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NLRB Decision Will Serve as Sole Labor Related Case Appointed to Supreme Court Docket

The Supreme Court started its new term Tuesday, which just one labor-related case on its docket.  While the decision could have far reaching effects on presidential powers to appoint officers, it is likely to have little impact on this particular area of law.  Below is a summary of the case.

NLRB v. SW Gen., Inc., No. 15-1251, cert. granted (6/20/16). On June 20, the Supreme Court granted the NLRB’s petition for review of a D.C. Circuit decision related to Obama’s appointment of Lafe Solomen as acting general counsel for the NLRB.  The D.C. Circuit held that an unfair labor practice charge was invalid because it was issued when Solomen was serving as acting general counsel in violation of the Federal Vacancies Reform Act.  The high court will review whether Solomen lost his authority as acting general counsel following his presidential nomination for general counsel.  Oral arguments are set for November 7.

Among the many labor and employment law cases denied review on October 3 when the Supreme Court began its new term are two Fourth Circuit and one Maryland decision.  Below are summaries of those cases.

Calderon v. Geico Ins. Co., 809 F.3d 111 (4th Cir. 2015), cert. denied (10/3/16).  The Fourth Circuit ruled that Geico’s failure to pay its claims adjustors overtime was a violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act.  The court held that the claims adjustors, whose primary duties were to conduct investigations and report results, did not qualify for the administrative exemption because those duties were not directly related to Geico’s management or general business.

Williams v. Bd. of Educ. of Prince George’s Cty., No. 1318 (Md. 2013), cert. denied (10/3/16).  The Maryland Court of Appeals granted summary judgment to the Board of Education on a former teacher’s complaint about an unsatisfactory evaluation.  Plaintiff’s ignorance of the time requirements for appealing the Board decision was not an accepted defense, nor was her contention that the she failed to authorize the union’s attorney to represent her in her case.  It was not possible to conduct “meaningful review” of her evaluation three years later, said the Court of Appeals.

Hylind v. Xerox Corp., 632 Fed. Appx. 114 (4th Cir. 2015), cert. denied (10/3/16).  The Fourth Circuit affirmed and modified the district court’s decision in this gender discrimination and retaliation case.  Significantly, the court held that: (1) Xerox was not entitled to offset backpay owed with disability payments because those payments constituted a collateral source; (2) post-judgment interest was properly calculated from the date of the initial entry of judgment awarding the plaintiff back pay; and (3) plaintiff was entitled to compound, not simple, post-judgment interest.

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