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DOJ OIG INVESTIGATIVE SUMMARY :   Findings of Misconduct by a United States Marshal.   (.pdf)
OPM GUIDANCE :   On Progressive Discipline And Table Of Penalties  ...  Full Reinstatement of Executive Orders 13836, 13837, and 13839  ...  more
VAOIG :  Mishandling of Veterans’ Sensitive Personal Information on VA Shared Network Drives   (.pdf)

♦       PRESS RELEASE :     THE UNITED SATES INSPECTOR GENERAL COMMUNITY SHOWS DEEP RESPECT FOR CONGRESSMAN ELIJAH E. CUMMINGS   The Inspector General Community was truly fortunate to have a champion and supporter in Chairman Elijah Cummings. Chairman Cummings’ leadership was instrumental in the passage of landmark good government reforms, including the Inspector General Empowerment Act of 2016.    His work as a legislator was critical to our community’s efforts to conduct more effective and independent oversight. And, his personal integrity and moral courage provide a lasting example to all of us that strive to make government work better for the American people.    The Inspectors General will deeply miss Chairman Cummings as an advocate for our shared ideals, and we will continue to be inspired by his commitment to better, more effective, and accountable government.   Press Release: (.pdf)

♦       Oct 21, 2019  .. 6th Cir.:  Hank v. GLC  ..  Hank’s case involves his termination from Great Lakes Construction Company. Defendants are Great Lakes and Hank’s union, Local 18, International Union of Operating Engineers. Hank claims that his termination was discrimination and retaliation. Great Lakes and the Union claim it was because Hank falsified his daily timecards. They also point out that Hank signed a release that bars his claims.  ..  DECISION:   .pdf   .html

♦       Oct 21, 2019  .. PSC:  Babb v. CCH  ..  Geisinger Clinic (“Geisinger”) appeals from the order entered by the Court of Common Pleas of Centre County after a jury found in favor of Terrence E. Babb, M.D., on his breach of contract claim and awarded Dr. Babb $5.5 million in damages. Dr. Babb filed this cross-appeal, challenging the trial court’s denial of his claim for pre-judgment interest.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Oct 21, 2019  .. 7th Cir.:  Ulrey v. Reichhart  ..  Plaintiff Lisa Ulrey served as the assistant principal of the Manchester Junior-Senior High School until November 4, 2014, when she resigned during a meeting with William Reichhart, the school district’s superintendent. Ulrey brings two claims in this suit [...] against Reichhart and the school board.    First, she claims that Reichhart violated her rights under the First Amendment by retaliating against her for her speech about a student discipline issue. Second, she contends that the defendants violated her Fourteenth Amendment rights by coercing her to resign, depriving her of her property interest in her job without due process of law.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Oct 17, 2019  .. 6th Cir.:  Edelstein v. SSA  ..  Joseph Edelstein had been an attorney for the Social Security Administration (SSA) for 23 years when he applied to become an SSA Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) in 2009 at age 56.    In 2009, Edelstein applied to be an ALJ and was placed on a register of qualified candidates for ALJ positions in Akron and Cleveland.    He was not selected for the promotion.    Edelstein filed this employment-discrimination action against the Commissioner of the SSA, alleging age and religious discrimination.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Oct 17, 2019  .. 10th Cir.:  Turner v. Phillips 66  ..  In 2017, Mr. Turner worked for Phillips 66 as a crane operator at the company’s refinery in Ponca City, Oklahoma. He was subject to and aware of Phillips 66’s substance abuse policy, which allowed for random and post-accident drug testing.    On April 24, 2017, Mr. Turner was selected for a random drug test and supplied a urine sample. On April 27, after he was involved in a workplace accident, he provided another urine sample for drug testing.    That same day, a Cynergy MRO informed him his April 24 sample had tested positive for amphetamines.    On April 28, Phillips 66 terminated Mr. Turner’s employment based on the positive drug test.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Oct 17, 2019  .. 11th Cir.:  Robinson v. Virginia College  ..  Robinson earned three degrees from Virginia College, and later he became its employee and signed an arbitration agreement. After the College lost its accreditation and closed several of its campuses, Robinson sued the College and Education Corporation for allegedly awarding worthless degrees, deceiving former and current students, and depriving students of postgraduation services and employment opportunities.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Oct 16, 2019  .. FLRA:  Army v. AFGE  ..  The Union filed a grievance alleging that the Agency was required to promote an employee (the grievant) based on the accretion of certain duties to his position.    Arbitrator Richard Trotter issued an award sustaining the grievance and directing the Agency to permanently promote the grievant.       Because the grievance and the award concern classification within the meaning of § 7121(c)(5), we set aside the award.  ..  FLRA DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Oct 16, 2019  .. FLRA:  AFGE v. VA  ..  In this case, Arbitrator Michael S. Jordan denied the Union’s grievance alleging that the Agency refused to bargain over official time for certain bargaining-related activities, in violation of the parties’ master collective-bargaining agreement (master agreement) and mid-term local ground rules agreement (ground rules).    The Arbitrator found that a Decision and Order (Order) issued by the Federal Service Impasses Panel (Panel) clarified the parties’ obligations concerning official time, and he directed the parties to comply with the Order.    The questions before us are whether the award: (1) fails to draw its essence from the master agreement and ground rules (collectively, agreements) and (2) is ambiguous and impossible to implement.  ..  FLRA DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       DOJ OIG:  DOJ PRESS RELEASE:   Oscar Martínez-Hernández, a.k.a. “Cali” Sentenced To Life In Prison   For The Murder Of Federal Bureau Of Prisons Correctional Officer Osvaldo Albarati-Casañas.     Ramos-Cruz was sentenced to 309 months, Quiñones-Meléndez was sentenced to 285 months, Díaz-Rivera was sentenced to 129 months, Mojica-Rodríguez was sentenced to 249 months, Rodríguez-González was sentenced to 396 months, Rosario-De León was sentenced to 204 months, Rosado-Rosado was sentenced to 140 months, and Velázquez-Vázquez was sentenced to 120 months.   Summary: (.pdf)

♦       Oct 15, 2019  .. OCA:  State v. Shelton  ..  On August 28, 2018, Shelton was arrested and charged with failing to maintain an assured clear distance and for operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. The charges arose following an investigation into an automobile accident between Shelton and another driver, R.B.    The accident occurred when Shelton struck R.B.'s vehicle from the rear while R.B. was stopped at a red light. The investigation into the accident was conducted by Patrol Officer Cameron Shaw with the Union Township Police Department.    Following this investigation, Officer Shaw placed Shelton under arrest. Officer Shaw later submitted a report noting that he had arrested Shelton due to her exhibiting "bloodshot watery eyes" and an "odor of alcoholic beverage" shortly after she was involved in an automobile accident.    On September 5, 2018, Shelton filed a motion to suppress arguing that her arrest was not supported by probable cause. After holding a hearing on the matter, the trial court agreed and granted Shelton's motion to suppress.    Appellant, the state of Ohio, appeals the decision.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Oct 15, 2019  .. 3rd Cir.:  Miller v. NYNJPA  ..  After being terminated, Gary Miller, a former utility systems maintainer for The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (the “Port Authority”), brought suit under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, alleging that the Port Authority failed to reasonably accommodate his religious practices of observing the Jewish Sabbath and other Jewish holidays.    Miller filed suit, alleging that the Port Authority did not provide a reasonable accommodation for his religious observances.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Oct 11, 2019  .. 3rd Cir.:  Carson v. Willow  ..  Carson is a 66-year-old Vietnam veteran. He was employed by Willow Valley as a security officer and concierge for about six months until Willow Valley terminated his employment on April 17, 2015. Carson later filed suit against Willow Valley.    His primary complaint appeared to be that Willow Valley terminated him in retaliation for his filing of complaints about workplace safety under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (“OSHA”).    By order entered February 12, 2018, the District Court granted Willow Valley’s motion, denied Carson’s motion, and dismissed Carson’s complaint.    Carson appeals from the order of the District Court dismissing his complaint against Willow Valley Communities and Willow Valley Living (collectively, “Willow Valley”).  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Oct 11, 2019  .. A.F.C.C.A.:  U.S. v. LEON  ..  Between 1 July and 1 September 2017, Appellant smoked marijuana from a pipe with another Airman, sitting in his car in an Oklahoma City Walmart parking lot. In November 2017, Appellant again smoked marijuana from a pipe on Tinker Air Force Base (AFB). On 3 November 2017, Appellant brought approximately nine grams of marijuana onto Tinker AFB with the intent to distribute it, and distributed all of it to another Airman.    On 22 November 2017, Appellant distributed approximately six grams of marijuana to a second Airman. Both of the Airmen Appellant sold marijuana to were later identified as confidential informants and their true identities were not revealed.       The military judge sentenced Appellant to a bad-conduct discharge, confinement for five months, forfeiture of $1,092 pay per month for six months, and a reprimand. In accordance with the PTA, the convening authority (CA) only approved three months of confinement but approved all other elements of the sentence as adjudged.       Appellant raises one issue for our consideration on appeal: whether he is entitled to relief due to post-trial processing delay.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Oct 10, 2019  .. ICA:  Baloch v. Pioneer  ..  Qasim Baloch, a person of Pakistani origin and a practicing Muslim, was employed by Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc. (Pioneer) in the information technology department. After tendering his resignation, Baloch sued Pioneer and others for employment discrimination.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Oct 10, 2019  .. 7th Cir.:  McDaniel v. PRL  ..  Plaintiff-appellant David McDaniel alleges his former employer, defendant-appellee Progress Rail Locomotive, Inc., unlawfully discriminated against him on the basis of age and retaliated against him for complaining about a superior, in violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (“ADEA”)  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Oct 9, 2019  .. FLRA:  State v. NFFE  ..  In March and April of 2017, in two separate incidents, recently installed overhead bins fell on employees at the Agency’s Chicago office. The Agency determined that the overhead bins were knocked off from their brackets due to user error when the desks were raised to standing height and items on the desks collided with the bins. In November 2017, an overhead bin fell off its bracket, as opposed to being knocked off, and struck an employee at the Agency’s New Orleans office. The Agency began to remove the bins from all Passport Specialist workstations.       This case concerns changes to the workstations of Passport Specialists, who process and approve or deny applications for U.S. Passports. In 2017, the Agency began installing height-adjustable sit/stand desks at all Passport Specialist workstations. The desks included an overhead bin for storage and task lighting attached to the bin.  ..  FLRA DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Oct 9, 2019  .. D.D.C.:  Keister v. AARP  ..  Plaintiff Kim Keister worked as an employee of AARP, Incorporated, for approximately 12 years prior to having a stroke that allegedly required him to stop working. Keister first pursued long-term disability benefits under the company’s disability benefits plan administratively, and he now seeks such relief from this Court.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Oct 9, 2019  .. 2d Cir.:  Mercedes v. DOE  ..  Appellant Leanna Mercedes appeals from the September 28, 2018 opinion and order of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (Broderick, J.), granting the Department of Education’s motion for summary judgment as to Mercedes’s claims of employment discrimination, retaliation, and a hostile work environment under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Oct 9, 2019  .. D.D.C.:  Lewis v. D.C.  ..  Kayla Dionne Lewis and Felton Hill, the named plaintiffs in this case, bring this putative class action against the defendant, the District of Columbia (the “District”), pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (2018), alleging constitutional violations arising from their arrests and subsequent detentions.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Oct 7, 2019  .. Fed. Cir.:  Freeman v. Army  ..  James C. Freeman petitions for review of the final decision of the Merit Systems Protection Board (the “Board”) affirming the Army’s decision to remove Freeman from his position as cook because of his frequent absences from work without leave.    Freeman was employed from 2011 to 2018 as a cook with the Army. Before that, he served on active duty in the Army. Freeman was diagnosed with service-connected post-traumatic stress disorder (“PTSD”) in 2013.    In January 2018, the Army proposed to remove Freeman because of his frequent absences from work without leave (“AWOL”). Freeman made an oral reply, but the Army sustained his removal in June 2018, and Freeman then appealed to the Board.    The administrative judge (“AJ”) found that Freeman was absent from work without approval for 682.75 hours over a period from January 2017 to January 2018.    Freeman argued that his supervisors approved his absences after the fact, but the AJ did not credit this argument because Freeman did not call any witnesses to support that contention.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Oct 7, 2019  .. 6th Cir.:  Bisig v. TWC  ..  This case is about promises made, promises broken, and disclaimers signed. And it is a reminder that not every broken promise occasions a legal remedy.    Plaintiffs first worked as “multi-dwelling unit” sales representatives (“MDU Reps”) for Insight Communications, Inc., a provider of cable, internet, and phone services. In that role, Plaintiffs sold Insight’s services to apartment and condominium complexes in Louisville, Kentucky. It was a privileged role. All other sales representatives were “single-dwelling unit” sales representative (“SDU Reps”).    Unlike MDU Reps, SDU Reps had to split their time going door-to-door, selling Insight’s services to individual homeowners. These clients were less lucrative for Insight, which generally paid SDU Reps less than MDU Reps.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Oct 7, 2019  .. 2d Cir.:  Powell v. Lab Corp  ..  Terence C. Powell, proceeding pro se, appeals the district court’s judgment granting the defendants’ motions to dismiss. Powell alleged that the defendants conspired against him in state court paternity actions, in drug testing him and discharging him from employment, and in having him arrested three times.    Powell raised claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act [...] and state law.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Oct 4, 2019  .. D.D.C.:  Hall v. Nielsen (Homeland)  ..  Pro se Plaintiff Steven H. Hall has filed a litany of lawsuits related to his employment with, and 2013 termination from, the Department of Homeland Security, as well as the 2015 settlement agreement concluding those affairs.    In fact, a few months ago, this Court issued a Memorandum Opinion and separate Order enjoining him from filing future suits regarding, inter alia, his termination from DHS without prior leave of this Court.    The current case does not fall within such proscription because it was filed before the injunction issued. The Government now moves to dismiss.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Oct 4, 2019  .. D.D.C.:  Farrar v. Bridenstine (NASA)  ..  Pro se Plaintiff Andrew Farrar wants to have his cake and eat it, too. After prevailing at the administrative level in a disability-based discrimination claim against his former employer, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Farrar obtained a damages award that he has retained. He nonetheless now sues NASA seeking additional damages and other relief on the same underlying claim.    Farrar’s tenure at NASA Headquarters was brief, lasting only from August 2010 to January 2011.    He alleges that Defendant “discriminated against [him] by refusing to accommodate [his] disability.”    Such disability appears to be attention-deficit disorder, memory loss, and depression.    On February 11, 2016, NASA issued its Final Agency Decision on damages and awarded him $8,440.18 plus interest, restored leave, $3,000 in non-economic damages, and $1,375 in attorney fees.    [EEOC] issued another 16-page opinion in which it increased the non-economic damages to $25,000 and retained the other relief.    In this suit, consequently, he seeks “placement into the position I would have occupied if not for the unlawful conduct of Defendant,” which means, inter alia, “employment or front pay” and “[a]dditional compensation beyond the $25,000 previously paid to address the full exten[t] of the losses caused by the unlawful conduct of Defendant.    NASA now moves to dismiss.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Oct 4, 2019  .. 8th Cir:  Garrison v. DolGenCorp  ..  Garrison was a lead sales associate at a Dollar General store in Concordia, Missouri. Her immediate supervisor was Sandra Bell, who, like Garrison, had a key to open and close the store. The four “key holders” had to coordinate their schedules so that at least one of them could be there when the store opened and closed each day.    Garrison, who suffers from anxiety, migraines, and depression, wished to take a leave of absence due to her worsening medical condition. At one point, following a visit to her doctor, Garrison texted Bell and asked, “[h]ow can I request a leave of absence[?],” to which Bell responded, “I’m not sure [but] I’ll talk to [the district manager].”    Garrison sued Bell and Dollar General in Missouri state court. She claimed that they discriminated against her under both the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) and the Missouri Human Rights Act (“MHRA”), interfered with her ability to seek medical leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”), and retaliated against her for attempting to exercise her rights under each of these laws. The defendants removed the case to federal district court, which dismissed Garrison’s lawsuit in its entirety on summary judgment.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Oct 4, 2019  .. 10th Cir.:  Ordonez v. ABM  ..  The appeals relate to appellant Sonia Ordonez’s lawsuit under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act [...], against her former employer, appellee ABM Aviation, Inc. (ABM).    In her suit she charged ABM with sexual harassment, discrimination, and retaliation.    In Appeal No. 17-4188, Ordonez appeals from the district court’s judgment dismissing her Title VII action after ABM settled her claims against ABM with the Chapter 7 Trustee in her personal bankruptcy, and its denial of her motion for reconsideration. In the other three appeals she challenges various bankruptcy court orders relating to the settlement.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Oct 1, 2019  .. FLRA:  SSA v. AFGE  ..  The grievant previously worked for the Agency as a General Schedule (GS)-14 in Virginia. In March 2014, the grievant began teleworking once a week with an alternate duty station (ADS), also in Virginia.    In June 2014, she began teleworking three days a week. The grievant and her supervisor discussed the possibility of her teleworking from Lexington, Kentucky because her parents, siblings, and extended family live in Lexington.    In October 2014, the grievant requested a hardship transfer to Lexington, Kentucky based on her parents’ medical conditions. The Agency offered her a GS-12, Step 10 position, which she accepted. The grievant, represented by the Union, filed a grievance alleging a host of missteps by the Agency.    The grievance was submitted to arbitration.  ..  FLRA DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Oct 1, 2019  .. D.D.C.:  Schneider v. Justice  ..  In February 2016, OPM initiated a background check on Schneider for a Summer Chaplain Internship at Fort Belvoir Community Hospital.    The background check process revealed that, in 2005, an individual whom OPM believed to be Schneider admitted to certain actions during a law enforcement interview.    Although Schneider denies these allegations, he was removed from parish ministry and is unable to return.    In October 2017, Schneider submitted a request under FOIA and the Privacy Act to OPM’s National Background Investigation Bureau.    Brandon Schneider brings this suit alleging that the Department of Justice’s Federal    Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) unlawfully withheld records in violation of the Privacy Act and the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Oct 1, 2019  .. 4th Cir.:  Clehm v. BAE  ..  The plaintiff in these proceedings, Carla A. Clehm, is an employee of defendant BAE Systems Ordnance Systems, Inc., a federal defense contractor that operates the Radford Army Ammunition Plant (the “Radford Arsenal”) located on the New River in western Virginia.    On two occasions, in May and June of 2014, Clehm [alleges that she] was sexually assaulted during her shifts at the Radford Arsenal by a co-worker, defendant Joshua Linkous.    According to BAE, Clehm did not report those assaults to BAE or her union at or near the time the assaults occurred, and BAE did not learn of the assaults until early August 2014, when Clehm was interviewed as part of an investigation of Linkous’s sexual assault of another employee.    The investigation revealed to BAE that Linkous had sexually assaulted at least four female Radford Arsenal workers, including Clehm, over a period of several years.    BAE had promptly suspended Linkous and barred him from entering the Radford Arsenal property pending the investigation, and BAE then terminated Linkous’s employment and successfully resisted a union grievance seeking his reinstatement. Linkous subsequently pleaded guilty to federal criminal charges related to the sexual assaults and is serving a fourteen-year prison sentence.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Sep 30, 2019  .. FLRA:  SSA v. AFGE  ..  The Union filed a grievance protesting the grievant’s fourteen-day suspension for alleged time and attendance discrepancies.    In this case, we remind the federal labor-management community that the Authority will not set aside an arbitrator’s award that is based on his reasonable interpretation of the plain wording of the parties’ agreement.  ..  FLRA DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Sep 30, 2019  .. FLRA:  US Marines v. AFGE  ..  We have determined that this case is appropriate for issuance as an expedited, abbreviated decision under § 2425.7 of the Authority’s Regulations.    This case concerns concerns “the classification of a position which does not result in the reduction in grade or pay of an employee.    In U.S. DOD, Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, California (Twentynine Palms), we considered a nearly identically worded grievance between the same parties and concluded that it was not arbitrable because the grievance’s wording concerned classification.    Accordingly, we grant the Agency’s exception and set aside the award in its entirety.  ..  FLRA DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Sep 30, 2019  .. 5th Cir.:  Epple v. BNSF  ..  Gary Epple was a conductor employed by BNSF Railway Company. On September 24, 2010, he and an engineer operated a train that was scheduled to terminate in Oklahoma City. About eleven hours in, the men received instructions to tie the train down in Purcell, Oklahoma. Epple was then told to exit the train and separate the cars so that vehicles on an intersecting road might pass.    Having completed the task, Epple walked alongside the train towards the locomotive when he encountered a pile of debris blocking his route. Rather than backtracking, Epple made the decision to go around. This necessitated walking on top of a wooden culvert. [...] When Epple stepped onto the culvert, his foot slipped through one of the gaps, causing him to fall on his right knee and twist his back.    At the local hospital Epple was met by Brian Atkins and Steven Sergas, both of whom were charged with investigating the incident.    BNSF terminated Epple for violating BNSF’s safety rules when he elected to traverse the culvert rather than taking the safe course.    Gary Epple commenced this action after he was dismissed from his position for failing to follow the company’s safety rules.    Epple claims the dismissal was in fact a retaliatory action taken in violation of the Federal Railroad Safety Act (FRSA).  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Sep 26, 2019  .. 6th Cir.:  Barbrie Logan v. MGM Grand Detroit Casino  ..     --- attention: this is a very important decision ---    This case requires us to determine, as a matter of first impression, whether the statute of limitations of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, may be contractually shortened for litigation.    Barbrie Logan worked as a cook for MGM Grand Detroit Casino (“MGM”).    As part of her job application, she agreed to a six-month limitation period to bring any lawsuit against her employer.    After leaving the job, she sued MGM under Title VII, alleging employment discrimination.    Her former employer,MGM, asserted a statute of limitations defense: although Logan arguably brought her claim within the statutory period required by Title VII, she waited longer than the limitation period provided in her employment application.    The district court agreed and granted summary judgment to MGM.    On appeal, Logan argues that the contractual limitation period cannot supersede the statutory limitation period for bringing suit under Title VII.    COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE SIXTH CIRCUIT:    We agree.    Therefore, we REVERSE the decision of the district court.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Sep 25, 2019 .. DOJ OIG:  DOJ INVESTIGATIVE SUMMARY:  FINDINGS OF MISCONDUCT BY A BUREAU OF PRISONS ASSISTANT DIRECTOR   for Engaging in Inappropriate Personal Relationships with a BOP Contractor and with a BOP Union Executive, for Misusing a BOP-issued Cell Phone, and for Lack of Candor; and by a BOP Union Executive for Engaging in an Inappropriate Personal Relationship with a BOP Assistant Director.   Summary: (.pdf)

♦       Sep 25, 2019  .. FLRA:  Air Force v. AFGE  ..  In this case we deny all exceptions to a series of awards by Arbitrator Stanley H. Sergent because they were either untimely, unsupported, or unpersuasive.    The Agency filed exceptions to the following awards: the March 27, 2012 award, which sustained the underlying grievance concerning the Agency’s implementation of Alternative Work Schedules; the April 10, 2017 award , in which the Arbitrator found that the Union’s calculation of damages was the appropriate remedy; and the August 23, 2018 award (fee award) in which the Arbitrator granted the Union’s petition for attorney fees and costs under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)[1] and Back Pay Act (BPA).  ..  FLRA DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Sep 25, 2019  .. 6th Cir.:  Hannon v. Louisiana-Pacific  ..  Plaintiff Pamela Hannon appeals the district court’s grant of summary judgment for Defendant Louisiana-Pacific Corporation.    Plaintiff worked for Defendant (LPC) in various roles from 1987 to 2015.    From 1999 until the end of her employment with Defendant (LPC), Plaintiff worked in marketing, and Plaintiff’s job title when her employment ended was “Manager, Trade Shows.”    Plaintiff claims that her supervisor, Juliet Depina, made several comments about Plaintiff Pamela Hannon’s age in the roughly five months between September of 2014 and February of 2015 when Hannon’s position was terminated.       For the reasons set forth below, we REVERSE the district court’s grant of Louisiana-Pacific Corporation’s motion for summary judgment and REMAND the case for trial.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Sep 24, 2019  .. D.D.C.:  Notter v. Freedom Forum  ..  Donna Baker-Notter is a former employee of Freedom Forum, Inc., a nonprofit organization that operates the Newseum, a museum in Washington D.C. dedicated to journalism and the First Amendment. Baker-Notter worked at the Newseum for most of the past three decades, most recently as Senior Director of Operations.    After her employment was terminated in January 2017, she brought this action against the Defendant alleging nine counts of civil rights violations.    She alleges first that the Freedom Forum violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12101 et seq., because she was fired as an act of retaliation in response to her advocacy for ADA compliance at the Newseum.    She likewise alleges that her termination was an act of retaliation against her complaints about sex discrimination and equal pay violations.    She also alleges pay discrimination and sex discrimination.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Sep 23, 2019  .. FSIP:  Army v. AFGE  ..  The Union represents over 2600 bargaining unit employees. The unit is governed by a Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) that expired but continues to roll over annually. There is no provision in the CBA or in a separate Memorandum of Agreement that addresses tuition assistance.    The Agency notified the Union that it would be making changes to its tuition assistance policy. In August 2018, the Union requested a briefing and an opportunity to bargain over the proposed changes. The parties negotiated through December 2018 both in-person and through the exchange of proposals.    In December, the Agency declared that the parties were at impasse.    In April 2019, the parties met with the assistance of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Services (FMCS). The Mediator released the parties in May 2019. The Union filed this request for Panel assistance. On August 7, 2019, the Panel asserted jurisdiction over the matter.  ..  FSIP DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Sep 23, 2019  .. D.D.C.:  Albert v. Perdue  ..  Plaintiff Lawrence Albert is a white, Jewish man over sixty years old. After an almost- 40-year career at the United States Department of Agriculture, Albert brought this suit, alleging a host of discriminatory and retaliatory actions by his supervisors.    Chiefly, he claims that his non- selection for a grade 14 position violated Title VII and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act.    Albert further alleges that he was subjected to a hostile workplace at USDA and that reduced responsibilities, lower-than-Outstanding performance evaluations, and a six-month assignment in a different division violated his rights.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Sep 23, 2019  .. 6th Cir.:  Buddenberg v. Weisdack  ..  Rebecca Buddenberg began working at the Geauga County, Ohio, Health District on February 2, 2015.    In her role as fiscal coordinator, Buddenberg was responsible for certain aspects of the Health District’s fiscal management, including processing payroll and accounts payable, preparing fiscal reports, and contributing to the department budget process.    Early in her tenure, Buddenberg received positive performance reviews from both Weisdack and Mix. Four months after she started, Weisdack gave Buddenberg a glowing reviews.    Beginning in fall 2016, Buddenberg became aware of several possible ethical violations by Weisdack. Buddenberg learned that the Health District had obtained a state grant for tire removal, and, “in the absence of competitive bids, Mr. Weisdack, along with two Health District sanitarian workers, themselves began to undertake the work.”    Buddenberg was concerned that Weisdack’s independent work represented a conflict of interest, as he “was holding meetings during the day about the evening work activities . . . all without seeking Board approval for any contracts.”  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Sep 20, 2019  .. 6th Cir.:  Ahad v. Wilkie (VA)  ..  Dr. Ahad began working as an ophthalmologist at a Veterans Affairs hospital in 1992. Since then, he has performed wrong-site eye surgeries— operating on the healthy eye—several times. Three days after his last misstep, the hospital launched an investigation, after which it revoked Ahad’s surgery privileges. The revocation of privileges limited him to non-surgical patient treatment, but it did not reduce his pay or change his formal position. After unsuccessfully challenging this decision internally and after filing a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, he filed this lawsuit, claiming the revocation amounted to (1) retaliation under Title VII for a lawsuit he filed three years earlier against the hospital and (2) a due process violation.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Sep 20, 2019  .. OCA:  Warith v. GCRTA  ..  In 1999, the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (“GCRTA”) hired Plaintiff-appellant Laura Warith, as part-time [bus] operator and circulator [bus] operator.    In September 3, 2009, GCRTA announced the elimination of the Community Circulator Department.    Warith filed discrimination charges against GCRTA [...]with the EEOC alleging that two Caucasian employees were offered full-time employment after the layoffs, but she was not offered similar employment. Warith asserted claims for race discrimination.    Warith appeals from the decision of the trial court granting summary judgment to GCRTA.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Sep 19, 2019 .. DOJ OIG:  DOJ INVESTIGATIVE SUMMARY:  FINDINGS OF MISCONDUCT BY A FBI SPECIAL AGENT   in Charge for Failing to Report an Intimate Relationship with a Subordinate and for Taking Actions that Lacked Impartiality, Demonstrated Favoritism Toward the Subordinate, and Contributed to the Decline in Staff Morale.   Summary: (.pdf)

♦       Sep 19, 2019  .. D.D.C.:  Gulakowski v. Whitaker (FBI)  ..  Plaintiff Jeff Gulakowski, a longtime employee of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, brings this suit alleging violations of the Rehabilitation Act.    He maintains that the FBI denied him reasonable accommodations for his mental disability, created a hostile work environment, and discriminated and retaliated against him through a series of workplace incidents.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Sep 19, 2019  .. 2d Cir.:  Rowe v. NYSTF  ..  Plaintiff-Appellant George Rowe, proceeding pro se, sued his current employer, the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance (“NYSTF”) under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, alleging that NYSTF discriminated against him on the basis of race and retaliated against him when it failed to promote him on various occasions from 1997 to 2017.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Sep 18, 2019  .. 3rd Cir.:  Medlin v. American Airlines  ..  Laura Medlin appeals the grant of summary judgment for American Airlines (“American”) on her hostile work environment claim under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.    Medlin works as a flight attendant for American. According to Medlin, five other American flight attendants – JB, MA, DD, KR, and PS – created a hostile work environment through their posts to a closed Facebook group called “Wingnuts.”    The “Wingnuts” Facebook group is not owned, controlled, or moderated by American, and Medlin is not a member of the group. And Medlin has had only limited contact with the five men she identifies as harassers.    She has never flown with any of them. She has not seen JB since 2014, has not seen KR or PS since 2009, has only met MA once in passing in 2013, and has never met DD.    The latest instance of alleged harassment that Medlin identifies occurred before October 1, 2015.    In May 2015, Medlin complained to American’s human resources department about the Facebook posts. American responded to Medlin’s complaint by directing her to contact Daniel Cleverly in the human resources department.    She got in touch with Cleverly, who ultimately failed to conduct an investigation because the complaint “got lost in [the] shuffle.”  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Sep 17, 2019  .. A.F.C.C.A.:  U.S. v. Mote  ..  Appellant had a strained relationship with his leadership, stemming in part from his attempt to establish a “white heritage” month at Hill Air Force Base—the denial of which led to Appellant launching a salvo of complaints.    Appellant was admonished for his disrespectful conduct towards senior Air Force leaders and other personnel during the investigation of those complaints, which Appellant responded to by filing additional complaints.    During this time, Appellant engaged in further confrontational behavior, to include antagonizing attendees at a base “Diversity Festival” after being denied permission to set up a “white heritage” booth, leading to another round of complaints filed by, and leadership actions taken against, Appellant. All told, Appellant filed nine Inspector General complaints, five Equal Opportunity complaints, and two Article 138, UCMJ, 2 complaints.    Appellant, meanwhile, received a letter of admonishment, a letter of reprimand, and nonjudicial punishment under Article 15, UCMJ, 3 for his behavior. Appellant’s relationship with his leadership was aggravated by his penchant for using his phone to record interactions with them.    The conduct giving rise to Appellant’s court-martial charges began on 6 July 2017 when his second-level supervisor, Colonel (Col) SJ, delivered a scripted, mandatory briefing on the Air Force’s then-existing transgender policy to a group of subordinates, including Appellant. Near the end of the briefing, Appellant began asking Col SJ questions in front of the group, including whether Col SJ had a “transracial” policy.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Sep 16, 2019  .. Fed. Cir.:  Feuer v. NLRB  ..  Elias Feuer appeals from the Merit Systems Protection Board (“Board”) holding that the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) did not violate Feuer’s rights under the Whistleblower Protection Act.    Feuer was employed as a lawyer at the NLRB for thirty-two years. In 2012, he was appointed to an Admin- istrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) position at the Social Security Administration (“SSA”).    In July 2016, the NLRB posted an announcement for “more than one” ALJ vacancy located in the Washington, D.C. and New York, New York duty stations. The posting stated that “[c]andidates must currently hold an Administrative Law Judge position, at the AL-3 level or above for at least one year or be eligible for reinstatement to an ALJ position based on prior experience as an ALJ.” J.A. 449.    Feuer, who was qualified for the vacant positions, applied seeking an appointment to the New York position. He was not selected. Two other candidates were selected for the New York duty station and three candidates were selected for the Washington, D.C. duty station.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Sep 16, 2019  .. FLRA:  OCR v. NTEU  ..  December 10, 2018, Arbitrator Lawrence E. Little found that the Agency improperly removed the grievant from her alternative work schedule.    The question [...] is whether the Agency filed its exceptions to the Arbitrator’s award timely.  ..  FLRA DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Sep 16, 2019  .. FLRA:  SSA v. AALJ  ..  This case is ultimately about whether the Privacy Act[1] prohibits the Agency from disclosing redacted records related to misconduct allegations against two administrative law judges (the grievants).    We find that, because the disclosure would not result in a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy, the Privacy Act does not prohibit disclosure.    Accordingly, we agree with Arbitrator Michael A. Marr’s conclusion that the Agency violated the parties’ collective-bargaining agreement by refusing to disclose the requested information.  ..  FLRA DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Sep 13, 2019  .. D.D.C.:  Pintro v. Genachowski (FCC)  ..  The plaintiff, an African-American female of Haitian descent, brings this civil action against the defendant, Ajit Pai, in his official capacity as the Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”), for alleged discrimination based on race and national origin in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”).    Currently pending before the Court is the Defendant’s Motion for Summary Judgment.    Upon careful consideration of the parties’ submissions, the Court concludes for the following reasons that it must deny the [FCC Chairman’s] motion for summary judgment.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Sep 13, 2019  .. 11th Cir.:  Lowe v. STME (Massage Envy)  ..  In January 2012, Kimberly Lowe began working as a massage therapist at a Massage Envy located in Tampa, Florida.    In September 2014, Lowe asked Massage Envy for time off so that she could visit her sister in Ghana, a country located in West Africa. Massage Envy’s business manager, Roxanna Iorio, initially approved Lowe’s request. However, on October 22, 2014, three days before her scheduled trip, one of Massage Envy’s owners, Ronald Wuchko, met with Lowe and told her that she would be fired if she went ahead with her travel plans.    Owner Wuchko was concerned that Lowe would become infected with the Ebola virus if she traveled to Ghana and would “bring it home to Tampa and infect everyone.” At that time in 2014, there was an Ebola epidemic in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, three other nearby countries in West Africa. According to Wuchko, he was worried about the “potentially catastrophic consequences that an outbreak of Ebola could pose to America.”    Because Lowe refused to cancel her trip, Wuchko terminated her employment during that October 22 meeting and before she left.    Lowe then traveled to Ghana as planned. She did not contract Ebola while there. In fact, as it turned out, there was no Ebola outbreak at all in Ghana in 2014.    Upon her return from West Africa, Lowe did not work at Massage Envy and was not otherwise permitted to keep her massage appointment bookings at Massage Envy.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Sep 12, 2019 .. DOI OIG:  DOJ PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICE : FEMALE KITCHEN SUPERVISOR PLEADS GUILTY TO GIVING HOT SEX, NUDE PICS, MONEY TO FEDERAL INMATE   The 51-year-old woman was employed as a Kitchen Supervisor at the Rio Grande Detention Center in Laredo, Texas.    In early November 2018, She began engaging in a prohibited romantic relationship with a male prison inmate, including consensual sexual encounters in the warehouse and cleaning utility room of the Rio Grande Detention Center.    In January 2019, she engaged in prohibited favoritism by providing the male inmate with contraband nude photographs of herself which she snuck into the facility in an eyeglass case.    At approximately the same time, she also began knowingly providing the inmate with other contraband, including food.    She also provided the inmate with weekly to biweekly commissary deposits of up to $30.   Summary: (.pdf)

♦       Sep 12, 2019  .. D.D.C.:  Branch v. Mabus (Navy)  ..  Lena Branch is a former logistics management specialist for the United States Navy. She alleges that beginning in 2014, her supervisors began mistreating her.    The next year, she suffered a stroke, her relationship with her supervisors deteriorated further, and she was suspended for two days.    Now Branch has sued the Navy, asserting claims of disability discrimination and retaliation. She claims that her suspension was motivated by her stroke and her complaints about being mistreated.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Sep 12, 2019  .. D.D.C.:  Tolton v. Jones Day  ..  Jones Day is a massive, multi-state, international law firm. 2500 attorneys. Based in Cleveland, Ohio.    Plaintiffs, six lawyers, bring this action against their former employer, Defendant Jones Day.    Plaintiffs allege, among other things, that Jones Day discriminated against them based on their gender, including by denying them opportunities for advancement, depriving them of equal pay, subjecting them to a hostile work environment, wrongfully terminating or constructively discharging them, and retaliating against them.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Sep 12, 2019  .. Iowa Ct. App:  Ehler v. Iowa  ..  Richard Ehler appeals the dismissal of his application for postconviction relief.    Criminal defense attorneys have a material duty to ensure the State follows the speedy-trial rule.    The State did not bring Richard Ehler to trial within one year of his arraignment as mandated by Iowa Rule of Criminal Procedure 2.33(2)(c).    Ehler’s trial counsel moved to dismiss but failed to cite a key authority to the district court.    Ehler’s counsel advised Ehler to accept a favorable plea offer.    In his postconviction-relief action, Ehler alleged his plea was involuntary because trial counsel was ineffective.    The district court denied Ehler’s application, holding (1) trial counsel appropriately raised the speedy-trial issue and (2) Ehler did not show but for counsel’s errors he would have turned down the plea offer and insisted on going to trial.   COURT DECISION:  We remand the case to the district court with instructions to grant Ehler’s postconviction-relief application, vacate the guilty plea, and dismiss the trial information under rule 2.33(2)(c).       REVERSED AND REMANDED.  ..  FULL DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Sep 11, 2019  .. FLRA:  State, v. IAMAW  ..  In this case, the Authority reaffirms that procedural requirements contained in negotiated grievance procedures are important and promote the timely, effective and efficient processing of grievances.    In an award dated January 15, 2019, Arbitrator Thomas G. McConnell Jr. found, as relevant here, that the Union’s grievance was arbitrable.    The Agency argues that the award fails to draw its essence from the agreement because the Arbitrator ignored his own finding that the Union had filed the grievance at the wrong step.    Because the Arbitrator’s award is not irrational, unfounded, implausible, or in manifest disregard of the agreement, we deny this exception.  ..  FLRA DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Sep 11, 2019  .. FLRA:  VA v. AFGE  ..  Arbitrator Ed W. Bankston found that the Agency violated the Privacy Act and ordered the Agency to pay penalties as a result.    We vacate the Arbitrator award.    In this case, we find the Privacy Act was not violated by the Agency’s action of handing unredacted copies of performance evaluations to its in-house counsel, and so, there was no violation of the parties’ agreement.  ..  FLRA DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Sep 10, 2019  .. CAC:  Scandura v. Headache  ..  In January, 2011 Bilchik offered the plaintiff a staff position in the Hartford Headache Center, LLC (LLC) which the plaintiff accepted.    The plaintiff worked as a physician for the LLC until June 30, 2012, when her employment was terminated.    During her employment with the LLC a number of disputes arose between the plaintiff and the defendants.    Over the course of the plaintiff’s employment, the defendants demanded that the plaintiff require patients to come into the office for visits, even though the plaintiff believed that the visits were neither medically indicated nor appropriate.    On a nearly daily basis she was disrespected and demeaned by Bilchik and the LLC’s office manager, McGrath, who questioned the plaintiff’s competence and complained that the plaintiff was not generating enough revenue for the LLC.    Bilchik and McGrath also criticized and harassed the plaintiff for her refusal to write a letter attesting to the poor performance of an employee of the LLC.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Sep 10, 2019  .. D.D.C.:  Stewart v. Bowser  ..  This is an age discrimination and retaliation case brought by a former employee of the District of Columbia Office of Human Rights (“OHR”).    Plaintiff Georgia Stewart began her employment at the OHR in 1967.  During the relevant time period, Plaintiff was the Manager of the Mediation Unit at the OHR.    Plaintiff Georgia Stewart alleges that her supervisor and then-Director of the OHR, Gustavo Valesquez, retaliated against her for previously engaging in a protected activity.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Sep 9, 2019  .. D.D.C.:  Young v. Mattis  ..  From July 3, 2014 until August 29, 2014, Plaintiff was deployed to Kabul, Afghanistan as part of the Department of Defense’s MoDA program. He served as a Senior Information Communications Technology advisor. The deployment was intended to continue for one year but could have been extended for up to two years.    Plaintiff alleges that two individuals with whom he served in Afghanistan—Dr. Warner, a civilian employee of the Department of Defense Information Systems Agency, and Colonel Gale, a United States Air Force officer—discriminated against him on the basis of his race, color, sex, national origin, and age, which led to the premature curtailment of his deployment after only two months.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Sep 9, 2019  .. KSC:  Hill v. State  ..  Kansas Highway Patrol Trooper Sage Hill alleges the KHP retaliated by requiring him to move across the state to keep his job after the Kansas Civil Service Board ordered the agency to reinstate him to work.    State law expressly provides no civil service employee—including a KHP trooper—may be disciplined or discriminated against "in any way because of the employee's proper use of the appeal procedure." (Emphasis added.) K.S.A. 2018 Supp. 75-2949(g). No one claims Hill improperly exercised his civil service right.    This appeal presents three questions before this court:    (1) whether a common-law cause of action for employer retaliation may be based on an adverse job action short of dismissal or demotion;    (2) whether the State's sovereign immunity bars the claim regardless of its merits;    and (3) whether the uncontroverted material facts entitle defendants to summary judgment against Hill.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Sep 6, 2019  .. 5th Cir.:  EEOC v. JC Wings  ..  In or around 2013, Appellant Cory Waldron worked at Bayou City Wings as a General Manager.    On April 13, 2013, Aaron Lieber, Bayou City Wings’ Director of Operations, fired Waldron. Waldron said he was given three write-ups that day for alleged tardiness, issues with paperwork, and a “liability issue.”    Waldron claims the real reason he was terminated was because he hired a 72-year-old man to be a “Host” and “hiring a 72 year old male was against Bayou City Wings policy.”    Waldron filed a charge of discrimination with EEOC in May 2013.    EEOC investigated Waldron’s charge and filed the instant lawsuit, on November 3, 2016, alleging JC Wings engaged in age discrimination.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Sep 6, 2019  .. 9th Cir.:  Head v. Wilkie (VA)  ..  REVERSED IN PART, VACATED IN PART, AND REMANDED.  ..  Christian Head, M.D., appeals the district court’s orders granting summary judgment to defendants in his employment discrimination lawsuit.    A 2008 VA internal investigation issued a report finding that Head was not treated similarly to others in his department in terms of his assignment and protected time for research.    We reverse the district court’s grant of summary judgment on Head’s race-based claims.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Sep 5, 2019  .. 5th Cir.:  Mandujano v. Pharr  ..  Carlos Mandujano was formerly employed as a deputy fire chief by appellee City of Pharr (the “City”).    In early 2014, the City opened an investigation into Mandujano for sexual harassment, apparently based on letters of complaint submitted by City Fire Marshal Jacob Salinas, Deputy Fire Chief Carlos Arispe, and Assistant Fire Marshal Dagoberto Soto.    The letters reportedly accused Mandujano of sexually harassing a former City employee, Blanca Cortez.    Denying that he harassed anyone.    In March or April 2015, “the investigation cleared [Mandujano].”    In August 2015, the City opened another investigation into Mandujano concerning “the same subject matter as the prior investigation.”    However, on September 30, 2015, 1 the City Manager told Mandujano that “the [second] investigation had been cleared.”    Mandujano resigned from the Fire Department on November 13, 2015.    Several months after his resignation, the City Manager “represented that [Mandujano] was under investigation at the time of his separation of employment.”    Mandujano brought suit against the City in Texas state court, alleging sex discrimination.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Sep 5, 2019  .. 5th Cir.:  Tucker v. Unitech  ..  Andrea Tucker worked as an Administrative Medical Assistant Instructor at Unitech Training Academy, Inc. (“Unitech”).    When she was hired, she weighed approximately 392 pounds. Although she informed her interviewers that she was scheduled to have gastric bypass surgery, she did not inform anyone at Unitech that she was disabled or that she needed a special accommodation. Tucker had the gastric bypass surgery and returned to work shortly thereafter.    After her employment was terminated for alleged poor performance, Andrea Tucker sued her former employer and several of its employees.    Tucker brought suit against Unitech.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Sep 4, 2019  .. 3rd Cir.:  Pellegrino v. TSA  ..  Nadine Pellegrino relies on § 2680(h), which we also refer to as the “proviso,” to recover against Transportation Security Officers (TSOs) at the Philadelphia International Airport who allegedly detained her, damaged her property, and fabricated charges against her.    The Federal Government is typically immune from suit. The Federal Tort Claims Act waives the Government’s immunity for certain torts committed by its employees.    28 U.S.C. § 2680(h) does so for specific intentional torts committed by “investigative or law enforcement officers,” which it defines as “any officer of the United States who is empowered by law to execute searches, to seize evidence, or to make arrests for violations of Federal law.”    If a federal official fits this definition, plaintiffs may sue for certain intentional torts.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Sep 4, 2019  .. 11th Cir.:  Mitchell v. UNC  ..  Audrey Mitchell sued her employer, the University of North Alabama (UNA), following several years of alleged racial discrimination and retaliation.    Ms. Mitchell, an African-American woman, was hired in 1999 to serve as Coordinator of Administration in UNA’s Department of Housing and Residence Life.    Beginning in 2006, she served as the Director of the Department of Housing, reporting to David Shields, a white male who served as Vice-President of Student Affairs. In that role, she interacted frequently with Kevin Jacques, a white male who served as Director of Residence Life.    Ms. Mitchell alleges that Shields and Jacques schemed to undermine her and get her into trouble.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Sep 4, 2019  .. 11th Cir.:  Tebo  v. Debary  ..  The City maintained it fired Tebo for insubordination and disloyalty, among other things, as documented in a termination letter she received from Parrott.    On appeal, she contends the district court erred in finding she did not establish pretext for her gender discrimination claim [...].    She further contends the district court erred in granting summary judgment on her retaliation claim because a jury could infer Parrott fired her for writing a letter to the [EEOC] alleging gender discrimination.      After review, we affirm the district court as to Tebo’s claim of gender discrimination, but reverse and remand as to her retaliation claim.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Sep 3, 2019 .. DOI OIG:  INVESTIGATIVE SUMMARY :: The OIG Investigation Substantiated The Allegation That The Then Deputy Assistant Attorney General (DAAG) Viewed Sexually Explicit Images On The DAAG’s Government Computers.   Summary: (.pdf)

♦       Sep 3, 2019 .. DOI OIG:  INVESTIGATIVE SUMMARY :: The OIG Investigation Substantiated That The Former Federal Bureau Of Investigation (FBI) Director James Comey Shared Memos That Contained Classified Information With Individuals Outside The FBI.    Press Release: (.pdf)    Full Report: (.pdf)

♦       Sep 3, 2019  .. DCC:  Dunn, M.D. v. FastMed  ..  The company at the heart of this case provides urgent care medical services in Arizona, and employed the plaintiff, who is trained as a physician, as an executive. The company went through a merger, after which the plaintiff left the company. The plaintiff asserts the post-acquisition company wronged him while negotiating the terms of his employment and by asserting a restrictive covenant after he left.    The first source of wrongdoing is a series of oral promises, which are difficult to enforce in the shadow of a series of written agreements. In connection with the merger, the parties executed a contract selling the plaintiff’s interest to the defendants, as well as an employment agreement.    The second source of wrongdoing is the defendants’ assertion of a restrictive covenant contained in the contract selling the plaintiff’s interest. That five-year restrictive covenant prohibited the plaintiff from working in a competitive executive capacity, but did not prohibit him from practicing medicine.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Sep 3, 2019  .. 2d Cir.:  Hess v. StaffCo  ..  Mary Hess appeals her employment discrimination claim pursuant to the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (“ADEA”), against her employer Mid Hudson Valley StaffCo LLC’s (“StaffCo”).    Hess argues she presented evidence of ageism which demonstrated that but-for her age she would not have been terminated.    Assuming, arguendo, that Hess established a prima facie case of age discrimination, StaffCo articulated a legitimate, non-discriminatory reason for her termination—Hess’s poor performance, during a concentrated period of time, which posed risks to patient safety and confidentiality.    StaffCo’s proffered explanation was supported by evidence of Hess’s performance issues, including one instance when a fax signed by Hess containing confidential information for two patients was faxed to an unauthorized local business and several other incidents involving chart documentation.    Hess, moreover, does not dispute that those incidents occurred; rather, she takes issue with how those events are described, or whether she had a valid excuse for her behavior.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Sep 3, 2019  .. ICA:  J.S. v. Indiana  ..  After J.S. admitted to violating the conditions of his probation for a prior juvenile adjudication by possessing marijuana and admitting to the new charge of possessing marijuana, he was adjudicated a delinquent child.    The juvenile court entered an order that he be placed under supervised probation for a period of six months and complete an inpatient substance abuse treatment program at White’s Residential Treatment Facility.    J.S. appeals, contending that while the juvenile court had the authority to issue an order placing him in a residential treatment facility, the juvenile court nonetheless abused its discretion by entering its order without considering the statutory factors for juvenile dispositional orders.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Aug 30, 2019  .. 2d Cir.:  Jordan v. UHG  ..  Appellant, Ms. Jordan, sued United HealthCare Services under Title VII for discrimination, hostile work environment, and retaliation. She alleged that her supervisor, Ellen Lalley, discriminated against and harassed her because of her race, and later disciplined and fired her in retaliation for filing a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Aug 30, 2019  .. 1st Cir.:  Mount v. DHS  ..  Mount served as a General Schedule Grade 14 ("GS-14") Supervisory Special Agent for the Department of Homeland Security's ("DHS") Immigration and Customs Enforcement ("ICE") in Boston, Massachusetts.    Mount alleges that his supervisors retaliated against him because he delivered a document to a colleague which the colleague later used in support of his own whistleblower case against the agency.    The MSPB denied Mount's request for relief, finding that his actions had been too minimal to constitute actual assistance under the WPA and that he had failed to exhaust his perceived assistance claim.    Before us, Mount argues that the MSPB: (1) abused its discretion by considering certain evidence when evaluating his actual assistance claim; and (2) erred in finding that he failed to exhaust administrative remedies as to his perceived assistance claim.    Because Mount has not shown that he raised his objections to the evidence below, we refrain from addressing them in the first instance.    As to Mount's perceived assistance claim, however, we reject the MSBP's hyper-technical application of the exhaustion requirement. For the first time in this Circuit, we hold that the WPA only requires that a complainant include sufficient factual basis to enable the agency to investigate. Because Mount complied with this requirement, we remand as to Mount's perceived assistance claim for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Aug 29, 2019  .. 7th Cir.:  Chaidez v. Ford  ..  The seven named plaintiffs are Hispanic or Latino. They applied for employment as line workers at Ford’s Chicago assembly plant near Harvey, Illinois, but were not hired.   The plaintiffs allege a conspiracy that ensured the [Ford Chicago plant] predominantly hired black employees to the exclusion of Hispanic and Latino applicants.   The district court dismissed the suit for failure to exhaust administrative remedies, holding the plaintiffs’ claims were not “like or reasonably related to” the claims asserted in their EEOC charges.    WE VACATE the district court’s dismissal of Count II   and   remand for further proceedings.   Count I [is modified] to 'dismissed without prejudice'.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Aug 28, 2019  .. D.D.C.:  Lemma v. HNBA  ..  Funny As Hell ... Hispanic National Bar Association Is Not Covered Under The Americans With Disabilities Act (“ADA”)  ..  Mathias Lemma, proceeding pro se, commenced this suit on November 28, 2017, alleging that his former employer, the Hispanic National Bar Association (“HNBA”), discriminated against him “based on [his] disability.”    The HNBA moves to dismiss for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction and for failure to state a claim under Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1) and 12(b)(6), or, in the alternative, moves for summary judgment.    Because the Court concludes that the HNBA is not a “covered entity” under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), the Court will grant summary judgment in favor of the HNBA on Lemma’s ADA claim,    and because Lemma elected to pursue administrative remedies under the D.C. Human Rights Act (“DCHRA”), the Court will dismiss his DCHRA claim for lack of jurisdiction.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Aug 28, 2019  .. D.D.C.:  Brett v. Brennan (Postal)  ..  Mr. Brett joined the U.S. Postal Service in 1977.    In 2008, he ruptured his right bicep in a workplace accident. He filed for workers’ compensation and did not work for about five and a half months. He claims that, because of this injury, he is disabled under the Rehabilitation Act.    After he returned to work, Mr. Brett accidentally hit his head entering a postal truck. His supervisors started a Pre-Disciplinary Investigation (“PDI”) about that accident. During the PDI, Mr. Brett would not explain what caused the accident. After that, his supervisors issued him a Notice of Proposed 14-Day Suspension.    In August 2008, Mr. Brett contacted an Equal Employment Opportunity (“EEO”) counselor alleging discrimination.    A couple of months later, he requested Advanced Sick Leave for an upcoming surgery, and Al Trent, his second-line supervisor, accidentally approved it.    In January, Mr. Brett again requested Advanced Sick Leave, claiming “cold” and “sick throat,” but this time, John Bowser, his then-supervisor, denied it.    Mr. Brett retired.    Mr. Brett sued his employer.    His initial Complaint alleged discrimination and retaliation based on disability, age, and race under Title VII, the Rehabilitation Act, and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Aug 28, 2019  .. 11th Cir.:  Hilliary v. FlightSafety  ..  Plaintiff Colette Hilliary, (a black female) was employed by FlightSafety International, Inc. (“FSI”) for over nineteen years. At all times pertinent to this appeal, Plaintiff worked as a Program Manager for the Cabin Safety Department in Atlanta (“Department”). In this role, Plaintiff managed two full-time employees (both of whom were white) and three part-time employees (two of whom were black and one of whom was white).    In March 2015, one of Plaintiff’s full-time employees -- Winifred Darsey (a white female) -- complained to FSI that Plaintiff gave preferential treatment to Plaintiff’s two black employees. In April 2015, Darsey complained again about racial discrimination by Plaintiff.    FSI’s human resources department investigated Darsey’s April 2015 complaint. FSI concluded that Darsey’s complaints of racial discrimination were unfounded;    but the investigation raised other concerns about Plaintiff’s management style. As a result, Plaintiff says she was placed on a “Performance Improvement Plan,” pursuant to which Plaintiff was instructed to work with Plaintiff’s supervisors to improve her management and communication skills.    Plaintiff filed a complaint with the EEOC, alleging discrimination based on race, harassment, and retaliation.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Aug 27, 2019 .. DOI OIG:  INVESTIGATIVE SUMMARY :: The Department of Interior OIG investigated allegations that a U.S. National Park Service (NPS) employee sexually harassed a colleague during a trip to gather data from a weather station.    .html    .pdf

♦       Aug 27, 2019  .. 1st Cir.:  Rodriguez-Cardi v. MMM  ..  On April 16, 2014, MMM terminated Rodríguez-Cardi's employment. Her duties and assigned providers were distributed among eight other MMM employees, ranging in age from twenty-seven to forty years old.    Rodríguez-Cardi contends that, prior to her termination, some of her colleagues called her "la mayor del grupo" ("the oldest in the group"). She additionally claims that two OSRs referred to her as "la vieja" ("the old lady"), called her hairstyle old-fashioned, and remarked that she had an "old woman's coat."    Moreover, she says that these OSRs mocked her cell phone, which she had owned for twelve years and did not have internet access, and her car, a 1987 S.U.V. model, for being old.    In her deposition, Rodríguez-Cardi claimed that she told Rodríguez-Delgado that coworkers "were making out of place comments" and "bothering" her; even so, she admitted that she had never formally complained about any mistreatment or unwelcome age-related comments.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Aug 27, 2019  .. FLRA:  VA v. AFGE  ..  ITS TOO LATE BABY ... THOUGH YOU REALLY DID TRY TO MAKE IT.    Because the Agency failed to timely file a response to a show-cause order (SCO), we dismiss the Agency’s exceptions as untimely.    However, we take the time to discuss this comedy of errors in its entirety to better impress upon the federal labor community the significance of timely and properly filing exceptions.    As we have made clear to agencies and unions on multiple occasions, all parties must accept responsibility for the increased potential that a minor, ordinary obstacle could prove fatal to their ability to file a timely and complete document if they wait until after the Authority’s close of business on the last day of the filing period and attempt to file electronically with only minutes to spare, as has caught several parties unaware.  ..  FLRA DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Aug 26, 2019  .. CCA:  Wu v. O'Gara  ..  Former sales advisor, Thomas Wu, sued O’Gara Coach Bentley and several of its senior management employees for unlawful discrimination based on race in violation of FEHA; failure to prevent unlawful discrimination; wrongful termination; defamation; harassment; intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress; negligent hiring, retention and supervision; and workplace intimidation.    Wu worked for approximately six years as a sales advisor at O’Gara Coach Bentley in Beverly Hills, one of O’Gara Coach’s family of dealerships.    Wu alleged Jobe, Tim O’Hara, the general manager at O’Gara Coach Bentley, and Thomas O’Gara, the owner and principal of O’Gara Coach, created a hostile work environment and routinely harassed Wu based on his race and ethnicity.    Specifically, Wu alleged Jobe called him and his Chinese friends “chinks” and referred to him as “Buddha” or “sumo wrestler” because of his weight and ethnic heritage.    Wu complained about the offensive comments to his supervisors, including Jobe, and to more senior executives at O’Gara Coach Bentley, but nothing was done to correct the situation.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Aug 26, 2019  .. D.D.C.:  Thorne v. Mattis  ..  Otis Thorne sues the Department of Defense (DOD) for employment discrimination based on race and color. He also alleges retaliation for engaging in protected activity.    Thorne “is an African American male with dark color skin” who worked as a nursing assistant for the DOD’s Defense Health Agency (DHA) from October 12, 2004, to November 14, 2016.    On March 30, 2015, Thorne filed an equal employment opportunity (EEO) charge with the DOD, “claiming discrimination on the basis of his race and color because the defendant’s employees were harassing him on his job and because the defendant was taking disciplinary action against him.”      “Soon after” the DHA received notice of the charge, it “began taking additional adverse actions against” Thorne, “including accusing him of using controlled substances that required him to take a drug test, and . . . of engaging in other inappropriate behavior.”    On September 13, 2015, Thorne was told that he was being investigated and was placed on administrative leave without pay.    While on leave, Thorne filed a claim with the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) “that included affirmative defenses of race and color discrimination and retaliation.”      The DHA “continued [Thorne’s] leave without pay even though [he] attempted to report to work” after filing the claim with the MSPB.      Despite knowing the “plaintiff’s whereabouts” and the reasons for his absence from work,” the DOD “removed the plaintiff from federal service on or about November 14, 2016, allegedly because he was absent without leave.”  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Aug 23, 2019 .. DAVID KOCH DEAD AT 79 : Billionaire, philanthropist, fueled the right-wing movement and was one of the richest men in the world.

♦       Aug 23, 2019  .. NJSC:  Portilla v. Maxim  ..  Plaintiff, a registered nurse and a lawyer, worked for defendant, Maxim HealthCare Services, Inc., as Director of Clinical Services (Director) for its South Orange office from April 8, 2013, through September 27, 2013, when she resigned, claiming she was constructively discharged.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Aug 23, 2019 .. GSA IG:  GSA OFFICIAL CONSUMED ALCOHOL, HAD SEXUAL INTERCOURSE AND ORAL SEX WITH A WHITE HOUSE INTERN IN GSA HEADQUATERS : On January 30, 2018, Hart was interviewed and admitted he had sexual relations in the GSA Central Office during the weekend of July, 1, 2017.    Hart identified his partner as [REDACTED] [an intern] at the White House.    He stated he escorted [REDACTED] into the GSA Central Office building and made them each a drink with the bottle of vodka he kept in his desk.    He said their sexual activity began in the Administrator suite area and culminated with oral sex on the rooftop of the Central Office. Hart stated this occurred on only one occasion.    A review of the visitor building logs for the Central Office for January through December 2017 revealed [REDACTED] entered the building on July 1, 2017 at 7:26 PM.    Per 5 C.F.R. § 2635.704 (a) an employee has a duty to not allow the use of Government property for anything other than authorized purposes.    Having sex in the central office building is not an authorized purpose for use by the public.    Further, there is no law or GSA regulation that allows an employee to have sex in the building.   GSA IG   Report of Investigation.

♦       Aug 23, 2019  .. CAT:  Edinburg v. Esparza  ..  Esparza was the principal of one of Edinburg Consolidated Independent School District's (ECISD) middle schools in the summer of 2016. After school was dismissed for the summer, a private photo of Esparza that she sent to her husband was widely disseminated on social media within the local community. According to Esparza, the photo was not authorized to be publicly disseminated and she complained to law enforcement.    On June 22, 2016, Esparza and the ECISD assistant superintendent had a conversation in which Esparza was given the choice of resigning or being fired.    Esparza received a letter the next day that informed her that her employment was suspended with pay while the district investigated. On July 20, 2016, Esparza received another letter from ECISD that informed her that she was being reassigned from her principal position and would be advised at a later date regarding her employment status.    Esparza was terminated.    She filed suit alleging gender discrimination.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Aug 22, 2019  .. 1st Cir.:  Borges v. El Conquistador  ..  Appellant Nieves-Borges ("Nieves") claims that he was sexually harassed for more than a decade, and thus subjected to a hostile work environment, by the human resources director at the Puerto Rico resort where he worked.    Nieves further asserts that resort managers retaliated against him for complaining about this treatment.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Aug 22, 2019  .. 7th Cir.:  FTC v. CBC  ..  Brown is the sole owner and operator of Credit Bureau Center, a credit-monitoring service. (We refer to both collectively as “Brown.”) Brown’s websites used what’s known as a “negative option feature” to attract customers.    The websites offered a “free credit report and score” while obscuring a key detail in much smaller text: that applying for this “free” information automatically enrolled customers in an unspecified $29.94 monthly “membership” subscription.    The subscription was for Brown’s credit-monitoring service, but customers learned this information only when he sent them a letter after they were automatically enrolled.    The Federal Trade Commission eventually took notice. It sued Brown alleging that the websites and referral system violated several consumer-protection statutes.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Aug 22, 2019  .. 7th Cir.:  Smith v. DOT  ..  Smith began working as an Emergency Traffic Patrol Minuteman with the Department late in 2013. Minutemen perform various duties related to traffic and roadways. Smith’s employment began with a probationary period starting August 1. To be certified, he had to successfully complete three stages of training over the course of six months. His probationary period did not go well.    According to the Department, Smith was far from a model employee. Early in his training, one of his supervisors reported that he challenged the instructions that he was given, which created a “serious issue” for his training and development. Another supervisor said that Smith regularly “fail[ed] to remember info” and “ha[d] a very hard time following basic instructions.”    Particularly troubling, however, was Smith’s record of unsafe conduct. Once, while driving in an express lane with Marcello Valle, one of his supervisors, Smith approached a place where the lanes divided. Valle told him to pick a lane; instead, Smith stopped short in traffic only thirty feet from the concrete pillar dividing the lanes.    On another occasion, Smith drove away from a gas pump with the nozzle still inserted in the truck. Smith also “almost hit a trooper police car” on a drive with a supervisor.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Aug 21, 2019  ..  The Trump Economy vs. Obama Economy — In 15 Charts :    How does the “Trump economy” compare to Barack Obama’s?     President Trump constantly refers to the economy as “strong,” “terrific” and the “greatest in the history of our country,” but a closer look at the data shows a mixed picture in terms of whether the economy is any better than it was in Obama’s final years. The economy is growing at about the same pace as it did in Obama’s last years, and unemployment, while lower under Trump, has continued a trend that began in 2011.     By Heather Long     washington post

♦       Aug 21, 2019  .. 9th Cir.:  Valtierra v. Medtronic  ..  Plaintiff Jose Valtierra appeals the district court’s judgment in favor of his former employer, Medtronic Inc., in his action under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”).    Valtierra claimed that he was terminated on account of his morbid obesity, which the district court held was not a physical impairment under the relevant Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) regulations and interpretative guidance.    He contends on appeal that the district court misinterpreted that guidance.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Aug 21, 2019  .. 6th Cir.:  Siewertsen v. Worthington  ..  Siewertsen has worked at Worthington’s Delta Plant since 1999. The Delta Plant is a steel-processing center where workers manipulate raw steel to customers’ specifications and then ship it to them.    Worthington employees informally trained Siewertsen to operate a forklift in 2000, and Worthington formally certified Siewertsen to drive a forklift in 2004. Worthington recertified Siewertsen several times after that, with the latest coming in 2010.    In early 2011, Worthington sought an expert opinion from David Hoover, the owner and President of Forklift Training Systems, concerning the ability of a deaf person to operate a forklift in Worthington’s plants.    Hoover replied that he did not believe a deaf person could safely operate a forklift in that environment.    Siewertsen filed suit on November 28, 2011, alleging that Worthington illegally discriminated against him on the basis of his disability.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Aug 21, 2019  .. D.D.C.:  Jimenez v.  Duke (Homeland)  ..  Mr. Jimenez was born in 1963 in the Dominican Republic.    He began working for the predecessor agency of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”), a component of DHS, in 1996. He is currently an Immigration Officer in USCIS’s Fraud Detection National Security Headquarters based in Washington, DC.    Jimenez’s federal court complaint, which follows three agency EEO complaints filed in 2012, 2015, and 2017, alleges numerous instances of discrimination, retaliation, and harassment. DHS has helpfully numbered these events one through twenty; Jimenez has adopted this numbering convention for purposes of his opposition, and the Court will follow suit.    Jimenez alleged that DHS discriminated against him on the basis of race, national origin, age, and reprisal for prior EEO activity.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Aug 20, 2019  .. 11th Cir.:  Brown v. Synovus  ..  Brown is an African-American man, who, at the time of this lawsuit, conducted internal audits for Synovus.   Synovus hired Brown as a Senior Auditor in 2007. One year later, Synovus promoted him to Audit Manager and assigned Keith Greene as his supervisor. In 2010, Synovus designated Sandra Weekley as Brown’s primary supervisor. Weekley reported to Andy Cottle.    Brown’s employment with Synovus was marked by consistent negative reviews from his supervisors. Even though his initial evaluations of Brown were largely positive, Greene soon began to identify what he considered to be serious problems with Brown’s performance.    Synovus then placed Brown on a 45-day PIP. The PIP, in part, stated that Brown was not meeting minimum expected standards of his job with regard to the quality of his audits and his communications. The PIP required Brown to improve communication, timeliness, and quality of work and sustain acceptable performance after the conclusion of the PIP.    Brown was fired in early 2014. After the [EEOC] issued him a right-to-sue letter, Brown sued Synovus.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Aug 20, 2019  .. 2d Cir.:  Bentley v. AutoZoners  ..  From April 13, 2013, until her discharge on September 17, 2014, plaintiff Rachel Bentley worked for defendant AutoZone as a part-time sales associate in its Wallingford, Connecticut store.   In this diversity action, plaintiff Rachel Bentley sues [AutoZone] for sex discrimination, retaliation, and a sex hostile work environment.   Bentley argues that she adduced sufficient evidence to raise triable issues of fact on the following questions: (1) whether AutoZone’s proffered reason for her discharge—her use of crude language toward a co-worker who disparaged women (and who was also discharged)—was a pretext for sex discrimination and retaliation ...  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Aug 19, 2019  .. D.D.C.:  Williams v. Smithsonian  ..  Plaintiff Samuel C. Williams, IV sued his former employer, the Smithsonian Institution, alleging race discrimination and retaliation for protected activity under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.    Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56, the Smithsonian moves for summary judgment on both claims.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Aug 19, 2019  .. 5th Cir.:  Harville v. Houston  ..  Harville, a white female, was hired as a deputy clerk by the City of Houston, Mississippi in 2005.    She worked in that position for approximately ten years.    In September 2015, the City was facing a budget shortfall and the Board of Aldermen voted unanimously to eliminate the positions and salaries of four City employees, including Harville’s position.    Harville’s claims against the City arise from that termination.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Aug 19, 2019  .. 4th Cir.:  Passaro v. Virginia  ..  Antonio Passaro Jr. is a former Special Agent with the Virginia State Police.   He claims that he faced unlawful discrimination based on his mental disability (post-traumatic stress disorder) and national origin (Italian-American).   He also claims that he was unlawfully fired in retaliation for filing a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”).   This conduct, he claims, violated the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.   He has sued the Commonwealth of Virginia and the Virginia Department of State Police, seeking relief that includes compensatory damages, reinstatement, and back pay.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Aug 19, 2019  .. MCA:  Zyber v. Buick  ..  Plaintiff, Mark Zyber, was employed as a salesperson for a car dealership (Patsy Lou Chevrolet).    In late June 2012, Williamson and White met with Mark Zyber, who at the time was a successful salesperson employed at another dealership, about potential employment at Patsy Lou Chevrolet. Zyber told Williamson and White that he had established a good customer base during his 11 years of employment at his current position, that he was earning a good salary, and that he would have to be sure that a job change would be in the best interests of his family.    During this meeting, Williamson told Zyber that if he accepted employment he could receive a monthly bonus to start, an annual bonus after the first year, a demo car for his wife, and a golf club membership.    He sued defendants after his employment was terminated.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Aug 15, 2019  .. 9th Cir.:  Pizzuto v. Blades   He brutally murdered a woman and her nephew just for the sake of killing.   He subsequently joked and bragged about the killings to friends.   Now, he's fighting his pending execution claiming he's mentally retarded.  ..  COURT DECISION:  (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Aug 15, 2019  .. 7th Cir.:  O'Donnell v. Weiner  ..  Patricia O’Donnell shared a desk with her supervisor where she apparently discovered performance evaluations of a couple of her male colleagues in a drawer.    O’Donnell learned that her employer paid her less than her male peers and came to believe that sex-based discrimination explained the pay disparity.    She attempted to raise this issue with several people inside the company, including human resources and the Chief Commercial 0fficer.    After Caine Weiner learned that O’Donnell took other employees’ performance reports without authorization, it suspended her.    Subsequently, Caine Weiner terminated her employment.    Patricia O’Donnell filed suit against her former employer alleging unequal pay due to gender discrimination and retaliation.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Aug 15, 2019  .. MCA:  Sznyr v. Livonia  ..  This case arises out of plaintiffs’ employment with the Livonia Police Department (“LPD”).    Plaintiffs were initially hired by the LPD as police service aids, before being invited to attend the police academy.    Before attending the police academy, plaintiffs signed contracts stating that defendant would pay for the police academy and related expenses, but if plaintiffs resigned from the LPD within four years of completion of the academy, defendant could seek reimbursement for the expenses incurred.    Plaintiffs completed the police academy in November 2014, and submitted notice of their resignations in August 2015.    Defendant filed separate lawsuits in district court against plaintiffs to recover the balances that plaintiffs owed for their police academy expenses pursuant to the contracted agreements.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Aug 14, 2019  .. 10th Cir.:  EEOC v. Centura  ..  When investigating charges of discrimination, the EEOC may obtain evidence that “relates to unlawful employment practices . . . and is relevant to the charge under investigation.” 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-8(a). The EEOC is authorized to obtain such evidence by issuing a subpoena and seeking a court order enforcing it.    The EEOC exercised those powers when it sought information from Centura, a multi-facility healthcare organization operating primarily in Colorado. Between February 2011 and October 2014, eleven current or former Centura employees, working across eight Colorado locations, filed charges of discrimination with the EEOC.    They alleged that Centura violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) by terminating their employment or refusing to allow them to return to work after medical leave. These employment decisions were allegedly made because of their disabilities or their requests for accommodations.    After receiving the first charge in February 2011, the EEOC requested information from Centura.    Centura responded that the request was overbroad and unduly burdensome.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Aug 14, 2019  .. 3rd Cir.:  Lewis v. UP  ..  This is an employment discrimination appeal arising out of Plaintiff Joseph Lewis’s previous employment with the University of Pennsylvania Police Department.    Lewis suffers from a skin condition, pseudofolliculitis barbae (PFB), which has led to issues giving rise to his discrimination claims.    Lewis raises various issues on appeal.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Aug 14, 2019  .. 7th Cir.:  Bilinsky v.  American  ..  American Airlines employed Kimberly Bilinsky for more than two decades.    That employment continued without issue after Bilinsky contracted multiple sclerosis (“MS”) in the late 1990s. American provided a “Work from Home Arrangement” (“WFHA”), which permitted Bilinsky to do her job from her home in Chicago, even though her colleagues operated out of the company headquarters in Dallas.    But after a 2013 merger, American restructured its operations and informally re-purposed Bilinsky’s department. The executives determined that the new duties required the in-person involvement of the employees, so the company rescinded the arrangement and demanded that Bilinsky relocate to Texas to work face-to-face. Once negotiations collapsed, American terminated Bilinsky.    This lawsuit followed.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Aug 13, 2019  .. D.D.C.:  Huang v. Pai  ..  Plaintiff Qihui Huang, a former employee of the FCC, brings retaliation and discrimination claims against Ajit Pai, the Chairman of the FCC.    Plaintiff retired from the FCC in January 2016.    And, on December 17, 2018, Plaintiff filed this lawsuit bringing numerous claims and arguing that Defendant discriminated and retaliated against her in various ways dating back to at least 2004.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Aug 13, 2019  .. TAC:  Williams v. AG  ..  Williams alleged in her Original Petition that she is an African American female who began working for the OAG Child Support Division in 1990.    In her deposition, she testified that she started her work with the child support division at the Nederland office, transferred to an office in Austin, then transferred to the Beaumont Office where she worked until 2005. In 2005, she transferred to the Houston office, and she worked in the Houston office until January 2008, when she requested a transfer back to the Nederland or Beaumont office. Shortly before she asked for the transfer back to the Nederland or Beaumont office, her husband had died, and another family member was ill.    The OAG transferred her back to the Nederland office in 2008.    Williams alleged in her Petition that she began reporting to Winton “Jay” Webster, a Caucasian male, in March 2008.    Williams alleged that she personally observed Webster “mistreat minority employees and treat Caucasian employees more favorably.”  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Aug 13, 2019  .. 7th Cir.:  Sterlinski v. CBofC  ..  Saint Stanislaus Bishop & Martyr Parish in Chicago hired Stanislaw Sterlinski in 1992 as Director of Music. In 2014 the Parish’s priest (Anthony Dziorek, C.R.) demoted Sterlinski to the job of organist and in 2015 fired him outright.    He contends in this employment- discrimination suit against the Bishop of Chicago that the Parish held his Polish heritage against him.    Until his demotion he could have been fired for any reason, because as Director of Music he held substantial authority over the con- duct of religious services and would have been treated as a “minister” for the purpose of Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. EEOC, 565 U.S. 171 (2012), which holds that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does not apply to ministers.    But as organist, Sterlinski says, he was just “robotically playing the music that he was given” and could not be treated as a minister..  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Aug 13, 2019  .. 2d Cir.:  Naumovski v. Norris  ..  In June 2008, Elizabeth Naumovski, a Canadian citizen, began her employment at Binghamton as an assistant coach of its women’s basketball team. During the 2008‐2009 season, Naumovski worked as one of the team’s three assistant coaches under the direction of head coach Nicole Scholl.    In December 2008, rumors began to circulate among student-athletes and their families that Naumovski was engaged in an “inappropriate relationship” with a gay, female student-athlete, identified as “J.W.” Naumovski first learned of these rumors in January 2009, which was about the same time they reached Scholl.    But according to Scholl, the rumors never referred to a sexual relationship between Naumovski and J.W.; rather, they merely suggested that Naumovski was demonstrating “favoritism” toward J.W. Moreover, Scholl claims that she never believed Naumovski was having an intimate or sexual relationship with J.W. Naumovski recalls discussing allegations of an inappropriate sexual relationship with Scholl.    Naumovski further recalls Scholl reassuring her that she did not believe the rumors.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Aug 9, 2019  .. FLRA:  NWSEO v. NOA  ..  A provision in the parties’ 1986 collective-bargaining agreement (CBA) provided that, if negotiations of a successor agreement could not be completed within ninety days and neither party requested the intervention of the Federal and Mediation Conciliation Service (FMCS) or the Federal Service Impasses Panel (FSIP or Panel) during negotiations, either party could terminate all or part of the agreement.    In July 2017, the Agency terminated the parties’ agreement after the parties were unable to agree to the terms of a new agreement within ninety days.    The Union filed a grievance.    Arbitrator Laurence M. Evans determined that the Agency violated the agreement.  ..  FLRA DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Aug 8, 2019  .. 3rd Cir.:  McMullen v. Arcadia  ..  Catherine McMullen brought this case alleging sex discrimination.    Arcadia hired Catherine McMullen as a part-time patrol officer in 2007.    Arcadia hired Joanna Gallagher as the Director of Public Safety in 2014.    The pair worked well together at first.    McMullen helped orient Joanna Gallagher in her new job, and later in 2014, Gallagher recommended to McMullen that she apply for a promotion to the newly created position of Corporal.    Taking Gallagher’s advice, McMullen applied for and received the Corporal position.    Later that year, McMullen applied for another promotion to Sergeant, but despite recommendations from three people in leadership positions, Gallagher and the rest of the interviewing panel awarded the position to a male colleague.    In 2015, Arcadia began disciplining Catherine McMullen and her relationship with Joanna Gallagher soured.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Aug 6, 2019 .. Mike Causey:  WANT MORE INCOME IN RETIREMENT?   MOVE : When they retire, many federal employees in Maryland move to Virginia for a lower state tax, or Delaware where there’s no sales tax. Workers in Vermont move over to New Hampshire to become retirees, while for decades California-based retired feds have moved to Nevada or Washington state, which have no state taxes.    FederalNewsNetwork

♦       Aug 6, 2019  .. 11th Cir.:  Easterling v. Ford  ..  In 2012, Jerry Easterling was driving his 2003 Ford pickup truck, which he had purchased used in 2007, when he hit a patch of ice.    He claims that his seatbelt, which he was wearing, came undone during the crash sequence.    As a result of the accident, he suffered serious injuries and sued Ford for breach of an implied warranty of merchantability.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Aug 6, 2019  .. 3rd Cir.:  Gorgonzola v. OPM  ..  These appeals arise from a long-running dispute over how OPM has handled the annuities of retired nurses who worked for the VA.    Almost nine years ago, five retired VA nurses brought a class action against OPM, alleging that the agency had failed to notify — and recalculate the annuities of — VA nurses who were entitled to an annuity recalculation under a 2002 law.  ..  DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Aug 6, 2019 .. DOJ OIG:  INVESTIGATIVE SUMMARY: FINDINGS OF MISCONDUCT BY THREE DEA SPECIAL AGENTS : The OIG investigation substantiated that one DEA Special Agent violated the DEA Confidential Source policy by serving as the controlling agent for a Confidential Source who was employed with the TSA, even though this Special Agent had a preexisting personal relationship with that Confidential Source as was alleged.    During the course of the investigation, the OIG found that a second DEA Special Agent and a Supervisory Special Agent also violated the DEA Confidential Source policy by approving the establishment of a total of three TSA employees as paid Limited Use Confidential Sources even though the DEA policy precludes such establishment.    DOJ OIG

♦       Aug 6, 2019  .. 6th Cir.:  Hubbell v. FedEx  ..  Sheryl Hubbell worked for Defendant FedEx SmartPost, Inc. (“FedEx”) as a parcel sorter in Belleville, Michigan.    She alleges that her manager told her she should accept a demotion because “females are better suited to administrative roles and males are better suited to leadership roles,” repeatedly disciplined her, then eventually demoted her from her position as lead parcel sorter based on her sex.    She also alleges that FedEx retaliated against her for filing complaints with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and for filing a lawsuit by unfairly disciplining her, not allowing her to earn extra pay by clocking in early or clocking out late, and closely surveilling her.    Eventually, she was fired.    FedEx appeals from the jury verdict finding in favor of Hubbell.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Aug 5, 2019  .. Fed. Cir.:  Bebley v. Air Force  ..  Mr. Bebley was employed by the Department of the Air Force as an Information (Network) Specialist at Joint Base San Antonio, Texas.    On May 11, 2016, Mr. Bebley met with his supervisor to discuss work-related matters. During the meeting, Mr. Bebley became agitated and shouted obscenities at his supervisor for several minutes. Three coworkers in a different office overheard    On September 26, 2016, the Air Force issued a notice of proposed removal, charging Mr. Bebley with conduct unbecoming a federal employee based on the events described above.       Here, Mr. Bebley, appeals a decision of the Merit Systems Protection Board sustaining his removal.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Aug 5, 2019 .. DHS OIG:  ALLEGATIONS OF DISCRIMINATION AT ORLANDO AIRPORT : A review by the Office of Inspector General (OIG). Allegations that a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) supervisor at the Orlando airport directed TSA air marshals or other TSA personnel to use behavior detection techniques to racially discriminate against travelers.    This review was requested by members of Congress.    DHS OIG

♦       Aug 5, 2019  .. D.D.C.:  Jackson v. DHP  ..  On August 23, 2018, defendant, District Hospital Partners, moved to dismiss the complaint for failure to state a claim.    BACKGROUND    Plaintiff, Mr. Jackson, is a Muslim, African-American male who was formerly employed as an orderly, also known as a “float technician,” by George Washington University Hospital (GWUH).    In his three-sentence complaint, plaintiff alleges that he was wrongfully terminated in July 2016:    " I was wrongfully terminated for briefly (10 seconds) raising my voice in relation to being coerced and forced to work on 1 of the only 2 official holidays in the Mulsim [sic] religion, Eid-al-fitr. I routinely worked 64-80 hours weekly and was refuse [sic] my only religious accommodation request in my 3 year tenure. . . . I was unemployed from July 2016-Nov[.] 2017 and seeking lost wages. "    The Court will deny defendant’s motion to dismiss and will allow plaintiff’s claim to move forward.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Aug 2, 2019  .. 5th Cir.:  Gonzalez v. UPS  ..  Gonzalez worked for UPS as a “franchise sales consultant.” This was a full-time desk job, requiring Gonzalez to help service UPS customers. To satisfactorily do this, Gonzalez admitted that he needed to have the cognitive ability to follow directions, adhere to routine, exercise judgment, concentrate, draw upon memory, and make logical conclusions.    In April 2013, Gonzalez took leave from work to have surgery. Perhaps as a result of previous surgeries, he had developed a condition called “complex regional pain syndrome”—manifesting as chronic pain in his right hand. Unlike previous occasions on which he took leave, his recovery period was pro- longed because he and his doctors had difficulty effectively managing his pain.    Approximately nine months into his leave, UPS sent Gonzalez a letter. This letter said two things. First, it informed Gonzalez that UPS had a policy that employees absent for 12 months are administratively terminated. Second, it informed Gonzalez that he could request accommodations for any ADA-covered disabilities.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Aug 1, 2019  .. 5th Cir.:  Hassen v. Ruston  ..  BECAUSE SHE IS BLACK -AND- BECAUSE THEY ARE WHITE ?    LaBrittany Hassen worked at a large hospital called the Northern Louisiana Medical Center as a PRN nurse.    “PRN” stands for “pro re nata”—a Latin phrase, which (roughly translated) means “in the circumstances.”    In other words, PRN nurses are as-needed workers.    Although Hassen had applied for a PRN position, she had also applied for a full-time position. But the hospital interviewed and hired her only as a PRN. This was in February 2012.    On the same day, the hospital hired two full-time nurses with less experience than Hassen. One had no nursing experience; and the other had graduated only one year before with merely a temporary license. Hassen, on the other hand, had graduated from nursing school three years before and had her full license. Even so, all three nurses had the same duties.    The reason for these hiring decisions?    Hassen says that it’s because she’s black, whereas the two full-time nurses are white.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Aug 1, 2019  .. MCA:  Michigan v. Carter  ..  STORY OF A MURDER :    Defendant’s convictions arise from the May 17, 2016 shooting death of Trumaine Walker in Pontiac.    The prosecution’s principal witness testified that defendant and an accomplice approached him and the victim while displaying, respectively, an assault rifle and a handgun.    The witness described defendant as a young black male of light complexion, clean-shaven, and wearing no face covering, and described the other assailant as a tall black male wearing perhaps a ski mask.    According to the witness, defendant forced the victim inside his house briefly, while the other assailant detained the witness at gunpoint outside until a neighbor appeared and started asking questions.    The victim then ran from the house with defendant in pursuit, and defendant shot the victim several times.    Other eyewitnesses described the shooter as a young black male of average height, and one reported that a suspect hurriedly entered the passenger side of a car that then drove away.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Jul 31, 2019  .. 7th Cir.:  Smith v. UC  ..  Ms. Smith, a former food-service worker at the University of Chicago Medical Center, sued her previous employer under the Americans with Disabilities Act, [...] for discrimination, retaliation, and a hostile work environment.    In September 2014, Smith gave birth to a daughter and took a six-week leave from work. When she returned to the Medical Center’s kitchen, her workplace performance—which already had been below par—gradually declined.    Throughout 2014 and 2015, Smith received warnings from her supervisors about her “unsatisfactory work performance” and failure to comply with workplace procedures. Incidents often started when Smith disagreed with a co-worker or supervisor and ended with Smith yelling at or threatening that person.    Smith also did not complete her duties on time and violated workplace rules, such as taking breaks without notifying a supervisor and maintaining her workstation in an unacceptable condition.    After counseling from her supervisors, formal warnings, and a suspension, Smith was suspended again and ultimately fired. Her termination letter refers to multiple policy violations including threats of physical violence.    Smith timely filed a Charge of Discrimination with the [EEOC] and, after receiving her right-to-sue letter, filed this suit.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Jul 31, 2019  .. 8th Cir.:  Lacey v. Norac  ..  Ms. Lacey is an African-American woman who started working for Norac, Inc. in April 2014.    Norac is a chemical additive manufacturer headquartered in Azusa, California, with an operating plant in Helena, Arkansas, where Ms. Lacey was employed until December 2014.    Ms. Lacey’s duties at the plant involved “Local Purchasing and HR stuff.”    Ms. Lacey sued employer Norac, Inc. for employment discrimination following her termination.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Jul 30, 2019  .. 7th Cir.:  Stepp v. Covance  ..  Covance Central Laboratory Services, a manufacturer of medical test kits, hired Damon Stepp in December 2015 as a temporary assistant in its kit-production department.    Stepp sued his former employer for retaliating against him.    He contests the district court’s entry of summary judgment for Covance, arguing that he submitted evidence sufficient to persuade a jury that Covance refused to hire him permanently in retaliation for his earlier complaints about discrimination.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       FRESH AIR:   THE VINDICATION OF AL FRANKEN:   Journalist Jane Mayer Investigates The Accusations Of Sexual Misconduct That Led Franken To Resign under pressure from the Senate. She's found that the story told by Franken's chief accuser, Leeann Tweeden, is full of holes. Mayer also looked into the accusations against Franken made by seven other women who came forward after Tweeden.    Franken demanded a Senate Ethics Committee review to clear his name.    Senate leaders, McConnel and Schumer, sent Tweedens allegations to the Senate ethics Committee.    New York Senator Kristen Gillibrand (democrat), insisted on Franken resigning before the ethics committee could review the allegations.    Three weeks after Tweeden's accusations, Franken resigned after being pressured by some of his fellow senators led by democrat Kristen Gillibrand.  ..  Read Transcript / Listen To Episode

♦       Jul 29, 2019  .. 7th Cir.:  Hunt v. Wal-Mart  ..  Tristana Hunt worked the overnight shift in the electronics department of a Wal-Mart store and Daniel Watson was her supervisor.    After Watson made several unprofessional remarks toward Hunt over a four-month period, Hunt filed a complaint with human resources. WalMart promptly investigated the claims but was unable to substantiate them.    Hunt then filed a complaint in federal court alleging Watson sexually harassed her by creating a hostile work environment in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.    At summary judgment, the district court held that Wal-Mart established the Faragher-Ellerth affirmative defense to liability because it reasonably prevented and corrected sexual harassment, and Hunt unreasonably delayed in reporting the harassment.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Jul 29, 2019  .. D.D.C.:  McMillan v. WMATA  ..  In November 1999, WMATA hired Mr. McMillan as an elevator and escalator technician.    After his inquiry into the status and distribution of a bonus owed to another WMATA employee who recruited him to work at WMATA, Mr. McMillan allegedly experienced “negative consequences” for the rest of his career there.    According to him, WMATA denied him career advancement opportunities.    And he observed WMATA exclusively hiring female employees for administrative job openings without regard to time-in-service or time-in-grade.    Mr. McMillan lodged a complaint with WMATA’s Office of Civil Rights, alleging “mismanagement” and “discrimination,”    Between February 2007 and June 2008, Mr. McMillan was involved in at least four separate incidents at WMATA that resulted in disciplinary actions, including a written warning and three suspensions.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       The Coming Mssive Southern Wildfires  .. Mississippi Burning Alabama Burning Georgia Burning South Carolina Burning    California is 32% forested.   With an average of 70% forest cover, the connected southern states of missisippi, alabama, georgia and south carolina are among the most forested states in the united states.   These connected southern states are the most ill prepared states to fight massive california-type forest fires.   They generally have little to no emergency preparedness infrastructure.   They preach low state taxes and consistently declare national emergency in times of need to pimp the federal government and american taxpayers to pay for their own state's emergencies.   Unfortunately, these irresponsible slick-pimp-practices will not work when the massive wildfires reach these criminally ill-prepared states.

♦       Jul 25, 2019  .. FLRA:  Border v. AFGE  ..  Arbitrator Richard N. Block issued an award finding that the Agency violated the parties’ agreement by requiring an employee (the grievant) to undergo medical examinations without a Union representative present.    As a remedy, the Arbitrator ordered the Agency to establish procedures to inform bargaining-unit employees (employees) and independent medical examiners of an employee’s right, under the parties’ agreement, to have a Union representative present during Agency-mandated medical examinations.  ..  FLRA DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Jul 25, 2019  .. N.M.C.C.A.:  U.S. v. King  ..  The appellant was convicted of sexually assaulting KM by entering her room, grabbing and pulling her legs to the side of the bed and penetrating her vu___ with his pe___.    It was dark, and as KM realized what was happening, she asked who was doing this to her. The appellant responded that it was K.M.’s best friend, Gunner’s Mate First Class HG.    Appellant then flipped KM over onto her stomach and penetrated her vu___ with his fingers and then again with his pe___ while he held her arm behind her back ...  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Jul 25, 2019  .. D.D.C.:  Chambers v. DCAG  ..  The plaintiff, brings this civil action against the defendant, the District of Columbia (the “District”), alleging that she was unlawfully discriminated against on the basis of her gender and retaliated against for filing a charge of discrimination against the District with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”)  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Jul 25, 2019  .. 6th Cir.:  Kelmendi v. DBOE  ..  Kelmendi served as an administrator and, occasionally, a teacher in Detroit Public Schools (“DPS”).    After he was passed over for a program-supervisor position, Kelmendi complained to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) that DPS did not select him for the position because of his age, sex, and national origin.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Jul 25, 2019  .. 8th Cir.:  Higgins v. UPR  ..  Higgins began working for Union Pacific in 1976 as a Locomotive Engineer.    He was based out of North Platte, Nebraska, and typically worked on trains routed from North Platte to Council Bluffs, Iowa.    Jon Higgins has chronic back pain. He asked his employer, Union Pacific Railroad (“Union Pacific”), to accommodate his back pain by allowing him to take time off “as necessary” and receive “24 hours of rest per shift (between shifts).”    Union Pacific denied his request.    Higgins then sued Union Pacific for, among other things, disparate treatment and failure to accommodate under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”).  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Jul 24, 2019  ..  It’s the birthday of Amelia Earhart (1897).    She had been studying medicine when she went to her first air show in California, and it was then that she decided to become a pilot ...    ♦   It was on this day in 1847 that the Mormon leader Brigham Young led his people into the Valley of the Great Salt Lake. He was leading a group of Mormons from Illinois to find a new settlement in the West ...    thewritersalmanac

♦       Jul 24, 2019  .. D.D.C.:  Gilliard v. Gruenberg (FDIC)  ..  Ms. Gilliard worked at the FDIC as a Senior Administrative Specialist.    In this lawsuit, Ms. Gilliard asserted that her time at the FDIC was marked by consistent “harassment, discrimination, infliction of severe emotional distress, threats, disparate treatment and more from her supervisors.”    She alleged that she was denied several promotions, lost employment responsibilities, received unfavorable performance reviews, and was exposed to a generally hostile work environment, both because of her race and out of retaliation for submitting claims to the Equal Employment Office (“EEO”).    In an attempt to gather evidence in support of her EEO claims, Ms. Gilliard began to surreptitiously record conversations with two of her former supervisors. Ms. Butler and Mr. Mento eventually learned of the recordings, though, and they ordered Ms. Gilliard to stop—going as far to threaten disciplinary action if she continued.    She therefore filed suit in this Court.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Jul 24, 2019  .. 2d Cir.:  Purcell v. NYIT  ..  Purcell alleges that NYIT discriminated against him based on his homosexuality and mental-health disability. The following facts are taken from Purcell’s amended complaint and must be accepted as true at the pleading stage.    On October 22, 2010, Purcell was unable to take one of his exams because of extreme anxiety caused by a “stalking” situation in his personal life. Purcell sought help from Claire Bryant, one of the deans at NYIT, who suggested that Purcell speak with other faculty and set up a further meeting that included three other NYIT deans and a fourth NYIT faculty member.    During this meeting, Purcell discussed his grades and personal situation, and one of the deans asked Purcell psychiatric questions and other questions about his medical history, and urged him to release his medical records to them.    Purcell was embarrassed by these questions and began crying.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Jul 23, 2019  .. 3rd Cir.:  Saranchuk v. Lello  ..  Appellants are four police officers who worked for the Borough of Dupont, Pennsylvania.    They contend that, because they were members of the local police union, the Borough either terminated their employments or severely cut their hours.    And this retaliation, they say, violated their property interests under the union’s collective bargaining agreement.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Jul 23, 2019  .. CSC:  Wilson v. CNN  ..  Plaintiff Stanley Wilson began working for Cable News Network, Inc. (CNN), in 1996, and wrote and produced stories for the network for more than 17 years.    Wilson filed suit against CNN, Inc., various affiliated corporate entities, and his supervisor. (For simplicity’s sake, we will refer to defendants collectively as CNN.)    Wilson’s complaint contains seven causes of action, six of which challenge CNN’s alleged discrimination and retaliation.    Specifically, Wilson alleges he was denied promotions, given unfavorable assignments, and ultimately fired because of his race and other protected characteristics, as well as in retaliation for exercising his right to make complaints about discrimination and his right to take parental leave.    He further alleges wrongful termination [based on] discrimination and retaliation.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Jul 23, 2019  .. TCA:  Tennessee v. Ward  ..  The Defendant’s ATV ran over the side of a road and tumbled down a steep embankment, and the victim, Ms. Danielle Stahley, was killed when her seat was ejected from the vehicle.    The Defendant entered a guilty plea to reckless homicide. The parties did not have an agreement as to the sentence that would be imposed, but they entered into a stipulation regarding the factual basis for the plea.    According to the stipulation, the accident occurred at 7:35 p.m. on May 27, 2016, as the Defendant was driving the ATV with the victim in the passenger’s seat.    The victim’s father was following in a separate vehicle. At the time of the accident, the Defendant was negotiating a left curve and “moving over [to] the right passing other vehicles.” The Defendant was attempting to avoid a collision with an oncoming vehicle when the ATV’s passenger’s side tires went over the edge of the road. The ATV rolled over multiple times as it tumbled down the cliff and eventually came to rest upside down in a river.    Both occupants were wearing helmets.    The victim’s seat was ejected from the vehicle as it fell down the embankment.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Jul 23, 2019  ..  It was on this day in 1903 that the Ford Motor Company sold its first car, a two-cylinder Model A.    It was sold to a Chicago dentist for $850.    The Model A was painted red, with a seat that fit two people, and no roof.    It reached 28 mph at top speed.    thewritersalmanac

♦       Jul 22, 2019  .. Fed. Cir.:  Smith v. GSA  ..  Mr. Robert Smith worked at the General Services Administration for nearly 30 years before GSA removed him.    Mr. Smith appealed that decision to the Merit Systems Protection Board, asserting that the agency failed to show his actions warranted removal and that the agency had retaliated against him for his repeated disclosure of gross mismanagement and waste.    The Board agreed that Mr. Smith was a whistleblower [but] nevertheless affirmed the agency’s decision.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Jul 22, 2019  .. FLRA:  Navy v. BMTC  .. THE AGENCY'S MISTAKE WAS TO UNILATERALLY REDUCE THE 10 DAY SUSPENSION. ..  The Agency suspended the grievant for ten days on a charge of Conduct Unbecoming a Federal Employee, based on off-duty misconduct while on temporary duty overseas.    The Union grieved the suspension, disputing whether there was misconduct at all and arguing that there was no nexus between the charged misconduct and the efficiency of the service.    The Agency denied the grievance but reduced the suspension to seven days. The Union invoked arbitration.  ..  FLRA DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       July 22, 2019 .. DOI OIG:  NSA CONTRACTOR SENTENCED FOR MASSIVE DATA THEFT : Nine years in prison.    (Four years for good behavior).    NPR

♦       Jul 22, 2019  .. D.D.C.:  Edley v. Berryhill (SSA)  ..  The plaintiff, an African American female, was employed by the Social Security Administration (SSA) as a “Supervisory Legal Assistant . . . in the Analytic Review and Oversight Office.” Compl.   The plaintiff alleges that, in 2015, she was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder . . . that impacts her major life activities of thinking, remembering, concentrating, sleeping, eating, . . . caring for herself, and working and causes gastrointestinal disruptions.    The plaintiff contends that   (1) After she disclosed her medical condition to her supervisor, Dale Britton, the SSA failed to engage in the interactive reasonable accommodation process required under the Rehabilitation Act,   (2) that she was denied job opportunities and did not receive awards for high visibility assignments, advancements, or development and support from the Resource Management Office as a supervisor in carrying out her duties,”   and (3) that she “was treated less favorably in the workplace than [one of] her colleague[s].   DECISION:  (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Jul 22, 2019  .. MCA:  Michigan v. Hawkins  ..  The victim participated in a marijuana production operation with Hawkins’s brother, which resulted in financial and other related tensions dating back to 2015.    The victim described a state of “[c]onstant threat” and stated that he left the Detroit area in October 2015 but came back twice, one of those times being on July 22, 2016.    According to the victim, he had returned to Detroit on July 22 for about 12 hours when, at approximately 3:30 p.m., Hawkins kicked in the front door of his house in Detroit and demanded money. The victim called the police, heard glass breaking, then spotted Macauley sitting in the driver’s seat of a vehicle blocking his driveway and pointing a small caliber black handgun at him. The victim further described Hawkins coming “around the house and . . . stabbing [his] tires with a screwdriver or a pick or something to flatten, [or] slash [the] tires.”    Hawkins and Macauley drove away from the victim’s house, but the victim encountered them again a few hours later on a street corner where they threatened his girlfriend with a baseball bat.    According to the victim, Hawkins and Macauley spotted and pursued him. Hawkins aimed a gun at the victim, fired a shot, then retrieved an aluminum baseball bat from the back seat of the car and hit the victim with it before Hawkins and Macauley drove off again.    Soon thereafter, the victim encountered Macauley again, the two exchanged harsh words, Macauley said to his girlfriend, “Baby go get the gun.” She retrieved a gun and gave it to Macauley, who then shot the victim in the left arm.    Hawkins and Macauley were convicted following a joint jury trial. This appeal followed.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Jul 19, 2019  .. 7th Cir.:  Pickett v. CTA  ..  In 2015 a passenger on a bus operated by the Chicago Transit Authority screamed at and threatened Lawrence Pickett, the bus driver.    He took six months off from work while recovering.    After his physician concluded that he could return to work (though not as a driver), Pickett appeared one morning and requested a light-duty job.    He was given one by the personnel on duty, but four days later he was told that the CTA was not ready to permit his return to work.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Jul 19, 2019  .. OCA:  Dacres v. Setjo  ..  Plaintiff-appellant Ewan Dacres (“Dacres”) filed suit against his employer, defendant-appellee KIA of Bedford (“KIA”) advancing multiple counts relating to the employment relationship including discrimination and wrongful termination.  ..  DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Jul 18, 2019  .. FLRA:  Defense v. FEA  ..  The Union filed a grievance challenging the Agency’s suspension of an employee (the grievant). At arbitration, the Agency argued that the grievance was not arbitrable because the Union untimely invoked arbitration.    Arbitrator Vincent C. Longo issued an award finding the grievance procedurally arbitrable and sustaining it on the merits.    The issue before us is whether the Arbitrator’s procedural-arbitrability determination fails to draw its essence from the parties’ agreement.    Because the Union failed to invoke arbitration within the twenty-day timeframe contained in Article 27, Section 1 of the parties’ agreement (Article 27), the Arbitrator’s conclusion that the grievance was procedurally arbitrable conflicts with that article’s plain wording.    Accordingly, the Arbitrator’s procedural-arbitrability determination fails to draw its essence from Article 27, and we vacate the award.  ..  FLRA DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Jul 18, 2019  .. 5th Cir.:  Howard v. St. John  ..  Appellant Joann Howard is a former second grade teacher at the Fifth Ward Elementary School in Louisiana.    Howard alleges that defendants discriminated against her on the basis of her race, that she was subjected to a hostile work environment causing her medical condition, and that she was retaliated against for taking leave and filing an EEOC complaint.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Jul 18, 2019  .. IL App:  Lau v. Abbott  ..  The plaintiff, Anna J. Lau, was hired by Abbott in 1999 as a senior financial analyst, a Grade 16 position. That same year, she completed an MBA. Over the years, she worked in several different areas of Abbott, including the hospital pharmacy, point of sales, and acute care sales and forecasting divisions.    At some point before 2011, Lau became a supervisor for financial analysis, a Grade 17 position.    Lau sued her former employer, the defendant, Abbott Laboratories, alleging that it discriminated against her on the basis of her sex, race, national origin, or age and that it also retaliated against her for complaining about that discrimination.    The trial court granted summary judgment in Abbott’s favor, and she appealed.    We affirm in part, reverse in part, and remand.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Jul 17, 2019  .. D.D.C.:  Murphy v. DC  ..  Robert Murphy alleges that his former employer, the District of Columbia Department of Corrections, failed to accommodate his disabilities, interfered with his right to medical leave, and then fired him in retaliation.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Jul 17, 2019  .. FLRA:  Air Force v. AFGE  ..  Arbitrator Katherine J. Thomson found that the Air Force violated the parties’ collective-bargaining agreement (CBA) and MOA when it denied official time requests made by the grievant, the Vice President of AFGE, Local 2924.    The Air Force filed exceptions and argued that the award failed to draw its essence from the agreements and is contrary to law.    Because the Arbitrator’s interpretation of the agreements—that an increase in representational activity constituted a special situation under the MOA and that the grievant had provided sufficient information to support the requests—is not irrational, unfounded, implausible, or in manifest disregard of the agreements, we deny the Air Force’s essence exception.    Further, as the Arbitrator interpreted the CBA and MOA and did not interfere with management’s right to assign work, we also deny the Air Force’s contrary-to-law exception.  ..  FLRA DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Jul 17, 2019  .. FLRA:  VA v. NAGE  ..  The grievant worked for many years as a dementia outpatient social worker and admissions coordinator in the VA’s geriatric care facility, Bedford, Massachusetts. The Agency informed the grievant that it was changing her duties to now comprise half-time work in the dementia outpatient clinic and half-time in the home-based primary care program, which required the grievant to travel and treat patients in their homes. She objected and grieved the action.    The Union alleged that the Agency failed to comply with Article 25 of the parties’ agreement. Article 25 concerns details, reassignments, and temporary promotions, and prescribes seniority-based procedures for Agency-initiated reassignments. In an award dated April 24, 2018, the Arbitrator found that the Agency’s actions constituted a reassignment. He expressly rejected the Agency’s claims that it simply changed the grievant’s “functional statement” or job description.    He determined that the Agency changed her position from a full-time position in the outpatient clinic to a “half-time” position in the clinic and a “half-time” position in the home-based treatment program.    He also rejected the Agency’s argument that the new position was related to “some necessary integration” of job responsibilities.    The Arbitrator found that the Agency’s actions were the result of its need to move a supervisor into a position on campus. Article 25 of the parties’ agreement provided that Agency-initiated reassignments would be subject to seniority.    The Arbitrator found that the Agency violated Article 25 when it did not use the procedures.  ..  FLRA DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Jul 16, 2019  .. TAC:  Garriott v. State  ..  This is an ineffective-assistance-of-counsel case.    The underlying offense is DWI. For purposes of this appeal, the evidence and facts are undisputed.    On January 12, 2016, a motorist travelling west on Interstate 10 through Chambers County, Texas observed a truck swerving in and out of its lane, causing other vehicles to veer off the road.    Concerned that the truck might cause an accident, the motorist called 911, reported the truck’s erratic driving, and stayed on the phone with the dispatcher until the truck was pulled over by a State Trooper with the Texas Department of Public Safety.    The trooper had followed the truck for two-to-three miles and decided to pull it over to check on the driver’s condition after observing the truck drift in and out of its lane several times. The trooper later testified that the truck did not “react immediately” to the sirens of the trooper’s vehicle and was “a little slow to stop.”    Once on the shoulder, the trooper identified the driver as Garriott, informed him that the police had received a call regarding his driving, and asked whether he was okay.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Jul 15, 2019  .. D.D.C.:  Reinhard v. Homeland  ..  The United States Coast Guard fired Plaintiff Joshua Reinhard following a barrage of misconduct allegations. Reinhard wishes to reverse this course. Believing that he was not given a fair shake, he has spent the last three years fighting the Coast Guard’s administrative separation.    In the present litigation, which is but a cog in the wheel of this broader dispute, Plaintiff has turned to a tool often employed by those vexed by government action: the Freedom of Information Act. Reinhard filed two requests with Defendant Department of Homeland Security — the federal agency that houses the Coast Guard — seeking records concerning his termination.    These documents, he hopes, will reveal material beneficial to his appeal.    In response, DHS turned over more than one thousand pages of records. In addition to this trove, however, it withheld some documents under FOIA’s exemption for information shielded by litigation privileges. Plaintiff challenges those withholdings in this suit.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Jul 15, 2019  .. FLRA:  AFGE v. Immigration  ..  Statement of the Case    In this case, the Authority clarifies how Allen factor (5)—i.e., whether the Agency “knew or should have known” that its action would not be sustained—applies in the context of minor disciplinary actions.    This case is before the Authority on the Union’s exceptions to the Arbitrator's supplemental award, which denied the Union’s request for attorney fees under the Back Pay Act (BPA).    The request for attorney fees followed a merits award in which the Arbitrator sustained the Agency’s charge against the grievant but mitigated the penalty from a fourteen-day suspension to a five-day suspension.    The main issue before the Authority is whether payment of attorney fees is warranted in the interest of justice because the Agency knew or should have known that its original penalty determination would not be upheld.  ..  FLRA DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Jul 15, 2019  .. 2d Cir.:  Legrand v. Walmart  ..  After learning of the racist comments, LeGrand and Mims called Walmart’s corporate office to complain, and Mims complained to Matranga. The abusive and discriminatory conduct thereafter escalated and included a comment by Alles to other Walmart employees that Mims is not LeGrand’s true mother.    Plaintiffs called Walmart’s corporate offices to complain about Alles’s comment and reported the comment to Matranga. After these complaints, Alles told other Walmart employees that LeGrand had had a miscarriage.    LeGrand unsuccessfully requested transfer to another Walmart store. When, in August 2014, LeGrand asked to take Fridays and Saturdays off to attend school, Matranga told LeGrand that her hours could not be changed and “that she would have to either quit school or quit her job.”    Alles explained to another employee that Alles “was not doing anything for [LeGrand] because her mother almost made me lose my job.”    Plaintiffs again called Walmart’s corporate office to complain. Alles then disclosed information about LeGrand’s disability to co‐workers, called Plaintiffs “retarded,” and retaliated by falsely accusing LeGrand of misconduct.    Alles also admitted to a co- worker that she was retaliating against LeGrand because of her complaint to Walmart’s corporate office. LeGrand eventually quit “[a]s a result of this abuse and hostile work environment”—and to attend school.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Jul 11, 2019  .. 3rd Cir.:  Davis v. Postmaster  ..  Jimmy Davis was at all relevant times employed by the United States Postal Service as a tractor trailer operator.    Davis sued the Postmaster General under Title VII, alleging that he was given an “emergency placement for questioning the safety of a trailer.”    Davis claimed that this “emergency placement” was retaliation for EEO complaints he had filed earlier.  ..  DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Jul 11, 2019  .. FLRA:  AFGE v. VA (Houston) ..  The grievants in this case are housekeepers at the Agency’s hospital who regularly dispose of bio-hazardous waste and clean areas where patients are treated for contagious diseases.    The question before the Arbitrator was whether their exposure to micro-organisms entitles them to environmental-hazard pay.    In this case, the Authority reaffirms our reliance on the factors identified in Allen v. U.S. Postal Service to determine whether attorney fees are warranted in the “interest of justice” under 5 U.S.C. § 7701(g)(1).    However, we clarify that, in arbitration cases where the grieved action is not disciplinary in nature, the “interest of justice” analysis should focus on whether (a) the agency “knew or should have known,” at the time that it denied the grievance, that it would not prevail at arbitration; or (b) prior to the close of the record at arbitration, compelling evidence that the agency’s position was “clearly without merit” made the agency’s prolonging of proceedings blameworthy.  ..  DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Jul 11, 2019  .. 5th Cir.:  Mandujano v. Pharr  ..  Carlos Mandujano was formerly employed as a deputy fire chief by appellee City of Pharr, Texas (the “City”). In early 2014, the City opened an investigation into Mandujano for sexual harassment, apparently based on letters of complaint submitted by City Fire Marshal Jacob Salinas, Deputy Fire Chief Carlos Arispe, and Assistant Fire Marshal Dagoberto Soto.    The letters reportedly accused Mandujano of sexually harassing a former City employee, Blanca Cortez. Denying that he harassed anyone, Mandujano alleges that Ms. Cortez had told him that he looked like a “pollito” (Spanish for “chick”) and, on two other occasions, had referred to him as a “hot young boss.”    According to Mandujano, he responded to Ms. Cortez’s comments by telling her that he did not like the “pollito” comment and advising her to “be professional.”    In August 2015, the City opened another investigation into Mandujano concerning “the same subject matter as the prior investigation.” Later that month, Mandujano made a complaint to the City Manager “about harassment by two deputy chiefs who were creating a negative and hostile work environment through further statements and commentary by the two individuals in connection with the [February 2014] sexual harassment complaints and continued through the date of [Mandujano’s complaint to the City Manager].”  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Jul 10, 2019  .. Fed. Cir.:  Moore v. DHS  ..  From 1997 through 2016, Ms. Moore held various law enforcement positions at DHS.    In 2007 and 2008, Ms. Moore was serving as an Immigration Enforcement Agent (“IEA”) when DHS initiated two fact-finding inquiries into whether she had failed to follow agency travel procedures on nine separate occasions, and whether she had failed to pay her Government-issued credit card.    Following the two inquiries, DHS determined that Ms. Moore failed to follow agency travel procedures, and failed to pay her Government-issued credit card.    In 2009, DHS commenced a third fact-finding inquiry to determine whether Ms. Moore complied with agency procedures when she provided her firearm to someone who was not employed by the agency.    During the three investigations, DHS documented what they described as a “lack of candor” on two separate occasions.    From June 13, 2008 through August 18, 2014, Ms. Moore was out of the office due to a work-related injury.    In October 2015, DHS notified Ms. Moore of her proposed removal explaining that the “lack of candor” issue was “extremely serious.”    In April 2016, DHS removed Ms. Moore from her position as a Deportation Officer.    DHS notified Ms. Moore that she had the right to contest the Agency Removal Decision.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Jul 10, 2019  .. D.C. Cir.:  Temple v. NLRB  ..  For more than 40 years, the labor relations of the petitioner, Temple University Hospital, were conducted under the jurisdiction of the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board (PLRB).    Since 2006 the Hospital has been in a collective bargaining relationship with Temple Allied Professionals, Pennsylvania Association of Staff Nurses and Allied Professionals (the Union), which represents a unit of its professional and technical employees.    In 2015 the Union petitioned the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to assert jurisdiction over their relationship.    Over the Hospital’s objections, the NLRB asserted jurisdiction and certified the Union as the representative of a larger unit of employees.    The Hospital, however, refused to bargain with the Union in order to contest the NLRB’s jurisdiction and its certification of the bargaining unit.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Jul 9, 2019  .. FLRA:  SSA v AFGE ..  IF THE ESSENTIAL NATURE OF THE GRIEVANCE CONCERNS CLASSIFICATION, THE GRIEVANCE MUST DIE. ..  In this case, we reiterate that the Authority does not have jurisdiction to review a grievance involving classification.    The Union grieved the Agency’s failure to pay the grievant, a term-appointed personal assistant paid at the General Schedule (GS)-5 level, for her alleged performance of higher-graded, GS-8 customer-service-representative duties.    Arbitrator John R. Tucker issued a bench decision that sustained the grievance and, in a subsequent email to the parties, ordered that the grievant “be immediately given a GS-8 rating and be paid retroactively.”    The question before us is whether the award is contrary to law. Because the essential nature of the grievance concerns classification, we find that § 7121(c)(5) of the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute (the Statute) bars the grievance, and we set aside the award in its entirety.  ..  FLRA DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Jul 8, 2019  .. 7th Cir.:  Fields v. BOE  ..  Ms. Fields, a 63-year-old African-American woman, was a teacher with Chicago Public Schools at Edgebrook Elementary School from 2002.    Chad Weiden became the principal of Edgebrook in July 2013, and he required all teachers to submit weekly lesson plans to him. Weiden provided feedback on teachers’ plans during the 2014–15 school year, and he informed Fields that her lesson plans were too scripted and too long.    Weiden also conducted informal observations of teachers, including Fields. He observed often that Fields’s teaching was disconnected from her lesson plans and that students were not engaged with the material.    Weiden suggested ways for her to improve, but Fields incorporated his suggestions sporadically and refused later offers to assist with her lessons.    Based partly on Weiden’s observations, Chicago Public Schools rated Fields’s job performance for the 2013–14 and 2014–15 school years as “developing,” which ranks below a “proficient” rating.       Ms. Fields retired in 2016.    She sued the Chicago Board of Education and the principal of the school where she worked, alleging that they discriminated against her because of her race and age and retaliated against her for filing this lawsuit.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Jul 8, 2019  .. D.C. Cir.:  Brown v. DC  ..  The District funds both nursing-facility-based and community-based care for individuals with physical disabilities. In both settings, individuals are provided with assistance in eating, bathing, toileting and dressing, as well as with their mobility, medication management, meal preparation, money management and telephone use.    The District does not operate nursing facilities itself; it funds care in nursing facilities certified for Medicaid reimbursement through its Medicaid State Plan. There are nineteen Medicaid-certified nursing facilities in the District, which house a total of approximately 2,770 beds.    Plaintiffs are physically disabled individuals in these facilities who have been receiving nursing- facility-based care for more than ninety days but wish to transition—and are capable of transitioning—to community- based care.    This litigation began in late 2010, when four disabled individuals filed a class action against the District, alleging that the District’s failure to transition them to community-based care.  ..  DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Jul 5, 2019  .. NCA:  Stevens v. Lancaster  ..  Amanda L. Stevens was employed by Lancaster County in two positions: the first at the County Assessor and Register of Deeds Department and the second at the Weed Control Department.    After she was terminated from both positions, she filed an employment discrimination action in the district court for Lancaster County.    She alleged the County discriminated against her based on her gender in her position at the Register of Deeds and retaliated against her in both positions for her opposition to that discrimination.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Jul 5, 2019  .. 9th Cir.:  Mack v. Pinetop  ..  This case arises from the district court’s grant of summary judgment to the Defendants for Plaintiff-Appellant Johnny Mack’s civil lawsuit alleging harassment and retaliation in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act [...] and for intentional infliction of emotional distress (“IIED”).    Mack is African-American; his wife is Native-American.    The record indicates that Patterson used the “n-word” in the workplace (both around Mack and outside his immediate presence) several times. Davis also admits in his deposition that he used the “n-word” at work between one and five times (including in front of Mack), and that he told racial jokes. Others also heard Davis referring to African Americans as having “monkey blood.”    Mack reported Patterson’s conduct to Patterson’s boss, Pinetop Town Manager Evie Racette.    Shortly after Mack reported the slurs to Racette, Davis decided to pull a “prank” on Mack. No one disputes that Davis knew that Mack is extremely afraid of snakes. Davis captured a snake and told Patterson he would use it to scare Mack.    Other co-workers tried to intervene and convince Davis not to do it.    Davis hid the snake in the passenger seat of Mack’s street sweeper vehicle, next to some window cleaner. Davis asked Mack if he could use the window cleaner, so Mack reached in his hand—and grabbed the snake.    While Mack was having a heart attack, he could hear Davis and Patterson laughing from Patterson’s nearby office.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Jul 5, 2019  .. D.D.C.:  Washtech v. Homeland  ..  The plaintiff, the Washington Alliance of Technology Workers (“Washtech”), a collective-bargaining organization representing science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (“STEM”) workers, brings this action against the defendants, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”), the Secretary of Homeland Security, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”), the Director of ICE, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, and the Director of Citizenship and Immigration Services (collectively, the “Government”), challenging    (1) the DHS’s 1992 regulation creating a twelve-month optional practical training (“OPT”) program (the “OPT Program”) for nonimmigrant foreign nationals admitted into the U.S. with an F-1 student visa   and    (2) the DHS’s 2016 regulation permitting eligible F-1 student visa holders with STEM degrees to apply for an extension of their participation in the OPT Program for up to an additional twenty-four months.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Jul 3, 2019  .. D.D.C.:  Tillman v. Barr (Justice)  ..  Plaintiff Ms. Tillman was a Budget Analyst at the Dept of Justice for more than five years before her termination.    Plaintiff, an African-American woman, claims that during her tenure she was subject to discrimination on account of race.    Based on her firing, suspensions, denial of pay increase, leave restrictions, and other allegedly adverse actions, Plaintiff asserts that she was subject to  (1)  a hostile work environment,  (2)  disparate treatment on the basis of race, and  (3)  retaliation following complaints to her EEO Office.  ..  DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Jul 2, 2019  .. 7th Cir.:  John Doe v. Purdue   DID PURDUE UNIVERSITY GET CAUGHT RUNNING A MAN-HATING KANGAROO-SEXUAL-ASSAULT-COURT ?   John Doe and Jane Doe were both students in Purdue’s Navy ROTC program. They began dating in the fall of 2015, and between October and December, they had consensual sexual intercourse fifteen to twenty times.     Jane’s behavior became increasingly erratic over the course of that semester, and she told John that she felt hopeless, hated her life, and was contemplating running away.     In December, Jane attempted suicide in front of John, and after that incident, they stopped having sex.     They continued dating, however, until January, when John tried to get Jane help by reporting her suicide attempt to two resident assistants and an advisor.     Jane was upset at John for reporting her, and she distanced herself from him.     In April 2016, which was Sexual Assault Awareness Month. During that month, Purdue University hosted over a dozen events to promote the reporting of sexual assaults.     During the first ten days of April, five students reported sexual assault to the university. Jane Doe was one of them.     Jane Doe alleged that in November 2015, she was sleeping with John Doe in his room when she woke to him groping her over her clothes without her consent.     Jane told the university that John had engaged in other misconduct as well:   she asserted that he had gone through her underwear drawer without her permission, chased her through a hallway while joking about tasering her, gone to her room unannounced after they broke up, and lost his temper in front of her.     John learned about Jane’s accusations in a letter from Katherine Sermersheim, Purdue’s Dean of Students and a Title IX coordinator [she is the alleged purdue-kangaroo-court conductor].   Katherine Sermersheim informed John that the university had elected to pursue Jane’s allegations even though Jane had not filed a formal complaint.          *** Jane Doe neither appeared before the panel nor submitted a written statement. ***      After finding John Doe guilty of sexual violence against Jane Doe, Purdue University suspended him for an academic year and imposed conditions on his readmission. As a result of that decision, John was expelled from the Navy ROTC program, which terminated both his ROTC scholarship and plan to pursue a career in the Navy.     John sued the university and several of its officials, asserting two basic claims. First, he argued that they had violated the Fourteenth Amendment by using constitutionally flawed procedures to determine his guilt or innocence. Second, he argued that Purdue had violated Title IX by imposing a punishment infected by sex bias.     A magistrate judge dismissed John’s suit on the ground that he had failed to state a claim under either theory.     COURT DECISION:   We disagree.     John has adequately alleged violations of both the Fourteenth Amendment and Title IX.    (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Jul 1, 2019  .. 10th Cir.:  EEOC v. Centura  ..  The EEOC is authorized to obtain evidence by issuing a subpoena and seeking a court order enforcing it.     The EEOC sought information from Centura, a multi-facility healthcare organization operating primarily in Colorado. Between February 2011 and October 2014, eleven current or former Centura employees, working across eight Colorado locations, filed charges of discrimination with the EEOC.     They alleged that Centura violated the Americans with Disabilities Act by terminating their employment or refusing to allow them to return to work after medical leave. These employment decisions were allegedly made because of their disabilities or requests for accommodations.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Jul 1, 2019  .. 9th Cir.:  Samson v. Wells Fargo  ..  Patricia Samson announced to her supervisors at Wells Fargo that she would take a medical leave of absence from her position as a portfolio manager to recover from a severe episode of chronic endometriosis.     The next day, Gwin, her supervisor, sent a meeting invitation entitled “Samson Displacement Conversation” to his boss, Stender Sweeney. In the message, Gwin explained that he wanted to “run an idea by [Sweeney] regarding Patricia Samson.” When she returned from her medical leave, Samson was fired.     Samson made out a prima facie case of disability discrimination. Wells Fargo then offered a legitimate, nondiscriminatory reason for her firing: it says Samson was fired because her position was eliminated in favor of a higher-paying, ostensibly more productive position.     Thus, the question we must decide is whether Samson provided sufficient evidence from which a reasonable jury could find that Wells Fargo’s explanation for her firing was untruthful or pretextual.  ..  DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Jul 1, 2019  .. 9th Cir.:  Rodriguez v. Nike  ..  Defendant Nike Retail Services, Inc. (“Nike”) requires its retail employees to undergo “off the clock” exit inspections every time they leave the store.     Seeking compensation for the time spent on these exit inspections, plaintiff Isaac Rodriguez brought a class action on behalf of himself and similarly situated Nike employees.     The District Court granted summary judgment for Nike, holding the Rodriguez’s claims were barred by the federal de minimis doctrine, which precludes recovery for otherwise compensable amounts of time that are small, irregular, or administratively difficult to record.     The California Supreme Court subsequently held that the federal de minimis doctrine does not apply to wage and hour claims brought under California law.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)



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