Education Labor & Employment Constitutional Law

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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

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

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