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♦       July 3, 2020  .. D.D.C.:  Jackson v. Omniplex  ..  On July 7, 2014, Omniplex hired Alice Jackson, a 60-year-old female, to work as an Armed Special Police Officer at the Federal Communications Commission. Jackson alleges that in mid-March 2015 her male co-workers discriminated against and harassed her in various ways. For instance, on or around March 18, 2015, three younger, male colleagues surrounded Jackson at her post, pushed her, accused her of lying, and threatened to strike her. They also ridiculed the role of women in the workplace by saying things like “women don’t know their place” and that “women shouldn’t be allowed to work.” Afterwards, Jackson reported the incident, and her supervisors sent her home for the day. When Jackson returned for her next shift on or around March 20, her project manager informed her that Omniplex had indefinitely suspended her. Although Jackson repeatedly sought to return to work, Omniplex never responded to her requests or sent her a termination notice. After Jackson applied for unemployment benefits, she learned that Omniplex had permanently terminated her. Jackson filed a “charge of discrimination” with the District of Columbia Office of Human Rights on February 25, 2016.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       July 2, 2020  .. 7th Cir.:  Tyburski v. Chicago  ..  In 2014, Romuald (“Roman”) Tyburski, then age seventy-four, applied for a promotion with his employer, the City of Chicago’s Department of Water Man- agement, but the City rejected his application. Tyburski sued, claiming that the City denied him the promotion because of his age in violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (“ADEA”). He also brought a hostile work environment claim under the ADEA regarding harass- ment he allegedly experienced at two Department of Water Management facilities: Central Park Pumping Station (“Central Park”) and Jardine Water Purification Plant (“Jardine”).  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       July 1, 2020  .. 7th Cir.:  Reese v. Krones  ..  Reese worked for Krones, a manufacturer, on its maintenance support staff, a job that required him to carry heavy objects, use heavy machinery, and spend most of his day standing and walking. After seven years with the company, Reese dual-filed a discrimination charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development Equal Rights Division, contending that Krones was discriminating against him on the basis of his age and disability. Reese, who in late 2015 had torn two tendons in his right ankle, alleged that his supervisors had disciplined him on several occasions because he worked too slowly as a result of his depression and ankle injury. In June 2017, while the Equal Rights Division was investigating the charge, Reese sent the investigator a follow-up letter detailing additional instances of alleged discrimination, including his supervisor’s refusal to provide him a motorized cart. The investigator ultimately concluded that there was no probable cause to believe that that Krones had discriminated against Reese.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       July 1, 2020  .. SCI:  Cohen v. Clark  ..  This case involves a tenant with pet allergies who moved into an apartment building due to its no-pets policy, a neighboring tenant who sought a waiver of the no-pets policy for his emotional support dog, and a landlord in a pickle trying to accommodate both of them. In an attempt to please both parties, the landlord allowed the emotional support dog on the premises while requiring the two tenants to use different stairways and providing an air purifier for the tenant with pet allergies. These measures failed to prevent the tenant from suffering allergic attacks. She sued the landlord and her neighboring tenant in small claims court for breach of the lease’s no-pets provision and interference with the quiet enjoyment of her apartment. As a defense, the landlord asserted that its waiver of the no-pets policy was a reasonable accommodation that it had no choice but to grant under the Iowa Civil Rights Act (ICRA).  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       June 30, 2020  .. FLRA:  Navy v. AFGE  ..  In this case, we remind the federal labor-relations community that arbitrators may not disregard the plain wording of parties’ collective-bargaining agreements.    AFGE filed a grievance alleging that the Agency’s overtime-distribution practices violated the parties’ master collective-bargaining agreement. Arbitrator Joseph M. Sharnoff issued an award finding that AFGE improperly filed a step-three institutional grievance instead of a step-one group grievance.    The main question before us is whether the award – addressing AFGE’s failure to properly file the grievance by granting the Union the right to refile at any time – fails to draw its essence from the parties’ agreement.  ..  FLRA DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       June 30, 2020  .. 11th Cir.:  Rainey v. UPS  ..  Rainey worked for UPS from 1977.    On Friday, September 27, 2013, Rainey delivered three packages to Dialysis Clinic, Inc. of Southpoint (DCI) as part of his job as a package car driver for UPS.    He delivered the first package during the afternoon, when DCI was still open. Rainey knew that he had a total of three boxes for DCI on his package car, but he could not find the other two boxes at the time of his first delivery there.    That evening, Rainey located the two remaining boxes for DCI on his package car and returned to the business to deliver them.    The following Monday, DCI complained to UPS about Rainey’s Friday evening delivery.  Rainey was terminated in 2013.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       June 30, 2020  .. CSC; Ward v. United  ..  From the air, the borders that divide state from state disappear. But in our federalist system, those borders still matter—even for those who make their living flying the friendly skies. In these consolidated cases and Oman v. Delta Air Lines, Inc. (June 29, 2020, S248726) ___ Cal.5th ___, we confront questions about how the laws of a single state might apply to employees who perform duties across the country, on behalf of an employer in the business of connecting the world. Plaintiffs are pilots and flight attendants for a global airline based outside California. Plaintiffs reside in California but perform most of their work in airspace outside California’s jurisdiction. They are not paid according to California wage law, but instead according to the terms of a collective bargaining agreement entered under federal law. The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has asked us to decide whether, given these circumstances, the airline is required to provide plaintiffs with wage statements that meet the various requirements of California law.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       June 30, 2020  .. NJSCA:  Cook v. Prime  ..  Plaintiffs, paramedics Douglas Cook and Glenn M. Deitz, filed an amended complaint in which they alleged the same two causes of action but added more detail. On Prime's motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim, the court granted the motion as to plaintiffs' CEPA theory based on the operational shift change but denied the motion as to plaintiffs' CEPA theory based on Prime refusing them per diem work. The court also granted the motion as to the complaint's second count alleging plaintiffs were constructively discharged contrary to a strong public policy mandate.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Gross Mismanagement in the VA Office of General Counsel.   The VA Office of Inspector General (OIG) substantiated that   [ VA OFFICE OF GENERAL COUNSEL TOLERATED ATTORNEY MISCONDUCT FOR 8 YEARS ] :    The review team discovered that VA’s OGC received complaints about the attorney using VA time and resources to engage in his outside law practice as early as 2012.    The OIG found that OGC's failure to appropriately supervise or meaningfully investigate the attorney's misconduct allowed it to continue. It was not until the OIG alerted OGC to this review’s preliminary findings that the OGC investigated the attorney, which ultimately led to his removal from federal employment in March 2020.  REPORT:  (.pdf)

♦       June 29, 2020  .. Fed. Cir.:  Avalos v. Hud  ..  This is a case about the removal of a federal employee who was illegally appointed to his position in the civil service. Mr. Edward M. Avalos appealed his removal from employment as the Field Office Director in Albuquerque, New Mexico, for the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development to the Merit Systems Protection Board.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       June 29, 2020  .. D.D.C.:  EEOC v. GWU  ..  The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) filed this action on behalf of Sara Williams against The George Washington University (“Defendant” or “GW”).      EEOC alleges that Ms. Williams, who was employed as Executive Assistant to GW’s Director of Athletics, Patrick Nero, was treated less favorably—by being paid less for equal work and being denied employment opportunities and advancement—than a male comparator, Michael Aresco, who was hired as Special Assistant to Mr. Nero.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       June 29, 2020  .. CCA:  Fresno v. FDSA  ..  Appellants Greg Isaac and Kirby Alstrom are employed by the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office (the department) as deputy sheriffs. They filed a grievance challenging their involuntary reassignment from their specialty assignments to patrol assignments.    A specialty assignment is an assignment to a detective unit, a non-patrol function. Specialty assignments include positions in units such as the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force, the Multi-Agency Gang Enforcement Consortium (MAGEC), the ag task force, and vice intelligence.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       June 29, 2020  .. 6th Cir.:  Banerjee v. UTK  ..  As a tenure-track assistant professor at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (“UTK”), Dr. Damayanti Banerjee knew she had to publish or perish. She failed to publish, so she perished. Unhappy with being denied tenure, she then brought a lawsuit,     Damayanti Banerjee is a female sociologist who was born in India. On August 1, 2008 she began work as an assistant professor at the University of Tennessee’s sociology department in a tenure-track position. After multiple warnings over several years that her published work was not adequate, the university elected in 2014 not to retain her, and on July 31, 2015, her employment ended. Dr. Banerjee now makes a number of claims regarding her employment. We set out the facts as pertinent below.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       June 26, 2020  .. FLRA:  IUPEDJ v. PBGC  ..  Arbitrator Charles Feigenbaum found that the Union’s grievance was not arbitrable because the Union failed to actively pursue the grievance as required by the parties’ collective-bargaining agreement.     The Union argues that the award should be vacated on contrary-to-law, essence, and exceeds-authority grounds.  ..  FLRA DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       June 25, 2020  .. FLRA:  AFGE v. VA  ..  Arbitrator Steve Bourne issued an award denying the Union’s grievance alleging that the Agency discriminated against the grievant and suspended him without just and sufficient cause. The Union filed an exception on the ground that the award is contrary to law because it did not find that the Agency discriminated against the grievant. Because the award is consistent with law governing reasonable-accommodation requests, we deny the Union’s exception.  ..  FLRA DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       June 25, 2020  .. FLRA:  VA v. AFGE  ..  This matter is before the Authority on exceptions to an award of Arbitrator Phillip E. Ray filed by the Agency under § 7122(a) of the Federal Service Labor‑Management Relations Statute (the Statute)[1] and part 2425 of the Authority’s Regulations.[2] The Union filed an opposition to the Agency’s exceptions.     Consequently, the Authority issued a show-cause order (SCO) directing the Agency to show cause why its exceptions should not be dismissed because the Authority is without jurisdiction to review exceptions relating to an award pertaining to the removal of the grievant from the Agency.  ..  FLRA DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       June 25, 2020  .. D.D.C.:  Young v. Perdue  ..  Plaintiff, an African-American male, started working as the Chief Information Officer (“CIO”) for USDA’s FAS in January 2015.     This case involves Plaintiff’s claims of discrimination, brought pursuant to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, against his employer, the United States Department of Agriculture’s (“USDA”) Foreign Agriculture Service (“FAS”).  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       June 24, 2020  .. NJSC:  Krebs v. UCC  ..  In August 2004, defendant Union County College (UCC) hired Plaintiff Howard Krebs as a student service specialist, to advise students seeking career advice, and develop programs to address student retention goals. In December 2014, plaintiff was diagnosed with Type-I Diabetes, which rendered him insulin dependent.     Plaintiff took short-term disability leave in August 2015. In October 2015, when he exhausted all his sick leave and was cleared to work full-time without restrictions, he returned to work.     After his return to work, plaintiff's attendance became inconsistent.     In December 2015, Heather Keith, Director of the Advising, Career, and Transfer Department, sent plaintiff a First Written Warning for "excessive absences." The warning noted: "Since our [verbal warning] on 11/9/15, you have . . . been absent from work on 11/17 [and] 12/3 sick, and 12/2 half day emergency vacation.     Furthermore, as reported by the floor manager, you disappear from the floor for extended periods of time throughout the day." Keith advised plaintiff that failure to improve would result in further disciplinary action up to and including discharge.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       June 24, 2020  .. OCA:  Nance v. Lima Auto Mall  ..  Facts and Procedural History    Angelina’s father, Henry Nance (“Henry”), worked as the manager of the Detail Department at Lima Auto Mall, Inc. (“Lima Auto Mall”).    In 2015, a male detailer who worked for Henry at Lima Auto Mall was terminated for insubordination.    Henry spoke to Rodger McClain (“McClain”), who was the vice president and general manager at Lima Auto Mall, about hiring Angelina to fill this vacant detailing position.    Henry stated that Angelina had previous experience at detailing vehicles and was a “really good worker.    Henry then offered Angelina a job as a detailer at the Lima Auto Mall.    Angelina accepted this offer and was hired without having been interviewed.    She began working a full-time job as a detailer at Lima Auto Mall on May 8, 2015.    While Lima Auto Mall has employed a number of women, Angelina was the only woman to have applied for a job in their detail department and was the first woman to work in the detail department.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       June 23, 2020  .. FLRA:  Prisons v. AFGE  ..  In this case, we remind arbitrators not to look beyond the plain wording of parties’ collective-bargaining agreements when making procedural-arbitrability determinations.    The main question before us is whether the award fails to draw its essence from the local supplemental agreement.  ..  FLRA DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       June 23, 2020  .. 9th Cir.:  Wooten v. BNSF  ..  Zachary Wooten worked as a conductor for BNSF Railway Company until September 2015, when he was terminated after reporting a work-related injury. In this action, Wooten claims that the firing violated the Federal Railroad Safety Act(“FRSA”), Federal Employers’ Liability Act (“FELA”), and Locomotive Inspection Act (“LIA”).  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       June 23, 2020  .. NJSC:  Brickell v. Cablevision  ..  Plaintiff Curt Brickell worked at Cablevision a/k/a CSC TKR, LLC (Cablevision) from December 1996 until he was terminated for cause on February 26, 2014. On January 23, 2015,1 nearly a year after his termination, plaintiff filed a six-count civil action against his former employer predicated on violations of the Law Against Discrimination    Plaintiff also named as defendants Mark Lime and Robert Knapp, two of his former supervisors. In Counts I through III of the complaint plaintiff alleged he was subject to a hostile work environment, discrimination, and retaliation    According to plaintiff, his supervisors and coworkers incessantly harassed and taunted him based on his alleged cognitive deficits and/or developmental disabilities.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       June 23, 2020  .. 11th Cir.:  Bligh v. Collier  ..  This appeal arises from Mr. Bligh’s age discrimination suit against his former employer, the District School Board of Collier County, Florida.    After the Board failed to renew his annual contract, Bligh sued under the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act and the Florida Civil Rights Act.    The Board says that they terminated Bligh because of poor performance, not his age.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       June 19, 2020  .. FLRA:  AFGE v. VA  ..  The Union filed a grievance alleging that the Agency violated the parties’ collective-bargaining agreement and 5 C.F.R. § 531.223 when it set the grievant’s pay in her new position.    Arbitrator Robert G. Williams found that the Agency had set the grievant’s pay at the maximum payable rate under the parties’ agreement and applicable regulations.     The Union filed exceptions to the award on essence and contrary-to-law grounds.  ..  FLRA DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       June 17, 2020  .. Fed. Cir.:  Doyle v. DHS  ..  Ms. Doyle, seeks review of a MSPB final decision sustaining her removal from [Homeland Security].    Prior to her removal, Ms. Doyle was employed as an Education Specialist with the U.S. Coast Guard.    The CDC provided Ms. Doyle with a performance plan, outlining the Core Competencies that would be used to evaluate her performance.    The Core Competencies included: (1) customer service; (2) communication; and (3) timeliness and quantity of work.    Ms. Doyle was notified that she received a “Fails to Meet” rating in all three Core Competencies.    As a result of her unacceptable performance, Ms. Doyle was placed on a Performance Improvement Plan.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       June 17, 2020  .. FLRA:  NTEU v. Homeland  ..  Statement of the Case :    This case is before the Authority on remand from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (the Court).    In NTEU v. FLRA, the Court reversed the Authority’s finding that Proposal 1 was nonnegotiable because it is contrary to 41 C.F.R. § 300-3.1 of the Federal Travel Regulation (FTR).    Accordingly, the Court remanded the case to the Authority for proceedings consistent with its opinion. Based on the foregoing, we find that Proposal 1 is within the duty to bargain because it is not contrary to law and the Agency does not have sole and exclusive discretion to define a “duty station” for purposes of calculating employees’ travel compensation. Additionally, Proposal 1 is not contrary to management’s right to determine its organization because it does not affect the Agency’s right to allocate employees to certain duty stations or agency subdivisions.  ..  FLRA DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       June 17, 2020  .. FLRA:  OPM v. AFGE  ..  The United States Office of Personnel Management (OPM) filed a request for assistance with the Federal Service Impasses Panel (Panel) to consider a negotiation impasse under the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute (Statute), 5 U.S.C. § 7119, between it and the American Federation of Government Employees, Local 32 (Union or AFGE) concerning negotiations over six articles in the parties’ collective bargaining agreement (CBA).      The parties are governed by a CBA that became effective in August 1999. Since that time, the agreement has rolled over every three years and is currently in effect until the parties reach a successor agreement.  ..  FLRA DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       June 16, 2020  .. Supreme Court:  Bostock v. Clayton  ..  The only question before us is whether an employer who fires someone simply for being homosexual or transgender has discharged or otherwise discriminated against that individual “because of such individual’s sex.”    SUPREME COURT:    An employer who fires an individual merely for being gay or transgender defies the law.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       June 16, 2020  .. Fed. Cir.:  Oliva v. DVA  ..  Mr. Oliva worked as an Associate Director of Pharmacy Customer Care at the Department of Veterans Affairs (“VA”) Health Resource Center in Waco, Texas. In a series of emails beginning on December 30, 2014, Mr. Oliva accused his supervisor of preselecting an applicant for a position at the agency, which his supervisor contested as an allegation that he had acted improperly. On January 9, 2015, the agency issued Mr. Oliva a letter of reprimand for “Inappropriate Conduct.”     On March 13, 2017, Mr. Oliva filed an individual right of action alleging that the agency’s issuance of the retaliatory letter of reprimand was a prohibited personnel action under the Whistleblower Protection Act.    Mr. Oliva sought damages for:   (1)   lost relocation incentive pay for a job he alleges he would have received in El Paso absent the letter of reprimand,   (2)   non-pecuniary damages for emotional harm.     The Board found that the agency had taken a prohibited personnel action against Mr. Oliva because it perceived him to be a whistleblower, its perception was a contributing factor to the issu- ance of the letter of reprimand, and the agency had not shown by clear and convincing evidence that it would have issued the letter of reprimand absent its perception of Mr. Oliva as a whistleblower. The Board awarded Mr. Oliva $3,500 in emotional harm damages.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)          Second Case : Oliva v. United Staes :  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       June 16, 2020  .. 5th Cir.:  Williams v. Waste  ..  Waste Management, Inc. (WM), employed Mr. Williams, Sr. (a black male, then age 50), initially in Oklahoma before his transfer to Texas. In Texas, Williams worked on the “roll-off” line’s (construction-site or industrial- site pickup) morning shift, beginning at 4:30; the evening shift began at 6:00. WM also had a residential line, paying less than roll-off but with the shift’s beginning at 6:00 a.m.     Williams stated in his deposition that he suffers from post-traumatic- stress disorder (PTSD) and takes sleep medication as a treatment (difficulty sleeping). In mid-June 2013, Williams informed his then-supervisor, route- manager Short, that he felt his health had improved while WM had assigned him temporarily to a later start time. Williams explained to Short that the 4:30 a.m. start time he ordinarily worked required him to take his medication earlier in the evening, sometimes leaving him insufficient time to complete errands and family obligations. Williams had not previously discussed his medication with Short, who referred him to WM’s contract medical provider. Short also noted to Williams that he could switch to a residential shift beginning at 6:00 a.m.     Based on Williams’ taking sleep medication, WM’s contract medical provider temporarily disqualified him from work, pending his physician’s confirming he could safely operate a commercial vehicle. On 28 June, his physician did so and stated Williams could return without restrictions, provided he used his medication properly.     Williams, however, did not return to work. Around July, he instead telephoned defendant Mark Johnson—Short’s replacement as his direct supervisor/route-manager.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       June 16, 2020  .. 5th Cir.:  Jones v. Mississippi  ..  Jones is an African-American man who worked as a Lobbying Compliance Officer for the Mississippi Secretary of State. After working there for nearly ten years, he applied to become the Director of Compliance. He interviewed but was told he was not the “right fit.” The person hired was white and had significantly less career experience and education.     Jones filed a complaint with the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”). The EEOC found there was reasonable cause to believe that the Secretary of State’s office violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. Within a couple months of the EEOC’s determination, someone reported that Jones violated the Secretary of State’s office policy by being in the building after hours. An investigation ensued, and Jones was fired. He subsequently brought this suit.     In Jones’s complaint, he alleged that defendants Doug Davis, Kim Turner, and Carla Thornhill—all employees in the Secretary of State’s office— “conspired, colluded, and collaborated to deny” him the promotion. Additionally, Jones said that the investigation into his violation of office policy was “pre-textual” and that his eventual termination was retaliation for his EEOC complaint.     We vacate and remand.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       June 15, 2020  .. D.C. Cir.:  IUP v. FLRA  ..  The Independent Union of Pension Employees for Democracy and Justice (“Union”) petitions for review of a Federal Labor Relations Authority (“Authority”) order finding that it committed unfair labor practices by attempting to dismantle the pool of arbitrators selected by a predecessor union and thereby impeding access to the grievance process.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       June 12, 2020  .. Fed. Cir.:  Young v. MSPB (IRS)  ..  Ms. Young, a former Internal Revenue Service employee, asserts that she was removed from her position with the agency for engaging in protected whistleblowing activity.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       June 12, 2020  .. 6th Cir.:  Gibson v. MGMGrand  ..  Ms. Gibson alleges that she suffered gender discrimination under Title VII and ELCRA over the course of two years when MGM denied her three different promotions. First, in 2015, Gibson applied for an engineering job (Engineer I-FACE) on the Fix and Clean Everything (FACE) team in the hotel. Next, in 2016, Gibson applied for an engineering position (Engineer II-FACE) in the hotel. Soon after, Gibson applied for another engineering position (Engineer III- Journeyman) in the plumbing department. Gibson did not receive any of the three positions, and each went to a man. Jimmie Valentine and Ernest Lewis made all three hiring decisions. MGM and Gibson’s union partially negotiated the job requirements for each of the positions for which Gibson applied; we begin there.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       June 12, 2020  .. 6th Cir.:  Wingo v. MichBell  ..  Mr. Wingo, an African American male, was a long-time employee of Michigan Bell. He worked as a customer-service specialist, responsible for installing, repairing, and maintaining Michigan Bell’s network infrastructure. Despite his long tenure, Wingo’s record at Michigan Bell was not unblemished. To the contrary, he had a history of disciplinary incidents throughout his employment. This string of disciplinary issues continued following Wingo’s 2013 transfer to Michigan Bell’s garage in Pontiac, where the violations quickly piled up. Wingo alleges that his violations in Pontiac were attributable not to improper conduct, but rather race discrimination.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       June 11, 2020  .. D.D.C.:  Wright v. Ross (Commerce)  ..  Mr. Wright is a veteran employee of the Office of Sustainable Fisheries within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (“NOAA”). In 2018 and 2019, he filed three separate administrative complaints with the agency’s Office of Civil Rights alleging various instances of discrimination and retaliation based on his sex, age, and disability during the course of his employment.     The agency issued final decisions finding no discrimination or retaliation with respect to the first two complaints and has not yet issued an investigative report or final decision on Wright’s third complaint.     Wright sued the agency in this Court under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”), the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1964 (“ADEA”), and the Rehabilitation Act, based on the discrimination and retaliation claims raised in all three administrative complaints.     The Government has filed [a request] for summary judgment.     Agreeing that the claims raised in Wright’s first and third administrative complaints are barred, the Court will grant summary judgment to the Government on those claims.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       June 11, 2020  .. FLRA:  Prisons v. AFGE  ..  In this case, we again emphasize that when determining the procedural arbitrability of a grievance, arbitrators may not disregard unambiguous deadlines that parties establish in a collective-bargaining agreement.     The Union filed a grievance alleging that the Agency violated the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute (the Statute) and the parties’ collective-bargaining agreement by bypassing the Union when it assigned two bargaining-unit employees to revise “post orders” – instructions for staff to follow at a given post of duty. Arbitrator Joseph M. Schneider issued an award finding the grievance arbitrable and sustaining it on the merits.     The main issue before us is whether the Arbitrator’s procedural-arbitrability determination fails to draw its essence from the parties’ agreement.  ..  FLRA DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       June 10, 2020  .. Fed. Cir.:  Cerulli v. Defense  ..  Plaintiff, a Fire Protection Inspector at the Defense Logistics Agency, appeals a Merit Systems Protection Board decision denying plaintiff’s request for corrective action under the Whistleblower Protetion Act (WPA).  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       June 10, 2020  .. FLRA:  HUD v. AFGE  ..  The Agency requests that we reconsider our decision in U.S. Department of HUD and stay implementation of that decision.     In a motion for reconsideration (motion), the Agency argues that (1) the Arbitrator’s award and (2) the Authority’s decision are contrary to public policy.     The Agency also requests that the Authority stay HUD while the Authority considers its motion.  ..  FLRA DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       June 10, 2020  .. 5th Cir.:  Jordan v. Houston  ..  Ms. West, an African American woman, is employed as an engineer/operator paramedic with the Houston Fire Department.     Ms. West took issue with her fellow firefighters’ behavior. Her colleagues would tell jokes to one another that she found inappropriate, including jokes about “men’s testicles.” They passed gas, burped, and occasionally grabbed their private parts at the dinner table. They brought adult magazines to the station and left them in common spaces.     In addition to finding fault in her coworkers and subordinates, West alleged that her station superiors denied her overtime opportunities because of her race and sex.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       June 9, 2020  .. 3rd Cir.:  Kissell v. PennDepCor  ..  Appellant Mr. Kissell sued his former employer, the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (Penn DOC), for retaliatory harassment and termination; he won at trial. Kissell was reinstated and assigned to work at a different prison.     When new environs allegedly brought new, albeit familiar mistreatment, Kissell retired, and then—proceeding pro se—sued the Penn DOC again. This time, he lost at the pleading stage. [BASICALLY] Kissell “did not sufficiently allege the second and third elements of retaliation,” and that he “also failed to plead facts sufficient to allege discrimination”).     Many months later Kissell, through counsel, filed another suit against the Penn DOC, alleging the same misconduct.     The District Court dismissed the complaint for failure to state a claim.     Kissell, now proceeding pro se, filed a notice of appeal.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       June 9, 2020  .. WCA:  Salazar v. EraLiving  ..  Between 2008 and 2015, Salazar worked as the admissions coordinator at a senior care facility in North Seattle.     On August 6, 2018, Salazar sued “Era Living. Salazar alleged claims of sexual harassment based on a hostile work environment, unlawful retaliation, and constructive discharge     Era Living did not appear or respond to the complaint.     The trial court entered an order of default and a default judgment in the amount of $542,650.     Angelina Salazar appeals a trial court order vacating a default judgment against Era Living.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       June 8, 2020  .. 10th Cir.:  Bussey v. Esper  ..  Mr. Bussey worked for the DTRA as a logistics management specialist.     On August 15, 2015, Bussey filed a confidential IG complaint about his supervisor, Paul Collins. The complaint alleged Collins engaged in widespread wrongdoing and mismanagement.     On August 31, 2015, Collins issued Bussey the first of three proposed disciplinary actions that culminated with Collins’s November 2015 recommendation that the DTRA terminate Bussey due to his “conduct unbecoming a federal employee, abusive language towards co-workers, failure to comply with leave procedures, lack of candor, and Absence Without Leave.”     [DTRA] fired Bussey in January 2016.     Bussey appealed his termination to the MSPB, claiming that it lacked factual support and stemmed from (1) race, color, and age discrimination, (2) retaliation for filing a prior equal opportunity employment (EEO) complaint and testifying in support of a former employee at a prior MSPB hearing, and (3) and reprisal for protected disclosures.  ..  DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       June 8, 2020  .. MCA:  Jewett v. Mesick CSD  ..  Plaintiff was hired in 1992 by defendant, the Mesick Consolidated School District (the School), as a custodian. According to a psychological evaluation, plaintiff suffers from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), an unspecified anxiety disorder, a “reading disorder,” and a “disorder of written expression.” Plaintiff contends that he also suffers from dyslexia and hypoglycemia.     It is not seriously disputed that plaintiff is unable to read, although plaintiff contends that he has no difficulty understanding, memorizing, and following verbal directions.     By plaintiff’s own admission, he never actually described himself as “disabled;” rather, he only described himself as dyslexic and unable to read.     Throughout the course of plaintiff’s employment, his various supervisors and administrators provided plaintiff with verbal instructions regarding his job. Plaintiff was given colored charts of where he was to clean, and laminated photographs of what and how to clean; those visual aids were attached to plaintiff’s cleaning cart.     Nevertheless, school personnel complained about the quality of plaintiff’s work for many years. Those complaints included leaving floors and bathrooms dirty, failing to follow directions, and attendance problems. Plaintiff’s personnel file reflects an extensive history of disciplinary action, and plaintiff admitted that he was disciplined by numerous supervisors or superintendents.     [Former] superintendent, Michael Corey, personally observed plaintiff’s work to be substandard, believed plaintiff willfully disregarded instructions and knowingly shirked his duties when he thought no one would know, or performed unacceptable work that plaintiff believed was good enough despite knowing it would not be acceptable to a supervisor.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       June 5, 2020  .. FLRA:  IBEW v. Energy  ..  The dispute in this case concerns two Union proposals involving the Agency’s pay practices.     The Union presented the Agency with the two proposals at issue and requested a written allegation of nonnegotiability.     On March 5, 2019, the Agency provided a written allegation stating that it had previously declared the two proposals nonnegotiable in the October 26, 2017 letter.     In response, the Union filed this petition on March 19, 2019.    FLRA DECISION:    Where a petition for review concerns a proposal that is not substantively changed from one that had previously been alleged to be nonnegotiable by the agency, the effect of the petition is to seek review of the previous allegation.     Because the Union submitted proposals containing only minor modifications from those previously declared nonnegotiable, we find that the Union failed to file a timely petition for review (petition).     Thus, we dismiss the petition.  ..  FLRA DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       June 5, 2020  .. 2d Cir.:  Sooroojballie v. Port Authority  ..  Plaintiff Neil Sooroojballie commenced this action against his former employer and supervisor under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, alleging employment discrimination on the basis of his race and national origin.    On September 17, 2018, a jury found in favor of Sooroojballie on his hostile work environment claim, awarding him compensatory damages in the amount of $2,160,000 against the Port Authority and Frattali, and punitive damages in the amount of $150,000 against Frattali.    Defendants challenge the judgment.  ..  Court Decision:    (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       June 4, 2020  .. FLRA:  NAGE v. Defense  ..  The Defense Commissary Agency (Agency) notified the Union and the grievant of its decision to suspend the grievant on May 21, 2018 (the suspension decision).    The Union filed a grievance on the grievant’s behalf on June 28. The grievance alleged that the Agency violated Agency policy and the grievant’s “ability to use the established grievance procedure” in Article 43 of the parties’ agreement (Article 43) when it issued the suspension.    The parties were unable to resolve the grievance and invoked arbitration.    The Arbitrator determined the grievance was untimely and therefore [should be] withdrawn.    The union appeals the Arbitrator's decision.  ..  FLRA DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       June 4, 2020  .. 2d Cir.:  Tulino v. New York  ..  Plaintiff-Appellant Michelle Tulino appeals from a February 27, 2019 decision by the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (Rakoff, J.) granting judgment as a matter of law to the Defendants-Appellees and dismissing Tulino’s constructive discharge claim.     From 2007 to 2015, Tulino worked for the City of New York in a variety of positions principally within the Department of Small Business Services (“SBS”).     Tulino left her job in 2015 after complaining of gender-based harassment by her supervisor, Shaazad Ali, and she brought suit against the Defendants-Appellees asserting a variety of claims, four of which (hostile work environment, retaliation, and constructive discharge and common-law battery proceeded to trial.     The jury then found for Tulino on her hostile work environment and retaliation claims. The district court subsequently denied Tulino’s motion for reconsideration of its constructive discharge ruling and Tulino timely appealed.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       June 4, 2020  .. 9th Cir.:  Lezama v. Clark  ..  Lezama was employed as a maintenance worker by the Clark County Department of Aviation. He injured his back while at work in April 2014, which resulted in his being placed on light duty and then on unpaid leave. Over a year later, he was notified that his employment would be terminated unless he was eligible for an accommodation under the ADA.     As part of the process to determine whether he was eligible for an accommodation, Lezama underwent a medical assessment. The doctor conducting the assessment erroneously stated on the assessment form that Lezama did not have a physiological disorder requiring an accommodation. Lezama’s employment was then terminated on January 13, 2016.     Lezama was later retroactively reinstated, to the date of his termination, when his doctor determined Lezama did have a physiological disorder requiring an accommodation.     A further evaluation determined that Lezama could not perform the duties of a maintenance worker, with or without a reasonable accommodation. The County determined that Lezama could not perform the essential functions of the position with or without reasonable accommodation. Because no position was found that Lezama could perform, his employment was terminated at the end of the thirty-day period.     Lezama then filed suit in federal district court alleging wrongful termination in violation of Nevada state law; racial discrimination, discrimination, failure to accommodate, and retaliation in violation of the ADA.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       June 3, 2020  .. FLRA:  IRS v. NTEU  ..  In this case, we remind the federal labor-management community that a grievance allegedly seeking a temporary promotion is a non-arbitrable classification matter under § 7121(c)(5) of the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute (the Statute) when, as relevant here, the assigned duties providing the basis for the claim were not different from duties the employee performed in his or her permanent position.    Arbitrator Samuel A. Vitaro issued an award finding that the Union’s grievance was arbitrable because it sought a temporary promotion.    The main issue before us is whether the award is contrary to law.       Applying the clarified standards set forth in U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA I), we find that § 7121(c)(5) bars the grievance, and we set aside the award in its entirety.  ..  FLRA DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       June 3, 2020  .. 5th Cir.:  Daniel v. UTSMC  ..  Plaintiff-Appellant Gwendolyn M. Daniel filed an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) action against Appellee-Defendant University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center (UTSMC).     She is seeking recovery for UTSMC’s alleged discrimination and retaliation against her in connection with her employment as a UTSMC nurse.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       June 1, 2020  .. 2d Cir.:  Carter v. Autozone  ..  This case concerns Plaintiff-Appellant Faith Carter’s demotion from the position of store manager to parts sales manager following AutoZone’s investigation into a heated altercation between Carter and a subordinate employee, DaJavon White-Hall (“White- Hall”).     Carter’s complaint alleges that her demotion was the result of gender discrimination and retaliation for her decision to file a complaint against White-Hall following their verbal dispute.         During the investigation and then later at her deposition, Carter admitted to the above conduct, all of which violated AutoZone’s policies and subjected her to discipline up to and including termination.     Carter argues on appeal that a jury could decide that her admittedly disrespectful and unprofessional responses were reasonable responses to his inflammatory statements.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       June 1, 2020  .. FLRA:  VA v. AFGE  ..  In this case, we address an arbitrator’s failure to make the necessary factual findings to support an award of hazard pay for certain nursing professionals.      The Union filed a grievance contending that Registered Nurses (RNs), Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs), and other employees are entitled to environmental or hazard pay differential for dealing with certain hazardous materials.      Arbitrator George Deretich determined that the grievance was not arbitrable as to the RNs, but that it was arbitrable as to the LPNs and other employees, and he awarded hazard pay.      We deny the Union’s exceptions that challenge the Arbitrator’s conclusion that the grievance was not arbitrable as to the RNs under 38 U.S.C. § 7422 because the Union fails to explain how the Arbitrator erred.      The Agency argues that the Arbitrator’s award of a hazard pay differential for the LPNs is contrary to law, contrary to public policy, and based on a nonfact.      Because we find that the Arbitrator failed to make the necessary findings to award a hazard pay differential, we grant the Agency’s contrary-to-law exception and set aside that portion of the award.  ..  FLRA DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       May 29, 2020  .. 6th Cir.:  Carrethers v. McCarthy (Army)  ..  CHRONIC COMPLAINT FILER REMOVED FOR ABUSING THE COMPLAINTS SYSTEM. ..  Carrethers used to work for the Army as an IT specialist. In the last year and a half of her employment, Carrethers repeatedly accused her supervisors and other coworkers of various sorts of harassment. Her allegations were never substantiated, prompting a warning and then a reprimand about these seemingly unfounded complaints.     Carrethers then filed yet another set of allegations against her immediate supervisor. This time, the Army appointed an officer to investigate. After interviewing Carrethers, this officer thought it “extremely clear” that she was “mak[ing] things up.” But the officer didn’t stop there.     He also interviewed fourteen other employees who Carrethers said could verify her claims. As it turned out, they contradicted her claims. A few of them added that Carrethers’s tendency to claim harassment had made them uncomfortable working with her.     Given this evidence, the investigating officer concluded that Carrethers was abusing the complaint system to distract from her poor work performance. His conclusions were reported up the chain of command, and the Adjutant General made the decision to fire Carrethers.     Carrethers then sued the Secretary of the Army under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, alleging that her termination was illegal retaliation for her complaints.         The district court granted summary judgment to the Secretary.        The district court rejected her claim, reasoning that it’s not illegal to firean employee for abusive complaints.         This appeal followed.         We affirm.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       May 28, 2020  .. FLRA:  DOD v. FEA  ..  On April 23, 2019, Arbitrator Laurence M. Evans issued an award finding that the Agency violated the parties’ agreement and the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute (the Statute)[1] when it notified the Union that it planned to implement a change to its performance appraisal system in one year. As a remedy, he ordered the Agency to return to the prior system.    The main question before us is whether the Union’s grievance was untimely because it was premature.  ..  FLRA DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       May 26, 2020  .. D.D.C.:  Kline v. Cobert (OPM)  ..  Plaintiff Kline, filed this lawsuit against defendant Ms. Weichert in her official capacity as Acting Director of U.S. Office of Personnel Management.     Ms. Kline alleges sex discrimination, age discrimination, and retaliation under Title VII of the [Civil Rights Act] and under the [Age Discrimination in Employment Act].  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       May 26, 2020  .. D.D.C.:  Manus v. Hayden  ..  Plaintiff Manus —a retirement-eligible Library of Congress employee—received a performance counseling memorandum, including a long-term improvement plan, from her supervisor.     Ten days later, Manus announced her retirement.     In the instant lawsuit, Manus claims that her supervisor’s persistent critiques of her work performance, which commenced shortly after his hiring, constituted age discrimination in violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act.     Manus further claims that the performance counseling memo was in retaliation because of her previous EEO activity.     And Manus also maintains that her supervisor’s discriminatory and retaliatory conduct forced her to retire from her job earlier than she otherwise would have and, thus, that she was constructively discharged.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       May 26, 2020  .. 8th Cir.:  Davis v. WashU  ..  Three retirement-plan participants sued Washington University (“WashU”) in St. Louis for breach of its fiduciary duties under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, more commonly known as ERISA.     With about 24,000 participants and $3.8 billion in assets, the WashU plan is one of the largest of its kind in the country.     This case is just one in a series of actions filed against some of the nation’s largest universities for alleged mismanagement of their section 403(b) retirement-savings plans.     Latasha Davis and the other plaintiffs in this case have alleged in their complaint that the plan offered to WashU employees is just too expensive and offers too many poorly performing investment options. By mismanaging its plan in these two ways, the plaintiffs say, WashU has breached the fiduciary duties it owed to plan participants under ERISA.  ..  DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       May 22, 2020  .. Justice OIG:   Investigative Summary: Findings of Misconduct by a then Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge for Sexual Harassment, Failure to Report an Intimate Relationship with a Subordinate, and Lack of Candor    (.pdf) file   justice oig

♦       May 22, 2020  .. Fed. Cir.:  Wine  v. MSPB  ..  Mitch Wine petitions for review of MSPB’s dismissal of his appeal.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       May 22, 2020  .. FLRA:  Air Force v. AFGE  ..  Arbitrator found that the grievant’s fourteen-day suspension --- for “Lack of Candor” --- (1) was not for just and sufficient cause, (2) was untimely, and (3) was reprisal for engaging in protected EEO activity.  ..  FLRA DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       May 21, 2020  .. NPR: Supreme Court Temporarily Blocks the United States House of Representatives Request For Mueller Grand Jury Evidence.  ..  The House says secret grand jury evidence are relevant to an "ongoing investigation" and could lead to new impeachment charges.  ..  DECISION:  (npr law)

♦       May 21, 2020  .. D.D.C.:  Tolton v. Jones Day  ..  Plaintiffs Nilab Rahyar Tolton, Andrea Mazingo, Meredith Williams, Saira Draper, Jaclyn Stahl, and Katrina Henderson, all of whom are attorneys, allege that their former employer, Jones Day, unlawfully discriminated against them based on gender, pregnancy, and maternity during their respective tenures at the law firm’s Irvine, California, Atlanta, Georgia, and New York City offices.     Asserting claims under a variety of federal, California, New York, and District of Columbia antidiscrimination laws, Plaintiffs allege that they were paid less; given fewer opportunities to develop their skills, to benefit from mentorship, and to advance; and reviewed more harshly than their male counterparts.     They further allege that these outcomes resulted from Jones Day’s “black-box” compensation policy—a policy that, according to Plaintiffs, is dictated by the law firm’s managing partner, prohibits attorneys from discussing their pay with one another, relies on highly subjective reviews of associates, and discourages attorneys from complaining.     Some Plaintiffs assert that they were pushed out of the firm after taking maternity leaves. Plaintiffs also allege that they were subjected to a hostile work environment at Jones Day because of their sex.     Some Plaintiffs claim that, when they spoke up to challenge the alleged discrimination, Jones Day retaliated against them.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       May 21, 2020  .. FLRA:  FAA v. NATCA  ..  From Friday, August 25 through Thursday, August 31, 2017, due to the effects of Hurricane Harvey, the grievants were held over on duty for as many as eighty-nine and one-half hours.     A month later, the Union filed a grievance alleging that the Agency failed to calculate the grievants’ overtime pay properly during that period.     The Agency denied the grievance, and the Union invoked arbitration.     Arbitrator Christopher E. Miles found that the Agency violated the parties’ collective-bargaining agreement and Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)[1] regulations by not properly calculating overtime hours for 144 air traffic controllers (the grievants) in August 2017.     The questions before us are whether the arbitrator’s award: (1) is contrary to law, rule, or regulation; or (2) fails to draw its essence from the parties’ agreement.     FLRA :   Because the [arbitrator's] award is contrary to FLSA regulations, we set aside the award.  ..  FLRA DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)   (digest)

♦       May 20, 2020  .. FLRA:  Homeland v. NBPC  ..  Arbitrator Jan Stiglitz issued an award finding that the Agency violated the parties’ ground-rules agreement (GRA) when it ceased paying travel and per diem expenses for the Union’s bargaining team during negotiations for a new collective-bargaining agreement.     Because the Arbitrator’s interpretation of the GRA is contrary to its plain wording, we find that the award fails to draw its essence from the GRA. Accordingly, we set aside the award.  ..  FLRA DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       May 20, 2020  .. FLRA:  VA v. AFGE  ..  The Union alleged that the Agency violated the parties’ collective‑bargaining agreement when it denied the Union’s request for official time for two employees. The Union grieved the matter and the parties selected the Arbitrator to hear the case. Prior to the hearing, the Agency submitted a Brief on Arbitrability requesting that the Arbitrator dismiss the case as barred under § 7116(d) of the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute (Statute)[2] because the Agency contends that the Union had raised the same matter in a previously-filed unfair‑labor‑practice (ULP) charge.  ..  FLRA DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       May 15, 2020  .. 11th Cir.:  Martin v. FAMS  ..  Belinda Martin’s last day at work was a very bad one.     After a contentious staff meeting where she was targeted by her boss, Martin sought out her company’s human resources director.     The content of that discussion is disputed; Martin says she claimed race- and sex-based discrimination, while the HR director says she did not.     What we know with certainty is that she was fired two days later, and then sued under a number of civil rights laws.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       May 15, 2020  .. 4th Cir.:  Johnson v. ODU  ..  Lorenzo Johnson, Jr., a former Information Technology Specialist at Old Dominion University (“ODU”), filed numerous grievances and document requests while employed at ODU, alleging, among other things, racial discrimination by his supervisor.     Citing Johnson’s frequent use of the grievance process, repetitive document requests, and impaired communication skills, ODU required Johnson to undergo a Fitness for Duty evaluation.     After Johnson repeatedly failed to attend the required evaluation, ODU terminated his employment.     Johnson then brought this suit, alleging, as relevant here, that ODU violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) by requiring him to undergo the Fitness for Duty evaluation and that ODU violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”) by terminating him in retaliation for filing grievances and document requests.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       May 14, 2020  .. ICA:  Tiffany, Cathie, and Chandra v. Home Health  ..  Individual Support Home Health Agency, Inc. (“Home Health”) provides healthcare services to homebound patients. Home Health employed the Appellants, who are licensed nurses, to serve as case managers for the company’s patients.     Tiffany Abbot, Cathie Barnes, and Chandra Gray (collectively “the Appellants”) have filed an interlocutory appeal of the Henry Circuit Court’s order denying the motion to dismiss the complaint filed by their former employer, (“Home Health”).     The Appellants argue that reports they made to the Indiana State Department of Health (“the ISDH”) are protected by absolute privilege and cannot serve as a basis for any civil lawsuit.         Concluding that the Appellants’ reports are protected by absolute privilege, we reverse.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       May 14, 2020  .. D.D.C.:  Cauthen v. DcFire  ..  The District of Columbia [Fire Department] [terminated] Plaintiff Taja Cauthen from its training program, citing repeated violations of its strict attendance policy.    Ms. Cauthen, however, claims that she was sacked for complaining about sexual harassment she experienced in her male-heavy cadet class and that tardiness was a pretext for the retaliation.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       May 14, 2020  .. SCNY:  Green v. NYC  ..  This appeal presents the opportunity to consider whether a plaintiff alleging disparate treatment in the workplace must demonstrate that she or he was subject to a "materially" adverse employment action in order to establish liability under the New York City Human Rights Law (Administrative Code of City of NY § 8-107[7]).     I. Factual and Procedural Background.     The plaintiff began working as a police officer for the New York City Police Department (hereinafter NYCPD) on or about December 7, 1997. On September 27, 2004, she was promoted to the rank of sergeant, transferred, and assigned to work in Police Service Area (hereinafter PSA) 9, under the command of the defendant John Denesopolis, who was then a captain. Two years later, the plaintiff resigned.     In 2009, the plaintiff commenced this action against the City of New York and Denesopolis to recover damages for employment discrimination on the basis of gender and race in violation of the New York State Human Rights Law (Executive Law § 296) and the New York City Human Rights Law (Administrative Code of City of NY § 8-107). The complaint alleged discrimination under theories of a hostile work environment, disparate treatment, and constructive discharge     We hold that under the New York City Human Rights Law, in order to demonstrate liability, a plaintiff need not establish that she or he was subjected to a "materially adverse" change to terms and conditions of employment, but only that she or he was subject to an unfavorable change or treated less well than other employees on the basis of a protected characteristic.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (Combined Opinion from Court)   (.html)

♦       May 13, 2020  .. 7th Cir.:  Miller v. Saul (SSA)  ..  Mr. Miller was demoted by the Social Security Administration because he consistently failed to meet his office’s productivity standard.     After the Merit Systems Protection Board upheld the demotion, Miller sued, challenging that decision and further alleging that the Administration denied reasonable accommodations for his visual and mental impairments and [racial discrimination].  ..  DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       May 13, 2020  .. 8th Cir.:  Main v. Ozark  ..  Sheila Main brought this lawsuit against her former employer, Ozark Health, Inc. (Ozark), alleging age and sex discrimination in violation of the ADEA and the Civil Rights Act.    In October 2005, Ozark hired Sheila Main as the radiology manager for its medical center in Clinton, Arkansas.    In July 2012, Darrell Moore became Ozark’s chief operating officer and Main’s direct supervisor.    Darrell Moore asserted that, during his time as Sheila Main ’s supervisor, he received several complaints about Main’s behavior from radiology staff members and heads of other departments. ....  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       May 12, 2020  .. FLRA:  VA v. AFGE  ..  AFGE filed a grievance regarding the VA’s failure to bargain over the implementation of the Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act of 2017 (Accountability Act).    Arbitrator Hyman Cohen found that the VA did not have a duty to bargain.    But the Authority found the VA does have a duty to bargain.    Accordingly, FLRA Reversed the Arbitrator's decision.  ..  FLRA DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       May 12, 2020  .. 4th Cir.:  Ward v. AutoZoners  ..  AutoZone is an automotive parts retailer and distributor.    On September 16, 2012, AutoZone hired Ward as a part-time commercial driver at its Whiteville, North Carolina store. Months later, around March 2013, it hired Atkinson to work at the same store. Though Ward and Atkinson began with different roles at the store, they worked alongside each other.    Soon after she was hired, Atkinson began sexually harassing Ward. Many times, she not only made sexually offensive remarks toward Ward but also groped him. Once, for instance, Atkinson joked to Ward and Wanda Smith—a commercial sales manager who directly managed Ward and Atkinson and was responsible for the commercial section of the store—that she had performed oral sex on her husband for three hours the previous evening. Another time, Atkinson “dragged her . . . fingers” across Ward’s buttocks, and, a few days later, “grabbed [Ward’s] nipple through [his] shirt and twisted it until [he] had a bruise,”    At other times still, Atkinson grabbed Ward’s crotch; “jiggled and squeezed” his buttocks in Smith’s presence, J.A. 518; poked his nipples with a pencil; and shoved him into a shelf, pressed her head to his chest, and rubbed his nipple.    Despite Ward’s repeated requests, Atkinson did not stop.    AutoZone had a written sexual harassment policy while this happened, of course.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       May 11, 2020  .. D.D.C.:  Adams v. Navy  ..  Adams is an African-American woman who was in her mid-fifties and employed as an Electronics Engineer with the Navy’s Strategic Systems Program at the time of the two incidents detailed in the Final Agency decision.    Her complaint is a single handwritten page that reads, in relevant part:       " On January 16, 2015, I did not receive a Special Act Award for my work on the D5 Life Extension Acceleration to Demonstration and Shakedown Operations (DASO-25) efforts. I was subject to a hostile work environment and ongoing harassment base[d] on my race (African-American), sex (female), age (DOB: 02/26/1960), and reprised/reprisal (prior EEO activity, Docket Number 11- 00030-01695. My business travel was scrutinized, blackballed for promotions to GS-14 and higher."  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       May 8, 2020  .. FLRA:  NLRB-PA v. NLRB  ..  The Union filed a grievance over the Agency’s closure of its health unit.    Arbitrator Timothy Buckalew found the grievance untimely, and thus not procedurally arbitrable under the parties’ collective-bargaining agreement.    The Union challenges the Arbitrator’s procedural-arbitrability determination on contrary-to-law, nonfact, and exceeded-authority grounds.  ..  FLRA DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       May 8, 2020  .. 3rd Cir.:  Darrington v. Hershey  ..  MHS is a free, private, non-denominational school that houses and teaches students from diverse social and economic backgrounds. MHS hired the Darringtons to work as full-time houseparents in one of its student homes. While working at MHS, the Darringtons were members of the Bakery, Confectionary, Tobacco Workers & Grain Millers International Local Union 464 (“Union”).    Bradley and Val Darrington sued the Milton Hershey School (“MHS”), their former employer, in the District Court for employment discrimination and retaliation.    MHS moved to compel arbitration under the collective bargaining agreement (“CBA”) it entered into with the Darringtons’ Union.    The District Court denied the motion.    3RD CIRCUIT DECISION :    Because the CBA clearly and unmistakably waives a judicial forum for the Darringtons’ statutory discrimination claims, we will reverse.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       May 7, 2020  .. FLRA:  Army v. AFGE  ..  The Union filed a grievance challenging the Agency’s decision to bar a Union representative from the Agency’s premises, a U. S. Army post. At arbitration, the parties’ stipulated issues pertained to alleged violations of the grievance procedure of the parties’ collective-bargaining agreement and Department of Defense and Agency regulations.    Arbitrator Daniel R. Saling issued an award finding that the Agency did not violate the relevant Department of Defense and Agency regulations but did violate the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute (the Statute).    As a remedy, the Arbitrator directed the Agency to allow the Union representative onto the post to conduct Union business “as is provided for under the [Statute].”    The main question before us is whether the Arbitrator exceeded his authority in finding that the Agency violated the Statute and awarding a remedy based on that statutory violation.    FLRA DECISION :    Because the stipulated issues do not pertain to the Statute, we find that the Arbitrator resolved an issue that was not submitted to arbitration and, thereby, exceeded his authority.  ..  FLRA DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       May 6, 2020  .. 6th Cir.:  Lyons v. MDOC  ..  Aubrey Lyons is an African American correctional officer employed by MDOC since 1997. After being transferred in 2012 to the Macomb Correctional Facility, Lyons allegedly began to experience various incidents of discrimination by his white supervisors.     Lyons filed his first internal discrimination complaint against MDOC in January 2015 in response to MDOC’s disciplining him for violating its computer use policies. Lyons claimed the white investigating lieutenant, James Webster, “singled [him] out” by monitoring his computer activity but not the activity of white staff. In his deposition, Lyons testified that other officers came to know about his complaint against Webster, as it was “common knowledge.”     In August 2015, Lyons filed another internal discrimination complaint regarding disparate treatment at a gun range.  ..  DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       May 6, 2020  .. Fed. Cir.:  Buffkin v. Defense  ..  Jimmiekaye Buffkin appeals from an arbitrator’s decision dismissing her grievance against her employer, the Department of Defense. The arbitrator concluded that Ms. Buffkin’s arbitration request was untimely under the collective bargaining agreement between Ms. Buffkin’s union and the agency.    We hold that the arbitrator erred in concluding that the request for arbitration was filed too late under the terms of the agreement.    However, we also conclude that the request was filed prematurely.    We accordingly vacate and remand with instructions to address whether the union’s premature request for arbitration ripened into a timely request.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       May 6, 2020  .. 6th Cir.:  Hill v. Court  ..  Aaron Hill, whether on his own accord or due to poor legal advice, decided not to attend a state court damages trial after being admonished by the state court judge that, if he failed to appear, “adverse things [were] likely [to] happen.”    The judge was right.    The court entered a final judgment against Hill in the amount of $3,417,477 and a finding that Hill’s actions “caused a willful and malicious injury.”    Hill now seeks relief from the bankruptcy court’s holding that the debt is nondischargeable in his Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceeding because he is collaterally estopped from contending that the debt was not the result of “willful and malicious injury.”  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       May 1, 2020  .. 10th Cir.:  Sampson v. Kane Is Able  ..  Kane hired Sampson, who is African American, as a lead lift-truck operator at its warehouse in Salt Lake City, Utah. Like lift-truck operators without the “lead” designation, Sampson’s duties included operating a forklift to move materials in the warehouse.     In November 2015, Sampson told his supervisors that his coworkers were mistreating him based on his race. He later repeated this complaint, along with others, to Kane’s human-resource department. Kane investigated his complaints but found them unsubstantiated.     Also in June, Kane investigated two incidents allegedly involving Sampson “rummag[ing] through” both a coworker’s and his supervisor’s desks.     Kane ultimately found the allegations regarding Sampson’s rummaging through the coworker’s and supervisor’s desks to be credible.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       May 1, 2020  .. 11th Cir.:  Knox v. Roper  ..  In September 2015, Brad Knox, an African-American man and quality test technician at Roper Pump Company for fifteen years, got into a fight with his adult daughter, Kayla Knox (“Kayla”), at their shared home. Whether father or daughter initially escalated the domestic altercation to physical violence was disputed, but it was undisputed that Knox struck Kayla during the fight.     Kayla worked in the same facility as Knox, but for one of Roper’s affiliated companies, Hansen Technologies Corporation. She went to work the next day and complained to Roper’s human resources department.     Because violence against a coworker violated Roper’s workplace violence policy, Roper suspended Knox. Shortly after his suspension, Knox called an employee ethics hotline to complain that he believed he was being discriminated against on account of race because white employees who had violated the workplace violence policy had been allowed to continue working.     Roper told Knox he could keep his job if he completed anger management classes while on unpaid leave. But when Roper sent Knox the written agreement, it included a release of all claims against Roper -- including, expressly, Title VII claims. Knox refused to sign the agreement with the release and asked his employer to remove it; Roper refused and fired Knox.     Knox sued Roper and its affiliated companies in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia for one count of retaliation and one count of race discrimination in violation of Title VII.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Apr 30, 2020  .. FLRA:  OWCP v. AFGE  ..  The Agency charged the grievant with failure to follow instructions and suspended him for fourteen days. However, Arbitrator Gerard A. Fowler instead found that the Agency charged the grievant with insubordination. The Arbitrator determined that the Agency had failed to prove that the grievant was insubordinate and sustained the grievance.     In this performance discipline case, we hold that the Arbitrator’s consideration of a charge different from the one sustained by the Agency and stipulated to by the parties was clearly erroneous. We vacate this award.  ..  FLRA DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Apr 30, 2020  .. FLRA:  DLA v. AFGE  ..  In this case, we recognize that an arbitrator has the remedial discretion to determine an appropriate reduction in compensatory damages where an employee’s actions unnecessarily prolong the interactive process for determining a reasonable accommodation.     Arbitrator Steven F. O’Beirne found that the Agency violated the Rehabilitation Act and the parties’ collective‑bargaining agreement by denying a reasonable accommodation to the grievant. As a remedy, the Arbitrator directed the Agency to grant the grievant a reasonable‑accommodation telework schedule, and to pay him $30,000 in compensatory damages for the harm that he suffered due to the Agency’s violation of the Rehabilitation Act.     The Agency asserts that the award of compensatory damages is contrary to law because the Arbitrator allegedly failed to account for the grievant’s partial responsibility for the delays in the interactive process. But because the Arbitrator did adjust the amount of damages to hold the grievant accountable, the Agency’s assertion reflects a misunderstanding of the award, and we reject it.  ..  FLRA DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Apr 29, 2020  .. Mo. Ct. App:  Wayne v. MDES  ..  Appellant Mark Wayne ("Wayne") appeals the decision of the Labor and Industrial Relations Commission, Division of Employment Security ("Commission") denying him unemployment benefits. Wayne raises three points on appeal suggesting that there was insufficient evidence to support a finding that he was discharged for misconduct and therefore ineligible for benefits. We reverse and remand.     Factual and Procedural Background:     Wayne worked for Estes Express Lines Corporation ("Estes") for over seventeen years as a loader and dock worker. He was terminated for poor job performance on May 17, 2019. At the time of his termination, he was working as a loader operating a forklift loading freight onto trucks. In the three months preceding his termination, he received four Notices of Written Warning:     On March 27, 2019, Wayne received a written warning for stacking freight on freight. Estes instructed him to follow proper loading procedures including to use the tools and to block-brace, wrap, and strap the freight. He was suspended for two days.     On April 17, 2019, he received a written warning for failure to use captive beams when loading freight and for standing on the end of the "arrowshed." He was again instructed to follow the proper procedures and to block-brace, wrap, and strap the freight. On April 17, 2019, he received a separate written warning for putting the forks of his forklift into a 50-gallon drum of hazmat material. He was sent home for the day.     On May 1, 2019, Wayne received a written warning for loading pallets on top of skid bags causing damage to the bags. He failed to use the captive beams to load the freight and it had to be reloaded.     (collectively, "Written Warnings").     Approximately two weeks later he was terminated when he "mixed up" some numbers and the freight was loaded "to [sic] high".     Following his termination, Wayne sought unemployment benefits.     Estes protested Wayne's unemployment claim.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Apr 28, 2020  .. 11th Cir.:  Ortiz v. Waste Management  ..  Plaintiff was employed as a Route Driver with WMI beginning in 2003.     On 23 January 2017, a group of Plaintiff’s coworkers taunted Plaintiff after Plaintiff arrived at work wearing a small bandage on his face.     One of the coworkers -- Carlos Garcia -- used his cellphone to record a video of the taunting. Plaintiff told Garcia to stop filming him. Plaintiff then walked out of the breakroom and into the men’s restroom.     As Plaintiff was sitting on the toilet, Plaintiff looked up and saw that Garcia was also in the restroom and was filming Plaintiff, whose genitalia was exposed.     The next day, Plaintiff reported the incident to his supervisor, D.A. D.A., however, did nothing to address Garcia’s conduct (or confirm that the video had been deleted) and, instead, continued to assign Plaintiff to work with Garcia after the filming incident.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Apr 28, 2020  .. 11th Cir.:  Cid v. Miramar, Fl  ..  Cid, who was born in Cuba, was hired by the City Of Miramar, Florida through a temp agency in 2014. She reported directly to Kathleen Woods-Richardson, the city manager, as an administrative assistant.     After a month, in November 2014, Woods-Richardson hired her as a full-time, permanent executive administrator. Woods-Richardson testified at trial that Cid was “always agreeable” and “pleasant to work with,” but the work became too much, and Cid’s performance suffered.     Woods-Richardson never addressed those alleged performance issues with her. Cid denied that she had performance problems.     Georgina Cid sued her employer, the City Of Miramar, Florida, for national origin discrimination and retaliation under state and federal law. She won.     The jury awarded her $300,000. After the verdict, the City renewed its motion for judgment as a matter of law, the district court denied that motion, and the City appealed.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Apr 28, 2020  .. 3rd Cir.:  Pierce v. Philadelphia  ..  Deanna Pierce and Jennifer Albandoz interviewed for the same promotion in the Philadelphia Department of Prisons, a department of the City of Philadelphia.    Albandoz received the promotion and became Pierce’s supervisor. Pierce is Native American, and Albandoz is Hispanic.    Pierce believed that Albandoz was promoted because the City wanted more Hispanics in senior positions. For that reason, she filed administrative complaints with federal and state agencies alleging race discrimination.    Albandoz then began mistreating Pierce.    Pierce eventually sued the City alleging race discrimination and retaliation under federal and state law.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Apr 27, 2020  .. Cal. Ct. App.:  Brown v. R-UC  ..  Dr. Lauren Pinter-Brown sued The Regents of the University of California for gender discrimination based on a series of events that took place while she was a Professor of Medicine at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA). The jury found in favor of Dr. Pinter-Brown and awarded her upward of $13 million in economic and noneconomic damages.     Unfortunately, the trial court committed a series of grave errors that significantly prejudiced The Regents’ right to a fair trial by an impartial judge.     These errors were cumulative and highly prejudicial. They evidence the trial court’s inability to remain impartial and created the impression that the court was partial to Dr. Pinter- Brown’s claims.     We must reverse.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Apr 24, 2020  .. 6th Cir.:  Gary B v. Whitmer  ..  Plaintiffs in this appeal are students at several of Detroit’s worst- performing public schools. They credit this substandard performance to poor conditions within their classrooms, including missing or unqualified teachers, physically dangerous facilities, and inadequate books and materials. Taken together, Plaintiffs say these conditions deprive them of a basic minimum education, meaning one that provides a chance at foundational literacy.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Apr 24, 2020  .. FLRA:  AFGE v. VA  ..  The Union requests that we reconsider our decision in AFGE, Local 2338 (Local 2338). In that case, we found that Arbitrator Anthony R. Orman’s denial of backpay was not contrary to the Back Pay Act (BPA). We also found that that the Union did not establish that the award failed to draw its essence from the parties’ agreement.    In a motion for reconsideration (motion), the Union now argues that the Arbitrator erred in reaching his decision.    Because the Union’s motion raises the same arguments the Authority considered in Local 2338, and does not otherwise establish extraordinary circumstances warranting reconsideration, we deny it.  ..  FLRA DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Apr 24, 2020  .. FLRA:  Prisons v. AFGE  ..  Here, Arbitrator Rochelle Kentov found that the parties had a past practice of assigning overtime to bargaining-unit employees in the Food Services Department and, therefore, the Agency violated Article 4[2] of the parties’ agreement when it started assigning supervisors to vacant posts in order to avoid the payment of overtime without giving the Union notice and an opportunity to bargain.    The Agency argues that the [Agency has] broad authority to assign and reassign work without triggering a separate obligation to provide notice and an opportunity to bargain.    We find that because the Agency was acting within Article 18, and in accord with the D.C. Circuit’s interpretation, when it assigned supervisors to vacant posts instead of assigning overtime to bargaining‑unit employees, it had no obligation to provide additional notice and an opportunity to bargain. Therefore, the award fails to draw its essence from the parties’ agreement.    Accordingly, we vacate the [Arbitrator's] award.  ..  FLRA DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Apr 24, 2020  .. 3rd Cir.:  Gardiner v. Philadelphia  ..  Christina Adenike Gardiner appeals the Magistrate Judge’s grant of summary judgment in favor of the City of Philadelphia and Michel Washington. Gardiner, a former project manager for the City, alleged that the City and Washington terminated her employment in retaliation for taking leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Apr 23, 2020  .. FLRA:  NTEU v. Agriculture  ..  In this case, we consider the negotiability of a proposal that would allow eligible bargaining‑unit employees to report to the office as little as once per week and telework up to eight days per pay period. The issues before us are whether the Telework Enhancement Act of 2010 (Act)[1] vests the Agency with sole and exclusive discretion to establish telework frequency and whether the proposal is contrary to management’s rights to assign work and direct employees.   FLRA :   We find that the proposal [...] is outside the duty to bargain.  ..  DECISION:  (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Apr 23, 2020  .. FLRA:  Army v. NFFE  ..  Arbitrator Elliot H. Shaller issued an arbitrability award finding that neither law nor the parties’ collective-bargaining agreement barred the Union’s grievance, and that the Union had standing to pursue its various claims related to overtime compensation.    The Agency filed exceptions to this award prior to a hearing on the merits of the grievance.  ..  FLRA DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Apr 23, 2020  .. 6th Cir.:  Queen v. Bowling Green  ..  Queen worked as a firefighter for the City from September 2011 to February 2016. From the start, he was subject to harassment by his co-workers and supervisors because he is an atheist. His co-workers referred to him and other persons who did not espouse Christian beliefs as “pagans,” a supervisor once stated that atheists “deserve[d] to burn,” a second supervisor stated that he’d “be damned if I work with [atheists],” and that same individual also stated that he was “sure as hell glad none of those f[***]ers work here.”    Queen’s co-workers and supervisors also asked Queen what church he attended, and told him to join a church and get “saved.” Furthermore, according to Queen, he was forced to participate in Bible studies with his co- workers, during which he was instructed to read specific Bible verses.    Also, according to Queen, his co-workers and supervisors badgered him regarding his sexuality and regularly disparaged members of minority communities.    The complained-of conduct continued throughout the five years that Queen worked at the fire department, notwithstanding that he first brought it to the attention of a supervisor, Rockrohr, in 2012, approximately one year into the job. According to Queen, he “complained to [Rockrohr] about some of those remarks that had been said.” Rockrohr “responded in hostility and didn’t take it well and kind of shut the conversation down and told [Queen] that [he] needed to remember [his] place.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Apr 22, 2020  .. 1st Cir.:  Trahan v. Wayfair  ..  This disability discrimination case requires us to hold steady and true the balance between the important workplace protections that Congress has put in place for disabled employees and the ancient right of employers to discipline (or even discharge) employees, whether or not disabled, for violations of clearly established, neutrally applied conduct rules. At a granular level, the case pits plaintiff-appellant Kirstie Trahan, a military veteran who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), against her former employer, defendant- appellee Wayfair Maine, LLC (Wayfair).  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Apr 22, 2020  .. 4th Cir.:  Bazemore v. Best Buy  ..  The case stems from an incident on February 5, 2017, at the Best Buy store in Waldorf, Maryland, where Erika Bazemore, an African-American woman, was working as a wireless sales consultant. According to Bazemore, another Best Buy employee, Anne Creel—a white woman and an appliance sales representative—made a “racist and sexually charged joke” to a small group of coworkers that included Bazemore.    In her position, Creel was not Bazemore’s supervisor. But Creel was “best friends” with April Brewster, the store’s general manager.    Bazemore reported the incident to Best Buy’s corporate human resources department.    At the end of March, having concluded that “nothing was going to [be] done about my traumatic experience,” Bazemore filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, claiming she had been harassed based on her race and sex, and that Best Buy had not taken “corrective action to resolve the incident.”  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Apr 22, 2020  .. 10th Cir.:  Seastrand v. US Bank  ..  Mr. Seastrand was employed by the bank from 2002 until he was terminated in April 2016. At the time he was fired, Mr. Seastrand was 52 years old and had been working for some ten years as a senior vice president/market manager in the bank’s commercial real estate group.    In that capacity, Mr. Seastrand supervised several employees and was responsible for growing revenue, communicating with clients, and managing client relationships.    Following his termination, Mr. Seastrand brought this action in Utah state court, claiming he was fired in violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA).  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Apr 21, 2020  .. Fed. Cir.:  Higgins v. DVA  ..  Mr. Higgins began his employment with the Memphis Veterans Administration Medical Center (VAMC).    In March 2017, the VAMC suspended Mr. Higgins for using “disrespectful language toward a supervisor.”    Mr. Higgins had used profanity during a December 2016 interaction with his immediate supervisor, Mr. Pointdexter, during an introduction to Mr. Higgins’s new second-level supervisor, Mr. Ambrose. Upset about a pay issue, Mr. Higgins greeted the pair with profanities, and continued using profane language after Mr. Pointdexter asked him to refrain from doing so.    Mr. Pointdexter proposed a fourteen-day suspension as a consequence of that interaction.    In June 2017, the VAMC removed Mr. Higgins based on charges of disruptive behavior and use of profane language. Mr. Reesman, the official proposing Mr. Higgins’s removal, identified three incidents supporting removal.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Apr 21, 2020  .. Fed. Cir.:  Martin v. DHS  ..  Joseph H. Martin is a former DHS customs officer and former chapter president of the National Treasury Employees Union (“union”).    Mr. Martin was removed for conduct unbecoming a Customs and Border Protection Officer (“CBPO” or “customs officer”), lack of candor, and failure to follow a non-disclosure warning.    Here, Mr. Martin appeals a decision from the Merit Systems Protection Board (“Board”) sustaining his removal.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Apr 20, 2020  .. 11th Cir.:  Durham v. Rural/Metro  ..  The Pregnancy Discrimination Act commands that pregnant women “be treated the same . . . as other persons not so affected but similar in their ability or inability to work[.]” 42 U.S.C. § 2000e.    Five years ago, in Young v. United Parcel Service, 575 U.S. 206 (2015), the Supreme Court addressed anew the doctrine courts are to use to assess indirect evidence of intentional discrimination in violation of the PDA.    This case presents a question of first impression as to how to implement the Young test.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Apr 20, 2020  .. 9th Cir.:  Anthony v. Trax  ..  After plaintiff, Sunny Anthony, filed suit, alleging that her employer terminated her from her position as a technical writer because of her disability, the employer learned that, contrary to her representation on her employment application, plaintiff lacked the bachelor’s degree required of all technical writers under the employer’s government contract. .  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Apr 20, 2020  .. 8th Cir.:  Couch v. ABC (Dr. Pepper)  ..  The American Bottling Company, more commonly known as Dr. Pepper, fired Timothy Couch after giving him a negative performance review.    Couch claims that Dr. Pepper retaliated against him for complaining about racial discrimination at the company.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Apr 7, 2020  .. Supreme Court of the United States.:  Babb v. Wilkie (VA)  ..  SUPREME COURT HANDS FEDERAL WORKERS MAJOR AGE DISCRIMINATION RIGHTS : ..  Petitioner Noris Babb, a clinical pharmacist at a U. S. Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, sued the Secretary of Veterans Affairs (hereinafter VA) for, inter alia, age discrimination in various adverse personnel actions.    The VA moved for summary judgment, offering nondiscriminatory reasons for the challenged actions.    The District Court granted the VA’s motion after finding that Babb had established a prima facie case, that the VA had proffered legitimate reasons for the challenged actions, and that no jury could reasonably conclude that those reasons were pretextual.    On appeal, Babb contended the District Court’s requirement that age be a but-for cause of a personnel action was inappropriate under the federal-sector provision of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA).  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Apr 3, 2020  .. 5th Cir.:  Bowles v. OneMain  ..  In October 2017, OneMain terminated Bowles for allegedly inappropriate interactions with employees under her supervision. Bowles filed an unsuccessful administrative complaint with the EEOC.    She next filed suit in federal court alleging that her termination violated the Age Discrimination in Employment Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.    In response, OneMain moved the district court, under the Federal Arbitration Act, 3 to compel Bowles to arbitrate her claims pursuant to the 2016 Arbitration Agreement.    Bowles objected to OneMain’s motion to compel by challenging the formation of the Arbitration Agreement itself on two grounds.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Apr 2, 2020  .. 11th Cir:  Moore v. SCPFP  ..  Colleen Moore appeals the district court’s grant of San Carlos Park Fire Protection and Rescue’s (“San Carlos Park”) motion to dismiss her operative complaint for failure to state a claim in her sexual harassment and hostile work environment suit brought pursuant to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Apr 2, 2020  .. Fed. Cir.:  Valenzuela v. Treasury  ..  Mr. Valenzuela worked as a Contact Service Representative with the Internal Revenue Service, a bureau of the Agency. The Agency removed him from his position because of his medical inability to perform the essential duties of a Contact Service Representative. Mr. Valenzuela appealed the Agency’s removal decision to the Board.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Apr 1, 2020  .. Fed. Cir.:  Sayers v.  DVA  ..  VETERANS AFFAIRS ACCOUNTABILITY ACT CAN-NOT BE APPLIED RETROACTIVELY.    REMOVAL VACATED. ..  In 2017, Congress enacted the Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act, which gave the Department of Veterans Affairs a new, streamlined authority for disciplining employees for misconduct or poor performance, and placed certain limitations on the review of those actions by the Merit Systems Protection Board.    Later in 2017, the Department applied 38 U.S.C. § 714, 1 which codifies the Act, to remove Dr. Jeffrey Sayers from his position as a chief pharmacist. Dr. Sayers appealed to the Board and an administrative judge affirmed his removal. 2 He subsequently appealed to this Court.    Our primary issue on appeal is whether § 714 can apply retroactively to conduct that took place before its enactment. To decide that issue, we must also decide the proper interpretation of the statutory limitation on the Board’s review authority in § 714(d)(2)(B) and (d)(3)(C).    We ultimately hold that § 714, properly construed, has impermissible retroactive effect, and that Congress did not authorize the statute’s retroactive application. Because we conclude that § 714 cannot be applied retroactively—and Dr. Sayers’s conduct underlying his removal took place before its enactment—we vacate his removal and remand to the Board for further proceedings.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Apr 1, 2020  .. 6th Cir.:  Stokes v. Detroit  ..  Gregory Stokes worked for Detroit Public Schools (DPS) for almost ten years. In his last position, he worked as the Acting Deputy Executive Director to the Executive Director of Human Resources.    He signed a six-month contract to serve in that role.    Near the end of his contract, Stokes applied for a job as the Executive Director-Talent Acquisition. After interviewing three candidates, including Stokes, DPS hired a twenty-eight-year-old female instead. And DPS did not move Stokes to another position after his contract expired, ending his employment with DPS.    Stokes filed this lawsuit, alleging failure to promote and unlawful discharge because of gender in violation of Title VII and Michigan’s Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act (ELCRA) and age in violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) and ELCRA.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Apr 1, 2020  .. OCA:  State v. Cantrill  ..  Over a two-week period, from March 30 to April 11, 2017, appellant Jason Cantrill, Robert Coulter, and Salena Munoz conducted a series of break-ins in Toledo and Maumee, taking property from the dwellings they entered, with the ultimate goal purchasing illicit drugs.    One of the victims was a retired police officer, and he discovered a crack pipe lying on the floor of his garage while cleaning up after the break- in. He notified police, who collected the crack pipe from the garage for forensic testing.    That testing identified Cantrill’s DNA on the crack pipe.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Mar 31, 2020  .. 5th Cir.:  Amedee v. Shell  ..  The day after Shell Chemical formally disciplined Leah Amedee for violating its attendance policy—and warned her that additional violations could result in termination—she missed her scheduled shift.    Why? Because she drove drunk in the middle of the night, wrecked her truck, and got arrested. Amedee never returned to work. Instead, she applied for Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) leave.    After a brief investigation—and while Amedee was still on leave—Shell fired her.    Amedee sued Shell for (1) interfering with her FMLA rights by terminating her while she was on leave, (2) failing to restore her to an equivalent position following FMLA leave, (3) discriminating against her on the basis of her disability in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), and (4) failing to make reasonable ADA accommodations.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Mar 31, 2020  .. OCA:  Collins v. Mason  ..  Collins was hired by the City as Assistant Superintendent of the Public Utilities Department.    Collins was promoted to Director of the Public Utilities when he was 55 years old.    The City received a complaint alleging that Collins was conducting personal business while on City time.    Collins was terminated for undisclosed outside employment and refusing to answer questions during an internal investigation.    On May 11, 2018, Collins filed a complaint in the trial court alleging that his termination was the product of age discrimination and retaliation for his refusal to retire.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Mar 18, 2020  .. Fed. Cir.:  Plasola v. MSPB  ..  Mr. Plasola is a Federal Employee Retirement System (“FERS”) annuitant. A California state court awarded Mr. Plasola’s former spouse a marital share of his retirement benefits. OPM then notified Mr. Plasola that OPM would be withholding some of Mr. Plasola’s FERS benefits and start providing his former spouse a recurring monthly benefit. On March 19, 2019, Mr. Plasola filed an appeal with the Board challenging both OPM’s actions and the underlying California state court order.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Mar 18, 2020  .. D.D.C.:  Hudson v. AFGE  ..  This case is but another chapter in the seemingly intractable feud between Plaintiff Eugene Hudson and his union, Defendant American Federation of Government Employees.    A long-time official at the Union, Hudson became the first black person elected to serve as National Secretary-Treasurer for AFGE in 2012. He won another three-year term in 2015.    Despite his triumphs, Hudson had a tumultuous relationship with several Union leaders, especially its President.    In Plaintiff’s telling, his tenure was riddled with discrimination, culminating in his removal from office.    With these grievances in mind, Hudson brought this suit against AFGE, alleging race-based discrimination.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Mar 17, 2020  .. 11th Cir.:  Ramion v. Cole  ..  Kenneth Ramion filed a charge with the [EEOC] alleging that his employer, Brad Cole Construction Company, fired him because of his age in violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Mar 17, 2020  .. 2d Cir.:  Hurson v. Westchester  ..  Plaintiff-Appellant Mary J. McPartlan-Hurson sued her former employer, Westchester Community College (“WCC”) and Westchester County (collectively, the “Defendants”), under Title VII and the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) for discrimination and retaliation. She alleged that she was denied a fellowship in May 2009 based on her race and disability (the “fellowship claims”) and then was fired in December 2009 for complaining about the denial (the “retaliation claims”).  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Mar 11, 2020  .. D.D.C.:  Webster v.  Energy  ..  Plaintiff, who is an African American female, was employed by DOE as an attorney examiner in the Office of Hearings and Appeals (“OHA”) from August 2007 through April 2012.    Plaintiffs complaint is based on several specific events that occurred throughout the course of her employment, some of which occurred during her high risk pregnancy.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Mar 11, 2020  .. (5th Cir.:  Clark v. Champion  ..  A GOOD HUMAN RESOURCES CASE, YOU GOTTA READ THIS.  ..  Champion National Security, Inc., provides uniformed security services to other companies.    In October 2015, Champion hired Clark as a Personnel Manager. In this position, Clark was responsible for human resources and employee-related issues at his branch.    His duties included interviewing, hiring, training, disciplining, and terminating security guards.    According to Clark, he suffered from multiple physical and mental ailments prior to and during his employment at Champion.    In this workplace-discrimination appeal, Charles Clark says he was fired because of a diabetes-related condition.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Mar 11, 2020  .. 4th Cir.:  Biggs v. NCDPC  ..  Ray C. Biggs, a correctional officer, has worked for the [North Carolina Department of Corrections] since 1991.    In March 2012, he was promoted to the position of correctional captain, making him the officer-in-charge during his shifts at the Bertie Correctional Institute.    Ray C. Biggs brought this 42 U.S.C. § 1983 suit against his employer, the North Carolina Department of Public Safety and its Secretary, Erik A. Hooks, arising from a demotion he suffered in 2012.    Biggs, a black man, claims that Defendants racially discriminated against him by punishing him more harshly than white employees who broke the same rule that he did.    He seeks reinstatement to his prior position, the removal of negative materials from his personnel file, and reimbursement for his legal expenses.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Mar 10, 2020  .. 9th Cir.:  Ali v. Intel  ..  The district court properly dismissed Ali’s discrimination claims [...] because Ali failed to allege facts sufficient to state a plausible claim.    The district court properly dismissed Ali’s claim for age discrimination under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act because Ali failed to exhaust his administrative remedies.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Mar 10, 2020  .. 6th Cir.:  Chaney v. Haworth  ..  Haworth manufactures commercial office furniture and related products.    The company hired Chaney, who is African American, on July 5, 2016, as a production supervisor at Haworth’s Laminated Products Plant. Chaney managed roughly thirty employees.    In the first few weeks, Chaney received training (which he says was useless) and had several informal coaching meetings with his direct supervisor, Tina Pietrangelo.    It was not long before Pietrangelo began noticing problems with Chaney’s work.    Chaney sued Haworth, alleging a hostile work environment and race discrimination.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Mar 10, 2020  .. 10th Cir.:  Malinski v. BNSF  ..  On December 4, 2014, 1 a train owned and operated by BNSF struck Malinski’s pickup truck as he drove through a railroad grade crossing near Afton, Oklahoma.    The crossing is passive: signs mark the crossing, but there is no physical barrier to prevent a vehicle from driving across.    It is undisputed that the train was traveling at 55 miles per hour at the time of the accident and that it sounded its horn for approximately 15 seconds prior to the accident.    A video captured by a recording device on the locomotive at the front of the train shows that as the train approached the crossing, a pickup truck driven by Malinski’s cousin crossed the tracks in front of Malinski. Malinski, who was headed to the same destination as his cousin, followed him through the crossing without stopping.    As Malinski did so, the train struck his truck. The collision injured Malinski and his passenger, Nathan Smith, who later died from his injuries.    Malinski sued BNSF, claiming that it acted negligently in maintaining the crossing and that this negligence proximately caused Malinski’s injuries.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Mar 9, 2020  .. 2d Cir.:  Rasmy v. Marriott  ..  For the reasons set forth below, we VACATE the September 28, 2018 judgment of the District Court and REMAND the cause to the District Court for trial.    Rasmy alleged a discriminatory hostile work environment and retaliation for complaining about discrimination.    We consider here claims of hostile work environment and retaliation in the context of allegations of religious and national origin discrimination, necessarily mindful of the inevitable normative ambiguity of allegations of “hostile work environment” discrimination.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Mar 9, 2020  .. 7th Cir.:  Roderick v. BRC  ..  Byron Roderick, who describes himself as an “openly gay male,” quit his job at BRC Rubber and Plastics, Inc. He has now sued BRC, contending that a company manger subjected him to a hostile work environment because of his sexual orientation.    Roderick began working in BRC’s quality-control department in 1996. (We view the record in favor of Roderick, the party opposing summary judgment.    Most workers knew that he is gay, and some heard rumors that he made pornographic films.    Roderick sued BRC for discrimination.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Mar 9, 2020  .. 6th Cir.:  Tchankpa v. Ascena  ..  Kassi Tchankpa suffered a serious shoulder injury while employed by Ascena Retail Group, Inc. (Ascena). Neither party challenges this. The dispute stems from Ascena’s treatment of Tchankpa after the injury. Despite having resigned from his position, Tchankpa contends that Ascena violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by not accommodating his injury and constructively discharging him.    The ADA is not a weapon that employees can wield to pressure employers into granting unnecessary accommodations or reconfiguring their business operations. Instead, it protects disabled employees from disability-related mistreatment—no more, no less.    This means Tchankpa must not only show that Ascena wronged him, but also that the alleged offense related to his injured shoulder.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Mar 6, 2020  .. Fed. Cir.:  Baldwin v. MSPB  ..  Mr. Baldwin was removed from federal employment.    Under the negotiated grievance procedure that covers Mr. Baldwin’s position, he could appeal his removal by filing a grievance under the Master Labor Agreement or by appealing to the Board, but not both.    Mr. Baldwin knew that his union filed a grievance related to his removal, but he did not affirmatively disavow the union’s initiation of the grievance process on his behalf.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Mar 6, 2020  .. 4th Cir.:  Campbell v. McCarthy  ..  Plaintiff Walton Campbell, a civilian employee of the Army Corps of Engineers, initiated this civil action against the Secretary of the Army (the “Army”) challenging the Army’s decision to suspend him from his employment pending review of his security clearance.    In his operative complaint, Campbell alleges three claims: Violations of the Civil Rights Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, and the Whistleblower Protection Act.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Mar 6, 2020  .. 3rd Cir.:  Mazur v. SVC  ..  Mazur brought claims of discrimination and retaliation.    I. Mazur, who is white, was a DMVA employee until April 27, 2017.    She worked at the SWVC, one of six veterans’ homes operated by the DMVA, as an accounting assistant. Mazur was supervised by Darren Lindsay in the accounting department at the time relevant to this case, and she worked with one other accounting assistant. Sharon Warden was Mazur’s co-worker until late May or early June 2016, when she was replaced by a new accounting assistant. Lindsay is black. Warden self-identified her race as white on SWVC forms; Mazur believes her to be black.    Mazur believes that she was treated with disdain at work by Warden and Lindsay because they talked about topics that Warden did not know about or understand.    While they worked together, Mazur observed Warden taking excessive breaks, leaving money unlocked and unattended, making accounting mistakes, and failing to count money without reprimand. Mazur also reported an incident in which Warden told her that she was not allowed to use a bathroom that was not the main bathroom.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Mar 5, 2020  .. 7th Cir.:  Servin v. Chicago  ..  David Servin spent almost 10 years trying to get a job as a Chicago police officer. When he wasn’t hired, he sued the city, contending that the police department discriminated against him because of Age Discrimination.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Mar 5, 2020  .. 6th Cir.:  Harper v. Elder  ..  Jail employee Wendy Harper alleges that her co-worker Brad Conaway repeatedly harassed her because of her gender, and that their boss, the county Jailer, not only ignored her complaints but also retaliated against her for reporting Conaway’s misconduct.    The district court granted summary judgment to the defendants on Harper’s state and federal claims against Conaway, the Jailer, and the county.    Because we differ with the district court as to whether Harper’s evidence on the pervasiveness of Conaway’s harassment sets up a genuine issue of material fact, we REVERSE in part and AFFIRM in part the grant of summary judgment.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Mar 4, 2020  .. 5th Cir.:  Gomez v. Office Ally  ..  Office Ally fired Margarita Gomez, a human resources manager in its San Antonio office.    Gomez was fired soon after returning from leave she took to assist her mother who suffers from dementia.    She sued Office Ally and its owner, Brian O’Neill, for various claims under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the Texas Commission on Human Rights Act (TCHRA).  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Mar 4, 2020  .. Fed. Cir.:  Lucena v. DOJ  ..  On March 28, 2016, the Deputy Chief Inspector (“DCI”) in the DEA’s Office of Security Programs, notified Mr. Lu- cena that he was suspending Mr. Lucena’s security clear- ance and access to NSI and DEA Information Technology systems.  ..  Petitioner David Lucena seeks review of a final decision of the MSPB affirming his indefinite suspension from duty and pay 1 by the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) for approximately seven months, while resolution of his suspended security clearance was pending.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Mar 4, 2020  .. WCA:  Mackey v. Home Depot  ..  Lori Mackey appeals the trial court’s dismissal on summary judgment of a lawsuit she filed against her former employer, Home Depot, and two Home Depot managers, Jamie Krall and Jennifer Isles (collectively, Home Depot).    Home Depot terminated Mackey’s employment after an investigation determined that she had been violating company policies regarding discounts on customer orders.    Mackey denied violating the discount policies, and she claimed that the reason for the investigation and her termination was her complaint to the store manager shortly before her termination that Krall had verbally attacked her because of her disabilities.    Mackey asserted claims for discriminatory discharge, retaliation for opposing an unlawful practice, wrongful discharge in violation of public policy, and failure to reasonably accommodate her physical disability.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Mar 3, 2020  .. FLRA:  National Guard v. ACT  ..  On May 14, 2019, ACT filed a petition with the Atlanta Regional Office seeking to represent a bargaining unit of non-supervisory employees currently represented by LIUNA. The RD determined that ACT’s petition provided a sufficient prima facie showing of interest. However, after the Agency provided an initial employee list, the RD determined that ACT’s initial showing of interest did not include signatures from at least thirty percent of the eligible employees initially identified by the Agency. ACT then provided additional signatures and the RD determined that the showing of interest was adequate.    An election was held on September 4 and 5, 2019.  ..  FLRA DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Mar 3, 2020  .. 9th Cir.:  Sheridan v. Lawall  ..  Plaintiff established a prima facie case of sex discrimination, but Defendants gave legitimate, non-discriminatory reasons for firing her. See Villiarimo v. Aloha Island Air, Inc., 281 F.3d 1054, 1062 (9th Cir. 2002) (discussing shifting burden of proof).    The event that precipitated the firing was an incident in which Plaintiff took unredacted medical documents from a judge’s chambers, without permission, which ultimately resulted in dismissal of a criminal case on account of her intentional prosecutorial misconduct.    When firing Plaintiff, Defendants emphasized her "[d]ishonest and deceitful conduct" in falsely telling the court and her supervisors that she had not looked at the unredacted records.    In addition, Plaintiff had a long history of performance problems, as to which Defendants showed considerable leniency.    For example, Plaintiff’s then-supervisor sought her termination during the probationary period, but Defendants gave her a chance to improve; later Plaintiff was counseled regarding unacceptable performance in areas including trial skills and demeanor in the courtroom, and she received additional training; and in formal evaluations she consistently received a score of "Does not always meet expectations" in the areas of trial preparation, trial advocacy, quality of work, and professionalism.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Feb 28, 2020  .. FLRA:  Homeland v. AFGE  ..  Arbitrator Sidney Moreland IV issued an award finding that the Agency violated the parties’ agreement when it suspended the grievant. Then, in a separate proceeding, the Arbitrator awarded the Union attorney fees (fee award). The Agency filed exceptions to the fee award, and we must decide whether that award is contrary to law.    The Arbitrator found that the Agency’s delay in completing its investigation of the grievant not only violated the parties’ agreement, but also constituted “gross procedural error.” As such, the Arbitrator determined that an award of attorney fees was warranted in the “interest of justice” under 5 U.S.C. § 7701(g)(1).    Because the Agency’s investigative delay did not prejudice and burden the grievant to an extent that would qualify as gross procedural error under the guidelines that the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) established in Allen v. U.S. Postal Service (Allen), we set aside the fee award as contrary to law.  ..  FLRA DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Feb 28, 2020  .. FLRA:  AFGE v. EEOC  ..  In this case, we resolve ground-rules disputes between the parties. This matter is before the Authority on a negotiability appeal filed by the Union under § 7105(a)(2)(E) of the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute (the Statute)    The petition for review (petition) involves four proposals from a ground-rules memorandum of understanding between the parties (MOU), and the Union seeks review of a fifth proposal that was not included in the petition. The Agency filed a statement of position (statement), to which the Union filed a response (response), and the Agency filed a reply to the response (reply).    For the reasons that follow, we find that one of the proposals is within the duty to bargain, three proposals are outside the duty to bargain, and the fifth proposal was not properly submitted for review.  ..  FLRA DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Feb 28, 2020  .. 6th Cir.:  Fisher v. Nissan  ..  In January 2003, Nissan hired Fisher as a production technician on its factory line. He primarily worked in the Fits rotation, attaching doors, hoods, and trunks to new vehicles.    Approximately 12 years later, Fisher went on extended leave for severe kidney disease and, ultimately, a kidney transplant.    When he returned to work, he was still recovering from the transplant, and his attendance suffered. Fisher proposed several different accommodations, some of which were not provided.    When he received a final written warning about his attendance, he left work and did not return. Fisher filed suit, centrally claiming that Nissan failed to accommodate his disability and to engage in the interactive process, as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Feb 26, 2020  .. FLRA:  VA v. AFGE  ..  On September 7, 2016, the Union filed a grievance seeking environmental-differential pay for housekeeping aids and laundry employees at the Agency’s hospital and medical center. The Union alleged that the employees came into regular contact with high-hazard microorganisms[2] in the performance of the cleaning services they provided at the Agency’s facilities. The matter proceeded to arbitration after the Agency denied the grievance.  ..  FLRA DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Feb 26, 2020  .. 7th Cir.:  Lewis v. BNSF  ..  Simeon Washa Amen Ra, who describes himself as an “indigent inhabitant traveler” and non-citizen “national” of the United States, believes that his employer, BNSF Railway Company, violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by discriminating against him based on his national origin, retaliating against him, and harassing him.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Feb 26, 2020  .. Supreme Court of the United States:  Hernández v. Mesa  ..  United States Border Patrol Agent Jesus Mesa, Jr., shot and killed Sergio Adrián Hernández Güereca, a 15-year-old Mexican national, in a tragic and disputed cross-border incident. Mesa was standing on U. S. soil when he fired the bullets that struck and killed Hernández, who was on Mexican soil, after having just run back across the border following entry onto U. S. territory.    Agent Mesa contends that Hernández was part of an illegal border crossing attempt, while petitioners, Hernández’s parents, claim he was playing a game with his friends that involved running back and forth across the culvert separating El Paso, Texas, from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.    The shooting drew international attention, and the Department of Justice investigated, concluded that Agent Mesa had not violated Customs and Border Patrol policy or training, and declined to bring charges against him. The United States also denied Mexico’s request for Agent Mesa to be extradited to face criminal charges in Mexico.    Petitioners sued for damages in U. S. District Court  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Feb 25, 2020  .. FLRA:  SSA v. IFP&TE  ..  This case involves another alleged violation of the telework provision in the parties’ agreement.    Arbitrator Melinda G. Gordon found that the Agency violated the parties’ agreement when it denied the grievant’s telework request.    The Agency argues that the award fails to draw its essence from the parties’ agreement, the Arbitrator exceeded her authority, and the award is contrary to law.    Applying the standard adopted in U.S. DOJ, Federal BOP (DOJ), we find that the award is contrary to law, in part, because it excessively interferes with management’s rights to direct employees and assign work.  ..  FLRA DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Feb 25, 2020  .. 6th Cir.:  Eluhu v. VA  ..  Around 2010, Eluhu began voicing concerns to his supervisor, Assistant Chief of Medicine, Dr. Dharapuram Venugopal that certain intensivists in the hospital’s ICU were improperly refusing to accept cardiac patients into the ICU.    Although the issue was initially resolved in Eluhu’s favor—intensivists were instructed to admit cardiac patients into the ICU despite any disagreement—disputes arose again when a new Chief of Staff, Dr. John Nadeau, was hired in January 2017.    On February 6, 2017, after raising the issue “several times,” Eluhu addressed a letter to one of the pulmonary critical care physicians in the ICU, Dr. Gary Lovelady. Eluhu also sent the letter to Dr. Carl Green, Director of Intensive Care; Dr. Brian Christman, Chief of Medicine; Nadeau; and Venugopal.    Three months later, on May 8, 2017, Eluhu was discharged from his position. Three days after his termination, Eluhu filed a complaint with the Office of Special Counsel (“OSC”), alleging that he was discharged in retaliation for making a protected disclosure.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Feb 25, 2020  .. 5th Cir.:  Sanchez v. San Antonio  ..  Gabriel Sanchez worked as a journeyman cable splicer for the City of San Antonio, by and through its agent, City Public Service Board of San Antonio (“CPS”). Throughout his employment, Sanchez was involved in five workplace safety incidents; he caused four and suffered injuries in three.    His fifth workplace safety incident occurred on September 21, 2015, and sent him to the hospital, where he was diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (“PTSD”). The incident also left him unable to return to work for the remainder of 2015.    On March 8, 2016, CPS terminated Sanchez for “a pattern of poor judgment, unsafe acts & behavior and unwillingness to follow critical work instructions.” When he was terminated, Sanchez had not been released to work by his physician, Dr. Hernandez.    Sanchez sued CPS, alleging that it violated the Americans with Disabilities Act by terminating his employment because of his PTSD.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Feb 24, 2020  .. TCA:  Word v. KCT  ..  This appeal arises from a lawsuit alleging racial discrimination in the workplace. Mona Word (“Word”), an African-American woman who worked in the Knox County Clerk’s Office for 19 years, sued Knox County Clerk Foster D. Arnett, Jr., Knox County, Tennessee, and the Knox County Clerk’s Office collectively asserting a number of claims, including violations of the Human Rights Act.    According to Word, she was denied opportunities for promotion because of her race, and was singled out for discipline because of her race, as well.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Feb 24, 2020  .. SCNY:  Emmons v. Broome  ..  In January 2012, plaintiff was hired by defendant as the Executive Assistant to the Broome County Executive. On September 30, 2013, plaintiff suffered a heart attack and began a short medical leave of absence, returning to work on October 15, 2013 while continuing rehabilitation for a 12-week period.    Plaintiff took a week-long vacation and, on December 29, 2013, the day before her scheduled return to work, her employment was terminated.    In November 2019, plaintiff commenced the instant action, alleging claims under the HRL that were analogous to the ADA claims made in her federal court complaint, namely, disability discrimination and retaliation for the EEOC charge.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Feb 21, 2020  .. 6th Cir.:  Prado v. Thomas  ..  A SLOW DESCENT INTO POLICE HELL !!! ..  After a night of dancing but no drinking, Plaintiff Glenda Prado was arrested and detained for suspicion of operating a vehicle under the influence. Those charges were eventually dropped.    But Prado alleged that law enforcement had singled her out and mistreated her during the night.    So she sued Deputy Sheriff Jeffrey Thomas and other Defendants alleging that they violated her equal protection and due process rights.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Feb 21, 2020  .. CAT:  Word v. Knox  ..  This appeal arises from a lawsuit alleging racial discrimination in the workplace. Mona Word (“Word”), an African-American woman who worked in the Knox County Clerk’s Office for 19 years, sued Knox County Clerk Foster D. Arnett, Jr. (“Arnett”) in his individual and official capacity, Knox County, Tennessee (“Knox County”), and the Knox County Clerk’s Office (“Defendants,” collectively) asserting a number of claims, including violations of the Tennessee Human Rights Act (“the THRA”). According to Word, she was denied opportunities for promotion because of her race, and was singled out for discipline because of her race, as well. Defendants filed a motion for judgment on the pleadings, which the Circuit Court for Knox County (“the Trial Court”) granted. Word appealed to this Court. Accepting Word’s factual allegations as true as is required at the motion for judgment on the pleadings stage, we hold that Word alleged enough to withstand Defendants’ motion with respect to certain of her claims against Knox County and Arnett in his individual capacity.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Feb 18, 2020  .. D.C. Cir.:  Jackson v. Modly  ..  Gary L.Jackson served in the United States Marine Corps from 1977 to 1991. Almost thirty years after his honorable discharge from the Marine Corps, Jackson filed a pro se complaint against the Secretary of the Navy (Secretary) alleging that toward the end of his military career, his supervising officers discriminated against him because of his race and sex (he is a black male).  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Feb 18, 2020  .. 1st Cir.:  Robinson v. Marshfield  ..  Robinson retired from his position as Fire Chief in March of 2015 when he was sixty years old after having worked with the Department since 1978.    He did so following a dispute with the Town that concerned, at least in part, the Town's allegations that Robinson had engaged in conduct that violated Massachusetts' conflict of interest laws while serving as Fire Chief, due to his interactions with various members of his family whom he had either worked with or managed at the Department.    In the course of the dispute of Robinson's failure to comply with those laws, the Town retained a law firm to investigate the matter.    The law firm's investigation led it to issue a report that concluded that the evidence could support a finding that Robinson had committed numerous violations of those laws. The report recommended that the Town refer the matter to the Massachusetts State Ethics Commission.    Robinson announced his retirement in the wake of the issuance of the law firm's report. He then filed a timely charge of "discrimination based on age and retaliation"  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Feb 14, 2020  .. 5th Cir.:  Blanchard-Daigle  v. Geers  ..  On the afternoon of August 30, 2016, Deputy Geers observed Mr. Blanchard driving on East Knights Way in Bell County. Per his observation, Deputy Geers suspected Mr. Blanchard of driving while intoxicated and began following him, turning on his patrol siren and emergency lights. Then, Mr. Blanchard signaled and made a right turn onto Rummel Road, a private gravel road toward his home. Mr. Blanchard travelled about 1,000 feet down the road before pulling over.    Upon stopping, Deputy Geers did not turn off his siren nor did he approach Mr. Blanchard’s vehicle. Mr. Blanchard did not hear Deputy Geers give him any instructions or commands. Mr. Blanchard then opened his car door and exited the vehicle facing Deputy Geers, who was standing approximately 50 feet away, behind his patrol car door. When Mr. Blanchard reached for something, Deputy Geers shot Mr. Blanchard eight times, four of those bullets being fatal.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Feb 13, 2020  .. OCA:  State v.  Davis  ..  On February 6, 2018, at approximately 3:00 a.m., Officer Joseph Beltrami of the Northfield Police Department was on patrol when he observed a dark-colored truck swerving in an irregular pattern.    The truck pulled into a motel parking lot and Officer Beltrami initiated a traffic stop. Officer Beltrami made contact with the driver who identified himself as Tyrone Davis. Officer Beltrami asked Davis if he had been drinking that night. Davis replied that he had.    Officer Beltrami observed Davis’s eyes to be glossy and watery. At that point, he asked Davis to step out of the vehicle and to perform field sobriety tests.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Feb 12, 2020  .. 5th Cir.:  Richards v. Lufkin  ..  Guy Richards brought this employment discrimination action against his former employer, alleging that Lufkin terminated him in retaliation for his complaint that he was harassed on account of his race.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Feb 12, 2020  .. 10th Cir.:  Brown v. Keystone  ..  Mr. Brown is licensed by Kansas to teach special education for grades 7 to 12.    Keystone is a governmental entity that provides special education services, such as    hiring teachers for eight school districts in Kansas.    In October 2015, Keystone Learning Services (“Keystone”) hired Mark Brown as a substitute teacher to teach English to special education students.    It terminated him in December 2015 when it hired a permanent teacher, and rehired him for a different substitute teacher position from January to May 2016. Keystone did not rehire Mr. Brown for the 2016-17 school year.    In April 2017, Mr. Brown sued Keystone for racial discrimination and retaliation.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Feb 12, 2020  .. D.D.C.:  Rodriguez v. Penrod  ..  Lieutenant Colonel Robert W. Rodriguez, U.S. Army (retired), was an officer in the New York Army National Guard in the 1990s. Near the end of his career Rodriguez blew the whistle on certain personnel accounting techniques that had the effect of overstating the number of soldiers in active service (and thereby inflating the Guard’s budget requests). He alleges that he was then subjected to illegal retaliation and forced to retire. More than two decades later, he continues to litigate the aftermath of those events.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Feb 10, 2020  .. 11th Cir.:  Williams v. ASU  ..  Dr. Sharron Herron-Williams brought this Title VII suit against her former employer, Alabama State University (“ASU”), raising both discrimination and retaliation claims, after she was relieved of several administrative appointments at ASU. She claims that she faced discrimination based on her race and gender, and that ASU removed her from her administrative positions and cut her pay after she sent an email to ASU’s president complaining about the alleged discriminatory treatment.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Feb 10, 2020  .. 7th Cir.:  Robertson v. Wisconsin  ..  In October 2009, Ms. Robertson became the deputy direc- tor of Milwaukee Enrollment Services (“MilES”), a bureau within DHS. Employees of MilES are responsible for determining eligibility for medical assistance, FoodShare, child care, and caretaker supplement entitlements for Milwaukee residents.    As deputy director, Ms. Robertson directly supervised ten to twenty employees and indirectly supervised about 350 others.    In January 2014, an employee approached a section chief, Juanita Brown-Small, and reported that the MilES bureau director, Ed Kamin, had told her that he was going to “pimp her out” to another agency.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Feb 10, 2020  .. 10th Cir.:  Betts v. Work Zone Traffic Control  ..  Work Zone employed Betts as a full-time Traffic Control Supervisor for more than eight years. His job duties included loading signage and equipment on to company trucks, driving to job sites, and unloading and placing equipment at job sites according to written traffic control plans. For most of those years, Betts worked as a nonexempt employee under the FLSA and received time-and-one-half for hours worked over 40 hours in a single work week.    In April 2015, Work Zone reclassified Betts as a salaried employee, which meant he received no overtime pay. Betts objected to this classification. When Work Zone refused to pay him overtime, he hired an attorney who, in September 2015, sent Work Zone a demand letter. In December 2015, the parties reached a settlement under which Work Zone reclassified Betts as a nonexempt hourly employee and paid him overtime amounts he claimed.    In May and June 2016, Work Zone assigned Betts to the Marksheffel Road job site in Colorado Springs, Colorado. During the week of May 22-28, 2016, the company assigned him to work a double shift, for which he claimed 92 hours of pay, including 52 hours of overtime. This prompted Work Zone to review Betts’ timesheet and the GPS for the company truck he was driving and determine Betts was claiming hourly pay for drive time between his home in Pueblo, Colorado and the Marksheffel Road job site. Work Zone paid Betts in full for the week ending May 28, 2016.    According to Work Zone’s Drive Time Policy and its official rules for claiming mileage, employees do not receive hourly pay for the drive from their homes to job sites. Instead, Work Zone pays them 10 cents per mile. But the company pays employees hourly for drive time at the beginning of a project when they haul equipment to set up a new job and at the end of a project when they pick up a completed job. Work Zone also pays by the hour when workers return to an existing job site if they are hauling additional equipment—more than a few cones or a sign—needed for the project.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Feb 6, 2020  .. 5th Cir.:  Gause v. Esper (DOD)  ..  Plaintiff - Appellant, a former Marine and current Department of Labor employee, applied for a human resources position with an Army recruiting battalion. He received a tentative offer that was later withdrawn after his background check revealed he had made false statements on his application. Gause filed an EEOC complaint alleging that the withdrawal was based on his race, disability, and prior EEOC activity.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Feb 6, 2020  .. Fed. Cir.:  Simon v. Justice  ..  In September 2017, the Bureau of Prisons issued an internal, merit promotion vacancy announcement for the position of Human Resource Specialist within the agency’s Labor and Management Division.    The announcement explained that the position’s duties included “both labor and employee relations functions,” such as discipline and discharge issues, grievance and appeal processing, and contract interpretation and negotiation.    The announcement also indicated that there were two positions for this job available: one in Washington, D.C. and one in Grand Prairie, Texas.    Simon timely applied for the position at the GS-11, 12, and 13 levels, but he limited his application to the Grand Prairie location.    Appellant appeals from the final decision of the Merit Systems Protection Board (“the Board”) denying his request for corrective action on his nonselection for a position with the Bureau of Prisons.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Feb 6, 2020  .. 11th Cir.:  Lyle  v. BASF  ..  Plaintiff-Appellant Andrea Lyle sued Defendant-Appellees BASF Chemistry, Inc. and Kelly Services, Inc. for sexual harassment and retaliation in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Feb 6, 2020  .. OCA:  Columbus v. Swanson  ..  It is undisputed that, on March 5, 2017, at approximately 2:30 a.m., a Franklin County Sheriff's Office patrol vehicle (an SUV) collided with the driver's side rear of a sedan driven by Swanson at the intersection of Cleveland Avenue and East Weber Road.    Following an admission that Swanson had consumed some alcohol earlier in the evening, officers on the scene requested that she perform field sobriety tests and she agreed to do so. Following completion of the field sobriety tests, she was arrested and transported to the headquarters of the Columbus Police where she submitted to a breath test. The breath test result was 0.118.    As a consequence of these undisputed facts, Swanson was issued a ticket charging that she ran a red light and operated a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or with a forbidden concentration of alcohol in her system, in violation of Columbus City Ordinances.    Swanson pled not guilty on March 10, 2017. (Mar. 10, 2017 Plea Form.) On April 27, 2017, her counsel filed a motion to suppress the results of the breath test (among other things) alleging that the police had generally failed to comply with unspecified administrative code provisions governing the administration of breath tests.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Feb 5, 2020  .. Fed. Cir.:  Pamintuan v. Navy  ..  Mr. Pamintuan worked as a Supervisory Contract Specialist at the agency’s Naval Base Ventura County and oversaw a team of Contract Specialists. At the time, Mr. Pamintuan had a Contracting Officer warrant, which was necessary for him to perform his job as a supervisor.    Francisco Cunanan Pamintuan petitions for review of a decision of the Merit Systems Protection Board (“Board”) denying Mr. Pamintuan’s request for corrective action un- der the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act (“WPA”) against the Department of the Navy (“agency”).  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Feb 5, 2020  .. D.D.C.:  Richardson v. UoP  ..  Plaintiff was hired by the University as a “Campus Operations Specialist” on October 15, 2015.    On September 13, 2017, Plaintiff filed an internal complaint with the University alleging that his then-supervisor, Jessica Choi-Segert, discriminated against him on the basis of gender.    The University investigated the allegations, “determined that there was sufficient evidence to substantiate policy violations,” concluded that “there was an opportunity to increase understanding,” and, to that end, provided Ms. Choi-Segert with “coaching.”    Having notified the Plaintiff of that determination and course of action, the University considered the “matter to be closed.”    On January 3, 2018, Plaintiff “filed [an administrative] complaint with the U.S. Equal Opportunity Commission” (“EEOC”) alleging that Choi-Segert and the University “had committed an unlawful act against [him] in violation of Title IX.”    On April 13, 2018, the University terminated Plaintiff’s employment.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Feb 4, 2020  .. FLRA:  AFGE v. Defense  ..  Arbitrator Linda S. Byars found that the Agency did not violate the parties’ collective-bargaining agreement when it rated the grievant “fully successful” – rather than “outstanding” – on his performance review, and she denied the grievance. The main questions before us are whether the award: (1) is incomplete, ambiguous, or contradictory as to make implementation of the award impossible; and (2) is based on nonfacts.  ..  FLRA DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Feb 4, 2020  .. D.D.C.:  Geter v. GPO  ..  Plaintiff, Mr. Henry Geter, is a former employee of Defendant, the United States Government Publishing Office (GPO). This Court has previously resolved one employment- related lawsuit by Mr. Geter against the GPO. In the current case, Mr. Geter claims that the GPO failed to accommodate his disability and retaliated against him for engaging in protected activities.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Feb 4, 2020  .. 11th Cir.:  Kassa v. Synovus  ..  Tony Kassa (“Plaintiff”) appeals the district court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of Plaintiff’s former employer, Synovus, in his disability discrimination and retaliation suit under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”).    In pertinent part, Plaintiff suffers from bipolar disorder and from intermittent explosive disorder.    Reversible error has been shown; we affirm in part, vacate in part, and remand for further proceedings.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Feb 4, 2020  .. 11th Cir.:  Ceus v. Tampa  ..  Patterson Ceus, a black male, worked as a Tampa Fire Rescue (“TFR”) firefighter from March 2010 until his termination in May 2015.    After TFR terminated him, Ceus sued the City of Tampa (the “City”), alleging TFR retaliated against him for reporting discriminatory activity.    Based on his complaints of discrimination at TFR, Ceus asserts his superiors subjected him to unwarranted scrutiny, disciplined him for alleged misconduct that either did not happen or was only penalized when Ceus engaged in it, downgraded his performance evaluations, and, ultimately, terminated him.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)

♦       Jan 31, 2020  .. 6th Cir.:  Hernandez v. Boles  ..  Tennessee Highway Patrol Trooper Jason Boles pulled Abilio Hernandez over for driving 77 miles per hour in a 70-mph zone. Boles checked the front seat passenger and owner of the car, for warrants.    When the warrant check came back negative, Boles asked for and was refused consent to search the car. Trooper Donnie Clark then ran a search for the names of all four occupants of the car through a second, more comprehensive database, which was pending when a K-9 unit arrived.    The dog sniffed the outside of the stopped car, alerting to the odor of drugs, but the dog did not alert again when allowed into the car, and the K-9 handler stated that the dog “didn’t hit.” After checking with their supervisor, the Troopers manually searched the car and found a number of re-encoded gift cards and suspected amphetamines. The four occupants of the car (hereafter called collectively the “Hernandez-Plaintiffs”) were arrested and held for months in pre-trial incarceration before all charges were ultimately dropped.    -----    The Hernandez-Plaintiffs filed suit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging that the Troopers violated the Fourth Amendment by (a) illegally searching the car and (b) unreasonably extending the car stop.  ..  COURT DECISION:   (.pdf)   (.html)



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