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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

Federal District Court Dismisses “100% Equity Strategy” Claims on Statute of Limitations Grounds

A federal district court held that participants in a defined benefit plan had standing to challenge plan fiduciaries’ strategy of investing 100% of the plan’s assets in equities, but dismissed those claims based on ERISA’s...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

Seventh Circuit Finds No ADA Liability for Employer Not Involved in Decisionmaking

Joyce Whitaker began working for Milwaukee County as a corrections officer in 2001. In 2005, she sustained a work-related back injury and subsequently was diagnosed with several related medical conditions. As a result, her...more

SLAPP’d in San Bernardino: Public Defender’s Retaliation Lawsuit Deemed a SLAPP

In an unpublished decision on Friday, Division One of the Fourth Appellate District ruled that a retaliation civil claim filed by a former public defender against the County of San Bernardino was a Strategic Lawsuit Against...more

Employment Client Alert: Punitive Damages Award in Title VII Sexual Harassment Case Does Not Violate Due Process

In State of Arizona v. ASARCO LLC, WL 6918577, published December 10, 2014, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held that an award of $300,000 in punitive damages did not violate due process even though no compensatory damages...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

Texas and 17 States Sue Over the President’s Executive Action on Immigration

On Wednesday, December 3, 2014, the attorneys general and governors of 17 states filed a complaint for declaratory and injunctive relief with the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas challenging...more

Fourteen States and Four Governors Sue the President on His Immigration Executive Orders – The Battle Begins

It didn’t take long. Fourteen states and four governors, led by Texas, filed a complaint in the Federal Court in Brownsville, Texas seeking to nullify the President’s Executive Order relating to immigration. Texas has sued...more

Defined Benefit Plan Participants Have Standing to Pursue Fiduciary Breach Claims

A federal district court in Minnesota found that participants in a defined benefit pension plan had standing to assert claims that defendants breached their fiduciary duties by, among other things, shifting to an...more

Fourth Circuit Applies Sovereign Immunity to Shield State Hospital Supervisors from Suit

Some employers are immune from liability by virtue of their status as a state-run operation. Employees have become more creative in attempting to obtain recovery from their employers in such situations by naming individual...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

The Ninth Circuit Provides Clarity on ERA Whistleblower Protections.

On November 7, 2014, the Ninth Circuit issued its ruling in Tamosaitis v. URS Inc. and provided clarity on three key aspects of the whistleblower protections afforded under the Energy Reorganization Act (ERA), 42 U.S.C. 5801...more

D.C. Circuit Upholds Contraceptive Coverage Mandate

Last week, a unanimous three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit upheld the religious accommodation to the Affordable Care Act’s (“ACA”) contraceptive coverage mandate (Priests for Life v. HHS, D.C. Cir. No. 13-5368, Nov. 14,...more

D.C. Circuit: USAID Worker Jailed in Cuba Can’t Recover Damages from the Government

On November 14, 2014, in Alan Gross and Judith Gross v. U.S.A., a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit unanimously held that a humanitarian aid worker, who sub-contracted with the...more

DC Circuit Dismisses Appeal By Three Hospitals Challenging Subcontractor Status

On November 14, 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia dismissed as moot an appeal by three hospitals affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. The hospitals had challenged...more

Illinois Supreme Court Debates Scope of Whistleblower Statute

During the September term, the Illinois Supreme Court debated an important question about the scope of the state Whistleblower Act: does a plaintiff state a claim under the statute by alleging that the defendant falsified...more

A former physician assistant student at Lock Haven University sued eight individual defendants (but not the university) after his...

A former physician assistant student at Lock Haven University sued eight individual defendants (but not the university) after his dismissal from the program, alleging civil rights violations. In Weil v. White,...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

Does the President Have the Power to Defer Deportation of Undocumented Immigrants?

President Obama has announced that before the end of the year he intends to issue executive orders to address the dysfunctional immigration system if Congress does not act on immigration reform legislation. There is...more

Illinois Supreme Court Agrees to Return to Pension Debates

In the closing days of its September term, the Illinois Supreme Court agreed to return once again to what surely must be the most controversial subject at the moment in all of Illinois’ civil law: public pensions. Matthews v....more

U.S. Supreme Court Rules that Failure to Include Section 1983 Claim in Complaint is Not Fatal to Suit Against State Actor

On November 10, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court entered a per curiam order in Johnson v. City of Shelby, Mississippi, reversing the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals’ opinion affirming the dismissal of a suit against a Mississippi...more

Supreme Court Concludes Plaintiffs Not Required to Plead Specific Legal Theory

Plaintiffs are not required to explicitly mention the statute that allows them to plead their case, according to a per curiam opinion issued by the U.S. Supreme Court earlier this week. This decision effectively clarifies the...more

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