Westlaw Topical Highlights: Labor and Employment, June 17 2015

June 17, 2015

Labor and EmploymentWestlaw Topical Highlights for Intellectual Property provides summaries of significant federal court decisions and legislative and administrative activities affecting Intellectual Property law. A Westlaw subscription is required to access the documents linked from this page.

Hours and Wages: Reclassification of position into one with different grade level is “factor other than sex” within meaning of EPA affirmative defense.  Boaz v. Federal Exp. Corp. 2015 WL 3452698 (W.D.Tenn.) A Sixth Circuit panel has ruled, as a matter of first impression, that an employer’s reclassification of a position into one with a different grade level is a “factor other than sex” within the meaning of the employer’s fourth affirmative defense to an Equal Pay Act (EPA) claim. That exemption is broad and specifically created by Congress due to concerns that bona fide job-evaluation systems used by American businesses would otherwise be disrupted. As noted by the Seventh Circuit, the right of an employer to change and revise the job-evaluation and pay system in use falls within this area of congressional concern. Holding otherwise would limit the employer’s ability to reevaluate its processes and staffing needs, or worse, lead to the absurd scenario of forcing an employer to replace an employee with another employee of the same sex after a reevaluation of the job and pay system. Moreover, the Sixth Circuit had implicitly recognized that a bona fide job or salary reclassification leading to a wage disparity was a factor other than sex. 2015 WL 3452698. (The full-text of the rest of the Topical Highlights is available within Westlaw Next, subscription required).    

Public Employment: Civil service commission impermissibly failed to consider “records” during police promotional process.  Peterson v. Richfield Civil Service Com’n 2015 WL 3609217 (Minn.)

Occupational Safety: Company managing cleanup and remediation work at TVA fossil fuel plant was not entitled to government contractor immunity.  Adkisson v. Jacobs Engineering Group, Inc. 2015 WL 3463032 (C.A.6 (Tenn.))

Jurisdiction: In baseball players’ action alleging wage and hour violations, exercise of personal jurisdiction over three franchises in California was reasonable.  Senne v. Kansas City Royals Baseball Corp. 2015 WL 2412245 (N.D.Cal.)

Public Employment: City employee’s speech was not on matter of public concern, and thus, could not support First Amendment retaliation claim.  Turner v. City and County of San Francisco 2015 WL 3619888 (C.A.9 (Cal.))

Discrimination: African-American employee failed to exhaust her administrative remedies with respect to claims of hostile work environment.  Greene v. NHS, Inc. 2015 WL 2395409 (E.D.Pa.)

Hours and Wages: Trial court could not “split” nonarbitrable PAGA claim to require employee to arbitrate first.  Williams v. Superior Court 2015 WL 3561614 (Cal.App. 2 Dist.)

Discrimination: Title II of the ADA does not provide a vehicle for public employment discrimination claims.  Reyazuddin v. Montgomery County, Md. 2015 WL 3651710 (C.A.4 (Md.))

Workers’ Compensation: Employee’s working conditions were substantially similar to those in underground mine.  Brandywine Explosives & Supply v. Director, Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs 2015 WL 3649540 (C.A.6)

Discrimination: Genuine issue of material fact existed as to whether driving a bus was essential function of mechanic’s helper position.  Shell v. Smith 2015 WL 3649612 (C.A.7 (Ind.))

Discrimination: Sex was a bona fide occupational qualification (BFOQ) for correctional officer positions at women’s prisons in Washington.  Teamsters Local Union No. 117 v. Washington Dept. of Corrections 2015 WL 3634711 (C.A.9 (Wash.))

Hours and Wages: Court denied decertification of nationwide FLSA collective action seeking overtime wages from housekeeping services company.  Kelly v. Healthcare Services Group, Inc. 2015 WL 2379133 (E.D.Tex.)