Docket – November 15, 2018

4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals

Netter v. Barnes (P), 4th Cir. (Motz) from MDNC at Greensboro (Eagles).

The plaintiff’s unauthorized review and disclosure of confidential personnel files to support her racial and religious discrimination claims was not protected activity under Title VII.

The court doesn’t read the “participation” clause of Title VII’s retaliation provision so narrowly as to improperly limit an employee’s ability to gather evidence for a bona fide Title VII claim. But here, the plaintiff’s unauthorized inspection and copying of the personnel files wasn’t protected participation activity because she violated a valid, generally-applicable state law that makes it a misdemeanor to knowingly and willfully examine, remove, or copy any portion of a confidential personnel file without authorized access.

Affirmed.

U.S. District Court – Virginia Eastern

J.E.C.M. v. Lloyd, EDVA at Alexandria (Brinkema).

In this immigrant family-separation case, plaintiffs have stated sufficient allegations to support procedural and substantive challenges to the Office of Refugee Resettlement’s policy to deny release of a minor in custody where the child’s sponsor cohabits with other adults who are unwilling to provide their fingerprints and biographic information to be shared with ICE for immigration-enforcement purposes. The plaintiffs claim that the policy should have gone through notice-and-comment rule-making and that it is arbitrary, capricious, and contrary to law.

The plaintiffs have also plausibly claimed that ORR’s policies and practices violate their procedural due process rights and the requirements of the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act.

Six of the plaintiffs’ claims will be dismissed as moot, since they’ve received the relief they sought (children’s release into sponsor custody).



Categories: Daily Dockets

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