Articles Posted in Labor & Employment Law

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Plaintiff, a police officer and former police union official, filed suit alleging that defendants violated his First Amendment right to freedom of speech by retaliating against him for criticizing management decisions by police officials. The district court ruled in favor of defendants. The Second Circuit held that plaintiff's union remarks were not made under his official duties as a police officer and thus he spoke as a private citizen for purposes of the First Amendment. However, Defendants Moran and Mueller were entitled to qualified immunity, and plaintiff failed to allege a plausible claim for municipal liability against the city. Accordingly, the court affirmed in part, vacated in part, and remanded for further proceedings. View "Montero v. City of Yonkers" on Justia Law

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Because New York Labor Law does not call for awards of New York Labor Law (NYLL) liquidated damages on top of liquidated damages under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), district courts may not award cumulative liquidated damages for the same course of conduct under both statutes. Defendant Islam appealed the district court's damages orders after a default judgment was entered against defendants in an action filed by plaintiff, alleging violations of various state and federal labor and human trafficking laws. The Second Circuit vacated the damages award in this case under the FLSA in favor of the NYLL award. View "Rana v. Islam" on Justia Law

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The Second Circuit granted a petition for review of the ARB's final order affirming the ALJ's decision that Intervenor Anthony Santiago was entitled to relief under section 20109(c)(1) of the Federal Railroad Safety Act, 49 U.S.C. 20101 et seq. The court held that the ALJ's determination that Metro‐North had denied, delayed, or interfered with intervenor's medical treatment for a back injury he suffered during the course of his employment was not supported by substantial evidence. In this case, the record considered as a whole was inadequate to support the finding that Metro-North exerted so much influence over OHS that the OHS determination was not truly independent, such that Metro-North could be blamed for the delay in intervenor's medical treatment. Therefore, the court vacated the ARB's order and remanded for further proceedings. View "Metro-North Commuter Railroad Co. v. U.S. Department of Labor" on Justia Law

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The Second Circuit granted a petition for review of the ARB's final order affirming the ALJ's decision that Intervenor Anthony Santiago was entitled to relief under section 20109(c)(1) of the Federal Railroad Safety Act, 49 U.S.C. 20101 et seq. The court held that the ALJ's determination that Metro‐North had denied, delayed, or interfered with intervenor's medical treatment for a back injury he suffered during the course of his employment was not supported by substantial evidence. In this case, the record considered as a whole was inadequate to support the finding that Metro-North exerted so much influence over OHS that the OHS determination was not truly independent, such that Metro-North could be blamed for the delay in intervenor's medical treatment. Therefore, the court vacated the ARB's order and remanded for further proceedings. View "Metro-North Commuter Railroad Co. v. U.S. Department of Labor" on Justia Law

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Novelis’ Oswego plant management announced that employees would no longer receive Sunday premium pay and that holiday and vacation days would no longer count toward overtime eligibility. Abare and others obtained signed union authorization cards from a majority of the eligible employees.The Union requested voluntary recognition. Management announced that it no longer contemplated compensation changes. Some employees requested the return of their authorization. Novelis declined the demand for recognition. The Union sought an election. Novelis aggressively resisted organizing efforts. Executives reminded employees that Novelis’ unionized Quebec plant had closed. Novelis prevailed, 287 to 273. Abare subsequently posted a vulgar remark to his Facebook account complaining about his salary and castigating his fellow workers. Novelis demoted him. The NLRB issued a complaint alleging violations of the National Labor Relations Act, 29 U.S.C. 158(a)(1). An ALJ concluded that Novelis had committed unfair labor practices (ULPs) by restoring Sunday and holiday pay, removing Union literature, prohibiting employees from wearing Union paraphernalia, coercively interrogating employees, threatening employees, and by demoting Abare. The ALJ recommended the “extraordinary relief” of a bargaining order. The Board upheld the decision, declining to allow Novelis to supplement the record. The district court upheld the findings but refused to issue an interim bargaining order. The Second Circuit affirmed, concluding that the Board did not fully consider events occurring between the ULPs and its decision. While there is reasonable cause to believe that ULPs occurred, the evidence is not overwhelming. The employees are "sharply divided over the issue of unionization.” View "Novelis Corp. v. National Labor Relations Board" on Justia Law

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Novelis’ Oswego plant management announced that employees would no longer receive Sunday premium pay and that holiday and vacation days would no longer count toward overtime eligibility. Abare and others obtained signed union authorization cards from a majority of the eligible employees.The Union requested voluntary recognition. Management announced that it no longer contemplated compensation changes. Some employees requested the return of their authorization. Novelis declined the demand for recognition. The Union sought an election. Novelis aggressively resisted organizing efforts. Executives reminded employees that Novelis’ unionized Quebec plant had closed. Novelis prevailed, 287 to 273. Abare subsequently posted a vulgar remark to his Facebook account complaining about his salary and castigating his fellow workers. Novelis demoted him. The NLRB issued a complaint alleging violations of the National Labor Relations Act, 29 U.S.C. 158(a)(1). An ALJ concluded that Novelis had committed unfair labor practices (ULPs) by restoring Sunday and holiday pay, removing Union literature, prohibiting employees from wearing Union paraphernalia, coercively interrogating employees, threatening employees, and by demoting Abare. The ALJ recommended the “extraordinary relief” of a bargaining order. The Board upheld the decision, declining to allow Novelis to supplement the record. The district court upheld the findings but refused to issue an interim bargaining order. The Second Circuit affirmed, concluding that the Board did not fully consider events occurring between the ULPs and its decision. While there is reasonable cause to believe that ULPs occurred, the evidence is not overwhelming. The employees are "sharply divided over the issue of unionization.” View "Novelis Corp. v. National Labor Relations Board" on Justia Law

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Connecticut General Statute 52‐59b, which provides for long‐arm jurisdiction over certain out‐of‐state defendants except in defamation actions, does not violate plaintiff's First or Fourteenth Amendment rights. This case arose out of a news article published by Bloomberg News, reporting a lawsuit filed by plaintiff against his former employer, Palladyne International Asset Management, and others. The Second Circuit affirmed the district court's dismissal of plaintiff's defamation action as to the out-of-state defendants. In regard to allegedly defamatory statements made by the remaining defendants, the court affirmed the district court's dismissal of plaintiff's defamation claim based on the "as much as $500 million" statement, and reversed the district court's dismissal of the defamation claim based on the "repeatedly tried to extort" statement, pursuant to New York Civil Rights Law 74. View "Friedman v. Bloomberg L.P." on Justia Law

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Connecticut General Statute 52‐59b, which provides for long‐arm jurisdiction over certain out‐of‐state defendants except in defamation actions, does not violate plaintiff's First or Fourteenth Amendment rights. This case arose out of a news article published by Bloomberg News, reporting a lawsuit filed by plaintiff against his former employer, Palladyne International Asset Management, and others. The Second Circuit affirmed the district court's dismissal of plaintiff's defamation action as to the out-of-state defendants. In regard to allegedly defamatory statements made by the remaining defendants, the court affirmed the district court's dismissal of plaintiff's defamation claim based on the "as much as $500 million" statement, and reversed the district court's dismissal of the defamation claim based on the "repeatedly tried to extort" statement, pursuant to New York Civil Rights Law 74. View "Friedman v. Bloomberg L.P." on Justia Law

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Sexual orientation discrimination constitutes a form of discrimination "because of . . . sex," in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. The en banc court held that sexual orientation discrimination was motivated, at least in part, by sex and was thus a subset of sex discrimination. The en banc court overturned Simonton v. Runyon, 232 F.3d 33, 35 (2d Cir. 2000), and Dawson v. Bumble & Bumble, 398 F.3d 211, 217–23 (2d Cir. 2005), to the extent they held otherwise. In this case, plaintiff filed suit against his former employer, Altitude Express, alleging that he was terminated from his position as a skydiving instructor based on his sexual orientation. After determining that it had jurisdiction, the en banc court vacated the district court's judgment as to the Title VII claim and held that plaintiff was entitled to bring a claim for discrimination based on sexual orientation. The court remanded for further proceedings and affirmed in all other respects. View "Zarda v. Altitude Express, Inc." on Justia Law

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Plaintiff filed suit against Stony Brook under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. 2000e et seq., alleging discrimination and retaliation when he was terminated from his employment as an electrician. The Second Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment on the issue of whether plaintiff was an employee of Stony Brook. The court held, according to precedent, that a trial court did not commit error by submitting the question of whether plaintiff was defendant's employee to the jury, whether by general verdict or by special question. The court rejected plaintiff's contention that the district court erred when it instructed the jury to use the factors in Cmty. for Creative Non‐Violence v. Reid, 490 U.S. 730, 751–52 (1989), to determine whether plaintiff was a Stony Brook employee. The court held that the evidence presented disputed issues of fact regarding several of the Reid factors, and the balancing of those factors and others that pointed both in favor of and against employee status also presented a disputed issue requiring resolution by the fact‐finder. The court rejected plaintiff's remaining arguments. View "Knight v. State Univ. of N.Y. at Stony Brook" on Justia Law