Articles Posted in Labor & Employment Law

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Plaintiff filed suit alleging that he was improperly rejected for the position of Criminal Investigator with the USPS in violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), 29 U.S.C. 621 et seq., and that he should have been given preference for the position due to his status as a veteran. The district court granted the Postmaster General’s motion to dismiss the action under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). The Eighth Circuit held that the district court erred in dismissing the ADEA claim because plaintiff alleged a prima facie case of discrimination where he demonstrated that he had the educational and professional experience required for the position. Accordingly, the court reversed as to the ADEA claim and remanded for further proceedings. The court affirmed in all other respects. View "McPherson v. Brennan" on Justia Law

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The Eighth Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of defendants' motion to dismiss an action filed by plaintiff, challenging the termination of his employment from the University. The court held that plaintiff's speech stemmed from his professional responsibilities and was made in furtherance of those responsibilities, and was therefore not protected under the First Amendment; the pre- and post-termination procedures did not violate plaintiff's Fourteenth Amendment due process rights; plaintiff failed to establish a substantive due process claim because he failed to show that the University President's decision to terminate him was both conscience shocking and in violation of one or more fundamental rights; the district court properly dismissed the individual capacity claims against the University President based on qualified immunity; and the district court properly dismissed the claims against defendants in their official capacity. View "Groenewold v. Kelley" on Justia Law

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Plaintiff filed suit against her former employer for hostile work environment sexual harassment and retaliatory termination in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Iowa Civil Rights Act (ICRA). Plaintiff was terminated after she burned a customer with her cigarette when he was sexually harassing her. The Eighth Circuit affirmed the district court's dismissal of the ICRA claim as time-barred and held that the pendency of an EEOC review did not toll a state civil rights claim. The court rejected the Title VII claims on summary judgment where the customer's action did not constitute conduct so severe or pervasive to affect a term, condition, or privilege of plaintiff's employment. Furthermore, plaintiff failed to show that the employer new of the customer's harassing conduct but failed to take remedial action. The court also held that the retaliatory discrimination claim was time-barred. Finally, the court affirmed the district court's exclusion of evidence regarding previous sexual assaults and expert testimony. View "Hales v. Casey's Marketing Co." on Justia Law

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Plaintiff filed suit against her former employer for hostile work environment sexual harassment and retaliatory termination in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Iowa Civil Rights Act (ICRA). Plaintiff was terminated after she burned a customer with her cigarette when he was sexually harassing her. The Eighth Circuit affirmed the district court's dismissal of the ICRA claim as time-barred and held that the pendency of an EEOC review did not toll a state civil rights claim. The court rejected the Title VII claims on summary judgment where the customer's action did not constitute conduct so severe or pervasive to affect a term, condition, or privilege of plaintiff's employment. Furthermore, plaintiff failed to show that the employer new of the customer's harassing conduct but failed to take remedial action. The court also held that the retaliatory discrimination claim was time-barred. Finally, the court affirmed the district court's exclusion of evidence regarding previous sexual assaults and expert testimony. View "Hales v. Casey's Marketing Co." on Justia Law

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The Eighth Circuit denied IATSE's petition for review of the Board's decision finding that IATSE violated the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) through its hiring practices. The court held that the Board's conclusion that it had jurisdiction over SMG Pershing was supported by substantial evidence; the Board's finding that IATSE operated an exclusive hiring hall with respect to Freeman, as well as to SMG Pershing, was supported by substantial evidence; substantial evidence supported the Board's finding that IATSE failed to show that suspending certain members was necessary for effective performance of representing its constituency and the Board's finding that IATSE violated section 8(b)(1)(A) and (2) of the NLRA by suspending these individuals from the referral list; substantial evidence supported the Board's decision that the refusal to refer two employees to the February 2013 Freeman job at the Cornhusker Hotel violated section 8(b)(1)(A) and (2) of the NLRA; and the ALJ's findings of fact, credibility determinations, and ultimate conclusion, which were all adopted by the Board on IATSE's claim that the charge with respect to the referral lists was untimely, were supported by substantial evidence. View "International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees v. NLRB" on Justia Law

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Aerotek petitioned for review of the Board's decision affirming the ALJ's findings that Aerotek violated the National Labor Relations Act in not hiring the Salts and not considering them for hiring. A "salting" campaign is a campaign by which they actively try to organize and recruit for their union on non-union jobsites. The Eighth Circuit held that substantial evidence supported the Board's finding that anti-union animus contributed to Aerotek's actions. The court also held that the Board abused its discretion by determining that one of the Salts was disqualified from full backpay and instatement. Therefore, the court affirmed the Board's finding of a violation, but remanded in part for reconsideration of the remedy. View "Aerotek, Inc. v. NLRB" on Justia Law

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Aerotek petitioned for review of the Board's decision affirming the ALJ's findings that Aerotek violated the National Labor Relations Act in not hiring the Salts and not considering them for hiring. A "salting" campaign is a campaign by which they actively try to organize and recruit for their union on non-union jobsites. The Eighth Circuit held that substantial evidence supported the Board's finding that anti-union animus contributed to Aerotek's actions. The court also held that the Board abused its discretion by determining that one of the Salts was disqualified from full backpay and instatement. Therefore, the court affirmed the Board's finding of a violation, but remanded in part for reconsideration of the remedy. View "Aerotek, Inc. v. NLRB" on Justia Law

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The Eighth Circuit affirmed the district court's dismissal of plaintiff's complaint that alleged claims related to his termination from the police department. The court held that plaintiff's retaliation claim, on its face, was outside the bounds of the Title VII statute; nothing in plaintiff's complaint or his deposition testimony indicated that he was pursuing a Title VII claim encompassing race-based discrimination and thus he could not submit a claim via an affidavit at the summary judgment stage; and the district court correctly dismissed plaintiff's contract claim where the strain of public policy that plaintiff sought to invoke was simply inapposite to the facts in this case. View "Winfrey v. Forrest City, Arkansas" on Justia Law

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The Eighth Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment for Rock-Tenn in a civil rights action alleging religion and sex discrimination. The Eighth Circuit held that Title VII did not impose a legal obligation to provide an employee an articulated basis for dismissal at the time of firing, and an employer was certainly not bound as a matter of law to whatever reasons might have been provided; rather, it was well-established that a employer may elaborate on its explanation for an employment decision; and, in this case, there was no contradiction between the explanation given to plaintiff at the time of his termination and the non-discriminatory reasons for termination that Rock-Tenn articulated during this litigation. The court also held that plaintiff failed to show sufficient evidence that Rock-Tenn's proffered reasons for firing him -- poor performance -- were pretexts for discrimination. View "Rooney v. Rock-Tenn Converting Co." on Justia Law

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The Eighth Circuit dismissed petitioners' challenge to the FMCSA's final rule entitled "Medical Examiner’s Certification Integration." Petitioners are the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) and an OOIDA member. Petitioners alleged that the new administrative rule means that OOIDA members were being subjected to more onerous sleep apnea tests, which in turn has led to delays, or worse, denials of medical certification to drive commercial motor vehicles. The court held that petitioners have not provided any evidence to support the second element of standing: causation. The court found that the two affidavits submitted by petitioners to prove that they have standing either contained generalized allegations or were not fairly traceable to the final rule. View "Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Assoc. v. U.S. Department of Transportation" on Justia Law