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Case Summaries

Labor & Employment Law

[04/16] Gonzalez-Rios v. Hewlett Packard PR Co.
Dismissal of a former employee's lawsuit seeking disability benefits under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) is affirmed where plaintiff has committed numerous procedural errors, thwarting intelligent review.

[04/16] Diaz-Carrasquillo v. Garcia-Padilla
In an interlocutory appeal from a preliminary injunction issued in favor of plaintiff, who sued the Governor of Puerto Rico and other officials for attempting to oust him from his job as the Advocate for Persons with Disabilities in August 2013, the injunction is reversed where it was improvidently granted, as plaintiff job was not abolished by a legislative act.

[04/15] White v. County of Los Angeles
In a suit involving the fitness of an employee returning from Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), judgment in favor of the employee is reversed, where if the employer is not satisfied with the employee’s health care provider’s certification that the employee is able to resume work, the employer may restore the employee to work, but then seek its own evaluation of the employee’s fitness for duty at its own expense.

[04/14] Global Hawk Ins. Co. v. Le
In an suit brought by a truck driver who sustained injuries in an accident during a cross-country trip, summary judgment in favor of employer's insurance carrier are reversed where the trial court erroneously ignored pertinent facts in the case and held that the definition of employee in certain federal regulations, which are not mentioned in the insurance policy, controlled.

[04/11] Rivera-Diaz v. Humana Health Plans of Puerto Rico
Dismissal of plaintiff's action against defendant-former employer alleging claims of discrimination and retaliation under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), is affirmed, where: 1) plaintiff failed to sue on his discrimination claim within the specified ninety-day period after he received his right to sue letter from the EEOC; and 2) plaintiff lodged his retaliation claim with the EEOC after the 180 day deadline.

[04/09] Cunningham v. US
In an action for breach of contract, in which plaintiff alleges that defendant-former employer, the government, disclosed details about him to another employer and thereby violated a confidentiality provision of a settlement agreement, the Court of Federal Claims' decision that res judicata barred his claim because plaintiff declined the recission and reinstatement remedies offered by the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB), is reversed and remanded, where: 1) the Claims Court possessed jurisdiction under the Tucker Act; but 2) because jurisdictional limits on the MSPB's remedial authority did not permit plaintiff to seek monetary damages for defendant's breach of contract, the MSPB's prior judgment of dismissal does not preclude his suit in the Claims Court.

[04/08] Bartlett v. Department of the Treasury
Dismissal of plaintiff's complaint against defendant-former employer, alleging that she had been constructively discharged in violation of the Rehabilitation Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is affirmed, where: 1) plaintiff failed to lodge her administrative complaint within forty-five days of the incident, as dictated by regulation; and 2) plaintiff has not demonstrated that her circumstances warrant equitable tolling.

[04/08] Subway Surface Supervisors Association v. New York City Transit Authority
In an action brought by plaintiff-labor union against defendant-transit authority alleging that its Station Supervisor Level One members were being paid a lower base salary than their claimed counterparts, Station Supervisor Level Two, for the same type of work, the lower court's denial of defendant's motion to dismiss is reversed, where: 1) Civil Service law section 115 states a policy only and does not confer a private right of action; and 2) the equal protection claims must be dismissed, because plaintiff freely negotiated and executed the collective bargaining agreement that contained lower wage rates for plaintiff's members and, to the extent an equal protection claim can be raised, it must be asserted by the employees subjected to the alleged discriminatory conduct.

[04/08] Palladino v. CNY Centro, Inc.
Dismissal of an action brought by plaintiff-union member seeking damages from defendant-union for breach of the duty of fair representation is affirmed, where the Appellate Division properly relied on Martin v Curran (303 NY 276 [1951]) in determining that dismissal was proper because the complaint failed to allege that defendant-union's conduct was ratified by "every single member" of the association.

[04/03] Kaslow v. City of New York
In an action challenging defendants' calculation of petitioner's pension benefits, the lower courts' grant of the petition is reversed, where: 1) petitioner's pension is defined in its entirety by Retirement and Social Security Law section 504-a(c)(2); and 2) as a result, defendant New York City Employees' Retirement System (NYCERS) properly did not consider petitioner's previous civilian service with the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) when calculating his pension benefit.

[04/03] Thompson v. Real Estate Mortgage Network
Dismissal of plaintiff's action alleging overtime violations under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), and the New Jersey Wage and Hour Law, is vacated and remanded, where: 1) the pleadings here put the corporate defendants on fair notice that the alleged violations began during plaintiff's employment with defendant Security Atlantic and persisted throughout her relatively brief tenure with both defendant-companies; 2) plaintiff has sufficiently alleged that the two defendant-companies were joint employers for the pay periods at issue; 3) plaintiff has adequately raised a plausible claim for relief on a successor liability theory against defendant REMN; and 4) plaintiff sufficiently alleges the scope of the individual defendants' workplace authority and specific statements by defendant Chapman as to overtime pay, to allow the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendants are liable for the misconduct alleged.

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