Miller v. American Airlines, Inc., 2011 WL 208291 (3d Cir., January 25, 2011) – The Third Circuit Court of Appeals recently held that a plan administrator’s abuse of discretion in terminating an employee’s long-term disability (LTD) benefits necessitates a retroactive reinstatement of benefits. The plaintiff, a pilot, began receiving LTD benefits following a psychotic episode that left him unable to work. Several years later, the airline terminated the plaintiff’s benefits after his treating physician stated that he was asymptomatic and not taking any medication. The court found that the termination of the plaintiff’s benefits was arbitrary and capricious because, among other reasons, it was not based on any new information and it imposed requirements outside of the plan (i.e., that the plaintiff failed to obtain his FAA medical certification). In an issue of first impression, the court then declared that the appropriate remedy for an improper termination of benefits is a retroactive reinstatement of benefits, as opposed to a remand to the plan administrator, which is the appropriate remedy in an initial denial.
Third Circuit Holds Administrative Exemption Under FLSA Applicable to Pharmaceutical Sales Representatives
The Third Circuit Court of Appeals has held that a former pharmaceutical sales representative for Johnson & Johnson was exempt from overtime entitlements under the administrative exemption of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). In reaching its determination, the court focused on the plaintiff’s own testimony, which described the independent and managerial qualities of her position (e.g., the order and number of visits made to doctors was left to her discretion)
On June 10, 2021, the First Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the dismissal of a plaintiff’s lawsuit alleging, among other things, failure to pay wages under the Massachusetts Wage Act. In Rose v. RTN Federal Credit Union, the First Circuit held that the Labor Management Relations Act (LMRA) preempted the plaintiff’s wage claims because she was a member of a union and because her employer, RTN Federal Credit Union, had an existing collective bargaining agreement (CBA) with the union that governed her wages and overtime pay.
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently took a fresh look at the test for discrimination under Section 105(c) of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 (Mine Act), issuing a decision that could signal a major shift in the way Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) discrimination cases are litigated.