Friday, July 21, 2017

Cases --- July 9th through 15th

Contract/Noncompete/Trade Secret/Wrongful Termination

*Puckett v. US Dept. of Agriculture (10th Cir., July 10, 2017) (affirming summary judgment in defendant's favor:  Puckett failed to demonstrate that her termination was arbitrary and capricious or that the reason for it was lacking in substantial evidence)


*Ellison v. Roosevelt County Board of County Commissioners (10th Cir., July 12, 2017) (affirming magistrate's 12(b)(6) dismissal of Ellison's claim he was fired for arresting his supervisor's friend, reporting misconduct, and refusing to cover up wrongdoing:  his complaint failed to state a plausible claim for relief)


Discrimination/Retaliation

*Jara v. Standard Parking (10th Cir., July 13, 2017) (affirming 12(b)(6) dismissal of Jara's claims because he failed to timely file on his discrimination claim or to allege sufficient facts on his retaliation claim)

Labor Unions

*Jara v. Standard Parking (10th Cir., July 13, 2017) (affirming 12(b)(6) dismissal of Jara's claims because he alleged no facts suggesting the Union acted in such a discriminatory, dishonest, arbitrary, or perfunctory fashion as to breach its duty of fair representation)

Workers Compensation/Occupational Safety and Disease

*Scott v. Berryhill (10th Cir., July 10, 2017) (affirming denial of social security benefits because, while Scott suffered from severe impairments, she retained the residual capacity to perform light work)


*Olson v. Berryhill (10th Cir., July 10, 2017) (affirming denial of benefits because Olson still had residual capacity for light work despite cervical fractures, degenerative disc disease, obesity, bilateral hearing loss, and joint degeneration)



*Cases marked with an asterisk are cases the 10th Circuit does not consider binding precedent except under the doctrines of law of the case, res judicata, or collateral estoppel. They may be cited, however, for persuasive value under Fed.R.App.P. 32.1 and 10th Cir.R. 32.1.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Cases --- June 25th through July 1st

Contract/Noncompete/Trade Secret/Wrongful Termination

*Winger v. Meade District Hospital (10th Cir., June 27, 2017) (affirming summary judgment in favor of the hospital on Winger's due process claim)

Bahnmaier v. Northern Utah Healthcare Corporation (Utah Ct. App., June 29, 2017) (affirming summary judgment in favor of Northern Utah: the hospital's substance abuse policy is not an implied contract requiring reasonable suspicion of intoxication before drug testing)

Unemployment Appeals

Gibson v. Department of Workforce Services (Utah Ct. App., June 29, 2017) (declining to disturb appeals board's determination that Gibson quit his position without good cause, making him ineligible for unemployment benefits)

Wages

Marlow v. The New Food Guy, Inc. (10th Cir., June 30, 2017) (Marlow received $12/hour ($4.50 above minimum wage) but demanded her tips under 29 CFR § 531.52 (2011).  The 10th Circuit affirmed the district court's implicit determination that the Department of Labor lacked authority to promulgate such a regulation: "If an employer pays more than the minimum wage without regard to tips, the FLSA does not restrict [its] use of tips. The regulation categorically barring employers from retaining tips is invalid because it exceeded DOL’s authority.")
   
*Cases marked with an asterisk are cases the 10th Circuit does not consider binding precedent except under the doctrines of law of the case, res judicata, or collateral estoppel. They may be cited, however, for persuasive value under Fed.R.App.P. 32.1 and 10th Cir.R. 32.1.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Cases --- June 18th through 24th

Unemployment Appeals

*Board of Education v. Henderson (10th Cir., June 19, 2017) (unhappy with the Navajo Nation's determination that it had jurisdiction, the school district sought relief in federal court, which dismissed for lack of standing)


Workers Compensation/Occupational Safety and Disease

*Bell v. Social Security Administration (10th Cir., June 20, 2017) (affirming denial of social security benefits because Bell inadequately briefed her case: her arguments were little more than cursory statements without analysis)


*Kellams v. Berryhill (10th Cir., June 23, 2017) (reversing denial of disability and supplemental income benefits: the ALJ downplayed the severity of some evidence and failed to provide legitimate reasons for discounting medical source opinions)

  
*Cases marked with an asterisk are cases the 10th Circuit does not consider binding precedent except under the doctrines of law of the case, res judicata, or collateral estoppel. They may be cited, however, for persuasive value under Fed.R.App.P. 32.1 and 10th Cir.R. 32.1.

Cases --- June 11th through 17th

Discrimination/Retaliation

*Herrera v. Las Cruces Public Schools (10th Cir., June

13, 2017) (affirming dismissal of Herrera's disability discrimination and retaliatory discharge claims as untimely: "date of service" is the date of mailing, not receipt)

*Jones v. Price (10th Cir., June 13, 2017) (affirming summary judgment in favor of Price, the Secretary of Health & Human Services, because Jones failed to establish any violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act)


Depaula v. Easter Seals El Mirador (10th Cir., June 12, 2017) (affirming summary judgment in favor of Easter Seals because Depaula could not show any pretext in support of his employment discrimination claims)


ERISA and Employee Pension Plans



Ostler v. Retirement Board (Utah Ct. App., June 15, 2017) (declining to disturb the board's decision declining pension benefits because Ostler forfeited 15 years of credit when he elected to receive a refund of his member contributions)

Workers Compensation/Occupational Safety and Disease


*Martinez v. Berryhill (10th Cir., June 14, 2017) (reversing and remanding denial of law firm's motion for reconsideration of Judge's Order requiring it to refund Equal Access to Justice Act fees)


*Lopez v. Berryhill (10th Cir., June 13, 2017) (affirming denial of Lopez's fee application under the Equal Access to Justice Act following his successful appeal; the decision appealed from, however, was substantially justified despite its being wrong)



*Cases marked with an asterisk are cases the 10th Circuit does not consider binding precedent except under the doctrines of law of the case, res judicata, or collateral estoppel. They may be cited, however, for persuasive value under Fed.R.App.P. 32.1 and 10th Cir.R. 32.1.

Monday, June 19, 2017

D. Scott Crook Named a Mountain States Super Lawyer!

D. Scott Crook, the creator of The Utah Employment Lawyer and a partner and managing attorney of Crook & Taylor Law PLLC, was nominated by his peers for inclusion in the 2017 Edition of Mountain States Super Lawyers for Employment and Labor.  Mr. Crook, who has also been named to The Best Lawyers in America and as one of the Utah Legal Elitehas been included in The Mountain States Super Lawyers since 2011.

Mr. Crook's law partner, Jeremiah Taylor, was also named as a 2017 Rising Star by Mountain States Super Lawyers.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Cases --- June 4th through 10th


*Pittman v. American Airlines, Inc. (10th Cir., June 8, 2017) (affirming summary judgment in favor of American Airlines on Pittman's race and disability discrimination and retaliation because she failed to draw any causal connection or pretext)

*Burke v. State of New Mexico (10th Cir., June 8, 2017) (affirming dismissal of 1983 and certain equal pay and whistleblower claims, reversing dismissal of whistleblower claim against one of the defendants in his official capacity, and remanding violation-of-privacy, wage discrimination, and whistleblowing claims)


ERISA


Advocate Health Care Network v. Stapleton (U.S. Supreme Court, June 5, 2017) (reversing judgment in favor of

Stapleton respondents: church plans include plans maintained by organizations whose principal purpose is the administration of such plans, regardless of who established them, churches or church-affiliated nonprofit organizations. These plans fall under ERISA's 29 USC s. 1003(b)(2) exemption) 

The Pioneer Centres Holding Company Employee Stock Ownership Plan v. Alerus Financial, N.A. (10th Cir., June 5, 2017) (affirming summary judgment for Alerus: it is the duty of the plaintiff asserting a breach of fiduciary duty claim under ERISA to prove losses to the plan)

*Cases marked with an asterisk are cases the 10th Circuit does not consider binding precedent except under the doctrines of law of the case, res judicata, or collateral estoppel. They may be cited, however, for persuasive value under Fed.R.App.P. 32.1 and 10th Cir.R. 32.1.