Attorneys at local firm Barrett Johnston are taking Wal-Mart Stores to task for allegedly paying many of its female employees less than their male peers or, in some cases, direct reports. Blake Farmer has more on the case.
The Supreme Court ruled against a nationwide class-action lawsuit last year – in part – because the women didn’t have enough in common to constitute a class. The Tennessee case is the first in an expected wave of smaller, regional suits, brought by civil rights attorneys with Nashville’s Barrett Johnston law firm.
The Tennessee Court of Appeals has unanimously sided with a former Ford Motor Co. manager who sued the auto manufacturer for more than $650,000.
Earl Thomas Burgess had sued Ford in 2007 after his supervisors refused to let him return to an hourly job — in his management role, he was set to move to another company that was buying a Ford division — thereby making him ineligible for a retirement buyout. Burgess claims the company previously promised him a return to an hourly position. However, after requesting the move several times, he was denied.
The Court of Appeals agreed with a jury's previous decision that Ford failed to live up to a “clear and definite promise.” The present-day value of Burgess's denied retirement buyout would be nearly $750,000, according to court filings. The appeals court's opinion is available here.
The team at Curb Records has responded to this week's Appeals Court ruling that Tim McGraw was OK to sign earlier this year with rival label Big Machine Records. Curb execs say they respectfully disagree with the court and will look into an appeal at the Tennessee Supreme Court. They also say they're fighting for a bigger cause.
Those principles include our belief that contracts must be enforced as written, and in particular that exclusive personal services agreements with individuals, such as Mr. McGraw, who possess unique and extraordinary talent, must be subject to enforcement by injunctive relief. This is particularly true in the music industry, where companies invest millions of dollars based on the enforceability of such exclusivity provisions. As such, the principles involved are material not just to Curb Records, but to the viability of the music industry in Tennessee as a whole, as well as all other industries that contract with such unique and extraordinary talents.
The Tennessee Court of Appeals on Tuesday affirmed a November ruling by Chancellor Russell Perkins that country star Tim McGraw is free to do his thing beyond the halls of Curb Records, which in May of last year sued him for breach of contract. McGraw this spring signed with Scott Borchetta's Big Machine label, but Curb officials said the artist still owed them another album. Not so, said the appeals court.
"The Court of Appeals has affirmed the Chancellor's ruling that Tim McGraw is now finished with being an artist on Curb Records," McGraw attorney Bill Ramsey of Neal & Harwell in Nashville tells Billboard.biz. "He's now a Big Machine artist and he is no longer a Curb artist."
A male dentistry student at Meharry Medical College is accusing a female professor of retaliating against him after she allegedly sexually assaulted him last September. The student filed a complaint with school authorities only after he was told this spring that he wouldn't be able to graduate.
The committee voted to require him to repeat a year of school due to an absence from November 2011 to February 2012. Thomas refuted the absence and said he has completed all required academic and clinical work. The student doctor claims he appealed to Meharry President Wayne Riley but didn’t receive a response.
Another committee met in August and found Thomas guilty of “fraudulent and unethical” conduct, according to the suit.