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Employment Law Letter - Summer 2016

Last year the General Assembly enacted legislation prohibiting all public and private sector employers from disciplining an employee for “discussing the amount of his or her wages [or] inquiring about the wages of another...more

Foliage, Frost, Frozen Ponds And The FOIA (Part Two): Can You See My Notes (And Calendar)?

For those who still cannot get enough after my latest post on the Freedom of Information Act [“FOIA”], here are more nuggets from the Freedom of Information Commission [“FOIC”]. Today, we focus on written notes and calendar...more

Supreme Court Upholds University Affirmative Action Admissions Policy

On June 23, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court held for the second time that race may be taken into account when public universities and colleges admit students. In a 4-3 decision (Justice Kagan recused herself based on her prior...more

Supreme Court Update: Fisher V. University Of Texas (14-981) And United States V. Texas (15-674)

While "Brexit" is dominating the international headlines, it was a Texas twin bill yesterday on First Street, as The Eight handed down a 4-4 affirmance in United States v. Texas (15-674), upholding a nationwide injunction...more

District Potentially Liable for Hiring Teacher Alleged to Have Inappropriately Touched Students

Poe v. Southeast Delco Sch. Dist., 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 168598 (E.D. Pa. Dec. 16, 2015): Hiring a teacher with past allegations of sexual misconduct toward students made the district and an administrator potentially liable...more

When are Universities and Executive Agencies “State Actors” for Antitrust Immunity?

More than fifty years ago, the Supreme Court formalized the “state-action antitrust immunity” doctrine - a judge-made rule that certain state governmental conduct is immune from challenge under the federal antitrust laws....more

Teacher’s Verbal Abuse of Student Does Not Rise to “Conscious-Shocking” Level Necessary to Support Due Process Claim

L.H. and C.H. v. Pittston Area Sch. Dist., 130 F. Supp. 3d 918 (M.D. Pa 2015) (Decided September 10, 2015). The District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania determined that verbal abuse by a teacher, by itself,...more

California Teachers Seek Rehearing Before Full U.S. Supreme Court Regarding Constitutionality of “Agency Shop” Fees for Non-Union...

Attorneys for the Plaintiff California public sector teachers in the case of Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association have taken the extraordinarily rare step of petitioning the Supreme Court for a rehearing, and have...more

Special Report: How Should NC Employers Apply Restroom Policies Following HB2?

The Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act, commonly known as HB2, continues to generate controversy and confusion. The new law has caused many employers to reexamine their policies with regard to restroom use by employees...more

CAS Legal Mailbag Question of the Week - April 2016 #3

Dear Legal Mailbag: I know it may seem like a silly question, but do teachers ALWAYS have a right to a union representative at a meeting with an administrator? Recently, I invited my art teachers in for a meeting to...more

Employment Law Letter - Spring 2016

Will Smoking Pot on the Job Get You Fired? You’d think that would be a slam dunk question, but if you’re a state employee whose union is willing to take your case to an arbitrator, apparently it isn’t. Back in 2012,...more

Illinois Appellate Court Upholds $2 Million Punitive Award Against Chicago State University

The due process review of a punitive damages award for excessiveness has a number of interconnected parts. A series of relatively small errors can quickly add up and dramatically skew the outcome of a review process that is...more

MMBA Factfinding Applies to All Negotiations Resulting in Impasse

Not Just Negotiations for a Comprehensive MOU - The factfinding procedures required by the Meyers Milias Brown Act apply to all negotiations which reach impasse, not just those arising from negotiations for a...more

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

Open Discussion of Pending Grievances Permitted At School Board Meetings

Abington Heights School District (Case No. PERA-C-11-221-E) (Pa. LRB 2015) (Decided December 15, 2015). A Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board hearing examiner determined that the District was permitted to openly discuss...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

Gawker Victory Against Unpaid Interns Provides Helpful Roadmap

A federal judge has sided with Gawker in the media company’s legal battle with a former unpaid intern who claimed that he should have been compensated as an employee. On March 29th, Judge Alison Nathan in the Southern...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

CAS Legal Mailbag Question of the Week – March 2016 #3

Dear Legal Mailbag: Teacher attendance is a problem in my school. To be sure, most of the teachers are committed professionals whose attendance is admirable. However, a few of my teachers are out a lot, sometimes calling...more

Another Loss for the Claim That College Athletes Are Employees

Last year the National Labor Relations Board ruled that it did not have jurisdiction to consider a petition by undergraduate football players at Northwestern University for recognition of a union and collective bargaining...more

Decision on STEM OPT Program is Delayed Until May 10, 2016

On January 23, 2016, Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle of the U.S. District Court for the District of Colombia granted the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s motion to extend the stay of the vacatur of the STEM OPT rule from...more

Closure For Second Circuit Intern Case, But Risks Persist Nationally

Spring is around the corner, with summer not far behind, so thoughts naturally turn to the obvious topic: internships. Although the volume of new lawsuits by unpaid interns challenging their status has abated...more

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