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Tag Archives: Labor & Employment

Labor & Employment – FMLA – Disability Discrimination – Tort/Negligence – Public Policy – Emotional Distress (access required)

Satterwhite v. Wal-Mart Stores East, L.P. N.C. courts have not recognized a public policy exception to the at-will employment rule based on a violation of the Family and Medical Leave Act. Plaintiff has failed to state a claim for wrongful discharge in violation of public policy.

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Labor & Employment – Civil Rights – Sexual Harassment Claim – Attorney’s Fee Denied (access required)

EEOC v. Great Steaks Inc. Although an employer won a judgment on a jury verdict in this Title VII sexual harassment suit alleging complaints by a waitress, the district court did not err in denying the employer’s motion for attorney’s fees; the EEOC’s case survived dispositive motions, and the 4th Circuit upholds the district court finding that the EEOC’s position was not frivolous, unreasonable or without foundation.

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Labor & Employment – FLSA – Retaliation – Protected Activity — Intracompany Complaints – First Impression — Time-Sheet Alterations (access required)

Minor v. Bostwick Laboratories Inc. A medical technologist’s complaints within her company about time-sheet alterations that allegedly violated the Fair Labor Standards Act are protected activity, and she may sue under the FLSA’s antiretaliation provision, 29 U.S.C. § 215(a)(3), on a complaint that she was terminated for her intracompany complaints.

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Labor & Employment – Termination — Breach of Contract Claim – Corporate – Share Issuance – Wage & Hour Act – Bonus (access required)

Mancinelli v. Momentum Research, Inc. Plaintiff abruptly left her job, taking an immediate leave of absence and notifying her supervisors of this leave through a letter which instructed the defendant-employer not to contact her; moreover, plaintiff failed to inform her supervisors of the status of the project on which she was working prior to her departure and refused to turn over information related to the project. The employer had cause to terminate plaintiff pursuant to § 5(a) of the parties’ employment contract (“Employee’s failure or refusal to perform his or her job duties or other breach of a material term of this Agreement”).

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Contract – Release – Tort/Negligence – Fraud – Reasonable Reliance Element – Labor & Employment – Severance Agreement (access required)

Kraus v. Wells Fargo Securities, LLC Plaintiff contends that defendant fraudulently induced him to sign a release by assuring him that it had investigated plaintiff’s allegations and produced a report; however, defendant threatened to fire plaintiff without severance if he asked to see the report. Plaintiff has not alleged that he reasonably relied on defendant’s alleged misrepresentations about the report when he signed a release as part of a severance package.

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Labor & Employment – Civil Rights – Sex Discrimination – Civil Practice – Class Action (access required)

Scott v. Family Dollar Stores, Inc. Where the complaint alleges that plaintiffs were discriminated against based on their gender as a result of subjective decisions made at the local store level, they cannot satisfy the commonality requirement of Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(a). Defendant’s motion to dismiss plaintiffs’ class action claims is granted. Plaintiffs allege that defendant discriminates on the basis of sex by paying female store managers less than male store managers.

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Labor & Employment – Discrimination – ADA – Partial Waiver of Immunity (access required)

Lee-Thomas v. Prince George’s County Public Schools A school board employee in Maryland can sue the board under the Americans with Disabilities Act for an alleged failure to accommodate her hearing disability, as the state has waived its 11th Amendment immunity for claims of $100,000 or less; the 4th Circuit upholds the district court decision allowing the claim to go forward.

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Labor & Employment – Insurance – Long-Term Disability – Benefit Amount — Physician (access required)

Fortier v. Principal Life. Ins. Co. A physician who closed his practice when he became medically disabled cannot collect the maximum monthly disability payment he says he is owed under the practice’s long term disability policy, as the plan administrator was entitled to interpret plan language to allow deduction of the physician’s medical-practice start-up costs from his income to determine that the monthly disability payment could not exceed the physician’s monthly predisability earnings...

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Labor & Employment – Arbitration – Job-Preference Accord — UMW (access required)

Peabody Holding Co. LLC v. United Mine Workers of America, Int’l Union The 4th Circuit upholds the district court order requiring the parties to arbitrate the United Mine Workers’ limited job-preference agreement with a coal company, as the appellate court concludes the coal company has not rebutted the ordinary presumption in favor of arbitrability.

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Labor & Employment – Contract – Covenant Not to Compete – Civil Practice – Diversity Jurisdiction – Amount in Controversy – Statute of Frauds — Scope (access required)

ISCO Industries v. Erdle The plaintiff-employer contends that, in the 36-month time frame of the parties’ covenant not to compete, the defendant-sales manager would normally generate tens of millions of dollars in sales and profits for plaintiff. Since the amount-in-controversy requirement of 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a) is satisfied if either a gain or a cost exceeds $75,000, and since the parties are diverse, this court has jurisdiction over plaintiff’s claim of a breach of the parties’ covenant not to compete. Defendant’s motion to dismiss is denied.

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