Featured Cases ***
Salvation Army (7th Cir 02/28/2008)
Schleicher was an
ordained minister who ran a Salvation Army
He sued the employer, asserting claims for unpaid
minimum wages and overtime compensation under the Fair Labor
Standards Act (FLSA). The
trial court dismissed Schleicher's claims, based on the
The 7th Circuit affirmed, stating "[t]he Salvation
Army's Adult Rehabilitation Centers are functional equivalents
of cathedrals or monasteries, and the ministers who administer
them are therefore engaged in ecclesiastical
court approved the trial court's application of a presumption
that clerical personnel are exempt from coverage under the
FLSA. The court
noted that the presumption can be overcome by evidence that
(for example) the church is a sham.
The court determined, however, that Schleicher failed
to carry his burden of overcoming the presumption.
Timson v. Sampson
(11th Cir 02/27/2008)
Timson sued the
employer, pursing a qui tam action under the federal False
Claims Act (FCA). The
trial court dismissed the suit, based on its determination
that qui tam suits can't be maintained pro se.
The 11th Circuit affirmed, agreeing with the 7th, 8th,
and 9th Circuits that a private individual may not maintain an
FCA qui tam action pro se.
Dewitt v. Proctor
Hospital (7th Cir 02/27/2008)
Dewitt sued the
employer, asserting (among other things) a claim under the
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) that she suffered
discrimination based on her association with a disabled
claim arose from the allegation that she was discharged by her
self-insured employer in order to save the cost of treating
her husband's cancer. The
trial court granted summary judgment in favor of the employer.
The 7th Circuit reversed, concluding that Dewitt
produced sufficient direct evidence of discriminatory animus
to get to a jury. The
court also concluded that Dewitt should have been allowed to
amend her complaint to add a retaliation claim under the
Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) based on the
Williams v. Boeing
(9th Cir 02/27/2008)
Williams sued the
employer in a class action, asserting a 42 USC Section 1981
race discrimination (discriminatory compensation practices)
claim. The trial
court granted partial summary judgment in favor of the
employer, as to the part of the claim that related to alleged
discrimination prior to May 2000. The 9th Circuit affirmed, concluding that the pre-May 2000
allegations were untimely.
The court reasoned that 1) the claims were not
sufficiently pled in the initial complaint; 2) the relevant
portions of Williams' amended complaint did not "relate
back" to the initial complaint; and 3) Williams' judicial
estoppel and tolling arguments failed.
Fye v. Oklahoma
Corporation Commission (10th Cir 02/27/2008)
Fye sued the employer,
asserting a Title VII retaliation claim.
The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of
the employer. The
10th Circuit affirmed, concluding that 1) Fye produced
insufficient evidence to get to a jury under the "direct
evidence" model of proof; and 2) Fye produced
insufficient evidence of pretext to get to a jury under the
"indirect evidence" model of proof.
California Faculty v.
PERB (California Ct App 02/28/2008)
The public university
faculty's union filed an unfair labor practice charge with the
Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) over parking issues.
PERB rejected the charge, concluding that the employer
had no duty to bargain over a change in parking arrangements.
The court set aside PERB's decision, and remanded for
re-consideration. PERB based its decision on the determination that the issue
of parking location "does not involve the 'employment
court found that determination to be erroneous, and remanded
for consideration of the remaining elements of the union's
unfair labor practice charge.
Harrington v. Payroll
Services (California Ct App 02/28/2008)
sued the employer in a class action, asserting a state law
claim for unpaid overtime compensation.
The trial court denied class certification and the case
settled for $10,500. Harrington
then sought $46,000 in attorney fees, but the trial court
declined to award any attorney fees whatsoever.
The court reversed, concluding that 1) Harrington was
entitled to attorney fees under Cal. Labor Code Section 2699;
and 2) $500 was an appropriate amount.
The court noted, "[i]t is as plain to us as it was
to the trial court that, from the outset, this was a dispute
about $44.63 and that it was not viable as a class