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Labor, Employment and Employee Benefits Appeals

The firm has a large group of employment law practitioners with experience in numerous federal and state laws addressing issues related to employment, including Title VII, the ADEA, the ADA, the FMLA, the FLSA, the WARN Act, the NLRA, the RLA and ERISA, as well as the state law analogues of these federal statutes. The practice draws from other disciplines throughout the firm in these areas, notably the firm’s significant experience in class action and employee benefits counseling and litigation. The firm’s Appellate practice is deeply involved in the firm’s employment and employee benefits matters at both the trial and appellate levels, including appeals from class certification decisions as well as traditional appeals on the merits.

The firm has extensive Supreme Court experience in important employment, labor and employee benefits cases:

  • Raytheon Co. v. Hernandez, involving whether an employer’s “no-rehire” policy for employees terminated for violating personal conduct rules violates the Americans with Disabilities Act
  • Mohawk Industries v. Williams, addressing whether an employer and its labor recruiter could be sued under RICO for conspiring to hire undocumented workers
  • Burlington Northern Santa Fe Ry. v. White, deciding what constitutes “discrimination against” someone for purposes of Title VII’s anti-retaliation provision
  • IBP, Inc. v. Alvarez, determining whether certain activities related to donning and doffing protective gear are compensable under the Fair Labor Standards Act
  • Pegram v. Herdrich, deciding that HMOs could not be sued under ERISA for providing incentives to physicians to limit their use of medical resources
  • MLBPA v. Garvey, involving the standard of review for arbitration awards under section 301 of the LMRA

In addition, the firm has handled a myriad of appeals in federal circuit courts addressing employment, labor and employee benefits issues. Recent examples include:

  • Peterson v. AT&T (3d Cir.), deciding whether certain changes in the method of calculating benefits under retirement plans violate ERISA
  • Hulteen v. AT&T (9th Cir.), addressing whether certain methods of determining retirement benefits discriminate against pregnancy in violation of Title VII
  • Systems Council v. AT&T (D.C. Cir.), holding that an employer was not subject to ERISA in spinning off pension and welfare plans
  • Austin v. Norfolk Southern Corp. and Consolidated Rail Corp., (3d Cir.), vacating judgment for plaintiff in sexual harassment case and ordering entry of judgment for defendants
  • Hite v. Norfolk Southern Ry. Co., (6th Cir.), affirming judgment for defendant in Michigan Whistleblower's Act case based on statute of limitations grounds
  • Mattenson v. Baxter Healthcare, (7th Cir.), vacating judgment for plaintiff in age discrimination case and remanding for new trial based on errors in receipt and exclusion of evidence and improper jury instructions
  • Sutherland v. Norfolk Southern Ry., (7th Cir.), affirming summary judgment for defendant in race/sex discrimination case
  • Finley Lines Joint Protective Board v. Norfolk Southern Ry., (8th Cir.), reversing district court judgment for plaintiff and ordering entry of judgment for defendant in arbitration review case under the Railway Labor Act