Westlaw Journals weekly round-up

February 26, 2014

Westlaw Journals Weekly RoundupThe Westlaw Journals blog brings you litigation headlines in over 30 substantive areas of law. Some highlights from the past week’s posts include the Supreme Court’s definition of “changing clothes,” dropped state law claims over Colo. “nuclear incident,” and a judge okays a Colombian informant’s $15 million suit against the U.S. government:

No pay for time union workers spend changing clothes, Supreme Court says: In a unanimous ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court defined the meaning of “changing clothes” under a unionized worker wage provision of the Fair Labor Standards Act and clarified if workers should be paid for time spent “donning and doffing” protective clothing. Employers need not pay unionized workers for the time spent on this activity unless such compensation is part of the terms of their collective bargaining agreement, the high court ruled Jan. 27, affirming decisions by an Indiana federal trial court and the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. (Employment)

Colorado landowners can’t pursue state law claims over ‘nuclear incident’: Neighbors of the closed Rocky Flats nuclear weapons plant in Colorado cannot pursue independent state law claims over plutonium contamination, a federal judge has ruled, because federal law is the only legal remedy for harm caused by nuclear incidents. Rejecting the plaintiffs’ argument that their case was not about a “nuclear incident,” Judge John L. Kane of the U.S. District Court of Colorado found in a Jan. 28 order that the state law claims could not survive and that claims under the federal Price-Anderson Act is the plaintiffs’ sole legal recourse. (Environmental)

Judge OKs informant’s $15 million contract suit against United States: A Colombian woman who acted as an informant for the United States can proceed with a $15 million lawsuit claiming the government breached a contract to help if she were prosecuted for a crime in her native country. On Jan. 27, Judge Elaine D. Kaplan of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims denied the government’s motion to dismiss Claudia Astrid Hurtado Vargas’ suit arising from her activities in Colombia as an informant for a federal money laundering investigation. (Government Contract)