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Shadow of Dynamex Creeps Over Uber’s Proposed $20M Million Settlement

Last week, we shared with you the news of Uber’s proposed $20 million settlement to resolve a long-running misclassification claim – the parties agreed to the deal, and they just needed the approval of a federal court judge (read the entire post here). Of course, nothing is finalized until it’s signed, and the parties to this particular claim know that all too well; after all, they thought they had a $100 million settlement in place in April 2016 before the same judge nixed the proposed deal as not being “fair, adequate, and reasonable” to the class of drivers. This week, that judge signaled there could be another fly in the ointment, and its name is Dynamex.

When Does A $20 Million Settlement Feel Like A Bargain? Uber Shows You How

When the news broke today that Uber had agreed to pay a group of drivers $20 million to settle a long-running misclassification claim, you could be forgiven for thinking that the deal sounded like a massive blow to the gig economy giant. After all, $20 million is a substantial sum – no matter how large a company is – and in most cases would be an indication that the paying party had given in to the exorbitant demands of the claimants. But this settlement is different. It resolves a claim that Uber had originally agreed to settle for $100 million – five times the amount of the final total. How did Uber get such a bargain?

Ex-KFC Worker Awarded $1.5 Million for Breastfeeding Accommodation Violations

A jury has awarded a former KFC worker $1.5 million in punitive damages for discriminatory actions by supervisors that were designed to hinder the employee's ability to express breast milk at work. The employee claimed that her supervisors' and coworkers' behavior was so severe it caused her milk supply to dry up, making it impossible for her to continue to breastfeed her child.

Former Winery Employees Awarded $11 million

Plaintiffs Megan Meadowcroft and Amanda Brown, two winery employees, alleged that they had been harassed on numerous occasions by their supervisor, General Manager Pinero. Specifically, Brown alleged that Pinero attempted to flirt with her, and physically made contact with her. Meadowcroft alleged that Pinero made sexually explicit gestures, sexually explicit comments, put his hands on her waist and under her buttocks as she was serving customers, and on at least one occasion told her that she could be a manager if she would have sex with him. Along with a claim of harassment, they filed claims of retaliation, failure to prevent harassment/retaliation, and negligent supervision, retention, and hiring.

A $6M Misunderstanding? Pennsylvania Jury Finds Age and National Origin Discrimination

Following a five-day trial, and nine hours of deliberation, a federal jury in Pennsylvania has awarded more than $6 million to a former Teva Pharmaceuticals employee. Middlebrooks v. Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc., No. 2:17-cv-00412 (E.D. Pa. Nov. 19, 2018). The employee claimed that the company discriminated against him on the basis of his age in violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) and on the basis of his national origin in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and retaliated against him for lodging internal complaints.

Airline Ordered to Pay Flight Attendants $77 Million in Damages

A class of flight attendants in a case involving alleged violations of California’s wage and hour laws was awarded $77 million in damages. In so doing, the judge rejected the airline’s challenges to the plaintiff’s damages model and reduced the damages requested by the workers by only $8 million. Bernstein et al. v. Virgin America Inc., No. 3:15-cv-02277 (N.D. Cal. Jan. 16, 2019).

New York School District Beats $4 Million Gender and Pregnancy Discrimination Suit

A federal jury recently found the former Superintendent of the East Greenbush Central School District did not meet her burden of proving she was fired because of her pregnancy and gender. As a result of the jury’s finding, the School District avoided paying on a seven-figure price tag.

No Liability for School in $4-Million Gender Discrimination Suit, Jury Finds

A federal jury concluded that the former Superintendent of the East Greenbush Central School District failed meet her burden of proving she was terminated based on her gender and pregnancy status. Accordingly, the District was not liable for the more than $4 million in damages sought.

Top 10 Non-Monetary Terms In Uber’s $10M Discrimination Settlement

Sure, the monetary portion of the settlement—$10 million to a class of approximately 400 Uber software engineers and over $2.6M in attorneys’ fees—is pretty eye-opening. But perhaps the more significant part of the settlement agreement that was just agreed to by a federal court judge on Wednesday were all of the non-monetary terms.

Scientist Awarded $3M by Pennsylvania Jury in Gender Discrimination Suit

A federal jury recently awarded a female scientist $3M for her gender discrimination claims against PPG Industries, Inc., headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Half of the award was for emotional distress damages.