Westlaw Topical Highlights: Labor and Employment, June 12, 2013

June 12, 2013

Labor and EmploymentWestlaw Topical Highlights for Labor and Employment provides summaries of significant federal and state judicial decisions and legislative and administrative activities affecting labor and employment law. A Westlaw subscription is required to access the documents linked from this page

Whistleblowing: Plaintiff’s motivation is not relevant to the issue whether plaintiff has engaged in protected activity under Whistleblowers’ Protection Act. Whitman v. City of Burton 2013 WL 1843351 (Mich.)   –  Under Michigan law, a plaintiff’s motivation is not relevant to the issue whether a plaintiff has engaged in protected activity under the Whistleblowers’ Protection Act, and proof of primary motivation is not a prerequisite to bringing a claim. Nothing in the statutory language of the Act addresses an employee’s motivation for engaging in protected conduct, nor does any language in the Act mandate that the employee’s primary motivation for pursuing a claim under the act be a desire to inform the public of matters of public concern. This is an issue of apparent first impression. (The full-text of the rest of the Topical Highlights are available within Westlaw Next, subscription required)

Benefit Plans: Owner’s leasing activity qualified as ‘trade or business’ under common control and he was liable for withdrawal liability.  Board of Trustees, Sheet Metal Workers’ Nat. Pension Fund v. Delaware Valley Sign Corp. 2013 WL 1975658 (E.D.Va.)

Workers’ Compensation: Commissioner’s finding and award were supported by the Workers’ Compensation Act’s relapse statute.  Gill v. Brescome Barton, Inc. 2013 WL 1731577 (Conn.App.)

Whistleblowing: Employee reasonably believed that superior had committed fraud, and she definitively and specifically communicated that belief.  Lockheed Martin Corp. v. Administrative Review Bd., U.S. Dept. of Labor 2013 WL 2398691 (C.A.10)

Discrimination: Whether comparator was working for same supervisor should not have been given significant weight.  Louzon v. Ford Motor Co. 2013 WL 2398042 (C.A.6 (Mich.))

Hours and Wages: An employee’s work may not be simultaneously “exempt” and “nonexempt” from overtime.  Heyen v. Safeway Inc. 2013 WL 2252065 (Cal.App. 2 Dist.)

Discrimination: State procedural law does not require that affirmative defenses set forth in Equal Pay Act be pled to avoid waiver.  New Dimensions, Inc. v. Tarquini 2013 WL 2443335 (Va.)

Occupational Safety: Employer’s process hazard analysis report did not “identify” employer’s release of anhydrous ammonia.  Millard Refrigerated Services, Inc. v. Secretary of Labor 2013 WL 2450521 (C.A.D.C.)

Workers’ Compensation: Statute, governing attorney fees and costs, and statute, providing that it is unlawful for attorney to receive payment for work relating to compensation case unless payment is approved, were unconstitutional.  Jacobson v. Southeast Personnel Leasing, Inc. 2013 WL 2421065 (Fla.App. 1 Dist.)

Workers’ Compensation: Sufficient evidence existed to support finding that claimant’s physical injuries did not cause posttraumatic-stress disorder. Armstrong v. John R. Jurgensen Co. 2013 WL 2442800 (Ohio)

Concerted Activities: Statutes protecting labor picketing as violating First Amendment—Certiorari Denied Ralphs Grocery Co. v. United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 8 2013 WL 1217139 (U.S.Cal.)

Public Employment: Employee’s election to seek corrective action before Office of Special Counsel did not preclude his removal appeal.  Agoranos v. Department of Justice 2013 WL 2452181 (M.S.P.B.)

Limitations: Contractual provision in employment agreement that shortens 2–year statute of limitations for filing common-law retaliatory discharge claim based on employee’s exercise of statutory rights under Workers’ Compensation Act is void.  Pfeifer v. Federal Exp. Corp. 2013 WL 2450531 (Kan.)

Workers’ Compensation: Black Lung Benefits Act claim was untimely.  Peabody Coal Co. v. Director, Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs, U.S. Dept. of Labor 2013 WL 2460633 (C.A.6)