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This case is now doubly-interesting, and a possible candidate for Supreme Court review.

Way back in 2008, a putative class of female store managers sued Family Dollar Stores, Inc., a chain of discount retail stores, alleging that they were paid less than their male counterparts, in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e, and Section 216(b) of the Equal Pay Act of 1963, 29 U.S.C. § 206(d).

Last week, the Fourth Circuit denied a request for en banc rehearing of the case, leaving an opinion in place that many are arguing goes against controlling Supreme Court precedent. Judge Wilkinson, who wrote a 40-page dissent to the panel's opinion, dissented from the denial as well, calling the panel's decision, "so contrary to the [Supreme] Court's Wal-Mart decision as to whittle it down to near meaninglessness."

SCOTUS Sends Liberty Back to Fourth Circuit

Affordable Care Act litigation is a lot like Ghostface in the Scream movies. At the end of each film, you think that you have closure. Then another Scream comes along, proving you wrong.

That's pretty much what we have today with the Supreme Court's decision to remand Liberty University's employer mandate and contraceptive coverage mandate challenges: You may have thought the Court's healthcare decision in June signaled the end of ACA litigation until 2014.

You were mistaken.

We should've known that the decision upholding Obamacare by the nation's highest court wouldn't be the end of the battle. Back in 2011, Liberty University, a Christian college located in Lynchburg, Virginia, challenged the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act on religious freedom and equal protection grounds.

The Fourth Circuit dismissed the case for lack of jurisdiction because the federal tax Anti-Injunction Act banned lawsuits seeking to halt a tax.

Facebook Likes Free Speech

Be careful what you "like” on Facebook.

This week, the social network filed a brief in a First Amendment retaliation challenge before the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, arguing that Facebook “likes” are free speech, reports GigaOM. A district court previously dismissed the case, finding that clicking that tiny thumbs-up button was “insignificant speech” that did not involve “actual statements.”

So how does a click-of-the-thumb turn into a tort?

Fourth Circuit Refuses to Apply CFAA to Employee Data Breach

Mike Miller resigned from his position as Project Director for WEC Carolina Energy Solutions, Inc. (WEC). Twenty days later, he made a presentation to a potential WEC customer on behalf of WEC's competitor, Arc Energy Services, Inc. (Arc). The customer ultimately chose to do business with Arc.

WEC contends that before resigning, Miller, acting at Arc's direction, downloaded WEC's proprietary information and used it in making the presentation. WEC sued Miller, his assistant Emily Kelley, and Arc for, among other things, violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA). The district court dismissed WEC's CFAA claim, holding that the CFAA provides no relief for an employee data breach.

This week, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed that decision.

The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed in part and reversed in part a case involving the dismissal of a police officer’s claim under 42 U.S.C. 1983 after he was reinstated by the Police Department.

Cory Hall was fired by the Newport News Police Department in 2006, when he was charged with improper procedure, untruthfulness during the course of an investigation, excessive use of force, and improper or unlawful arrest. After appealing his discharge, he was reinstated when three of the four disciplinary charges were dropped.

Is the Size of Your Package a Title VII Violation?

It's not enough to give employees equal pay for equal work. According to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, Title VII guarantees equal severance packages as well.

Last week, the Fourth Circuit ruled that a former Chester County, Va. government employee could proceed with her $1.1 million claim against the County for a Title VII violation because her severance package wasn't as ... well-endowed as those of her male counterparts.

SCOTUS Affirms Fourth Circuit FMLA Stance in Coleman

The Supreme Court affirmed the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision in Coleman v. Court of Appeals of Maryland this week, finding that lawsuits against states under the self-care provision of the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) are barred by sovereign immunity.

In addition to adding another affirmed notch to the Fourth Circuit's belt, the decision has set off rumblings about increased odds of the Court striking down the Affordable Care Act.

Intracompany Complaint Can Trigger Retaliation Lawsuit

Intracompany complaints about violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) can form the basis of retaliation lawsuit, according to a recent Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals opinion.

Plaintiff Kathy Minor and several other members of her department met with Bostwick Laboratories' chief operating officer, Bill Miller, in 2008 to call to Miller's attention the fact that Minor believed her supervisor had willfully violated the FLSA. Minor claimed the supervisor routinely altered employees' time sheets to reflect that they had not worked overtime when they had. At the conclusion of the meeting, Miller told the group that he would look into the allegations.

Within a week, Minor was fired.

EEOC Claim Survives Summary Judgment, Could Be Frivolous Lawsuit

Great Steaks beat a court rap for treating its female employees like meat in 2009, but lost an argument for attorneys' fees this week in the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission accused Great Steaks of subjecting female employees to a sexually hostile work environment in 2005. The EEOC claim went to trial, and a jury ruled in favor of Great Steaks four years later. Great Steaks, in turn, moved for attorneys' fees under several federal statutes, including a Title VII's fee-shifting provision and the Equal Access to Justice Act's (EAJA) mandatory fee provision.