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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

Suit Seeks To Block N.C. “Bathroom Bill”

Of significance to employers, the bill, which was signed into law last Wednesday, eliminates the common-law cause of action for wrongful discharge based on “EEO” discrimination....more

What Does North Carolina's New Public Facilities Law Mean for Employers?

Approximately one week before changes to Charlotte’s non-discrimination ordinances were to take effect, the State of North Carolina enacted a law that not only invalidates the amendments, but also has broader implications for...more

Analysis of Recent Cases Reveals What Justice Garland Could Mean for Employers

Amid a swarm of controversy created by Senate Republicans’ vow to stonewall a hearing or vote on any Supreme Court nominee during this election year, President Obama has nominated Merrick Garland, chief judge of the U.S....more

Trump Trump Trump Trump Trump Trump Everywhere All the Time, Including in the Workplace – What’s an Employer to Do?

Donald Trump has become part of the national conversation. Not a single day goes by now without Mr. Trump filling up at least one news cycle. His recent success reminds me of a fantastic exchange in Private Parts when a...more

Proposal Introduced in New Jersey to Raise Minimum Wage to $15

Recently, New Jersey State Senate President Stephen Sweeney (“President Sweeney”) announced that he will attempt to gradually increase the state minimum wage to $15 an hour vis-à-vis a state constitutional amendment....more

All 'Jiggery-Pokery' Aside: Justice Scalia's Impact on Employment Law

Allow me to be the palate cleanser to Mitch McConnell's shotgun-wedding-esque "memoir" to Justice Scalia. Barely an hour after the Supreme Court announced Scalia's death, McConnell briefly offered his condolences to Scalia's...more

What’s Union Membership Got to Do with It? Nothing, According to a Proposed Alabama Constitutional Amendment

Republican state legislators recently introduced parallel bills that would amend the Alabama Constitution and reiterate Alabama’s status as a right to work state. Right to work states recognize and protect an employee’s right...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. Legislature Delays Passage of a Tax Conformity Bill - The Appropriations Committee worked on...more

Political Apprentice At Work? You're Fired! A Guide To Surviving The Election Season At The Workplace

This presidential election cycle creates unique concerns for companies dealing with employees who wish to discuss politics at work. Regardless of what side they fall on, some of your workers could be more passionate, maybe...more

Supreme Court Agrees to Review Major Immigration Case Just as the Presidential Election Heats Up

Immigration is already a major issue in this year’s presidential race, as candidates from both parties try to score political points out of the presence of roughly eleven million undocumented immigrants in the country and the...more

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