Edwards v. A.H. Cornell and Son, Inc.

610 F.3d 217 (2010)

From our private database of 46,000+ case briefs, written and edited by humans—never with AI.

Edwards v. A.H. Cornell and Son, Inc.

United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
610 F.3d 217 (2010)

Facts

Shirley Edwards (plaintiff) worked for A. H. Cornell and Son, Inc. (A. H. Cornell) (defendant). Edwards believed that A. H. Cornell engaged in practices that violated the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), such as lying about the cost of benefit plans so that employees would not enroll in the group health plan and submitting fake Social Security numbers and other false information to insurance companies in enrolling noncitizens. Edwards asserted that she voluntarily reported her concerns to A. H. Cornell and was fired. Edwards sued A. H. Cornell and two supervisors (defendants), claiming that her termination was in violation of ERISA’s antiretaliation provision. A. H. Cornell and the supervisors moved for dismissal, which a district court granted. ERISA’s provision against retaliation made it illegal to terminate an employee for providing information in connection with an inquiry or a proceeding. Black’s Law Dictionary defined an inquiry as a solicitation for information and a proceeding as the forward progression of a legal complaint or the process related to seeking a remedy from an agency or a tribunal. The district court determined that Edwards’s voluntary disclosure of her complaint to her employer was not connected to an inquiry or to a proceeding, and her statements were not covered as a protected activity by ERISA’s sanction against retaliation. Edwards appealed and argued for a broader interpretation of the statute.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Fisher, J.)

Dissent (Cowen, J.)

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 742,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Berkeley, and Northwestern—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students.

    Unlock this case briefRead our student testimonials
  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students.

    Learn about our approachRead more about Quimbee

Here's why 742,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 46,000 briefs, keyed to 986 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.

Access this case brief for FREE

With a 7-day free trial membership
Here's why 742,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
  • Reliable - written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students
  • The right length and amount of information - includes the facts, issue, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents
  • Access in your class - works on your mobile and tablet
  • 46,000 briefs - keyed to 986 casebooks
  • Uniform format for every case brief
  • Written in plain English - not in legalese and not just repeating the court's language
  • Massive library of related video lessons - and practice questions
  • Top-notch customer support

Access this case brief for FREE

With a 7-day free trial membership