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April 2019 Archives

Weil v. Citizens Telecom Servs., No. 16-35813 (9th Cir. Apr. 29, 2019)

When a former supervisor - later reassigned - tells an employee that they were not promoted because "[y]ou're not white" and "you're not female," can the statement be used to prove a discriminatory motive over a hearsay objection? A panel of the Ninth Circuit holds 2-1 that the statement is admissible against the employer as a party admission.

Davis-Garett v. Urban Outfitters, Inc., No. 17-3371 (2d Cir. Apr. 8, 2019)

The Second Circuit, in an ADEA hostile work environment and retaliation case, reminds district court judges that they are not to weigh or evaluate credibility of evidence submitted on summary judgment. Among other things, the district court forgot that "[i]t was required to disregard the contrary statements from [defendant's witnesses] that a jury would not be required to believe."

Hodges v. Life Insurance Co., No. 18-1279 (10th Cir. Apr. 2, 2019)

In ERISA cases, a lot can come down to the standard of review that a court applies to a plan administrator's decision. In this case, the Tenth Circuit holds that the plan required the court, not the plan administrator, to decide ultimately whether the participant should have been classified as a "sales personnel" entitled to a higher level of disability benefits.

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