Civil Procedure Labor & Employment Constitutional Law

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The National Labor Relations Board Strikes Again – How Managerial Are Your Faculty and How Religious Is Your Institution?

In the latest example of dramatic changes to well-developed principles of federal labor law and policy, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or “Board”) issued its long awaited decision in Pacific Lutheran University,...more

Whistleblower Takes Next Step in Lawsuit Against Philadelphia School District

Four years ago, Francis X. Dougherty was fired after revealing the existence of a $7.5 million no-bid security camera contract within the Philadelphia School District. Now, he has won a major victory in his whistleblower...more

Federal District Court Dismisses “100% Equity Strategy” Claims on Statute of Limitations Grounds

A federal district court held that participants in a defined benefit plan had standing to challenge plan fiduciaries’ strategy of investing 100% of the plan’s assets in equities, but dismissed those claims based on ERISA’s...more

Seventh Circuit Finds No ADA Liability for Employer Not Involved in Decisionmaking

Joyce Whitaker began working for Milwaukee County as a corrections officer in 2001. In 2005, she sustained a work-related back injury and subsequently was diagnosed with several related medical conditions. As a result, her...more

SLAPP’d in San Bernardino: Public Defender’s Retaliation Lawsuit Deemed a SLAPP

In an unpublished decision on Friday, Division One of the Fourth Appellate District ruled that a retaliation civil claim filed by a former public defender against the County of San Bernardino was a Strategic Lawsuit Against...more

Employment Client Alert: Punitive Damages Award in Title VII Sexual Harassment Case Does Not Violate Due Process

In State of Arizona v. ASARCO LLC, WL 6918577, published December 10, 2014, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held that an award of $300,000 in punitive damages did not violate due process even though no compensatory damages...more

Continuing to Withstand Attack: Indiana Supreme Court Unanimously Upholds Indiana’s Right to Work Law

Last month, the Indiana Supreme Court unanimously upheld the Indiana Right to Work Law, rejecting a union’s claim that the state statute violates the Indiana Constitution. The Indiana Supreme Court’s decision comes roughly...more

Defined Benefit Plan Participants Have Standing to Pursue Fiduciary Breach Claims

A federal district court in Minnesota found that participants in a defined benefit pension plan had standing to assert claims that defendants breached their fiduciary duties by, among other things, shifting to an...more

Fourth Circuit Applies Sovereign Immunity to Shield State Hospital Supervisors from Suit

Some employers are immune from liability by virtue of their status as a state-run operation. Employees have become more creative in attempting to obtain recovery from their employers in such situations by naming individual...more

The Ninth Circuit Provides Clarity on ERA Whistleblower Protections.

On November 7, 2014, the Ninth Circuit issued its ruling in Tamosaitis v. URS Inc. and provided clarity on three key aspects of the whistleblower protections afforded under the Energy Reorganization Act (ERA), 42 U.S.C. 5801...more

D.C. Circuit Upholds Contraceptive Coverage Mandate

Last week, a unanimous three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit upheld the religious accommodation to the Affordable Care Act’s (“ACA”) contraceptive coverage mandate (Priests for Life v. HHS, D.C. Cir. No. 13-5368, Nov. 14,...more

D.C. Circuit: USAID Worker Jailed in Cuba Can’t Recover Damages from the Government

On November 14, 2014, in Alan Gross and Judith Gross v. U.S.A., a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit unanimously held that a humanitarian aid worker, who sub-contracted with the...more

DC Circuit Dismisses Appeal By Three Hospitals Challenging Subcontractor Status

On November 14, 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia dismissed as moot an appeal by three hospitals affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. The hospitals had challenged...more

Illinois Supreme Court Debates Scope of Whistleblower Statute

During the September term, the Illinois Supreme Court debated an important question about the scope of the state Whistleblower Act: does a plaintiff state a claim under the statute by alleging that the defendant falsified...more

Illinois Supreme Court Agrees to Return to Pension Debates

In the closing days of its September term, the Illinois Supreme Court agreed to return once again to what surely must be the most controversial subject at the moment in all of Illinois’ civil law: public pensions. Matthews v....more

U.S. Supreme Court Rules that Failure to Include Section 1983 Claim in Complaint is Not Fatal to Suit Against State Actor

On November 10, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court entered a per curiam order in Johnson v. City of Shelby, Mississippi, reversing the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals’ opinion affirming the dismissal of a suit against a Mississippi...more

Supreme Court Concludes Plaintiffs Not Required to Plead Specific Legal Theory

Plaintiffs are not required to explicitly mention the statute that allows them to plead their case, according to a per curiam opinion issued by the U.S. Supreme Court earlier this week. This decision effectively clarifies the...more

Indiana Supreme Court Upholds Right–to-Work Law

The debate over the constitutionality of Indiana’s right-to-work law may finally be over. In Zoeller v Sweeney (No. 45S00-1309-PL-596, November 6, 2014), the Indiana Supreme Court reversed a lower court ruling that had held...more

Will SCOTUS Review Same-Sex Marriage Now?

You may recall that in early October the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review decisions from U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Fourth, Seventh, and Tenth circuits* that struck down same-sex marriage bans....more

Supreme Court Declines to Hear Challenge of Illinois Independent Contractor Classification Law

On October 14, 2014, the Supreme Court of the United States refused to consider a challenge to the Illinois Employee Classification Act, which classifies workers in the construction industry as employees unless they can meet...more

The Contraception Coverage Controversy Continues…

As we have been discussing, the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) requires all health plans to cover preventive health services for women, including all Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”)-approved contraceptives, at no cost (i.e....more

Impact of Supreme Court’s Recent Actions on Employee Benefits

Did the Supreme Court legalize same-sex marriage? On October 6, 2014, the Supreme Court of the United States denied review of seven petitions challenging federal court of appeal rulings in the Fourth, Seventh, and...more

Shopping Mall Owner Permitted to Sue Union Protesters for Trespass and Nuisance

The Ninth Circuit has revived a Brea shopping mall owner's lawsuit alleging trespass and nuisance claims against union carpenters. The union purportedly picketed and demonstrated disruptively and destructively at a store...more

California Court of Appeal Limits the Scope of California's Unfair Competition Law by Denying Availability of Civil Penalties for...

The Court of Appeal for the State of California, Fourth Appellate District in Solus Industrial Innovations, LLC v. Superior Court (2014) 229 Cal.App.4th 1291, held that a California district attorney cannot pursue civil...more

EEOC Dragged Through Texas Roadhouse

In a positively sublime “man bites dog” story, Texas Roadhouse restaurants recently sued the EEOC for alleged violations of the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”). The story begins in 2011, when the EEOC filed a national...more

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