Conflict of Laws Labor & Employment Constitutional Law

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Can You Terminate An Employee For Acting In Self-Defense? Maybe Not.

The case, Ray v. Wal-Mart Stores, involved two incidents at two different Utah Wal-Mart stores and five former employees. Under Wal-Mart policy, employees are required to “disengage” from an individual with a weapon or who...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

Pennsylvania Court Rejects Request to Create Common Law Duty to Protect Sensitive Personal and Financial Information

A Pennsylvania judge has dismissed a class action arising out of the breach of confidential employee information, adding to a growing body of state courts that have found that negligence claims alleging failure to provide...more

Out-of-Network, Out of Luck? A Growing Body of Caselaw Addressing Claims by Out-of-Network Providers Seeking Full Reimbursement...

It’s become a common scenario for medical providers: a provider treats a patient covered by employer-provided health insurance for which the provider is out-of-network, receives an assignment of benefits from the patient and...more

Federal Court Upholds Federal Contractor Union Notice Requirement

A federal court in the District of Columbia has upheld the validity of the Department of Labor's (DOL) rule requiring covered federal contractors to post a notice informing employees of their rights under the National Labor...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

Sick Leave Trend Continues in New Jersey, Constitutional Challenge Begins

This week Bloomfield became the ninth locality in the State of New Jersey to require employers to provide sick leave to their employees, joining Jersey City, Newark, Passaic, East Orange, Paterson, Irvington, Trenton, and...more

Did You Know…SCOTUS Will Decide Gay Marriage Issue Once and For All

It was bound to happen.  Sooner or later the U.S. Supreme Court would be put to the task of deciding whether a married couple from California are still married while visiting Elvis’ ghost at Graceland, in Tennessee....more

Guns In The Workplace Versus Employer’s Property Rights

There is a growing trend of state laws prohibiting employers from banning firearms on employers’ property. These laws are otherwise known as “parking lot laws.” At the state level, more and more states appear prepared to...more

Continuing to Withstand Attack: Indiana Supreme Court Unanimously Upholds Indiana’s Right to Work Law

Last month, the Indiana Supreme Court unanimously upheld the Indiana Right to Work Law, rejecting a union’s claim that the state statute violates the Indiana Constitution. The Indiana Supreme Court’s decision comes roughly...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

Will SCOTUS Review Same-Sex Marriage Now?

You may recall that in early October the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review decisions from U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Fourth, Seventh, and Tenth circuits* that struck down same-sex marriage bans....more

Colorado Supreme Court Hears Arguments In Medical Marijuana/Discharge Case

Brandon Coats was partially paralyzed in a car crash as a teenager, using a wheelchair, and has been a medical marijuana patient since 2010 when he discovered that using pot helped calm violent seizures and muscle spasms....more

Fenwick Employment Brief - July 2014

California Employees Can Waive Class Claims In An Arbitration Agreement, But Not PAGA Claims - Resolving an issue that has created uncertainty for California employers, the California Supreme Court recently held in...more

Six Days on the Road and I'm Gonna Park My Truck to Comply with State Laws Tonight

My apologies to Dave Dudley. The song “Six Days on the Road” just doesn’t stand up to the changes we would have to make after the Ninth Circuit’s decision that the state meal and rest break laws are not preempted by federal...more

Ninth Circuit “Chases” Away Another Option for Removing PAGA Actions to Federal Court

In yet another setback for employers seeking to remove California wage and hour cases to federal court, the Ninth Circuit held that the federal Class Action Fairness Act (“CAFA”) provides federal courts with no basis to...more

Not So Fast, My Friend! Eleventh Circuit Weighs In On NLRB Recess Appointment Issue

As we previously reported, the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in Noel Canning v. NLRB, 705 F.3d 490 (D.C. Cir. 2013) struck down President Barack Obama’s “recess appointments” of three members of the...more

Ninth Circuit Finds That The Garcetti “Official Duties” Rule Does Not Apply To Public University Employee Academic Speech

Just this month, in Demers v. Austin, 729 F.3d 1011 (9th Cir. 2013), the Ninth Circuit became the first federal circuit court to hold that techers employed by the state had a First Amendment right on speech made in academic...more

Supreme Court Decides Not To Decide Age Bias Circuit Split

This morning, on one of the first days of the 2013-2014 Term, the Supreme Court of the United States—as widely predicted—dismissed the writ of certiorari in an age discrimination case as improvidently granted. After hearing...more

Supreme Court strikes down Defense of Marriage Act: What are the changes for employers?

On June 26, 2013, the United States Supreme Court held that Section 3 the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which prevented the federal government from recognizing state-granted same-sex marriages, was unconstitutional because...more

U.S. Department of Labor Extends FMLA Benefits to Same-Sex Spouses in States That Recognize Same-Sex Marriage

As reported in the Wall Street Journal (“U.S. Extends Family Leave to Same-Sex Couples,” August 9, 2013, by Melanie Trottman and Kris Maher) and Employment Law 360 (“Labor Dept. Extends FMLA Coverage To Same-Sex Spouses,”...more

Genesis Healthcare v. Symczyk: Nearly as Many Questions as Answers

When the petition for certiorari in Genesis Healthcare Corp. v. Symczyk was granted, it appeared that the Supreme Court was poised to resolve a clear split in the Circuits about the permissibility of “pick off” moves, at...more

U.S. Supreme Court Hears DOMA Case—Now What?

Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in United States v. Windsor, 12-307, a case that raises the question of whether the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is constitutional. Among the various groups that are...more

The Federal Enclave Doctrine: A Potentially Powerful Defense to State Employment Laws

The U.S. Constitution provides that the federal government has exclusive legislative rights over certain federal territories – such as military bases, courthouses, and other official properties – if a state consents to the...more

Non-Compete Agreements with Arbitration Clauses Get Boost From US Supreme Court

Employers and employees often enter into non-compete agreements that limit an employee’s ability to compete with an employer during, or after, the employee’s employment. These agreements are often the subject of intense...more

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