Civil Rights Conflict of Laws

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Keeping an Eye on "Pervasive Regulation" in Aviation and its Effect on Implied Federal Preemption

Earlier this month, the Ninth Circuit issued another opinion regarding the scope of federal preemption in the context of federal aviation regulations. In National Federation of the Blind v. United Airlines Inc. (No....more

Haze Lifting on Employer's Rights and Medical Marijuana

The fast expansion of the medical marijuana movement has brought with it growing confusion on the line between a workers' rights to take advantage of the rights afforded by these state statutes and an employer's right to...more

On A Collision Course? How Religious Entities Should Address The Legal Expansions Of Gay Marriage And Gender Identity Protections

By now you are no doubt aware that the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2014 decision in Obergefell v. Hodges legalized same-sex marriage across the country. The decision has caused religious institutions and schools to ask about their...more

Maine’s Law Court Blows the Whistle on McDonnell Douglas

Maine’s highest court has closed out the year with two notable decisions involving the state’s Whistleblowers’ Protection Act (WPA). The decisions revise the method for analyzing WPA cases on summary judgment and, as a...more

Supreme Court Update: Maryland V. Kulbicki (14-848) And Order List

… und willkommen zurück! Oktober Term 2015 kicks off today with argument in OBB Personenverkehr AG v. Sachs (13-1067), a case which explores the contours of the commercial-activity exception to the Foreign Sovereign...more

State Employment Laws That Every Virginia Employer Should Know

Keeping track of the latest changes to federal employment laws, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), to name just a few, is hard...more

Disability Access – Application of Disabled Persons Act and Unruh Act – Service Animals

Seth Flowers, et al. v. Brinda Prasad, et al. - California Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District (July 17, 2015) - The Unruh Civil Rights Act and Disabled Persons Act vary in their provisions. The Court of...more

Not-So-Sudden Impact: Insurers Face A New Breed Of Claim Under the Fair Housing Act (Part 3 of 3)

This is the final article of a three-part series about two recent decisions by federal courts in Connecticut and California: Viens v. America Empire Surplus Lines Ins. Co., No. 3:14cv952 (D. Conn. June 23, 2015), and Jones v....more

A “Hotbox” Of Legal Issues: California’s Workplace Marijuana Laws

With New York joining in last year, nearly half the country has laws permitting state residents to use marijuana for medical purposes, and a handful even permit recreational use. California led the movement when it passed the...more

Colorado Supreme Court Upholds Termination of Employee for Medical Marijuana Use

On June 15, the Colorado Supreme Court provided good news to Colorado employers that prohibit employee marijuana use.  In the long-awaited decision in Coats v. Dish Network, the court ruled that medical marijuana use—which is...more

Colorado Supreme Court Upholds Firing of Medical Marijuana User

The Colorado Supreme Court ruled today in a 6-0 decision that Colorado’s “lawful activities statute,” which provides protections to employees who engage in lawful off-duty conduct, only applies to conduct that is lawful under...more

Today's Immigration Debate Impacts California Employment Law and Litigation

A year ago, the California Supreme Court limited damages in employment discrimination claims brought under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) when an employer discovers it employed an unauthorized worker....more

No “Pleasure” for Florida Whistleblower

Despite 14 pages of vigorous dissent, a majority of a three-judge panel of the Eleventh Circuit has done the right thing and joined the Fourth, Sixth and Ninth Circuits in holding that the National Bank Act (“NBA”) preempts...more

DOL Rule Redefining “Spouse” Under the FMLA on Hold in Several States

On Feb. 25, 2015, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) promulgated a final rule that, effective March 27, modified the federal Family and Medical Leave Act’s (FMLA) definition of “spouse” to extend the FMLA’s protections to...more

Medical marijuana extracts approved in Georgia

On Thursday Georgia became the 36th state, plus Washington, D.C., to legalize marijuana extracts to treat illnesses. Gov. Nathan Deal signed the "Haleigh's Hope Act," which immediately legalized the use of medical marijuana...more

DOL to Enforce Same-Sex Spouses FMLA Regulation In All But Four States

In our previous post, Same-Sex Marriage Partners Now Covered by FMLA, we reported on the final FMLA rule that expanded the definition of “spouse” under the FMLA to include employees in legal same-sex marriages. ...more

Treaty Preempts Discrimination and Contract Claims From Seat Assignment Dispute - Although the Complaint Did Not Plead a Montreal...

The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia granted an airline's pre-answer motion to dismiss a passenger's discrimination and breach of contract claims arising from the airline's alleged failure to assign the...more

“State Of The Union” On Substance Abuse And The Workplace

Where are we these days with respect to mind-altering substances and the workplace? Here’s the latest, with the “substances” discussed in alphabetical order. This blog post is guaranteed accurate™ for at least the next five...more

Employment Law Commentary - Volume 27, Issue 2: Where There’s Smoke, Should There Be Fire? An Analysis Of Employer Termination...

With the recent increase in the number of states that have “legalized” or decriminalized some form of marijuana use, more and more employers have asked themselves whether it continues to be permissible to terminate employees...more

Federalism and States' Rights -- A Never Ending Battle

Is Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore out of touch with reality? How can a State Supreme Court Judge defy the ruling of a United States District Court? Because he feels he can. Remember Little Rock, Arkansas in 1954 and the...more

Employer's "Super Policy" Against Harassment Requires Employer to Protect Employee Beyond That Which is Required by Law

A Costco employee suffered from Tourette's syndrome, and made complaints to management about the way his supervisors and others were treating him. He later filed charges with the Connecticut Human Rights Organization as well...more

SOX Squelches Arbitration of Entangled Claim

In Laubenstein v. Conair Corp., No. 5:14-cv-05227 (W.D. Ark. Nov. 19, 2014), Plaintiff claimed retaliation under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (“SOX”) and a state-law claim for wrongful termination. A recent amendment to SOX...more

Caught Between Laws: Challenges for Health Care Providers in Using Criminal History Information in Employment Decisions

In an effort to increase protection for vulnerable patient populations, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) creates incentives for states to strengthen the employment background check programs available to long-term care providers....more

Oregon Initiative Legalizes Recreational Use of Marijuana—What Does that Mean for Employers?

On Nov. 4, 2014, Oregon voted to decriminalize, regulate, and tax the production, delivery, and possession of marijuana. Oregon joins Alaska, Colorado, Washington, and Washington, D.C. in legalizing recreational marijuana...more

Sixth Circuit Creates Circuit Split on Same-Sex Marriage; Tees Up Issue for Possible Supreme Court Review

Yesterday afternoon, in DeBoer v. Snyder, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals issued an eagerly-awaited opinion, upholding laws in Ohio, Kentucky, Michigan, and Tennessee banning same-sex marriage. The court held that laws...more

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