The Ninth Circuit contributes to the latest in a roster of recent U.S. Courts of Appeals' decisions reversing summary judgment in cases where the district court applied a too-strict standard of "similarly situated" to evaluate an employee's claim of discriminatory discipline under the McDonnell Douglas test.
In an ERISA case of importance to employees seeking to collect benefits, the en banc Ninth Circuit cleans up some dicta in its prior case law and - without dissent - holds that parties other than benefit plans and plan administrators may be liable for payment of benefits under 29 U.S.C. § 1132(a)(1)(B).
Employment lawyers know that it is commonplace for national employers to remove private, state-law employment discrimination cases from state to federal court, whenever there are diversity-of-citizenship grounds to do so. Here's the next step - the Ninth Circuit (2-1) approves removal of a suit commenced by a state civil rights agency in state court, holding that it is the citizenship of the employee - the real party in interest - that counts for diversity purposes.
Updated to September 4, 2019