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Election 2016: Political Speech and Activity in the Workplace

On November 8, voters across the country will head to the polls to determine the next president. Some states have already begun the early voting process. Voters will also decide who fills various U.S. congressional seats,...more

DOL Overtime Rule Update: Breaking News!!!!!

On September 20, 2016, two lawsuits were filed in an attempt to block the DOL’s proposed overtime rule. Wisconsin joined 20 other states in filing one suit while the U.S. Chamber of Commerce along with 50 other business...more

Employers Should Not Retreat on Compliance Planning Despite Two-Pronged Attack on OT Rule

Two lawsuits related to the Department of Labor’s revisions to the white-collar exemptions have been filed in East Texas. The first lawsuit, citing (among other things) the severe impact the impending salary increase...more

There’s A New Sheriff In Town: The Politics And Pitfalls Of Patronage Dismissals

It’s election season, and each year, like the dead leaves that fall from the trees, many loyal and long-term employees of vanquished incumbents face the prospect of getting cashiered once the newly elected officials, or their...more

New Decision Allows Employee Suit for Violation of Concealed Handgun Law

Texas and many other states in the South have passed state laws in recent years restricting employers from terminating employees who keep their lawfully-licensed concealed handgun locked in their vehicle. For the most part,...more

Politics in the Workplace: What Must Employers Allow?

Everyone has experienced both "workplace politics," in which Type A employees claw their way to the top at the expense of co-workers, and "politics in the workplace," in which employees discuss candidates for office and...more

Under the Dome: Inside the Maine State House

Under the Dome: Inside the Maine State House provides a high-level overview of recent activity at the Maine State House. Governor Paul LePage Signs Executive Order to Pay for Bills Passed in Second Regular Session of...more

Five Lawsuits Filed Against DOL’s Fiduciary Rule (so far)

As we previously discussed in our May 19, 2016 SW Benefits Update, the Department of Labor (“DOL”) recently issued final regulations on fiduciary conflicts of interest in retirement programs. Since 2010 when the DOL first...more

NC Legislative Update - June 2016 #2

This Week - The North Carolina political community was saddened to learn Wednesday, that former Rep. Ruth Samuelson (R-Mecklenburg), who chose not to seek reelection in 2014, has been diagnosed with stage 4 ovarian...more

An overview of Bill S-201: An Act to prohibit and prevent genetic discrimination

On May 3, 2016, Bill S-201, An Act to prohibit and prevent genetic discrimination, was given its first reading in the House of Commons. Originally introduced and recently passed in the Senate as a private Member’s bill, the...more

Misread Signs: U.S. Supreme Court Finds Employer’s Mistaken Belief about Employee Supports Retaliation Claim

Is it still retaliation if your boss fired you for something you didn’t actually do? In Heffernan v. City of Paterson, New Jersey, the U.S. Supreme Court said yes—your boss’s mistake does not get him off the hook for the...more

Demotion Based on Mistaken Belief Deprives Public Employee of Constitutional Rights

U.S. Supreme Court Decision in Case Involving Political Campaigning Accusations - A government agency violated the constitutional rights of an employee who was demoted based on the mistaken belief that he violated the...more

But I Didn’t Mean To! U.S. Supreme Court Says Employer Intentions Govern in First Amendment Retaliation Case

For government employers, disciplining and terminating employees can be especially difficult. Not only does the public employer face the same challenges in complying with the standard alphabet soup of employment laws that...more

Public Employer May Not Retaliate Against Employee Based on Perception that He Engaged in Political Activity

On Tuesday the U.S. Supreme Court held that a public employee could sue his employer for retaliation where the employer demoted him for engaging in constitutionally-protected political activity, even though the employer was...more

Supreme Court: Government Employer’s Incorrect Belief About Employee’s Activity Matters in First Amendment Analysis

A government employer can violate an employee’s constitutional rights by acting based on incorrect information that, if true, would violate the U.S. Constitution, even though the employee was not actually exercising his or...more

Supreme Court Update: Bank Markazi V. Peterson (14-770) And Heffernan V. City Of Paterson (14-1280)

After the deluge of cases last week, the Court took a breather and issued only one decision this week. However, eagle-eyed Update aficionados may remember that we still owe you one decision from last week. With that in mind,...more

Vote YES! for Compliance: An Election Law Refresher for California Employers

Seyfarth Synopsis: Under California law, employers have a part to play in protecting employee voting rights and other political activity. What follows is a short reminder of employer duties and obligations. With the...more

Perception Is Everything: Supreme Court Expands First Amendment Protections for Public Employees

In a decision that may expand the "zone of interest" protected by the First Amendment via 42 U.S.C. §1983, the Supreme Court in Heffernan v. City of Paterson, strengthened free speech rights for public employees by holding a...more

The Supreme Court – April 2016 #4

The Supreme Court of the United States issued a decision in one case on April 26, 2016: - Heffernan v. City of Paterson, No. 14-1280: Petitioner Jeffrey Heffernan was a police officer in Paterson, New Jersey. Heffernan...more

Perceived Political Expression Protected By First Amendment, Supreme Court Says

In a 6-2 decision, the Supreme Court today held that the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects both actual and perceived political speech and expression by public employees. The unsurprising decision squares with...more

House Bill 2: What It Does and Does Not Do (A Private Sector Business Perspective)

H.B. 2 does not preclude private sector businesses or employers from adopting policies that prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity nor regulate their decisions with regard to employee or...more

After Second Thought……..North Carolina Governor Signs Executive Order Rolling Back Portions of Controversial Law

Just weeks after he signed HB 2, which covered transgender bathroom access, on April 12, North Carolina Governor Pat McCory signed an Executive Order clarifying and apparently attempting to repeal certain aspects of the law. ...more

Bathroom Bills: What Employers Need To Know

Seyfarth Synopsis: The passage of “Bathroom” or “Religious Freedom” bills raises issues for employers operating in impacted states. Employers in these states may wish to consider taking proactive and affirmative steps in the...more

Beyond the Bathroom: North Carolina’s H.B. 2 Also Flushes Local Employee Protections

The recent enactment of North Carolina’s H.B. 2, known as the “Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act” (the “Act”) has received widespread attention for its controversial restrictions on the use of certain...more

SC Public Policy Update - April 2016

What's New - SENATE - The Senate took furlough this week and did not meet in statewide session. The Senate will reconvene Tuesday, April 5th, at noon....more

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