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Supreme Court Update: Comptroller v. Wynne (13-485) And San Francisco v. Sheehan (13-1412)

We're back with the two remaining decisions from Monday, Comptroller v. Wynne (13-485) and San Francisco v. Sheehan (13-1412), two split decisions featuring strange bedfellows. The Justices' philosophical differences...more

Religious Institutions Update: May 2015

Religious institutions commonly keep ministry supporters and members abreast of developments through newsletters, correspondence and other communications. Sometimes, the developments reported are embarrassing to those...more

Kosher Meals for Prisoners: U.S. Department of Justice Wins Claim of Religious Discrimination against the Florida Department of...

A federal court has ruled that the Florida Department of Corrections’ (Department) refusal to provide kosher meals to inmates violates the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA). The court’s decision in...more

Second Circuit Rules PATRIOT Act Does Not Authorize Government's Bulk Telephone Metadata Collection Program

In yet another reminder of the importance of maintaining the privacy of personal information, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, in ACLU v. Clapper, issued a unanimous decision striking down the National Security Agency’s...more

Supreme Court Decides City and County of San Francisco v. Sheehan

On May 18, 2015, the United States Supreme Court decided City and County of San Francisco v. Sheehan, No. 13-1412, holding that police officers were entitled to qualified immunity against a constitutional claim based on...more

Same-Sex Marriage Bans As Sex Discrimination: The Potential Impact On Plan Sponsors And Employers

In last week’s oral argument on the constitutionality of same-sex marriage bans, Chief Justice Roberts asked the following question: Counsel, I’m not sure it’s necessary to get into sexual orientation to resolve the...more

Local Court Ruling Takes the Hands off of Hands On: Tensions between Fairness Ordinances and Religious Freedom Restoration Acts

Businesses should keep a close eye on a case that continues to develop in Lexington, Kentucky, as it highlights the current tensions between emerging, evolving antidiscrimination paradigms and rights of free expression and...more

Same-Sex Marriage Bans As Sex Discrimination: The potential impact on plan sponsors

In last week’s oral argument on the constitutionality of same-sex marriage bans, Chief Justice Roberts asked the following question: Counsel, I’m, I’m not sure it’s necessary to get into sexual orientation to resolve...more

City of Marysville, Washington Defeats RLUIPA, RFRA, and Fair Housing Claims

In Holy Ghost Revival Ministries v. City of Marysville (W.D. Washington), the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington considered claims of religious discrimination brought by Holy Ghost Revival Ministries...more

Supreme Court Authorizes “Barebones” Court Review of the EEOC’s Conciliation Efforts

On April 29, 2015, the U.S Supreme Court held in Mach Mining, LLC v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that courts are empowered to review whether the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) satisfied its...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

The Supreme Court Weighs The Constitutionality Of Restricting Marriage To Opposite Sex Couples, And The Impact Their Decision May...

Background - Today, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral argument on two questions regarding the Constitutionality of state laws limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples. In 2013, the Supreme Court side-stepped the issue...more

OSEP Urges LEAs to Respect Parents’ Choice of Dispute Resolution Process

On April 15, 2015, the Office for Special Education Programs (OSEP) within the U.S. Department of Education issued a Dear Colleague Letter regarding the interaction between the due process hearing system and the state...more

Tinker, Take Two

Two legendary figures in the ongoing fight for student free speech rights are asking the Supreme Court to revisit this thorny area of First Amendment jurisprudence. John and Mary Beth Tinker were petitioners forty-six years...more

Can French Employees Wear Unrestricted Religious Symbols in the Workplace?

The French Supreme Court provides guidance to employers in France on how to deal with employees who wear religious symbols in the workplace....more

Transgender Litigant Challenges Exclusion of "Gender Identity Disorder" in Americans with Disabilities Act

The Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. § 12191, et seq. ("ADA"), expressly excludes from its protections individuals whose gender identity disorder is not the result of a physical impairment. The so-called "GID...more

Suit by “Interested,” Neighboring Municipalities to Enforce SEQRA Requirements Does Not “Impose or Implement” a Land Use...

On March 27, 2015, the Southern District of New York granted summary judgment in favor of all defendants in the consolidated action Bernstein v. Wesley Hills, 08-CV-156; 12-CV-8856 (KMK), (the “Wesley Hills” Action). The...more

Social Media: Strategy and Implementation - Are you protected?

With more companies utilizing social media as a part of doing business, are you protecting yourself and your business from issues that can arise when implementing these strategies? Where do you stand legally when employees...more

DOL Will Not Enforce Final FMLA Regulation Regarding Same-Sex Spouses in Four States

Last week, I reported that a federal district court in Texas had halted the DOL’s enforcement of its final rule that would allow employees to take FMLA leave for their same-sex spouse. ...more

Texas Judge Blocks FMLA Same-Sex Spouse Rule in Four States

The Department of Labor’s same-sex spouse rule under the Family and Medical Leave Act was supposed to go into effect on March 27. At the 11th hour, however, a federal judge in Texas stepped in and preliminarily enjoined...more

Federal Court Dismisses Accused Student’s Title IX Lawsuit Against Vassar College

Last week, a federal judge in New York (Abrams, J.) dismissed an accused student’s lawsuit against Vassar College alleging that the institution discriminated against him by failing to conduct an equitable investigation into a...more

Although Unconstitutional, Employment Blue Laws Remain on the Books (And CTDOL Website!)

With all the talk about religious “freedom” this week in the news and the holidays upon us this weekend, I wish I had something more profound to write about them. But I look back on my prior posts — like this one from...more

Supreme Court’s Alabama Ruling Sets The Stage For Arizona’s Next Redistricting Battle

The U.S. Supreme Court last week reversed a federal three-judge panel in Alabama that upheld the state’s legislative district map against a racial gerrymandering challenge. Alabama Legislative Black Caucus v. Alabama...more

SCOTUS Delivers Opinion in Pregnancy Discrimination Battle

Supreme Court Revives Pregnancy Discrimination Suit But Denies Pregnant Employees “Most-Favored-Nation” Status On March 25, 2015, the Supreme Court revived an employee’s pregnancy discrimination suit against UPS, finding that...more

DOL Defines a Married, Same-Sex Partner as a "Spouse" under the FMLA

Effective March 27, 2015, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is revised to define a "spouse" to include married, same-sex partners regardless of the state in which they reside. This change gives same-sex couples the...more

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