New Work Suits: Pressed, Cleaned, and Filed

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By Jon Steingart

What’s new in workplace litigation? Catch up on the latest employment, labor, and benefits lawsuits filed in federal courts over the last week with Bloomberg Law’s “New Work Suits.”

More than 500 new complaints were filed in U.S. district courts the week of May 27. The southern districts of Florida and New York had the largest share of case filings. Together, nearly 15 percent of all workplace complaints were filed in the two jurisdictions. By topic, complaints alleging some form of workplace bias led the way, with 256 lawsuits filed in federal courts.

Notable Names

Disney, engaged in labor contract talks at a theme park on the west coast, was the target of a labor union lawsuit involving a park on the east coast. And the Trump administration saw a new round of lawsuits over an executive order. Here are a few notable names in the latest case filings:

  • A Home Goods store manager sued TJX Companies, the retailer’s parent company, for allegedly failing to accommodate her when she asked for time off and for a lesser assignment while she recovered from a serious skin infection. Last year the company settled a discrimination lawsuit filed by a transgender employee who said co-workers taunted her and refused to use correct pronouns for her gender.
  • Walt Disney World removed a dispute over restaurant gratuities filed by a union from Florida state court to federal court. Unite Here Local 737 challenged an arbitrator’s decision that was delayed when she lost internet and electricity service at her home during 2017’s hurricane Irma. Disneyland in California is in the middle of contract negotiations.
  • National Treasury Employees Union, a union that represents approximately 150,000 federal employees, filed a lawsuit challenging President Donald Trump’s recent executive order that moves to limit the amount of time employees can spend engaged in union business while on the taxpayers’ dime. It’s one of several challenges that have been filed in response to the May 25 order.
  • Oil field company FTS International Services won a motion to break apart a multiple-plaintiff lawsuit in which 43 workers allege they weren’t pay properly. The ruling, which resulted in several new individual cases, is an example of how trial courts are responding to a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling on workplace agreements that bar multiple-plaintiff actions.

Hot Spots

New filings this week were concentrated on the east coast. Some of the high profile organizations sued included the New York City Department of Education and the city’s ABC television affiliate.

  • The Southern District of Florida and the Southern District of New York tied to lead courts this week in total filings, with 37 new cases each. The Eastern District of New York had the next most, with 26.
  • New York was the busiest state overall, with 64 new cases filed. Florida was the runner-up, with 61.
  • Montana, Vermont, and the U.S. Virgin Islands were among the states or territories with no new cases.

Looking for more analytics on employment and benefits cases filed in U.S. courts? Bloomberg Law’s “New Work Suits” gives you up-to-date information on the latest employment and benefits complaints filed in U.S. district courts. For more information on any of the recent filings, subscribers can click here to access Bloomberg Law’s dockets search.

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