Cases & Deals

CSX wins summary judgment on FMLA putative class claims and defeats disability discrimination claims

Client(s) CSX Corporation

In a putative class action lawsuit, Jones Day client CSX Transportation, Inc. obtained summary judgment on claims alleging that the company's attendance policy and method of accounting for FMLA leave were unlawful. The plaintiffs alleged that the company's points-based attendance policy violated the FMLA by not awarding a good attendance credit to employees who took FMLA leave, and that CSX charged them with having taken more FMLA leave than they actually took. CSX moved for and was awarded summary judgment on these claims.

Finding that FMLA leave was treated no differently than other kinds of equivalent, unpaid leave, the court concluded that, "as a matter of law," the attendance policy did not violate the FMLA. The court also dismissed the FMLA accounting claim, declaring "Plaintiffs' contention that they are systematically overcharged for FMLA leave [to be] . . . fundamentally flawed as a matter of law." In addition, the court denied the plaintiffs' motion to amend their complaint to add disability discrimination claims, finding that those claims were futile because the plaintiffs had not adequately alleged that they were disabled or that they were disciplined because of a disability.

Bell et al. v. CSX Transportation, Inc., No. 1-18-cv-00744 (D. Md.)