Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Employment Case Law Update

--Martin v PepsiAmericas, Inc., 5th Cir.: The 5th Circuit reiterated its bright-line rule that set-offs and counterclaims are not permissible in FLSA suits in holding that an employer may not set off the value of benefits that it paid out under a severance agreement against a claim for overtime wages under the FLSA.

--Mann v Heckler & Koch Defense, Inc., 4th Cir.: The 4th Circuit affirmed the lower court's decision to dismiss the Plaintiff's False Claims Act retaliation case. Plaintiff failed to make out a case for False Claims Act (“FCA”) retaliation action against his former employer because the Court found that his actions fell outside the scope of FCA protection because the conduct the plaintiff opposed involved nothing more than non-fraudulent statements made by the employer during the course of a contractual bidding process.
In upholding the lower court's decision, the court noted the three-prong test in qui tam retaliation cases and ultimately ruled that the plaintiff could not meet the distinct possibility standard because of one undeniable fact: there was no fraud. Therefore, based on the facts known to Mann at the time of his conduct, there was no reasonable possibility that his efforts could lead to a viable FCA action. The plaintiff made other arguments to show he engaged in "protected activity" but those too failed.

--Anfinson v FedEx Ground Package System, Inc., WA Court of Appeals: In an issue of first impression, a Washington State Court of Appeals ruled that a jury instruction that distinguished between employees and independent contractors by focusing on whether an employer has the right to control the details of an individual’s performance of work incorrectly stated the law and that that the economic realities test used by the majority of federal circuits is the proper test for determining whether a worker is an employee under Washington’s Minimum Wage Act (MWA).

No comments:

Post a Comment