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recent superme court decisions :   summaries here

June 24 birthdays :   Danielle Spenser (wh)  *  Linda Carter  *  Claire McCaskill  *  Barry Bonds  *  Jennifer Lopez  *  Carl Malone  *  Rick Fox  *  Chuck Taylor  *  Tom Lister Jr.  *  Georg Stanford Brown  *  Mindy Kaling  *  Mozzy  *  Solange  *  Jack Dempsey  *  Billy Taylor  *  Nancy Allen  *  Joe Penny  *  Vanessa Ray  *  JJ Redick  *  Charles Whitman  *  Raven Goodwin  *  Erin Moriarty  *  Roy Disney    ***    June 24 deaths :   2012 - Sherman Hemsley  *  1980 - Peter Sellers    ***  

♦       Jun 24,  .. U.S. Supreme Court :    SUPREME COURT STRIKES DOWN ROE V. WADE.  ..  Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization  ..  The Constitution does not confer a right to abortion; Roe v. Wade, 410 U. S. 113, and Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pa. v. Casey, 505 U. S. 833, are overruled; the authority to regulate abortion is returned to the people and their elected representatives.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)   (.pdf)

♦       Jun 23,  .. SUPREME COURT STRIKES DOWN N.Y. LAW THAT RESTRICTS CONCEALED CARRYING OF GUNS     The opinion invalidates the state's requirement for people to show "proper cause" to get public carry licenses.    New York State Rifle & Pistol Assn., Inc. v. Bruen    (.html)    (.pdf)

♦       Jun 24,  .. FLRA:  Immigration v. AFGE  ..  The Union filed a grievance alleging that the Agency violated the parties’ collective-bargaining agreement (CBA) by failing to retroactively process career‑ladder promotions (CLPs) for eligible employees that had been delayed.    Arbitrator Richard Van Kalker sustained the grievance and directed the Agency to make the impacted employees whole.    The Agency filed exceptions arguing that the award fails to draw its essence from the CBA and that it is contrary to a government-wide regulation, Office of Personnel Management (OPM) authority, and Comptroller General and Authority precedent concerning retroactive promotions.  ..  FLRA DECISION:   (.html)   (.pdf)

♦       Jun 24,  .. FLRA:  AFGE v. Labor FEC  ..  After the Union filed a petition for review (petition), the Authority’s Office of Case Intake and Publication (CIP) ordered the Union to show cause, by a specific date, why the Authority should not dismiss the petition because one of the Union’s proposals appeared to raise only a bargaining-obligation dispute rather than a negotiability dispute (show-cause order). The Union did not respond to the show-cause order. Accordingly, CIP dismissed the Union’s petition.     In a motion for reconsideration (motion), the Union argues that the Authority should reconsider its dismissal of the Union’s entire petition. Because the Union establishes extraordinary circumstances warranting reconsideration, we grant the motion and direct the Agency to file a statement of position.  ..  FLRA DECISION:   (.html)   (.pdf)


June 23 birthdays :   Wilma Rudolph  *  Clarence Thomas  *  Alan Turing  *  Milt Hinton  *  Donald Harrison  *  Selma Blair  *  Nikolai Tolstoy  *  LaDainian Tomlinson  *  Duffy  *  Christy Altomare  *  Frances Gabe  *  Randy Jackson (ai)  *  Alfred Kinsey  *  June Carter Cash  *  Robert Hunter  *  Bob Fosse  *  Art Modell  *  David Leavitt  *  Frances McDormand    ***    June 23 deaths :   2013 – Bobby Bland  *  2016 – Ralph Stanley  *  2011 – Peter Falk,  *  2009 – Ed McMahon  *  1998 – Maureen O'Sullivan  *  1997 – Betty Shabazz    ***   June 23 events : The typewriter was patented ( 1868 )


♦       Jun 23,  .. 2d Cir.:    Henderson v. Greenville Schools  ..  Rachel Henderson alleges that Greenville Central School District (“Greenville”) fired her from her job as an aide/monitor in retaliation for her inquiries about a potentially dangerous student at Greenville High School in violation of the United States Constitution.    The District Court granted summary judgment for Greenville, concluding that Henderson’s inquiries were not speech on a matter of public concern, and therefore were not constitutionally protected.    We review de novo the District Court’s grant of summary judgment.    In determining whether Henderson’s speech was a matter of public concern, we “focus on the motive of the speaker and attempt to determine whether the speech was calculated to redress personal grievances or whether it had a broader public purpose.”  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)   (.pdf)

♦       Jun 23,  .. 11th Cir.:    Fuerst v. Atlanta Housing Authority  ..  By its plain text, the National Defense Authorization Act (“NDAA”), protects employees of federal “contractor[s], subcontractor[s], grantee[s], [and] subgrantee[s] or personal services contractor[s]” from their employers’ retaliation for disclosing information that the employee reasonably believes to be evidence of gross mismanagement of a federal contract or grant, an abuse of authority related to a federal contract or grant, or a violation of a law, rule, or regulation pertaining to a federal contract or grant. 41 U.S.C. § 4712(a)(1) ... [4712].     In 2017, Karen Fuerst—then an attorney employed by the Atlanta Housing Authority (“AHA”), which is a recipient of federal grant funds—was fired after challenging the negotiation tactics of AHA’s new CEO, Catherine Buell.    Fuerst’s complaints filed with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (“HUD”) inspector general and the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia were both dismissed for failure to state a claim under the NDAA.    On appeal, Fuerst argues that the district court erroneously concluded that § 4712 did not apply to her as an employee of a federal “grantee,” and erroneously found that she merely alleged a difference of opinion, not a specific violation of a contract or grant. ... CONTINUED  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)   (.pdf)

♦       Jun 23,  .. SCG:    Garay v. State (of Georgia)  ..  At around 9:30 or 10:00 p.m. on Sunday, January 21, 1996, Mr. Salinas, who owned a store called El Norteño, returned home from dinner with his wife, Francisca.    After walking in the front door of their home, Mr. Salinas secured the chain lock on the door while Mrs. Salinas began taking off her gloves and scarf.    They then heard the door handle shake as though someone was trying to enter the front door.    Mr. Salinas opened the door with the chain still latched, and gunshots were immediately fired through the front door into the home, striking Mr. Salinas in the head and neck and killing him.    Mrs. Salinas saw a man, who was not very tall and who was wearing a ski mask, on the other side of the door.     On January 25, investigators learned that Edgar Quintanilla had information about the shooting. Quintanilla was interviewed by the police, and an audio and video recording of the interview was played for the jury. In the interview, Quintanilla told investigators the following. On January 19, the Friday before the shooting, he saw Garay’s wife hand Garay a 9 mm firearm. When Quintanilla asked to whom the gun belonged, Garay said it was his. Garay then told Quintanilla that he needed it to do some “business” the following night, which he explained meant that he intended to rob someone who had a lot of money. ... CONTINUED  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)   (.pdf)

♦       Jun 23,  .. CCA:    Yee v. Cambridge Healthcare  ..  On March 19, 2018, Yee applied in writing, and was hired, for an “administrator-in-training” position for Cambridge’s COO Seal Beach facility. Cambridge’s COO at the time hired Yee. According to Sanner, when Yee started working for Seal Beach, “the purpose was to train her to be an administrator so that she could take over as needed at another Cambridge-affiliated facility.” He declared “Cambridge regularly transfers management personnel between facilities to meet each facility’s needs.”     When Yee was hired, she was given an employee handbook containing an arbitration provision.     On June 26, 2020, Yee sued Cambridge, Broadway, and Sanner alleging claims for discrimination, harassment, retaliation , and wrongful termination, among others.     Yee alleged Sanner transferred her to Broadway from Ontario after she complained about an employee having filed fraudulent expense reports. She allegedly was told she was being transferred to Broadway because “it was the ‘Chinese building.’ ”     Defendants demanded Yee arbitrate her claims.     Yee refused. ... CONTINUED  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)   (.pdf)

June 22 birthdays :   John Dillinger  *  Todd Rundgren  *  Porsha Williams  *  Ralph Waite  *  Donald Faison  *  Octavia Butler  *  Carson Daly  *  Billy Wilder  *  Clyde Drexler,  *  Erin Brockovich  *  Pete Maravich  *  Cyndi Lauper,  *  Kris Kristofferson  *  Dan Brown  *  Kurt Warner  *  Freddie Prinze  *  Lindsay Wagner  *  Bill Blass  *  Ed Bradley  *  Elizabeth Warren  *  Katherine Dunham  *  Jerry Rawlings  *  Dianne Feinstein,  *  Brit Hume  *  Meryl Streep    ***    June 22 deaths :   2008 – George Carlin  *  1993 - Pat Nixon  *  1969 – Judy Garland  *  2004 – Bob Bemer,  *  1988 – Dennis Day  *  1987 – Fred Astaire    ***   June 22 events : GI Bill. It was signed into law by President Franklin Roosevelt (1944)

♦       Jun 22,  .. FLRA:  Fed Prisons v. AFGE  ..  The Union filed a grievance alleging that the Agency violated Articles 11 and 18 of the parties’ master collective-bargaining agreement (master agreement), and the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), by denying official time and failing to pay an employee (the grievant) for time spent attending an arbitration‑preparation meeting.    Arbitrator Michael J. Pecklers issued an award sustaining the grievance and directing FLSA remedies.    The Agency filed exceptions to the award on contrary‑to‑law, exceeded‑authority, and essence grounds.  ..  FLRA DECISION:   (.html)   (.pdf)

♦       Jun 22,  .. VCA:    Barrow v. Norfolk DHS  ..  Father and Leandra Guagenti (“mother”) are the biological parents of four children, ages four through nine.    The family’s interaction with the City of Norfolk Department of Human Services (the “Department”) began in 2013, after the Department investigated a claim that the oldest child had been exposed to the manufacture of methamphetamine.    In May 2016, the Department discovered that the motel room in which the family had been residing was in a “deplorable state” and that the children were “unkept,” at which point the children were temporarily removed.    Later that year, the Department discovered that the children had been left unsupervised in the family’s motel room, which suffered from multiple safety hazards and was in a “deplorable condition.”    Despite the Department discovering the children in the motel room, father initially claimed that the children were staying with his sister. Father subsequently admitted that he left the children in the motel room without adult supervision.    He explained the abandonment based upon his work schedule and because he did not have anyone to watch them, as mother was no longer allowed at the motel, having overdosed on heroin in the very same motel room the previous week.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)   (.pdf)

♦       Jun 22,  .. ACA:    Abriani v. Slaughter  ..  Abriani served as the Salome Justice Court’s chief clerk when Slaughter’s tenure as Justice of the Peace began in January 2010. Some of the justice court’s other clerks told Slaughter that Abriani was having an extramarital relationship with a subordinate’s husband. Slaughter ordered Abriani to end the relationship and threatened termination if she did not. In May 2011, Slaughter fired Abriani after discovering Abriani continued to contact the husband.     At a campaign event seven years later, a constituent asked Slaughter to explain the high turnover in her clerk’s office. Slaughter replied that she fired her first chief clerk for having an affair with another clerk’s husband. Slaughter’s remarks became the subject of a Facebook post that the author later deleted.     Abriani filed suit in May 2019, asserting claims for false light, defamation, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Abriani alleged Slaughter intended to defame her and paint her in false light by falsely saying Slaughter fired her “for sexual relations with a coworker’s husband.”  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)   (.pdf)

♦       Jun 22,  .. IAC:    Stewart v. Illinois DOT  ..  On May 1, 2006, IDOT hired Stewart, a black male, as an emergency traffic patrolman (ETP). IDOT highway maintainers, including an ETP, are covered by the Teamsters Local 700 collective bargaining agreement.     IDOT’s written “violence in the workplace” policy states, in relevant part, that the “use of violence or the threat of the use of violence by Department employees to subordinates, co-workers, superiors or others will not be tolerated.”     On December 6, 2006, Stewart used force against another ETP employee during a physical altercation at a highway accident scene. Stewart was placed on administrative leave, effective on December 7, 2006, through January 19, 2007.     On January 19, 2007, IDOT suspended Stewart for 30 days pending discharge. Effective on February 14, 2007, IDOT discharged Stewart for “disruptive conduct and violence in the workplace.”     At the time of discharge, Stewart was earning $27 per hour.     On June 15, 2007, Stewart perfected his complaint.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)   (.pdf)

♦       Jun 22,  .. 3rd Cir.:    Percella v. City of Bayonne  ..  Percella worked for the City of Bayonne for fifteen years, beginning with her appointment as Deputy Registrar of the Health Department in 2006.    Her relationship with her employer was troubled: Percella repeatedly filed complaints with the City alleging misconduct by other employees; she was suspended and transferred multiple times during her tenure, primarily (according to the City) because of her unprofessional conduct.    Percella contends that she was disciplined in retaliation for exercising her First Amendment rights.    Percella also alleges that City officials had subjected her to harassment, specifically that Censullo had directed sexually suggestive language to her and that Waks had habitually used profane language in her presence, once threw a pencil at her, and had posted a sexually suggestive and misogynistic kitchen magnet near her workspace.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)   (.pdf)

June 21 birthdays :   O.C. Smith  *  Jane Russell  *  Judy Holliday  *  Edward Snowden  *  Jean-Paul Sartre  *  Meredith Baxter  *  Mariette Hartley  *  Maureen Stapleton  *  Wade Phillips  *  Jussie Smollett  *  Bernie Kopell  *  Brenda Holloway  *  Carl Stokes  *  Lana Del Rey  *  Juliette Lewis  *  Marjorie Margolies  *  Togo D. West, Jr.  *  Nils Lofgren    ***    June 21 deaths :   John Lee Hooker died 2001  *  June Christy died 1990  *  Bob Evans died 2007  *  Carroll O'Connor died 2001    ***   June 21 events : First Day Of Summer

♦       Jun 21,  .. 10th Cir.:    Cummings v. American Postal Worker's Union  ..  Cummings is a female Native American who is over the age of 50.    In this case, Cummings claimed the Union discriminated against her based on her race and age by refusing to pursue grievances on her behalf against United States Postal Service (USPS}.    She worked as a temporary Postal Support Employee (PSE) for one full 360-day term and was rehired for a second term in January 2016.    Before completing her second term, she converted to a Career position on May 14, and was terminated on July 25, 2016.    Her termination letter indicated she was terminated for failing to meet job expectations and that, as a probationary employee, she did not have access to the CBA’s grievance procedure.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)   (.pdf)

♦       Jun 21,  .. 7th Cir.:    Stamey v. Forest River  ..  Sam Stamey installed wiring in cargo trailers at Forest River, Inc.’s plant in Elkhart, Indiana for over ten years.    He resigned in August 2018 at age 62 and then sued Forest River alleging that the company constructively discharged him in violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act by refusing to address a relentless and ruthless campaign of age‐based harassment undertaken by his coworkers.    The district court saw the facts differently and entered summary judgment for Forest River.    We reverse.    While this case is close, what tips it to trial is the requirement at summary judgment that we view the facts, and draw all reasonable inferences, in Stamey’s favor.    If we credit his account that—in less than a year—his coworkers hurled upwards of 1,000 age‐based insults at him without management taking effective steps to end the misconduct, a jury could return a verdict in Stamey’s favor. ... CONTINUED  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)   (.pdf)

♦       Jun 21,  .. FLRA:  AFGE v. HUD  ..  In mid-October 2018, the Agency advised the Union that, as required by law, it was implementing a new time-management system immediately. The Agency explained that employees on maxiflex work schedules, other than the 4/10 or 5/4/9 compressed work schedules, could not legally be paid more than eight hours of holiday pay. Therefore, it would require those employees to take leave to cover any additional hours.     The Union filed a grievance alleging that the Agency violated the parties’ agreement and § 7116(a)(1) of the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute (the Statute) by repudiating and refusing to abide by Article 16’s requirement that employees on a maxiflex schedule receive more than eight hours of holiday pay. The Agency denied the grievance and the Union invoked arbitration.     The Arbitrator framed the issues as whether the Agency violated: (1) the parties’ agreement and law by not allowing holiday pay in excess of eight hours to employees on a maxiflex work schedule and (2) § 7116(a)(1), (5), and (8) of the Statute by repudiating the parties’ agreement and refusing to abide by its negotiated terms.  ..  FLRA DECISION:   (.html)   (.pdf)

♦       Jun 21,  .. FLRA:  AFGE v. VA  ..  In this case, Arbitrator Norman R. Harlan denied a grievance alleging that the Agency violated the parties’ collective-bargaining agreement (CBA) when it reassigned an employee without following proper CBA procedures concerning department-initiated reassignments.    The Union argues that the Arbitrator’s award fails to draw its essence from the CBA because the Arbitrator ignored dispositive contract language.    As discussed below, we are unable to determine whether the award is deficient as raised in the Union’s exception, and we remand it for further action consistent with this decision.  ..  FLRA DECISION:   (.html)   (.pdf)

♦       Jun 21,  .. FLRA:  AFGE v. Federal Prisons  ..  In October 2019, the Federal Bureau of Prisons (the Agency) notified employees that the day shift on the upcoming quarterly roster would no longer include a thirty-minute unpaid lunch break.    The Union filed a grievance alleging that the Agency committed an unfair labor practice – and violated the parties’ agreement and a memorandum of understanding – by failing to bargain over this change.    The Agency denied the grievance, which proceeded to arbitration.  ..  FLRA DECISION:   (.html)   (.pdf)


June 20 birthdays :   Eric Dolphy  *  Lionel Richie  *  Tina Sumpter  *  Nicole Kidman  *  Brian Wilson  *  Errol Flynn  *  André Watts  *  Josephine Johnson  *  John Goodman  *  Audie Murphy  *  Lillian Hellman  *  Billy Guy  *  Martin Landau

June 19 birthdays :   Phylicia Rashad  *  Nancy Marchand  *  Paula Abdul  *  Zoe Salanda  *  Lou Gehrig  *  Robin Tunney  *  Blaise Pascal (calculator, calculus, etc)  *  Moe Howard (3 stooges)  *  Kathleen Turner  *  Gena Rowlands  *  Guy Lombardo  *  Boris Johnson  *  Tommie Lee  *  Atticus Shaffer  *  Anthony Parker  *  Kim Walker  *  Abe Fortas  *  Salman Rushdie    ***    June 19 deaths :  *  Slim Whitman (2013)  *  Ed Wynn (1966)  *  Ethel Rosenberg (1953)  *  Julius Rosenberg (1953)    ***    June 19 events : The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed by the United States Senate

June 18 birthdays :   Roger Ebert  *  Blake Shelton  *  Paul McCartney  *  Red Adair  *  Jeanette MacDonald  *  Barack Obama Sr.  *  Sylvia Porter  *  Lou Brock  *  Bud Collyer  *  Carol Kane  *  Blanche Sweet  *  Ivonne Coll  *  Angela Johnson    ***    June 18 deaths :  *  Horace Silver (2014)  *  Clarence Clemons (2011)  *  Nancy Marchand  *  Larry Doby  *  John Cheever    ***    June 19 events :  *  Amelia Earhart became the first woman to fly across the Atlantic Ocean  *  First Checker Cab Hit Streets  *  Napoleon Bonaparte Defeated  *  LP Record Introduced (33 1/3)

June 17 birthdays :   Venus Williams  *  Linda Chavez  *  Diane Murphy (Tabatha)  *  Erin Murphy (Tabatha)  *  Barry Manilow  *  Kendrick Lamar  *  Krayzie Bones  *  James Weldon Johnson (Lift Every Voice)  *  Sarah Jessica Parker  *  Paul Young  *  Damani Roberts  *  Newt Gingrich  *  Ralph Bellamy  *  Simone Battle  *  Red Foley  *  Evlyn Knapp  *  Jamal Mixon  *  Will Forte,    ***    June 17 deaths :  *  Rodney King died 2012  *  Cyd Charisse died 2008  *  Serena Wilson died 2007    ***    O. J. Bronco Chase   1984    ***    Statute of Liberty arrived from France   1885

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June 16 birthday :   Eddie Levert (ojays)  *  ice cube  *  Tupac Shakur  *  Laurie Metcalf  *  Adam Smith(econ)  *  Joyce Carol Oates  *  Phil Mickelson  *  Roberto Durán (boxer)  *  Jack Albertson    ***    June 16 deaths :  *  George Reeves (superman) died 1959  *  Chick Webb died 1939

♦       Jun 16,  .. ICA:    Kuehl v. Tegra Corp  ..  In 2015, Kuehl began working for Big Soo terminal (Big Soo), which is owned by Tegra. Big Soo is a “barge, rail[,] and truck terminal engaged in warehousing and distribution.” While at Big Soo, Kuehl worked as the assistant manager. As assistant manager, Kuehl’s duties related to operations and personnel management, including coordinating safety and providing safety materials. Kuehl felt responsible for safety. He considers himself a safety expert.      Kuehl reported directly to general manager Kevin Knepper, who had been employed by Big Soo since 1983. Jim and Doug intended for Kuehl to learn the business and take over the general manager role when Knepper eventually retired.      On March 28, 2018, Kuehl was away from the terminal at a safety conference. That day, Knepper directed some employees, including Brian McCormick, to move some rail cars. But the rail cars collided with some stationary cars. McCormick died in the accident. Kuehl was upset about McCormick’s death because they were friends. So Kuehl requested counseling, and Tegra paid for it.      Following the accident, the Iowa Occupational Safety and Health Administration (IOSHA) conducted an investigation. IOSHA interviewed Kuehl along with four other Big Soo employees in March and April as a part of the investigation. Kuehl spoke out about Big Soo during his interview. ... CONTINUED  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)   (.pdf)

June 15 birthdays :   Ice Cube  *  North West  *  Erroll Garner  *  Ruby Nash (& romantics)  *  Carl Thomas  *  Helen Hunt  *  Dusty Baker  *  Leah Remini,  *  Wade Boggs,  *  Neil Patrick Harris  *  Waylon Jennings,  *  Courteney Cox  *  Jim Belushi    ***    June 15 deaths :  *  Wes Montgomery (1968)  *  Ella Fitzgerald (1996)  *  Casey Kasem (2014)  *  Meredith Wilson (the music man)

♦       Jun 15,  .. 9th Cir.:    Adame v. City of Surprise  ..  Around 1:00 a.m. on November 26, 2016, Officer Joseph Gruver responded to a report of a “suspicious” Nissan Sentra.    He ran the vehicle’s license plate number and learned that it was stolen.    Officer Gruver then put on his police car’s bright “takedown” lights and approached the vehicle.    Inside was Adame, whom Officer Gruver observed “leaning over to the side” in the driver’s seat, though it was determined that Adame was likely asleep in the parked car.    “Officer Gruver drew his firearm, opened the passenger door, announced himself as a police officer, and ordered Adame to show his hands and keep them visible on the steering wheel.”    Adame complied while Officer Gruver awaited backup.    As backup arrived, however, Adame attempted to flee, starting the vehicle’s engine with his right hand. See id.“Officer Gruver immediately leaned into the vehicle, placing his left knee on the passenger seat as he reached with his left hand for Adame.”    Adame nevertheless accelerated the vehicle, after which “Officer Gruver fired two shots,” killing Adame instantly.    “The Nissan crashed into a parked truck a short distance away” after the shooting.    Plaintiffs-Appellees’ first amended complaint, filed on behalf of Adame on December 18, 2017, alleged    (1) violations of the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition against excessive force, as well as a Fourteenth Amendment due process violation against Officer Gruver and the City of Surprise (the “City”),    (2) a state law wrongful death claim against the City, and    (3) a racial discrimination claim against Officer Gruver and the City of Surprise.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)   (.pdf)

♦       Jun 15,  .. 6th Cir.:    Slinger v. PendaForm Company  ..  PendaForm Company, a plastic-manufacturing business, hired Jack Slinger to be its president and CEO. But when new owners bought PendaForm a few years later, they scaled back Slinger’s role at the company.    While they waited for Slinger’s contract to run out, he was told to work from home.    Not long after he started working from home, Slinger visited his old office to clear out his things. During his visit, Slinger allegedly warned several employees    they should not “be the last man standing.”    When the company caught wind of the statement, it fired Slinger within a week.    PendaForm’s termination letter said it fired Slinger “for cause” under his contract.    But Slinger didn’t think the company had cause to fire him.    And if it didn’t have cause, Slinger is eligible for twelve-months’ severance—worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.    So Slinger sued, claiming he was fired without cause and should receive his severance.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)   (.pdf)

♦       Jun 15,  .. 11th Cir.:    Mirand v. Walt Disney  ..  Ms. Mirand, who was over the age of 40 at the time, applied for a financial analyst position with Disney.    She interviewed for the position but was not hired.    She later applied for more than a dozen other positions with the company but was not hired for any of them.    Proceeding pro se, she filed this lawsuit against Disney, alleging that it used unlawful hiring criteria that had a disparate impact on individuals over 40 years old.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)   (.pdf)

♦       Jun 15,  .. 1st Cir.:    Sonoiki v. Harvard University  ..  In the spring of 2013, Mr. Sonoiki's career path was on a steady upward trajectory.    He was about to graduate from Harvard University, his classmates had chosen him to speak at a ceremony held the day before graduation for the graduating class and their families, and he was set to move to New York City to work in finance for two years before returning to Cambridge to attend Harvard Business School as part of the "2+2" program.    This trajectory took a sharp downward turn when three female Harvard students accused him of sexual assault and, following a university disciplinary proceeding, Harvard withheld his undergraduate degree.    Sonoiki still moved to New York and started work as planned, but the business school withdrew his acceptance to the 2+2 program, and, in the following spring, he missed out on a lucrative employment opportunity when the employer discovered Harvard had not awarded him an undergraduate degree.    Sonoiki eventually sued Harvard for breach of contract and other related claims.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)   (.pdf)


June 14 birthday :   Junior Walker  *  Steffi Graf  *  Che Guevara  *  Gunna  *  Marla Gibbs  *  Steny Hoyer,  *  Gene Barry  *  Donald Trump  *  Faizon Love  *  Harriett Beecher Stowe  *  Boy George  *  Burl Ives  *  Marcus Miller

♦       Jun 14,  .. 8th Cir.    Brandt v. Cedar Falls  ..  Michelle Brandt, a former part-time employee of the City of Cedar Falls, brought this action against the City of Cedar Falls and certain city officials after her 2018 termination,    alleging interference with and retaliation for exercise of her rights under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and    claims of age discrimination, disability discrimination, hostile work environment, and retaliation.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)   (.pdf)

♦       Jun 14,  .. (9th Cir.:    Johnson v. Winco Foods  ..  WinCo Foods requires a drug test of successful applicants for employment before they can begin the duties of the job.    Plaintiff Johnson represents a class of employees seeking reimbursement for the time and travel expenses required to take the test.    The district court entered judgment in favor of WinCo on the ground that under California law, plaintiffs were not yet employees when they took the drug test.    Plaintiffs appeal contending that they were employees.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)   (.pdf)

♦       Jun 14,  .. 3rd Cir.:    John Doe v. United States  ..  When Congress does not pass a budget in time, the federal government shuts down. Smithsonian museums close, trash cans in national parks overflow, and lots of federal workers do not get their paychecks.    All those things happened at the end of 2018, when the longest shutdown in history began. For more than a month, FBI employees, like other federal workers, were not paid. Nor did they get payments into their Thrift Savings Plan retirement ac- counts.    Once the government reopened, the employees had a right to back pay.    Sure enough, the FBI sent them their missed paychecks and contributed to their Thrift accounts.    But the contributions did not make the employees whole. While the government was shut down, the market had risen; “the most popular [Thrift] funds increased over 10%.”    If the government had made its Thrift contributions on time, that money would have bought more shares than the late payments did.    So the employees filed this class-action suit under the Fed- eral Employees’ Retirement System Act of 1986 (FERSA or the Act), which created their Thrift retirement plans.    They seek compensation for the investment gains that they would have gotten if the government had made its contributions on time.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)   (.pdf)

♦       Jun 14,  .. 10th Cir.:    Valdez v. Grisham  ..  On August 17, 2021, Acting Secretary of the New Mexico Department of Health, David R. Scrase, M.D., issued the Public Health Emergency Order Requiring All School Workers Comply with Certain Health Requirements and Requiring Congregate Care Facility Workers, Hospital Workers, and Employees of the Office of the Governor Be Fully Vaccinated (the “PHO”).    The next day, Ms. Blackford’s employer, Presbyterian Healthcare Services (“Presbyterian”), implemented a private requirement for all Presbyterian employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Colleen Heild, Presbyterian requires vaccines for entire workforce of 13,000 --- or-be-tested- weekly.    Ms. Blackford worked at Presbyterian Hospital and was therefore subject to the PHO’s vaccine requirements.    Ms. Blackford is opposed to receiving a COVID-19 vaccine, and she alleges she does not qualify for the exemptions.    According to Ms. Blackford, the PHO requires affected employers to terminate employees in her position.    Thus, on August 19, Ms. Blackford brought a complaint against Governor Lujan Grisham and Dr. Scrase (together, the “Appellees”) challenging the constitutionality of the PHO.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)   (.pdf)

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♦       Jun 13,  .. OCA:    Coldly v. Fuyao Glass Inc  ..  On September 4, 2020, Mr. Coldly filed a complaint against Fuyao Glass Inc, seeking damages and an injunction based on his termination from employment with Fuyao on November 19, 2019.    The complaint contained three claims:  (1) wrongful termination in violation of public policy;  (2) retaliation; and  (3) intentional infliction of emotional distress. On October 1, 2019, Fuyao filed an answer denying liability and asserting various affirmative defenses.    On April 19, 2021, Fuyao Glass filed a motion for summary judgment. The motion was supported by Coldly’s deposition and the affidavit of Reggie Jackson, who was employed by Fuyao Glass Inc as an Employee Relations Specialist.    In the motion, Fuyao Glass argued that Coldly could not satisfy any of the elements for establishing termination. Fuyao further asserted that Coldly had failed to specify any discriminatory protected practice (race, religion, sex, national origin, etc.) or that the reasons for his discharge were pretextual.    Instead, Fuyao Glass contended it had legitimate reasons for discharging Coldly, i.e., Coldly’s aggressive conduct during a fight, in violation of Fuyao’s policy prohibiting fighting in the workplace.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)   (.pdf)

♦       Jun 13,  .. 2d Cir.:    Leroy v. Delta Air Lines  ..  Ms. Leroy is an African American woman who began working as a flight attendant for Delta in October 2000. Her employment lasted almost seventeen years and included several different supervisors. Before May 2017, she “never experienced any complications with any of her prior supervisors,” was “never suspended,” and never “faced any kind of disciplinary action.”    That changed with the circumstances giving rise to this case. On May 18, 2017, Leroy was assigned to a Delta flight. Before the plane had left the gate, she heard “a disgruntled passenger who was racist” call her a “black bitch.”    She complained about the incident to the pilot, Captain Carns, who “demanded” that Leroy “step out on the jet bridge with the passenger.” Leroy refused, claiming “that per FAA regulations she could not step off the airplane” and that she did not want to converse with the passenger.    Carns responded to Leroy’s refusal by contacting the Operations Control Center (“OCC”) “to get [Leroy] removed off the flight for disrespecting him and his command.” The OCC initially refused, but after Carns’s ultimatum that “either she goes, or I go,” it removed Leroy from the flight.    Two days later, Leroy’s supervisor, John Marsh, instructed her to fill out a Flight Attendant Comment Tracking System (FACTS) report about the incident with Carns.    Leroy also received a letter complimenting her composure from a passenger who had witnessed her interaction with Carns.    When this letter reached Delta’s attention, Delta sent Leroy its own letter “along with award points for getting a compliment letter from a valued passenger.” ...    Within two months of these events Leroy alleges she was subjected to random drug testing, wrongfully suspended, and ultimately fired.    Ms. Leroy filed a complaint in state court, alleging retaliation. ... CONTINUED  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)   (.pdf)

♦       Jun 8,  .. 6th Cir.:    Booth v. Flint Police  ..  Pursuant to its collective bargaining agreement (“CBA”) with the Flint Police Officers Association (“FPOA”), the city of Flint, Michigan, (“the city”) requires police officers to take a competitive examination to be promoted to sergeant.    Tyrone Booth, Nicole Reid, Candace Burton, Chad Baldwin, Nelson Hadley, and Scott Watson (collectively, “plaintiffs”) were promoted from provisional sergeant to permanent sergeant by then-Chief of Police Timothy Johnson without taking an examination.    The Police Officers Labor Council (“POLC”), the labor union representing the Flint Police Sergeants Association (“FPSA”), filed a grievance requesting that plaintiffs’ promotions be rescinded.    A subsequent Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU”) between the city and the FPOA demoted plaintiffs to provisional sergeant but provided for plaintiffs to be promoted to permanent sergeant if they received a passing score on the next written examination.    Plaintiffs did not take the next written examination and were demoted to police officers.    Plaintiffs sued, alleging   (1) a due process violation against the city and its former Director of Human Resources and Labor Relations, Makini Jackson;   (2) a tortious interference with contractual rights claim against the FPOA and its president, Kevin Smith (collectively, “the FPOA defendants”);   (3) a breach of contract claim against the city;   (4) a breach of the duty of fair representation claim against the POLC; and   (5) a violation of their First Amendment rights against the city and its Chief of Police, Terence Green.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)   (.pdf)

♦       Jun 8,  .. 2d Cir.:    Florence v. Seggos  ..  Plaintiffs-Appellants Dennis Scott Florence and Michael St. Jeanos, two white men, allege that they were passed over for the position of Director of Law Enforcement (“DLE”) at the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (the “Department”).    In December 2017, when then-DLE Joe Schneider announced his intention to retire in March 2018, the DLE position was “classified” under the New York State Civil Service Law, a designation indicating that applicants must pass a test to be eligible for the position. Plaintiffs, who were both majors in the Department, passed the test; St. Jeanos earned the highest score, and Florence tied with three others for the second-highest score.    When Schneider retired, however, a permanent successor had not been named, and the Department appointed Bernard Rivers, a Black man and a captain in the Department who had taken and failed the test, as the Acting DLE. The Department’s stated rationale was that giving the “acting” position to someone ineligible for the permanent position would avoid conferring an unfair advantage on any of the eight applicants who had passed the test.    Over the next several months, however, the Department petitioned the New York State Civil Service Commission to reclassify the DLE position in order to open it to applicants other than those who had passed the test. ... CONTINUED  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)   (.pdf)

♦       Jun 8,  .. OCA:    Gundel v. Whalen L&L  ..  Christopher Gundel was an employee of Whalen Lawn and Landscaping (WLL) operating a riding lawnmower on May 11, 2019 at an assigned job site.   The mower became stuck in mud and Gundel dismounted to free the mower when his foot slipped and went under the mower.   He suffered severe lacerations of his leg and a subsequent below the knee amputation. He applied for benefits through the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) and his application was approved.    Gundel continues to receive payments from the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC).    Gundel elected to pursue litigation against those people and entities he held responsible for his injury. He filed his first complaint on April 16, 2020 and amended his complaint several times, concluding with the Fifth Amended Complaint filed March 2, 2021. Subsequently, Gundel dismissed all defendants except for Whalen, John Doe and the BWC.    Gundel claimed that the safety switch that was designed to cut power to the lawnmower blade if the operator left the seat was not working and that this “non-operation was a direct and proximate cause of this injury.”    He concluded that “the kill switch was not operational because it was either defective and/or or intentionally disabled, thereby establishing the intentional removal of a safety guard and thus, the causes of action asserted in this Complaint are plead in the alternative.”    Gundel alleged that Whalen either negligently failed to properly maintain the kill switch or intentionally disabled the kill switch.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)   (.pdf)

♦       Jun 8,  .. CCA:    Campos v. LA-USD  ..  This case arises out of the alleged constructive termination of plaintiff Nicole Campos (plaintiff) by defendant Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD). Plaintiff alleges that because of her age and disability, and in retaliation for her complaints to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), LAUSD engaged in a course of conduct that collectively created intolerable working conditions.     Plaintiff is an elementary school teacher who was employed by LAUSD between 2004 and 2018. In February 2020, she filed a complaint against LAUSD, which alleged as follows:     Plaintiff taught kindergarten and second grade at 75th Street Elementary School from October 2008 until June 2013. While at 75th Street, plaintiff reported that the school’s principal physically manhandled a student. The principal subsequently made negative comments about plaintiff and threatened to accuse her of harassment.     From June 2013 to October 2015, plaintiff worked as a substitute teacher at multiple schools in South Los Angeles. During this time, she was falsely accused by a teacher’s aide of being insensitive to a student. Plaintiff asked to see the aide’s written complaint, but it was never produced.     During the 2016–2017 school year, plaintiff was assigned to a classroom with an excessive number of students with behavioral issues. One student kicked and threw a chair at plaintiff, injuring her. Plaintiff contacted the EEOC to report discrimination based on temporary disability and age, but she did not receive a timely response.     In 2017, plaintiff was told she would be working with a teacher who previously had bullied her. That teacher subsequently physically threatened and retaliated against plaintiff. ... CONTINUED  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)   (.pdf)

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♦       Jun 7,  .. 11th Cir.:    Caplan v. All American  ..  Caplan suffers from a “qualified disability” under the ADA and is a self-avowed “tester,” meaning that he visits businesses for “the purpose of asserting his civil rights and monitoring, ensuring and determining whether places of public accommodation are in compliance with the ADA.” Caplan has filed hundreds of lawsuits against businesses in South Florida for violations under the ADA.    Dorta is the owner of a small warehouse-type bay of units in Miramar, Florida. All American is an autobody repair shop and one of Dorta’s tenants. In May 2018, Caplan visited All American at its rented unit. Upon visiting All American, he discovered that All American’s place of business did not comply with various ADA requirements.    Within days of the visit, Caplan sued All American and Dorta for violating the ADA. In his complaint, Caplan sought a declaration that the unit rented by All American violated the ADA and an injunction that would require All American and Dorta to remedy the alleged ADA violations. Caplan also requested reasonable attorney’s fees.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)   (.pdf)

♦       Jun 7,  .. 6th Cir.:    Jarvis v. Hines Furlong Line  ..  Joseph Jarvis suffered a back injury while working on an inland tug boat, the M/V Warren Hines, a vessel that was being repaired at a shipyard in Paducah, Kentucky. Alleging that he held the status of seaman, Jarvis brought a personal injury suit under the Jones Act and general maritime law. ... CONTINUED  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)   (.pdf)

♦       Jun 7,  .. 11th Cir.:    Sumbak v. Eaton  ..  Eaton is a power management company that provides services across varied industries. Plaintiff, a current Eaton employee, worked as a Production Technician at Eaton’s San Francisco branch from 2000 to January 2012, when he transferred to its facility in Smyrna, Georgia. Plaintiff currently reports to Facilities Manager John Biggins and Production Manager Barrett Hachey.    Sumbak testified that in 2015, he told Biggins that his fellow employees would not help him lift heavy equipment. At the time, Sumbak complained that “it looks like they—they don’t want to work with me because I’m not from this place or what.”    He further explained to his boss that he was part of a tribe and had been tortured because of his tribal identity back in Sudan. Sumbak explained that when his fellow employees would not help him, “it makes me feel back—I’m back home again . . .    It doesn’t sit well with me when they don’t want to work with me.” After Biggins declined to take any corrective measures, Sumbak spoke to Mr. Hoover—Biggins’s boss—who sent Matt Stephens—a human resources employee—to conduct an investigation.    Stephens identified that an employee named Casey was causing the issue and relayed that to Sumbak. After Sumbak met with Casey, Biggins, and Stephens, he started getting more help in his work. No Eaton employees ever made racially derogatory or racially offensive comments toward Sumbak. ... CONTINUED  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)   (.pdf)

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♦       Jun 6,  .. 11th Cir.:    Wilson v. VA  ..  In February 2009, Ms. Wilson started as a probationary Veteran Claims Examiner (VCE) for the Atlanta VA Regional Office.   At the time, the Atlanta VA Regional Office only permitted permanent employees to use the on-site parking deck.    Probationary VCEs could park at an off-site parking area roughly one mile from the office, from which they could either take a shuttle or walk to work.    The VA shuttle ran for one hour in the morning and one hour in the evening. It ran sporadically at best and could only hold up to 25 individuals at a time—even then, there were only 15 seats.    Because of the shuttle’s shortcomings, Ms. Wilson effectively faced the option of either walking to work which “put enormous pressure on her nerves” and caused her legs and feet to swell—or parking in unassigned handicapped spaces in the on-site parking deck. Wilson made the latter choice (--parking in unassigned handicapped spaces--), leading to numerous parking tickets and counseling memos about her unauthorized parking.    Between March and July 2009, Ms. Wilson communicated her needs for a parking accommodation on six occasions to VA personnel.   In all instances, Wilson stated that the VA refused to accommodate her requests in violation of the Rehabilitation Act. ... CONTINUED  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)   (.pdf)

♦       Jun 6,  .. 11th Cir.:    Christian v. Southern Company  ..  Mr. Christian’s complaint alleged the following facts    Southern Company hired Christian in 1980 and eventually promoted him to budget staff accountant/budgeting development specialist.    In 2016, when Christian was over age 60, Cheryl Peters became his supervisor. Within one year, Christian noticed that Peters and managers were assigning high-profile tasks and assignments to younger employees, transferring his responsibilities to younger and less qualified employees, and isolating him from younger employees.    Ms. Peters told Christian that he was “a very expensive em- ployee” and that “his skills in Powerpoint were outdated.”    And a manager, John Hemphill, told Christian that he had “lost a step” and he was not “performing as fast as prior years.”    Hemphill remarked he did not know whether Christian’s slowed pace was due to his “age or health” because he had prostate cancer.    Christian alleged that, on November 3, 2017, Ms. Peters gave him an “ultimatum to either retire or be terminated and forfeit his yearly bonus of approximately $15,000.00.” ... CONTINUED  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)   (.pdf)

♦       Jun 6,  .. D.C. Cir.:    Chambers v. DC  ..  We hold that an employer that transfers an employee or denies an employee’s transfer request because of the employee’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin violates Title VII by discriminating against the employee with respect to the terms, conditions, or privileges of employment.    Ms. Chambers worked in the District of Columbia’s Office of the Attorney General for more than twenty years before this litigation, first as a clerk and later as a Support Enforcement Specialist and investigator.    Complaining of a larger caseload than that of her colleagues, she sought numerous transfers to different units in the Office.    After these requests were denied, she filed a charge of sex discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, contending that similarly situated male employees had been granted transfers they requested.    She filed this Title VII suit against the District alleging unlawful sex discrimination and retaliation.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)   (.pdf)

♦       Jun 6,  .. 6th Cir:    Rafee v. Volvo  ..  Volvo hired Rafee as a Warehouse Operator in its Byhalia, Mississippi facility on November 16, 2015, when he was 63-years old. As Warehouse Operator, he was represented by a union.    Volvo later promoted Rafee to Team Leader, an at-will, supervisory position.    In May 2019, Volvo allegedly received a complaint that Rafee was aggressive with and screamed at Karmyko Brock, a member of his team. Michael Johnson, a Service Market Logistics Manager, and Sheryl Freeman, the Human Resources Manager, led Volvo’s investigation into the allegations.    As part of the investigation, Johnson interviewed three uninvolved bystanders as witnesses: Angela Hardaway, Carolyn Humphreys, and Denise Glass. Freeman and Johnson also jointly interviewed Brock and Rafee, the two individuals alleged to be involved in the altercation.    As a result, they found that Rafee’s conduct violated Volvo’s Code of Conduct, Harassment Policy, and Workplace Violence Policy, and terminated him for violations of those policies around May 21, 2019.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)   (.pdf)

♦       Jun 3,  .. ACI:    People v. Brady  ..  Defendant was charged with unlawful possession of a weapon by a felon and armed robbery.    Defendant represented himself at a jury trial.    At trial, Keith Manning testified that he, defendant, and Blair Lavoy robbed the Burger King because they needed money for drugs. They used a black air soft pistol, a .380 handgun, and a shotgun. Manning knew the closing procedures, and that the safe was always left open, the back door never shut properly, and only two people worked the closing shift because he had previously worked that shift. Allison Spaulding provided transportation to and from the Burger King. The robbery was Manning’s idea, and he never discussed it with Erich Delk who he previously worked with at the Burger King.     Delk testified that he was working the closing shift with Jerica Milligan when the robbery occurred. The safe was open as part of the closing procedures, and the back door was open because it did not shut properly. The back door was used to take garbage out at night. Just after 11 p.m., Delk and Milligan returned from taking the garbage out and were in the kitchen when three men wearing face coverings walked through the back door. One man walked past Delk and went directly to the office where the safe was located. Delk thought one man was Manning based on his hairline and gait. After the robbers left, Delk called the police and informed them that he believed Manning was one of the robbers.    On cross-examination, Delk admitted that the back door and safe were not supposed to be open pursuant to company policy.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)   (.pdf)

♦       Jun 3,  .. CAA:    Gieringer v. Greenway Equipment  ..  From February 10 to October 22, 2020, Gieringer worked for Greenway Equipment, Inc. (Greenway), as a service technician. He was discharged from employment for excessive tardiness; thereafter, he applied for unemployment insurance benefits.    On his claimant’s statement to the Division of Workforce Services, Gieringer indicated that he was discharged for being late on the day he was discharged, October 23, 2020.    On the employer’s statement in response, Greenway indicated that Gieringer was discharged for tardiness and that his being late was the final incident causing discharge.    Greenway stated that Gieringer had been late thirty-four times since July 1 and that his reasons included sickness, oversleeping, or heavy traffic, and sometimes there were no reasons given.    Greenway attached to its response the manager’s list of dates Gieringer was tardy and two disciplinary notices dated April 22, 2020, and June 1, 2020.    Gieringer’s unemployment application was denied, and he filed a petition for appeal with the Arkansas Appeal Tribunal.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)   (.pdf)

♦       Jun 3,  .. 5th Cir.:    Lawson v. Excel Contractors  ..  William Lawson worked as a welding inspector for Excel Contractors, L.L.C., from April 2016 until August 2017, when he took a two-week leave of absence after experiencing heart problems. During Lawson’s leave, Excel hired someone to temporarily replace him and promoted one of his peers; both individuals were substantially younger than Lawson. When Lawson returned to work, Excel assigned him to office tasks; he had previously worked primarily in the field. Excel terminated Lawson four months later, citing the need to downsize. However, Excel did not terminate Lawson’s replacement, who had transitioned to permanent work, or his recently promoted peer. Lawson filed this suit five months later. He alleged that, by failing to promote or retain him, Excel unlawfully discriminated against him because of his age and disability and retaliated against him for taking leave. Excel moved for summary judgment, which the district court granted. Lawson timely appeals.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)   (.pdf)

♦       Jun 3,  .. ACI:    Hawksworth v. Illinois HRC  ..  On July 4, 2017, Hawksworth went to a gas station convenience store, Thornton’s, in her neighborhood. On this particular occasion, Hawksworth was accompanied by her service dog, which helped her manage her visual impairment and chronic neurological disorder.    It is undisputed that Hawksworth was not allowed to enter the store with her service dog on that date. There is further information in the record on appeal to indicate that the store’s manager told Hawksworth she was prohibited from entering the store with her service dog because the dog did not have an identifying badge.    On July 27, 2017, Hawksworth visited the store again, this time without her service dog. While inside, she slipped and fell on some spilled water and sustained an injury. It is undisputed that (1) no one told Hawksworth on that date that she could not enter the store with her service dog, and (2) her solitary entry into the store was of her own choice.    Hawksworth filed a charge with the Department on January 19, 2018, alleging that based on unlawful discrimination, Thornton’s denied her the full and equal enjoyment of its store on July 27, 2017, the day she sustained her physical injury.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)   (.pdf)

Jun 2,  ..  Today is the birthday of Martha Washington, born Martha Dandridge on the Chestnut Grove Plantation in New Kent County, Virginia (1731). When she was 18, she married Daniel Parke Custis, whom she’d met at church. Custis was in his late 30s, and a prosperous landowner of a 15,000-acre plantation called White House. He had never been married because his father disapproved of every woman he had courted. He and Martha had four children, only two of whom — Jack and Patsy — survived beyond childhood. When Custis died in 1757, Martha inherited the plantation, including 300 slaves and well over 17,000 acres of land.    Martha was only 26 when she became a widow.    She was now wealthy and could follow her heart in matrimonial matters, rather than making a financially advantageous match.    The 26-year-old military man and fellow Virginian George Washington had also recently inherited an estate — Mount Vernon.    Colonel Washington was tall and handsome, and had a reputation for bravery and honor. ... CONTINUED    The Writers Almanac


♦       Jun 2,  .. 3rd Cir.:    Jacobs v. Philadelphia  ..  Jacobs was or has been a detective with the Philadelphia Police Department for over 20 years. (His current employment status is disputed but is not relevant to this appeal.) Jacobs was assigned to the OISI Unit, which investigates what the department calls “officer-involved shootings.” During Jacobs’s time in that unit, he participated in an investigation into a fatal shooting involving police officer Ryan Pownall. Pownall has been indicted on charges arising from that shooting, and those charges are pending. Jacobs believes that the charges are unfounded, and his claims in this lawsuit relate primarily to his expressions of that belief.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)   (.pdf)

♦       Jun 2,  .. 7th Cir.:    Ziccarelli v. Dart  ..  Plaintiff-appellant Salvatore Ziccarelli worked for the Cook County Sheriff’s Office for twenty-seven years. During those years, he periodically took leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (“FMLA”    In September 2016, Ziccarelli called the Sheriff’s Office’s FMLA manager, defendant Wylola Shinnawi, to discuss taking more FMLA leave. Based on the contents of that conversation—which are hotly disputed—Ziccarelli says he decided to retire from the Sheriff’s Office on September 20, 2016.    Ziccarelli then filed this suit against Sheriff Thomas Dart, Shinnawi, and Cook County (together, “the Sheriff’s Office”) alleging violations of his rights under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and the FMLA. He also seeks indemnification of the other defend- ants from Cook County.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)   (.pdf)

♦       Jun 2,  .. 7th Cir.:    Kemp v. Kickert  ..  Kemp had worked only two months as a school bus monitor for Kickert School Bus Line (a company that provides school transportation in Chicago’s south suburbs and northwest Indiana) when she first complained to a manager about a coworker’s conduct.    As she recounted, Oscar Foster, a bus driver, had made unwanted physical contact with her one morning in the company’s break room. She said that Foster, while standing behind her, pressed on her lower back as she bent over to fix her pant cuffs. Debbie Cipkar, the manager to whom Kemp complained, worked with Kickert’s human resources department to investigate the incident. Within a few days, Kickert determined that Foster had violated its sexual-harassment policy by touching Kemp without her consent. Kickert issued Foster a written warning, suspended him for three days, and retrained him on Kickert’s sexual-harassment policy.     Over the next five months, Kemp repeatedly complained about Foster to Cipkar and the human resources department. Kemp reported one episode, for example, in which Foster entered the “driver’s room”—a space where drivers and bus monitors check in for their shifts and learn about the day’s assigned routes—sat near her, and made eye contact. Kickert investigated the report but concluded, based on an interview with a witness to the encounter, that Foster was not aware of Kemp’s presence and did not violate Kickert’s policies. ... CONTINUED  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)   (.pdf)

♦       Jun 1,  .. Today is the birthday of Marilyn Monroe (1926), born Norma Jean Mortenson, in Los Angeles.    Martin Mortenson, named as Norma Jean’s father, was nowhere to be found. Her mother, Gladys, a paranoid schizophrenic, was in and out of mental institutions.    Norma Jean was bounced from foster home to foster home.    She grew up feeling no one wanted her, writing later in her unfinished autobiography,    “I knew I belonged to the public and to the world, not because I was talented or even beautiful but because I had never belonged to anything or anyone else.”    CONTINUED    The Writers Almanac

♦       Jun 1,  .. FLRA:  AFGE v. Army  ..  The dredge travels over 800 miles away from its home port in Fountain City, Wisconsin maintaining and removing sedimentation and other material from the upper Mississippi River, Illinois River, and St. Croix River.    For over fifteen years, the Agency has designated the dredge, rather than the port, as the grievants’ duty station because they perform the vast majority of their duties on the dredge.    The grievants commute to the current location of the dredge for their tour of duty (tour).    Another vessel accompanies the dredge and provides living quarters for the grievants during their tour.    At the end of their tour, the grievants may commute home, but they may not stay on the accompanying vessel between tours.    The Agency does not pay the grievants’ travel expenses to and from the dredge, regardless of its location.      The Union filed a grievance alleging, as relevant here, that the Agency violated the Federal Travel Regulation (FTR) and the Joint Travel Regulations (JTR) when it designated the dredge as the grievants’ duty station. The parties could not resolve the grievance and proceeded to arbitration.  ..  FLRA DECISION:   (.html)   (.pdf)

♦       Jun 1,  .. FLRA:  FEA v. DOD  ..  The Union grieved the DOD’s decision to change certain positions in the excepted service to the competitive service when it filled vacancies or new positions.    Arbitrator Kurt Saunders found that the grievance was procedurally, but not substantively, arbitrable.    DOD challenges the Arbitrator’s procedural-arbitrability determination on essence grounds.  ..  FLRA DECISION:   (.html)   (.pdf)

♦       Jun 1,  .. ACI:    McElroy v. Oswego Fire  ..  Plaintiff was employed by the District as a paramedic. Paramedics must be licensed.    In his discovery deposition, plaintiff testified that he first got his paramedic license in October 1998.    Paramedic licenses are valid for four years. Licenses are issued through the Southern Fox Paramedic System. He worked as a paramedic for two other employers before becoming employed by the District in 2005 in a contract position.    In 2008, he became a full-time, commissioned firefighter/paramedic with the District.    Plaintiff was aware that he had to maintain a license as a condition of employment. Typically, when his license needed to be renewed, he was contacted by Southern Fox by letter. Plaintiff did not recall receiving notice from anyone other than Southern Fox.    His license lapsed in June 2018. This was discovered in January 2019. Plaintiff was given the choice of resigning or going through a disciplinary process.    Plaintiff resigned.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)   (.pdf)

♦       Jun 1,  .. 7th Cir.:    Abebe v. H&HC  ..  Lily Abebe, a Black woman of Ethiopian origin, began working as a dental assistant at the Health and Hospital Corporation of Marion County, known as Es- kenazi Health, in 2014. In 2018, she received a low rating in her performance review that resulted in her not receiving a merit-based raise. Abebe then contacted the Equal Employ- ment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) and alleged race and national origin-based discrimination. According to Abebe, Eskenazi Health placed her on a Performance Improvement Plan later that month because of her contact with the EEOC. Abebe sued her employer, alleging discrimination and retaliation.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)   (.pdf)

♦       Jun 1,  .. 2d Cir.:    Bernstein v. N.Y.C. DOE  ..  Plaintiff Steven Bernstein was a physical education and health teacher for Defendant New York City Department of Education (“DOE”) at Middle School 390, where Defendant Robert Mercedes was the principal.    Bernstein sued Defendants for age discrimination, hostile work environment, and constructive discharge under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (“ADEA”).    Bernstein alleged various incidents of harassment, mistreatment, and undeserved discipline and negative evaluations from 2011 until his alleged constructive discharge in 2018.    He also alleged that starting in 2013, Mercedes began targeting “older non-Hispanic employees” to leave their jobs.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)   (.pdf)

♦       Jun 1,  .. D.D.C.:    Perez v. SBA  ..  The plaintiff, George Perez, an Hispanic male, asserts claims in this civil action against the Small Business Administration (SBA), of discrimination based on race and the creation of a hostile work environment.    The plaintiff is an Hispanic male who is employed as an IT specialist, GS-13, by the Office of the Chief Information Officer within the Small Business Administration.    The plaintiff worked as a Branch Chief, GS-14, for the Office of the Chief Information Officer, Division of Information Security, in the Small Business Administration.    The plaintiff held that position from September 2015 until his demotion in August 2016.    Keith Bluestein, a Caucasian male, was the plaintiff’s acting supervisor during the times relevant to this litigation.    According to the plaintiff, Mr. Bluestein, as the plaintiff’s supervisor, engaged in various forms of discriminatory behavior or adverse action against the plaintiff.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)   (.pdf)

♦       May 31,  .. 11th Cir.:    McSmith v. Unite Here  ..  A labor union has a statutory duty of fair representation to serve the interests of all members without hostility or discrimination toward any, to exercise its discretion with complete good faith and honesty, and to avoid arbitrary conduct.     A union breaches its duty only if its actions toward members are arbitrary, discriminatory, or in bad faith.   A union’s actions are arbitrary only if, in light of the factual and legal landscape at the time of the union’s actions, the union’s behavior is so far outside a wide range of reasonableness as to be irrational.  ..  (.html)   (.pdf)

♦       May 31,  .. FLRA:  Bureau of Prisons v. AFGE  ..  The Union filed a grievance alleging that the Agency unlawfully prevented female employees from staffing two correctional posts.    Arbitrator Daniel M. Kininmonth issued an award finding that the grievance was procedurally arbitrable and that the Agency’s policy of not assigning female employees to the two posts violated applicable law, Agency regulations, and the parties’ collective‑bargaining agreements.    In its exceptions, the Agency challenges the Arbitrator’s procedural-arbitrability determination on essence grounds and the merits determinations on contrary-to-law grounds.  ..  FLRA DECISION:   (.html)   (.pdf)

♦       May 31,  .. FLRA:  AFGE v. VA  ..  On March 18, 2021, the grievant submitted a “termination letter” to the Agency stating that “my last day of employment will be 26 March.”    On May 20, the Union filed a grievance titled “constructive resignation of the grievant.”    According to the Union, the Agency violated the parties’ agreement by “forcing [the grievant’s] removal,” and the Union asked the Agency to rescind the grievant’s resignation.    The grievance was unresolved and submitted to arbitration.    The Agency submitted a motion to dismiss the grievance as untimely filed. The Arbitrator framed the issue as whether the Union timely filed the grievance.  ..  FLRA DECISION:   (.html)   (.pdf)

♦       May 31,  .. 5th Cir.:    Rodriquez v. Midland Cty Hosp  ..  Appellant Beatrice Rodriquez was fired after filing a charge of discrimination against her employer, Midland Memorial Hospital (MMH).    Although Rodriquez’s underlying sex discrimination claim was dismissed at summary judgment, the district court held a jury trial to determine whether the hospital’s decision to fire Rodriquez was retaliation for her Title VII claim.    The jury returned a verdict for Midland Memorial Hospital (MMH).    Rodriquez now appeals the district court’s order denying her motion for a new trial, arguing that the court erroneously excluded certain evidence and compounded this error by giving flawed jury instructions.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)   (.pdf)

♦       May 31,  .. 10th Cir.:    Rushing v. Granholm  ..  Mr. Rushing applied to be a Lead Courier. The human resources department identified a group of seven applicants, including Mr. Rushing, who were at least minimally qualified for the Lead Courier position.    A leadership review panel then met and evaluated each candidate using five assessment questions designed to reflect each applicant’s performance during the past year.    Three candidates received a score of 136 or higher out of a possible score of 140.    Mr. Rushing received a score of 114, and three other candidates scored lower than him. The candidates who received the top three scores advanced in the hiring process and were given interviews.    Mr. Rushing and the other candidates with lower scores were not given further consideration.    After he was not chosen to advance in the hiring process, Mr. Rushing filed an EEO complaint with the agency.    He subsequently filed the underlying lawsuit.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)   (.pdf)

♦       May 31,  .. 2d Cir.:    Yelle v. MSM College  ..  On November 21, 2018, after filing a charge of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”), Yelle filed a complaint against the College for, among other things, age discrimination.   Yelle’s discrimination complaint referenced two of the College’s hiring decisions:   (1) its decision to not hire Yelle to a full-time faculty position as a tenure-track professor; and   (2) its decision to “den[y] him continued work as a part-time adjunct professor.”  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)   (.pdf)

♦       May 27,  .. CCA:    John Doe v. University of Denver  ..  On a Friday in early March 2016, Jane was drinking alcohol with friends in a dorm and later at a bar. Jane wanted to talk to John, so after Jane returned to the dorm where both she and John lived, she attempted to locate John.    After finding John in his friend’s dormroom, where he had also been drinking alcohol, Jane brought him to her dormroom. They began kissing and engaging in sexual contact but did not engage in sexual intercourse that night.    John and Jane dispute the events that occurred the following morning. John claimed that he awoke to find Jane on top of him attempting to engage in intercourse.    They then engaged in consensual sexual intercourse “for a very brief time.” At some point, Jane abruptly left the room. About ten minutes later, she returned and wanted to talk about their relationship.    John was unwilling to discuss their relationship and returned to his room.    Jane’s version of the Saturday morning events differed materially. She said that she woke up naked to find John fondling her genitals and kissing her. She claimed that John then had sexual intercourse with her without her consent.    After hearing John discuss the incident with others at a party and after returning from spring break to discover that John had told additional people about their sexual encounter, Jane filed a complaint with DU’s Office of Equal Opportunity (OEO).  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)   (.pdf)

♦       May 27,  .. 5th Cir.:    Bailey v. KS Mgmt  ..  Plaintiff-Appellant Dana Bailey worked for KS Management Services, LLC (“KSM”) from March 24, 2014 until March 8, 2019.    She was hired as a nurse and promoted to nurse coordinator in September 2016.    She resigned from the nurse coordinator position and returned to her role as a nurse in March 2018.    She was terminated from that role one year later.    On January 7, 2020, Bailey sued KSM under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, claiming that KSM engaged in unlawful age discrimination and retaliation.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)   (.pdf)

♦       May 27,  .. 6th Cir.:    Payne v. Benteler Auto  ..  Mr.Payne identifies as a white, American man.    Benteler manufactures metal automotive products in its plants. In February 2000, Benteler hired Plaintiff Mr.Payne as a welder, and later employed him as a machine operator.   Benteler were coming into a rough patch so it directed HR Manager Jennifer Piotrowicz to prepare for a reduction in force (“RIF”).    Piotrowicz finalized a list of employees she believed should be terminated.    On May 4, 2018, Benteler notified Payne he was terminated as part of the RIF.    In November 2018, Payne commenced this action alleging age discrimination in violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)   (.pdf)

♦       May 27,  .. CAA:    Green v. ADWS  ..  Linda Green began working in the Newport School District (District) as a substitute teacher in January 2019.    In March 2020, the District shut down per the Governor’s executive orders in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The students were no longer provided in-person educational services, and Green was no longer needed as a substitute.    On April 24, Green filed an application for UI benefits, claiming that she had been laid off from her employment with the District.    Initially, Green’s application was approved; however, a few days later the Arkansas Department of Workforce Services (DWS) temporarily interrupted her payment of benefits, requesting more information from Green and the District.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)   (.pdf)

   May 26,  .. CCA:    Schoensiegel v. Abbott Laboratories  ..  Abbott Laboratories terminated plaintiff, Ms. Schoensiegel, after an investigation determined that she had falsified her sales calls log.    Ms. Schoensiegel, who suffers from a rare bone disease, sued Abbott Laboratories asserting that she was terminated because of her disability.     ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)   (.pdf)

♦       May 26,  .. Fed. Cir.:    AFGE Local 3438 v. SSA  ..  Ms. Kidwell is a claims specialist at the Social Security Administration.    In November 2019, SSA indefinitely suspended Kidwell based on allegations that she transfered confidential information to her father.    The arbitrator found in Kidwell’s favor, concluding that the SSA imposed the penalty “without meeting the burden of reasonable cause and in contravention of its own past practice.”    The arbitrator denied AFGE’s motion for attorney fees.    AFGE appeals.     ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)   (.pdf)

♦       May 26,  .. 3rd Cir.:    Groff v. Louis DeJoy (Postal)  ..  Mr. Groff's religious beliefs dictate that Sunday is meant for worship and rest.    As a result, Groff informed the United States Postal Service that he was unable to work on Sundays.    USPS offered to find employees to swap shifts with him, but on more than twenty Sundays, no co-worker would swap, and Groff did not work.    Groff sued USPS for religious discrimination.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)   (.pdf)

♦       May 26,  .. D.D.C.:    Smith v. Howard University  ..  Plaintiff Ms. Smith brings this action against Defendant Howard University following her removal from the Howard College of Medicine (“HCOM”) by both expulsion and dismissal.    Plaintiff’s expulsion arose from an Honor Council Committee’s finding that she had changed an exam answer during a post-exam process that allowed students to challenge their grade based on their original responses.    Separately, HCOM’s Committee on Promotions and Graduation (“Promotions Committee”) dismissed her from the school because the finding of academic dishonesty caused her to receive an overall failing grade during a repeat year.    Plaintiff advances two causes of action. In Count One, she alleges breach of contract. Specifically, she claims that HCOM (1) wrongfully expelled her by failing to comply with its stated procedures for adjudicating alleged disciplinary infractions before the Honor Council, and (2) improperly dismissed her by not reviewing her appeal from the Promotions Committee’s decision.    In Count Two, Plaintiff asserts a violation of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.    As to that claim, Plaintiff contends that gender-based animus was the reason HCOM refused to consider her appeal from the Promotion Committee’s dismissal decision.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)   (.pdf)

♦       May 25,  .. VCA:    Wilkins v. Virginia  ..  At Wilkins’ trial, Thierry testified that on the night of the incident, she arrived at Wilkins’ apartment around 9:00 p.m. She drove Wilkins and Golightly to a liquor store and then to a convenience store before returning to Wilkins’ apartment.    She parked in the rear, and they entered through the back door.    They went into the living room, where Thierry and Wilkins sat on a couch and Golightly sat in a chair next to Wilkins. At one point in the evening, Thierry saw Wilkins with a knife.    According to Thierry, Wilkins and Golightly were “drinking and smoking” and went into the kitchen three times to argue. Thierry could not see them or hear what was said when they were in the kitchen but could tell they were arguing.    On February 10, 2020, Wilkins called 911 at 11:29 p.m. and reported a stabbing at an apartment.    Chesterfield County Police Officers Schilke and Bechtold arrived at the apartment and found the victim, later identified as Jamar Golightly, lying on his right side and chest with his face down on the porch.    Blood covered the front and back of his shirt and was smeared on various parts of the front door, frame, and threshold of the apartment. Golightly was pronounced dead at 11:37 p.m.    As officers searched the area, they discovered a trail of blood leading from the location of the victim to the steps of Wilkins’ apartment, located two units away; blood also was pooling on top of a trash can outside.    Inside Wilkins’ apartment, officers discovered blood on the kitchen floor, on the kitchen wall beside the back door, on a chair in the living room, on a coat that was on the chair, and on the wall between the kitchen and the living room.    The coat had been cut numerous times. Officers also found blood on the front porch pillar at the apartment in between Wilkins’ apartment and the apartment where Golightly was found.    Officers eventually located and arrested Wilkins late the next day at Erica Thierry’s house in Henrico County.    Wilkins had cuts on the index finger, thumb, and palm of his right hand but otherwise was uninjured.    Carl Allge Wilkins was convicted by a jury of second-degree murder.    Mr. Wilkins challenges the sufficiency of the evidence to sustain his conviction.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)   (.pdf)

♦       May 24,  .. 9th Cir:    Andrews v. City of Henderson  ..  Plaintiff Daniel Andrews exited a Nevada state courthouse and, without warning, two plainclothes detectives tackled him to the ground, fracturing his hip.    Andrews was not resisting, fleeing, or committing a crime.    Moreover, because he had just passed through the courthouse’s security checkpoint, including a metal detector and x-ray scanner, the detectives knew that Andrews was unarmed.    Andrews sued the detectives and the City of Henderson ... for excessive force in violation of the Fourth Amendment.    The detectives moved for summary judgment arguing that they are protected by qualified immunity, and the City moved for summary judgment arguing Andrews could not establish municipal liability under any of the theories that he advanced.    The district court denied the detectives’ motion and denied the City’s motion except as to Andrews’s ratification theory.    Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit :    We Affirm.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)   (.pdf)

♦       May 24,  .. 3rd Cir.:    Pinkney v. City of Meadville  ..  One Saturday night at a bar in Meadville, a man sucker-punched a patron and then walked out. The patron, Rhet Happel, was a student at Allegheny College.    He was severely injured.    The Meadville police began investigating the assault. A few days later, Officer Jared Frum interviewed another Allegheny student, Duncan Freeland.    According to Officer Frum’s incident report, Freeland said that a photo of plaintiff Kobe Pinkney “looked an awful lot like” the assailant.    As a result of Freeland’s identification, Pinkney was arrested for the assault, but the charges were later withdrawn.    Pinkney then sued Officer Frum and others under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for violation of his constitutional rights.    Frum moved to dismiss the complaint, arguing he is entitled to qualified immunity. The District Court denied the motion.    Frum appeals.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)   (.pdf)

♦       May 24,  .. CAK:    Taylor v. Wachter  ..  Ms. Taylor fell from a trailer while vaccinating and deworming Joan Eileen Warner Hough's horses.    The fall resulted in a severe right leg injury, and Taylor sued Hough, alleging negligence.    The district court rejected Taylor's claim that Hough failed to exercise reasonable care under all the circumstances by failing to maintain a safe and secure facility or method used to vaccinate and deworm the horses because Taylor engaged in an activity with obvious dangers, and the alleged defects on Hough's property did not contribute to her fall from the trailer.    The district court also deemed Taylor an independent contractor under the circumstances and concluded Hough had no duty to provide a safe working environment.    Taylor appeals.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)   (.pdf)

♦       May 24,  .. NSC:    Badawi v. Albin  ..  Mr. Badawi worked for JBS Swift Beef (JBS) from January 7, 2019, to May 19, 2020. After the employment ended, he sought unemployment insurance benefits from the Department of Labor. On July 23, the Department of Labor issued a “Disqualifying Separation Determination” which found that Badawi left work voluntarily without good cause and thus was disqualified from receiving unemployment benefits.    ...    Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, fewer employees were available to work at JBS.    JBS thus ordered Badawi to perform both the job he was currently performing and a job that had been performed by another employee.    Badawi refused the order to perform both jobs because he thought he was not physically capable of doing so. And the record shows that both before and after Badawi’s discharge, the two jobs were performed by two individuals rather than one.    Badawi testified that both jobs involved the use of knives, and we can reasonably infer from that testimony that both jobs involved cutting meat.    But neither Badawi’s regular job duties nor the duties of the additional job he was asked to perform can be discerned from this record. And without competent evidence of what each job entailed, it is impossible to find it was reasonable for JBS to ask Badawi to perform both jobs.    On this record, there is no competent evidence to support the district court’s finding that Badawi committed misconduct by refusing to perform both jobs.    JBS therefore failed to meet its burden to prove Badawi was discharged for misconduct, and    we must reverse.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)   (.pdf)

♦    May 23,  .. CCA:    Melamed v. Cedars-Sinai Medical Center  ..  On July 15, 2011, the medical staff of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center (Cedars) summarily suspended Mr. Melamed, M.D.’s privileges to perform back surgeries in scoliosis and kyphosis cases, after Dr. Melamed’s operation on a 12-year-old scoliosis patient resulted in complications and necessitated a second, corrective surgery.    Dr. Melamed filed this action against Cedars and four of its physicians who were involved in the summary suspension decision.    In a first amended complaint, Dr. Melamed alleged defendants’ conduct in connection with the summary suspension and its aftermath was wrongful and damaged his career.    Specifically, he alleged all actions defendants took against him including the summary suspension—were retaliatory because he reported conditions and services at Cedars that threatened patient care and safety.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)   (.pdf)

♦       May 23,  .. 5th Cir:    Garza v. Molina  ..  Appellee Irma Garza brought this action against the City of Edinburg, its mayor (Richard Molina), two current city council members (Jorge Salinas and David Torres), and one former city council member (Gilbert Enriquez).    Garza alleges that she was fired from her position as the City of Edinburg’s Director of Public Information at the direction of Molina and the three council members.    She argues that the firing occurred because she was not a member of Appellants’ political faction, in violation of her First Amendment rights to speech and association.    Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit :    The only issue properly before us in this interlocutory appeal is whether Appellants are entitled to qualified immunity.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)   (.pdf)

♦       May 23,  .. IAC:    Small v. Streator Brd of Ed  ..  The plaintiff, Ms. Small, sought administrative review of a decision of defendant Board of Education of Streator Township High School (the Board) that dismissed Small, a tenured guidance counselor, from the high school’s employ. The circuit court reversed the Board’s decision, and the Board appealed.    On appeal, the Board argues that its decision should be upheld because the conduct in which Small engaged was irremediable.    We reverse the Board’s decision.    Small began employment as a guidance counselor with the high school in 2004. She had obtained tenure by September 15, 2015, when the Board notified her that she was being discharged from the high school’s employ.    The notice and bill of particulars stated, inter alia, that Small “failed to respond appropriately to a report that a teacher was having an inappropriate relationship with a student, and you failed to exercise proper professional responsibility in connection with the matter.”    Prior to this time, Small had never been disciplined for any reason and had never received any poor performance reports. ... CONTINUED  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)   (.pdf)

♦       May 23,  .. MCA:    Grimm v. M-DOC  ..  Plaintiff Ms. Grim and defendants Jonathon Hugle and Charles Levens worked together in the Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC) absconder recovery unit (ARU). The ARU is responsible for apprehending parole and probation absconders and prison escapees. Plaintiff and Hugle were investigators and maintained a caseload of individuals they were responsible for investigating and eventually arresting.    ...    In early December 2017, Levens conducted routine, monthly case audits of the investigators he supervised. In the audits, two of each investigator’s cases were pulled at random, and Levens assessed whether the investigators were properly investigating those cases and documenting their actions.    ...    The audit into plaintiff’s full caseload showed almost no activity in her cases for several months, and Levens became suspicious that plaintiff was not doing any work at all.    ...    On January 8, 2018, Levens conducted surveillance of plaintiff’s home, where she claimed to be working remotely from her state-owned vehicle, to see if she was actually working. There were approximately three inches of fresh snow that morning, and Levens saw plaintiff’s work vehicle was in her driveway, with no footprints to indicate she had entered the van. This led him to believe she was not doing any work that day. ... continued  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)   (.pdf)

May 22,  ..  On This Day In 1843, 1,000 Pioneers Headed West On The Oregon Trail In What Is Now Known As The “Great Migration .”    Independence, Missouri to the Willamette Valley in Oregon.     The Oregon Trail is a historic commercial and emigrant trail that stretches 2,000 miles from the Missouri River to the Willamette Valley in Oregon. When fur traders first discovered the trail in the early part of the 19th century it was impassable by wagon and could only be traveled on foot or horse. But by the late 1830s improvements made the trail accessible to wagons, and many people were intent on heading westward. They had heard glorious stories of Oregon’s beauty and the many possibilities that awaited them in the West. ... CONTINUED
     It Is The Birthday Of Harvey Milk, the First Openly Gay Man Elected To Public Office,    Born in Woodmere, New York (1930).    He was the younger of two boys and was teased as a child for his big ears and big nose. He played football in high school, studied math in college, and wrote for the college newspaper. He later joined the Navy and served on a submarine rescue ship during the Korean War. ... CONTINUED
     It’s The Birthday Of Writer Peter Matthiessen, Born In New York City (1927),
.    He grew up in a wealthy family in Connecticut where he went to boarding school before joining the Navy during WWII. He went on to Yale and later studied at the Sorbonne in Paris.    Matthiessen published his first short stories in The Atlantic Monthly but he was barely scraping by teaching creative writing courses when one of his Yale professors, Norman Holmes Pearson, asked if he would work for the newly formed CIA.    The CIA thought that Matthiessen needed a better cover than struggling novelist so they helped support his founding of The Paris Review.    Most of his work for the CIA involved infiltrating the lives of French communists but as the McCarthy trials gained attention in America,    Matthiessen resigned, and he later called his work as a spy “the only adventure I’ve ever regretted.” ... CONTINUED       ...  CONTINUED    -AND-    POEM:  Spring” by Linda Pastan,  ...   The Writer’s Almanac   -OR-   TWA


May 21,  ..  On This Day In 1881, Clara Barton Founded The American Red Cross, .        When Clara was only ten, her brother David fell off the roof of the family barn.    At first he seemed fine but the next day he developed a headache and fever. The doctor diagnosed “too much blood” and prescribed the application of leeches to help draw out the extra blood.    Clara took over as her brother’s nurse and spent two years at his bedside applying leeches (though David did not get any better until he tried an innovative “steam therapy” several years later).     As a girl Clara was shy and had a stutter and her worried mother asked a phrenologist (phrenologists, who were fairly common in the 1800s, examined the bumps on a person’s skull as a way to determine their personality traits) to help her.    The phrenologist said that she was shy and retiring and that the solution to her problem was to become a schoolteacher.    Barton did not want to teach but she began teaching in 1839 at the age of 18. She overcame her shyness, became a sought-after teacher, and believed in the value of her work. She once said, “I may sometimes be wiling to teach for nothing, but if paid at all, I shall never do a man’s work for less than a man’s pay.”     Several men proposed to Barton, but she remained single her whole life. ... CONTINUED     It Is The Birthday Of French Painter Henri Rousseau, Born In Laval, France (1844).   ...  CONTINUED    -AND-    POEM:  “The Ineffable” by George Bilgere  ...   The Writer’s Almanac



the writers almanac 5.21.2022

poem “the ineffable” by george bilgere

♦       May 20,  .. 8th Cir:    Ehlers v. University of Minnesota  ..  Jessica Ehlers sued her former employer, the University of Minnesota, under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) for discrimination based on her disability, failure to provide a reasonable accommodation for her disability, and retaliation.     Jessica Ehlers began working at the University of Minnesota’s Boynton Health Service (“Boynton”) in 2012. In 2014, Ehlers was diagnosed with Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome (“TMJ”), a condition that can affect the jaw by causing popping, clicking, muscular dysfunction, and pain.     It can also affect the ability to speak. In 2015, Ehlers was transferred to an administrative position in Boynton’s Office of Student Health Benefits (“OSHB”). Ehlers’s new position was primarily a customer-service position that involved answering customer questions by phone, in person, and by email, and resolving customer issues. --- CONTINUED  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)   (.pdf)

♦       May 20,  .. OCA:    Anderson v. AccuScripts  ..  On May 1, 2018, Anderson was hired at AccuScripts as a “toter.” Her responsibilities included preparing the packaging of prescriptions to be delivered to long-term care facilities. According to Anderson, she informed AccuScripts that she had epilepsy during her job interview. Anderson testified that she shared with her interviewers a list of the medications she took to manage her condition.    Anderson’s first day of work was May 8, 2018. She was terminated later that month following an extra shift she agreed to work on May 19, 2018. According to Anderson, during that shift she asked her immediate supervisor if she could bring her service dog to work with her, and she experienced symptoms indicating an oncoming epileptic seizure. Anderson testified that her supervisor instructed her to go home because she was not feeling well.    Anderson’s supervisor, Rebecca Bauman (“Bauman”), disputed that she approved Anderson leaving the workplace during her shift. AccuScripts maintained that Anderson was terminated for failing to successfully complete her probationary period.    In April 2019, Anderson filed a complaint alleging that AccuScripts terminated her based on her disability.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)   (.pdf)

♦       May 20,  .. NMSC:    Morga v. FedEx  ..  This case highlights the respective roles that the district court judge and the jury each serve in the inherently difficult task of awarding monetary damages for nonmonetary injuries.    The jury awarded four Plaintiffs a total of more than $165 million in damages to compensate them for a tragic accident that claimed half of a young family in a single instant and left surviving family members physically and emotionally injured.    Defendants, FedEx, appealed the verdict as excessive       BACKGROUND    The facts of this case are nothing short of tragic. In the predawn hours of June 22, 2011, a semi-truck hauling double trailers crashed at high-speed into the back of a small pickup truck driven by Marialy Morga.     The semi-truck was operated by FedEx Ground Package System, Inc. (FedEx) and driven by Elizabeth Quintana, who was employed by independent contractors of FedEx (collectively, Defendants).     At the time of the accident, Marialy had her flashers on and was either stopped or moving very slowly traveling west in the right-hand lane. A witness to the accident testified that he watched as the FedEx semi-truck came upon Marialy’s pickup truck without slowing down or taking any evasive action. He explained that it seemed that the driver of the FedEx truck never saw the [pickup] truck. It just overtook it. On impact . . . the double trailers in the back, the back trailer bucked, moved up, and they buckled and folded forward.     The cab of the FedEx truck collapsed in on itself on top of the small truck, demolishing the pickup truck and creating a black cloud that enveloped the entire scene. The FedEx semi-truck was traveling at sixty-five-miles per hour when it hit the pickup truck. The record indicates Elizabeth Quintana was distracted when she hit the pickup truck, did not attempt to brake prior to the collision, and simply ran right over the pickup truck, causing an “extremely severe impact” that “absolutely destroyed” it.     The impact claimed the lives of Elizabeth Quintana, twenty-two-year-old Marialy, and her four-year-old daughter Ylairam. Marialy’s toddler son Yahir survived but was critically injured. ... CONTINUED  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)   (.pdf)

May 19,  ..  It’s The Birthday Of Malcolm X, born in Omaha, Nebraska (1925).    When he was 14 he told his high school teacher that he wanted to be a lawyer. The teacher told him to be realistic and consider a career in carpentry instead. Little dropped out of school the following year.     He was arrested for larceny in 1946 and, while in prison, an older inmate encouraged him to use his time to educate himself. Little began checking out books from the prison library and when he found his vocabulary too limited for some of them, he copied out an entire dictionary word for word.     While in prison Malcolm joined the Nation of Islam --- and once released became one of their most prominent organizers. He took the surname “X” to symbolize his lost African heritage.     In February of 1965, Malcolm X was shot and killed while speaking at a rally at the Audubon Ballroom in Manhattan. He was 39 years old.       
    It’s The Birthday Of Playwright Lorraine Hansberry, born in Chicago (1930).    the youngest of four children.    Her parents bought a house in an all-white neighborhood on Chicago's south side.   The house came with a restrictive covenant which stipulated that it couldn’t be sold to a black person.   Her father filed discrimination charges and the case went all the way to the U. S. Supreme Court which declared restrictive covenants unconstitutional     She wrote her first play, A Raisin in the Sun, in 1957. The play opened on Broadway in 1959 and it was a big success.   ...  CONTINUED    -AND-    POEM:  "Fabulous Pizza" Rozel Hunt  ...   The Writer’s Almanac


♦       May 19,  .. 1st Cir.:    Bruce v. Worcester Regional Transit  ..  Christopher Bruce is a former bus driver for the Worcester Regional Transit Authority ("WRTA"). He was employed in that capacity by Central Mass Transit Management, Inc. ("CMTM"), which had contracted with WRTA to provide bus service to the City of Worcester and surrounding towns.    While so employed, Bruce also served as president of the bus drivers' union, Amalgamated Transit Union Local 22 ("Local 22"). Bruce was fired on February 8, 2018, from his job as a WRTA bus driver. His termination followed the public comments that he made to a television network about proposed budget cuts to the WRTA.    In response to the termination of his employment, Bruce filed suit claiming a violation of his right to free speech under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts.    The District Court granted summary judgment to the defendants on Bruce's claims.    We vacate and remand.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)   (.pdf)

♦       May 19,  .. 3rd Cir.:    James v. NJ-DOH  ..  In 2018, Dr. James filed suit against the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services, its former commissioner Kathleen Bennett, and the director of the Medical Marijuana Program (MMP), Sue Carson. Dr. James, who is blind, alleged that he was disqualified from participating in the program as a referring physician because of his disability. He filed claims alleging discrimination under several state and federal laws, including the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Rehabilitation Act (RA), and the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD); violations of his civil rights under the United States Constitution; breach of contract under state law; and various tort claims including defamation, criminal slander, and fraudulent concealment.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)   (.pdf)

♦       May 19,  .. 4th Cir.:    Bittle-Lindsey v. Seegars Fence  ..  Plaintiff Mr. Daniel Bittle-Lindsey sued Defendants Seegars Fence Company, Inc. of Newport for violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act.    Mr. Bittle-Lindsey worked as a fence installer for Newport from April to August 2015.    Newport is a small North Carolina corporation that offers fence-installation services to residential and commercial customers in Newport, North Carolina, and the surrounding region.    Bittle-Lindsey alleges that during his employment with Newport, he was subject to disparate treatment and retaliation because of his HIV-positive status, leading to his demotion and ultimate termination.    In March 2019, he brought claims against Newport under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.html)   (.pdf)

May 18,  ..  It’s The Birthday Of Philosopher Bertrand Russell, born in Trellech, Wales (1872).    into one of Britain’s most prominent families. His parents were radical thinkers, and his father was an atheist, but both his parents died by the time he was four.     They left their son under the care of radical friends, hoping he would be brought up as an agnostic, but his grandparents stepped in, discarded the will, and raised Bertrand and his brother in a strict Christian household.     As a teenager, Bertrand kept a diary in which he described his doubts about God and his ideas about free will. He kept his diary in Greek letters so that his conservative family couldn’t read it.     Then he went to Cambridge and was amazed that there were other people who thought the way he did and who wanted to discuss philosophical ideas. He emerged as an important philosopher with The Principles of Mathematics (1903) which argued that the foundations of mathematics could be deduced from a few logical ideas.     He went on to become one of the most widely read philosophers of the 20th century. His History of Western Philosophy (1946) was a big bestseller and he was able to live off its royalties for the rest of his life.     He said, “The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.”  ..      It's The Birthday Of Civil War Photographer Mathew Brady, (1823).       It's The Birthday Of Filmmaker Frank Capra, (1897).   ...  CONTINUED    -AND-    POEM:  "House" by Billy Collins  ...   The Writer’s Almanac


the writers almanac 5.18.2022

poem "house" by billy collins

♦       May 18,  .. CCA:    Trinity v. LINA  ..  Ms. Trinity sued Life Insurance Company of North America (LINA) for discrimination, harassment and wrongful termination.   The LINA parties moved to compel arbitration based on an agreement they alleged Trinity had electronically acknowledged in 2014 during her employment with LINA.   The trial court denied LINA's motion, finding the LINA parties had not established the existence of an agreement to arbitrate and, even if they had, the purported agreement could not be enforced because it was procedurally and substantively unconscionable.   LINA Appealed.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦        May 18,  .. 5th Cir.:    Gamel v. Forum Energy Technol  ..  Mr. Gamel was a four-year employee of Forum Energy Technologies, Inc. and worked as a machinist.   In 2017, his Hepatitis C, which had been dormant, became active and caused Gamel to suffer extreme fatigue. He was hospitalized from September 22-24, 2017, and placed on prescription medication.    On October 16, 2017, two of Gamel’s co-workers reported that Gamel was acting strangely. Production Manager Dan Bergerson asked Gamel to submit to a drug test, and Gamel agreed.    The drug test was conducted by a third-party vendor, DISA Global Solutions, which routinely conducts employee-related drug tests and provides certified results to Forum.    DISA reported that Gamel’s drug test came back positive for amphetamine and methamphetamine.    In accordance with Forum’s Substance Abuse Policy, Gamel was given the opportunity to discuss his positive drug test results with a Medical Review Officer (“MRO”) from DISA to determine any legitimate medical explanation for the positive drug test result.    On October 21, 2017, the MRO interviewed Gamel to discuss the results. The MRO’s notes reflect that Gamel stated that he never used amphetamine or methamphetamine and that he was taking the following prescription medications: Lasix, Advair, and a medication for Hepatitis C.    Gamel contended that the prescription medication caused a false positive drug test result.    On October 24, 2017, Forum sent Gamel a letter stating that his employment was being terminated based on the confirmed positive drug test result, which constituted a violation of Forum’s Substance Abuse Policy.    Gamel filed a charge of discrimination with EEOC -- then filed this lawsuit against Forum, alleging that Forum discriminated against him on the basis of a disability—Hepatitis C—in violation of the ADA. He further alleged that Forum failed to accommodate him by allowing the use of prescription medication and by not allowing him to retest.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

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♦       May 17,  .. FLRA:  Army v. IAFF  ..  Employees are assigned to a forty-eight-hour shift and scheduled to work seventy‑two hours every week.    In October 2018, the grievant requested 432 hours of official time to attend an intensive six‑week training program starting in January 2019.    With the request, the grievant attached a document that provided information about the training’s various courses.    The Agency denied the request because:   (1) 432 hours exceeded a reasonable amount of official time;   (2) “the training was not . . . of mutual concern to the Agency and the Union and the Agency’s interests were not served by the grievant’s attendance”; and   (3) the document that the grievant attached to the request was not a “detailed agenda” showing the “dates and times of the courses.”    The Union filed a grievance alleging that the Agency violated Article 5, Section 7 of the master agreement (Article 5) and the local agreement by denying the grievant’s official‑time request.  ..  FLRA DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       May 17,  .. FLRA:  VA v. AFGE  ..  After the Union declined to mid-term bargain over new procedures for requesting and tracking official time, the Agency unilaterally implemented the procedures. Arbitrator Malcolm L. Pritzker found that the procedures concerned a matter that was covered by the parties’ agreement. The Arbitrator also found that the parties had agreed to bargain over covered matters in certain circumstances, but that such mid-term bargaining could take place only with mutual consent. Because the Union did not consent to mid-term bargaining, the Arbitrator found that the Agency violated the parties’ agreement by unilaterally implementing the new procedures.    The Agency argues that the award is deficient because it fails to draw its essence from the provisions in the parties’ agreement concerning mid-term bargaining. The Agency also argues that the Arbitrator erroneously applied the “covered by” doctrine.    In this case, we remind the federal labor-relations community that contract provisions that define parties’ obligations to engage in mid-term bargaining are enforceable at arbitration.  ..  FLRA DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       May 17,  .. FLRA:  AFGE v. FRA  ..  The Union filed two grievances concerning the Agency’s unilateral change to the mileage-reimbursement rate for employees who use privately owned vehicles for work.    Both grievances allege, as relevant here, that the Agency violated the parties’ agreement and committed an unfair labor practice (ULP) by failing to bargain over the change.    The second grievance, which “incorporate[d] by reference” the allegations in the first grievance, also alleged that the Agency violated the parties’ agreement and committed a ULP by failing to bargain over the impact and implementation of the change, and by unilaterally terminating the parties’ agreement.    The parties consolidated the grievances (hereafter, the grievance), and the dispute proceeded to arbitration. The Agency filed a “[b]rief on [a]rbitrability,”[2] challenging the arbitrability of the grievance. In an interim award, the Arbitrator framed the issue as whether the grievance is arbitrable.  ..  FLRA DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

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♦       May 16,  .. 6th Cir.:    Forrester v. American Security  ..  American Security and Protection Service is a security firm owned and operated by its CEO, F. Michael Jones.    The firm employed Marsha Forrester as a security guard for about eight months in 2019.    She was paid hourly. According to Forrester, American Security required its employees to arrive 10 to 15 minutes before their scheduled shift and sometimes remain 10 to 15 minutes after. Called “pass down,” the purpose of this time was to create an overlap between shifts. Forrester describes pass down as involving “several shift-change duties.”    She also alleges that American Security didn’t pay her or any employee for this time, didn’t keep records of the pass-down time, yet disciplined employees who didn’t report early.    Forrester sued American Security on behalf of a putative class of similarly situated employees alleging violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       May 16,  .. PCC:    Donnelly v. PennDOT  ..  On January 28, 2021, police officer Shannon Hilliard of the Gettysburg Borough Police Department initiated a traffic stop of Licensee’s vehicle because of its expired registration.    During the traffic stop, Officer Hilliard observed that Licensee had bloodshot, glassy eyes, and that the odor of alcohol was emanating from her breath.    Officer Hilliard directed Licensee out of her vehicle to perform field sobriety testing.    Licensee’s poor performance on the tests caused Officer Hilliard to believe Licensee was intoxicated.    Officer Hilliard then asked Licensee for preliminary breath testing, but she did not provide an adequate breath sample to complete the test.    Ultimately, Officer Hilliard arrested Licensee for DUI and transported her to a hospital for blood testing.    For reasons that the parties dispute, Licensee did not submit to a voluntary blood test. Officer Hilliard obtained a search warrant for a blood sample.    On February 11, 2021, the Department mailed Licensee a notice stating that it was suspending her operating privilege for a period of one year due to her refusal to submit to the blood test. Licensee appealed the suspension to the trial court.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       May 16,  .. SCV:    Gates v. Mack Molding  ..  Mack Molding Company hired Ms.Gates (plaintiff), as a “molder” in 1996. In May 2015, plaintiff reported to defendant that she injured her left knee outside of work.    She subsequently took approximately twelve weeks of leave under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the PFLA, which ran concurrently.    Plaintiff returned to work full-time as a molder in August 2015 after exhausting her FMLA/PFLA leave.    Upon her return, plaintiff handed a note from her medical provider, Dr. Gammons, to the human resources manager. The note stated that plaintiff could return to work full-time. It stated further that plaintiff could lift and carry twenty-one to fifty pounds “frequently.” The note defined “frequently” as constituting “34%–66% of a workday” and “continuously” as being “67%–100%” of a workday.    Plaintiff did not say anything to the human resources manager when she delivered this doctor’s note. She did not make any explicit request for any accommodation to anyone at work.    Duties of the molder position included operating a machine called the Press 30. Operating this machine required lifting totes weighing thirty-three to thirty-five pounds onto pallets every four-and-a-half minutes. Plaintiff operated the Press 30 machine when she returned to work as a molder in August 2015.    Plaintiff left work around one hour into her third shift back in August 2015, due to pain in her left knee. She did not return to work until October 2015. During this period, she received short-term disability benefits, which were unrelated to FMLA or PFLA leave.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

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♦       May 13,  .. 9th Cir.:    O. L. v. Jara  ..  Plaintiff-Appellant “O.L.” sued, claiming that officers at the City of El Monte Police Department (EMPD) and Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department (LASD) mishandled their investigations of her claim of rape.     O.L. met her alleged assailant online and went on a date with him. She claimed that he raped her later that night, and she reported it to the EMPD. O.L. showed Officer Martha Tate messages on her cell phone between herself and the alleged assailant. In those messages, O.L. casually discussed the sexual activity that occurred the night of the alleged rape and agreed to meet him again for a future sexual encounter. Based on these messages, Officer Tate questioned O.L. about alcohol use, consent, and her motive for reporting the alleged crime.     O.L.’s case was later transferred to LASD. Detective Liliana Jara interviewed her. O.L. showed Detective Jara the same messages on her cell phone. Detective Jara also saw a message in which O.L. told the alleged assailant that she “could make him lose his job” after she discovered that he had remained active on the online dating website where they met. The detective, too, questioned O.L. about her motive for reporting the alleged crime and ultimately told O.L. that her case suffered from many problems.     At the end of the interview, O.L. agreed to provide her cell phone to LASD to download messages. O.L. provided Detective Jara with her cell phone password and signed a form giving LASD consent to search the phone for “any and all data” related to the case.     Before returning the phone to her, LASD’s task force downloaded the phone’s data onto a USB drive to allow the investigating officer to review the data.     O.L. then retrieved her cell phone from LASD custody.     After the Los Angeles District Attorney declined to file charges against the alleged assailant, O.L. filed a pro se complaint.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       May 13,  .. D.D.C.:    Payne v. Biden  ..  A jab or a job?    Plaintiff Mr. Payne is a federal civilian employee who works as an engineer for the Office of Naval Research, a component of the Department of the Navy.    He has been a member of the civil service for over two decades.    Plaintiff alleges that, at some unspecified time in the past, he contracted COVID-19 and recovered.    In his view, he thereby “acquired natural immunity against the disease.”    Mr. Payne claims that the Executive Order requiring COVID-19 vaccination for covered federal employees unlawfully puts him to this choice.    Last fall, President Joseph Biden issued Executive Order 14,043, which mandates vaccinations for executive-branch employees, subject to a medical or religious exception. Payne, who works for the Navy, refuses to be vaccinated and has not applied for an exception.    He instead filed this lawsuit against a number of federal agencies and officials, alleging that the Executive Order and the associated agency actions are unconstitutional for several reasons.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       May 13,  .. Fed. Cir.:    Mynatt v. MSPB (IRS)  ..  Mr. Mynatt is employed by the Internal Revenue Service (“agency”).    On October 30, 2020, Mynatt informed his supervisor that he had been “charged with aggravated domestic assault and reckless endangerment, both felonies,” but that he had retained counsel and planned to “vigorously defend” against the charges.    On February 1, 2021, the agency proposed to suspend Mynatt for an indefinite period, stating that it had reasonable cause to believe that he might be guilty of a crime for which a sentence of imprisonment could be imposed.    Later that day, Mynatt contacted Alicen Jones, who worked in the agency’s human resources department, and asked her to email him a copy of the materials the agency had relied upon in proposing to indefinitely suspend him.    Less than thirty minutes later, Jones emailed Mynatt the materials he had requested.    These materials consisted of: (1) an eight-page Police Incident Report related to the charges that had been filed against Mynatt; and (2) a two-page Memorandum of Interview by Department of the Treasury Special Agent Crystal Albright.    On February 3, 2021, the agency removed Mynatt’s access to ERAP, a system which allows agency employees to securely connect to the agency network when working remotely.    After the agency decided to suspend Mynatt, he appealed to the board.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       May 13,  .. 11th Cir.:    Motley v. Taylor  ..  In 2013, the Montgomery County District Court ordered Motley to pay fines and court costs after she pled guilty to a traffic ticket. Motley did not pay the ticket because she could not afford to do so.    Motley’s driver’s license was suspended for failure to pay her fines. She had not received prior notice that her driver’s license would be suspended if she did not pay the ticket.    Before suspending her license for failure to pay, neither the court nor ALEA—which administers all state laws relating to the operation of vehicles—held a hearing to determine whether her failure to pay was willful.    Employers rescinded job offers after learning of Motley’s suspended driver’s license because without a valid license it was impossible for her to perform certain job functions like deposit checks or travel for work.    On July 3, 2019, Motley sued.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

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♦       May 12,  .. 7th Cir.:    Canter v. AT&T  ..  Craig Canter worked as a premises technician for Illinois Bell Telephone Company, a subsidiary of AT&T Services, Inc. (AT&T).    His job duties included installing wires, lifting heavy loads, and climbing tall ladders— sometimes as high as 28 feet tall and up to seven times per day. But after he began to suffer from severe migraines, light-headedness, and dizziness, Canter concluded that he no longer could perform that work.    He applied for short-term disability benefits in February 2017 through a plan that AT&T maintained for this purpose. The plan administrator granted benefits for a few months, but AT&T terminated them after an independent medical reviewer concluded that Canter’s medical tests were normal and that his symptoms had improved.    After Canter unsuccessfully appealed this decision using AT&T’s internal processes, he sued AT&T and the plan.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       May 12,  .. 8th Cir.:    Davis v. Spear  ..  On August 5, 2017, Shawn E. Davis stabbed Preston Davis outside a gathering at his home.    Several people—including Crysteal Davis (the victim’s wife), Damon Davis (his brother), and Iisha Hillmon (his cousin)—witnessed the stabbing.    Police secured the scene, taking Shawn into custody. Paramedics took the victim to the hospital.    Des Moines Police Department officers Trevor Spear, Ryan Neumann, and Lucas Kramer responded to the scene. Captain Robert Clock was the Watch Commander in charge of the officers.    All the witnesses, including the family, told the officers that Shawn stabbed the victim, and they wanted to go to the hospital.    Crysteal and Damon tried to leave in their cars but the officers stopped them. At least three officers told the family they would take them to the hospital.    They got in two patrol cars. Instead, the officers took them to the police station, where they waited more than three hours to be interviewed.    Throughout the car ride and during their wait at the station, the family members demanded to go to the hospital.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       May 12,  .. 3rd Cir.:    Snyder v. DowDuPont  ..  Ms. Snyder started working at DuPont in 1997. She worked at DuPont’s Tralee Park plant, where she made and inspected rubber parts. Her job was “[m]ostly” sedentary.    Sadly, Snyder was plagued by migraines and sinus infections. Despite many surgeries, her ailments persisted. She missed work often, taking roughly twenty medical leaves. Each time, DuPont granted her leave request, paid her salary under its short-term disability plan, and let her return to work with “the same salary and benefits.”    But DuPont started to suspect that Snyder was abusing its disability policy. It noticed that Snyder had a “pattern of high absences that seemed to coincide with the maximum amount of [federally mandated medical-leave] time.”    Plus, employees reported seeing her out and about while she was on medical leave, supposedly recuperating. One even spotted her boating.    So DuPont hired a private investigator to surveil Snyder.    DuPont fired her.    As its human-resources manager explained, it did so because she had lied about her symptoms and “used DuPont disability leave for purposes that [were] inconsistent with her recovery and counter to her doctor’s orders.”    Snyder sued DuPont under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), alleging retaliation.    DuPont, she said, had punished her by surveilling and firing her because she had taken sick leave under the FAMLA Act .  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       May 12,  .. 8th Cir.:    Blanton v. KC Southern Railway  ..  Mr. Blanton worked as a locomotive engineer for In-Terminal Services (“ITS”). ITS contracted to provide railcar-switching services for KCSR.    The contract required ITS to carry workers’ compensation insurance. During a shift in October 2012, a KCSR dispatcher authorized Blanton to occupy a railroad track but failed to mention that three empty train cars had been left on the track.    Unable to slow down, Blanton’s train collided with the empty train cars, and Blanton was injured.    Blanton filed a workers’ compensation claim with ITS and received a lump-sum payment after settling the claim.    He then filed a civil negligence action against KCSR, which does not carry workers’ compensation insurance.    KCSR moved for summary judgment, and the district court granted KCSR’s motion on the ground that KCSR was exempt from liability under Missouri’s workers’ compensation law.    Blanton appeals.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       May 12,  .. D.C. Cir.:    Pham v. NTSB  ..  Mr. Pham and the Federal Aviation Administration both petition for review of the National Transportation Safety Board’s suspension of Pham’s pilot and medical certificates for 180 days.    Pham contends that the Board erred in concluding that he refused a drug test when he left the test center before providing the requisite amount of urine because   (1) he was not told he could drink water (a “shy-bladder” warning), as required by regulation,   (2) he was given permission to leave, and   (3) his urine sample was unlawfully discarded.    He also contends that the Board impermissibly applied a strict-liability standard.    The FAA objects by cross-petition to the Board’s decision to suspend rather than revoke Pham’s certificates as the FAA ordered, contending that   (1) the Board is obligated to defer to the FAA’s guidance and interpretations of its regulations,   (2) those regulations require revocation of medical certificates for at least 2 years after a refusal to test, and (3) the Board deviated from its precedent without explanation.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

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ROSIE PEREZ INTERVIEW ON NPR FRESHAIR SHOW
TERRY GROSS, HOST:   This is FRESH AIR.    My Guest Is The Emmy And Oscar-Nominated Actor Rosie Perez.   She started her performing career as a dancer. When she was 19, she was dancing at a club with her friends when a talent scout from "Soul Train" noticed her and invited her to dance on the show. She brought her style of hip-hop dancing to "Soul Train" at a time before hip-hop had entered the mainstream. She went on to be the choreographer for The Fly Girls, the dancers on the sketch comedy show "In Living Color." She choreographed music videos for Bobby Brown, Diana Ross and L.L. Cool J.

In 1988, when she was 24, Perez went to a nightclub and ended up getting in an argument with Spike Lee. He told her, I've been looking for somebody who can yell at me in exactly that way, and he cast her as his girlfriend in "Do The Right Thing." Despite the success of the movie, Rosie Perez couldn't get an agent or a manager to take her seriously as an actress. But she pushed on, something she's done her whole life, and was cast in "White Men Can't Jump" and Peter Weir's film "Fearless," which earned her a best supporting actress nomination.

Perez had a rough childhood. She had nine siblings. Her mother was intermittently jailed throughout her childhood and was diagnosed later in life as schizophrenic. When Perez was 3 years old, she was transferred to a Catholic foster home run by nuns and was considered a ward of the state of New York until age 12. ...    READ FULL TRANSCRIPT OF ROSIE PEREZ INTERVIEW HERE

2 excerpts from rosie perez interview fixed
listen to full 46 minute rosie perez inteview HERE
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♦       May 11,  .. CCA:    Quach v. Commerce Club  ..  In 2015, Commerce Club required all its employees to sign a new arbitration policy as a condition of continued employment.    The agreement required employees to submit any covered dispute to an informal resolution process within the company, and, if necessary, to resolve the dispute through arbitration.    The agreement covered “all matters directly or indirectly related to [Quach’s] recruitment, employment, or termination of employment.” Quach signed and returned his copy of the agreement on February 18, 2015.    On November 16, 2018, Commerce Club terminated Quach’s employment after a customer paid the casino with $100 in counterfeit bills during Quach’s shift.    On November 22, 2019, after receiving a right-to-sue letter from the Department of Fair Employment & Housing, Quach filed a lawsuit against Commerce Club. Among other things, the lawsuit alleged causes of action for wrongful termination, age discrimination, retaliation, and harassment.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       May 11,  .. Fed. Cir.:    Vanhorn v. MSPB (Postal)  ..  Ms. VanHorn is a retired United States Postal Service employee who presently receives a disability retirement annuity.    Ms. VanHorn alleges that she applied for disability retirement from the USPS on August 15, 2018, and that the Office of Personnel Management wrongfully denied her application several times before granting it almost two years later on May 18, 2020.    During the intervening period, in 2019, Ms. VanHorn claims that the USPS “unlawfully terminated” her health insurance and her life insurance as of January 31, 2019.    She also alleges that she was wrongfully terminated by the USPS in September 2019, and that the termination took retroactive effect to March 30, 2019.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       May 11,  .. 8th Cir.:    Blanton v. KC Southern Railway  ..  Nathan Blanton worked as a locomotive engineer for In-Terminal Services (“ITS”).    ITS contracted to provide railcar-switching services for KCSR. The contract required ITS to carry workers’ compensation insurance. During a shift in October 2012, a KCSR dispatcher authorized Blanton to occupy a railroad track but failed to mention that three empty train cars had been left on the track. Unable to slow down, Blanton’s train collided with the empty train cars, and Blanton was injured.    Blanton filed a workers’ compensation claim with ITS and received a lump-sum payment after settling the claim.    He then filed a civil negligence action against KCSR, which does not carry workers’ compensation insurance. KCSR moved for summary judgment, and the district court granted KCSR’s motion on the ground that KCSR was exempt from li    ability under Missouri’s workers’ compensation law.    Blanton appeals.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       May 11,  .. SCNJ:    Acoli v. N.J. Parole Board  ..  On May 2, 1973, Acoli was driving with two fellow members of the Black Liberation Army, James Costan and Joanne Chesimard. All three were armed with handguns. Shortly before 1:00 a.m., New Jersey State Trooper James Harper stopped their car for a broken taillight. Acoli exited the car to speak with Trooper Harper. Almost simultaneously, Trooper Werner Foerster arrived on the scene as backup. Trooper Foerster frisked Acoli while Trooper Harper approached the car. While patting Acoli down, Foerster uncovered ammunition and a pistol.    As Trooper Foerster was confronting Acoli, Chesimard shot Trooper Harper in the shoulder.    A shootout ensued between Harper, Chesimard, and Costan. In the meantime, Acoli attempted to wrest Trooper Foerster’s gun from him. In the course of that physical struggle, Acoli claims that Trooper Harper fired at him, grazing the top of his head and causing him to black out. According to Acoli, when he regained consciousness, Trooper Foerster’s body was lying on the ground nearby and Acoli fled with Costan and Chesimard, both severely wounded.    In 1974, a jury found Acoli guilty of all charges brought against him for the murder of Trooper Foerster and the shooting of Trooper Harper. In total, he received an aggregate prison sentence of life plus twenty-four to thirty years. Under the law that controlled the crimes he committed in 1973, Acoli first became eligible for parole in 1993. N.J.S.A. 30:4-123.11 (repealed 1997). The Parole Board has denied Acoli parole every time he became eligible for release.    Acoli has lived the last forty-nine years in various federal prisons. After an early attempted escape and some minor infractions in the nineties, Acoli’s record over more than a quarter century has been exemplary.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

. . .

♦       May 10,  .. Fed. Cir.:    Campion v. Defense  ..  Mr. Campion worked for the government as a Telecommunications Specialist, a position that required Mr. Campion to “remain eligible for access to classified and sensitive national security information.”    On June 22, 2020, the government suspended Mr. Campion’s access to classified information and placed him on paid administrative leave.    The Department of Defense Consolidated Adjudications Facility then issued a preliminary decision revoking Mr. Campion’s eligibility for access to classified information on November 18, 2020.    And on April 28, 2021, the government suspended Mr. Campion indefinitely without pay.    Mr. Campion appealed his indefinite suspension without pay to the Board.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       May 10,  .. ICA:    Harvey v. Chicago Transit Authority  ..  Ms. Harvey filed a complaint for retaliatory discharge, alleging her former employer, the Chicago Transit Authority, fired her for raising concerns about the quality and testing of filters the CTA planned to install on its buses.    Harvey contended that when she informed her superiors that NAPA Auto Part’s oil filters were of inferior quality and could damage bus engines, they pressured her to fast-track testing and approval of the filters and fired her when she refused to comply.    The CTA moved several times to dismiss, alleging Harvey’s complaint failed to establish it violated “a clear mandate of public policy,” a necessary element of a retaliatory discharge claim.    The trial court finally allowed the complaint. After trial, a jury returned a verdict for Harvey and awarded her $600,000 in damages. ... CONTINUED  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       May 10,  .. PCC:    Burock v. Office of the Budget  ..  Mr. Burock worked for Employer’s Bureau of Accounting and Financial Management (BAFM) as an Accountant 3 from March 2012 until his termination in June 2019.    Burock was tasked with assisting in the oversight of the fiscal and budgetary affairs of multiple Commonwealth agencies by reconciling and analyzing financial information, preparing financial statements and forecasting budgetary and cash needs.    By signature dated February 21, 2018, Burock acknowledged receipt of Employer’s job performance standards for his position. As a senior level accountant, Mr. Burock was expected to provide guidance to other accountants. F.F. 8.    In January 2019, Employer placed Burock on a performance improvement plan (January 2019 PIP) for the January 2019 to March 2019 rating period (first rating period).    In April 2019, Employer issued an interim EPR deeming Burock’s overall job performance during the first rating period “Unsatisfactory.” ... CONTINUED  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

. . .

♦       May 9,  .. 9th Cir.:    Shields v. Credit One Bank  ..  Kate Shields alleged that her former employer violated the ADA by failing to accommodate her disability and instead terminating her from her human resources job after she underwent a bone biopsy surgery of her right shoulder and arm.    The district court concluded that Shields failed to plead a “disability” because she did not adequately allege that she had “a physical or mental impairment that substantially limited one or more major life activities.”    Kate Shields appealed to the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.    NINTH CIRCUIT DECISION :    Because the district court applied the wrong legal standards in holding that Shields had failed to plead a “disability,” we reverse its dismissal of Shields’s complaint.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       May 9,  .. TCA:    Pruitt v. State of Tennessee  ..  Ms. Taka Pruitt, who is unrelated to [Petitioner, Mr. Corinio Pruitt] arrived at the Apple Market with her neighbor. They parked directly outside the front door of the market.    Ms. Pruitt stayed in the car while her neighbor went inside. As she waited in the car, she observed a “younger gentleman,” later identified as [Petitioner, Mr. Corinio Pruitt], standing to the left of the door.    Ms. Pruitt recognized him as someone who lived in her apartment complex. After five or six minutes, Ms. Pruitt saw an older man walk out of the market with groceries in his arms and walk to his car. As he reached the driver’s side door, [Petitioner, Mr. Corinio Pruitt] ran up behind the older man and pushed him into the car.    Although she could not see clearly into the car, it appeared to Ms. Pruitt that the two men were “tussling.” She saw [Petitioner] on top of the older man, and she could see the older man’s feet dangling out of the car.    After about fifteen seconds, she saw [Petitioner] throw the older man to the ground, slam the car door, and drive away. When Ms. Pruitt checked on the victim, he was shaking and having trouble breathing and he was bleeding from his nose and both ears.    Ms. Pruitt called 911 on her cell phone.    Ms. Pruitt went to the police station after the carjacking. She identified [Petitioner, Mr. Corinio Pruitt] from a photo lineup as the person who beat the victim and took the victim’s car. ... CONTINUED  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       May 9,  .. D.D.C.:    Kartte v. Davis  ..  While the COVID-19 pandemic has prodded companies all over the world to switch to remote work, this transition is not necessarily a panacea for employment disputes, as this case proves.    Plaintiff Felix Kartte, a Berlin resident, was hired by Defendants Trevor Hugh Davis and his D.C.-based security-consulting companies, CounterAction, LLC and ToSomeone, Inc., as their “Director of European Operation” in September 2020.    According to Kartte, promises of a hiring bonus, equity, and the creation of a German subsidiary never materialized;    instead, Davis began subjecting him to abuse and disparagement, ultimately terminating him in late November of the same year.    Plaintiff’s ensuing lawsuit alleges various torts, including defamation, fraud, and tortious interference with business relations, as well as discriminatory violations of the D.C. Human Rights Act and breach of contract.    In now moving to dismiss all nine counts, Defendants maintain that the operative Second Amended Complaint is replete with legal and factual deficiencies.    As half a loaf is better than none for both sides, the Court awards each a partial victory, granting the Motion as to some counts and denying it as to others.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       May 9,  .. 6th Cir.:    McPeters v. Parker  ..  In 2017, while she was on probation with the State of Tennessee, April Diane McPeters was sexually assaulted in her home by a probation officer.    McPeters alleges that after she reported the incident to two unidentified male Tennessee Department of Correction (“TDOC”) officers, she was subjected to “increasingly strict supervision” and a “surprise” home visit seven months later, which led to revocation of her probation and her being sent to jail.    McPeters also alleges that her request to be assigned a female probation officer was denied, that her assailant “assaulted multiple [other] probationers,” and that female probationers across Tennessee have made “[m]ultiple complaints” of sexual harassment and assault by male probation officers.    The assailant, Bryant Lamont Thomas, was fired for an unrelated incident. Although there was never a formal TDOC report or investigation into his misconduct towards McPeters, Thomas later pleaded guilty to sexual contact with a probationer and was sentenced to two years of supervised probation.    McPeters filed suit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Thomas and his supervisors, alleging that her constitutional rights had been violated.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)


♦       May 6,  .. FLRA:  AFGE v. ARMY  ..  The grievant, a senior mechanic, was involved in a verbal altercation with a junior mechanic. Following the altercation, the Agency proposed a three‑day suspension for discourtesy and use of abusive language.    Although the proposal referred to the altercation as a first offense, it noted that the Agency had previously issued the grievant a memorandum of record (the memo) “concerning the grievant’s treatment of . . . a[nother] employee,” after the grievant had called that employee “boy.”    At step two of the grievance process, the Agency’s deciding official reduced the suspension to two days.    The Union grieved the suspension, which proceeded to arbitration.    The Arbitrator framed the issues as:   (1) “Was the grievant disciplined for just cause and, if not,   (2) what is the appropriate remedy?”  ..  FLRA DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       May 6,  .. FLRA:  AFGE v. VA  ..  The parties previously entered into a settlement agreement concerning how disabled‑veteran employees could take leave for medical treatment consistent with Executive Order No. 5396 (the executive order).     Subsequently, the Agency denied a disabled veteran’s request for medical leave for failing to provide documentation showing that the veteran’s disability was connected to military service (service‑connected disability).     At arbitration, the Union maintained that, under the settlement agreement, disabled‑veteran employees were entitled to leave for medical treatment regardless of whether their disability was service connected.     Arbitrator Steven E. Kane issued an award finding that, although a service‑connected disability requirement was not specified in the settlement agreement, the Agency could impose that requirement because that was consistent with external guidance on interpreting the executive order.     Because the award relies on interpretations of the executive order—rather than the wording of the settlement agreement—we set aside the award as failing to draw its essence from the settlement agreement.     In this case, we set aside an award that improperly relied on interpretations of an executive order, rather than the parties’ negotiated settlement agreement.  ..  FLRA DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦        may 5,  ..  No New Cases To Post Today.    gonna try using some new worms.

♦        may 4,  ..  No New Cases To Post Today.    They're Stealing These Cases, Again !

♦        may 3,  ..  No New Cases To Post Today.    pERMERICA rEPORTED A mAJOR cASE-jACKING !

♦       May 2,  .. FLRA:  NTEU v. IRS  ..  During negotiations over a successor collective-bargaining agreement, the parties disputed the negotiability of one proposal. The Union requested a written allegation of non-negotiability, which the Agency provided. On October 11, 2021, the Union timely filed its petition. The Agency filed a statement of position (statement), and the Union filed a response to the statement (response). An Authority representative conducted a post-petition conference (PPC) with the parties pursuant to § 2424.23 of the Authority’s Regulations.[1] After the PPC, the Agency filed a reply to the Union’s response.       The Union filed a petition seeking review of one proposal concerning noncompetitive temporary promotions and details that exceed 120 days.  ..  FLRA DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       May 2,  .. FLRA:  AFGE v. VA  ..  The Union filed a grievance alleging that the Agency owed certain bargaining‑unit employees a pay differential for work performed on Saturdays (Saturday premium pay).     In a merits award, Arbitrator Raleigh Jones found that the Agency violated the parties’ collective‑bargaining agreement by failing to (1) pay some employees Saturday premium pay and (2) provide the Union information necessary to ascertain to whom the Agency owed backpay.     The Arbitrator directed the parties to try to resolve the remedy themselves.     When the parties were unable to agree, the Arbitrator issued a remedial award that determined the amounts of backpay owed to each employee and denied the Union’s requests for interest and overtime.     The Union filed exceptions to the remedial award on several grounds, including that it was contrary to the Back Pay Act (the Act).  ..  FLRA DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)


Apr 29,  ..  It’s The Birthday Of Duke Ellington, born in Washington, D.C. in 1899.    His childhood friends took to calling him “Duke” because of his dapper demeanor and easy grace.   He composed more than 3,000 songs in his lifetime, enduring jazz classics like “Mood Indigo” (1930), “It Don’t Mean a Thing (if it Ain’t Got That Swing)” (1932), and “Sophisticated Lady” (1933).    He led his big band from 1923 until his death in 1974.   ...  CONTINUED    -AND-    POEM:  He Wanders by Grace Paley  ...   The Writer’s Almanac

♦       Apr 29,  .. 6th Cir.:    Barnard v. Powell Valley Electric  ..  Jo Ann Barnard, the Director of Finance and Accounting at Powell Valley Electric Cooperative (PVEC), brought claims against her employer, alleging wage discrimination under the Equal Pay Act (EPA), and retaliation for her engagement in protected activity.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Apr 29,  .. 4th Cir.:    US v. Jacqueline Okomba  ..  In October 2013, Sessum and Okomba opened Direct Processing.    The company that collected “out-of-statute” debts — i.e.,   unenforceable debts   whose statutes of limitations had run.    Direct Processing bought lists of people with such debts, often engaging outside vendors to obtain debtors’ contact information.    The company then called the debtors using dialer services and left automated messages prompting them to resolve their debts.    The messages identified a fictitious caller and warned debtors of impending legal action.    If a debtor responded to the message, they were connected to a Direct Processing employee. These employees used scripted pressure tactics that built on the automated messages, coercing debtors into paying some, all, or more than their alleged debt. And employees earned bonuses the more they collected.    Employees were also trained to inflate the purported debts and tell debtors that Direct Processing would be serving them with legal process, including judgments, wage garnishments, or liens.    And they warned debtors of imminent arrest if the debts went unpaid.    But Direct Processing lacked legal authority to enforce the out-of-statute debts. So it never did. Still, the company collected over six million ($6,000,000) dollars in its first three years of operation.    Following a joint trial, a jury convicted Laurence Sessum and Jacqueline Dianne Okomba of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and obstruction of justice.    The jury also convicted Sessum of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering.    The district court sentenced Sessum to 135 months in prison.    Okomba received a 72-month prison sentence.    They appeal, raising a host of challenges.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Apr 29,  .. CCA:    Burroughs v. Truebeck Construction  ..  Truebeck is a company based in San Mateo County that provides general contractor services for large-scale commercial construction projects.   Plaintiff Mr. Burroughs began working there in 2008, as its Director of Health and Safety. In that role, he was responsible for overseeing the company’s compliance with safety guidelines and standards applicable to the construction industry.    Burroughs alleges that after he reported to company management his discovery that an employee had falsified a safety training record, he was subjected to increasingly hostile treatment in the workplace that ultimately forced him to quit his job when the situation became intolerable.    Burroughs initiated this suit against his former employer for various statutory and common law claims of retaliation and wrongful constructive discharge, and ultimately the trial court granted summary judgment against him.    He now appeals, arguing that various triable issues of fact warrant a trial on all of his causes of action.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Apr 29,  .. 4th Cir.:    Walton v. Harker (Navy)  ..  Ms. Walton is an African American woman, who has been employed by the federal government since 1979. Beginning in 1995, she worked at the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center (“SPAWAR”).    In 1999, Walton was promoted to the position of Administrative Specialist in the Contracts Administration section, in which she performed the functions of a contracting officer. That was Walton’s last promotion, and she remained in that position until her recent retirement.    Walton claims she was laterally “reassigned against her will to a lower level and undesirable position in the Contracts Division”  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)


Apr 28,  ..  It’s The Birthday Of The Writer Harper Lee (1926), Harper Lee grew up in Monroeville, Alabama and, except for when she moved to New York City for a few years after college, that’s where she lived all her life.    Harper Lee's classic novel To Kill a Mockingbird (1960), introduced the characters "Scout Finch" and her father, lawyer "Atticus Finch."    The novel examined race relations in the American south and is still required reading in many high schools. The book won the Pulitzer Prize.    It’s since sold over 40 million copies and has never been out of print.   ...  CONTINUED    -AND-    POEM:  Myth Dispelled by Adam Possner ...   The Writer’s Almanac

to kill a mockingbird : tom robinson v mayella ewell + atticus   scout   jim  calpurnia   boo   dill   robert

♦       Apr 28,  .. D.D.C.:    Mosleh v. Howard University  ..  Howard University is a Historically Black University (HBCU) located in Washington, DC.    Mohsen Mosleh is an Iranian American professor in Howard University’s Department of Mechanical Engineering.    He alleges that Howard unlawfully discriminated against him on the basis of race and national origin and unlawfully retaliated against him.    The Court dismissed Mosleh’s breach-of-contract claims at the motion to dismiss stage    but permitted his discrimination and retaliation claims to proceed.    Howard University has now moved for summary judgment on those (discrimination and retaliation) claims.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Apr 28,  .. MSCA:    Romeka v. RadAmerica  ..  Ms. Romeka worked as a chief radiation therapist for RadAmerica, which supplied radiation treatment health care workers to a hospital’s radiation oncology center.    Over a period of 2 ½ weeks, her superiors investigated complaints about her falsification of a medical record, incompetency endangering patient safety, and poor treatment of those she supervised and/or worked with;    and the designated Human Resources Department then conducted its own investigation into the same complaints.    Ms. Romeka’s immediate supervisors recommended that she be fired,    and the Human Resources Department later made the same recommendation.    The day after that second recommendation, Ms. Romeka made an oral complaint to her immediate superior about a radiation therapy machine being used with a broken treatment couch.    The next day, a Friday, RadAmerica’s President made the final decision to fire Ms. Romeka.    On Monday, Ms. Romeka was fired by her immediate superior.    She asked him if she could resign instead, a request that implicitly was denied.    Ms. Romeka sued, alleging that her oral complaint was a protected disclosure under the HCWWPA and that she was fired in reprisal for making it, in violation of the Act.    She also alleged that the failure to allow her to resign instead of being fired, immediately after she was fired, was a further violation of the Act.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Apr 28,  .. NYSCAD:    Orji v. MTA Bus Company  ..  The plaintiff testified at her deposition that as she was walking toward the rear seating area shortly after boarding the MTA bus in New York City,    the bus stopped at a red traffic light,    which caused her to lose her grip on the railing and fall onto her left side.    The plaintiff commenced this personal injury action against the [MTA Bus Company] alleging that they were negligent in the ownership and operation of the bus.    MTA moved for summary judgment dismissing the complaint insofar as asserted against it, arguing, inter alia, that the movement that caused the plaintiff to fall was not unusual or violent and was not of a different class than the jerks and jolts commonly experienced in city bus travel.    The Supreme Court of the State of New York denied MTA's motion for summary judgment dismissing the plaintiff's complaint.    Here __ MTA appeals __ requests summary judgment dismissing the plaintiff's complaint.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Apr 28,  .. MCSA:    Cador v. YES Organic Market  ..  The Case At Hand :
At approximately 9:00 P.M. on September 21, 2016, the plaintiff-appellant, Mrs. Cador, along with her husband and her daughter, went shopping in a Yes Organic Market Store in Hyattsville, Maryland.    The Market was still open, but it was approaching closing time.    While shopping, the plaintiff slipped and fell on a portion of the floor that had recently been mopped by an employee of the Market.    In this area there was located (and visible on Video) a formal warning sign alerting customers to the possible presence of a wet floor.    The warning sign read, “Caution: Wet Floor” in large and prominent lettering.    The plaintiff required partial knee replacement surgery.    The plaintiff sued the Market for negligence.    The Market filed a motion for Summary Judgment based on the affirmative defenses of both 1) contributory negligence and 2) the assumption of risk.    On October 6, 2020, the trial judge granted the motion for Summary Judgment in favor of the Market on both grounds.       With this appeal, plaintiff is requesting a jury trial.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)


       August Wilson said :
“My greatest influence has been the blues.
And that’s a literary influence, because I think the blues is the best literature that we as black Americans have. […] Blues is the bedrock of everything I do. All the characters in my plays, their ideas and their attitudes, the stance that they adopt in the world, are all ideas and attitudes that are expressed in the blues. If all this were to disappear off the face of the earth and some people two million unique years from now would dig out this civilization and come across some blues records, working as anthropologists, they would be able to piece together who these people were, what they thought about, what their ideas and attitudes toward pleasure and pain were, all of that. All the components of culture.”      The Writer’s Almanac

♦       Apr 27,  ..  It’s The Birthday Of Playwright August Wilson, he grew up in the impoverished Hill district of Pittsburgh. with his mother and five siblings. His family had two rooms with no hot water.    He dropped out of school altogether when he was 15 years old.    So he taught himself at Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Library. He read Richard Wright, Langston Hughes, and Ralph Ellison.    In 1980 I sent a play, Jitney (a ghetto cab company set set in the Hill district of Pittsburgh), to the Playwrights’ Center in Minneapolis, won a Jerome Fellowship.    Wilson continued to write successful and popular plays: Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (1982), set in the 1920s; Fences (1983), set in the 1950s and 1960s; and Joe Turner’s Come and Gone (1984), set in 1911. All set in the impoverished Hill district of Pittsburgh. . ... CONTINUED    -AND-    POEM:  In Several Colors by Jane Kenyon ...   The Writer’s Almanac

♦       Apr 27,  .. WVSC:    Zerfoss v. Hinkle Trucking  ..  Ms. Zerfoss was hired as a commercial truck driver at Hinkle Trucking in February 2011. She worked there until January 29, 2014, when she resigned to work for a different employer.    Two months later, on March 31, 2014, Ms. Zerfoss was rehired at Hinkle Trucking under the same terms as her previous employment.    She remained employed until January 21, 2016, when she again resigned.    Ms. Zerfoss filed the underlying civil action against Hinkle Trucking, Gary Hinkle, and Travis Hinkle.    She sought the recovery of unpaid wages, statutory liquidated damages, punitive damages, attorney’s fees, and interest.    At the center of this dispute was the parties’ disagreement over the rate of Ms. Zerfoss’s pay.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Apr 27,  .. 11th Cir.:    Chames v. Calhoun County  ..  In 2016, Plaintiff, Ms. Chames -- a black female -- was hired as a Correc- tions Lieutenant at the Calhoun County Jail.    In late 2018, Ms. Chames began complaining to her superiors that the two other Corrections Lieutenants (both white males) were each being paid $15,000 to $17,000 more per year than Ms. Chames was paid.    Ms. Chames reported that she believed the disparity in pay was based on Ms. Chames’s race and sex. Ms. Chames voiced these concerns to her direct supervisor, to Sheriff Wade, to County Commissioner Wilson, and to the County Administrator.    In response to Ms. Chames’s complaints about pay, Sheriff Wade submitted to the County a formal request for Ms. Chames to receive a pay increase.    Ms. Chames was later told that the County had approved a $5,000 raise for Ms. Chames.    In exchange for the pay raise, however, Ms. Chames was required to sign an acknowledgement form waiving her rights as a civil service employee.    Ms. Chames refused to sign the form: a document Ms. Chames perceived as retaliation for Ms. Chames’s complaints about discrimination.    Around the same time, Ms. Chames says the two white male Lieutenants received a $10,000 pay increase.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Apr 27,  .. 6th Cir.:    Boshaw v. Midland  ..  Boshaw, an openly gay man, began working as a server at Midland Brewing in May 2018. A few months into Boshaw’s tenure, Donna Reynolds, Boshaw’s supervisor, spoke with him about taking on a leadership position. Boshaw mentioned to Reynolds “something about not wanting to be . . . a server or bartender forever” and that he “wanted to learn more stuff.”    The next day, Reynolds “told [Boshaw] that before she presented the opportunity” to move into a “leadership role” to Midland’s majority owner, David Kepler, Boshaw “needed to change [his] appearance and kind of just act a little more masculine.”    In September 2018, not long after their conversation, Reynolds promoted Boshaw. And Boshaw was promoted twice more.    Despite his promotions, Boshaw’s employment record was not spotless.    The final straw for Boshaw was missing a mandatory meeting and then not showing up to work that evening.    Boshaw claims that he received permission for his absences.    Around 2:30 p.m. on the day in question, Boshaw texted Moody that he would relieve her around 6:00 p.m. Reynolds’s lone communication with Boshaw that day was a text just before 5:00 p.m. asking Boshaw to call her. But Boshaw never called.    Midland fired Boshaw the following day due to his “absence and failure to notify management” in addition to “other issues.”    After his firing, Boshaw filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Apr 27,  .. 4th Cir.:    Strickland v. United States  ..  Plaintiff Caryn Devins Strickland is an attorney who was formerly employed by the Federal Public Defender’s Office for the Western District of North Carolina (FPDO).    During the course of her employment, Strickland was allegedly subjected to sexual harassment by the First Assistant Public Defender (First Assistant).    When Strickland reported the harassment, Anthony Martinez, the Federal Public Defender (FPD), allegedly failed to take proper action and instead effectively retaliated against Strickland in various ways, including requiring her to meet with the First Assistant and to continue working under his supervision.    Strickland made unsuccessful informal attempts to resolve the sexual harassment through the Administrative Office of the United States Courts (AO), and the FPD allegedly retaliated against Strickland for doing so by, in part, reclassifying her job and denying her a promotion.    After allegedly experiencing delays, procedural irregularities, and no resolution of the sexual harassment, Strickland asked the mediator to help her secure a term clerkship with a federal appellate judge. According to Strickland, she was constructively discharged. Strickland formally resigned from her position with the FPDO in March 2019.    In March 2020, Strickland initiated these proceedings.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)


♦       Apr 26,  .. 8th Cir.:    NLRB v. Noah's Ark Processors  ..  Noah’s Ark Processors, LLC (“Noah’s Ark”), is a limited liability company that purchased meat processing facilities in Hastings, Nebraska in 2015.    After the purchase, Noah’s Ark continued to operate the facilities under a five-year collective bargaining agreement (“CBA”) with United Food and Commercial Workers Local Union No. 293 (the “Union”), representing a largely Spanish speaking 250-300 employee bargaining unit.    The CBA expired in January 2018 with the parties engaged in what became lengthy, unsuccessful negotiations for a new contract.    The Union filed an unfair labor practice charge in March 2018 alleging failure to bargain in good faith. That charge was settled in June, but the Union filed a new charge in July, and additional charges in the ensuing months, alleging failure to bargain in good faith and other unlawful anti-Union activities.    The General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board (the “Board”) filed a Complaint, and the consolidated charges were tried before an Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) in March 2019.    Largely adopting the ALJ’s findings, the Board entered an order that Noah’s Ark committed multiple unfair labor practice violations.    The Board also concluded that Noah’s Ark unlawfully threatened and terminated ten workers who engaged in an unauthorized work stoppage on March 27, 2018. ... CONTINUED  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Apr 26,  .. WVSC:    Judy v. Eastern  ..  From April 2018 to May 2019, Judy Diane Sigismondi Judy (“Judy”) was a commercial driver’s license (“CDL”) instructor for Respondent Eastern West Virginia Community and Technical College (“Eastern”).    We note at the outset that there is much debate as to whether Petitioner was an employee of Eastern or an independent contractor.    In August 2020, Judy filed a complaint against Eastern alleging that Eastern’s decision to terminate her employment was predicated upon illegal age and sex discrimination.    Immediately thereafter, Eastern moved to dismiss the complaint contending that:   (1) Judy lacked the ability to bring a claim under WVHRA because she was not an “employee” under the Act;   (2) Eastern was entitled to qualified immunity as a state agency; and   (3) Judy failed to allege that but for her protected status she would not have lost her job.    After a hearing on the motion to dismiss, the Circuit Court found that Eastern was entitled to qualified immunity.    Judy appealed that order to this Court.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Apr 26,  .. 4th Cir.:    Holloway v. Maryland  ..  Holloway, a black man, began his employment with Defendants in 2014, as the “Program Coordinator/Deputy Director” of Freestate Challenge Academy, a residential education program for at-risk adolescents.    From 2014 to 2016, Holloway worked under Program Director Charles Rose, a white man. While he worked for Rose, Holloway was a top performer and regularly received outstanding evaluations.    In June 2016, Rose was dismissed as Program Director but apparently reinstated elsewhere within the Maryland Military Department. Holloway then assumed the role of Acting Program Director. Around November 2016, Holloway was promoted to Program Director.    After Holloway’s promotion, he began to have problems with the Director of Human Resources, a white man named Nicholas Pindale. According to Holloway, Pindale refused to work with him and required Holloway, unlike other directors, to take his concerns to the Human Resources Deputy Director, Princess Neal Washington, a black woman.    In early 2018, Holloway learned he was being paid around $5,000 less annually than Rose had been. Holloway raised the pay discrepancy with Pindale, who allegedly agreed Holloway was not being compensated fairly but did not rectify the disparity.    Around February 1, 2018, Holloway filed his first Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) complaint, alleging “discrimination and harassment/hostile work environment.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)


♦       Apr 25,  ..  It’s The Birthday Of The “First Lady Of Song” And Queen Of Jazz Ella Fitzgerald, born in Newport News, Virginia (1917). Her smooth voice and technical skill remain unmatched in the jazz world.    Fitzgerald got her start at Amateur Night at the Apollo Theater in Harlem when she was just 17 years old. . ... CONTINUED      On This Day In 1928 Buddy, The First Seeing Eye Dog, Was Presented To Morris S. Frank. , Frank had lost the use of one eye in a childhood accident and the other in a boxing match as a teenager. He had used a young boy as a guide "got bored easily” and sometimes abandoned Frank for more interesting things. . ... CONTINUED    -AND-    POEM:  Sleeping Next To The Man On The Plane by Ellen Bass. ...   The Writer’s Almanac

♦       Apr 25,  .. FLRA:    AFGE v. HUD  ..  Arbitrator Joshua M. Javits issued an award finding that the Agency acted in bad faith during the parties’ negotiations over official time, but did not act in bad faith regarding Union requests for information (RFIs).    Therefore, he determined that neither party was the prevailing party and each was responsible for its own legal fees and expenses, in accordance with the parties’ agreement.    The Union filed exceptions to the award on exceeded-authority, nonfact, contrary-to-law, and essence grounds.    Because the Union’s arguments are inconsistent with the position it took before the Arbitrator  ..  FLRA DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Apr 25,  .. 3rd Cir.:    Uber Driver Emery v. Uber  ..  Emery began working as a driver for Uber.    Emery, who is black, alleged that, sometime in 2017, “Uber Rider James” repeatedly “made racially-tinged remarks about Emery’s genitals while proposing that they have sex.”    Emery did not report the incident to Uber.     Next, on Jan 11, 2020, “Uber Rider Dinely” allegedly demanded that Emery make a few stops prior to arriving at her destination. When he declined, Dinely stated that she “very often” asked “black Uber drivers’ to take her places and they would just comply without asking her any questions.”     Using the Uber App, Emery reported Dinely to Uber as “rude.”    Shortly thereafter, Emery’s account was placed on hold, pending an investigation of a rider complaint. When contacted by a member of Uber’s investigation team, Emery reiterated that Dinely was “rude.” Within hours of that call, his account was reactivated.    Finally, on Jan 20, 2020, “Uber Riders Taji and her friend” allegedly made sexual demands and race-specific remarks about Emery’s genitals, and insulted him “with many more sexual and cuss words.” Emery reported the incident to Uber, which indicated that it would investigate. Two days later, Uber deactivated Emery’s Uber account, allegedly for “inappropriate behavior/conduct.”    Based on these three interactions with riders, Emery alleged three violations including claims for (1) disparate treatment, (2) hostile work environment, and (3) retaliation.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Apr 25,  .. 6th Cir.:    Courtney v. Wright MT  ..  Wright Med. Tech (WMT) hired Plaintiff Fred Courtney (“Plaintiff” or “Courtney”) in April 2010, when Plaintiff was 45 years old. From 2010 through approximately 2017, Plaintiff was a Senior Director of Facilities and Maintenance at WMT.    Thereafter, Courtney’s role grew to encompass additional environmental, health, and safety responsibilities.    Throughout Courtney’s tenure, he received annual performance reviews via formal reports generated by WMT. Those reports show that Courtney either met or exceeded expectations for his role throughout his time at the company.       HERE, Courtney appeals the district court’s order granting Defendant Wright Medical Technology, Inc.’s (“Defendant” or “WMT”) motion for summary judgment on Plaintiff’s age discrimination claims.    Plaintiff’s complaint alleged that Defendant terminated Plaintiff in violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (“ADEA”).       For the reasons set forth below, we REVERSE the district court’s order granting Defendant’s motion for summary judgment and REMAND the case for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Apr 25,  .. 10th Cir.:    Durand v. Barnes  ..  Durand is a Black female who worked as a Youth Services Specialist II at the Lookout Mountain Youth Services Center (“Lookout Mountain”), “an intensive secure treatment program for male juvenile offenders.”    Her “role at Lookout Mountain was similar to a guard at a correction center for youths who had committed crimes.” Durand was assigned to Lookout Mountain’s Spruce housing unit.    Shull was Lookout Mountain’s Assistant Director. In that position, she exercised supervisory authority over the Spruce and Juniper West units.    On May 22, 2017, an inmate referred to as “John Doe” violently assaulted Durand as she escorted him back to his room in the Spruce unit for not following her instructions.    Durand “suffered a traumatic brain injury and cervical spine injury.”    Shull notified police, who charged Doe with assault.    On one or more other occasions, Durand heard Doe in the control room “state terms such as ‘Black Bitch’ and/or ‘don’t press charges.[’]”    Two weeks after she returned to work, Durand learned that Doe had threatened to “continue to assault” her and kill her if she pressed charges against him.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Apr 25,  .. D.C.:    Hill v. D.C. DES  ..  Mr. Hill began working as a bus operator for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) in 2009.    While on duty on February 1, 2013, he suffered physical and mental injuries when he was attacked by a passenger. After the attack, he received treatment and eventually returned to full duty as a bus operator.    Petitioner’s doctors opined that the mental health symptoms he experienced after the 2013 attack were also related to injuries he sustained in a 2010 accident.    Dr. Sussal explained that, as in 2010, petitioner insisted that he would “be fine” if he could return to work in a “non-operator position.”    In late February 2017, petitioner suffered the sudden and tragic loss of his son. Petitioner took three days of bereavement leave before returning to work at the beginning of March.    On March 3, 2017, petitioner had a public disagreement with a supervisor which — the petitioner alleges — exacerbated his existing mental injury.    The petitioner sought care through the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) and received a referral for mental health treatment.    While at EAP, petitioner filled out a sick leave form but did not claim an on-the-job injury or file a claim for workers’ compensation.       Petitioner Yul Hill seeks review of a Compensation Review Board (CRB) order which affirmed an Administrative Law Judge’s (ALJ) decision to deny petitioner’s claim for temporary total disability benefits relating to a mental-mental injury.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)


♦       Apr 21,  .. D.D.C.:    Hudson v. AFGE  ..  In the latest skirmish between Plaintiff Eugene Hudson, Jr. and Defendant American Federation of Government Employees, Hudson seeks reinstatement as a member of AFGE such that he can continue his quest to be elected President of the Union.    He has thus brought this suit alleging that AFGE’s refusal to reinstate him constitutes race discrimination and a violation of various federal labor statutes.    In now moving for Court intervention to allow his candidacy at the forthcoming June convention, Hudson contends that he has satisfied the preliminary- injunction factors.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Apr 21,  .. D.C. Cir.:    Weng v. Walsh (DOL)  ..  Ms. Weng is an Asian woman of Taiwanese national origin. From 1995 until March 2012, she worked as an Employee Benefits Law Specialist at the Department of Labor.    According to Weng, she “never received a negative performance evaluation, nor any formal counseling or discipline, from 1995 to 2005.”    During the timeframe at issue, Weng’s union representative – the American Federation of Government Employees – had a collective-bargaining agreement with the Department.    Ms, Weng alleges that, from the time she joined the Office, “she, along with other minority employees, was subjected to offensive racial, ethnic, and/or sexually charged slurs, comments, and jokes by [Office] management officials.”    Beginning in 2004, two of Weng’s coworkers filed Equal Employment Opportunity (“EEO”) complaints against Office management.    Weng appeared as a witness in her coworkers’ cases, and she alleges that the harassment against her escalated after she testified in support of a colleague.    Starting in 2006, Weng also filed multiple EEO complaints and union grievances about her working conditions.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Apr 21,  .. 3rd Cir.:    Green v. Philadelphia  ..  The Philadelphia Police Department (“PPD”) randomly drug-tests its officers. Ten percent of officers selected for testing must submit both urine and hair samples, which detect a much longer period of drug use.    From 2014 to 2019, the PPD administered hair tests to 7,900 African American officers, 13,170 Caucasian officers, and 96 officers who self-identified as “other.”    Three African American officers, one Caucasian officer, and one “other” officer tested positive for cocaine during this period.    Green was an officer with the PPD from 1991 to 2018, rising to the rank of sergeant. In 2018, a hair sample taken from Green’s chest tested positive for cocaine and cocaine metabolites.    The accompanying urine sample tested negative but was diluted below acceptable levels, which Green attributed to the alleged diuretic effects of a prescription medication.    Two subsequent retests returned positive hair tests and negative urine tests. Green’s union representative advised him to retire from the police rather than be fired, and he did so on November 21, 2018.    On September 23, 2019, Green filed a lawsuit claiming that the PPD’s use of hair testing has a disparate impact on African American officers in violation of Title VII and the Constitution’s Equal Protection Clause.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Apr 21,  .. Fed. Cl.:    Boyer v. United States (VA)  ..  This case is brought by Plaintiff Leslie Boyer, a female clinical pharmacist at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center of Birmingham, Alabama (“BVAMC”), who alleges gender discrimination in violation of the Equal Pay Act (“EPA”).    Plaintiff’s claim arises out of her discovery, three years after her hiring, that a male coworker in the same position (“Male Comparator”), who Plaintiff alleges has less experience than her, was hired after her with a higher starting pay rate. The justification for the pay differential forms the crux of this dispute.    Generally, new hires (or “appointments”) in the federal government are made at the minimum rate of pay (or “step”) for the appropriate grade of the individual under the General Schedule (“GS”) system. See 5 U.S.C. § 5333.    In order to depart from the minimum step, an agency must justify the step increase it intends to offer the individual.       In pertinent part, 5 U.S.C. § 5333 provides that, pursuant to regulations, federal agencies may appoint an individual above the minimum step “for such considerations as    the existing pay or    unusually high or unique qualifications of the candidate, or    a special need of the Government for his services . . . .”    CONTINUED  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)


♦       In 1927, On This Day, Actress Mae West Was Jailed For Her Performance In Sex, the Broadway play she wrote, directed, and starred in.    She served ten days in prison and jail time seemed to have done her good — it didn’t make her change her act but it did bring her national notoriety — and helped make her one of Hollywood’s most memorable and quotable stars.       She Said, “There Are No Good Girls Gone Wrong,       Just Bad Girls Found Out…”       and       “I Generally Avoid Temptation Unless I Can’t Resist It.”    The Writer’s Almanac

♦       Apr 20,  .. D.D.C.:    Grzadzinski v. Garland (FBI)  ..  Plaintiff Ms. Grzadzinski worked for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for many years, eventually attaining the position of Deputy General Counsel of the Investigative Law and Legal Training (ILLT) Branch.    In that position, she reported directly to James Baker, General Counsel of the FBI. Several months into Grzadzinski’s tenure, Baker reorganized the Office of the General Counsel, eliminating her position and reassigning her to a role reporting to one of her former peers.    Not long after that, Baker recommended removing Grzadzinski from the Special Executive Service (SES), thus returning her to the lower employment grade she had held before assuming the DGC position.    Plaintiff believes that these removal decisions, as well as an earlier determination not to hire her for the DGC position in the FBI’s National Security Law (NSL) Branch, were driven by Baker’s animus towards women    — specifically older women who did not conform to Baker’s idea of how a woman should act.    She thus filed this lawsuit alleging violations of Title VII and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act arising out of her non-selection for the NSL Branch DGC position, her removal as ILLT Branch DGC, and her demotion from the SES.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Apr 20,  .. WCA:    Sefnco Communications V. Department Of Labor And Industries  ..  SEFNCO Communications, Inc. appeals two citations issued by the Department of Labor and Industries (DLI) under (WISHA) following the injury to one of its employees when he contacted an energized power line during the installation of a telecommunications line.    The Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals (Board) upheld the citations, a serious violation, for allowing the injured employee to come too close to energized power lines, and a general violation, for having an employee at the job site who did not have the required first aid training.    SEFNCO argues that the citation for the serious violation was improper because the findings that the employee was a supervisor and that SEFNCO had constructive knowledge of the serious violation are not supported by substantial evidence.    SEFNCO further argues that even if the constructive knowledge finding was supported by substantial evidence, SEFNCO established the defense of unpreventable employee misconduct.    SEFNCO also argues that the evidence was insufficient to support the citation for the general violation because the DLI failed to prove that the employee at issue was required to have first-aid training.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Apr 20,  .. TN WC:    Turner v. Channel Control  ..  The parties agreed that Ms. Turner suffered compensable injuries from a workplace fall on June 29, 2020. Channel Control provided medical benefits, including neurological treatment with Dr. Nicole Bonsavage for her head injury.    In September, Dr. Bonsavage restricted Ms. Turner from performing duties that required higher cognitive functions.    Ms. Turner returned to work, but Channel Control did not accommodate her restrictions, and she had to perform the same tasks that she did before the accident.    In November, Ms. Turner again presented the restrictions to her manager, Cindy Reyes,who ignored them and required her to continue performing her original job duties.    Ms. Reyes placed Ms. Turner on either administrative or medical leave on January 9, 2021.    Ms. Turner was then fired for unprofessional conduct on January 13, although she denied being told why (using profanity in front of a customer) until she filed this claim.       The Court held an Expedited Hearing on March 31, 2022, to determine whether Ms. Turner is entitled to temporary disability benefits and additional medical treatment.    Although the parties focused primarily on the reasons for Ms. Turner’s termination, the Court finds that issue irrelevant under the evidence presented.    As a result, the Court holds that she is likely to prevail at a hearing on the merits.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)


♦       Apr 19,  .. Fed. Cir.:    Rickel v. Navy  ..  Mr. Rickel was a Fire Protection Specialist with the First Coast Navy Fire and Emergency Services (Fire Ser- vices) at Naval Air Station Jacksonville. In 2014, the Department of Navy appointed him—in his role as Fire Protection Specialist—to Assistant Chief of Training.    In this position, Mr. Rickel was responsible for determining training requirements for the department, reviewing training records and charts, and ensuring that the Fire Services firefighters’ certifications were maintained and current.    He was the only Fire Services employee assigned to the Fire Services training department.    In late 2016, Mr. Rickel applied for the department’s open Deputy Fire Chief position.    Fire Chief Mark Brusoe ultimately selected James Gray, an Assistant Chief of Operations with the Fire Services. The agency promoted Mr. Gray to Deputy Fire Chief.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Apr 19,  .. Fed. Cir.:    Afolayan v. DOJ  ..  On April 30, 2009, Agent Mr. Afolayan collapsed after completing a mandatory training run at the Border Patrol Academy in Artesia, New Mexico. A day later, he died.       At the time of his death, Agent Afolayan was in the last week of a twelve-week training program at the Border Patrol Academy in Artesia, New Mexico.    At approximately 2:45 p.m. on April 30, 2009, Agent Afolayan and other agents-in-training performed their final physical-fitness test, which included a one-and-a-half mile run to be completed in thirteen minutes or less.    The run took place at approximately 3,400 feet above sea level, with the temperature at approximately 88 degrees Fahrenheit and relative humidity between six and seven percent.    After completing the run in eleven minutes and six seconds, Agent Afolayan indicated that he did not feel well and thereafter collapsed.    Agent Afolayan died at 10:41 p.m. the next day. His death certificate, as amended in September 2009, listed the immediate cause of death as “Heat Illness” and identified “cardiomegaly (cardiac disease)” as an “other significant condition[] contributing to death.”    The meaning of the death certificate is less than clear.    His widow, Lisa Afolayan, appeals from the Bureau of Justice Assistance’s (“Bureau’s”) denial of death benefits.       We vacate the decision and remand for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Apr 19,  .. 11th Cir.:    Mitchem-Green v. MHM  ..  Ms. Mitchem-Green, an African-American woman, filed a lawsuit in state court against her former employer, MHM Health Professionals, LLC, (“MHM”), f/k/a MHM Health Professionals, Inc., raising claims of race and sex discrimination and retaliation under Florida state law.    Ms. Mitchem-Green holds a doctoral degree in nursing. From January to September of 2017, she worked as an Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner (“ARNP”) at Suwannee Correctional In- stitution.    Undisputed evidence reflects that Mitchem-Green did not meet MHM’s expectations for productivity, time management, and following instructions.    MHM expected Mitchem-Green to see up to thirty patients per day, spending no more than fifteen minutes with each patient, regardless of the severity or complexity of the patient’s particular health issues.    Mitchem-Green regularly was well below that mark. For example, from July 18, 2017, through August 31, 2017, she averaged 4.23 patient encounters per day.       Mitchem-Green does not dispute she failed to meet MHM’s expectations for patient encounters, but she asserts that it was impossible to meet her workload without additional support.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Apr 19,  .. OCA:    Fonce v. Champion  ..  In May 2000, Appellant began working for Appellee, Champion Township, as an assistant to the zoning inspector.    The former zoning inspector retired in August 2004, and Appellant was promoted to full-time zoning inspector.    In December 2019, Appellant filed a complaint against the Township and Trustees Fee, Bugos, and Emerine. Appellant’s claims were: 1) gender discrimination; 2) age discrimination; 3) promissory estoppel; 4) retaliation; 5) violation of public policy; and 6) intentional endangerment.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Apr 19,  .. 9th Cir.:    Martinez-Rodriguez v. Curtis Giles  ..  Plaintiffs are six citizens of Mexico who were recruited to work as “Animal Scientists” at Defendant Funk Dairy, Inc. (“Funk Dairy”) in Idaho under the “TN Visa” program for “professional” employees, established under the North American Free Trade Agreement (“NAFTA”).    But when Plaintiffs arrived at the dairy to perform such professional services, they were instead required to work substantially as general laborers.    After leaving Funk Dairy’s employ, Plaintiffs brought this suit alleging a variety of claims under federal and Idaho law.    In particular, Plaintiffs alleged that Defendants’ bait-and-switch tactics violated applicable federal statutory prohibitions on forced labor by, inter alia, abusing the TN Visa program in order to coerce Plaintiffs to provide menial physical labor.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)


♦       Apr 18,  .. 8th Cir.:    Gruttemeyer v. Transit Authority  ..  John Gruttemeyer began working for the Omaha Nebraska Transit Authority (Metro) in 2011 as a full-time bus operator and transferred to a position as a bus fueler and washer in May 2015.    Gruttemeyer was a member of the Transportation Workers Union (the Union) for the duration of his employment with Metro.    He was elected vice president of the Union in November 2015 and served in that role until March 1, 2016. Gruttemeyer had previously worked for the Omaha Fire Department for 23 years.    He took a one-year medical leave because of stress and depression and then retired from the fire department with a disability pension in July 2010.    In a letter dated July 6, 2016, Metro fired Gruttemeyer.    Gruttemeyer filed suit in federal district court alleging that Metro terminated his employment because of his disability—bipolar disorder, anxiety disorder, and depression—and in retaliation for Gruttemeyer helping a co-worker who claimed age discrimination by Metro.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Apr 18,  .. 7th Cir.:    Palmer, Jr. v. Indiana University  ..  Paul Palmer, Jr. II, sued his employer Indiana University of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, alleging discrimination based on his race. Palmer, who is African American, claimed that IU violated Title VII in two ways: (1) by failing to provide him an early promotion and (2) by paying him less than one of his white colleagues.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Apr 18,  .. 7th Cir.:    Perez v. Staples  ..  James Perez of Elmhurst, Illinois, began work at Staples as a national trainer in 2011. He held that position for four years until he became a sales representative in January 2015. His supervisor was Fred Coha, an area sales manager.    Perez’s documented performance issues began five months later.    Coha told Perez that his year-to-year sales growth did not meet the company’s expectations. Coha placed Perez on a “weekly activity plan” to increase his sales.    Perez was informed that “additional steps may be taken” if his sales results did not improve in 90 days. Six months later Perez was still not meeting the company’s objectives, so Coha placed him on another weekly activity plan.    Perez again received an admonition that if his sales did not improve further steps may be taken. Coha and Perez met weekly to discuss Perez’s work performance.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Apr 18,  .. SCRI:    Family Dollar v. Araujo  ..  On January 18, 2012, Mr. Araujo filed a workers’ compensation claim against his employer (Family Dollar), alleging that he had been injured on January 17, 2012 during the course of his employment.    Consequently, Mr. Araujo began to receive weekly workers’ compensation benefits from January 18, 2012 to August 12, 2012 and then beginning again on April 4, 2013—both periods of benefits relating to the same January 17, 2012 injury.    Thereafter, on September 12, 2014, Mr. Araujo’s attorney sent a letter to Family Dollar in which he alleged that he had been constructively discharged from his employment with Family Dollar on February 12, 2014.    In his letter, Mr. Araujo also informed Family Dollar of his intent to “file a complaint with the Rhode Island Human Rights Commission” because, as Mr. Araujo alleged, Family Dollar had discriminated against him on the basis of an illness completely unrelated to his workers’ compensation injury.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Apr 18,  .. D.C.:    WMATA v. Nash-Flegler  ..  Albert Nash-Flegler exited a train at Washington, DC Metro Transit Authority WMATA’s Deanwood station late one December night. He immediately slipped and fell on ice that had accumulated on the platform. Although WMATA had placed one yellow warning cone on the platform near the escalator, Nash-Flegler did not see it prior to his fall. Nash-Flegler sued WMATA, claiming he was injured due to WMATA’s negligent failure to:   (1) maintain the platform by keeping it free of ice, and   (2) properly warn passengers of slippery conditions on the platform.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Apr 18,  .. WVSC:    Progressive v. Brehm and Hess  ..  Christine Brehm and Amber R. Hess were injured when another driver crashed into the Toyota Camry in which they rode, a rental vehicle operated by Susan Bindernagel.    Brehm and Hess sought coverage under Bindernagel’s underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage. Bindernagel’s insurer, Progressive Max Insurance Company, denied coverage to Brehm and Hess because the rented Camry was not a “covered auto” under the policy.    Brehm and Hess filed suits for declarations of coverage and Progressive counterclaimed.    The circuit court granted summary judgment in favor of Brehm and Hess and against Progressive, finding that because they had been Bindernagel’s guest passengers in the rented Camry when the crash occurred, Brehm and Hess were entitled to payment under the Bindernagel UIM coverage.       On appeal, Progressive argues that clear statutory language and the terms of Bindernagel’s UIM coverage mandate reversal of summary judgment in favor of Brehm and Hess and entry of summary judgment in favor of Progressive.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)


♦       Apr 14,  .. CCA:    Doe v. Anderson  ..  Daniel Schafer, a teacher at a high school in the Anderson Union High School District (District), had a sexual relationship with one of his students, plaintiff Jane Doe, which included sexual activities in his classroom.    Jane Doe sued the District, principal Carol Germano, and superintendent Tim Azevedo for negligent hiring and negligent supervision.    We refer to the defendants collectively as the District, except when being more specific is necessary to the discussion.    The trial court granted the District’s motion for summary judgment and entered judgment in favor of the District, finding that there was no evidence the District knew or should have known that Schafer posed a risk of harm to students.       Jane Doe now contends the trial court erred by granting summary judgment because the District had a duty to supervise and monitor Schafer and Jane Doe and whether the District breached its duty to Doe is a question of fact for the jury.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Apr 14,  .. ICA:    Harper v. State of Iowa  ..  Ramon Harper was convicted of attempted murder, willful injury, going armed with intent, and flight to avoid prosecution after he beat a man at a convenience store that had multiple surveillance cameras.    According to Harper, the plan at trial was to argue “it wasn’t me.”    But in defense counsel’s closing argument, counsel conceded: “That was Mr. Harper. There’s no doubt about it and we agree to that.”    In his application for postconviction relief, Harper claimed this concession deprived him of his right to control his own defense at trial.    He additionally claimed that   (1) the composition of the jury panel violated his right to a jury drawn from a fair cross-section of the community;   (2) the State engaged in purposeful racial discrimination in jury selection; and   (3) his trial counsel was ineffective.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Apr 14,  .. 5th Cir.:    Baker v. Wal-Mart  ..  Baker sought to purchase four tires from a Wal-Mart store in Gulfport, Mississippi on July 5, 2018.    While replacing tires on Baker’s car, Wal-Mart employees noticed that one of the rims on Baker’s car was broken.    The Wal-Mart store did not sell rims and therefore one tire was replaced with a donut spare tire.    Baker alleges that it was the Wal-Mart employees who broke the rim, and that the Wal-Mart employees failed to repair or replace the rim for discriminatory reasons.    Following the dismissal with prejudice of several of Baker’s claims, the district court granted Wal-Mart summary judgment with respect to Baker’s remaining claims for negligence, gross negligence, premises liability, failure to train/supervise, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligence per se, fraud, and general discrimination.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Apr 14,  .. FDCA:    Palm Beach  v. Groover  ..  Groover brought a one-count complaint against the School Board under the Florida Public Sector Whistleblower’s Act. . He alleged that he was demoted from his position as an assistant principal to a teaching position by the principal of Boynton Beach High School in retaliation for his participation in an investigation by the School Board’s Office of Inspector General (“IG”).    The IG investigation concerned (1) a semi-pro basketball team’s lease of the school’s gym for basketball games at a reduced rate by using the non-profit certificate of an unrelated entity and (2) the team’s use of the gym without a lease.    Groover’s position was that the principal falsely accused him to cover up his own neglect, that the principal made him a scapegoat, and that he was punished for telling the truth in the IG investigation.    The jury’s verdict found that the School Board demoted Groover because he participated in the IG investigation on January 15, 2015.    The jury awarded him $140,000 for lost wages and $30,000 for mental anguish. In a thoughtful ruling, the trial court denied the School Board’s post-trial motion for a directed verdict, or in the alternative, for a new trial.       Here ... The School Board appeals a final judgment entered after a jury verdict in favor of Gary Groover.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Apr 14,  .. 10th Cir.:    Isaacs v. Konawa  ..  On the evening of March 8, 2019, Joseph Scoggins, coach of the Konawa Junior High School softball team, was driving a school bus on a two-lane road with six student-athletes as the team returned from a softball game in Okemah, Oklahoma.    The team members were all seated in the first three rows of the bus except for Rhindi.    Mr. Scoggins “permitted [her] to sit alternately on the steps on the bus and on the floor adjacent to the driver’s seat.”    As the bus traveled down the road, the students and Mr. Scoggins spotted an SUV on the wrong side of the road traveling towards them.    “Other drivers who had reported the erratic SUV had pulled over to avoid a collision.”    Mr. Scoggins, however, told the students that he “plan[ned] to avoid the accident” by veering into the left lane just before impact “so that the [oncoming SUV] would hit the back of the bus.”    As Mr. Scoggins steered the bus into the left lane, the SUV driver, John Tallbear, changed into the same lane. The two vehicles collided head-on.    Rhindi was in the bus’s stairwell, the “very spot” where the two vehicles collided. Id. She died in the crash.       Jessi Isaacs—Rhindi’s mother and personal representative of her estate—sued the bus driver, Joseph Scoggins; the Konawa Public Schools, and the Board of Education.    Nathan Isaacs and Jerome Snider, fathers of Jaylyn and Lilly, sued the same defendants for their daughters’ injuries.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)


♦       Apr 13,  .. 11th Cir.:    Smith v. Army  ..  Ms. Smith was working as a civilian employee in the U.S. Army Medical Command when, late in the spring of 2012, she began experiencing health problems. She decided to seek early retirement under the federal government’s Voluntary Early Retirement Authority, but withdrew her application when she learned that she would not receive an incentive payment for retiring early. But her health problems did not subside.    In June 2012 her central retinal vein became occluded, and she went on sick leave until August 1, 2012. She also requested and took additional leave under the Family Medical Leave Act—leave that the Army eventually approved retroactively.    While Smith was on leave, and without her knowledge, the Army filed and then approved an early retirement application on her behalf. She wanted to keep her job, though, so she withdrew the application on August 10 and returned to work on August 15.    But she continued to struggle. After her first day at work using the computer, her eyes hurt so much that she called in sick the next day. She continued to experience health problems over the next month, and on September 19, applied again for early retirement.    She also asked for a job that did not involve looking at computers all day.    The Army said no such job was available. The Army also denied her request to withdraw her early retirement application on the ground that she had signed a document saying that she would not withdraw.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Apr 12,  .. TNWC:    Scruggs v. AMAZON  ..  Ms. Scruggs felt a pop and pain in her left knee while working for Amazon on April 9, 2021, but did not notify Amazon about her injury at the time. Instead, she finished her shift, self-treated her knee, and continued working for days without seeking authorized medical treatment.    Three weeks later, Ms. Scruggs injured her left knee again after slipping on a wet substance on the floor at work on April 30. After the April 30 incident, she notified her supervisor about both incidents.    In response, Amazon provided a panel of physicians, from which Ms. Scruggs selected Dr. Frederick Wolf.    Dr. Wolf ordered an MRI and placed Ms. Scruggs on sedentary duty.    Ms. Scruggs asks the Court to order Amazon to authorize the surgery recommended by Dr. Wolf. To do so, the Court must determine whether Ms. Scruggs is likely to prevail on the issue of whether her alleged injury arose primarily out of and in the course and scope of her employment.    She must show, “to a reasonable degree of medical certainty that it contributed more than fifty percent (50%) in causing the . . . disablement or need for medical treatment, considering all causes.” “Shown to a reasonable degree of medical certainty” means that, in the opinion of the treating physician, it is more likely than not considering all causes as opposed to speculation or possibility.    Ms. Scruggs also seeks temporary disability benefits. To prove entitlement to these benefits, she must show (1) total disability from working as the result of a compensable injury; (2) a causal connection between the injury and the inability to work; and (3) the duration of the period of disability.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Apr 12,  .. FLRA:  Treasury v. NTEU  ..  In 2018, the Union filed a grievance on behalf of all visually-impaired bargaining‑unit employees alleging violations of Sections 501 and 508 of the Act, and the anti-discrimination provisions of the parties’ agreement. The Union filed its grievance under Article 42 of the parties’ agreement (Article 42).     The Agency denied the grievance and the parties proceeded to arbitration.     At arbitration, the Agency filed a motion to dismiss the grievance on substantive‑ and procedural-arbitrability grounds. According to the Agency, the Union’s claims arising under Section 508 of the Act were inarbitrable because the Act provides the exclusive administrative process for resolving such claims. The Agency also argued that the grievance was deficient because it did not satisfy the pleading requirements, contained in Article 42, for a national institutional grievance.     In this case, we reiterate that the Authority will defer to an arbitrator’s interpretation of a negotiated grievance procedure unless that interpretation is irrational, unfounded, implausible, or in manifest disregard of the parties’ agreement.  ..  FLRA DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦        Apr 11,  ..  No New Cases To Post Today.     Cases on passover, easter, spring break.

♦        Apr 8,  ..  No New Cases To Post Today.     Cases on passover, easter, spring break.

♦        Apr 7,  ..  No New Cases To Post Today.     Cases on passover, easter, spring break.

♦        Apr 6,  ..  No New Cases To Post Today.     Cases on passover, easter, spring break.

♦       Apr 5,  .. TN WC:    Merritt v. Flextronics  ..  Mr. Merritt worked for Flextronics as a computer repair technician. In 2020, Flextronics had an influx of business that caused Mr. Merritt to work many extra hours. He described working up to twelve hours per day, seven days a week.    Mr. Merritt said this increased workload caused pain in his hands from using a screwdriver to remove thousands of screws on the computers he repaired.    Mr. Merritt first noticed the pain on July 6. It worsened the next week and, by the third week, became so bad that he felt he needed medical attention.    He told his supervisor about his pain; Flextronics contended he did not say it was work-related.    Mr. Merritt ultimately sought treatment with orthopedic surgeon Dr. Christian Fahey, whom he first saw on July 28, 2020. Dr. Fahey recorded that Mr. Merritt had pain in his hands for the last six months, but it had gotten severe in the last two weeks. Mr. Merritt related his pain to his work. Dr. Fahey diagnosed possible tenosynovitis and recommended physical therapy.    ...    Mr. Merritt requested permanent disability and medical benefits for injuries to his hands. Flextronics denied his claim.    COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Apr 5,  .. 5th Cir.:    Davis v. Dollar General  ..  Ms. Davis alleges that she was injured by the doors at two different Dollar General stores in Mississippi.    Davis alleges that she was injured in February 2019 when a manual push door at a Dollar General store jammed on her arm.    Ms. Davis filed a customer injury claim with Dollar General.    This claim was denied as false after a Dollar General Claims Representative reviewed surveillance footage demonstrating that Davis walked through the door without issue.    Davis also alleges that she was injured by an electric-powered door at a different Dollar General store in 2020.    She again filed a customer injury claim; this claim was also denied as false after a different Dollar General Claims Representative reviewed surveillance footage demonstrating that Davis walked through the door without issue.    Dollar General also sent a letter to Davis, informing her that she was banned from all its stores and no longer an invitee to any of its stores.    Proceeding pro se, Davis sued Dollar General and the two Claims Representatives, seeking five trillion dollars in damages.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Apr 5,  .. 8th Cir.:    Muldrow v. St. Louis  ..  Appellant Sergeant Ms. Muldrow of the St. Louis Police Department (Department) brought Title VII claims against the City of St. Louis and state law claims against both the City of St. Louis and Captain Michael Deeba of the Department.    In 2008, Sergeant Ms. Muldrow was transferred from her position as a patrol detective to the Department’s Intelligence Division. At various points during her time in the Intelligence Division, Sergeant Muldrow worked on public corruption and human trafficking cases, served as head of the Gun Crimes Intelligence Unit, and oversaw the Gang Unit.    In 2016, while she was still assigned to the Intelligence Division, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) deputized Sergeant Muldrow as a Task Force Officer (TFO) for its Human Trafficking Unit.    As a TFO, Sergeant Muldrow had the same privileges as an FBI agent: access to FBI field offices and databases, the opportunity to work in plain clothes, access to an unmarked FBI vehicle, authority to conduct human-trafficking related investigations outside of the St. Louis city limits, and the opportunity to earn up to $17,500 in annual overtime pay.    In 2017, Interim Police Commissioner Lawrence O’Toole replaced the Commander of Intelligence, Captain Angela Coonce, with Captain Deeba. Shortly after assuming his new role, Captain Deeba began making personnel changes.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Apr 5,  .. TSC:    Von Dohlen, et al v. City of San Antonio  ..  The petitioners in this case allege that the San Antonio City Council voted to prohibit the opening of a Chick-fil-A in the San Antonio airport based, at least in part, on Chick-fil-A’s contributions to religious organizations that councilmembers found objectionable.    In March 2019, the San Antonio City Council considered whether to approve a proposed concession agreement pursuant to which concessionaire Paradies Lagardère would contract with various vendors who would operate in the San Antonio International Airport.    The agreement as initially proposed contemplated the installation of a Chick-fil-A in a 985-square-foot space near Gate A6.    This proposal drew opposition at the March 21, 2019 City Council meeting. According to the petition, Councilmember Roberto Treviño objected to the concession agreement’s inclusion of Chick-fil-A and “announced that he wanted Chick-fil-A banned from the San Antonio airport.”    He elaborated: “The inclusion of Chick-fil-A as a national brand tenant is something I cannot support.    The petition also alleges that, at that same meeting, Councilmember Manny Pelaez seconded Treviño’s motion, citing Chick-fil-A’s history of “funding anti-LGBTQ organizations.” Petitioners allege Pelaez “explicitly stated that he wanted Chick-fil-A banned from the airport because of its donations to certain religious organizations.”  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)


♦       Apr 4,  .. SCI:    Iowa v. McCalley  ..  On January 13, 2020, Boone police officer Daniel Lynch observed Ms. McCalley driving a green pickup truck.    Officer Lynch was able to identify McCalley as the driver by running a driver’s license photo of her using his in-car computer. Dispatch reported McCalley had a barred Iowa license as a habitual offender.    After Ms. McCalley pulled into a parking lot and entered a restaurant, Officer Lynch arrested her, and the State subsequently charged McCalley with operating a motor vehicle while license is barred as a habitual offender, an aggravated misdemeanor.    McCalley entered a written guilty plea to the charge on October 29, and the district court held a sentencing hearing on December 8.    At the sentencing hearing, counsel for Ms. McCalley acknowledged McCalley “does have a little bit of criminal history,” citing “an OWI and a couple of other driving charges that date back to 2007” in addition to her license being barred “due to nonpayment of fines and child support over the last couple of years.”    The defendant, Ms. McCalley, seeks review of her sentence and restitution order after the district court imposed a six-day jail sentence and ordered her to pay restitution costs for operating a motor vehicle while her license is barred as a habitual offender.    The defendant, Ms. McCalley, challenges the district court’s discretion to sentence her to jail and the constitutionality of this sentence, claiming the district court improperly considered her struggling financial situation in imposing the jail sentence over her requested sentence of a fine or probation.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Apr 4,  .. KCA:    State v. Smith  ..  In July 2018, Smith was hired to work as teller for EquiShare Credit Union in Wichita. After a two-week training period, Smith went to work in EquiShare's main office. Smith's employment at EquiShare did not go well and did not last long.    He was ultimately fired on August 31, 2018, after he approached another employee and asked to borrow money, which was a violation of EquiShare's employment policies.    There had also been several instances during his employment in which there were inconsistencies in Smith's drawer balance.    EquiShare's senior vice president, Freda Reynolds, reviewed all of Smith's register receipts for any withdraws that did not have a customer's signature and found three additional transactions.    Reynolds looked at security footage from the time of the transactions and found neither Nash nor the other affected customers were present at the time of the withdraws.    In total, Reynolds determined Smith withdrew $3,200 from the four affected accounts without the account holders' authorization.    The State charged Smith with one count of felony theft and one count of unlawful acts concerning computers. A jury convicted him as charged.    At sentencing, the district imposed a 14-month prison sentence but placed Smith on probation from that sentence for 12 months.    The district court also ordered Smith to pay $4,100 in restitution, to which Smith did not object.    Smith timely appeals.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Apr 4,  .. 7th Cir.:    Beaulieu v. NewQuest  ..  Beaulieu, who identifies herself as African-American, worked in customer service at NewQuest, a healthcare management company.    She contends that she was racially harassed soon after she started working at the company in 2014. At that time, she reported to Juan Salas, a Hispanic man. According to Beaulieu, Salas called her stupid, yelled at her in front of peers, and sat so close to her at meetings that his spit landed on her as he talked.    When she later reported to a new supervisor, Beaulieu says that Salas still scolded her before her peers and chastised her about unscheduled breaks.    (Beaulieu also says that a director touched her back, criticized her, and may have prank- called her.) Deeming Salas a racist, Beaulieu complained to management about him.    Relatedly, NewQuest reprimanded Beaulieu for skipping work entirely on a day when, because of inclement weather, NewQuest allowed workers who showed up to leave early.    Beaulieu resigned in March 2016.    Before she resigned, she had missed work for an approved medical appointment; NewQuest mistakenly recorded the absence as a “no-show” and fired her. It quickly acknowledged its mistake and restored her employment status.    Shaken by the experience, Beaulieu resigned anyway.    Beaulieu sued NewQuest alleging race discrimination and retaliation.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Apr 4,  .. 7th Cir.:    Swanson v. PNC Bank  ..  Swanson wanted to help her nephew buy a car from a Toyota dealership, so she co-signed his application for financing. The dealership’s credit department offered a loan from Toyota Financial and also submitted the loan application to two outside lenders, one of which was PNC. Swanson and her nephew purchased the car that day with the loan from Toyota Financial.    A few days later, Swanson received a letter from PNC notifying her that her loan application was denied. PNC listed problems with her credit history, including delinquencies, a high ratio between the balance and limit on her other accounts, and the novelty of other credit accounts. The letter noted that Swanson’s credit score was 787.    Swanson believed the letter inaccurately described her credit history, and so she contacted PNC. She was told that a letter denying a joint application lists problems with both applicants’ credit histories. Swanson doubted this explanation because her letter did not contain her nephew’s name. PNC followed up with a letter explaining that joint applicants receive copies of the same denial letter, and PNC assumes “each applicant will know whether the reason(s) are specific to them or the co-applicant.”    Swanson sued the bank for racial discrimination under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act.    She alleged that, given her high credit score and stable finances, PNC withheld credit only because she and her nephew listed home addresses with a zip code where a majority of the residents are Black.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)


♦       Apr 1,  .. D.D.C.:    Diaz v. Coddi-Wes  ..  Plaintiff David Sanchez Diaz received an hourly wage for his work as a food runner at a restaurant called Rebellion.     Diaz began working at Rebellion in 2016. At that time, his duties included “bringing food from the kitchen to seated customers, cleaning tables, interacting with guests, [and] communicating with front-of-the-house staff.” worked in that role for approximately twenty to thirty hours each week and received an hourly wage that gradually rose to $11.50. It is undisputed that Diaz worked those hours as an employee of the restaurant, as that term is used in the FLSA.     In 2017, Diaz began to clean Rebellion after hours for the flat salary of $500 per week. In the spring of 2019, Diaz began to clean Rebellion on the Pike as well, for the flat salary of $500 every two weeks. The defendants argue that, although Diaz worked as an employee during his food running shifts, he worked as an independent contractor during his janitorial duties. Diaz was fired from his food running and janitorial roles at both restaurants on November 3, 2019.     Diaz filed the instant action on November 22, 2019.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Apr 1,  .. D.D.C.:    Bethel v. Rodriguez  ..  Plaintiff Larry Bethel states in his complaint that, one month after purchasing an air conditioning unit from Home Depot, he learned that a warrant for his arrest had been issued for stealing the product.    Bethel turned himself in to the Metropolitan Police Department (“MPD”) and the warrant was never served.    He then filed this suit against Defendants Jose Rodriguez, the police officer that secured the warrant for his arrest, the MPD, Nelson Benton, an asset protection specialist for Home Depot, and Home Depot U.S.A. alleging violations of his Fourth Amendment rights, among other claims.    Additionally, he claims that “as a direct and proximate result of Defendants’ wrongful conduct, [he] suffered significant emotional pain, suffering, fear and shame.”  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Apr 1,  .. 3rd Cir.:    Vanhook v. Cooper Health  ..  VanHook worked at Cooper Health System (“Cooper”) from 2010 until 2018 as a patient representative.    VanHook experiences depression, anxiety, panic attacks, and related symptoms, and her son experiences attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, severe oppositional defiance disorder, chronic depression, and anxiety. VanHook says that her son requires constant supervision and medical care.    Starting in 2013, Cooper granted VanHook intermittent leave under the FMLA to care for him when he was not in school or otherwise supervised. VanHook took FMLA leave totaling 69 days in 2015, 90 days in 2016, and 106 days in 2017.    Cooper hired a firm to conduct surveillance on VanHook over three days when she was on FMLA leave.    On February 12, 2018, VanHook stated that her son was not having a “good day,” but she was observed driving to Dunkin’ Donuts and Walmart, picking up her other son from school, and exercising at L.A. Fitness, all without her son. There was no indication that a tutor or therapist was temporarily at the house, permitting her to leave briefly.    On February 19, 2018, she was observed at L.A. Fitness, ShopRite, and Target with her other son, again, with no indication of a need to care for her child.    On March 9, 2018, VanHook took FMLA leave for the stated reason that she needed to take her son to doctor’s appointments, but that son was observed boarding a school bus, and VanHook was observed driving her other son to a medical appointment and then to two stores.    On March 21, 2018, Mannino, Sentel, and Tracy met with VanHook regarding her use of FMLA leave.    When Sentel confronted VanHook with the surveillance footage and asked if she wanted to view it, VanHook refused and tried to turn in her badge.    Cooper terminated VanHook “for abusing FMLA time.”    VanHook sued Cooper, alleging retaliation in violation of the FMLA and discrimination, harassment, and retaliation in violation of the ADA and NJLAD.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)



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