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Group Life Insurance Claims by a Teacher’s Beneficiary Are Subject to ERISA Preemption: Woods v. American United Life Insurance...

On ERISA preemption grounds, a federal court has ruled against state law claims asserted by the beneficiary of a former school teacher who sought benefits from a group life insurance policy. Woods v. American United Life...more

More Lawsuits This Holiday Season?

Employers are acutely aware of the legal pitfalls that come with the holiday season. Office parties and alcohol are a potent recipe for bad judgment, and that bad judgment leads to harassment charges and lawsuits. Another...more

NLRB to Reconsider Whether Graduate Teaching Assistants at Private Universities Can Unionize

Last week, the National Labor Relations Board (the “Board”) voted 3-1 to reconsider its decision in Brown University, 342 NLRB 483 (2004) that graduate teaching and research assistants are not employees under the National...more

Making Bad Choices: Title IX, Title VII and Ludlow V. Northwestern University

A prior post considered the case of Ha v. Northwestern University, in which the plaintiff claimed that Northwestern had violated Title IX by insufficiently disciplining one of its professors, Peter Ludlow, despite concluding...more

What Should Employers Expect During The New Supreme Court Term?

The first Monday in October is the traditional first day of a new U.S. Supreme Court term.  As always, the 2015-16 term will have several cases that are of particular interest to the nation’s employers.  Here is a review of...more

Federal Court Vacates STEM Extension Program

Current STEM OPT holders not affected until February 2016. A federal judge's ruling earlier this month invalidated the 17-month extension of optional practical training (OPT) for international students in the science,...more

What is going on with STEM OPT?

A recent federal court ruling has created uncertainty and speculation about the STEM OPT program. This summary is provided to inform employers and F-1 STEM students of the facts about the effect of this decision....more

Cozen O’Connor Lawyers Win Appeal Defeating Northwestern Football Players' Attempt to Form Union

The National Labor Relations Board announced on August 17, 2015 that it would not assert jurisdiction over Northwestern University’s scholarship football student-athletes in their bid to be recognized as “employees” and form...more

California Court of Appeal Rules in Favor of Public Entity Employer: No Forum Shopping for California Public Entity Employees

In a recent unpublished case, the California Court of Appeal ruled a public civil service commission decision on a worker’s employment claims precluded him from relitigating his claims in a civil action. According to the...more

NLRB Punts on College Athlete Unions

On August 17, 2015, the National Labor Relations Board issued the long awaited decision in the Northwestern University football union case. 362 NLRB No. 167 (8/17/2015). In a rare display of unanimity, the five members of...more

Seventh Circuit Again Limits Application Of The Wal-Mart Ruling And Certifies Chicago Teachers’ Discrimination Claims

In Chicago Teachers Union, Local No. 1, American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO v. Bd. of Educ. of the City of Chicago, Case No. 14-2843 (7th Cir. Aug. 7, 2015), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit reversed a...more

Federal Court Ruling Puts STEM OPT Extension in Jeopardy

On Wednesday, August 12, 2015, the US District Court for the District of Columbia ruled that the US Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) did not follow required procedures when it promulgated regulations allowing for...more

District Court Vacates F-1 STEM OPT Rule and Provides DHS With Six Months to Cure Defect

On Wednesday, August 12, 2015, U.S. District Court Judge Ellen Huvelle of the District of Columbia vacated the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) 2008 rule allowing F-1 students in the U.S. with college-level degrees in...more

Extension of post-graduation OPT for STEM students on F-1 visas invalid

On August 12, 2015, in the case of Washington Alliance of Technology Workers v. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Federal District Court for the District of Columbia held that a 2008 DHS interim final rule extending...more

Deliberate Indifference to Bullying Can Amount to Massive Liability – Lessons from the Pine Bush Settlement

$4.48 million. That’s how much the Pine Bush School District in central-New York just agreed to pay to settle a lawsuit brought by a group of current and former students who alleged that school administrators were...more

Electronic Devices At School: What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

The reality of life for most employees is that most of them cannot make it through an hour, much less a full school or business day, without checking their smartphones, tablet computers, laptops, and other electronic devices....more

Laid-Off Chicago Teachers Clear Class Certification Hurdles

In 2011, the Board of Education of the City of Chicago laid off over 1,400 teachers and paraprofessionals, all of whom belonged to the same union. The Board chose which schools would be subject to layoffs and it was then up...more

Duty to Prevent Harm and Duty to Disclose are Both Part of General Duty to Exercise Reasonable Care

In Doe v. Superior Court (filed 5/29/15, No. H040674), the California Court of Appeal, Sixth Appellate District, held that a defendant’s reasonable duty of care to prevent harm to a minor and her parents encompassed the duty...more

Appellate Court Confirms Group 2 Teachers Subject to RIF Have No Recall Rights

Last week, the Illinois Appellate Court’s Second District held that a teacher subject to dismissal based on a reduction in force (RIF) did not have recall rights because she was in RIF Grouping 2, and that the school district...more

How to Avoid Brown Act Violations When Discussing Litigation Issues

A nearly $400,000 severance deal struck between Pasadena Community College and its former president was nullified by a judge after determining that the deal was improperly discussed and finalized in closed session. A Los...more

Dismissal for "Some Other Substantial Reason"

In the case of Anderson v Chesterfield High School [2015] UKEAT/0206/14/MC, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) considered the fairness of the dismissal of a Mayor from his salaried role at a school because of his...more

Shaking Down the Thunder From the Sky: Part 2 of Notre Dame's Challenge to the Contraception Mandate

For the second time in as many years, the Seventh Circuit has declined to grant Notre Dame’s request for an injunction exempting the university from the contraception requirements of the Affordable Care Act. As was true back...more

In a World Where Talking to Yourself May Now Qualify as “Concerted” Activity . . .

Where up is down and left means right, talking to yourself may now qualify as “concerted” activity under the current NLRB. In Berkeley Preparatory School, Inc. and Kathi Grau, a teacher at a private, non-profit, religious...more

Illinois Federal Court Addresses Lawsuit by Christian Leafletter on Public School Property

In a recent decision in the Northern District of Illinois, a trial court granted summary judgment in favor of a school district in a lawsuit stemming from the arrest of a local resident who was leafleting and proselytizing...more

Pasadena Community College Ex-President’s $400,000 Severance Package Nullified Due to Brown Act Violations

A nearly $400,000 severance deal struck between Pasadena Community College and its former president was nullified by a judge after determining that the deal was improperly discussed and finalized in closed session. A Los...more

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