaintiff’s Termination Plaintiff Mr. Garcia is an Afro-Latino male who was an MPD officer.    In September 2017, he sat for the MPD Seargant’s promotional exam alongside approximately 800 officers.    He was seated at a table with one other officer, who was white, approximately four to six feet away.    Halfway through the exam, one of the proctors tapped Mr. Garcia and the other officer on the shoulder and told them to split apart.    Plaintiff was disrupted and distracted, but quickly complied and returned to work on the exam.    Approximately ten minutes later, the proctor returned and told Mr. Garcia to move his seat to a table by himself.    Plaintiff’s concentration was badly destabilized, but he finished the exam nevertheless.    Afterwards, the proctor emailed the testing vendor and asked them to look up Mr. Garcia’s results, but not those of the officer next to him.    The testing vendor provided the proctor Mr. Garcia’s test on or about September 30, 2017 and concluded that Plaintiff had been cheating off the other officer.    On or about October 12, 2017, Mr. Garcia was notified that the MPD’s Internal Affairs Division (“IAD”) was going to recommend him for termination.    Plaintiff received an arbitration decision upholding MPD’s decision to terminate him.    Plaintiff’s Allegations of Discrimination:    Plaintiff asserted that he was targeted for scrutiny during the exam and treated disparately because he was Hispanic, and that other officers who were previously suspected of cheating were not recommended for termination.    Plaintiff alleges that MPD has a history of giving excessive disciplinary discretion to white managers and leaders and allowing them to use that discretion to harm minorities, especially Hispanic officers.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)

♦       Mar 15,  ..  NYCA:     Syeed v. Bloomberg  ..  Plaintiff Ms. Syeed, a South Asian-American woman, filed this suit against defendant Bloomberg L.P., asserting employment discrimination claims.    She alleges that, in 2014, she began working for defendant, a privately held company with global headquarters in New York City.    Defendant operates Bloomberg Media, a news organization that employs reporters, editors, and producers throughout the world.    Plaintiff’s complaint alleged that she was subjected to discrimination on account of her sex and race while working as a reporter in defendant’s Washington, D.C. bureau.    In 2018, after plaintiff concluded that she could no longer advance her career in the Washington, D.C. bureau, she “applied for various positions” at defendant’s New York bureau, including “the New Economy Forum Editor position.”    In addition, plaintiff “affirmed her interest” to her Washington, D.C. team leader concerning an open United Nations (U.N.) reporter position that was based in New York, and subsequently “inquired multiple times” about that job.    The U.N. vacancy ultimately was filled by a man who allegedly had less practical experience than plaintiff and less formal education.    After her managing editor in Washington, D.C. told plaintiff that defendant decided not to convert the U.N. job to a “ ‘diversity slot,’ ” she understood that she would only be considered for promotions to positions identified as such.    In June 2018, claiming that she was constructively discharged, plaintiff informed her team leader and managing editor that she could no longer work for defendant because of the discrimination that she had encountered and left defendant’s employ.    Two years later, plaintiff, then a California resident, commenced this class action in New York State court.    She asserted, among other causes of action, individual claims under the State and City Human Rights Laws.    Plaintiff maintained that defendant discriminated against her on the basis of sex and race by denying her promotions.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)

♦       Mar 13,  ..  2nd Cir.:     Clark v. the City of Albany  ..  Mr. Clark has been an employee of Defendant-Appellee Albany Fire Department (“AFD”) since 1993, serving as a firefighter until his promotion to lieutenant in 2005 and then as a lieutenant until he was promoted to captain in 2010.     In 2019, Clark was offered a provisional promotion to battalion chief, the third highest-ranking position at the Albany Fire Department (AFD), that was to take effect after a swearing-in ceremony.     Shortly before the ceremony, Clark was drinking, while off duty, and became so intoxicated that first responders found him “incoherent with his pants down around his ankles” and with feces on him. The AFD subsequently rescinded Clark’s promotion offer.     Based on our independent review of the record, we conclude that Mr. Clark established a prima facie case of race discrimination.     First, Clark, as an African-American employee, is a member of a protected class.     Second, Clark met his “minimal” burden of presenting evidence that he “possesses the basic skills necessary for performance of the” battalion chief position.     Third, the recission of Clark’s promotion offer constitutes an adverse employment action. Consistent with our precedent that “[i]n addition to terminations of employment and demotions, failure to promote . . . may also qualify as [an] adverse action[],”     Clark produced evidence from which a reasonable jury could find that his base pay and benefits would have been greater as battalion chief than as captain.     Finally, Clark’s allegation that he was “replaced . . . with an individual outside [his] protected class” is sufficient to raise an inference of discrimination at the initial prima facie stage.     The Question.     Has the AFD, articulated a legitimate, non-discriminatory rationale for rescinding Clark’s promotion offer ?  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)

♦       Mar 13,  ..  2nd Cir.:     Reynolds v. City of New York  ..  In 2004, Mr. Reynolds began working at the City of New York City’s Department of Environmental Protection (“DEP”) as a sewage treatment worker.    In early 2020, Reynolds alerted his supervisors to apparent workplace misconduct and illegal activity.    Reynolds’s Amended Complaint references a few instances of such misconduct including that “many of the employees . . . would consume alcohol and attend work while in a state of intoxication, thereby impeding their ability to adequately perform their job, which is an essential function to maintain public health.”    Reynolds’s also alleges that he reported “drug dealing, fraudulent signing of paperwork concerning chemical deliveries, and theft of PPE supplies” at the DEP).    Reynolds claims that as a result of his reports to supervisors, he became “the victim of a concerted retaliatory attack by supervisors and coworkers who were aware that he had blown the whistle.”    The alleged retaliation included being transferred to the day shift after he had worked the night shift for seventeen years, which caused a significant reduction in his available overtime hours.    He contends that he was also subjected to workplace hostility, threats, and false accusations of wrongdoing.    Reynolds alleges that in one particular incident, he was assaulted by a coworker in retaliation for his reports and required medical treatment for his injuries.    Reynolds further claims that various false accusations were leveled against him, including that he was late to work and that he threatened and insulted coworkers using profane language on various occasions.    By 2021, Reynolds had been charged with over a dozen acts of workplace misconduct.    Reynolds claims that these accusations were a “contrived” basis for terminating him.    In the summer of 2021, the City commenced an Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings (“OATH”) hearing regarding these disciplinary charges.    At the close of the OATH hearing, the Administrative Law Judge issued a report recommending termination of Reynolds’s employment because of his “uncivil, insubordinate, and threatening behavior.”    The DEP Commissioner adopted the recommendation and ordered Reynolds to be terminated in November 2021,    and Reynolds commenced the underlying civil action in March 2022.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)

♦       Mar 13,  ..  7th Cir.:     John Brooks v. City of Pekin  ..  Police Officer Simmons began working for the Pekin, Illinois Police Department around 1995.    In December 2016, then-Lieutenant Greg Burris asked him about his sex life and stated that the woman Simmons was dating had “brain damage.”    Simmons reported Burris’s comment to Deputy Chief Donald Baxter, and Burris consequently received a two-day suspension.    In April 2017, Burris asked Simmons if he was “fucking that Iraqi,” and Simmons reported the comment to the Chief of Police, John Dossey.    Burris was then placed on leave, and later that month, he accepted a last chance agreement with a permanent demotion to patrol and a 21-day suspension.    On May 24, Police Officer Jennifer Melton reported to Deputy Chief Donald Baxter, that Police Officer Simmons had made inappropriate comments about her breasts.    Officer Melton alleged that Simmons commented on her breasts in front of her husband on March 3, and that on March 25, he made a similar comment to a civilian at a local restaurant.    On June 5, Officer Melton met with the HR Director, Sarah Newcomb, and expressed a fear of retaliation from Brooks for reporting Simmons because Brooks and Simmons were friends.    The next day, June 6, Simmons received a notice of interrogation regarding his comments to Melton, which noted that he must avoid discussing the investigation with any other officer.    But later that day, he called Deputy Chief Baxter to discuss the investigation.    The same day, Dossey placed Simmons on paid administrative leave.    During an interrogation on June 19, Simmons denied speaking with Brooks about the investigation, despite their conversation on June 6.    Dossey changed Simmons’s administrative leave status to unpaid leave on July 21,    and he filed a Fire and Police Commission (FPC) complaint against Simmons on August 23.    On October 25, 2017, the City discovered that Officer Simmons had secretly recorded a January 2017 shift brief related to an incident where an officer struck a minor    and then sent a copy of the recording to the minor’s attorney.    During an interrogation on February 16, 2018, Simmons admitted that he had secretly recorded the shift brief without permission in violation of department policy.    On February 19, an amended FPC complaint was filed against Simmons to add allegations of his improper recordings.    The FPC held an evidentiary hearing on February 21, and Simmons chose not to appear. On March 13, the FPC issued its decision ordering Simmons’s termination.    Simmons sued the City alleging that it retaliated against him because he reported the alleged sexual harassment he experienced.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)

♦       Mar 11,  ..  3rd Cir.:     Wharton v. Superintendent Graterford SCI  ..  NOTE: Prior to the following events, Robert Wharton and Eric Mason performed construction work at the home of Bradley Hart and Ferne Hart in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.    After the work was completed, the Hart's refused to pay because the construction work was substandard and unacceptable.    Afterwards, for over six months, Robert Wharton and Eric Mason terrorized the Harts, burglarizing their home twice.    During the second burglary, they vandalized the home so severely that it was temporarily uninhabitable.    As they ransacked the house, Wharton and Mason urinated and defecated on the floor, slashed furniture, defaced family pictures, wrote a threatening note on the wall, and left a doll hanging with a rope tied around its neck.    They also burglarized a church founded by Bradley’s father, stabbing a photo of Bradley to the wall with a letter opener.    In January 1984, Robert Wharton and Eric Mason forced their way into Bradley Hart and Ferne Hart’s home at knifepoint while the Harts were home with their infant daughter, Lisa.    They forced Bradley to write them a check (to pay for the unpaid substandard construction work) and then tied up the couple.    After watching television for several hours, Wharton and Mason decided to murder the couple to avoid being identified.    Wharton covered Ferne’s eyes and mouth with duct tape before strangling her with a necktie and forcing her head underwater in a bathtub until she drowned.    Mason placed his foot on Bradley’s back as he strangled him with an electrical cord and pressed his face into a shallow pan of water. Both men stole silverware, jewelry, cameras, wallets, and even Lisa’s crib.    They also turned off the heat and left Lisa alone in the house in the dead of winter.    Bradley’s father discovered the gruesome scene three days later.    Although Lisa was severely dehydrated and suffered respiratory arrest on the way to the hospital, she survived.    Wharton was arrested about one week later and confessed.    At trial, the jury heard that Wharton was “very kind,” and a “good human,” as well as “loving” and “very protective” of his mother and sister.    Testimony from the defense witnesses contained frequent references to religion, forgiveness, and the value of life.    Some of Wharton’s family members asked the jury to spare his life for the sake of his family.    In total, the Philadelphia jury deliberated for a little under thirteen hours spread across three days before deciding that Wharton deserved the death penalty.    Here Robert Wharton is appealing his death sentence.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)

♦       Mar 11,  ..  NJSC,AD:     Dasher v. United Airlines  ..  Plaintiff, Mr. Dasher, who is Black, maintained a sexual relationship with R.D., his subordinate, without reporting the relationship to United as required by United's Code of Ethics and Business Conduct (Code of Ethics).    When questioned about the relationship, he prevaricated, in contravention of United's Working Together Guidelines (WTG).    After United obtained definitive proof of the relationship, including sexually explicit text messages and videos between plaintiff and R.D.,   he prevaricated again during United's investigation of R. D.'s allegations.    Later, while internally appealing the decision to terminate him,   plaintiff admitted in writing he acted inappropriately and United had a valid basis for his termination.    Plaintiff, alleges United's justification for his termination was a pretext for race discrimination because non-minority supervisors who maintained sexual relationships with subordinates were not terminated,   but he failed to offer any evidence to support that allegation.    ... CONTINUED     ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)

♦       Mar 11,  .. FLRA:  Agriculture v. NTEU  ..  The Department of Agriculture (Agency) posted notices of detail opportunities for employees.      The notices stated the details were “not expected to exceed 120 days.”    After employees applied, the Agency made selections and notified the selectees the details were “not to exceed 120 days.”    Shortly before the end of the 120-day detail period, the Agency informed several of the employees that it was extending their details for an additional 120 days.    The Agency did not post notices of the extensions, solicit volunteers, assess any applicants, or notify the Union of the extensions.     The NTEU Union filed a grievance, which went to arbitration.  ..  FLRA DECISION:   (.html)   (.pdf)

♦       Mar 08,  ..  3rd Cir.:     Glover v. United States Postal Service  ..  Mr. Glover was hired by the United States Postal Service to a non-career postal carrier position as a City Carrier Assistant (“CCA”), which involved working different schedules and routes as needed.    As discussed below, he believed that other CCAs were receiving preferential treatment based on race and national origin.    When Glover was reassigned to a new station, he refused to come to work.    In a letter dated October 14, 2016, he stated that he was “refusing to follow orders to be reassigned and work at Point Breeze Station because of discriminatory practices by Area Manager, Station Manager and zone 3 supervisor.”    Because Glover refused to report to work or attend predisciplinary interviews, United States Postal Service terminated his employment.    Glover filed an employment discrimination complaint in the District Court alleging that United States Postal Service took adverse actions against him based on race, color, religion, gender, and national origin, retaliated against him, and failed to accommodate his religious beliefs and his disability of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)

♦       Mar 08,  ..  CCP:     City of Pittsburgh, PA v. The Federation Of Police Union (FOP)  ..  On June 19, 2021, a group of Pittsburgh, PA Bureau police officers held a cookout at the end of their shift, at which alcohol was served.    Several of the officers, including Mr. Fetty and Ms. Coworker, then drove to a bar.    Ms. Coworker became intoxicated while at the bar, and Mr. Fetty drove Coworker home.    On June 28, 2021, Pittsburgh’s Office of Municipal Investigations (OMI) received an anonymous complaint, alleging Fetty committed indecent assault against Coworker after driving her home on June 19, 2021.    The Office of Municipal Investigations (OMI) launched an investigation, as did the Allegheny County Police Department, but Fetty was not charged with a crime.    The City issued Disciplinary Action Report 21-088 against Fetty, dated September 22, 2021.    The Allegheny County Police Department reopened its investigation but, once again, Fetty was not charged with a crime.    The City of Pittsburgh terminated Fetty’s employment for Committing The Act Of Sexual Assault” against a fellow officer.    The Federation Of Police union (FOP) filed a grievance.    The Panel directed the City of Pittsburgh to reinstate Fetty.    The City now appeals to this Court.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)

♦       Mar 08,  ..  CCP:     Collier Twp. Police Assoc. v. Collier Twp  ..  On November 30, 2021, Officer David Brown, a longtime Collier Township, Pennsylvania Police officer on active duty, died while off-duty.    Township’s officers to provide ceremonial honors at Officer Brown’s funeral.    The Police Chief intended for every Township officer to participate in Casket Duty, rotating the officers in at 15-minute intervals.    At that time, the Department had a COVID-19 masking policy in effect that required officers who were not fully vaccinated to wear a mask at all times while in uniform or while working as an officer.    There were four officers in the Department who were not vaccinated, including Officer Spencer.    On December 2, 2021, the Chief sent an e-mail to the entire Department explaining the plan for the viewing and instructing that “all officers are expected to attend the viewing and the funeral.    On December 3, 2021, Sergeant Lamb had a conversation with several officers, including Officer Spencer, indicating that the Chief had purchased plain black surgical masks for the unvaccinated officers to wear for the viewing and funeral.    Officer Spencer reacted with disbelief, exclaiming, “Are you fucking kidding me?”    then stating “I’m not doing it.    This is ridiculous.”    Ultimately, Officer Spencer did not attend the 2:00 p.m. viewing with the other officers,    but he did attend the 6:00 p.m. viewing in civilian clothes and without a mask.    Officer Spencer attended the funeral, and wore a mask for most of the service, but removed it toward the end and did not wear a mask during the graveside portion of the funeral.    The Chief considered Officer Spencer’s actions to be insubordinate and directed Sergeants Lamb and Ferrance to investigate Officer Spencer’s failure to participate in the viewing and services as directed by him.    On December 9, 2021, the Sergeants interviewed Officer Spencer and issued a report to the Chief.    On December 16, 2021, a Disciplinary Action Report (DAR) was issued recommending to the Township’s Board of Supervisors (Board) that Officer Spencer’s employment be terminated based on his deliberate and intentional disobedience of the Chief’s directives regarding participation in the viewing and funeral services.    Collier Township Police Association (Union) appeals Officer Spencer's termination.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)

♦       Mar 07,  ..  TWCAB:     Dickerson v. Dominion Development Group  ..  Mr. Dickerson (the employee), a superintendent at a construction site, was in a motor vehicle accident after taking another worker to pick up his vehicle following some repairs.     The employee sought workers’ compensation benefits for alleged injuries to his neck, back, left leg, and left foot.     The employer denied the claim, and, after an expedited hearing, the trial court determined the employee failed to show he was likely to prevail at trial.     The employee appealed, and we affirmed the trial court’s order.     Subsequently, the employer filed a motion for summary judgment, arguing that the employee gave insufficient notice of an alleged work accident and that the injury did not arise primarily out of or in the course and scope of the employment.     The employer also argued the employee did not have the necessary medical proof to show his alleged injuries were primarily caused by the motor vehicle accident.     Mr. Dickerson appealed.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)

♦       Mar 07,  ..  6th Cir.:     Cole v. Quality Carriers  ..  In September 2018, Mr. Cole began working as a driver at Quality Carrier’s Fort Worth terminal.     In February 2019, he was transferred to Quality Carriers’ Bossier City terminal because of overstaffing in Fort Worth.     Cole alleges that he was one of five drivers chosen for the schedule of a “pre-loader,” which is a local driver who returns to his home base at the end of every shift.     In June 2019, Cole alleges he spoke to his terminal manager, John Beasley, to request a transfer to a different driving schedule because he was not making enough money under the pre-loader schedule.     Beasley allegedly asked him to remain on the pre-loader schedule because “he was dependable and always on time” and that a pay raise was imminent for pre-loaders.     Two weeks later, however, Cole alleges that Beasley removed him from the position because he was “always late” and replaced Cole, a black man, with a white driver.     Shortly after, Cole filed a complaint with human resources, claiming his removal from the pre-loader schedule and replacement with a white driver was discriminatory.     The Director of Human Resources investigated, determined that Cole was late on at least one occasion, but the records were inconclusive regarding his timeliness on other occasions at issue, so Cole was reinstated as a pre-loader in July 2019.     Cole was terminated in May 2020.     He timely appealed.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)

♦       Mar 07,  ..  MSJC:     Fallon Community Health Plan, Inc. v. Acting Director of the Department of Unemployment Assistance  .. 
       Overview of the unemployment compensation system.
General Laws c. 151A, the unemployment insurance law, was enacted "to provide temporary relief for those who are realistically compelled to leave work through no fault of their own, whatever the source of the compulsion, personal or employer-initiated".    The law sets out conditions under which individuals whose employment has been terminated may be eligible for and receive unemployment benefits.    In enacting c. 151A, "the Legislature recognized that job layoffs can occur for countless reasons unrelated to the individual worker's willingness and desire to stay at his job."    When that occurs, the aim of the law is "to lighten the burden . . . on the unemployed worker and his family."
       In October 2021, Fallon Community Health Plan, Inc. (Fallon), adopted a policy requiring its employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19.    Ms. Jefferson, a home health aide employed by Fallon, sought a religious exemption from the vaccination requirement, but her request was denied, and her employment was terminated.    Jefferson applied for and eventually was approved to receive unemployment benefits from the Department of Unemployment Assistance (department);    Here, Fallon contends that Jefferson was ineligible for the benefits, and seeks review of the decision.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)

♦       Mar 06,  ..  CCP:     Faulkner v. Ann's Choice, Inc  ..  On August 24, 2020, Ms. Faulkner (Claimant) sustained a low back strain or tear in the course of her employment with Employer, Ann's Choice, Inc.     On September 4, 2020, Ann's Choice (Employer)filed a Medical-Only Notice of Temporary Compensation Payable (NTCP) acknowledging medical liability for the injury.     On November 24, 2020, the medical-only NTCP converted to a medical-only Notice of Compensation Payable (NCP).     On June 17, 2021, Employer filed the Termination Petition, therein alleging that Claimant had fully recovered from the work injury as of May 27, 2021.     Claimant filed an Answer to the Termination Petition.     On July 18, 2021, Claimant filed the Claim Petition, therein alleging that she sustained a lower back sprain/strain, and an aggravation of her degenerative disc disease of the lumbosacral spine as a result of the August 24, 2020 injury, and that the injury caused her to stop working on June 22, 2021.     Employer filed a timely Answer to the Claim Petition.     The WCJ held hearings on July 22 and October 28, 2021, and March 21, 2022.     On July 25, 2022, the WCJ denied Claimant’s Claim Petition and granted Employer’s Termination Petition.     Claimant appealed.     CONTINUED  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)

♦       Mar 06,  ..  Fed Cir.:     Lewis v. Bop  ..  Ms. Lewis worked as a Corrections Officer for the U.S. Bureau of Prisons (BOP).     On April 6, 2022, BOP prepared a termination letter to Ms. Lewis providing “notice that Ms. Lewis will be removed during probation from her position of Correctional Officer” as of the end of the day on April 6, 2022.     The letter explained that “this action is being taken based one charge — “Appearance of an Inappropriate Relationship with an Inmate” —   and described two instances wherein Ms. Lewis purportedly allowed an inmate to enter the officer’s station with her while “the lights were off”   on March 4, 2022,   and March 5, 2022.     Although Ms. Lewis contended at arbitration that these allegations were false, the termination letter states that Ms. Lewis had admitted these events occurred and that they “support[] someone else’s perception of an inappropriate relationship.”     BOP “attempted to inform Ms. Lewis of their decision to terminate her.” First, on April 5, 2022, BOP directed Ms. Lewis to report to the facility the next day, which a BOP witness testified was for Ms. Lewis “to receive the termination letter.”     But “Ms. Lewis failed to report as instructed, alleging illness.”     The record contains a note from a nurse practitioner stating that Ms. Lewis was seen at a clinic at 3:15 pm on April 5, 2022—the day she received her instruction to report to the institution.     The note requested that Ms. Lewis be excused from work until April 9, 2022—the day after her probationary period would end.     When Ms. Lewis did not report to the facility on April 6, 2022, BOP “mailed a copy of the termination letter to Ms. Lewis’s address of record via USPS Certified Mail and overnight mail via FedEx.”     In addition, on April 8, 2022, the human resources manager called Ms. Lewis and, when Ms. Lewis did not answer, left a voicemail referencing “the removal letter from employment here at FCC Butner.”     On April 20, 2022, the American Federation of Government Employees Local 408 (“the union”) “presented a formal grievance claiming that bargaining unit employee, Sha’Lisa Lewis had been removed from her position without due process required by the Master Agreement, applicable statute, and government regulations.”  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)

♦       Mar 06,  .. FLRA:  NTEU v. FDIC  ..  During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Agency assigned all employees to mandatory telework.  Also during this time, the parties agreed to reopen negotiations on several provisions of their collective-bargaining agreement, including Article 20—the telework provision.  As part of the renegotiation, the parties modified Article 20 by expanding a telework program called “the home based option.”     Article 20 states that the Agency will identify positions “for which the work can be performed effectively from a remote location without the need for the employee to regularly report to the assigned office,” and that those positions will be eligible for the home-based option.      Although their official-duty stations would remain unchanged, home‑based employees “will ordinarily perform their work responsibilities at their primary place of residence.”  However, Article 20 also provides that a “manager/supervisor has the right to direct home-based employees to report” to the office “when necessary to meet mission, staffing and workload requirements.”     In August 2022, the Agency sent the memo to all employees, announcing the Agency was requiring all employees to report to their official duty station at least once per pay period.       The Union filed a grievance claiming that, by issuing the memo, the Agency violated Article 20 and repudiated the parties’ agreement in violation of § 7116 of the Statute.     The grievance went to arbitration, where the Arbitrator framed the issues as whether the Agency violated Article 20, or repudiated the parties’ agreement, when it issued the memo.        At arbitration, the parties disputed how frequently—and under what circumstances—Article 20 permitted the Agency to require a home-based employee to report to the office.      In evaluating the parties’ competing interpretations, the Arbitrator found Article 20 “ambiguous.”      The Arbitrator asserted that, as the grieving party, the Union had the “burden to prove its interpretation was the correct interpretation by a preponderance of the evidence.”  ..  FLRA DECISION:   (.html)   (.pdf)

♦       Mar 5,  ..  11th Cir.:     Buckhanon v. Opelika Housing Authority  ..  Ms. Buckhanon, a dark-skinned black woman, worked for Opelika Housing Authority as a Housing Quality Specialist until she was fired. As an HQS inspector, Buckhanon was responsible for inspecting properties, recording failed inspections, and scheduling reinspection.   While employed, Buckhanon was supervised by Julia Dowell, a light-skinned black woman. Dowell in turn reported directly to Matthew McClammey, a light-skinned black man.     While she received positive reviews at first, Buckhanon’s work later declined. Buckhanon was repeatedly late on completing inspections and reinspections. In Buckhanon’s view, McClammey and Dowell failed to provide proper instruction on how to use the new inspection software system. When she requested additional training on the program, Dowell provided her with an online option. But Buckhanon still struggled to use the new program and continued her poor record on completing inspections and reinspections in a timely manner. In response, McClammey decided that Buckhanon could no longer perform inspections.     Buckhanon filed an EEOC Charge of Discrimination against Opelika. She alleged in that Charge that she was being excessively criticized and set up to fail at work, in part because of her skin color. EEOC later closed this Charge and sent her a Notice of Right to Sue letter. Two months later, McClammey fired Buckhanon.     Ms. Buckhanon brought a color-based discrimination suit, alleging that Opelika discriminated against her based on the color of her skin. After discovery, Opelika moved for summary judgment. The district court granted the motion for summary judgment.     Ms. Buckhanon appeals  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)

♦       Mar 5,  ..  Fed Cir.:     Tippins v. United States  ..  Plaintiffs Tonia Tippins, Derrik Magnuson, George Holloway, Jennifer Rehberg, Glenda Smithleeth, and M. Allen Bumgardner are Coast Guard veterans who each honorably served twenty years or more and reached senior enlisted ranks.     Between 2012 and 2014, the Coast Guard selected plaintiffs for involuntary retirement through CRSPs created as part of a program for clearing spots to make room for the promotion of less senior service members.     The CRSPs were first authorized in 2010, when the Coast Guard became concerned about high retention among retirement-eligible enlisted personnel and the resulting lack of advancement opportunities for high-performing junior enlisted personnel.     To address the perceived “‘workforce flow’” issue, the Commandant of the Coast Guard sought and received approval from the Secretary of Homeland Security to conduct a CRSP in the fall of 2010 to select service members for involuntary retirement.     Between 2010 and 2014 the Coast Guard received approval for, and conducted, five separate CRSPs, one each year.     As the case is presented to us, plaintiffs’ involuntary retirements were lawful if and only if they were part of a “reduction in force” ordered by the Secretary under § 357(j).     In the CRSPs, the Coast Guard involuntarily retired several hundred enlisted members, including the six named plaintiffs.     In 2018, three of the plaintiffs brought this action under the Tucker Act [...].     Several months later, an amended complaint was filed adding three additional named plaintiffs.     Of relevance to this appeal, all six named plaintiffs served in positions at pay grade E-7 or higher at the time of their involuntary separation.     The plaintiffs asserted wrongful-discharge claims and sought constructive service credit, back pay, allowances, and reinstatement to active duty pursuant to the Military Pay Act [...].     In July 2021, the Claims Court granted the plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment and denied the government’s cross-motion for summary judgment.     Here, the Government apples the Claims Court.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)

♦       Mar 5,  .. FLRA:  ACT v. Army Nat Grd  ..  The National Guard Agency employs dual-status technicians, who are required to maintain membership in the National Guard as a condition of continued civilian employment.  Under 32 U.S.C. § 709(f)(1)(A) (Section 709(f)(1)(A)), technicians who have lost military membership in the National Guard “shall be promptly separated from military technician (dual status) employment by the adjutant general of the jurisdiction concerned.”     The National Guard Bureau (bureau) is a joint bureau of the Department of the Army and the Department of the Air Force, and acts as a liaison between those departments and the states’ national guards.  The bureau issues regulations pertaining to technicians’ conditions of employment.      On July 22, 2020, the Agency notified the Union that the bureau had recently updated its regulations.  The Agency solicited comments and proposals from the Union related to impact and implementation bargaining over the updated regulations.  The Agency requested a response by August 21, 2020, but the Union did not respond.     In April 2021, the Agency issued a thirty-day notice of termination to a technician who had lost military membership but had a disability-retirement claim pending OPM adjudication.     After the technician informed the Union of his proposed removal, the Union contacted the Agency regarding the policy of retaining technicians with pending disability-retirement claims.     The Agency informed the Union that it was complying with 2020 TPR 715, under which the Agency would promptly separate technicians who lost military membership without exception for pending disability claims.     The Union filed a grievance challenging the Agency’s separation of the technician.   ..  FLRA DECISION:   (.html)   (.pdf)

♦       Mar 4,  .. FLRA:  Homeland v. NTEU  ..  This case concerns Customs Officers who are regularly scheduled to perform nightwork,    and    two statutes that authorize premium pay for such nightwork:     the Federal Employees Pay Act (FEPA)     and    the Customs Officer Pay Reform Act (COPRA).    In an award, Arbitrator James W. Mastriani determined the Agency erroneously applied a FEPA premium-pay limitation called the “eight-hour rule” to COPRA nightwork premiums for parental and emergency leave.     The Arbitrator reasoned that COPRA itself does not include an eight-hour rule, and if “Congress wished to carry the eight-hour rule over from FEPA into COPRA, it would have explicitly done so.”    In addition, the Arbitrator determined the Agency’s misapplication of the eight-hour rule resulted in employees receiving less than the “full amount of paid leave, charged at the COPRA night work rate,” to which they were “entitled.”     As remedies, the Arbitrator directed the Agency to “cease and desist” from applying the eight-hour rule to COPRA night work premium pay for parental and emergency leave, and to make any affected employees whole by paying them the premium rate they would have received had the Agency not applied that rule.    However, the Arbitrator rejected the Union’s unfair-labor‑practice (ULP) claims alleging the Agency’s failure to pay COPRA nightwork premiums violated the 1995 award and repudiated the settlement agreement.     Both, the Agency and the Union filed exceptions to the award.  ..  FLRA DECISION:   (.html)   (.pdf)

♦       Mar 4,  ..  DcDc:     Greer v. The University of the District of Columbia  ..  Mr. Greer worked as a police officer for the University of the District of Columbia, in Washington, DC.     In that role, his essential duties included “being able to pursue, subdue, and arrest individuals, climb stairs, run, dodge obstacles, drag persons and objects, climb over and under obstacles, perform repetitive motions, and walk long distances.”     He was 57 years old when this dispute arose.     On June 7, 2020, he fractured his toe while on the job.     He entered an emergency room on the same day with pain and swelling and was discharged with instructions to see a foot specialist.     He met with such a doctor four days later and was prescribed a surgical shoe and 6–8 weeks of light duty.     Specifically, Greer was instructed to limit his walking and standing.     Based on these instructions, on June 11, 2020, Plaintiff requested a light-duty assignment from the University.     This request was denied by Cerina Smith, a University police captain, and Greer was told to first submit a worker’s compensation claim, which he filed the following week.     As part of the claims process, he was further examined by three other doctors, and on July 1, the D.C. Office of Risk Management (ORM) notified Greer’s supervisor that he could return to work with some restrictions.     Those restrictions included: sitting 80% of the time, occasionally lifting no more than ten pounds, occasionally pushing or pulling twenty pounds, occasionally standing or walking (up to three 2 hours per day), bearing weight as tolerated, no climbing stairs, and no climbing ladders.     The next day, Smith notified ORM that UDC was unable to accommodate his restrictions because his job required him to “be on patrol and be able to respond to any and all emergencies on . . . campus.”     on November 2, 2020, the University issued a termination notice to Greer, and in December 2020 his employment was officially terminated.     On December 17, 2020, Greer contested the decision by filing a Petition for Appeal.     Greer then filed the instant suit on August 9, 2023.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)

♦       Mar 4,  .. FLRA:  Army Nat Grd v. ACT  ..  The Arizona Army National Guard (The Agency) employs technicians, who are required to maintain membership in the Arizona National Guard as a condition of employment.     Under 32 U.S.C. § 709, technicians who lose military membership “shall be promptly separated from . . . technician (dual[-]status) employment by the adjutant general of the jurisdiction concerned.” Prior to the underlying dispute, the Agency followed Technician Personnel Regulation (TPR) 715, a National Guard Bureau (bureau) regulation, which permitted the Agency to continue to employ technicians who lost military membership, and filed disability-retirement claims, until those claims were processed.     However, the bureau rescinded TPR 715, and the parties engaged in impact-and-implementation bargaining over the rescission.  The parties reached agreement on an August 10, 2021 memorandum, which contained a provision (the provision) that allowed technicians who lose military membership due to medical disability to “request a fourmonth extension (renewable, if required) to accommodate [the Office of Personnel Management (OPM)] disability determination.”     Subsequently, the Agency notified the Union that it was rescinding the provision because it was contrary to 32 U.S.C. § 709.     The Union filed a grievance, alleging the Agency violated the parties’ collective-bargaining agreement (CBA) and § 7116 of the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute (the Statute) by rescinding the provision.      The grievance went to arbitration.      The Arbitrator found 32 U.S.C. § 709 does not define the term “promptly,” so the parties were free to negotiate that term’s meaning.     As such, the Arbitrator concluded that the rescinded provision – allowing technicians to remain employed for four-month, renewable periods pending OPM’s disability-retirement determinations – was not contrary to 32 U.S.C. § 709’s requirement that the Agency “promptly separate” them.     The Arbitrator concluded the Agency violated the Statute and the CBA by rescinding the provision.     The Agency filed exceptions with the Authority, arguing the award was contrary to law.     Specifically, the Agency argued it was permitted to rescind the provision because the provision was contrary to 32 U.S.C. § 709(f)(1)(A).     The Union filed an opposition.   ..  FLRA DECISION:   (.html)   (.pdf)

♦       Mar 01,  ..  DcCa:     Walker v. D.C. Department of Employment Services  ..  Ms. Walker was appointed by Mayor Adrian Fenty in 2010 as Chief Administrative Law Judge for the Office of Administrative Hearings (“OAH”).      In 2012, OAH came under public scrutiny in the media. Concerns were raised about Ms. Walker’s leadership at OAH, as well as about the fact that she had    hired her business partner and friend, Kiyo Oden, to serve as OAH’s general counsel in 2010,    and recommended the company TPM, owned by Lincoln Tyson, Ms. Oden’s then-fiancé, to assist the Department of General Services (“DGS”) with the relocation of OAH’s offices in 2011.      The District’s Office of the Inspector General (“OIG”) and a private law firm retained by OAH launched investigations, as did the D.C. Board of Ethics and Government Accountability (“BEGA”).      On Feb. 6, 2014, BEGA issued a Notice of Violation to Ms. Walker, charging her with nineteen violations of specific D.C. ethics statutes and regulations in relation to Ms. Walker’s co-ownership of a business licensed in D.C. and Maryland, MKM Ventures, LLC, with Ms. Oden; her preferential treatment of Mr. Tyson and failure to disclose his relationship to Ms. Oden; her related misrepresentations to BEGA investigators; and her leadership at OAH.      The next day, Mayor Vincent Gray placed Ms. Walker on administrative leave with pay and issued an Advance Written Notice of Intent to Remove.      The Advance Notice identified five “findings of good cause”:   the first incorporated by reference the entirety of the BEGA Notice of Violation and the statutes and regulations BEGA cited;   the second identified violations of Chapter V(D) & (P) 3 of the Code of Ethics for ALJs based on the same constellation of facts described in the BEGA Notice of Violation; and   the last three identified grounds for removal notwithstanding the outcome of BEGA proceedings in relation to Ms. Walker’s failure to disclose her relationship with Ms. Oden to OIG investigators,   her misrepresentation under oath to BEGA that she had not suggested TPM be hired to assist with OAH’s move,   and her inability to resolve conflict at OAH.      Ms. Walker sent the Mayor a twenty-page letter in response on Feb. 20, 2014, responding to these findings and denying any wrongdoing.      On May 19, 2014, while the BEGA investigation continued, Mayor Gray issued a Final Notice terminating Ms. Walker.      Ms. Walker challenges the decision by the Office of Employee Appeals (“OEA”) upholding the Executive Office of the Mayor’s (“EOM”) decision to terminate her employment as Chief Administrative Law Judge for the Office of Administrative Hearings. ... CONTINUED  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)

♦       Mar 01,  ..  CAA:     Lorence v. Mayo Clinic  ..  Lorence is a native German and former ASU student. She suffered a stroke in 2013 resulting in speech and language impediments.     She enrolled for undergraduate studies at ASU in 2016 and graduated in May 2019.     From January 2017 until May 2019, Lorence was an intern at the Mathematical Neuro Oncology Laboratory (the “Laboratory”) at the Mayo Clinic Arizona (“Mayo Clinic”).     Dr. Kristin Swanson is a professor at ASU and member of the Laboratory.     Before Lorence presented her honors thesis at a conference during her internship, she was at Swanson’s house where an intoxicated Swanson demanded that she dance to music.     At the conference, Swanson and Yvette Lassiter Morris, another laboratory employee, pressured Lorence to join them in drinking alcohol and going to a night club to see drag and strip shows.     In June 2019, Lorence began full-time employment at the Laboratory.     Several of the employees were Swanson’s friends or their family members, including Lorence’s supervisor Lassiter Morris, Andrea     In June 2020, Lorence filed a formal complaint with the human resources department of the Mayo Clinic, alleging that Swanson, Lassiter Morris, de Leon, and other employees harassed her based on her national origin, sex, and disabilities.     In August 2020, the human resources department placed Lorence on administrative leave pending investigation of her complaints.     Lorence raised concerns that the department’s investigator had a “pre-existing relationship” with Swanson, and that the investigator’s daughter was a visiting student of the lab in summer 2018.     In May 2020, before filing her complaint, Lorence wrote and submitted a grant application to the National Institutes of Health (the “NIH”).     In September 2020 the NIH awarded the grant to “Mayo Clinic Arizona,” but Lorence could not participate in the work related to the grant because she was on administrative leave.     In October 2020, the human resources department informed Lorence the internal investigation revealed no discrimination.     Lorence returned to work at the Laboratory the following month and began grant work.     Swanson informed Lorence that continued reference to the allegations the investigation did not substantiate would be grounds for termination.     And during a meeting, Swanson made a “threatening joke” about being able to fire Lorence at any time.     On January 17, 2021, Lorence resigned her position.     Three months later, on April 2, 2021, Lorence filed a charge of employment discrimination with the Arizona Attorney General’s Office, Civil Rights Division, alleging discrimination based on sex, national origin, and whistleblowing. ... CONTINUED  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)

♦       Feb 28,  ..  CCA:     Kern County Hospital Authority v. PERB  ..  Service Employees International Union (SEIU), Local 521, filed with the Public Employment Relations Board (PERB), an unfair practice charge against Kern County Hospital Authority.    The dispute at issue was centered on the scope of the applicable grievance procedure with respect to collective grievances, in light of the parties’ practices and the then-current Memorandum of Understanding negotiated between Kern County Hospital Authority and SEIU Local 521.    PERB’s Office of the General Counsel issued an administrative complaint in relation to the unfair practice charge.    Thereafter, a hearing was held before an administrative law judge (ALJ) on the unfair practice charge and complaint.    The ALJ issued a proposed decision in favor of SEIU Local 521.    Kern County Hospital Authority filed exceptions to the ALJ’s proposed decision, which was duly reviewed in light of those exceptions by PERB.    PERB issued its own decision affirming the ALJ’s proposed decision.    Kern County Hospital Authority thereafter filed in this court.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)

♦       Feb 28,  ..  7th Cir.:     Wells v. Freeman Company  ..  Ms. Wells, an aspiring model, claims that she was hired and then sexually assaulted by Mr. Vaughn, an independent contractor.    Ms. Wells accompanied Mr. Vaughn to work on an out of state media event in Florida.    That night, after checking in to the hotel, she went to dinner with Mr. Vaughn and Lloyd Ellis, an independent contractor working the event.    Ultimately, Ms. Wells and Mr. Vaughn consumed at least seven alcoholic drinks each.    After, Mr. Vaughn followed Ms. Wells to her hotel room.    According to Mr. Vaughn, he did so because Wells wanted him to look at the clothes she brought for the event.    Once in the room, she asked him to take nude photos of her in the bathtub.    He agreed, but once he noticed her falling asleep in the bathtub, he helped her put on clothes and get into bed.    Wells’s account is quite different.    She claims Vaughn asked if she wanted to take updated photos for her modeling portfolio.    She agreed. Vaughn directed her to lay on the bed wearing thong underwear so he could take photos with his iPhone.    Wells claims that Vaughn told her to shave, so she went to the bathtub to do so.    Vaughn followed her into the bathroom, took the razor out of her hand, and began shaving her pubic region.    Then, Vaughn took photos of her vagina and groped her genitals.    Eventually, Vaughn left, and Wells went to bed.    The next morning Vaughn and Wells went to the event site together.    At the end of the workday, Wells, Vaughn, and Ellis returned to the hotel and ate dinner together.    Wells excused herself from dinner, called her family, and left the hotel.    Wells’s attorney sent Freeman a pre-suit letter in April 2020.    Until then, Wells had not told anyone at Freeman what happened in Florida or requested payment or reimbursement. ... CONTINUED  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)

♦       Feb 28,  ..  11th Cir.:     Boyan Subotic v. Jabil, Inc  ..  Mr. Subotic, an employee at Jabil, Inc, directly reported to Site IT Manager Romeo Cooper until November 2019.    As Mr. Subotic’s supervisor, Cooper rated Subotic’s performance in 2017 and 2018 as “meets standards.”    But in 2019, Cooper found that Subotic’s performance declined, rating him as only “partially meets standards” and advising Subotic that he needed to “improve his support skills as a Support Technician II.”    In November 2019, Andrew Eells was named IT Supervisor, and Eells became Subotic’s new direct supervisor.    Eells, in turn, reported to Cooper at that time.    Like Cooper, Eells found Subotic’s work as a Tech II to be lacking.    Cooper thought Subotic’s skills were closer to a level-one support technician.    On May 18, 2020, Natasha Holton was promoted to Site IT Manager, replacing Cooper.    Holton’s duties required her to improve the performance of the onsite IT team, including Subotic.    Eells remained Subotic’s direct supervisor, but he now reported to Holton.    Subotic states that he does not believe he was discriminated against on any basis while working at Jabil from 2017 through mid 2020.    At this point, though, Subotic alleges that his supervisors Holton and Eells unfairly disciplined him several times because he was Serbian, and that ultimately led to his unlawful termination.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)

♦       Feb 27,  ..  10th Cir.:     Kincaid v. Unified School District No. 500  ..  During the events relevant to this appeal, Ms Kincaid was an assistant principal at Central Middle School, a school within the District.     Kincaid’s supervisor was Principal Fred Skretta, who began working at Central Middle School in the 2018–19 school year.     Kincaid claims she suffered retaliation for reporting two incidents in early 2019.     In February some girls at the school reported that a male special-education student had hugged them in the hallway, touched their bottoms, and made them uncomfortable.     Kincaid made a note of the incident at the time in an older school database, but not in the school’s new “Infinite Campus” computer system. She did not discipline the male student and told his guardian that no disciplinary record would be entered unless a second incident occurred.     In March another female student reported that the same male student “pushed [her] up against a wall and grinded up against her with his private parts.”     Before letting Skretta know about the incident, Kincaid contacted the office of the District’s Director of Student Services and wrote up the student for sexual assault. She emailed Skretta about the assault later that day.     Kincaid testified that she contacted Student Services before contacting Skretta because he was out of the building and she believed that she was following protocol.     The next day, Kincaid entered information about both the sexual assault and the February incident in the Infinite Campus system.     She also emailed district staff to set up a hearing for the male student and to inform them that he would serve a 10-day suspension;     she did not include Skretta on her initial email but did copy him on the email chain the next business day.     Four days later, Skretta sent Kincaid a “formal letter of concern regarding processes related to Infinite Campus and entry of discipline records.”     He expressed his concern about how Kincaid had handled the February incident, saying that it was an “impropriety” to tell the male student’s guardian that no disciplinary record would be entered unless there was a second incident, and that because the student “has significant special needs, . . . it would have been appropriate to address his behaviors immediately following the first incident with more intensive and sustained consequential behavior support” than was provided.     ...    CONTINUED  ..  COURT DECISION:     (.html)

♦       Feb 23,  ..  CCA:     Medel v. Oceanic Companies  ..  A jury found Ms. Medel was the victim of sexual harassment,   sexual battery,   retaliation for reporting sexual harassment,   and wrongful termination in violation of public policy,   among other causes of action,     during her approximately nine months of employment at Oceanic Companies, Inc., and Oceanic San Diego.     Manoj Chawla, the president and CEO of Oceanic Companies, repeatedly tried to have sexual intercourse, including group sex, with Ms. Medel.     Deepak Chokshi, the regional manager of Oceanic Companies, was also found personally liable for sexually harassing and sexually battering Ms. Medel.     Ms. Medel was terminated after she complained about Chokshi’s sexual battery and retaliation,   and rebuffed Chawla’s sexual advances.         The jury awarded Ms. Medel substantial damages for   past and future lost income   and   past and future noneconomic loss,   as well as punitive damages.     Chawla, Chokshi, and Oceanic moved for [...] a new trial.     Defendants argued [...] that the evidence was insufficient to support the awards for past   and future lost income   and punitive damages.     ... CONTINUED  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)

♦       Feb 23,  ..  DcDc:     Yuvienco v. Vilsack   (Agriculture)  ..  Ms. Yuvienco is a Black woman   of Colombian national origin.   She was born in 1958.   From at least 2014 until 2021, Ms. Yuvienco was employed by the United States Department of Agriculture   as a Technical Information Specialist with the Food Safety and Inspection Service,   which is part of the Office of Public Affairs and Consumer Education.     As far as the Court can discern, Ms. Yuvienco’s claims start in April 2021,   when “on several occasions”   her supervisors   “Roxanne Smith,   Wendy Mihm,   and   Aaron Lavalle   subjected Plaintiff to various incidents of harassment,”   although there are no further details or allegations about any specific actions taken by these individuals until several months later, in July 2021.     All three supervisors are white   and   of American national origin.     The core of Ms. Yuvienco’s allegations is that her “managers accused her of not meeting her metrics,   refused to provide her with her metrics,   and alleged she was performing poorly.”     More specifically, on July 1, 2021, Ms. Yuvienco “was issued a Letter of Instruction by Roxanne Smith alleging that she failed to meet performance expectations.”     Ms. Yuvienco alleges that she suffered employment discrimination in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964   on the basis of her race and her national origin,   age discrimination in violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (“ADEA”),   and that she experienced a hostile work environment based on her race, national origin, and age.   ... CONTINUED  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)

♦       Feb 23,  .. FLRA:  VA v. AFGE  ..  The grievant is in a career-ladder position.    On March 13, 2022, he would have been eligible for a career-ladder promotion,   but did not receive it because of performance deficiencies.    The grievant filed a grievance.    Thereafter, he improved his performance and received his promotion on July 20, 2022.    Nevertheless, the grievance proceeded to arbitration.      The parties did not stipulate the issues,   so the Arbitrator framed them in the merits award as follows:    “Did the Agency violate Article 23 of the parties’ agreement?    If so, what shall be the remedy?”     Article 23, Section 4.A.2. states:   “If an employee is not meeting the criteria for promotion, the employee will be given a written notice at least sixty days prior to earliest date of promotion eligibility.  The written notice will state what the employee needs to do to meet the promotion[-]plan criteria.”     Article 23, Section 4.B. pertinently states:   “At any time a supervisor and/or employee recognize an employee’s need for assistance in meeting the career-ladder advancement criteria,   the supervisor and employee will develop a plan tailored to assisting the employee in meeting the criteria.”      ... CONTINUED.  ..  FLRA DECISION:   (.html)   (.pdf)

♦       Feb 22,  ..  CAA:     Griffin v. Ark. Healthcare Services, LLC  ..  Dr. Griffin is an OB/GYN.     In July 2018, she accepted a position with Arkansas Healthcare Services, LLC (AHS), which employs physicians to work in National Park Medical Center, a hospital in Hot Springs.     The parties entered a Physician Employment Agreement (PEA) with a three-year term. Naturally, it included “I work” and “you pay me” provisions.     One was a $25,000 signing bonus Dr. Griffin would receive immediately; but she would have to repay in part if her employment ended before the contract term.     Other provisions set out how and why each party could terminate the contract.     AHS sent Dr. Griffin a letter in April 2019 terminating her employment immediately.     Dr. Griffin disputed there was cause for termination but, it appears, acknowledged the need to determine that through arbitration.     She submitted a statement of claim for breach of contract to the American Health Lawyers Association, one of two arbitrators offered in the Physician Employment Agreement (PEA) :     Dr. Griffin believes her termination was wrongful and that Arkansas Healthcare Services, LLC is in breach of the Physician Employment Agreement.     She demands immediate reinstatement to her position with full back salary and benefits.     ... CONTINUED.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)

♦       Feb 22,  ..  5th Cir.:     Xia v. Ramey  ..  On September 16, 2019, Linda T. Ramey, and Associates (“LTRA”) offered Ms. Xia, a Chinese national working in America on an H-1B visa, a job as a design engineer.     After several months on the job, however, LTRA terminated Xia.     In response, Xia sued LTRA.     Xia later amended her initial complaint and added William Martinez, an LTRA employee and Xia’s supervisor, as a codefendant, though it essentially alleged the same claims as Xia’s initial complaint.     Eight days later, Xia submitted a “Plaintiff’s Brief,” which the district court accepted as Xia’s second amended complaint.     In that same order, the district court directed Xia to make no further amendments unless permitted by the court.     If we construe her pro se pleadings liberally, Xia alleges employment discrimination based on sex, race, and national origin.     She further alleges a hostile working environment claim and claims related to her H-1B visa.     Xia further alleges that:   (1) her supervisor told an inappropriate joke around her, glanced at her inappropriately, invited her to lunch, and followed her to her car, as well as other grievances;    (2) her male coworkers invited her to drink alcohol with them during working hours;    and    (3) her coworkers gossiped about her and made comments about and asked her insensitive questions relating to her Chinese heritage.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)

♦       Feb22,  ..  11th Cir.:     Sholes v. University System of Georgia  ..  On July 1, 2016, anesthesiologist, Mr. Sholes, M.D. began his residency in the Augusta University Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine Department.     The anesthesiology program ordinarily requires three years to complete, and the American Board of Anesthesiology and an accreditation council oversee various aspects of the program, which consists of a defined academic schedule and work in the operating room.     If a resident fails to attend at least 80 percent of the educational component, he receives an “unsatisfactory” evaluation in the core competency of professionalism, which is reported to the Anesthesiology Board.     Residents are required to arrive at work no later than 6:30 a.m. and have their operating room set up and patient interviews completed by 7:00 a.m.     Residents receive evaluations from faculty, providers, and senior residents, and these evaluations are provided to the Clinical Competency Committee.     Every six months, the Committee evaluates each resident’s progress and shares its evaluation with the Anesthesiology Board. Any resident who receives an “unsatisfactory” report is placed on remediation, and two consecutive unsatisfactory reports require a residency extension of at least six months.     Within Sholes’s first three weeks of residency, the director of the anesthesiology program, Dr. Mary Arthur, and the chief resident met with Sholes   after receiving complaints from faculty and senior residents about  him arriving to work   and   coming back from breaks late,  missing lectures,   being unable to be in a room by himself,   using his phone during a case,   and failing to have his rooms and instruments ready before a case,   which suggested he was unable to run anesthetic procedures safely at the level of his peers.     On November 22, 2016, after Dr. Arthur continued receiving complaints about Sholes   repeatedly arriving late to work   and   patient safety concerns,   she met with him again and implemented a plan for him to complete daily time logs.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)

♦       Feb 21,  ..  11th Cir.:     Ebonie Carlisle v. Rhodes & Rhodes Family Dentistry  ..  Sisters, Dr. Melinda Rhodes King and Dr. Belinda Rhodes King, owned Rhodes & Rhodes Family Dentistry (R&R).     R&R employed Ms. Carlisle as a dental hygienist.     All three women are black.     Along with Ms. Carlisle, R&R employed Tracy Robinson, Deena Ross, and Heather Tinker as dental hygienists.     Robinson is black, while Ross and Tinker are white.     Anna Marie Smith and Larrin Durrett, both white, also worked at R&R.     And Lindsey Herd, who is white, supervised all employees as the office manager.     In April 2019,   R&R fired Ms. Carlisle.     R&R says it fired Carlisle because   she refused to help with patients,   was insubordinate,   and behaved combatively.     Carlisle sued R&R, claiming, among other things,   race discrimination   and   retaliation.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)

♦       Feb 21,  ..  KCA:     Frazier v. City of LeRoy, Kansas  ..  On January 1, 2021, Mr. Frazier was employed as the police chief of the City of LeRoy, Kansas (the City).     In July 2021, a dog owned by Charlie and Julie Patterson went into another homeowner's yard and attacked their dog.     Tre Copeland and Chanda Acklin were the owners of the dog that was attacked.     Eddie Skaggs, who saw the dog fight, attempted to subdue the Pattersons' dog and eventually used an electric "cattle prod" to shock the Pattersons' dog and separate the dogs.     Because of the Copeland/Acklin dog's injuries sustained in the dog attack, the dog had to be euthanized.     The LeRoy City Council adopted Resolution No. 2021-5,     which declared that the Pattersons' dog was a nuisance,   demanded that the Pattersons remove their dog from the corporate limits of the city,   and directed Police Chief Frazier,   to serve the order to abate nuisance on the Pattersons.     The order gave the Pattersons 10 days to remove the dog or request a hearing before the City's governing body.     If the Pattersons failed to do either, the order directed Police Chief Frazier to have the dog removed from the city and impounded.     After the resolution was passed by the council, the mayor signed the order to abate nuisance and directed Police Chief Frazier to serve it.     Police Chief Frazier refused to serve the order.     He contended that his refusal to serve the order was because he believed it to be unlawful and against his oath as a commissioned law enforcement officer.     On August 2, 2021, the City terminated Frazier's employment, as Police Chief, for insubordination.     Frazier brings this appeal against the City,     arguing that the City's decision to terminate his employment as the Chief of Police was     arbitrary or capricious,     outside the scope of its authority,     and unsupported by substantial competent evidence.   ...   CONTINUED.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)

♦       Feb 20,  ..  CCA:     Quigley v. Bis Club & Bar  ..  Following trial, the jury returned a special verdict finding Bis Club & Bar, Inc. (Bis Club) liable on plaintiffs Carolina Quigley and Veronica Maya's causes of action for   nonpayment of minimum wages,   meal period violations,   rest period violations,   failure to provide itemized wage statements,   failure to timely pay wages,   sexual harassment,   failure to prevent sexual harassment,   wrongful termination in violation of public policy,   and   sexual assault/battery.     The jury also awarded punitive damages to Plaintiffs.     Bis Club, appeals.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)

♦       Feb 20,  ..  11th Cir.:     Calhoun v. Baldwin State Prison  ..  It all began when Mr. Calhoun, driving over 95 miles per hour in a 70 mile-per-hour zone on an interstate highway, sped past an officer in an unmarked car.     The officer activated his car’s blue lights and siren and gave chase. Instead of pulling over, Calhoun accelerated.     He had two other people with him in his car. One in the front passenger seat and another in the back seat.     A number of other officers joined the chase, but Calhoun thwarted their initial attempts to stop him.     The officers tried to box in his car by surrounding it with theirs –– a tactic known as a “moving roadblock” –– but that didn’t work.     They also tried to stop his car with stop sticks (a tire deflation device), but that didn’t work either.     Calhoun raced on at speeds of more than 115 miles per hour, weaving through traffic, turning in front of other vehicles, and using the emergency lane to pass other cars. At one point, he drove through a Department of Transportation construction site, slowing down only “a minimal amount” before resuming his breakneck speed.     At another point, he swerved out of the way of an officer who was stopping traffic in one of the lanes. Calhoun’s last-minute swerving forced another officer who was in the chase to plow his car through the median to avoid running over the officer who was stopping traffic.     The chase lasted for 21 miles, and during it Calhoun aver- aged a speed of 90 miles per hour, which was more than 20 miles an hour above the speed limit.     His top speed of 118 miles an hour was almost 50 miles an hour above the speed limit.     Throughout the chase Calhoun drove erratically, recklessly, and dangerously in his efforts to escape the pursuing officers. ... CONTINUED  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)

♦       Feb 20,  ..  DcDc:     Bullock v. Hana Security Services  ..  Mr. Bullock worked for Hana Security Services (Hana) as a security guard.     Hana fired him on April 13, 2022.     As Hana sees things, Bullock “violated company policy” by “bullying, intimidating, and threatening coworkers.”     In Bullock’s account, Hana terminated him because of his race and because he challenged his labor union, the Security, Police, and Fire Professionals of America (“SPFPA”).     Bullock’s initial complaint sought relief against “Hana Security Services,”     but Hana indicates that it does not maintain a legal entity with that name     Consistent with Hana’s position and with the nomenclature used in Bullock’s Second Amended Complaint,     the Court will treat Hana Industries, Inc. as the appropriate defendant in this action. After ending Bullock’s employment, Hana submitted a claim regarding Bullock to the Federal Protective Service (“FPS”) within the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”), which decides whether private contractors who work as security guards are fit for federal employment.     FPS revoked Bullock’s “suitability determination,” making him ineligible to work as a security guard at federal facilities.     Without an active suitability determination, Bullock lost work from another employer, Golden Services, Inc.     Bullock sued Hana, two Hana employees, the union, and the FPS’s Division Director.     His complaint sought damages against Hana and its employees for racial discrimination under Title VII and for defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress under D.C. law; against SPFPA for breach of contract and for violations of the federal E-Sign Act; and against the Division Director for “[b]reach of duty,” negligence per se, and negligent infliction of emotional distress.     It also sought vacatur of FPS’s revocation of his suitability determination under the Administrative Procedure Act (“APA”).     The defendants move to dismiss and/or for summary judgment.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)

♦       Feb 20,  ..  VSC:     Chase v. Gifford  ..  Dr. Chase is an orthopedic surgeon who started working at Gifford in 2017.     In 2019, he received a “glowing medical staff performance evaluation.”     His most recent employment agreement was for a one year, with an automatically renewable term, which could be terminated without cause on 90 days’ notice.     The agreement obligated Gifford to provide Dr. Chase with professional liability insurance during his employment.     In late 2020, Dr. Chase refused to continue working on a surgical fracture table that he deemed unsafe, and he raised other patient care and safety concerns with Gifford.     Gifford reacted with hostility.     Two weeks later, Gifford threatened to subject Dr. Chase to a peer review or a performance improvement plan for medical charts that Gifford falsely claimed were deficient.     In June 2021, Dr. Chase reiterated his patient confidentiality concerns.     A week later, he was placed on a performance improvement plan for being delinquent with medical charts, though there was, in fact, no tardiness.     The following month, he was told that he would be put on another improvement plan for the same (baseless) reason.     A few months later, Dr. Chase was asked to attend a peer review meeting at which it was alleged, falsely, that he had failed to write follow-up orders for a specific patient.     He was told he would be subject to yet another improvement plan as well as “open-ended monitoring of his charts.” Shortly thereafter, Gifford filed a claim against Dr. Chase with the Vermont Medical Practice Board (the “Board”) that had no legitimate basis.     Dr. Chase hired legal counsel. Gifford later withdrew the performance review plan, the peer review, and its complaint with the Board.     On April 8, 2022, Gifford terminated Dr. Chase’s employment.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)

♦       Feb 16,  ..  CCA:     Joaquin v. City of Los Angeles  ..  Plaintiff Richard Joaquin is a Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) sergeant employed by the City of Los Angeles (City).     Joaquin filed a lawsuit against the City for retaliation in violation of the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) (Gov. Code, § 12940 et seq.).     He alleged, in part, that the denial of a promotion and request for a lateral transfer was substantially motivated by his prior sexual harassment complaint and subsequent FEHA lawsuit against the City.     A jury found in favor of Joaquin on these claims and awarded him noneconomic damages.     On appeal, the City challenges two evidentiary rulings by the trial court, the sufficiency of the evidence to support the judgment, and the prejudgment interest awarded to Joaquin.     Joaquin refutes the City’s contentions and requests that this court award him reasonable attorney fees.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)

♦       Feb 16,  ..  8th Cir.:     Collins, Jr. v. K.C. MO Public School District  ..  Mr. Collins had been employed in various positions at the the Kansas City Missouri Public School District for about a decade, and, at the time relevant here, he was an "attendance ambassador." He reported directly to Samuel Johnson, whom Collins characterized as his longtime friend.    Johnson later left the school district and reported to state education authorities that the school district had engaged in "attendance fraud." To support his allegations, Johnson supplied the authorities with information that Collins had provided him.    The school district hired a third party to investigate the allegations, and once that investigation was complete, the school district fired Collins.      Mr. Collins admits that he participated in the fraud.    Emails sent between Johnson's and Collins's personal accounts reveal that Johnson provided Collins with lists of students whose attendance records he would change at home from his personal computer without supporting documentation.    To illustrate, one day Johnson sent Collins an email titled "Lets work my brother" in which he asked Collins to "move 50–70 a day" and said that "if you could move about 50 up tonight .    .    .    that would be great."    So Collins did so.    That particular day was no aberration.    Collins testified that he regularly altered attendance records until "they hit whatever mark they needed to hit," and he admitted that he decided which students' records to alter from the provided lists.    Collins never questioned Johnson's directives or refused to follow them.      In his complaint, Collins raised numerous claims against the school district arising out of his termination, but only three remain relevant.    The first is a claim that the school district discriminated against him on the basis of race when it terminated him.    The second is that the school district retaliated against him for engaging in protected activities.    Finally, Collins complains that the school district violated a state law that prohibits public employers from retaliating against whistleblowers.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)

♦       Feb 16,  ..  3rd Cir.:     Thompson v. Anthem Companies  ..  From May 2012 until January 2016, Ms. Thompson, who is of Guyanese descent, worked as a Senior Case Manager at the Anthem Companies (“Anthem”). In February 2015, Thompson received a 2.80 out of a possible 5 on her 2014 performance evaluation, which rounded up to a 3, rating her at “Consistently Successful.”     Thompson refused to sign this evaluation because she did “not feel her evaluation was fair,” and she told her manager, Nadine Carter, that she thought the performance evaluation had “nothing to do with her day-to- day work,”     Carter allegedly responded that Thompson should consider herself lucky to be making “mega bucks as a little Guyanese girl.”     Thompson then spoke with Human Resources (“HR”) about “the high caseload and how they [sic] treating me, and the comments they making [sic] about the job.”     But Thompson did not report Carter’s “little Guyanese girl” comment to HR.     In June 2015, Susan Washington took over as Ms. Thompson’s manager     By that time, Thompson had been failing to follow up with colleagues and keep her files updated.     That prompted Washington and a representative from HR to meet with Thompson to discuss her performance, a meeting that ended with Thompson agreeing to take steps to meet expectations.     But things did not improve and, a few months later, Washington issued Thompson a written warning identifying specific concerns with Thompson’s performance.     The Written Warning set forth an action plan for Thompson to follow and contained the following statement: “If at any time during the warning period or thereafter you do not meet the expectations, you do not make sufficient progress toward meeting the stated expectations, or are not able to sustain the improvement, additional corrective action may be taken, up to and including termination of your employment.”     Following the Written Warning, Thompson and Washington met weekly so Washington could measure Thompson’s progress on the corrective action plan.     In November 2015, Thompson complained to HR about her allegedly hostile work environment, alleging that her supervisor and other individuals “made her feel very small” in meetings by “hinting on her accent” and asking her to repeat things.     Thompson said that “all the complaints from my managers had nothing to do with my job performance.     It was like, oh, it was a customer call and said I was rude.     All the while, Thompson continued to struggle in the same areas that her managers flagged in the performance reviews,     and     Thompson’s employment was terminated in January 2016.     Thompson filed a complaint against Anthem.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)

♦       Feb 15,  ..  SCNJ:     Sanjuan v. Hudson School District  ..  The Board of Education for the Town of West New York Public Schools (the Board), hired plaintiff Amada Sanjuan as a teacher in the early 1990s.     In 2019, the Board appointed Sanjuan assistant principal of Memorial High School.     She acquired tenure both as a teacher and as an assistant principal.     In August 2020, the Board certified tenure charges against Sanjuan for conduct unbecoming.     Sanjuan reported that she fell down a staircase at the school after reaching to pick up a piece of paper, but security footage showed that after Sanjuan fell, she reached into her pocketbook, took out a piece of paper, set it down in the middle of the staircase, and then resumed her position on the floor.     The Commissioner of Education deemed the charges “sufficient to warrant dismissal or reduction in salary of the person charged” and referred the case to an arbitrator.     The arbitrator concluded that the limited scope of the incident and Sanjuan’s long service with the public school district as a teacher warranted a demotion, not termination.     He terminated her tenured administrative position but allowed Sanjuan to retain her tenured teaching role.     The arbitrator further concluded that Sanjuan’s “failure to take ownership” of her misdeed “warrants that her reinstatement . . . be without backpay.”     Sanjuan filed a verified complaint and order to show cause seeking to vacate the arbitration award and to be reinstated as a tenured administrator with backpay. ... CONTINUED  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)