Week Ahead in Employment: May 17, 2021

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(Reuters) - Here are some upcoming events of interest to the employment law community. Unless otherwise noted, all times are local, and court appearances are virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Wednesday, May 19

10 a.m. - A group of employees at an Amazon.com Inc warehouse in Staten Island will ask a 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel to revive their lawsuit accusing the online retail giant of failing to take proper precautions to protect workers amid the COVID-19 pandemic. A federal judge said the workers failed to allege a "special injury" beyond a general risk of exposure, and that their claims belong with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and not in court.

The case is Palmer v. Amazon.com Inc, 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, No. 20-3989. For the plaintiffs: Karla Gilbride of Public Justice. For Amazon: Jason Schwartz of Gibson Dunn & Crutcher.

2 p.m. - A different 2nd Circuit panel will consider former Fox News host Andrea Tantaros' claims that her lawsuit accusing the network's late CEO, Roger Ailes, and former anchor Bill O'Reilly of sexual harassment belongs in New York state court. A federal judge rejected Tantaros' argument that because her lawsuit arose under state law, which bans mandatory arbitration of sexual harassment claims, it should proceed in state court and could not be forced into arbitration.

The case is Tantaros v. Fox News Network LLC, 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, No. 20-3413. For Tantaros: Bruce Fein of Fein & DelValle. For Fox News: Matthew Lampe of Jones Day.

Thursday, May 20

9:30 a.m. - A federal judge in San Francisco will hold a case management conference in a lawsuit claiming United Airlines Inc should have paid pilots and flight attendants for tasks performed before flights and for time they spent on call. The hearing comes after the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals revived a separate lawsuit by the same named plaintiffs claiming United violated California law by failing to including certain information on wage statements. The case is Ward v. United Airlines Inc, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, No. 3:19-cv-03423. For the plaintiffs: Kirk Hanson and Jeffrey Jackson. For United: Adam KohSweeney of O'Melveny & Myers.

12:30 p.m. - Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Chair Charlotte Burrows will host a half-day webinar focused on recent violence, harassment, and discrimination against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic. Burrows will be joined by Obama-era EEOC chair Jenny Yang, who is now the head of the U.S. Department of Labor office that oversees federal contractors' compliance with anti-bias laws. EEOC staff lawyers will also discuss promoting inclusivity and equality in the workplace and recent developments in anti-discrimination law. For more information, visit: https://bit.ly/2QKDIXE.

Friday, May 21

9 a.m. - Lawyers for a company that provides harvesting labor to farms will urge an 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to rule that it was not required to pay supervisors overtime for time they spent driving H-2A visa workers to the bank and grocery store. A federal judge said those tasks were not "agricultural work" that is exempt from mandatory overtime pay under federal wage law and the H-2A program.

The case is Ramirez v. Statewide Harvesting & Hauling LLC, 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, No. 20-11995. For the plaintiffs: Edward Rosenberg of Sorondo Rosenberg Legal. For Statewide: David Stefany of Allen Norton & Blue.

Know of an event that could be included in an upcoming Week Ahead in Employment? Contact Dan Wiessner at daniel.wiessner@thomsonreuters.com.

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Dan Wiessner (@danwiessner) reports on labor and employment and immigration law, including litigation and policy making. He can be reached at daniel.wiessner@thomsonreuters.com.