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Labor & Employment

Labor & Employment – Public Employees – Constructive Discharge – Ethics Charge – Attorney’s Fees (access required)

Just v. Spartanburg Community College Even though plaintiff has alleged a claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for retaliatory discharge in violation of the First and Fourteenth Amendments, plaintiff has only alleged these claims against defendants Giles and Jones. Even if defendants Spartanburg Community College and the S.C. Board for Technical and Comprehensive Education would be necessary parties to injunctive relief (i.e., reinstatement), the complaint does not state a constructive discharge claim against them.

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Labor & Employment – Board Member Recess Appointments Invalid (access required)

NLRB v. Enterprise Leasing Co. Southeast LLC In these two consolidated cases, the 4th Circuit says the appointment of three members to the National Labor Relations Board on Jan. 4, 2012 was unconstitutional because the appointments were not made during the “Recess of the Senate” under the U.S. Constitution, and the court denies enforcement of two bargaining orders issued by the board after appointment of the three members.

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Labor & Employment – Retirement – ERISA Plan – Remand Motion – Administrative Review (access required)

Savani v. Washington Safety Management Solutions, LLC Where defendants failed to request remand for administrative review until more than a year after the Fourth Circuit issued its opinion and until after this court issued a ruling adverse to defendants, defendants have waived their administrative exhaustion argument. Moreover, this court found no ambiguity in the terms of the ERISA plan as amended, so remand is not justified on the basis of ambiguity.

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Labor & Employment – Pension Fund Can’t Garnish Agency Payment (access required)

Carpenters Pension Fund of Baltimore, Md. v. Maryland Dep’t of Health & Mental Hygiene A pension fund attempting to collect on a $16,141 default judgment against a construction company for unpaid employer pension-plan contributions cannot garnish funds owed to the construction company by a Maryland state agency; the 4th Circuit says the garnishment proceeding violates the 11th Amendment and remands with instructions to quash the writ of garnishment.

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Labor & Employment – Hospital Policy Protects in Title VII Harassment Case (access required)

Crockett v. Mission Hospital Inc. The 4th Circuit affirms summary judgment for defendant hospital in a Title VII suit filed by a female radiologic technologist because the hospital had communicated its anti-harassment policy to hospital personnel and promptly attempted to investigate plaintiff’s unspecified claim of “horrific” conduct by her male supervisor; despite plaintiff’s complaint that the supervisor had required her to raise her shirt to show she was not wearing a wire, sat with his knees outside hers and asked for a kiss, she was terminated after repeated warnings about improper cell phone use at work and because she violated HIPAA by surreptitiously recording patients.

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Labor & Employment – ERISA Plan Covers Drunken Driver Death (access required)

Johnson v. American United Life Ins. Co. Because an employee’s ERISA plan does not define “accident” for coverage of accidental death and dismemberment benefits, the 4th Circuit construes the plan in favor of coverage and says the widow of an employee with a .289 blood alcohol content who died in a one-vehicle accident is entitled to coverage for both AD&D benefits and life insurance under the employer’s ERISA plan.

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Labor & Employment – Unemployment Compensation – Hospital – Flu Shot Requirement – Refusal (access required)

AnMed Health v. South Carolina Department of Employment & Workforce While it was reasonable for a hospital to require its employees to get a flu shot, it was also reasonable for the respondent-employee to refuse, given that she has no direct contact with patients and that her daughter had died from possibly genetically-based complications from a flu shot.

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Labor & Employment – No ADA Claim from Leave Denial (access required)

Wilson v. Dollar General Corp. An employee of a chain-store distribution center who filed his disability discrimination claim with the EEOC before he filed his Chapter 13 bankruptcy petition has standing to pursue his discrimination claim, the 4th Circuit says, but the claim has no merit as the employee did not show he could perform the essential functions of his job had he been granted a brief additional leave for treatment of his vision impairment.

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Labor & Employment – FLSA – Off-the-clock Work – Civil Practice – Conditional Class Certification (access required)

Curtis v. Time Warner Entertainment-Advance/Newhouse Partnership Plaintiffs have made the modest factual showing required for conditional class certification under the Fair Labor Standards Act: plaintiffs have made a showing that defendant’s sales representatives were required to work off the clock in order to make sure that defendant’s software correctly credited them with commissions.

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