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♦       Sep 28, 2021  .. D.D.C.:    Edwards v. Best Buy  ..  Plaintiff Stephen S. Edwards (“Mr. Edwards”) brings this suit after an incident at a Best Buy store in Arizona, where Mr. Edwards resides.    Mr. Edwards claims that an elderly Best Buy employee, Mr. Lance Klein (“Mr. Klein”), physically and sexually assaulted him while he was at a Best Buy store but provides no further details of the incident.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Sep 28, 2021  .. CCA:    Barrera v. Albertsons  ..  Barrera sprained his ankle far along into his 90-day term of probationary employment and was provided with 37 days of medical leave as an accommodation, even though his probationary performance up to the point of his disability had been subpar.    All parties agreed Barrera could not have performed the strenuous functions of the Albertsons job while he needed to use an ankle boot and cane.    Eventually Albertsons terminated Barrera on the basis that his pre-leave performance had consistently been graded below expectations.    The trial court found that Albertsons was entitled to do so.    On appeal, Barrera argues the FEHA entitled him to an additional period of time to improve his performance once he returned from medical leave.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Sep 28, 2021  .. D.D.C.:    Squires v. Gallaudet Univ  ..  Plaintiff Anibelka Henriquez Squires has filed a twelve-count complaint against her former employer, Gallaudet University, arising out of her employment as an Academic-Career Advisor from 2016 to 2018.    Plaintiff, who is Latina and hard-of-hearing, has brought claims under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the Family Medical Leave Act of 1993, the D.C. Human Rights Act, and the D.C. Accrued Safe and Sick Leave Act, alleging that she was subjected to race and disability discrimination, retaliation, a hostile work environment, and interference with her statutory rights.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Sep 28, 2021  .. FLRA:  VA v. AFGE  ..  The Union requests that we reconsider the Authority’s decision in U.S. Department of VA, Medical Center, Kansas City, Missouri (VA, Kansas City).    The case arose when the Agency stopped participating in joint labor‑management meetings (joint meetings) in order to comply with Executive Order No. 13,812 (the rescission EO).    Arbitrator Danielle L. Carne found that the Agency’s actions violated the parties’ master collective‑bargaining agreement, along with an incorporated memorandum of understanding (MOU).    In VA, Kansas City, the Authority determined that the Arbitrator’s award was deficient on several grounds and vacated it.    In its motion for reconsideration (motion), the Union attempts to relitigate the Authority’s conclusions in VA, Kansas City, misconstrues the Authority’s findings, and fails to address all the bases on which the Authority relied to vacate the award. Therefore, we deny the Union’s motion as failing to establish extraordinary circumstances warranting reconsideration of VA, Kansas City.  ..  FLRA DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Sep 28, 2021  .. 11th Cir.:    Coley v. Shaw  ..  Zachary E. Coley filed a pro se lawsuit alleging that his former employer, Shaw Industries, Inc., violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”)., when it refused to reduce his hours as a reasonable accommodation for his disability and then terminated his employment on August 12, 2019.    The district court dismissed Coley’s complaint because he did not timely file a charge of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) within 180 days after his termination.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Sep 27, 2021  .. 2d Cir.:    Ziparo v. CSX  ..  Plaintiff-Appellant Cody Ziparo sued his former employer, Defendant- Appellee CSX Transportation, Inc., for unlawful retaliation under the Federal Railroad Safety Act (“FRSA”).    Ziparo alleges that he was terminated because he engaged in protected activity by “reporting, in good faith, a hazardous safety or security condition.”    The United States District Court for the Northern District of New York (Suddaby, C.J.) granted summary judgment for CSX.    We conclude that the district court erred.    Accordingly, we VACATE the judgment of the district court and REMAND to the district court for further proceedings.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Sep 27, 2021  .. CCA:    Sterling v. Sacramento  ..  Defendant County of Sacramento (the County) released plaintiff Juvoni Sterling (Sterling), an African-American woman, from her position as a probationary building inspector. Sterling sued the County for damages, alleging race and gender discrimination, retaliation, failure to prevent retaliation and discrimination, and defamation.    After a five-week trial, the jury returned a verdict in Sterling’s favor on her race discrimination, retaliation, failure to prevent, and defamation claims, awarding her $450,001 in damages. The County moved for judgment notwithstanding the verdict (JNOV) and for a new trial.    The trial court denied both motions and awarded Sterling attorney fees in the amount of $1,113,750.    The County now appeals the judgment, the denial of the JNOV motion, and the fee award.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Sep 24, 2021  ..  No New Cases To Post Today.       Sep 23, 2021  ..  No New Cases To Post Today.

♦       Sep 22, 2021  .. 1st Cir.:    U.S. v. Rivera  ..  After suffering a work injury as a mechanic for the United States Postal Service ("USPS"), Ricardo Rivera-Ortiz began receiving worker's compensation and Social Security disability benefits.    As a condition of receiving those benefits, Rivera had to file forms indicating whether he was undertaking any work or volunteer activities. At some point, after Rivera had been receiving benefits for years, the USPS Office of the Inspector General ("OIG") began investigating his case. It determined that he had continued working and volunteering with his union, the American Postal Workers' Union ("APWU"), without disclosing those activities as required.    Rivera was eventually charged with making false statements on the relevant government forms, theft of government property, and failing to disclose an event that affected his right to Social Security payments. A jury found him guilty on all counts.    He now challenges the sufficiency of the evidence to support the convictions, the exclusion of certain mitigating evidence, and some aspects of his sentence.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Sep 22, 2021  .. MCA:    Trunnel v. MOHELA  ..  MOHELA is the Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority.     Trunnel alleges that she was "constructively discharged" from MOHELA on January 11, 2019. On October 16, 2019, Trunnel filed suit against MOHELA in the Circuit Court of Boone County, Missouri alleging that MOHELA discriminated against her on the basis of race, sex, and disability, and that MOHELA retaliated against her once she complained of the discrimination.    On August 7, 2020, MOHELA moved to dismiss the proceedings and compel arbitration, or, in the alternative, to stay the proceedings and compel arbitration. MOHELA argued that all of Trunnel's claims "are subject to mandatory arbitration" because by signing the Acknowledgment of Receipt document, Trunnel "agreed to arbitrate any 'claims for discrimination, harassment, violation of any federal, state, or other governmental law, statute or regulation, termination of employment or tort claims' that she might have against MOHELA."  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Sep 21, 2021  .. D.D.C.:    Williams v. Sessions (Justice)  ..  Plaintiff, an African-American woman employed by the Bureau of Prisons’ chaplaincy services, sues her employer.    Mary Tyes-Williams is an African-American woman.    She joined the Bureau of Prisons in September 2005 as a staff chaplain and has since worked there in various chaplain roles.    In June 2014, the Bureau promoted Williams to serve as a GS-13 Chaplaincy Services Coordinator covering the Bureau’s South Central and Southeast Regions.    Ultimately, Kevin Kelley was selected for the position in February 2016.    Plaintiff, Ms Williams, asserts that in selecting another applicant for a promotion, the Bureau discriminated against her based on her race and sex in violation of Title VII.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Sep 21, 2021  .. Fed. Cir.:    Deleon v. DVA  ..  On February 28, 2019, the Petitioner became em- broiled in an altercation at the Washington, DC Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC).    At the time of the incident, he was a police officer whose statutory arrest authority had been temporarily suspended due to failure to meet certain weapon-certification requirements. ;  Based on the arrest-authority suspension and a prior injury, the Petitioner’s supervisors had assigned him du- ties as a security assistant.    Robyn Hardy, the Chief of Police of the DC VAMC also moved the Petitioner to the security desk due to complaints from VA personnel about unauthorized entries into employee offices, including the Human Resources (HR) Office. ;  His primary job as a security assistant was to check visitors’ identifications at a VAMC entrance.    While checking identifications at the facility that day, he encountered Ms. Karen Dadey, a veteran visiting the VAMC for medical appointments.    Dadey contends that, upon entering the VAMC, the Petitioner asked for her identification.    She noticed that the Petitioner was not wearing a police badge or uniform and asked him, in turn, whether he was an employee.    The Petitioner did not respond and asked for her identification again. Id. When Dadey did not immediately provide her identification, the Petitioner asked her to step aside to allow other visitors to pass.    After she entered the building, Dadey stopped at a police room and complained about her encounter with the Petitioner.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Sep 20, 2021  ..  No New Cases To Post Today.   SORRY.

♦       Sep 17, 2021  .. 6th Cir.:    Haydar v. Amazon Corporate  ..  In this employment discrimination case, Mr. Haydar, a senior technology manager at Amazon Marketplace, sued Amazon and the manager he claims was responsible for the discrimination, Mr. Faricy.    Mr. Haydar, a practicing Muslim of Syrian descent, began working for Amazon in November of 2012 as a senior technology manager.    Haydar initially reported to Mr. Kandasamy, whose manager was Peter Faricy, the head of Amazon Marketplace.    During Haydar’s first performance review in 2013, Kandasamy told him that he had “serious concerns” about whether Haydar could succeed at his job or at Amazon, unless he took “immediate action to improve on [his] effective communication, active listening, diving deep, earning the trust of others, insisting on the highest standards and being right a lot.”    Kandasamy rated Haydar’s performance as “needs improvement” (a lower rating) and his leadership at “solid strength” (a middle rating).  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Sep 17, 2021  .. D.D.C.:    Fowler v. DC Govt  ..  Plaintiff, Ms. Fowler, who is now 63 or 64 years old, worked for the ABRA from August 17, 1987, until October 15, 2019. Beginning in 1994 and until her termination, she served as a Licensing Specialist, a Grade 11 position.    At some point, problems arose between Plaintiff and her supervisor, Licensing Program Manager Mr. Gordy. In 2013, Plaintiff spoke with ABRA Director Fred Moosally about Gordy, informing Moosally that Gordy was “targeting her on the basis of her age.”    Meanwhile, in November 2016, the D.C. Department of Human Resources initiated a special investigation involving Plaintiff, based on allegations of employee misconduct and insubordination, including . . . making threats, behaving in an unstable manner, and exhibiting caustic behavior towards Mr. Gordy.”  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Sep 17, 2021  .. 3rd Cir:    Silla v. Holdings  ..  Ms. Silla brought this lawsuit against her former employer, Rivers Casino, pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), The Civil Rights Act of 1964, alleging discrimination, harassment, and retaliation.    On February 25, 2020, Ms. Silla filed a charge with EEOC against Rivers Casino, alleging discrimination in violation of the ADA and Title VII.    The EEOC investigated her claim and declined to proceed, then issued her a “right-to-sue” letter on March 20, 2020, explaining that she had 90 days from her receipt of the letter to file a lawsuit against Rivers Casino.    Silla filed her complaint on June 26, 2020, ninety- eight (98) days after the issuance of the right-to-sue letter.    Rivers Casino filed a motion to dismiss because Silla’s complaint was untimely filed. The District Court agreed and dismissed Silla’s ADA and Title VII claims with prejudice.    3rd Cir :   For the reasons that follow, we will vacate the District Court’s judgment and remand for further proceedings.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Sep 16, 2021  ..  No New Cases To Post Today.   SORRY.

♦       Sep 15, 2021  .. D.D.C.:    Woodson v. Smith  ..  Ms. Woodson alleges she has long suffered from endometriosis, a painful condition “affecting several major life activities.”    She underwent three surgical procedures between 2007 and 2018 and “suffer[ed] from the effects of endometriosis” during her tenure at Edgewood.    But she claims that she “perform[ed] exceptionally . . . and never received a dissatisfactory performance evaluation, never was placed on a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP), and never was demoted or suspended” before her termination in 2019.    Woodson asserts that, despite her strong performance, multiple Edgewood employees targeted her, creating a hostile work environment.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Sep 15, 2021  .. D.D.C.:    Stoe v. Garland (DOJ)  ..  Plaintiff Debra Stoe, a scientist in the Department of Justice’s (“DOJ”) Office of Science and Technology (“OST”), was denied a promotion in 2014 to serve as OST’s Division Director. Mark Greene, a younger man with less experience at OST, received the job instead.    The selecting official was plaintiff’s then-supervisor Chris Tillery.    Thereafter, Stoe brought suit against her employer, the U.S. Attorney General, alleging that OST’s failure to promote her resulted from gender and age discrimination in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Sep 15, 2021  .. MSC:    Barthel v. Barretts Minerals  ..  Barthel was employed with Barretts Minerals, Inc. (Barretts) as a lab technician and loader operator from July 2012 until his termination on March 28, 2019. Barthel was terminated after testing positive for THC in a random drug and alcohol urine analysis test.    In January 2019, Barthel’s physician prescribed medical marijuana as treatment for his diagnosed Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) related to an accident several years earlier. Barthel received his “green card” and began using medical marijuana during the evenings after work in February 2019.    Barthel did not use medical marijuana immediately prior to nor during any of his work shifts.    On March 15, 2019, Barretts randomly selected Barthel for a drug and alcohol urine analysis test pursuant to the company’s Human Resources Policy and Procedural Guide (the Policy).    Barthel informed his supervisor, James de los Rios, that he had been prescribed medical marijuana and would likely test positive for THC.    Barthel was placed on suspension pending the results of the drug test.    On March 28, 2019, the drug test identified the presence of THC in Barthel’s system. Barretts terminated Barthel for violating the Policy.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Sep 14, 2021  .. 11th Cir.:    Pyatt v. Aecom  ..  On July 7, 2017, AECOM hired Mr. Pyatt for an entry-level position after a referral from one of its employees, Samuel Worthy, who met Mr. Pyatt at a college fair. Mr. Worthy subsequently raised concerns about Mr. Pyatt turning in unacceptable work product, failing to follow instructions, having problems accepting and implementing feedback, and disregarding instructions.    On May 7, 2018, at a performance review, managers and administrators at AECOM handed Mr. Pyatt a performance improvement plan (“PIP”) addressing his performance and behavior issues.    On June 6, 2018, at another performance review, Mr. Pyatt was “belligerent and argumentative” to his supervisor, Mr. Charpentier. The next day, Mr. Pyatt sent an email to AECOM’s human resources department stating that on October 31, 2017—Halloween of the previous year—Mr. Worthy had brought a black mask to work that Mr. Pyatt considered to be “a notorious representation of black face which is used to mock African Americans.” A member of AECOM’s employee relations and compliance group, Teresa Pownall, was assigned to investigate the mask incident and found no evidence of discrimination.    Mr. Pyatt’s poor work performance continued, and Mr. Charpentier discussed it with him.    As a result of Ms. Pownall’s investigation, Carlos Garcia, AECOM’s Vice President, Florida Transportation State Lead, telephoned Mr. Pyatt on October 9, 2018, and terminated his employment. Neither Mr. Charpentier nor Mr. Worthy participated in the decision to terminate Mr. Pyatt.    Mr. Pyatt filed an action in Florida state court in January of 2019 asserting claims for race discrimination and retaliation.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Sep 13, 2021  ..  No New Cases To Post Today.   SORRY.

♦       Sep 10, 2021  .. FLRA:  NTEU v. IRS  ..  This case involves a dispute over proposals related to the Agency’s implementation of a peer coaching initiative.    This matter is before the Authority on a negotiability appeal filed by the Union under § 7105(a)(2)(E) of the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute (Statute).  ..  FLRA DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Sep 9, 2021  .. FLRA:  Homeland v. AFGE  ..  Two months after the Agency became aware of the grievant’s alleged misconduct, it began an inquiry that triggered an investigation. During the three‑month investigation, the grievant admitted to the alleged charges.    Nearly two additional months after the Agency concluded its investigation, the Agency proposed a seven-day suspension based upon three charges: the grievant left before the end of his assigned shift; the grievant failed to provide accurate information for the Agency’s timesheet; and the grievant failed to follow supervisor instructions.    Ultimately, the Agency reduced the grievant’s seven-day suspension to two days.    Arbitrator Almalee P. Guttshall issued an award sustaining the Union’s request for attorney fees based, in part, on Agency management having reduced the grievant’s suspension from seven to two days. The Arbitrator found that the reduction of the suspension showed that the Agency initiated the suspension in bad faith and knew, or should have known, that it would not prevail on the merits.    Here, the agency argues that the arbitrator's award is contrary to law.  ..  FLRA DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Sep 9, 2021  .. D.D.C.:    Daughtry v. Kmg Hauling  ..  Plaintiff, an African-American woman, sues her former employer and its owner. The gist of her complaint is that Defendants discriminated and retaliated against her under several federal and DC statutes.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Sep 8, 2021  .. CCA:    Sterling v. Sacramento  ..  Defendant County of Sacramento (the County) released plaintiff Juvoni Sterling (Sterling), an African-American woman, from her position as a probationary building inspector.    Sterling sued the County for damages, alleging race and gender discrimination, retaliation, failure to prevent retaliation and discrimination, and defamation.    After a five-week trial, the jury returned a verdict in Sterling’s favor on her race discrimination, retaliation, failure to prevent, and defamation claims, awarding her $450,001 in damages.    The County moved for judgment notwithstanding the verdict (JNOV) and for a new trial.    The trial court denied both motions and awarded Sterling attorney fees in the amount of $1,113,750.    The County now appeals the judgment.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Sep 8, 2021  .. 6th Cir.:    Smith v. Toledo  ..  The Academy hired Major Smith, III as a firefighter recruit in December 2017. Recruits at the Academy undergo rigorous training in almost three dozen topics. Each class of recruits is broken up into smaller “squads.” Each squad completes the entire curriculum together.    One such exam is the vertical ventilation test. To perform this task, firefighters cut a hole in the roof of a burning building to release the toxic gasses and pressure that build up inside.    The Toledo Fire and Rescue Training Academy (the Academy) had a policy of dismissing recruits who were unable to perform this skill after the third attempt. Smith, however, was given nine chances to perform this skill; yet he failed every time.    He was dismissed from the Academy.    Smith argues that he was dismissed because of his race.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Sep 8, 2021  .. NJSC:    J.G. v. PFRS  ..  After working as an officer at the Camden County Department of Corrections for almost four years, appellant became a police officer with the Brooklawn Police Department on February 1, 2006.    On December 3, 2013, appellant applied for accidental disability retirement benefits based on three incidents, occurring on April 17, 2009, May 24, 2011, and September 3, 2011, that allegedly caused him to suffer post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and rendered him disabled and unable to perform his job.    On March 9, 2015, the Board granted him ordinary disability but denied his application for accidental disability benefits.    The Board determined appellant was "disabled due to other medical reasons," not the three incidents on which he based his application, and that his disability "is the result of a pre-existing disease alone or a pre-existing disease that is aggravated or accelerated by the work effort."    Appellant administratively appealed.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Sep 7, 2021  .. OCA:    Saunders v. Dayton RTA  ..  Ms. Saunders, an African-American woman, began working for the Dayton Regional Transit Authority (RTA) as a bus driver in December 2000.    She took the position subject to a collective bargaining agreement between RTA and the Amalgamated Transit Union, Local 1385 (“ATU”).    On November 6, 2010, Saunders berated an unruly passenger during a stop at Wright Stop Plaza.    En route to the plaza, the passenger “had made an offhand comment” that upset Saunders, and when the bus reached the plaza, the passenger walked from the back of the bus to exit through the forward doors, “essentially ready to fight."    In the midst of the ensuing disagreement, Saunders followed the passenger off the bus, vituperated the passenger in profane terms, made a demeaning comment about the passenger’s sexual identity, and invited the passenger to have a physical altercation with her.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Sep 7, 2021  .. D.D.C.:    Piper v. NRRPC (Amtrack)  ..  Mr. Piper worked at Amtrak in a variety of roles for almost thirty years.    Ms.Piper alleges that she suffered regular mistreatment at the hands of two coworkers while she was training to become a locomotive engineer.    They called her names, hit her when she operated the train, and touched her inappropriately.    The mistreatment ended when one of the coworkers changed jobs. Several months later, however, Ms.Piper failed to qualify as a certified engineer.    She now brings a variety of discrimination claims against her employer, the National Railroad Passenger Corporation, more commonly known as Amtrak.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Sep 7, 2021  .. 6th Cir.:    Newell v. CMU  ..  Plaintiff Ms. Newell suffers from a genetic disorder that she describes as a combination of hypotonic cerebral palsy and a connective-tissue condition like Marfan syndrome.    Her disorder manifests in several ways, including hypermobility, joint instability and pain, general lack of strength, as well as learning and cognitive disabilities and sensory processing issues.    Ms. Newell claims that Central Michigan University failed to provide her certain accommodations for her disability in a timely manner and subjected her to a hostile educational environment while she was a doctoral student in the university’s Physical Therapy Program.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Sep 3, 2021  ..  No New Cases To Post Today.   SORRY.    Happy Labor Day Weekend.

♦       Sep 2, 2021  .. 4th Cir.:    Smith v. CSRA (DEA)  ..  Smith is a geospatial intelligence expert who in 2013 began working with DEA as a subcontractor assigned to the agency’s geospatial intelligence program (the “Program”). Smith worked at the direction of DEA’s Chief Technology Officer Mark Shafernich at DEA’s Sterling, Virginia Data Center.     At the beginning of their working relationship, Smith informed Shafernich that she has a disability that adversely affects her mobility, limiting her ability to stand, walk, sit, ascend and descend stairs, and drive.     Ms. Smith claims disability discrimination and retaliation in violation of the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act).  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Sep 2, 2021  .. Fed. Cir.:    Conejo v. MSPB (GPO)  ..  Mr. Conejo was employed by the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO) as a human resources specialist from December 2013 until December 2019.     Mr. Conejo filed an Individual Right of Action (IRA) appeal with the Merit Systems Protection Board, alleging prohibited retaliation for whistleblowing.     Specifically, he asserted that, while he worked for GPO, he was passed over for promotion and stripped of responsibilities in retaliation for raising concerns about agency personnel decisions and abuse of agency funds.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Sep 2, 2021  .. 7th Cir.:    Mahran v. Advocate  ..  Mr. Mahran, an Egyptian Muslim, sued Advocate Christ Medical Center, his former employer, raising claims of employment discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.    Mahran, a pharmacist, alleged that Advocate failed to accommodate his need for prayer breaks; disciplined and later fired him based on his race, religion, and national origin; retaliated against him for reporting racial and religious discrimination; and subjected him to a hostile work environment based on his race, religion, and national origin.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Sep 2, 2021  .. 5th Cir.:    Sansone v. Jazz Casino  ..  Beginning in September 2017, a Harrah’s customer began frequenting Sansone’s baccarat table and making sexually charged gestures, remarks about her appearance, and sexual propositions towards her. According to Sansone, the customer engaged in this harassing behavior at least twice a week until her termination on December 31, 2017.     Although Sansone claims she verbally reported the customer to her floor supervisors several times throughout this three-month period, a formal written report was not made until December 22.     Meanwhile, on December 24 a time discrepancy arose when Sansone failed to properly clock-in for work. Sansone’s response to a Human Resources audit payroll email stated she “worked 11-7 that day, I honestly think I walked in a min before not sure though… but no later than 11 i believe.”     Surveillance footage revealed Sansone entering work at 11:10 AM and not attempting to clock-in. Sansone was found to be in violation of five Harrah’s employee rules pertaining to honesty, clock in/out procedures, and curiously, for improper use of a public entrance despite having permission to use this handicapped amenity due to a foot injury.     Sansone was terminated on December 31 for alleged misrepresentation of hours worked.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Sep 1, 2021  .. DOJ OIG INVESTIGATIONS : Findings of Misconduct by a Bureau of Prisons Warden for Failing to Address a Lack of Heat in Housing Units, Failing to Maintain a Functioning Camera System Throughout the Facility, and Lack of Candor.   ( .pdf)

♦       Sep 1, 2021  .. CCA:    Vincent v. CHP  ..  Vincent’s immediate family includes his mother, Marie, and sister, Karine.    Vincent moved to the United States from Haiti in 1995. Eleven years later he commenced work as a CHP peace officer. Over the succeeding eight years, performance reviews showed that Vincent performed “proficient[ly]” or higher in all categories.    When Vincent did not show for work on November 14, CHP labeled him absent without leave (AWOL).    Sergeant Regan tried to reach Vincent again the next day, but could not.    Captain D’Arelli fired Vincent six days later—a decision that was quickly rescinded. He then directed CHP to initiate an investigation into Vincent’s “absence without authorized leave.” Vincent, who was in Haiti caring for Karine at the time, was unaware of these proceedings.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Sep 1, 2021  .. D.D.C.:    Lane v. DC  ..  In 2003, Mr. Lane was hired by the District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) as an Architect on the Education Service System (EG) pay scale at a Grade 13, Step 10.     Plaintiff Michael Lane (“Mr. Lane”) brings this action against Defendant the District of Columbia (“the District”) alleging:  (1) age discrimination in violation of the ADEA;  (2) retaliation for complaining about the discrimination when he was terminated in violation of the ADEA; and  (3) Misuse and Diversion of Government Funds.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Sep 1, 2021  .. Fed. Cir.:    Murray  v.  Army  ..  On January 11, 2016, the Army hired Ms. Murray as a Supervisory Nurse, stationed at the U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research, Burn Center & Clinical Division, Fort Sam Houston, Texas.    As a Supervisory Nurse, Ms. Murray was expected “to maintain working relationships and a healthy work environment,” among other responsibilities.    On March 13, 2018, Ms. Murray’s supervisor, Major Thomas G. Robinson, Assistant Deputy Commander of Nursing, issued a letter to Ms. Murray terminating her employment.    Major Robinson’s letter informed Ms. Murray that on several occasions” she had “demonstrated inappropriate, discourteous, and/or unprofessional behavior towards supervisors and coworkers” and that her conduct “had caused disruption in the workplace.”    The letter noted that Ms. Murray had been previously counseled regarding her behavior but that her “ability to handle stressful situations in a professional manner has not improved.”    Ms. Murray subsequently filed a complaint with the U.S. Office of Special Counsel alleging that the Army terminated her employment in retaliation for protected whistleblowing disclosures.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       August 31, 2021  .. D.D.C.:    Kelso v. Wilkie (VA)  ..  Kelso, an African-American woman of Caribbean descent, applied in 2010 to be an Administrative Specialist in the Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Facilities Programs and Plans.    Kelso alleges that the then-Director of the Programs Project Management Services, Milan Srskic, originally offered her the position at a GS-9/11 level, which is a GS-9 position with the potential to be promoted to GS-11.    According to Kelso, two weeks after receiving this initial offer, Carol Gill, a human resources specialist, advised Kelso that she could not be hired as a GS-9 and proposed that she instead accept “the GS-9 position at a GS-7 level” with a commitment to attempt to elevate her position to a GS-9 after she started.    Kelso accepted the GS-7 job later that month believing that the position would be “corrected” to GS-9 shortly thereafter.    Within six months, Kelso began to experience problems with her coworkers.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       August 31, 2021  .. 11th Cir.:    Porterfield v. SSA  ..  Mrs. Porterfield alleged that her employer, the Social Security Administration (SSA), discriminated against her due to her disabilities—anxiety, depression, carpal tunnel syndrome, and migraines—and failed to make any reasonable accommodation.    Mrs. Porterfield began employment as a Teleservice Representative/Customer Service Representative for the SSA. Her job was to her to answer phone calls from the public at the Teleservice Center in Birmingham, Alabama.    In 2009, Mrs. Porterfield fell and injured her left wrist, which required surgery and left her “with a permanent disability as a result of the injury.    She was able to use only her right hand to perform her duties. Consequently, she developed carpal tunnel syndrome in her right wrist.    Mrs. Porterfield also suffers from migraine headaches.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       August 31, 2021  .. 6th Cir.:    Williams v. Dearborn Motors  ..  Mr. Williams and Mr. Howard are former employees of defendant Dearborn Motors, a car dealership located in Dearborn, Michigan. Several months into their employment, defendant advised plaintiffs that they were required to sign an arbitration agreement in order to remain employed.    Williams refused to sign the arbitration agreement and was fired as a result. Howard did sign the agreement in order to continue his employment.    Williams subsequently filed charges with the EEOC alleging that his termination constituted unlawful retaliation for his refusal to sign the arbitration agreement, which he contended was a violation of his legal rights under the Civil Rights Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Equal Pay Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act and the Genetic Information Non-Disclosure Act.    Williams also alleged that he experienced race discrimination in the form of lower compensation and less desirable placement, and disability discrimination because he was denied a reasonable accommodation in the form of alternative work at the dealership.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       August 30, 2021  .. 11th Cir.:    Lee v. Safe-Dry  ..  Safe-Dry Carpet and Upholstery, a business with multiple locations across the southern United States, hired Lee, who is African American, as a technician in its Birmingham, Alabama office. Kevin Hendricks, who is white, was general manager of Safe-Dry’s Birmingham office and made the decision to hire Lee.    For his second assignment, Safe-Dry asked Lee to clean Alvin Richardson’s couch. Richardson requested a reservice when Lee failed to remove an odor from his couch. Assistant manager Chad Donaldson approached Hendricks about Richardson’s reservice request and initiated a conversation about terminating Lee.    Donaldson reported that Richardson had complained about Lee’s behavior, which Richardson later denied. Hendricks decided to terminate Lee, and Donaldson informed him of this decision.    Donaldson, however, told Lee that Safe-Dry had to let him go due to lack of work. In total, Lee worked for Safe-Dry for twelve days.    The day after Lee was terminated, Safe-Dry dispatched Chris Ezekiel, one of its white technicians, to reservice Richardson’s couch. Reservice requests were common at Safe-Dry and, according to Hendricks, did not necessarily indicate poor performance by the technician. Indeed, Richardson would go on to request reservice two more times, and Ezekiel was not terminated as a result of the requests.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       August 27, 2021  .. D.D.C.:    Azumah v. Mnuchin  ..  Mr. Azumah worked as an IT Specialist at the Treasury Department from March 2017 until his termination in December 2017.    In early December, Azumah received a notice informing him that management had decided to terminate his employment for his “poor communication skills” and his inability to work with team members.    Azumah identified “Race” and “Sex” as the bases for the alleged discrimination.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       August 27, 2021  .. 6th Cir.:    Briggs v. UC  ..  Lee Briggs, a Black man, worked as a compensation analyst for the University of Cincinnati (UC) Human Resources department.    In July 2013, the HR department hired Cassandra Wittwer, a Caucasian woman, in the same position but at a much higher salary than Briggs. Over the next several years, Briggs’s pay stagnated while Wittwer’s rapidly increased.    Briggs contends that after he submitted a claim of discrimination, UC retaliated by revising a job posting for which he had been encouraged to apply so that he was no longer eligible.    Briggs sued UC, asserting claims of wage discrimination on the basis of race and sex, and retaliation for filing his complaint.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       August 27, 2021  .. Fed. Cir.:    Bullock v. U.S. (Army)  ..  This case presents the question whether an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) regulation and a United States Department of the Army regulation, both which state that settlement agreements are required to be in writing, preclude enforcement of oral settlement agreements.    Plaintiff Ellen P. Bullock alleges that she entered into an oral settlement agreement with the government to resolve an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) claim that she filed with the Army. The government argues that any agreement between the parties, if it exists, is unenforceable due to the EEOC and Army regulations.    Without deciding whether the government representative had settlement authority or an agreement existed between the parties, the United States Court of Federal Claims (“Claims Court”) held that the EEOC and Army regulations made any agreement unenforceable.    We disagree with the Claims Court’s interpretation of the two regulations and hold that oral agreements to settle EEOC claims are enforceable.    We reverse and remand for a determination of whether the representative of the Army had the necessary authority to enter a settlement agreement and whether the parties in fact reached an agreement.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       August 26, 2021  .. D.C. Cir.:    Marcato v. USAID  ..  During her tenure at OIG, Marcato frequently alleged misconduct by its high-ranking officials.     Beginning in 2012, Marcato reported within the OIG that officials had doctored various audits and reports sent to Congress.     The DoD OIG finished its probe in June 2017. Its report substantiated four instances of misconduct.   First, Marcato improperly disclosed sensitive information about an ongoing investigation to Greensides.   Second, Marcato violated USAID’s security policy by recording the meeting with Ross and Trujillo on her cell phone.   Third, Marcato made false statements claiming that she told Ross and Trujillo that she would be recording the meeting.   Fourth, Marcato repeatedly violated the communications protocol.     Debra Scott, Marcato’s direct supervisor at the time, reviewed the report and proposed that Marcato be removed based on these charges. Jason Carroll then removed Marcato.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       August 26, 2021  .. D.D.C.:    Mulkerin v. Smithsonian  ..  In April 2016, the Smithsonian National Zoo’s Office of Communications hired Mulkerin as a “Web Content Writer” to assist with the launch of the Zoo’s new website.    When she interviewed for the job, Mulkerin informed her future supervisors (Amy Enchelmeyer and Pamela Baker-Masson) that she had an eight-month-old baby and would require breaks to pump breastmilk throughout the workday.    Once Mulkerin accepted the offer of employment, Enchelmeyer and Baker-Masson permitted Mulkerin to take four half-hour pumping sessions per day. Her request to telework from home on Wednesdays was also granted, making Mulkerin the only full-time employee in the Office of Communications permitted to telework on a regular basis.    Mulkerin alleges that she suffered an adverse employment action because her supervisors denied her the opportunity to pump breastmilk during work hours despite awareness of Mulkerin’s need to do so.    But the facts alleged in Mulkerin’s complaint demonstrate that the opposite occurred.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Aug 25, 2021  ..  No New Cases To Post Today.   SORRY.

♦       Aug 24, 2021  .. FDIC OIG Investigations : Texas Man Pleads Guilty to Wire Fraud for Foreign Exchange Investment Fraud Scheme :    Kelvin Ramirez, 25, of Houston, pleaded guilty to wire fraud.    Through his scheme, Ramirez fraudulently obtained more than $650,000 from over 100 individuals, and then used investors’ funds for personal expenses.   (.html)

♦       August 24, 2021  .. D.D.C.:    Rodriguez v. WMATA  ..  Plaintiff Ernesto Rodriguez is a successful boxing coach. The problem, according to his former employer, Defendant Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, is that he should not have been coaching while out on workers’-compensation leave.    When WMATA discharged him, pointing to this work and his untruthfulness about it in an administrative investigation, Rodriguez sued.    He alleges that this termination was actually motivated by his race, color, and national origin, thereby constituting unlawful discrimination.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       August 24, 2021  .. 6th Cir.:    Jones v. Interlake Steamship  ..  Plaintiff Krista Jones was a cook for Interlake Steamship Company (“Interlake”).    Jones alleges that on May 29, 2019, she spent all day cooking meals on the Stewart J. Cort bulk carrier ship (“the Cort”), which was set to sail from Superior, Wisconsin to Chicago. She alleges that the Cort had a posted sailing time of 6:00 p.m. but that a wheelsman informed her at 5:40 p.m. that the Cort would not sail for another ninety minutes.    Jones alleges that the wheelsman agreed to “give her a one-hour notice call” so that she could go ashore to buy a wall clock for the ship.    Jones alleges that when she returned at 6:54 p.m., the Cort was pulling away from the dock.    After she missed her ship’s departure, Interlake terminated her.    Jones attempted to grieve her termination through her union (MEBA), but MEBA confirmed that the collective bargaining agreement governing her employment did not bar Interlake from terminating her “without just cause.”    Jones filed suit against both Interlake and MEBA (collectively, “Defendants”) for violations of various labor laws.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       August 24, 2021  .. 5th Cir.:    Hester  v. Bell-Textron  ..  Mr. Hester was employed by Bell-Textron from August 1997 through December 2018. During that time, he worked as an engineer, engineer technician, quality inspector, technical publications writer, and Federal Aviation Administration Organization Designation Authorization unit member.    Hester suffers from epilepsy and glaucoma. As a result of his epilepsy, he suffered at least five grand mal seizures between September 2014 and April 2017.    Hester’s wife suffers from stage-four cancer, and Hester assists her with comfort and attending medical appointments.    Hester applied for and was granted leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) based on those same medical conditions.    A Bell-Textron human resources employee fired Hester by telephone on December 6, 2018, during the pendency of his FMLA leave.    The human resources employee cited Hester’s “poor mid-year performance review from June 2018” as a reason for the firing and stated that “it was a good time” for Hester to separate from the company.    Hester called MetLife Insurance immediately after his firing and was informed that he still had 5.4 weeks of FMLA leave remaining for 2018 and would have an additional 12 weeks of FMLA leave in 2019 to care for his own medical needs and those of his wife.    Hester then filed the underlying lawsuit.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Aug 23, 2021  ..  No New Cases To Post Today.   SORRY.

♦       August 20, 2021  .. 6th Cir.:    Turner v. McCullough-Hyde  ..  Plaintiff Yerbro Turner was fired by Defendant McCullough-Hyde Memorial Hospital and brought this action alleging unlawful discrimination.     Turner, an African-American man, began working for McCullough-Hyde as an environmental service worker in 1983. He became a material handler/receiver and was eventually promoted to buyer.     Until his final performance review, Turner received good evaluations, had no discipline or write-ups, and was known as a dedicated employee who took on projects outside of his work duties.     In December 2015, McCullough-Hyde eliminated Turner’s position, along with several others, including his supervisor.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       August 20, 2021  .. WCA:    Nelson v. Washington  ..  In September 2015, 19-year-old Austin Nelson was dating the 15-year-old daughter of Teresa Ryan. After Mrs. Ryan learned of the relationship, she spoke to Mr. Nelson and told him to stay away from her daughter.     On January 17, 2016, Mr. Nelson posted a video on social media of himself and Mrs. Ryan’s daughter having sex.     On January 18, Mr. Nelson went to the home of Teresa and Brent Ryan and “with premeditated intent” shot and killed Mrs. Teresa Ryan outside her home. After shooting Mrs. Ryan, Mr. Nelson entered the Ryan family home and intentionally shot and killed the family dog.     Here, Mr Nelson appeals his sentence.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       August 20, 2021  .. TCAC:    Davidson v. Tennessee  ..  Here, Mr. Davidson appeals his death sentence.     Mr. Davidson and his accomplices, using guns, kidnapped Chris and Channon and stole Channon’s vehicle. They tied Chris’s and Channon’s hands behind their backs and stole money and personal items.     After raping Chris, Mr. Davidson and his accomplices forced Chris to walk without shoes, socks, or pants on a January night to a desolate area beside a set of train tracks. They bound his feet with his belt. They blindfolded Chris, stuck a sock in his mouth and secured it with a shoelace, and wrapped a hooded sweatshirt around his head.     They shot him three times and killed him.     They wrapped Chris’s body in a comforter, poured gasoline on him, and set his body on fire.     After killing Chris, Mr. Davidson and his friends returned to Mr. Davidson’s house where they beat and repeatedly raped Channon. Abusing her for many hours, they then tied her into a fetal position, secured a plastic bag tightly over her head, put her in five plastic garbage bags, and stuffed her in a garbage can to suffocate to death.     While Channon was dying in the garbage can, Mr. Davidson left to spend time with his girlfriend. He gave Channon’s clothes and personal items to his girlfriend.    Mr. Davidson appeals his death sentence.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Aug 19, 2021  .. FLRA:  AGM v. AFGE  ..  The Agency reinstated certain employees who were wrongly affected by a reduction‑in‑force (RIF) and issued payments to the employees for any backpay they lost due to the RIF. Thereafter, the Agency informed the employees that it miscalculated the amount of backpay owed to them and that they owed a debt to the Agency for the overpayments.     The employees then asked the Agency to waive collection of the debts. The Agency denied the requests because it found that the employees were at fault for not informing the Agency of the substantial overpayments.     The matter then proceeded to arbitration and the Arbitrator held that the Agency violated the parties’ agreement and § 5584 by denying the debt waiver requests.     The main question before us is whether the arbitrator's award is contrary to law.  ..  FLRA DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Aug 19, 2021  .. 7th Cir.:    Bless v. Cook County  ..  Robert Bless was employed by the Cook County Sheriff’s Office from 1996 to 2013. In 2004, Bless earned his law degree and began practicing law in addition to working as a police officer. The Sheriff’s Office requires its employees to request and receive authorization before engaging in secondary employment. From 2004 through 2008, Bless duly submitted the required forms and received approval.     In September 2008, Bless was involved in a head-on collision in his squad car while on duty. He sustained injuries to his neck and right shoulder.     Shortly after the accident, Bless ran as a Republican for a McHenry County Commissioner seat. He won the election in November 2008 and began serving in that role in addition to working as an attorney and collecting disability payments from the Sheriff’s Office.     Bless was fired after an internal review board determined that he had violated office policies and then lied to investigators about his misconduct. Bless sued his employer, alleging race discrimination and political retaliation against him as a white Republican.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Aug 19, 2021  .. 6th Cir.:    Kaplan v. UofL  ..  This appeal concerns the University of Louisville’s (“UofL”)1 decision to suspend, and eventually to fire, Dr. Henry J. Kaplan. Kaplan served as both a tenured professor and the Chair of UofL’s Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences (“DOVS”). In October 2018, UofL informed Kaplan that it was reviewing some of his actions as Chair and considering removing him from that position.     These included his signing an unauthorized lease on behalf of DOVS and meeting with private equity firms interested in buying or financing DOVS. One month into the investigation, with no more warning, UofL placed him on paid administrative leave and prohibited him from coming to university grounds and communicating with his colleagues. The university also advised Kaplan that he could lose his tenured position.     When the investigation ended, Kaplan lost his Chair, and the dean of the medical school recommended UofL terminate his tenure, identifying six grounds for dismissal. Kaplan appealed.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Aug 18, 2021  .. 5th Cir.:    United Steel v. Anderson  ..  Sergio Castilleja’s children and various unions appeal the summary judgment dismissal of their claims that Castilleja was fired for engaging in union-related activities in violation of the First Amendment, the Equal Protection Clause.     Castilleja spent fifteen years as a community service officer (“CSO”), or probation officer, for the Bexar County Community Supervision and Corrections Department (“CSCD”).1 His career was marked by multiple reprimands and termination warnings. When the events at issue here took place, Castilleja was on “zero tolerance,” meaning he could be immediately fired for any infraction of CSCD policies.     Anderson fired Castilleja on January 3, 2017. The final decision notice cited the evidence presented in the PAA and called “unacceptable” Castilleja’s “questionable ethical professional conduct” and “inability to comply” with CSCD policies and procedures.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Aug 17, 2021  .. Tenn:    McGuire v. Sweetwater  ..  McGuire was employed by the City of Sweetwater as the Director of two municipal programs: Sweetwater Valley Citizens for the Arts and Sweetwater Main Street.     In early 2018, Ms. McGuire attempted to raise concerns about a proposed rezoning at various public meetings. She alleges that City officials warned her not to repeat her complaints, tried to prevent her from speaking at a meeting of the Board of Commissioners, attempted to have her fired, and ultimately gave her the option to be terminated or to resign with certain benefits.     McGuire resigned and brought this lawsuit against the City for alleged violations of her First Amendment rights and Tennessee law.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Aug 16, 2021  ..  No New Cases To Post Today.   SORRY.

♦       Aug 13, 2021  .. Fed. Cir.:    Rodriguez v. DVA  ..  In August 2018, petitioner Ariel R. Rodriguez was removed from his position with the Department of Veterans Affairs (“DVA”) pursuant to 38 U.S.C. § 714. The Merit Systems Protection Board upheld his removal.   WE REVERSE AND REMAND.    Prior to his removal, Mr. Rodriguez was employed as a Supervisory Consumer Affairs Specialist with the Patient Advocate’s Office at the DVA’s Bay Pines, Florida, facility. On March 13, 2018, a veteran patient visited the Patient Advocate’s Office seeking assistance regarding a co-payment on a medical bill.     Mr. Rodriguez and the patient engaged in a confrontation that escalated to the point that Mr. Rodriguez summoned VA Police Service officers. During the confrontation, Mr. Rodriguez yelled at the patient and used profanity. After the police officers arrived, they directed Mr. Rodriguez to leave the reception area and ultimately had to escort him back to his office. However, Mr. Rodriguez subsequently returned to the reception area, where he again confronted the patient.     On June 18, 2018, Teresa E. Kumar, the Associate Di- rector of Patient Services at the Bay Pines facility, provided Mr. Rodriguez with a Notice of Proposed Removal based on three charges: (1) disruptive behavior toward a veteran patient; (2) conduct unbecoming a federal supervisor, consisting of his attempt to influence Ms. Adams’s testimony regarding the incident; and (3) lack of candor, based on the fact that Mr. Rodriguez’s account of the altercation deviated substantially from the accounts of the other witnesses to the incident.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Aug 13, 2021  .. 11th Cir.:    Bradshaw v. FAA  ..  Walter Bradshaw was a designated pilot examiner for the Federal Aviation Administration (“FAA”). Designated pilot examiners test applicants for pilot licenses and, if the applicant passes the test, the designee has the authority to issue the applicant an airman certificate.     In June of 2018, the FAA discovered that Bradshaw had certified a pilot applicant without conducting a complete flight test.     Thereafter, the FAA terminated Bradshaw’s designation. A three-member FAA appeal panel affirmed the termination decision and Bradshaw appealed to this Court.     Bradshaw now argues that the FAA followed the incorrect termination procedure when it terminated his designation and, even if the procedure that it followed was the correct one, the FAA violated its requirements.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦        VA EXPANDS MANDATE FOR COVID-19 VACCINES AMONG VHA EMPLOYEES ... GET VACCINATED OR GET FIRED!    WASHINGTON — Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough will expand his previous COVID-19 vaccine mandate Friday, Aug. 13, to apply to most Veterans Health Administration employees and volunteers and contractors who work in VHA facilities, visit VHA facilities or otherwise come into contact with VA patients and healthcare workers as part of their duties.    (.html)   (.pdf)

♦       Aug 12, 2021  .. D.D.C.:    Doe 1 v. AFGE  ..  Jeffrey David Cox resigned as National President of the American Federation of Government Employees (“AFGE”) union in February 2020 following allegations of misconduct while in office. Four months later, plaintiffs filed this lawsuit against Cox, AFGE, and thirteen AFGE officials and high-level staff members (the “Individual AFGE Defendants”), asserting claims under both federal and state law.     The crux of plaintiffs’ complaint is that Cox engaged in discriminatory and sexual misconduct during his tenure as President and that union leadership failed adequately to prevent his behavior and take remedial action against him for his misdeeds.     Three motions are now pending before the Court:   (1) plaintiffs’ motion to disqualify counsel for the Individual AFGE Defendants;   (2) AFGE and the Individual AFGE Defendants’ motion to dismiss the second amended complaint for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction and for failure to state a claim; and   (3) Cox’s motion to dismiss the first and second amended complaints for insufficient service of process and for the reasons spelled out in AFGE and the Individual AFGE Defendants’ motion to dismiss.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Aug 12, 2021  .. CCA:    People v. Wilson  ..  The victim was stabbed to death after an argument erupted at a home gathering.    At the house that night were three couples: the husband and wife, who lived in the house; defendant and defendant’s girlfriend, who were staying at the house; and the victim and his girlfriend.    Also there was a teenager, who had come to smoke marijuana, and four young children.    At the house, the adults drank, smoked marijuana, and hung out.    Thereafter, the married couple, and the victim and his girlfriend retreated to the master bedroom. Methamphetamine was consumed and at some point, a fight broke out.    Eventually the married couple told the victim and girlfriend to leave. The quartet then moved to the living room, still fighting.    A jury found defendant Gregory Michael Wilson guilty of second degree murder. He was sentenced to 17 years to life. On appeal he contends the trial court erred.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Aug 11, 2021  ..  It’s The Birthday Of Apple Co-Founder Steve Wozniak  ..  born in Sunnyvale, California, in 1950. He always loved electronics. As a kid he and his neighborhood friends would build all kinds of gadgets, including intercom systems running between their houses. He was working on computer-like projects by the age of 11 and his sixth-grade science project was a machine that played tic-tac-toe. He said, “I didn’t ever take a course, didn’t ever buy a book on how to do it. I just pieced it together in my own head.” He met Steve Jobs in 1970 when a mutual friend introduced them. They formed their own company in 1976 and called it Apple. “You didn’t have to have a real specific reason for choosing a name when you were a tiny little company of two people; you choose any name you want,” Wozniak said.       The Apple 1 computer came about when Wozniak got the idea to pair a typewriter keyboard with a television. Jobs and Wozniak built it in Jobs’ bedroom and later, when they ran out of room, in his garage. They hoped to sell 50 of them and if it didn’t work, Jobs told Wozniak, at least they could tell their grandkids that they’d had their own company for a while. Seven years later, Apple had a stock value of $985 million.       In 2006, Wozniak published his autobiography, titled iWoz: From Computer Geek to Cult Icon: How I Invented the Personal Computer, Co-Founded Apple, and Had Fun Doing It.    The Writer’s Almanac for Wednesday, August 11, 2021

♦       Aug 11, 2021  .. CCA:    Melendez v. Los Angeles  ..  Beginning in 2009, Jesus E. Melendez, an assistant general counsel in the Office of the General Counsel of the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) applied for three positions within the Office of the General Counsel and for the position of Personnel Director. All would have been promotions.    Melendez was not selected for any of the four positions. He filed a second amended complaint with eight causes of action, alleging he was denied the promotions due to his age and his Mexican and/or Latino origin.    He alleged he was denied the promotions in retaliation for a Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) complaint he had filed in 2003 and correspondence he had sent in 2008 to LAUSD’s General Counsel complaining about the budgetary lay-off of a Latina attorney. Melendez also alleged a violation of the Labor Code for being paid less than non-Latino attorneys who performed the same work.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Aug 11, 2021  .. 5th Cir.:    Villarreal v. TTBH  ..  Raquel Villarreal is a single mother to a special-needs daughter who suffers from several illnesses. Tropical Texas hired Villarreal in April 2016, as a program specialist. Shortly after being hired, Villarreal requested time off to attend her daughter’s medical appointments. Tropical Texas exempted Villarreal from a company policy prohibiting absences within the first 3 months and granted her request. Within a year, Villarreal applied for a promotion to a program supervisor position for which she was eventually approved.    In March 2017, Villarreal received a coaching plan from her supervisor. The plan highlighted productivity issues and documented Villarreal’s failure to meet the company’s targeted number of treatment hours. The coaching plan noted an expectation that Villarreal would work more efficiently to achieve company goals. Villarreal disagreed with the coaching plan, so she did not sign it.    Beginning in April 2017, Villarreal requested—and Tropical Texas approved—intermittent FMLA leave so that Villarreal could care for her daughter’s medical condition. Again in July, Villarreal requested time off work to tend to her ailing daughter.    Tropical Texas Behavioral Health fired Raquel Villarreal after she missed a substantial amount of work without leave. Villarreal sued under the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”).  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Aug 10, 2021  ..  No New Cases To Post Today.   SORRY.

♦       Aug 9, 2021  .. 6th Cir.:    Blank v. Nationwide  ..  Mr. Blank worked as the Associate Director of Specialty Material Damage Claims at Nationwide.    On February 28, 2018, Glinski and Penwell were discussing Penwell’s upcoming jury duty when Blank entered into the conversation.    According to Penwell, Blank proceeded to tell Glinski and him that “the best way to escape jury duty is to walk into the courtroom and say where are those N words” and either “let’s get the ropes.”    Later that same day, after Glinski spoke with Blank to tell him that the comment was inappropriate, Blank apologized to Penwell via text.    Penwell first reported the comment on March 7, 2018.    On March 12, 2018, OAR began its investigation into Blank.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Aug 9, 2021  .. 5th Cir.:    Johnson v. Pride  ..  While employed as a carpenter, Johnson endured repeated race-based harassment, with his fellow PRIDE employee Juan Palomares as the primary perpetrator. Palomares, who is Hispanic, supervised a different section of PRIDE’s carpentry shop from the one to which Johnson was assigned, but Johnson and Palomares “often” interacted. Although Johnson’s summary judgment evidence does not specify the precise dates when the harassment occurred, he testified about several specific incidents.  _____  One of Johnson’s carpentry colleagues, Raymond Yanez, corroborated that Palomares used racially offensive language and generally treated non-Hispanic employees worse than their Hispanic counterparts.     In an affidavit, Yanez averred that Palomares regularly used Spanish-language racial epithets in the workplace to refer to black employees, calling them “pinchis mayates,” which translates to “f***ing n*****s,” and “pinchis negros,” which translates to “f***ing blacks.” Yanez noted that Palomares specifically used these slurs in reference to Johnson. Palomares also directly belittled Johnson in work meetings, including on one occasion when Palomares told Johnson to “shut up” when he asked a question about a job site.     Besides his use of insults and racial epithets, Palomares mistreated Johnson in various ways related to his employment duties. For example, Yanez stated that Palomares disfavored non-Hispanic employees and Johnson in particular with respect to work assignments.     Further, Palomares hid the paperwork Johnson had submitted to be promoted. Johnson submitted the paperwork twice, but it went missing each time. The paperwork was found in Palomares’s desk.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Aug 6, 2021  ..  No New Cases To Post Today.   SORRY.    Enjoy Your Weekend.

♦       Aug 5, 2021  .. DOJ OIG INVESTIGATIONS : Findings of Misconduct by a then FBI Unit Chief for Failure to Satisfy Financial Obligations and Honor Just Debts, Misuse of Position by Requesting and Obtaining a Loan from a Subordinate, and Lack of Candor in FBI and Federal Financial Disclosure.   ( .pdf)

♦       Aug 5, 2021  .. CCA:    People v. Hancock  ..  For several months in 2017, Brian Hancock met regularly with the victim, Peter Bentz, for sex at Bentz’s apartment in the San Diego neighborhood of Ocean Beach.     On Friday, November 17, 2017, Mr. Hancock took his girlfriend, Ms. Rosa H., to Mr. Bentz’s apartment. All three smoked methamphetamine.    Mr. Hancock and Mr. Bentz then had sex on the couch, while Ms. Rosa looked on,    then Mr. Hancock and Ms. Rosa had sex on the couch while Mr. Bentz watched.    When Mr. Bentz excused himself to use the restroom, Mr. Hancock stole a credit card from Bentz’s wallet.    After leaving Mr. Bentz’s apartment, Hancock and Rosa went to Kentucky Fried Chicken and paid for dinner with Bentz's stolen card.  ***  A jury convicted Mr. Hancock of first degree murder for the brutal slaying of a sexual partner, Peter Bentz.    The trial court sentenced Hancock to 75 years in prison.   On appeal, Mr. Hancock argues his conviction should be overturned because the court erred.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Aug 5, 2021  .. 7th Cir.:    Brooks v. Kankakee  ..  Richard Brooks, an African American police officer, made statements on multiple occasions complaining that his employer, the City of Kankakee, Illinois, favored white officers.     The City, viewing the statements as false and disparaging, issued a written reprimand letter to Mr. Brooks ordering him to stop making such statements and warning him that he faced discipline up to and including termination should he engage in further public disparagement.     Mr. Brooks filed a complaint in the district court against the City alleging that it had retaliated against him, in violation of [The Civil Rights Act], by failing to promote him and issuing him a reprimand letter after he engaged in protected activity. (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Aug 4, 2021  .. 11th Cir.:    Hakki, M.D. v. VA  ..  Dr. Hakki challenged his discharge in federal court, but the district court held that it did not have jurisdiction to hear his claims brought pursuant to the Administrative Procedure Act (“APA”), 5 U.S.C. § 702, and the Mandamus Act, 28 U.S.C. § 1361, because the Veterans’ Benefits Act (“VBA”), 38 U.S.C. § 7461 et seq., is a comprehensive statutory scheme governing the discipline of VA employees and was the exclusive remedy for review of Dr. Hakki’s employment discharge.    The district court also held that while the VBA did not bar Dr. Hakki’s procedural due process claims, the claims were not colorable because he received all the process due to him.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Aug 4, 2021  .. Fed. Cir.:    Blount v. MSPB (DOD)  ..  Ms. Blount was an assistant principal at the federally operated Gordon Elementary School in Fort Bragg, North Carolina. In Aug 2019, she filed an IRA appeal with the Board alleging that the Department of Defense Education Activity (that is, the agency that runs Gordon Elementary) engaged in a personnel action in retaliation for Ms. Blount’s whistleblower activity.     In that proceeding (and in the Office of Special Counsel complaint leading to it), she alleged that the agency retaliated with “disparate work assignment[s].”     Specifically, Ms. Blount pointed to (1) an order for her to attend a single training session in April 2019 to make up for one she allegedly missed (though she disputes missing it).     The Board first concluded that Ms. Blount had not adequately alleged that these actions were “disparate” as to her. The Board also determined that she had “not identified any conduct by the agency” that “qualifies as a personnel action under 5 U.S.C. § 2302(a)(2).”  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Aug 4, 2021  .. 8th Cir.:    Vinh v. Express Scripts  ..  Michael Vinh appeals the district court’s 1 adverse grant of summary judgment on his discriminatory discharge and failure to accommodate claims.     Vinh began his employment with Express Scripts in May 2000, when he was hired as a customer services representative. Vinh’s position twice changed, first to Contact Center Associate and then to Contact Center Supervisor, before he was promoted to Project Manager in 2006 and ultimately promoted to Senior Project Manager in 2007. Vinh served as a Senior Project Manager until his termination in May 2016.    Eighth Circuit :   There is no evidence in the record suggesting that Vinh’s performance issues were linked to his disability, and the record simply does not support that an accommodation would have allowed Vinh to perform the essential functions of his position. We thus conclude that Vinh has failed to make the facial showing required for his failure to accommodate claim.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Aug 3, 2021  .. D.D.C.:    Wheeler v. Azar  ..  Mr. Wheeler, is a Financial Management Analyst at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.     According to his complaint, Natalie Gravette, a Supervisory Financial Analyst, is Wheeler’s direct supervisor, and Adrienne Little, Branch Chief, is his second-line supervisor.     Starting in 2017, Wheeler alleges that Gravette and Little verbally harassed him and used him as a file clerk despite his Financial Management Analyst title due to his gender. The harassment culminated in Gravette serving Wheeler with a reprimand letter and in Wheeler being denied a “Career Ladder Promotion” to GS 12.     In 2017, Wheeler complained of this alleged treatment and, in 2018, asked for an explanation as to why he was being sent to extra training classes on interpersonal skills and receiving notices of poor performance. Following these complaints, Wheeler alleges that the Agency prevented him from receiving other job offers.     On December 19, 2018, Wheeler contacted the HHS EEO office regarding his allegations of discrimination, and on February 12, 2019, he filed a formal complaint.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Aug 2, 2021  .. 11th Cir.:    Garcia v. Dorning  ..  Garcia filed a counseled employment discrimination complaint against her employer, the Madison County Sheriff’s Office; several of its high-ranking employees; Madison County, Alabama; the Madison County Commission; several county commissioners; and other Madison County employees.     The complaint, which spanned 625 pages and contained 80 counts, alleged that the defendants had engaged in “unlawful employment practices on the basis of race[,] discrimination based on race[, and] harassment based on race”; created “a racially hostile working environment”; provided “different and less favorable treatment based on race”; and retaliated against Garcia for opposing such unlawful behavior.     The complaint further alleged “sexual harassment, a sexually hostile working environment,” and retaliation for opposing such unlawful sexual behavior.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Aug 2, 2021  .. D.D.C.:    Strickland v. Chao (FAA)  ..  According to Plaintiff’s Complaint, the facts of which are presumed true for purposes of this Motion, during her time as an employee of the Federal Aviation Administration, a component of the Department of Transportation, she was subjected to discrimination, retaliation, and harassment on account of her race.     When she reported such behavior to the appropriate authorities, she alleges that certain individuals continued their harassment and also retaliated against her “solely because of the exercise of her constitutionally and statutorily protected right to complain about this harassment . . . and other misconduct.”     Strickland then filed an EEOC complaint, which was dismissed after a formal review on September 9, 2019.     At the time of dismissal, the EEOC informed Strickland that she had 30 days to appeal the decision.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       July 30, 2021  .. Fed. Cir.:    Arceneaux v. IRS  ..  Mr. Arceneaux invoked an arbitration clause in her collective bargaining agreement after she was removed from her job at the IRS. The arbitrator dismissed that invocation as untimely.     Ms. Arceneaux was employed by the IRS starting in 2005. After a number of gaps in employment due to her resignation from various roles within the IRS, she was hired as a Tax Examiner on February 22, 2016, and then in October 2016 she was moved to the role of customer service representative.     On February 16, 2017, the IRS notified Ms. Arceneaux that a recommendation had been made for her removal due to excessive absences but that she could avoid removal by a voluntary resignation. The next day, Ms. Arceneaux responded with a letter agreeing to resign, but stated in the letter that she was being “forced to resign.”     Rather than accept this resignation under protest, the IRS terminated her employment and notified Ms. Arceneaux in a letter dated February 17, 2017. The letter stated in relevant part:     Dear Ms. Arceneaux: This is a notice of my decision to terminate your employment with the Internal Revenue Service, effective Friday February 17, 2017, in accordance with Part 315.804 of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) regulations.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       July 30, 2021  .. 3rd Cir.:    Kengerski v. Harper  ..  Mr. Kengerski, a Captain at the Allegheny County Jail, made a written complaint to the jail Warden alleging that a colleague had called his biracial grand-niece a “monkey” and then sent him a series of text messages with racially offensive comments about his coworkers.     Seven months later, Kengerski was fired. He contends the County fired him in retaliation for reporting his colleague’s behavior and sued the County under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.     The County claims that it fired him for an unrelated reason that is unquestionably serious: mishandling a sexual harassment claim.     The District Court granted the County’s motion for summary judgment, holding that Kengerski, who is white, could not maintain a claim for Title VII retaliation.     We disagree. Title VII protects all employees from retaliation when they reasonably believe that behavior at their work violates the statute and they make a good-faith complaint.     As relevant here, harassment against an employee because he associates with a person of another race, such as a family member, may violate Title VII by creating a hostile work environment.     Because a reasonable person could believe that the Allegheny County Jail was a hostile work environment for Kengerski, we vacate the District Court’s grant of summary judgment.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       July 30, 2021  .. 8th Cir.:    Hairston v. Wormuth  ..  On January 28, 2013, the Army hired Hairston as a general supply specialist in the Property Book Office within the Arsenal’s Directorate of Logistics. Hairston’s immediate supervisor was Duane Johnson, an equipment manager at the Arsenal. Her second-level supervisor was Deborah Moncrief, and her team leader was Elizabeth Blackwood. The first year of Hairston’s employment was a probationary period.     Shortly after Hairston was hired, Johnson allegedly told a number of Hairston’s coworkers that he thought she was “pretty” and had “a nice booty.” Though Hairston was initially unaware of these comments, she says other employees informed her of them later.     Throughout the time Hairston worked at the Arsenal, many of the employees had personal and professional conflicts with one another that affected the work environment. Hairston was involved in a number of these conflicts, which, according to Johnson, became increasingly acrimonious after she joined the office. Moncrief addressed some of these issues at an employee meeting in July 2013, where she allegedly said she was “so sick and tired of you back-stabbing bitches” and accused the people present of “acting like big babies.”     In addition to the broader interpersonal problems at the Arsenal, Hairston also recalls two incidents from the summer of 2013 in which Johnson directed conduct toward her that made her feel uncomfortable.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       July 29, 2021  .. HICA:    State v. Park  ..  On October 30, 2018, the O#ahu grand jury heard testimony from three witnesses. The first witness (Jason) described going to a place called "Roses" — located in a building on Young Street — three times in 2018. His first time was in February. He was taken to a room by a woman called a "mama-san." He paid the mama-san a $50 house fee. The mama-san brought a woman to the room. The woman showered with Jason. Jason paid the woman $150. Jason and the woman then had sexual intercourse.     Jason went back to Roses in March. He paid the mama- san the $50 house fee and was taken to a room. The mama-san brought a woman to the room. The mama-san said the woman's name was "Suji." Jason and Suji showered. Jason paid Suji $150. They then had sexual intercourse.     Jason next went to Roses in June. He called Roses and made an appointment to see Suji. He drove to Roses. He paid the mama-san the $50 house fee. He was taken to a room. Suji came to the room. They had sexual intercourse. Jason then paid Suji $150. Jason was later shown a photographic lineup and identified Park as the woman he knew as Suji.     The next witness, a woman named Okku, started working at Roses in January 2018.     Okku worked at Roses with three other women who engaged in sex for money.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       July 28, 2021  .. 5th Cir.:    Drake v. Spring  ..  Tracy Drake joined Spring Independent School District at the start of the 2008–09 school year as a Career and Technical Education (“CTE”) teacher at Dueitt Middle School. After teaching for several years, Spring ISD hired Drake as Dueitt’s registrar for the 2013–14 school year.    According to Drake, the job description contained only registrar duties. But after she began to work as the registrar, she alleges that Spring ISD required her to perform the additional duties of an attendance clerk, essentially doing two jobs while being paid for one.    In 2014, after Drake’s first year as the registrar, her supervisors gave her an unsatisfactory performance review.    In April 2014, Drake filed an internal grievance complaining about “the unreasonable amount of additional duties,” “lack of support from her administration,” and unprofessional treatment from the school’s assistant principal. One thing (relevant to this lawsuit) that the grievance did not mention was Drake’s physical health.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       July 27, 2021  .. D.D.C.:    Arnoldi v. National Gallery of Art  ..  Arnoldi began working for the Gallery in 2016 as Deputy Chief of Facilities Management (“AFM”), Engineering. In that position, she reported to Dave Samec, the AFM Chief. Samec then reported to the Gallery’s Administrator, Darrell Willson.    The National Gallery of Art suspended, then terminated, Shelly Arnoldi for insubordination and dishonesty. Arnoldi sued, claiming that the Gallery unlawfully discriminated against her based on her gender, retaliated against her for complaining about the discrimination, and subjected her to a hostile work environment.    Before the Court is the National Gallery of Art’s motion for summary judgment.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       July 27, 2021  .. CSC:    Pollock v. Tri-Modal  ..  Plaintiff Pamela Pollock is a customer service representative at defendant Tri-Modal Distribution Services, Inc. (Tri-Modal), a corporation that ships freight by truck.    She alleges that Tri-Modal passed her over for several promotions in part because she refused to have sex with defendant Michael Kelso, Tri-Modal’s executive vice-president.    Kelso initiated a dating relationship with Pollock in 2014.    He wanted the relationship to become sexual, but Pollock refused and ended the relationship in 2016.    In this action, Pollock alleges that Tri-Modal and Kelso denied her a series of promotions even though she was the most qualified candidate, and that her refusal to have sex with Kelso was a substantial factor motivating those adverse employment actions.    On April 18, 2018, she filed an administrative complaint with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH), alleging quid pro quo sexual harassment in violation of the FEHA.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       July 26, 2021  .. 2d Cir.:    Lively v. WAFRA  ..  Mr. Lively was terminated by his former employer, WAFRA Investment Advisory Group, Inc., for violating company policies prohibiting sexual harassment in the workplace.     Mr. Lively had worked at WAFRA for 21 years before he was fired in 2018. At the time of his termination, he was around 63 years old and served as WAFRA’s Senior Managing Director of Real Estate. Lively had been “a top performer” who “consistently exceeded WAFRA’s expectations and was commended as an invaluable member and leader of the Real Estate Division.”     On April 30, 2018, Mr. Lively received a letter from WAFRA’s Director of Human Resources (“HR Director”) suspending him without pay. The next day, he received a letter from WAFRA’s Chief Administrative Officer stating that he was being terminated for “violating company policies and the code of ethics prohibiting sex discrimination and harassment in the workplace.”     According to Mr. Lively’s complaint, the sexual harassment allegation “was nothing more than a pretext to fire him for being an older worker,”    and Sabine Kraut, the complainant, had “regularly and voluntarily solicited Lively’s involvement in her personal and professional life,”    so he “had no reason to believe that their interactions were anything but welcomed by Kraut.”  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       July 23, 2021  .. DOJ OIG INVESTIGATIONS :    The Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of the Inspector General (OIG) substantiated the allegation that the Assistant Director was engaged in a romantic relationship with a subordinate and failed to timely report the relationship, in violation of FBI policy. The OIG investigation also found that the Assistant Director allowed the relationship to negatively affect an appropriate and professional superior-subordinate relationship and to disrupt the workplace by interfering with the ability of other FBI employees to complete their work, and that the Assistant Director participated in a hiring or organizational decision involving the subordinate, all in violation of FBI policy.   .pdf

♦       July 23, 2021  .. 3rd Cir.:    Hooker v. Novo Nordisk  ..  In August 2006, Hooker began working at NNI, a subsidiary of Novo Nordisk, A/S, a Danish pharmaceutical company. Hooker served as a manager of strategic sourcing in NNI’s Plainsboro, New Jersey office and was fifty-four years old when he was hired. In 2008, senior director Bernard Wright promoted Hooker to senior manager.    Appellant William Hooker alleges that his employer, Novo Nordisk, Inc. (“NNI”), terminated his employment in violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (“ADEA”.    He also alleges unlawful retaliation pursuant to the same statutes. Hooker also brought a retaliation claim.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       July 23, 2021  .. FLRA:  VA v. AFGE  ..  On September 28, 2018, the Union filed a grievance seeking environmental-differential pay (EDP) for housekeepers and pipefitters at the Agency’s medical facility.    The Union alleged that the employees are continuously exposed to, and in direct contact with, hazardous microorganisms in performing their duties. The matter was not resolved and the Union invoked arbitration.    In an award dated April 18, 2020, the Arbitrator framed the issue as: “Is the grievance procedurally arbitrable? If so, did the [Agency] violate Article 29, Section 28 of [the] [collective-bargaining agreement (CBA)] and [the] [Code of Federal Regulations (CFR)] when it failed to pay housekeepers and pipefitters EDP?    If so, what is the remedy?”  ..  FLRA DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       July 22, 2021  .. 11th Cir.:    Colton v. FEHRER  ..  Ms. Colton was assigned, through a temp agency, to work for FEHRER Automotive, an automobile interior manufacturing facility.   She had worked there a few years earlier without incident.    But this time, there was a problem: they assigned her to work at a table that was too tall for her 4’6” stature. When she asked the individuals training her for a shorter table or a step stool, they declined.    Undeterred, Colton complained to FEHRER’s human resource representative. But she was brushed off. Instead, a few days later, FEHRER terminated her employment and marked her personnel file as ineligible for rehire.    The company said that she was “not a good fit” for FEHRER, but the training coordinator confided that she was labeled as a “red flag” because she “asked too many questions.”  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       July 22, 2021  .. D.D.C.:    Milowski v. Wolf (Homeland)  ..  Mr. Milowski brings this action against Alejandro Mayorkas, the Secretary of the United States Department of Homeland Security, asserting claims under the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act.    Milowski was employed by the Department of Homeland Security as a Deportation Officer and Course Developer Instructor at the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Training Academy.    Milowski alleges that from January 2016 through February 2017, he suffered discrimination on account of his disability, was denied reasonable accommodations, and faced retaliation for seeking those accommodations.    Among other things, Milowski’s supervisor “made an unauthorized disclosure regarding [his] medical information,” and Milowski was denied “training consistent with his colleagues,” was assigned “collateral duties” in addition to his “primary duties,” and was “yelled at” by his supervisor shortly after he requested an accommodation.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       July 21, 2021  .. 7th Cir.:    Chatman v. Chi BOE  ..  Ms. Chatman worked in the Chicago Public Schools for over two decades. In 2009, she was laid off. She then filed a discrimination charge against the Board of Education of the City of Chicago. That matter later settled.     As part of the settlement, Ms. Chatman secured the opportunity to interview for open positions within the Chicago Public Schools. She interviewed for positions at several schools, four of which are relevant to this appeal, but received no job offer.     She brought this action, alleging race and age discrimination, as well as retaliation based on her prior discrimination charge. The district court granted summary judgment for the Board.     Ms. Chatman now contends that the district court erred.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       July 21, 2021  .. ACA:    In Re Ruben P  ..  Ruben began having contact with law enforcement in September 2018, just before he turned 14. Over the next 26 months, four police departments and the Maricopa County Sherriff’s Office had significant contacts with Ruben.     The State filed delinquency petitions accusing Ruben of a dozen felonies and additional misdemeanors. The charges included shoplifting, assault of a teacher, possession of marijuana, possession of a firearm, unlawful discharge of a firearm, unlawful use of means of transportation, theft of means of transportation and burglary.     Ruben P. argues the superior court’s order committing him to the Arizona Department of Juvenile Corrections (ADJC) was an abuse of discretion.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       July 21, 2021  .. D.D.C.:    Sourgoutsis v. Capitol Police  ..  On June 13, 2016, Plaintiff Chrisavgi Sourgoutsis initiated the instant legal action against the United States Capitol Police (“USCP”), alleging that USCP had discriminated and retaliated against her, in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as incorporated by the Congressional     Sourgoutsis’s claims ultimately proceeded to trial, where a jury made three relevant determinations: (1) that Sourgoutsis’s sex was a motivating factor in USCP’s decision to terminate her; (2) that USCP would have terminated her regardless of any discriminatory motive; and (3) that Sourgoutsis had failed to demonstrate that USCP had retaliated against her for cooperating in an internal investigation.     After the jury rendered its verdict, and also after the Clerk of Court entered judgment in USCP’s favor, Sourgoutsis filed motions for an amended judgment and a permanent injunction.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       July 20, 2021  .. FLRA:  Army v. NFFE  ..  Since 2007, the parties have been litigating a Union grievance alleging widespread overtime violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the parties’ collective-bargaining agreement.     As discussed further below, we determine that the Agency’s exceptions are either untimely, interlocutory, or barred by the Authority’s Regulations.  ..  FLRA DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       July 19, 2021  ..  No New Cases To Post Today. SORRY.

♦       July 20, 2021  .. D.D.C.:    Robb v. Perdue  ..  Plaintiff Ms. Robb joined the Department in November 2013, as a GS-14, Step 1 Senior Agricultural Scientific Advisor (Biofuels), in the Office of Global Analysis, Global Policy Analysis Division, Foreign Agricultural Service. In this position she was responsible for the “analysis and communication of science and Agency policy of bio-based products.”    In December 2015, Ms. Robb was notified that her position was being unexpectedly terminated, so she accepted a GS-13 position as an Agricultural Economist, a non-biofuels position and one in a lower pay grade.    However, just a few months later, Ms. Robb was notified that there was a need for her at her old position, and that she could return to her former role. She was told that while the original reassignment would initially be at the GS-13 level, the job would eventually be elevated to a GS-14 position, the same pay grade it had been before.    She accordingly accepted the reassignment on May 15, 2016. In the interim, the biofuels trade policy had been transferred within the Department from the Office of Global Development to the Plant Division. As a result, in her new role, Ms. Robb was overseen by Mayra Caldera, her first line supervisor, while her second line supervisor was Mark Rasmussen, the Director of the Plant Division.    Despite the assurances she had received, Ms. Robb’s new position as International Economist (Biofuels), was never elevated back to a GS-14 position.    Ms. Robb contends that beginning in February of 2017, less than a year after she accepted her new position with the promise of an eventual grade increase, “management went on a campaign to intimidate, devalue, and degrade” her.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       July 19, 2021  ..  No New Cases To Post Today. SORRY.

♦       July 16, 2021  .. Fed. Cir.:    Staley v. DVA  ..  Ms. Staley appeals from a final decision of the Merit Systems Protection Board (Board) denying her request for corrective action by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for a personnel action prohibited under the Whistleblower Protection Act.     Ms. Staley alleges the VA engaged in retaliatory personnel action against her—specifically, the revocation of previously approved leave without pay (LWOP) under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and its conversion into absence without leave (AWOL).     On July 1, 2019, Ms. Staley filed an individual right of action (IRA) with the Board, claiming that the VA retroactively revoked her FMLA leave in retaliation for the protected activity of filing her OSC (Whistleblower Protection Act) complaint.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       July 15, 2021  .. FDCA:    Garcia v. Junior  ..  The early morning hours of New Year’s Day, 2021, found sixteen-year- old Alex Garcia at the wheel of his mother’s black Chevrolet Tahoe. Despite testimony from Garcia’s mom that she gave permission only for Garcia to listen to music in the car.    Speeding down West Flagler at 79th Avenue, Garcia plowed into a blue Hyundai Elantra pulling into the intersection.    While Garcia survived the crash unharmed, the impact killed all four occupants of the Elantra and seriously injured Garcia’s two 16 year old passengers.    On April 16, 2021, the State charged Garcia with four counts of driving under the influence (DUI), manslaughter, a second-degree felony, and multiple other charges.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       July 15, 2021  .. Fed. Cir.:    Craft v. MSPB  ..  In 1983, Ms. Craft, an employee of the Defense Information Systems Agency, incurred a work-related injury for which she was awarded workers’ compensation benefits by the Department of Labor (DOL).     Ms. Craft has since contested a variety of issues associated with this award. On March 19, 2019, she filed an appeal with the Board, contesting previous decisions from the DOL’s Office of Workers’ Compensation (OWC) that issued between 2001 and 2012.     While that appeal was pending, on September 18, 2020, the OWC terminated Ms. Craft’s workers’ compensation benefits, reasoning that Ms. Craft had fully recovered from her injuries and did not require further compensation.     Because Ms. Craft alleges retaliation for potential whistleblowing activity, we vacate the decision and remand for further proceedings.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       July 15, 2021  .. 3rd Cir.:    Yingst v. Coatesville  ..  Yingst began working as a nurse at Brandywine in 1987. Yingst was diagnosed with breast cancer in July 2014. Yingst’s cancer caused her to be unavailable for work on several occasions in 2014 and 2015. Her unavailability often lasted two to three weeks but at one point lasted almost two months. After Yingst returned to work, the hospital filled three nursing positions but did not promote Yingst.     Yingst filed this action. Yingst alleged that Brandywine discriminated against her because of her disability (breast cancer), and retaliated against her for complaining about the discrimination, when her supervisor refused to hire her for three regular nursing positions.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       July 15, 2021  .. 11th Cir.:    Adams v. St. Johns  ..  Drew Adams is a young man and recent graduate of Nease High School in Florida’s St. Johns County School District (the “School District”). Mr. Adams is transgender, meaning when he was born, doctors assessed his sex and wrote “female” on his birth certificate, but today Mr. Adams knows “with every fiber of [his] being” that he is a boy. While Mr. Adams attended Nease High School, school officials considered him a boy in all respects but one: he was forbidden to use the boys’ restroom. Instead, Mr. Adams had the option of using the multi-stall girls’ restrooms, which he found profoundly “insult[ing].” Or he could use a single-stall gender-neutral bathroom, which he found “isolati[ng],” “depress[ing],” “humiliating,” and burdensome. After unsuccessful negotiations with the School District over his bathroom use, Mr. Adams brought suit against the St. Johns County School Board (the “School Board”)1 through his next friend and mother, Ms. Erica Adams Kasper.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       July 14, 2021  .. D.D.C.:    Cobb v. WMATA  ..  Plaintiff Charles Cobb alleges that on the evening of December 6, 2019, he slipped on a foreign substance on the ground in the Gallery Place/Chinatown Metro station, fell awkwardly to the floor, and badly injured his left leg.     As he lay on the ground in great pain, unable to move, and calling for help, employees of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (“WMATA”) at the station allegedly did nothing to help him.     In the instant lawsuit, plaintiff alleges that WMATA was negligent in failing both to notice and clean the substance that caused his slip and fall, and to summon medical assistance for him after his injury, and he seeks to recover damages for the injury he suffered to his knee as well as emotional damages.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       July 14, 2021  .. FLRA:  NTEU v. HHS  ..  In 2017, the Union filed a ULP charge alleging, as relevant here, that the Agency bargained in bad faith while negotiating a new collective-bargaining agreement (term agreement).     While the ULP charge was pending, the Union and Agency continued negotiating the term agreement. But, the parties could not reach agreement, and, in 2018, the Union filed four grievances, each alleging that the Agency committed a ULP by bargaining in bad faith in violation of § 7116(a)(1), (5), and (8) of the Statute.     The main question before us is whether the Union’s ULP charge bars the later‑filed grievances.  ..  FLRA DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       July 14, 2021  .. MCA:    Firmand v. MDES  ..  In May 2016, Claimant was employed as Director of Learning and Organizational Development at the University of Missouri (“Employer”) and received an annual salary of $166,000.     On May 22, 2019, Claimant’s supervisor informed Claimant that he “was just not getting the job done[.]” The supervisor told Claimant that he was being demoted from his director position, that his salary was being reduced to an annual rate of $140,000, and that he would be discharged in six months.     Claimant felt humiliated by the demotion, and he soon left his employment, claiming that he had accepted an offer from his supervisor to receive a “severance package if he left ahead of his termination in six months.”  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       July 13, 2021  .. CAC:    Fernandez v. Mac Motors  ..  The plaintiff sought to recover damages from the defendant, her former employer, Mac Motors, Inc. for alleged discrimination and the creation of a hostile work environment on the basis of her gender.     The plaintiff, who had been a finance manager at the defendant’s car dealership, claimed that she had been paid less than male employees who performed the same job and that she had been subjected to mistreatment by four male managers, which included sporadic incidents of yelling.     She further alleged that male employees made remarks in the workplace that were crude and demeaning to women.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       July 13, 2021  .. 9th Cir.:    Thomas v. Harker (Navy)  ..  Discrimination, Retaliation, And Hostile Work Environment Claims.    Mr. Thomas argues that his $300 performance award in 2014;    his temporary reassignment to the Office of the Product Line Coordinator;    his subsequent reassignment to the Wastewater Treatment Plant;    his non-selection for two supervisory positions;    and the Navy’s failure to provide him with boiler inspector training were discriminatory and retaliatory.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       July 12, 2021  .. 1st Cir.:    Perez-Abreu  v. Metropol  ..  Appellant, Mr. Pérez-Abreu, brought suit against his employer, a restaurant called the Metropol Hato Rey. Pérez asserted claims of age-based discrimination under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act ("ADEA").     His employer promptly moved to dismiss the complaint, pointing out that Pérez failed to exhaust required administrative remedies before filing suit.     That is, he neglected to first file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.     In response, Pérez acknowledged his failure to exhaust but pressed the district court to excuse that failure by adopting and applying the "single filing rule," also known as the "piggyback rule."  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       July 12, 2021  .. 7th Cir.:    Demkovich v. St. Andrew  ..  Demkovich is a gay man.     St. Andrew the Apostle Parish in Calumet City, Illinois is a Roman Catholic church of the Archdiocese of Chicago.     In September 2012, the church hired Mr. Demkovich as its music director, choir director, and organist. Reverend Jacek Dada, a Catholic priest and the church’s pastor, supervised Demkovich in these roles.     Over the next two years, their relationship deteriorated, culminating in Demkovich’s termination by Reverend Dada in September 2014.     According to Demkovich, Reverend Dada repeatedly subjected him to derogatory comments and demeaning epithets showing a discriminatory animus toward his sexual orientation and physical condition.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       July 9, 2021  .. 8th Cir.:    Henson v. Union Pacific  ..  Randy Henson began working for the predecessor of Union Pacific Railroad Company in 1979. Following more than thirty years with the railroad, Henson filed a charge [...] in October 2017, alleging a hostile work environment and ongoing age discrimination and retaliation.     Henson asserted that he had been subjected to position changes and harassing comments. Henson retired effective August 1, 2018, at the age of 63. Soon thereafter, Henson received a requested right-to-sue letter from the EEOC.     As relevant to this appeal, Henson filed suit against Union Pacific in Missouri state court, alleging age discrimination, constructive discharge, and hostile work environment claims. Henson also sued Missouri resident Foster B. McDaniel, claiming that McDaniel aided and abetted Union Pacific in its discriminatory acts.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       July 8, 2021  .. 6th Cir.:    Umfress v. Memphis  ..  Vivian Umfress began to work for the City of Memphis, Tennessee in 1982. Thirty-three years later, in 2015, she believed that the City was discriminating against her because of her age, so she filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.    A few months after that, the City restructured its finance division, eliminating two positions. One was Ms. Umfress’s position.     At some point after the City eliminated Ms. Umfress’s job, an unknown city employee placed Ms. Umfress’s name in a security binder that the City maintained to keep track of people who needed an escort to enter city hall.     Ms. Umfress sued, alleging retaliation under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act and a constitutional “stigma-plus” violation.     The jury did not believe the City of Memphis' explanation, so it awarded Ms. Umfress $341,981.49 in damages for her ADEA claim.    The jury also awarded her $750,000 in damages on the stigma-plus claim.    The City of Memphis appealed.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       July 7, 2021  .. Fed. Cir.:    Adams v. Homeland  ..  Mr. Adams worked as a human resources specialist with U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (the agency) and was also a member of the Arizona Air National Guard. From April to September 2018, Mr. Adams performed three peri- ods of military service with the National Guard.     Mr.Adams appeals a final decision of the Merit Sys- tems Protection Board denying his request for differential pay for three separate periods of military service during which he performed duties in the Arizona Air National Guard.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       July 6, 2021  .. 6th Cir.:    Corbin v. Steak 'n Shake  ..  Hannah Corbin was a minor who worked as a server at a Steak ‘n Shake restaurant.     Corbin filed suit for sexual harassment, alleging a hostile work environment, gender discrimination, and retaliation pursuant to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Ohio law.     After a five-day trial, the jury returned a verdict for Corbin on the hostile work environment claim, and awarded her $308 in back pay, $1000 in compensatory damages, and $50,000 in punitive damages.     The jury ruled in favor of Steak ‘n Shake on the gender discrimination claim. Steak ‘n Shake appeals the district court’s evidentiary rulings and the jury’s award of punitive damages.     Corbin cross-appeals, arguing that the district court erred in granting summary judgment to Steak ‘n Shake and that it miscalculated the attorney’s fees.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       July 6, 2021  .. CCA:    Briley v. West Covina  ..  Respondent Jason Briley worked for appellant, the City of West Covina (the City), as a deputy fire marshal.     During his employment, Briley complained that various City officials, including his then-direct superior Larry Whithorn, had ignored his reports of safety issues and engaged in misconduct. He later complained that Whithorn and others had retaliated against him in various ways.     The City commissioned an investigation of Briley’s claims but ultimately concluded they were unfounded. While this investigation was still pending, the City commissioned an investigation of allegations that Briley had repeatedly engaged in misconduct and unprofessional behavior.     At the conclusion of this second investigation, Whithorn initiated Briley’s termination, and another City official upheld the decision.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       July 6, 2021  .. 5th Cir.:    Garcia v. EEOC  ..  Valerie Garcia served as an Associate Municipal Judge in the City of Brownsville, Texas. As her second two-year term expired in the summer of 2018, the City had ninety days to notify her whether she would be reappointed by the city manager, who was vested with the authority to appoint (and reappoint) judges like Garcia.     She met with the City’s court administrator to discuss her potential reappointment; their discussion led her to believe she would be reappointed for a third term without controversy.     Shortly afterward, she and the court administrator met again—this time to discuss Garcia’s concerns over her pay.     Garcia raised alleged disparities between her compensation and that of the other similarly- titled judges, all men. She alleges that the court administrator confirmed her suspicions: she was paid less than her male colleagues, but the presiding judge had noted funds were available to compensate her for this difference.     Roughly two months later, Garcia received a letter from the interim city manager informing her that she would not be reappointed as a municipal judge. Garcia filed charges of discrimination against the City.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       JuLY 2, 2021  ..  No New Cases To Post Today.    HAPPY HOLIDAY WEEKEND.

♦       July 1, 2021  .. FLRA:  Customs and Border v. NTEU  ..  Arbitrator Carol A. Vendrillo found that the Union’s grievance filed on behalf of two grievants is not moot despite their voluntary retirements from the Agency. The Agency filed exceptions to the award on exceeded-authority grounds. Because the Arbitrator considered issues not specific to the two named grievants in determining that the grievance was not moot, we find that she exceeded her authority. Accordingly, we grant the Agency’s exception and set aside the award.  ..  FLRA DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       July 1, 2021  .. CCA:    Vega v. YapStone  ..  YapStone, Inc. is a payment services company located in Walnut Creek, California. YapStone hired Marcela Vega as an accounting associate in December 2014.     Marcela was granted a leave of absence beginning August 31, 2016, to travel to Colombia, the sisters’ country of origin, for a second opinion on treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome and epicondylitis. A doctor detected a hernia during a physical examination, and Marcela underwent surgery on October 18, 2016, then developed sepsis and pancreatitis and was placed in the intensive care unit. ... [ The Story Continues ].  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       July 1, 2021  .. 6th Cir.:    Doe v. Detroit  ..  Jane Doe is transgender and began presenting publicly as a woman while working for the City of Detroit.     During her transition, an unknown city employee left Doe harassing messages that commented on her transgender identity and stated that people such as Doe should be put to death. Doe reported these incidents to the city, which took various steps to uncover the perpetrator and protect Doe’s safety.     Doe sued the city under Title VII and Michigan’s Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act, alleging that the city subjected her to a hostile work environment and then retaliated against her.     The district court granted summary judgment to the city, concluding that the city responded reasonably to Doe’s complaints and there were no triable issues with respect to retaliation.     Here, Jane Doe appeals the district court decision.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       June 30, 2021  .. Tex.:    TxDOT v. Lara  ..  Petitioner Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) terminated respondent Albert Lara, Jr.’s employment after he exhausted his five months of sick leave while recovering from surgery. Lara sued under the Texas Commission on Human Rights Act (TCHRA), alleging in part that TxDOT (1) failed to reasonably accommodate his disability by granting him additional leave without pay in accordance with its policy and (2) discharged him in retaliation for his request for additional leave.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       June 30, 2021  .. D.C. Cir.:    Farrar v. Nelson  ..  Andrew Farrar began working for NASA’s Equal Opportunity and Diversity Management Division in 2010. When NASA fired him five months later, he filed an administrative action alleging disability discrimination under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.    For the most part, Farrar prevailed. NASA’s    NASA awarded him compensatory damages, costs, and fees totaling just under $13,000.    EEOC increased the amount NASA would pay Farrar to about $35,000.    After NASA paid him, Farrar filed a civil action, alleging disability discrimination under the Rehabilitation Act.    But because Farrar had already accepted and retained the monetary award from NASA, the district court said “he does not get another bite at the apple” and dismissed his case.    Farrar appealed.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       June 30, 2021  .. Tex.:    Apache Corporation  v. Davis  ..  In 1995, in Texas Department of Human Services v. Hinds, we held that an employee claiming retaliation must prove that but for his protected conduct, his employer’s prohibited conduct “would not have occurred when it did.”    In Office of Attorney General v. Rodriguez, we emphasized that “an adverse employment action ‘based solely’ on reasons unrelated to [protected conduct] destroys the causal link.”    Because evidence of but-for causation is often circumstantial, we have suggested several factors that may be considered in determining whether the standard of proof has been met.    In this case, we explain the factors’ role in applying the causation standard when evidence shows that the employer took action against the employee for a legitimate reason unrelated to the employee’s protected conduct.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       June 29, 2021  .. 8th Cir.:    Richardson v. BNSF Railway  ..  Richardson’s complaint alleged the following facts. In 2015, after eighteen years of employment with BNSF, Richardson received a new supervisor. Shortly thereafter, BNSF “pulled [Richardson] out of service,” alleging that he had left a company vehicle at a hotel bar.    According to the supervisor, Richardson had been drinking while driving. After a six-week investigation produced no evidence that Richardson had been drinking while driving, BNSF returned Richardson to service. BNSF then required Richardson to complete from memory expense reports related to events that had occurred before his removal. Upon identifying alleged errors in Richardson’s expense reports, BNSF terminated Richardson’s employment.     Scott T. Richardson sued BNSF Railway Co., alleging constructive discharge and intentional infliction of emotional distress.    BNSF moved to dismiss both claims. The district court granted BNSF’s motion.    Richardson appeals.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       June 29, 2021  .. WCA:    Carroll v. Renton Schools  ..  In June 2017, Samiha Carroll was hired to work for the Renton School District (District) as the Lakeridge Elementary School (Lakeridge) assistant principal. Carroll is an African-American woman, and was six months pregnant at the time she was hired. Holly Thompson, principal at Lakeridge, served on the committee that conducted interviews of applicants for the assistant principal position. Neither the District nor the hiring committee knew that Carroll was pregnant at the time it hired her.     On July 3, 2017, Carroll began her role as assistant principal. However, she was asked by Thompson to take a week of vacation her first week because Thompson would also be on vacation. Thompson was on vacation for three or four weeks during Carroll’s first month of employment. Thompson returned from vacation in late July.     On or around July 10, 2017, Carroll informed Thompson that she was pregnant and had a September 15, 2017 due date. She relayed that she was planning to take six weeks of maternity leave.2 Carroll stated that she was subsequently subjected to “constant comments from Ms. Thompson” regarding her pregnancy, such as “‘make sure you don’t go into labor early’” and “‘keep that baby in until its due date.’” She said it caused her anxiety about her due date.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       June 29, 2021  .. FLRA:  VA v. NVAC  ..  The Agency requests that we reconsider our decision in U.S. Department of VA, Veterans Benefits Administration (Veterans Benefits).    That case involved an award finding the Agency violated the parties’ agreement when it ceased providing a ninety-day performance improvement plan (PIP) as a prerequisite for performance‑based actions.    The Authority denied the Agency’s exceptions because they failed to demonstrate that the award was contrary to law, failed to draw its essence from the parties’ agreement, or that the Arbitrator exceeded his authority.    In a motion for reconsideration (motion), the Agency argues that the Authority erred in its legal conclusions.  ..  FLRA DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       June 29, 2021  .. FLRA:  AFGE v. Prisons  ..  Arbitrator Kathy Fragnoli denied the Union’s grievance alleging that the Agency violated the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute (the Statute) by refusing to provide the Union access to the Agency’s premises and records in response to the Union’s information requests.    The Union filed exceptions challenging the award on contrary-to-law and essence grounds.    Because the Arbitrator erred by finding that the Union could not grieve the alleged violations of the Statute, the award is contrary to law.  ..  FLRA DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       June 28, 2021  .. 10th Cir.:    Ombe v. Cook  ..  Mr. Ombe worked as a cashier at Clines Corners Travel Center. A former university professor and mathematician, he was diagnosed with autism later in life and reports he has also suffered from depression and anxiety. Mr. Ombe sued his former employers alleging violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Civil Rights Act of 1866.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       June 28, 2021  .. 5th Cir.:    Fisher v. Bilfinger  ..  Appellant Keonta Fisher contends that he was subject to racial discrimination by his bosses, Tommy Coutee and Kendall Martin, and suffered retaliation from Daniel Long when he was employed as a welder by the Appellee, Bilfinger Industrial Services.    Fisher claims he was harassed from when he was hired on September 10, 2015 to February 3, 2016, when he was assigned to a different crew. He also claims two instances of retaliation: first, when he was threatened with firing after he complained about harassment, and second, when he was terminated.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       June 28, 2021  .. SCI:    Rumsey v. Millwork  ..  This case involves the not uncommon, yet often murky, intersection between worker’s compensation and disability discrimination. In this case, an injured employee with a preexisting hearing impairment continued to work while rehabilitating from a workplace injury.     The employer assisted the rehabilitation by providing light-duty work consistent with the temporary workplace restrictions imposed by the employee’s doctors.     A disagreement arose concerning whether the employee was entitled to a specific work restriction, and the employee was fired. In the ensuing disability discrimination litigation, the employer claimed the firing was based on insubordination. The employee claimed the employer discriminated against him by firing him when he sought a reasonable accommodation for a disability. A jury accepted the employee’s claim and awarded damages.     Here, the defendants appeal the jury decision and award.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       June 28, 2021  .. 11th Cir.:    Matamoros v. Broward Sheriffs  ..  Carolina Matamoros alleged that her former employer, the Broward Sheriff’s Office, violated the FCRA by discriminating against her not because of any “handicap” of her own, but because of her association with her son, who suffers from severe asthma. Finding no support for that sort of “associational discrimination” claim in the FCRA’s text or prior court decisions, the district court dismissed it, and the court later granted summary judgment to the Sheriff’s Office on Matamoros’s other claims under the FCRA and the federal Family and Medical Leave Act.     On appeal, Matamoros challenges both the dismissal of her associational- discrimination claim and the district court’s grant of summary judgment on the others. As to the former, Matamoros candidly asks us to work “a change in the law” and hold that the FCRA prohibits associational discrimination.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       June 25, 2021  .. FLRA:  F.O.P v. Navy  ..  The Union filed a petition seeking review of one proposal concerning the chain of command for the Agency’s bargaining-unit civilian police officers. Because we find that the proposal affects management’s rights to determine its organization under § 7106(a)(1) and assign work under § 7106(a)(2)(B) of the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute and the Union has not demonstrated that the proposal is negotiable under § 7106(b)(2) or (3) of the Statute, the proposal is outside the duty to bargain. Accordingly, we dismiss the petition.  ..  FLRA DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       June 25, 2021  .. FLRA:  VA v. AFGE  ..  Before 2019, the Agency regularly permitted the grievant to take LWOP for medical treatment. In early 2019, the Agency required the grievant to provide a medical “treatment plan” to receive future approvals.     The grievant provided additional medical documentation, but the Agency found it insufficient and charged the grievant as absent without leave (AWOL) for several absences.     The Union grieved the denials of LWOP. During the pendency of the arbitration proceedings, the Agency suspended the grievant based on the AWOL charges.     Arbitrator Ed W. Bankston subsequently issued an award finding that the Agency violated the parties’ agreement by changing a past practice without notifying the Union and by denying the grievant’s requests for LWOP. As a remedy, the Arbitrator directed the Agency to rescind the grievant’s suspension.     The Agency filed exceptions, arguing that the award is contrary to Executive Order 5396.  ..  FLRA DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       June 25, 2021  .. NJSACD:    McNichol v. Route One  ..  Sansone operates three retail car dealerships: Route One Toyota, Route One Hyundai, and Route One Kia. In March 2011, Sansone hired plaintiff as a sales manager at the Toyota dealership. As a manager, plaintiff's compensation was based solely on the commissions he earned from selling vehicles.     Like other similarly-situated employees, plaintiff received a weekly advance on these commissions, which was referred to as his "draw." When plaintiff's draws in any given month exceeded the amount of commissions he actually earned, he was responsible for the shortfall, either by paying Sansone back the difference or by deductions taken from his future commissions.     In his deposition, plaintiff testified this arrangement was standard practice in the industry and that it would be fair to terminate an employee who had a consistent shortfall.     When he began working at the Toyota dealership, plaintiff's draw was $2000 per week. At the end of 2011, plaintiff transferred to the Hyundai dealership, where he received an increased weekly draw of $2200. His new title was assistant sales manager.     By January 2014, plaintiff owed Sansone $6095.95 in unearned draws.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       June 24, 2021  .. 4th Cir.:    Fairfax v. CBS  ..  In April 2019, the television news program CBS This Morning broadcast interviews with two women who accused Justin Fairfax, the Lieutenant Governor of Virginia, of sexual assault. Fairfax denied the allegations and subsequently sued CBS Corporation and CBS Broadcasting, Inc. (collectively, CBS) for defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       June 24, 2021  .. 8th Cir.:    Gardner v. Wal-Mart  ..  Gardner worked for Walmart from 1993 until February 2017. He served as a private fleet safety manager in Mount Pleasant, Iowa, responsible for implementing Walmart’s safety program.     In January 2016, Gardner disclosed an employee’s medical condition during a training session. Walmart placed him on a “Third Written”—meaning he could be fired if disciplined again. One of Gardner’s job responsibilities was enforcing Walmart’s Hazardous Materials Endorsement (HME) policy. It required him to “identify all current and new hire drivers without a valid hazmat endorsement and notify the local Transportation Operations Managers.” In January 2017, Gardner violated the policy. As acknowledged in his statement of undisputed material facts, a driver failed to get an HME after the 90-day deadline, but Gardner did not notify Operations that the driver continued working. Instead, after about 30 more days, he suspended the driver.     In February 2017, Walmart gave Gardner the option to resign or be dismissed. He resigned. He then sued, alleging he was fired because of age (58).  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       June 24, 2021  .. CCA:    Moinuddin v. CDT  ..  Plaintiff Sheik Moinuddin (Moinuddin) was demoted from a managerial position at defendant California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) and he unsuccessfully contested the demotion before the State Personnel Board (the Board)—without claiming the demotion had been motivated by unlawful discrimination or retaliation. Before the result of the Board proceedings was final, Moinuddin sued in court for violation of the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA). He alleged his demotion was discriminatory and retaliatory (the issue he reserved raising before the Board), and he also complained about Caltrans’ decisions to deny him other promotions and to remove an employee from his supervisory purview. A trial jury concluded Caltrans discriminated and retaliated against Moinuddin but awarded no damages because it found his poor job performance meant Caltrans would have taken the same actions absent the discriminatory and retaliatory motives. Though damages were unavailable, the trial court granted declaratory and injunctive relief and awarded attorney fees. We principally consider, in resolving the parties’ cross-appeals, whether Moinuddin’s choice to proceed before the Board precluded him from litigating his FEHA claims in court, whether the trial court erred by granting declaratory and injunctive relief, and whether there is substantial evidence Caltrans’ adverse actions were partly motivated by legitimate reasons.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       June 23, 2021  .. FLRA:  Army v. NFFE  ..  The Union filed a grievance alleging that the Agency failed to properly compensate some employees for overtime, and incorrectly classified certain employees as FLSA exempt. The grievance also included an information request under § 7114(b)(4) of the Federal Service Labor‑Management Relations Statute.     The parties entered into settlement negotiations, which led to three partial settlement agreements in which the Agency agreed to reclassify three groups of employees from FLSA exempt to FLSA non‑exempt.     The settlement agreements did not resolve any damages owed to employees in the three affected groups, and the Agency later denied the remainder of the grievance.  ..  FLRA DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       June 23, 2021  .. 5th Cir.:    Oldenburg v. U T  ..  This case is about employment decisions made by the Facilities Services Training department at the University of Texas (UT). The department provides trade-skills training and career training to facilities and maintenance staff at the university. In mid-2016 and early 2017, supervisors began to restructure the department and opened up hiring for a key position. Alana Oldenburg applied for the job along with about 100 other candidates. Oldenburg came close to getting the position but finished as the runner up.     Another employee in the department, Debrah Fields, participated in the hiring process and believed that some members of the hiring committee made age-based comments against Oldenburg in the selection meeting. As part of a reduction-in-force that UT says was also part of the department restructuring, the university eliminated Fields’s position around the same time Oldenburg did not receive the job.     Oldenburg sued UT, alleging age discrimination in the hiring process, and Fields joined a claim for retaliatory termination stemming in part from her reports of the alleged age discrimination against Oldenburg.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       June 23, 2021  .. NCA:    Kier v. Hall, Ne  ..  This case involves an employment relationship between the Hall County Sheriff’s Department (the Department) and Melissa Kier, a deputy sheriff. Kier and the Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge #10 (FOP #10), filed a grievance concerning the application of shift-bidding provisions in each applicable collective bargaining agreement (CBA) that governed the employment relationship.     This dispute centers on whether the Hall County Sheriff’s Department Merit Commission (Merit Commission) properly interpreted and applied provisions of each CBA, as well as the Merit Commission’s own regulations.     Kier and FOP #10 appeal from the order of the district court for Hall County, which affirmed the decision of the Merit Commission.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       June 22, 2021  .. CCA:    People v. Hamburg  ..  On October 4, 2019, police received a call about a burglary at Glenn’s Repair shop. Someone had cut through a fence, removed a portable generator and gasoline from two lawnmowers. Surveillance video recorded the theft. It showed a male, wearing a mask, a hoodie, pants and boots, “siphoning gas” from the lawnmowers. Police found “boot prints” near the fence.     That same morning police were dispatched involving a call about another burglary at Solarponics. A “van had been broken into” and several “Milwaukee power tools” were missing.     Surveillance video from a nearby business showed a “mid 90s Ford Thunderbird” had pulled into the back lot and a driver who got out of the vehicle was wearing the same clothing as the suspect at the burglary at Glenn’s Repair.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       June 22, 2021  .. FLRA:  Air National Guard v. ACT Union  ..  FLRA Regional Director Jessica Bartlett (RD) dismissed the Union’s representation petition, which asked the RD to order an election to determine whether a proposed nationwide bargaining unit of 104 social workers wished to have the Union recognized as its exclusive representative.     The RD found that the proposed unit was not appropriate under § 7112(a) of the Federal Service Labor‑Management Relations Statute (the Statute).     On the merits, we agree with the RD’s decision to dismiss the petition, but for a more basic reason. Each of the social workers is an employee of both the National Guard Bureau and the Adjutant General of a particular state air national guard, and the social workers are located throughout all fifty states, as well as several U.S. territories. As explained further below, if the Authority were to recognize the Union’s proposed nationwide unit, the bargaining obligations that would flow from that unit certification would infringe upon the sovereign immunity of every state in the union.     Consequently, we dismiss the petition for lack of jurisdiction.  ..  FLRA DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       June 21, 2021  ..  No New Cases To Post Today. SORRY.

♦       June 18, 2021  .. FLRA:  Prisons v. AFGE  ..  In this case, we once again remind arbitrators that they may not disregard the plain wording of parties’ collective‑bargaining agreements.     Arbitrator Carol A. Vendrillo issued an award finding, as relevant here, that the Union timely filed its grievance. On the merits, the Arbitrator concluded that the Agency violated Article 18, Section p.(1) of the master agreement (Article 18) by failing to equitably distribute and rotate overtime assignments.     The primary questions before us are: (1) whether the Arbitrator’s procedural‑arbitrability determination fails to draw its essence from the master agreement; (2) whether the award is contrary to the covered‑by doctrine; and (3) whether the award violates management’s rights under § 7106(a)(2) of the Federal Service Labor‑Management Relations Statute (the Statute).     We find that the Arbitrator’s procedural‑arbitrability determination fails, in part, to draw its essence from the master agreement.     Accordingly, we grant that Agency exception, in part, but deny the remaining exceptions.  ..  FLRA DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       June 17, 2021  .. 7th Cir.:    Eaton v. Findorff  ..  Debra Eaton brought a Title VII claim against J.H. Findorff & Son, Inc. (“Findorff”), asserting that the company twice refused to hire her in retaliation for an earlier sex discrimination charge that she had leveled against the company.    Eaton is an operating engineer. Findorff is a construction company that contracts with unions in order to staff its job sites. Eaton was an apprentice when she first interacted with Findorff in March 2011.    On that occasion, Local 139 dispatched her to Findorff to work as a telehandler operator at a job site in Milwaukee known as the Moderne Project.    At the end of Eaton’s first day on the Moderne Project, Findorff’s Project Superintendent, Mark Szymkowski, terminated Eaton after concluding that her operation of the telehandler was unsafe and that she was inadequately trained.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       June 17, 2021  .. N.J.:    Rios v. Meda  ..  In this appeal, the Court considers whether a supervisor’s use of two offensive slurs could support a hostile work environment claim. The key question is whether the alleged slurs, directed at a Hispanic employee, were severe or pervasive enough for the claim to survive summary judgment and proceed to trial.    Plaintiff Armando Rios, Jr. a Hispanic male, was hired by defendant Meda Pharmaceutical, Inc. (Meda) in May 2015. Defendant Tina Cheng-Avery was Rios’s direct supervisor. Rios asserts that Cheng-Avery twice directed the ugly term “Sp--” toward him at their place of work. Rios says he reported her comments to Meda’s Director of Human Resources after each incident. Cheng-Avery placed Rios on probation in February 2016 for poor performance. Meda fired Rios in June 2016.    Rios filed a complaint alleging in part that defendants violated the Law Against Discrimination (LAD), N.J.S.A. 10:5-1 to -49, by creating a hostile work environment. The trial court granted defendants’ motion for summary judgment, finding that no rational factfinder could conclude Cheng-Avery’s alleged comments were sufficiently severe or pervasive to create a hostile work environment.       For the reasons set forth above, we reverse the judgment of the Appellate Division and remand for further proceedings.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       June 15, 2021  .. OCA:    State v. Pallo  ..  Around 2:00 a.m. on September 3, 2018, an Ohio State Highway Patrol trooper was on patrol when two vehicles, both Camaros, passed his position on State Route 32. The trooper observed the white Camaro move into the left lane without signaling and then, with notable acceleration, pass the black Camaro at a high rate of speed. Believing the cars were racing, the trooper initiated a traffic stop of the passing car. The trooper then made contact with the driver, later identified as Pallo. The trooper noticed a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage emanating from Pallo's side of the vehicle. Furthermore, Pallo had bloodshot, watery eyes.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       June 15, 2021  .. Fed. Cir.:    Vestal v. Treasury  ..  Ms. Vestal was an IRS Internal Revenue Agent for approximately ten years.    Her duties included performing examinations, usually in the field of small businesses or self-employed taxpayers.    In October 2018, Ms. Vestal received a notice of proposed suspension for displaying discourteous and unprofessional conduct and for failing to follow managerial directives.    In preparing her defense, she sent her attorney an Examining Officer’s Activity Record from a taxpayer’s file.    This record included personally identifiable and other taxpayer information and that Ms. Vestal’s attorney was not authorized to receive such information.    Ms. Vestal’s supervisor, Mr. Tonnie Buggs, issued a proposed removal letter for making an unauthorized disclosure.    The deciding official, decided to remove Ms. Vestal from service, explaining in his removal letter “that a removal will promote the efficiency of the Service and that a lesser penalty would be inadequate.”    Ms. Vestal appealed her removal to the Board. Here, Ms. Sarah Vestal petitions for review of a decision by the Merit Systems Protection Board (“Board”) sustaining her removal.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)



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