Update on Legal Matters involving RID
What follows is a brief update on the legal matters RID and its legal counsel have been managing. As matters have been brought to conclusion or progressed, it becomes possible for RID to provide a brief reporting of status. As further information is available and appropriate to share, future updates will be provided.
Lawsuits between RID and McCann
RID and McCann filed lawsuits against each other based on the breakdown of the contract they entered into in July 2012. RID sued McCann in federal court in Virginia, and McCann sued RID in Pennsylvania. RID moved to dismiss or transfer the Pennsylvania case, arguing that the claims should be decided by the court in Virginia. The Pennsylvania court agreed with RID’s arguments and transferred the Pennsylvania case to federal court in Virginia, to be consolidated with RID’s Virginia case. RID’s contract with McCann had some vague provisions about which party was responsible for which tasks and expenses. RID’s Board decided to agree to a settlement because of the costs, internal and external, associated with pursuing its claims through trial and the uncertainty (inherent in many cases that proceed to trial) of securing an award that would justify such expenditures. With the settlement agreement in place, these lawsuits are concluded.
Lawsuit between RID and Krpan
John Krpan filed a lawsuit against RID in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, alleging that RID violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and discriminated against him because he is deaf. He alleged two claims in his complaint: (1) that the NIC exam discriminates against him as a deaf individual, and he should be able to hold the NIC; and (2) the use of the word “Deaf” in the Certified Deaf Interpreter credential discriminates against him because it publicly identifies his disability (deafness). He wants the Court to issue an injunction holding that: (1) the NIC must be open to deaf individuals like Mr. Krpan; and (2) RID must change the name of the CDI and also cease enforcing its requirement that individuals who hold the CDI credential be deaf or hard of hearing. RID denies that it in any way violated the ADA or discriminated against Mr. Krpan regarding either the NIC or the CDI. RID filed a motion for summary judgment to dismiss both of Mr. Krpan’s claims, and a hearing on this issue was held in November 2015. The Court took the issue under advisement, and the motion is still pending.
Lawsuit between Matthew O’Hara and RID
Matthew O’Hara, a former employee of RID, filed a Complaint against RID in August 2015 in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. Mr. O’Hara alleges that he is owed severance and asserts two claims against RID: (1) failure to pay severance benefits under a plan pursuant to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), and (2) breach of contract. RID has filed an Answer to the Complaint denying that it owes Mr. O’Hara any severance. The case is still in the early stages; the scheduling order was recently filed and the discovery plan will now be developed. According to the Court’s scheduling order, a trial date likely will be set for the Summer of 2016.
Region 20 National Labor Relations Board Dismisses Charges Leveraged Against RID by the Pacific Media Workers Guild-CWA.
In June 2015, RID, under advice of legal counsel, denied a request from the Pacific Media Workers Guild-CWA (PMWG-CWA) to exhibit at the 2015 RID National Conference and to become organizational members of the association. The reason for the denial is RID’s responsibilities under anti-trust regulation. RID has established an anti-trust policy, which it adheres to diligently, in order to protect the association so that we may continue to work toward our mission.
On October 5, 2015, PMWG-CWA filed an unfair labor practice charge against RID with Region 20 of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). This filed complaint was reported to the membership in an October 29, 2015, RID E-News blast. RID, through its legal counsel, responded to the complaint.
On December 22, 2015, the Regional Director for Region 20 of the National Labor Relations Board, published his decision, dismissing the charges leveraged by the PMWG-CWA against RID. A copy of that decision is linked on the RID website for review by the membership.
On January 26th, RID received notice that the PMWG-CWA filed an appeal in this matter. RID’s legal counsel continues to monitor this matter. A copy of the notice of appeal is here: https://www.rid.org/pmwg-cwa-appeal/
For further information on RID’s Antitrust Policy, please visit the RID website at: https://www.rid.org/2010boardminutes/
RID’s Antitrust Policy, FAQs, and an ASL version of the policy are posted at: https://www.rid.org/antitrustpolicy/