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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

Make Sure You Own the Patent You Think You Do.

The biotechnology industry has a long history of successfully licensing and litigating university technology. That trend looks to be continuing, even as other industries have taken aim at limiting patent enforcement. Ten U.S....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

Fifth Circuit Upholds the Use of Race in Admissions at the University of Texas

For a second time, the Fifth Circuit dismissed Abigail Fisher’s claim against the University of Texas at Austin (the “University”), holding that the University’s admissions policy, including the use of race as a factor,...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

Fifth Circuit Issues Important Ruling on Affirmative Action in Higher Education

Earlier this week, in Fisher v. University of Texas, a divided panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit upheld the constitutionality of the undergraduate admissions program at the University of Texas at...more

Second Circuit Rules New York City’s Prohibition of Religious Services in School Facilities Constitutional

Recently, in Bronx Household of Faith v. Board of Education of the City of New York[1], the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (the “Second Circuit”), in a 2-1 decision, reversed the lower court’s decision and ruled that...more

Federal Judge Upholds New York City Policy Barring Unvaccinated Students from Attending School During Periods of Disease Outbreak

On June 04, 2014, Judge William F. Kuntz II of the Eastern District of New York upheld a controversial New York City policy that prohibits unvaccinated children from attending school when a classmate becomes infected with a...more

Supreme Court Asked If State Universities Are Exempt From Claims Under the False Claims Act

A professor at the University of Texas Health Science Center has petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to determine the standard for imposing liability on state universities (and their related entities, such as hospitals and...more

Supreme Court Deals Affirmative Action Another Blow, But Impact on Colleges and Universities Likely Limited

The U.S. Supreme Court continued its decade-long interest in the role of affirmative action in the higher education admissions process, and decided to uphold a state law banning the practice. In Schuette v. Coalition to...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

Supreme Court Declines to Review Case on Public School Graduations in Churches

The Supreme Court decided this week not to hear a recent case from the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals (which has jurisdiction over Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin) regarding public school graduation ceremonies in churches....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. 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

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

(Academic) Freedom Is Free(r)

Samuel Johnson, the 18th-century English writer and lexicographer, observed that “words are but the signs of ideas.” While not intended as such, Dr. Johnson’s insight neatly summarizes one of the catalyzing principles for the...more

High Court Decision In Michigan Affirmative Action Case Leaves Requirements For The Consideration Of Race Untouched

The U.S. Supreme Court held yesterday that a voter-approved ban on the use of race-based preferences for public university admissions does not violate the U.S. Constitution. The decision focused narrowly on whether the U.S....more

Supreme Court Ruling Exposes Continuing Division on Use of Race in Higher Education Admissions

Yesterday's ruling in Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action shows that the justices on the U.S. Supreme Court remain fundamentally divided about the future of race-conscious admission policies in higher...more

Supreme Court: Voters' Initiative To End Affirmative Action Is Constitutional

In a highly anticipated decision, the Supreme Court upheld Michigan’s Proposal 2, which amended the Michigan Constitution to prohibit racial preferences in admissions to public schools and government programs....more

Seventh Circuit Reminds Public Employers That Whistleblowing Employees Are Not Immune From All Discipline

The Seventh Circuit recently upheld the lower court’s summary judgment in favor of the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) and Schurtz High School administrators in a teacher’s action alleging violations of her First and Fourteenth...more

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