Civil Rights Constitutional Law

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Points & Authorities - Winter 2016

Attention California Employers: New Employment Laws Affecting Your Business Take Effect on January 1, 2016 - In past years the Governor of California has enacted new laws related to employment that place additional...more

Puerto Rico Supreme Court: Failure to Provide Safe, Private and Hygienic Area for Breastfeeding in the Workplace May Violate...

On January 25, 2016, the Supreme Court of Puerto Rico held that employers in Puerto Rico should provide a safe, private, and hygienic place for working nursing mothers to extract breast milk during the nursing period as...more

Political Apprentice At Work? You're Fired! A Guide To Surviving The Election Season At The Workplace

This presidential election cycle creates unique concerns for companies dealing with employees who wish to discuss politics at work. Regardless of what side they fall on, some of your workers could be more passionate, maybe...more

Russian law on the priority of the RF Constitution over resolutions of intergovernmental human rights bodies

On 15 December 2015, Federal Constitutional Law No. 7-FKZ dated 14 December 2015 "On amendments to the Federal Constitutional Law 'On the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation'" (the "Law") prepared pursuant to...more

Can a Massachusetts Religious School Refuse to Employ a Worker in a Same-Sex Marriage?

In Barrett v. Fontbonne Academy, the Massachusetts Superior Court curtailed various statutory and constitutional defenses available to an employer affiliated with a religious institution that faces discrimination claims under...more

The Door Is Open To Disparaging Trademarks

Federal Circuit Rules § 2(A) of tThe Lanham Act Unconstitutional - Refusal to Register Disparaging Marks Held Unconstitutional - On December 22, 2015, the Federal Circuit in In re Simon Shiao Tam ruled that Section...more

Georgia Weekly Legislative Update

The Georgia General Assembly closed out the second week of the legislature’s two-year session Friday, busying itself with the governor’s budget recommendations and consideration of a host of controversial religious liberty...more

Florida Appellate Court Finds Widow Could Independently Bring FCRA Discrimination Claim After Her Husband’s Death

On January 20, a Florida appellate court held that a personal representative can initiate a Florida Civil Rights Act (FCRA) complaint alleging discrimination on behalf of the deceased former employee. In Cimino v. American...more

"2015-16 Supreme Court Update"

In its current term, the U.S. Supreme Court is once again poised to address a range of disputes relevant to businesses. These include significant constitutional issues, class action practice and other procedural matters, and...more

Pennsylvania Court Rules Background Screening Law Unconstitutional

On December 30, 2015, the Commonwealth Court in Pennsylvania unanimously found the Older Adults Protective Services Act’s (the Act) lifetime prohibition on the ability of individuals with convictions to hold certain jobs in...more

What Does 2016 Portend for Labor and Employment Law?

What is on the horizon for labor and employment policy in 2016, the last year of the Obama administration when the president will seek to cement his legacy, and a national election year when the White House and control of...more

Male Minister Who Won’t Wear Makeup Sues For Religious Bias

Boy, the Detroit area seems to be in the front lines for the gender-identity wars. As I’ve previously reported here, here, here, and here, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has a high-profile...more

As The Rotunda Turns . . . Affair, Coverup, Retaliation — And Lawsuit Against State House

You may have heard about the two Tea Party legislators in Michigan who were having an affair, engaged in a bizarre cover-up that failed, had to resign/were expelled, and then lost their election bids to get their seats back....more

U.S. Supreme Court Decision Might Foreshadow Expansion of the Qualified Immunity Defense in Excessive Force Cases

The past several years have seen a slew of high-profile excessive force cases, often highlighted by cell phone or dash-cam video. These cases have placed increasing pressure on local police departments, which continue to...more

Qualified Immunity and Deadly Car Chases: Is the Pendulum Heading the Other Way?

The past several years have seen a slew of high-profile excessive force cases against law enforcement officers, often highlighted by cell phone video. These cases have placed increasing pressure on local police departments,...more

Cities Left on Their Own in Gun Control Ordinances … For Now

The United States Supreme Court recently declined review of a lower court decision upholding a City of Highland Park, Ill. ordinance banning the sale and possession of semiautomatic guns that carry more than 10 rounds of...more

Whistleblower Standing Split in Circuits & TN Federal Courts

There’s a developing circuit split over whistleblower standing for retaliation claims. A decision this week extended that split to U.S. district courts within Tennessee, too. In Verble v. Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, LLC, No....more

Court Finds Promotional Tests Violate Title VII

In Bruce Smith, et al. v. City of Boston, Case No. 12-CV-10291 (D. Mass. Nov. 16, 2015), Judge Young of the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts held that the City of Boston Police Department’s (the...more

The Drive-by Plaintiff in the Hospitality Industry

July 26, 2015, marked the 25th anniversary of Title III of the ADA (“Title III”). The U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”), charged with regulating Title III, is finalizing regulations affecting a variety of industries,...more

Constitutionality of 8(a) Program Reaffirmed

Earlier this year, a judge of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia reaffirmed the facial constitutionality of the 8(a) Program in response to a challenge by a small business owner, and he also rejected an...more

District Court Cuts The Cord To Cable Employees’ Discipline And Promotions Class Claims

In a new order issued on November 13, 2015 in Brand, et al. v. Comcast Corp., Case No. 11-CV-8471 (N.D. Ill. Nov. 13, 2015), a matter we have previously blogged on here, Judge Matthew F. Kennelly of the U.S. District Court...more

Federal Judge Rules Against NSA Telephone Surveillance Program

On Monday, November 9, Judge Richard Leon of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled, in Klayman v. Obama, against part of the National Security Agency’s (“NSA”) surveillance program that collects domestic...more

Five Months after Same-Sex Marriages Held Constitutional: Where Are the Courts Headed on the Unanswered Questions?

On June 26, 2015, the United States Supreme Court issued its monumental decision in Obergefell, et al. v. Hodges, et al.; Case No. 14-556, holding that state bans of same-sex marriages are unconstitutional. Specifically, the...more

Firefighter’s Twelve Year Court Battle Over Racial Discrimination Ends in Reversal of His Million Dollar Judgment

In Jabari Jumaane v. City of Los Angeles (Ct. of Appeal B255763), published November 10, 2015, the Court of Appeal for the Second Appellate District ended 12 years of see-saw litigation, ruling that the racial discrimination...more

IRS Proposed Regs Redefine the Terms “Husband” and “Wife”

The Supreme Court has recently struck down state bans on same-sex marriage as unconstitutional in Obergefell v. Hodges, 576 US ___ (2015), after previously striking down the federal exclusion of same-sex couples from...more

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