Trucker's Wrongful Termination Suit Under the Surface Transportation Assistance Act, Plus a Criminal Case - U.S. First Circuit
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Trucker's Wrongful Termination Suit Under the Surface Transportation Assistance Act, Plus a Criminal Case

US v. Troy, 09-2121, concerned a challenge to a conviction of defendant for solicitation to commit a crime of violence and attempted arson, in connection with defendant's scheme to burn down her nightclub and bar.  In affirming, the court held that the district court acted appropriately in denying defendant's end-of-case motion for a judgment of acquittal as the evidence is sufficient to support a finding that, on the dates of the described arson, the defendant was taking meaningful, definite, and ongoing steps to return the building to the stream of commerce.  The court rejected defendant's claim that the indictment was defective because it failed adequately to allege section 844(i)'s interstate commerce element, as well as defendant's challenge to the district court's conclusion that it could not impose a stand-alone sentence of probation for a violation of section 844(i).

 

R&B Transp., LLC v. U.S. Dep't of Labor, Admin. Review Bd., 09-2148, involved a petition for review of a final decision and order of the U.S. Department of Labor's Administrative Review Board's (Board) award of backpay and other expenses to an employee, a commercial trucker, in determining that the employee's termination violated the Surface Transportation Assistance Act of 1982 (STAA).

In denying the petition, the court held that it was not an abuse of the ALJ's broad discretion to admit DOT reports not as character evidence but both pursuant to the "public records and reports" hearsay exception and as proof of petitioners' knowledge concerning their history of complying with the driving regulation.  The court also held that substantial evidence supports findings that a causal connection existed between the employee's protected activity and the adverse employment action against him, and that the petitioner's proffered reason for terminating the employee was actually a pretext for unlawful retaliation.  Lastly, the Board's legal ruling that petitioners waived their claim regarding backpay was not arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, or otherwise not in accordance with law.

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