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Faculty Can Unionize Absent Actual Managerial Control, NLRB Decides

Last week, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB or Board) revised its standard for determining when faculty members can unionize. Although the decision is expected to be appealed, it undoubtedly will open the door to a...more

The National Labor Relations Board Strikes Again – How Managerial Are Your Faculty and How Religious Is Your Institution?

In the latest example of dramatic changes to well-developed principles of federal labor law and policy, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or “Board”) issued its long awaited decision in Pacific Lutheran University,...more

Whistleblower Takes Next Step in Lawsuit Against Philadelphia School District

Four years ago, Francis X. Dougherty was fired after revealing the existence of a $7.5 million no-bid security camera contract within the Philadelphia School District. Now, he has won a major victory in his whistleblower...more

Circuit Court Strikes Down Pension Reform

In a widely publicized decision, Judge Belz of the Circuit Court of Sangamon County ruled on November 21, 2014 that the sweeping pension reform measures enacted in December 2013 violate the Illinois Constitution’s Pension...more

Conduct Unbecoming: Disciplining Educators For Non-School-Related Behavior

The involvement of a Connecticut middle school Principal and a middle school Guidance Counselor in the writing and production of films the media has described as being replete with female nudity, violence and sexually...more

Managing Social Media-Issues Consistent With The Law

In this age of electronic communication, social media has added another dimension to the array of issues schools must address in order to maintain the integrity of the learning environment while also preserving the rights of...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

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

English Teacher’s Blog Post Ruled As Unprotected Speech

A Pennsylvania District Court dismissed teacher Natalie Munroe’s violation of free speech claim against the Central Bucks School District. Ms. Munroe accused the School District and some administrators for violating her free...more

Not My Brother’s Keeper: Varley v. Regional School District No. 4 and A School District’s Responsibility For “Free Speech” Claims...

When entering into contacts with vendors, school districts hope that 1) the vendor will comply with the law, and 2) in any event, the vendor will be responsible for its own employment-related disputes. In Varley v. Regional...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

California Court Rules Teacher Tenure Statutes Unconstitutional

On June 10, 2014, the trial court judge in Vergara v. State of California issued a decision striking down as unconstitutional five provisions of the California Education Code regarding public school teacher tenure procedures....more

10 Tips for Creating an Effective Social Media Policy

A controversial tweet posted by a Kansas University professor last fall in response to the shootings at the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C. resulted in the Kansas Board of Regents’ adoption of a revised social media policy. The...more

Vergara v. California: Part Two: Is Tenure in Connecticut At Risk?

As discussed in a prior post, the recent decision in the case of Vergara v. State of California, et al., will, if upheld on appeal, eviscerate California’s public school teacher tenure law. Given that 46 states have some...more

Judge Strikes Down California Teacher Tenure Laws as Unconstitutional - Business-as-usual for school districts while ruling is...

California teacher tenure, firing and layoff laws violate the state constitution, a judge has ruled in a closely watched case that may have significant ramifications for school districts, education departments and lawmakers....more

Vergara v. California: Its Real Meaning

The media has missed the fact that Vergara is not primarily a case about tenure....more

Impact of the 'Students First' Decision on Non-Teacher Employees of School Districts

Judge Rolf Treu’s decision in the Students First case is effectively an indictment of the termination process of all California public school employees, not just teachers....more

Vergara v. State of California Exposes Constitutional Flaws In Public Teacher Tenure Laws

A Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge ruled Tuesday in Vergara v. State of California that teacher tenure laws in California are unconstitutional because they deprive students of their right to an education under the...more

Are Teacher Tenure and Seniority Really Unconstitutional?

If upheld on appeal, the trial court decision in Vergara v. State of California will make it easier for California school districts to keep new teachers in "at will" probationary status longer, to fire tenured teachers, and...more

L.A. Superior Court Rules Key Teacher Tenure, Dismissal, and Layoff Statutes Unconstitutional

In a much anticipated and well-publicized tentative ruling, the Los Angeles Superior Court (“trial court”) issued a tentative ruling on June 6, 2014 in Vergara v. State of California, Case. No. BC484642. Plaintiffs in the...more

Vergara v. California, and the Attenuation of Tenure, Part One: The Decision

In a landmark, June 10, 2014 decision that could set off a wave of similar litigation across the country, a California Superior Court judge ruled in the case of Vergara v. State of California, et al. that a number of...more

California Court Finds Teacher Tenure, Layoff, and Dismissal Laws Unconstitutional

School leaders across the country are buzzing about a California Superior Court’s recent tentative ruling that the state’s teacher tenure, dismissal, and layoff laws violate the equal protection clause of the California...more

Religious Institutions Update - Lex Est Sanctio Sancta

"Church plans" are pension plans (including defined benefit or defined contribution plans) exempt (without an irrevocable election) from many of the legal requirements of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA)...more

Recent Federal Guidance On Title IX And Sexual Violence

Over the last several weeks, colleges and universities have been inundated with new Title IX and sexual violence guidance and enforcement decisions to digest. First, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights...more

Court of Appeals Holds That Student Safety Concerns Outweighed Teachers’ Picketing Rights

On May 6, 2014, in Santer v. Board of Education of East Meadow Union Free School District, the New York Court of Appeals held that a school district did not violate the First Amendment by disciplining teachers who...more

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