Eversheds Sutherland 11th Circuit Business Blog
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Court Revives Suit Against Employer that Allegedly Denied Woman Promotion for Not Being Korean

  The Eleventh Circuit recently gave new life to a plaintiff’s claims of employment discrimination. Jerberee Jefferson v. Sewon America, Inc., No. 17-11802 (11th Cir. June 1, 2018). Jerberee Jefferson, an African-American woman, filed suit against her former employer, Sewon America, Inc., for racial discrimination and retaliatory termination.  Although Jefferson began her career...

FLSA Opt-Ins Become Party Plaintiffs Upon Filing Written Consents

In Mickles v. Country Club Inc., 2018 WL 1835316 (11th Cir. Apr. 18, 2018), the Eleventh Circuit held, considering a question of first impression in any circuit, that filing a written consent to proceed as a party plaintiff in an FLSA collective action confers party plaintiff status on the filer, even if no collective action is certified. Mickles filed her complaint in April 2014,...

Eleventh Circuit Declines to Revisit Dreadlocks Discrimination Case En Banc

Nearly a full year after issuing a revised opinion supporting an initial holding that hairstyles and other “cultural characteristics”—like dreadlocks—cannot form the basis for a Title VII claim of intentional racial discrimination, the Eleventh Circuit denied the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s petition for rehearing en banc in EEOC v. Catastrophe Management Solutions (CMS),...

Government Official Entitled to Qualified Immunity—No Clearly Established First Amendment Violation in Not Promoting Employee Based on Father’s Speech

In last term’s decision in White v. Pauly, the Supreme Court observed that it has “issued a number of opinions reversing federal courts in qualified immunity cases” in recent years. 137 S. Ct. 548, 551 (2017).  In other words, lower courts have been too quick to conclude that challenged conduct violates “clearly established federal statutory or constitutional rights” (and therefore is...

Court Rejects Plaintiff’s Claims for FLSA and Rehabilitation Act Violations

This week the Eleventh Circuit affirmed the lower court’s (N.D. Ala.) decision to reject a city employee’s claims for violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), 29 U.S.C. §§ 201-219, and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (“Rehabilitation Act”), 29 U.S.C. § 794. Boyle v. City of Pell City, 2017 WL 3429383 (11th Cir. Aug. 10, 2017). Judge Fay, writing for the three- judge panel,...

NO ERISA CLAIMS FOR MULTI-EMPLOYER PENSION FUND CONTRIBUTOR

Responding to a pension fund’s dire financial condition, its board passed an amendment requiring employers withdrawing from the fund to pay a portion of the fund’s deficiency. One contributing employer, WestRock, then sought a declaratory judgment that the amendment violated ERISA, arguing on appeal that it had a claim under 29 U.S.C. §§ 1132(a)(10) or 1451(a). Whether these provisions...

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