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Texas’ Mess Premature

Back in November, we alerted you to Texas’ lawsuit against the EEOC over the EEOC’s Enforcement Guidance prohibiting categorical employer policies that preclude hiring convicted felons. Texas v. EEOC, No. 5:13-CV-255-C (N.D....more

The Expanding Ash Heap of History

This year marks the 60th anniversary of the historic United States Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka. The court overturned the precedent established in Plessy v. Ferguson, which upheld that...more

Ninth Circuit Holds Alleged Retaliatory Actions Must Be Viewed in Context For Purposes of a First Amendment Retaliation Claim

In Wendy Thomas, et al v. County of Riverside, et al, the Ninth Circuit considered whether the District Court properly granted summary judgment of an employee’s First Amendment retaliation claim in favor of the employer....more

Update: District Court Finds First Amendment Does Not Protect Former Guidance Counselor’s Sexually-Explicit Book

The Northern District Court of Illinois found that Rich Township High School District 227 did not violate the free speech rights of former guidance counselor and girls’ basketball coach Bryan Craig when it dismissed him based...more

SCOTUS Affirms Right to Blow Your Whistle in Public Sector

There has long been tension in the public sector regarding an employee’s duties as an agent of the state and his or her right as an individual to freedom of speech. In a decision handed down in June of 2014, the United States...more

Secretary of the Commonwealth Issues Notice of Three Proposed Constitutional Amendments

WE, the people of Pennsylvania, have been governed by five different iterations of the state constitution since December 12, 1787, the day of our statehood. Each of those versions is the product of a state constitutional...more

A Series Of Ticking Time Bombs – A Review Of The Supreme Court's 2013-2014 Term

The Supreme Court recently wrapped up its 2013-2014 term, and management can count it as another successful year in front of the High Court. Of the nine decisions impacting labor and employment law, seven of them should have...more

Public employers, you can’t drug test as if you were in the private sector

Karen Voss was offered a newly created position of Solid Waste Coordinator with the City of Key West. The job entailed marketing and planning related to the city’s recycling programs, and “overseeing other tasks within the...more

Update For Retirement Plans Post-Windsor

Now that some of the dust has settled on the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in U.S. v. Windsor, employers who haven’t done so already should take immediate steps to review their retirement plan documents and administrative...more

Workplace Law Has Come a Long Way, Baby!

In 1964, Nicholas Katzenbach, the Attorney General of United States, ordered Ollie's Barbecue, a tiny restaurant in Birmingham, Ala., to desegregate. When the U.S. Supreme Court upheld that order, the newly passed Civil...more

You can’t fix stupid: Employment law edition

Homo sapiens is fired for teaching about homophones (and his sister is a known thespian rumored to have dramaturgical aspirations). A teacher at a private language school in Utah says that he was fired by the director for...more

California Legislative Update: July 2014

Governor Jerry Brown recently signed into law a number of bills that will impact the employer community. A brief summary of these new laws, along with links to the bills, can be found below....more

Hobby Lobby: Just a Start

As a trial lawyer, I rarely pay much attention to dissenting opinions. They do not serve as meaningful precedent, and they tend only to express the loser’s frustrated perspective. But Justice Ginsburg’s dissent in the Supreme...more

Religious Institutions Update

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. that an existing contraceptive coverage mandate violates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act statute that applies to for-profit closely held corporations...more

DOL Proposes Rulemaking to Amend Definition of "Spouse" for FMLA

In 2013, the United States Supreme Court held, in U.S. v. Windsor, that the Defense of Marriage Act's limitation of "marriage" and "spouse" to heterosexual couples was unconstitutional. Thereafter, President Obama instructed...more

Labor & Employment E-Note

In This Issue: - High Court to Hear Case on Pregnancy Accommodations - Supreme Court Says Some Employees Don't Have to Pay Union Fees - Recent Decision Leaves Questions About Religion in Hiring Process - NLRB...more

Recent Employee Benefits Developments

Amending Retirement Plans to Recognize Same-Sex Marriages Plan sponsors need to review retirement plan documents and operations to determine whether changes are needed in response to last year's Supreme Court decision in U.S....more

Employment Law - July 2014

Recess Is Over: Supreme Court Strikes NLRB Appointments - Why it matters: Striking a blow to the President and the National Labor Relations Board, the U.S. Supreme Court held that three recess appointments made by...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

EEOC Sues Employer for Imposing "Onionhead" Religious Beliefs

Within the next several days, the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to release its decision regarding the government’s authority under the Affordable Care Act to require private employers to provide contraceptive care to...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

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