Legal Industry

Week Ahead in Employment: May 24, 2021

4 minute read

(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.

Monday, May 24

Public comments are due on a U.S. Department of Labor proposal to tweak a Trump-era rule on paying tipped workers by expanding employers' exposure to monetary penalties. DOL wants to eliminate a requirement in the December rule that violations be "repeated or willful" in order to qualify for penalties. The agency has separately proposed postponing several of the rule's main provisions until Dec. 31.

Tuesday, May 25

1 p.m. (ET)- The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, joined by the U.S. Department of Labor and Department of Health and Human Services, will present a webinar on employment rights for women who are planning to re-enter the workforce. The program will focus on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on women's participation in the workforce.

Wednesday, May 26

9:30 a.m. - Court-appointed lawyers from Williams & Connolly arguing on behalf of a Chicago teacher will urge a 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to rule that a retirement plan that covers a significant number of private-sector workers is not a "governmental plan" exempt from the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974. Tamika Graham sued the city's board of education for attempting to collect insurance premiums for a period during which she had been suspended. But a judge found the board's benefits plan was a "governmental plan" even though it covered many employees of private charter schools.

The case is Graham v. Board of Education of the City of Chicago, 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, No. 19-2745. For Graham: Whitney Hermandorfer of Williams & Connolly. For the Board of Education: Thomas Doyle.

Thursday, May 27

10 a.m. - A 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel will consider reviving a former CSX Transportation Inc conductor's claim that the railroad pressured employees to falsify information about deadly hazardous materials it was transporting and fired him for raising concerns. Plaintiff Cody Ziparo says the judge who tossed out his lawsuit held him to too high of a bar at the summary judgment stage.

The case is Ziparo v. CSX Transportation Inc, 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, No. 20-1196. For Ziparo: Lawrence Mann of Alper & Mann. For CSX: Joseph Devine of Baker & Hostetler and Susan Roney of Nixon Peabody.

1:30 p.m. - A federal judge in San Francisco will hold a hearing in a lawsuit against Uber Technologies Inc focused on the impact of a California ballot measure allowing gig companies to treat drivers as independent contractors rather than employees. Uber is seeking to amend its answer to the proposed class action to raise the defense that the ballot measure was decisive in the case. The plaintiffs say Uber drivers are employees entitled to minimum wage, overtime pay, sick leave and reimbursements for expenses.

The case is James et al v. Uber Technologies Inc, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, No. 3:19-cv-06462. For the plaintiffs: Shannon Liss-Riordan of Lichten & Liss-Riordan. For Uber: Peter Squeri and Theane Evangelis of Gibson Dunn & Crutcher.

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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