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Firefighter and fire truck
Jul 24, 2023

Fire chiefs burnt in overtime lawsuit

Ten Alexandria fire department battalion chiefs who claimed they were owed overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act, or FLSA, saw their claim snuffed out by the Eastern District of Virginia.

Jul 3, 2023

Whistleblower claim barred by res judicata

Where a man previously claimed his termination by a government contractor constituted discrimination and retaliation, and the contractor prevailed on those claims, res judicata barred the man’s new complaint that the same conduct was in retaliation for his alleged whistleblowing activity. Background Floret Ikome joined SRA International Inc. on July 1, 2015. On Nov. 30, […]

Jul 3, 2023

CIty prevails in overtime suit by fire battalion chiefs

Where Alexandria fire department battalion chiefs argued they were owed overtime under federal and state law, but they qualified as a highly compensated employee, or HCE, they were exempt from the overtime rules. Background Plaintiffs are or have been fire department battalion chiefs, or BCs, for the City of Alexandria. From 2019 to 2022, when […]

Virginia General Assembly
Jun 12, 2023

On the books: New employment laws take effect July 1

July marks the unofficial halfway point of summer for many — family vacations, outdoor cookouts and many of the appeals of the season. In Virginia, July 1 also marks an important date on the calendar — the day laws passed by the General Assembly earlier in the year and signed by Gov. Glenn Youngkin become […]

May 23, 2023

Payment of wages to DOL didn’t moot FLSA claims

Where defendants sued for allegedly not paying overtime argued the plaintiffs’ Fair Labor Standards Act claims were mooted by the defendants’ tendering of the disputed funds to the Department of Labor, this argument was rejected. Waiver requires an agreement to waive rights, which must exist in addition to payment received. Background This case arises from […]

Crowd at music festival
May 15, 2023

Music festival bartenders’ FLSA suit proceeds

The Western District of Virginia conditionally certified a class of bartenders and barbacks who claimed a rock festival violated the Fair Labor Standards Act, or FLSA, and Virginia laws in 2021 and 2022. The defendants argued that class certification wasn’t warranted because the plaintiffs didn’t prove they were all similarly situated. And even if they […]

May 9, 2023

Amtrak employee’s Title VII claims must be arbitrated

Where an Amtrak employee alleged that she was subjected to discrimination made unlawful under Title VII, but her claims necessitated the “interpretation or application” of a collective bargaining agreement, they were subject to arbitration under the Railway Labor Act. Background Congress enacted the Railway Labor Act, or RLA, to curb disruption of the rail yards, […]

May 9, 2023

Amended complaint allowed in COVID-19 retaliation suit

Where a man alleging that he suffered adverse employment actions and retaliatory treatment as the result of his views and opinions regarding the safety of the COVID-19 vaccine moved to file an amended complaint, and it was not clear that the proposed amendments were clearly futile, the motion was granted. Background Samuel Sigoloff, a medical […]

May 9, 2023

Fireman alleges retaliation because of political beliefs

Where a Lynchburg fireman alleged that city officials investigated and disciplined him because of his speech on a political issue, he plausibly alleged a First Amendment retaliation claim. Background Martin Misjuns contends that he was subjected to a pattern of intimidation and harassment by the Lynchburg fire department’s superior officers and was arbitrarily and capriciously […]

May 9, 2023

Conditional class certified in bartender/barback wage suit

Where bartenders and barbacks who worked at a music festival in 2021 and 2022 raised similar issues regarding whether they were paid minimum wage, overtime and tips required by federal and Virginia law, a class was conditionally certified. Background Plaintiffs in this case are bartenders and barbacks who worked at the Blue Ridge Rock Festival […]

Apr 25, 2023

U.S. invokes states secrets privilege in non-solicit dispute

Where a company sued its former employees for violating a non-solicitation promise, and sued their new company for tortious interference, the United States was permitted to intervene in the suit to invoke the “state secrets” privilege because the companies performed classified work for government agencies. Background On June 21, 2022, GRID Networks LLC filed a […]

Apr 24, 2023

Ex-professor’s federal claims dismissed

Where a former professor at James Madison University, or JMU, who resigned after he was accused of sexual harassment by a female student, sued JMU and university officials, but his complaint failed to plead plausible Title IX, federal due process or First Amendment retaliation claims, and the court declined to exercise jurisdiction over the state-law […]

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