Articles Posted in Labor & Employment Law

by
LogistiCare petitioned for review of the Board's conclusion that the company's requirement, that its employees and applicants for employment sign a class or collective action waiver, violated Section 8(a)(1) of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), 29 U.S.C. 158(a)(1). The Fifth Circuit granted the petition for review, holding, under the court's binding precedent, that the waiver did not violate Section 8(a)(1) explicitly, and the waiver could not otherwise be reasonably understood to violate the Act. View "LogistiCare Solutions, Inc. v. NLRB" on Justia Law

by
Abrogation of the asserted right to participate in class and collective actions was not abrogation of a Section 7 right and therefore does not constitute an unfair labor practice under Section 8(a)(1) of the National Labor Relations Act. Covergys sought review of the Board's determination that it violated the Act both by requiring job applicants to sign a class and collective action waiver and by subsequently seeking to enforce the waiver. The Fifth Circuit granted the application for review, holding that Convergys did not engage in an unfair labor practice for purposes of Section 8(a)(1) by requiring applicants to sign a waiver or by seeking to enforce the waiver. View "Convergys Corp. v. NLRB" on Justia Law

by
Plaintiffs filed suit under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), alleging that they were misclassified as exempt from the overtime pay rule and seek backpay. The Fifth Circuit reversed the district court's summary judgment that the fluctuating workweek method applied as a matter of law. The court held that the underlying factual issue upon which the applicability of that method was predicated, what the employees clearly understood, should be decided at trial in due course. Consequently, the court also reversed the district court's judgment dismissing Plaintiffs Hills and Luke from the suit. Hills and Luke's claims must be remanded so that the district court may reinstate them into the pending lawsuit and move forward with proceedings. View "Hill v. Entergy Operations, Inc." on Justia Law

by
Plaintiff filed suit on behalf of himself and others similarly situated, alleging that Latshaw conducted a plant closing or mass layoff without providing advanced notice in violation of the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act of 1988 (WARN Act). The Fifth Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment for Latshaw. The court held that plaintiff has not presented evidence to create a genuine dispute of material fact that any drilling rigs that together suffered employment losses sufficient to trigger the WARN Act were in reasonable geographic proximity; the district court did not err in awarding complete summary judgment dismissing plaintiff's case in its entirety; and plaintiff has not presented evidence or briefed the application of his other theories on appeal. View "Meadows v. Latshaw Drilling Co." on Justia Law

by
T-Mobile challenged the Board's determination that four provisions from its employee handbook violated the National Labor Relations Act because they discouraged unionizing or other concerted activity protected by the Act. Provision (1) encouraged employees to maintain a positive work environment; (2) prohibited arguing or fighting, failing to treat others with respect, and failing to demonstrate appropriate teamwork; (3) prohibited all photography and audio or video recording in the workplace; and (4) prohibited access to electronic information by non-approved individuals. The Fifth Circuit held that the Board erred in finding that a reasonable employee would construe policies (1), (2), and (4) to prohibit protected activity. However, the court agreed with the Board's finding that a reasonable employee would construe policy (3) to prohibit protected activity. Accordingly, the court granted in part and denied in part the petition for review. View "T-Mobile USA, Inc. v. NLRB" on Justia Law

by
The Fifth Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment against plaintiff on his failure to accommodate and hostile work environment claims. Because plaintiff failed to brief his intentional infliction of emotional distress claim, the court confined its review to his Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq., claims. The court held that plaintiff's failure to accommodate claim was unexhausted and plaintiff failed to provide sufficient evidence showing that defendants knew of his disability. The court also held that plaintiff failed to demonstrate that either defendant failed to take prompt, remedial action addressing the alleged harassment. View "Patton v. Jacobs Engineering Group, Inc." on Justia Law

by
Plaintiff filed suit against her employer, the Office of Attorney General for the State of Louisiana (DOJ), alleging failure to accommodate, harassment, and retaliation in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and Louisiana Employment Discrimination Law (LEDL). The Fifth Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment in the DOJ's favor, holding that there was no genuine issue of material fact as to whether plaintiff has established a prima facie case on any of her disability-based claims. In regard to the failure to accommodate claim, plaintiff failed to demonstrate that she was a qualified individual, i.e., that she can perform the essential functions of her job unaided or with the assistance of a reasonable accommodation; in regard to the disability-based harassment claim, the difficulties plaintiff managed while attempting to manage her serious illness and employment were not sufficient to create a hostile work environment; and the record did not support that any of the DOJ's actions were taken in retaliation for plaintiff's protected activity. View "Credeur v. Louisiana" on Justia Law

by
On September 26, 2014, plaintiff filed suit against the school district, alleging discrimination, hostile work environment, and retaliation claims (Welsh I). On December 16, 2014, the school district filed a plea to the jurisdiction in Welsh I, wherein the school district maintained, inter alia, that plaintiff's claims were barred by the statute of limitations because she filed her lawsuit more than two years after she filed her charge. The state district court granted the plea and dismissed the claims in Welsh I. On May 12, 2005, plaintiff filed this case against the school district (Welsh II), alleging claims for discrimination under Title VII and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), as well as retaliation claims. The Fifth Circuit held that the only claims in Welsh II that were barred under res judicata were those that were mature at the time that plaintiff filed her petition in Welsh I. The court vacated and remanded because the parties have not brief this issue under this framework and because at least some facts supporting plaintiff's alleged claims clearly were not extant at the time Welsh I was filed such that a claim could not have been mature based upon those facts. View "Welsh v. Fort Bend Independent School District" on Justia Law

by
MHA filed suit against defendants, two former employees, based on the alleged breach of non-compete and non-solicitation provisions in its employment contracts, tortious interference, and theft of computer files. The Fifth Circuit vacated the award of exemplary damages to MHA because there was insufficient evidence to support the award; affirmed the district court's evidentiary rulings; affirmed the district court's denial of a motion for judgment as a matter of law where the jury's verdict was consistent; affirmed the district court's take-nothing judgment in favor of Defendant Bowden; affirmed the award of attorneys' fees; and affirmed the district court's denial of equitable remedies. View "Merritt Hawkins & Assocs. v. Gresham" on Justia Law

by
Plaintiff filed a wrongful termination suit under 42 U.S.C. 1983 and 1988, alleging violations of procedural and substantive due process stemming from legislation that abolished the University of Texas-Pan American (UTPA) and the University of Texas at Brownsville (UTB). The Fifth Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of defendants' motion for judgment on the pleadings with respect to plaintiff's section 1983 claims because plaintiff failed to demonstrate that he had a constitutionally protected interest in employment or tenure at UTRGV or the UT System at large. The court explained that plaintiff's protected property interests were limited to an interest in continuing appointment at the institution that granted him tenure, UTPA, an interest which terminated when the university was abolished. Furthermore, the court denied by implication plaintiff's motion for leave to amend pleadings, and denied plaintiff's motion to alter or amend the judgment. The court also declined to exercise jurisdiction over and dismissed plaintiff's declaratory judgment claim. View "Edionwe v. Bailey" on Justia Law