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Fifth Circuit Issues Important Ruling on Affirmative Action in Higher Education

Earlier this week, in Fisher v. University of Texas, a divided panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit upheld the constitutionality of the undergraduate admissions program at the University of Texas at...more

The CFPB issues guidance on ensuring equal treatment for same-sex married couples

On June 25, 2014, the CFPB issued guidance setting forth basic principles on the issue of equal treatment for legally-married same-sex couples. The CFPB noted that this guidance was issued in response to the decision in...more

DOL Issues Notice of Proposed FMLA Rule that Offers Equal Leave Rights to Same-Sex Spouses

On June 20, 2014, the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued a notice of proposed rulemaking regarding the definition of “spouse” under the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”). If adopted, employees in same-sex marriages...more

Employment Flash (June 2014)

In This Issue: - NLRB Recess Appointments Unconstitutional - SEC Brings First-Ever Employment Retaliation Claim - EEOC Challenges Employer Severance Agreements - New York State Transportation Industry...more

Washington State Same-Sex Registered Domestic Partnerships Automatically Convert to Lawful Marriages on June 30, 2014

On June 30, 2014, same-sex domestic partnerships registered with the Washington Secretary of State will automatically convert to lawful marriages, unless one of the partners is age 62 or older, or the domestic partners have...more

Supreme Court Finds Public Employee's Testimony in Criminal Trial Protected Under First Amendment

Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously held that a public employee cannot be retaliated against by his employer based on testimony provided by him under subpoena in a criminal proceeding. In Lane v. Franks, the...more

DOL Proposes Change to FMLA Definition of Spouse to Accommodate Same-Sex Marriage

As was expected, the U.S. Department of Labor has issued a proposed regulation changing the definition of “spouse” for FMLA purposes in order to protect the FMLA rights of employees with same-sex spouses. The proposed...more

Ripples of Windsor: DOL Seeking to Expand the FMLA’s Definition of “Spouse”

Last June, the Supreme Court of the United States struck down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (“DOMA”) as unconstitutional in United States v. Windsor, 570 U.S. 12 (2013). The Supremes ruled that section 3 of DOMA...more

Supreme Court Deals Affirmative Action Another Blow, But Impact on Colleges and Universities Likely Limited

The U.S. Supreme Court continued its decade-long interest in the role of affirmative action in the higher education admissions process, and decided to uphold a state law banning the practice. In Schuette v. Coalition to...more

First Amendment Protects Public Employees for Sworn Testimony Given Outside Scope of Regular Job Duties on Matters of Public...

U.S. Supreme Court Makes Unanimous Ruling in Lane v. Franks - The First Amendment protects a public employee from adverse employment action taken in retaliation for providing truthful sworn testimony, compelled by...more

Supremes Rule That Trial Speech is Protected Speech

Last week the U.S. Supreme Court issued an important decision affecting public employers and employee First Amendment rights to free speech. Lane v. Franks et al., No. 13-483 (U.S. June 19, 2014). Central Alabama Community...more

The Supreme Court Says Public Employee’s Court Testimony Protected From Retaliation Under The First Amendment, At Least To The...

Eight years ago the United States Supreme Court, in Garcetti v. Ceballos, instructed that speech undertaken pursuant to a public employee’s job duties is “employee” speech and not “citizen” speech, and hence is not protected...more

Developments in Tennessee, Alabama, and Federal Employment Law

Effective July 1, 2014, a new law (T.C.A. § 29-39-104) changes the exposure for Tennessee employers subject to the Tennessee Human Rights Act (“THRA”) and the Tennessee Public Protection Act (“TPPA”). The law limits...more

“Predatory Lending” Claims by Cities and Counties Against Financial Institutions Escalate in 2014

Cities and counties that have experienced increased foreclosure and vacancy rates in the aftermath of the housing market crash of 2007-2008, perhaps emboldened by recent court decisions, have recently filed several new...more

Another insurance industry trade association group challenges the HUD disparate impact rule

We have been following the lawsuit in federal district court in D.C. in which two insurance industry trade associations have challenged the HUD disparate impact rule. The complaint in the D.C. action, which was commenced in...more

To the Woodshed: Self-Defense, Defense of Others and Retaliatory Discharge

The workplace can be very tumultuous. Employees working in close quarters inevitably have disagreements, and some employees prove themselves to be disagreeable troublemakers. Workplace bullying is considered by some to be...more

Another Supreme Court disparate impact case?

The U.S. Supreme Court could have its third opportunity since 2012 to provide clarity with respect to disparate impact claims under the Fair Housing Act and (by analogy) the Equal Credit Opportunity Act. After losing on...more

Whitewood v. Wolf Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage in Pennsylvania

In a decision handed down on May 20th, Federal District Judge John E. Jones III struck down Pennsylvania's ban on same-sex marriage, concluding that "all couples deserve equal dignity in the realm of civil marriage."...more

Whitewood v. Wolf: Navigating the Sea of Change for Marriage Equality

It has been a momentous year for marriage equality in our country. The U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark June 2013 decisions overturning the Defense of Marriage Act and upholding the ruling on Proposition 8’s unconstitutionality...more

High Court Decision In Michigan Affirmative Action Case Leaves Requirements For The Consideration Of Race Untouched

The U.S. Supreme Court held yesterday that a voter-approved ban on the use of race-based preferences for public university admissions does not violate the U.S. Constitution. The decision focused narrowly on whether the U.S....more

Supreme Court Ruling Exposes Continuing Division on Use of Race in Higher Education Admissions

Yesterday's ruling in Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action shows that the justices on the U.S. Supreme Court remain fundamentally divided about the future of race-conscious admission policies in higher...more

Supreme Court: Voters' Initiative To End Affirmative Action Is Constitutional

In a highly anticipated decision, the Supreme Court upheld Michigan’s Proposal 2, which amended the Michigan Constitution to prohibit racial preferences in admissions to public schools and government programs....more

The Future is Here - Is the Internet a Place?

The California Supreme Court has certified a question for review posed by the Ninth Circuit – Is the internet a “place of public accommodation” as described in the California Disabled Persons Act (“DPA”), Civil Code §§ 54, et...more

Money Manager Sues SEC to Stop Administrative Action in $1.5 Billion CDO Case

A money manager and his firm recently sued the Securities and Exchange Commission claiming that the agency violated their constitutional rights by bringing an administrative proceeding for securities claims in connection with...more

A More Perfect Union: Why Punish Russia for Crimea? [Video]

Mar. 25, 2014 -- Robert Blecker, constitutional history professor at New York Law School and author of The Death of Punishment, talks about Crimea's recent secession from Ukraine and subsequent annexation by Russia. Blecker...more

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