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From The Jaws Of Defeat, Public Unions Snatch Lucky Victory

For many years, unions representing public employees in a variety of states have continued to require employees to pay union dues even if they have an objection to certain political, lobbying, or other activities the unions...more

Split Supreme Court Upholds Union Agency Fees...for Now

On March 29, 2016, the United States Supreme Court affirmed a decision permitting public-sector unions to continue collecting “agency fees” from nonmember workers. This is a major victory for public sector unions, as a...more

Higher Education Highlights - Spring 2016

Upcoming changes to the Fair Labor Standards Act salary-basis test may convert many of your smartphone-toting exempt employees into non-exempt employees, requiring you to track the evening and weekend time these employees...more

Supreme Court Hands Labor Unions a Reprieve

In the second split decision since the passing of Justice Antonin Scalia, the Supreme Court gave organized labor a status quo victory in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association on Tuesday. The case was brought by...more

The Supreme Court - March 2016 #5

The Supreme Court of the United States issued one per curiam decision on March 29, 2016: Friedrichs v. California Teachers Assn., No. 14-915: Petitioner Rebecca Friedrichs and other public school teachers in California...more

The Supreme Court’s Decision on Public Union Fees: Still Valid But No Further Guidance

On March 29, 2016, the Supreme Court of the United States issued a per curiam opinion in a case on the validity of public-sector “agency shop” arrangements, which permit unions to charge a fee (in order to pay for select...more

Never Mind! Supreme Court Splits on Public Employee Union Fee Case

The Supreme Court today issued a decision in one of the most anticipated cases of the session on whether public employees could be forced to pay fees to a union that they didn’t want to belong to. And in doing so, the...more

Suit Seeks To Block N.C. “Bathroom Bill”

Of significance to employers, the bill, which was signed into law last Wednesday, eliminates the common-law cause of action for wrongful discharge based on “EEO” discrimination....more

Court Rules That Student-Athletes Are Not Employees Under the FLSA - The U.S. District Court Decision Is Another Win for the NCAA...

In another blow to legal arguments that student-athletes should be paid as employees, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana recently concluded that student-athletes at the University of Pennsylvania...more

High Court Reviews Protected Activity Under SLAPP Statute

In yet another installment of the gravamen of the complaint conundrum, the California Supreme Court is currently reviewing Park v. Board of Trustees of California State University (2015) 239 Cal.App.4th 1258. The issue is...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

Must An Employer Tolerate Truly Obnoxious Employee Speech That Is Not Job-Related?

There is a tenured professor at Florida Atlantic University School of Communications and Multi-Media Studies who has gained notoriety because of his public statements, including a blog, which claim that virtually every mass...more

Questions Remain About Social Media Privacy Rights During Workplace Investigations

Employees’ social media activities often play a key role in workplace investigations. For example, an employee may complain that a coworker sent a harassing Facebook message or posted something offensive on Twitter...more

The NLRB Goes Back to Church (Schools), Gets Entangled

In our June 2015 blog post, “NLRB Moves to Assert Jurisdiction Over Religious Educational Institutions,” we reported that Regional Directors of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) were beginning to exercise jurisdiction...more

Open Carry and Campus Carry: Expanded Handgun Rights in Texas in 2016 and Beyond

In its most recent session, the Texas legislature passed two bills related to handgun possession in Texas.  House Bill No. 910 (HB 910) legalizes open carry of handguns in Texas.  Senate Bill No. 11 (SB 11) allows handgun...more

Right to Marry But Not to Work? Pennsylvania Catholic School Terminates Gay Married Teacher

Last month, Waldron Mercy Academy, a K-8 Catholic school located in Merion, Pennsylvania, fired Margie Winters from her position as Director of Religious Education, a job she had held for 8 years. According to Ms. Winters,...more

New Amendment to the Federal Labor Law in Mexico Raises Minimum Age for Employment

On June 12, 2015, a new amendment to the Federal Labor Law (FLL) was published in the Official Gazette, increasing the minimum age for employment from 14- to 15-years-old. This amendment is consistent with the...more

Teacher Discipline Pursuant to §3020-a of the New York State Education Law: Significant Changes

Several years ago, there were changes made to §3020-a intended to streamline the process of disciplining a tenured teacher/administrator. Effective July 1, 2015, even more significant changes have been made to the statute...more

Illinois Federal Court Addresses Lawsuit by Christian Leafletter on Public School Property

In a recent decision in the Northern District of Illinois, a trial court granted summary judgment in favor of a school district in a lawsuit stemming from the arrest of a local resident who was leafleting and proselytizing...more

Recent Case Reminds Schools of First Amendment and Title VII Responsibilities in Employment Context

Recently, the Northern District of Illinois issued its opinion in Wong v. Board of Education of Community Consolidated School District 15. Although the court’s decision does not address novel arguments or depart from prior...more

Religious Institutions Update: March 2015

Several interrelated legal developments make it more important than ever for religious institutions intending to qualify for exemptions to generally applicable laws to do the hard work before litigation or administrative...more

Facebook Post Lands Teacher in Hot Water

On January 18, 2015, two South Hills High School teachers were arrested for allegedly having sexual relations with students at the beach. According to the Orange County Sherriff’s Department, one of the teachers, Melody...more

Higher Education Alert: NLRB Announces Two New Standards Favorable to Faculty Unions

In Pacific Lutheran University, 361 NLRB No. 157, a case that had been watched closely by the higher education community, the National Labor Relations Board issued a 3-2 decision the week before Christmas announcing new...more

Higher Education Alert: NLRB Trend in Easing Unionization Continues with Recent Decision

The National Labor Relations Board issued a 3-2 decision last month in Pacific Lutheran University, 361 NLRB No. 157, in which it significantly modified the standards for determining: (1) whether college or university faculty...more

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

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