Recent News & Info: Employment Law

Case Summaries

Civil Rights

[11/01] Zion v. County of Orange
In a civil rights action, alleging that a police officer used excessive force when he shot the deceased Connor Zion nine times at close range while he was lying on the ground then stomped on his head three times, the district court's grant of qualified immunity to defendants is reversed where a reasonable jury could conclude that the shots and head stomping were excessive force and acts serving no legitimate law enforcement purpose.

[10/27] Saunders v. Town of Hull
In a civil rights action brought by plaintiff police officer, alleging retaliation in failing to promote him after he reported $130,000 of missing police union funds and, as the union president, organized a union-wide vote of no confidence against the police chief, the district court's summary judgment for defendants is affirmed as to the federal 42 U.S.C. section 1983 claims and most state claims.

[10/16] Morales v. Fry
In an unlawful arrest and excessive force action, arising from a May Day protest in Seattle, the district court's judgment is affirmed in part and reversed in part. The court held that the district court erred in referring the 'clearly established' prong of the qualified immunity analysis to the jury as it is a question of law to ultimately be decided by a judge.

[10/11] H.E., Individually and on behalf of H.F. v. Walter D. Palmer Leadership Learning Partners Charter School
Reversing the district court's denial of attorney's fees to parents who brought suit under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act because the fee-shifting provision allows litigants to claim attorney fees as the prevailing party even when they only win interlocutory procedural relief.

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Labor & Employment Law

[11/15] Whitehall v. County of San Bernadino
Affirming the trial court's denial of a special motion to strike the complaint made by a County being sued by an ex-employee who was terminated for releasing information that she had been submitting false information to the juvenile court at the behest of her superiors because the plaintiff met her burden in showing her likelihood of success.

[11/15] Douglas v. Xerox Business Service
Affirming the district court's summary judgment in favor of the defendants in an action brought by call center workers under the Fair Labor Standards Act and deciding that minimum-wage compliance should be determined on a per-workweek rather than a per-individual hour basis in a case involving Xerox's complicated payment system that paid a variety of different wages for different work activities.

[11/13] US v. Burhoe
Denying the petition for panel rehearing in a case where the evidence was sufficient to show that appellants willfully violated the statute involving a man's improper service as a union representative and determining that the prior failure to address the district court's refusal to investigate a juror's post-verdict message would not have altered the decision's outcome.

[11/03] Clemens v. Qwest Corp.
In a labor and employment action, the district court's order denying an adjustment in plaintiff's damages award from a successful discrimination suit, to account for increased tax liabilities from his lump-sum back-pay award, is vacated and remanded where district courts may, at their discretion, 'gross up' a lump-sum payment in employment discrimination suits to account for a prevailing employee's resulting increased tax liability.

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