U.S. COURTS OF APPEAL

GOVERNMENT, ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – Dawson Farms claimed that the Farm Service Agency improperly ordered Dawson to return more than $107,000 in Department of Agriculture benefits due to wetlands violations. The Fifth Circuit ruled that the district court had subject-matter jurisdiction, but Dawson Farms failed to exhaust administrative remedies. Affirmed. Dawson Farms LLC v. Farm Service Agency.

    EMPLOYMENT – A woman successfully sued her employer, the Indianapolis-Marion County Forensic Services Agency, for sexual harassment and retaliation after her employer did nothing while her supervisor sexually harassed her with vulgar propositions and unwelcome fondling. The Seventh Circuit found that her second lawsuit – based on the supervisor’s continued harassment despite his retirement and the city’s retaliatory conduct after she filed the first suit – failed to establish a hostile work environment caused by the retired supervisor’s conduct and failed to establish retaliation. Coolidge v. Consolidated City of Indianapolis and Marion County.
 
    EMPLOYMENT – The Federal Circuit found that a former Secret Service agent is not entitled to higher retirement benefits based on the proper finding that his eight years with the U.S. Secret Service Uniformed Division did not qualify as “law enforcement officer” service. His duties were largely involved in the protection of life and property, with focus on the president and his family, and included patrolling, enforcing traffic laws, acting as a first responder to public disturbances and conducting preliminary investigations. He did not investigate, apprehend, or detain individual suspects of criminal law violations. Affirmed. Lowder v. Department of Homeland Security.

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