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The California Public Employment Relations Board Broadly Construes Protected Activity Under Educational Employment Relations Act

The Public Employment Relations Board ("PERB") in Crowell v. Berkeley Unified School District found the anti-retaliation provisions contained in the Educational Employment Relations Act ("EERA"), Cal. Gov. Code § 3540, et...more

South Carolina Legislative Update

The South Carolina House of Representatives last week adopted the South Carolina Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, several ethics reform measures, and revisions to the South Carolina Whistleblower and Public Employee...more

Reasonable Accommodation of a Disability Does Not Require Elimination of an Essential Job Function

The federal Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits discrimination in employment against a qualified individual on the basis of disability, and discrimination includes failing to make a reasonable accommodation. The...more

The National Labor Relations Board: 2014 Year in Review - The NLRB's Expansion of Employee Rights Under the National Labor...

In 2014, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB or Board) scrutinized employer policies and practices, protected employee use of social media and employers' email systems to organize and engage in protected concerted...more

Employee investigation tips

Employers investigate all sorts of odd or disturbing claims. Knowing how to properly investigate these claims is critical. A recent case from the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals put this on full display....more

The Ends Justify The Means: Ha v. Northwestern University and Responding to Sexual Harassment Under Title IX

The recent decision in Ha v. Northwestern University, reiterates the leeway educational institutions have under Title IX when crafting a response to claims of sexual harassment. The plaintiff in Ha alleged that in February...more

Illinois Supreme Court Agrees to Decide Do Not Hire Dispute Between Teachers Union and Chicago Board of Education

In the closing days of its November term, the Illinois Supreme Court agreed to decide The Board of Education of the City of Chicago v. The Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board. Board of Education presents the following...more

Last Best Offer Teacher Arbitration Hearings Can Take Place In Private, Says the Connecticut Supreme Court

In Connecticut, employees who engage in public sector collective bargaining with a board of education employer, fall into two categories: (1) those covered by the Teacher Negotiation Act (“TNA”), i.e., teachers and...more

Two California Appellate Decisions Expand the Scope of Tameny Claims Based on Whistleblower Laws

Two significant decisions on whistleblower protections were recently issued by two districts of the California Court of Appeal. Both courts reversed trial court dismissals of claims for wrongful termination in violation of...more

Eighth Circuit: Custodian Failed to Establish Constructive Discharge Following Wife's Public Comments

A school custodian’s hours and work assignments were changed six days after his wife spoke about eliminating the superintendent’s position at a school board meeting about budgetary issues. The custodian’s reassignment...more

Executive Labor Summary - November/December 2014

NEWS & ANALYSIS - NLRB changes longstanding rule for deferral to arbitration awards - The National Labor Relations Board has had a busy December with four major new developments. We have already reported on two of the...more

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

School Districts: New York State Court of Appeals Upholds Decision Invalidating Teacher Discipline (12/14)

In another blow to school districts’ ability to address problem teachers, the New York State Court of Appeals recently upheld the Appellate Division, Fourth Department decision in Kilduff v. Rochester City School District,...more

EEOC Gets Schooled: Court Expels Challenge to College’s Separation Agreements

For the second time in less than two months, a federal district court judge has dismissed a U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) challenge to an employer’s separation agreement due to the agency’s failure to...more

Jian Ghomeshi’s Lawsuit and the Current State of the Law on Civil Claims by Unionized Employees

Jian Ghomeshi has withdrawn his $55,000,000 lawsuit against his former employer, the CBC. The reasons Ghomeshi chose to drop the suit have not yet been made clear, but the current state of the law likely would have made his...more

California Public Policy Prohibits Employer Retaliation Based on Mistaken Belief That Employee Engaged in Whistleblowing Activity

In Diego v. Pilgrim United Church of Christ (November 21, 2014) --- Cal. App. 4th ---), the California Fourth District Court of Appeal considered whether California public policy precludes employers from retaliating against...more

School Districts: A Teacher’s Right to Access Student Records in a Disciplinary Proceeding is Not Absolute (11/14)

As many school districts are aware, it is not uncommon for a district to receive a request to disclose allegedly relevant student records to a tenured teacher facing disciplinary charges in the context of an Education Law...more

The Obligation to Make Reports to DCF and Unemployment Compensation: Another Penalty For Failing to Notify DCF

Our state has a comprehensive requirement for certain employees (particularly in the medical and educational spheres) to make reports to the Department of Children and Families (“DCF”) of suspected child abuse and neglect. ...more

Division I Athlete Commences Collective Action Seeking Pay For Play

A complaint recently filed in the Southern District of Indiana alleges that the NCAA and its Division I Member Schools have jointly agreed and conspired to engage in a widespread pattern, policy, and practice of failing to...more

Teacher And School Civil Liability For Sexual Abuse Of A Student

B. (A.) v. D. (C.), [2011] B.C.J. No. 1087, 2011 BCSC 775, per Gray J. [3851] The plaintiff AB sued a teacher CD and the Board of School Trustees of District EF with respect to alleged sexual abuse she claimed to have...more

Private University Professor Was Properly Fired For Exhibiting Frightening Behavior

The University of San Francisco terminated a tenured professor after the employee exhibited angry and frightening behavior with other employees over a substantial period of time. In Kao v. University of San Francisco (August...more

The Next Cleat Drops… College Athletes Sue for Unpaid Wages

If college athletes are employees under the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”), then why not under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”)? That proposition predictably follows from the recent determination by the Chicago...more

Court Affirms Three-Part Title IX Test Applies to High Schools

In a recent decision, Ollier v. Sweetwater Union High School District, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a trial court finding that a public school district intentionally discriminated and retaliated against female...more

School Board Taught a Costly Lesson: Court Upholds Reinstatement with 10 Years of Back Pay

Ms. Fair was employed by the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board (the “Board”) from 1988 to 2004, when her employment was terminated. During her employment, Ms. Fair had developed a psychiatric disorder, namely,...more

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