Labor & Employment Constitutional Law

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Labor & Employment E - Note - September 2014

In This Issue: - More Workers Are Claiming 'Wage Theft' - Big Companies, States Urge High Court to Rule on Gay Marriage - Firms Continue to Increase Background Checks on Job Candidates - Obama...more

Marijuana Use For Alleged Depression and Anxiety Can Still Get You Fired In Florida

There can be no doubt that Americans' views on the legality of marijuana use for both medicinal and recreational purposes has shifted over the past few years. A recent survey conducted by Fextel, Inc. and StPetePolls.org...more

Court Denies Extraterritorial Application of the Dodd-Frank Act's Whistleblowing Provisions

On August 14, 2014, in Liu Meng-Lin v. Siemens AG, a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit unanimously held that the whistleblowing provision of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform...more

District Court Refuses to Certify Class of “Non-Liturgical” Protestant Navy Chaplains

Given the rich diversity and array of religions, and the First Amendment prohibitions both on the establishment of religion and impeding the free exercise of religion, the appointment and promotion of chaplains in the...more

Reading the NLRB Signs at the Triple Play Sports Bar

In Three D, LLC d/b/a Triple Play Sports Bar and Grille, 361 NLRB No. 31. (August 22, 2014), the National Labor Relations Board ruled that an employee “liking” a status on Facebook is engaging in protected concerted...more

Move Over EEOC: Time for an NLRB Benchslap

Over the last few weeks we have blogged on a number of judicial decisions chastising the EEOC (Another Approaching Benchslap for EEOC?, EEOC Benchslaps Just Keep Coming and The EEOC Hits Just Keep Coming!). Today we shift our...more

Southeast State & Local Tax: Important Developments - August 2014

The Williams Mullen Southeast State and Local Tax (SESALT) team is pleased to provide you with a comprehensive recap of important tax developments around the Southeast....more

Illinois Supreme Court Rules that Public Sector Retiree Health Subsidies are Constitutionally Protected Benefits

As covered in more detail in a separate alert, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled in Kanerva v. Weems by a 6-1 margin that state-subsidized retiree health coverage premiums are subject to the pension protection clause of the...more

Illinois Amends the Human Rights Act to Provide Greater Protections Regarding Pregnancy

On August 26, 2014, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed into law House Bill 8 (the amendments), which amends the Illinois Human Rights Act (the Act) to provide greater protections to applicants and employees who are or become...more

More Reasons for Employers to "DISLIKE" Facebook

The National Labor Relations Board is at it again – wading into the social media foray, that is. In a case that has been percolating since 2011, the NLRB has ruled that an employer must reinstate an employee who was...more

The Police Have The Right To Remain Silent Too: The Supreme Court Rules On The Disclosure Of Police Reports Under The FOIA

The Connecticut Supreme Court has resolved an intense debate about what law enforcement agencies are required to release with regard to arrest records and associated reports. This decision could affect the ability of school...more

No Workers' Comp Immunity! No Insurance! Sure Is a Problem

In many states, workers’ compensation benefits are ordinarily the exclusive remedy for an employee injured or killed on the job. In exchange for these benefits, often awarded on a “no fault” basis, the employee generally...more

Texas’ Mess Premature

Back in November, we alerted you to Texas’ lawsuit against the EEOC over the EEOC’s Enforcement Guidance prohibiting categorical employer policies that preclude hiring convicted felons. Texas v. EEOC, No. 5:13-CV-255-C (N.D....more

Federal Court Rules that Minnesota Drug Testing Law Does Not Apply to Employment Outside of Minnesota

Employers with operations in multiple states have long known that Minnesota has the most restrictive drug and alcohol testing law in the country. To make matters more difficult for employers, the Minnesota law, by its terms,...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

No Right to Jury Trial Under Pennsylvania’s Whistleblower Statute

On August 19, 2014, the Pennsylvania Superior Court held that individuals bringing suit under the Pennsylvania Whistleblower Law have no right to a jury trial. Writing for the court, Judge Judith Olson explains that “the...more

Ninth Circuit Holds Alleged Retaliatory Actions Must Be Viewed in Context For Purposes of a First Amendment Retaliation Claim

In Wendy Thomas, et al v. County of Riverside, et al, the Ninth Circuit considered whether the District Court properly granted summary judgment of an employee’s First Amendment retaliation claim in favor of the employer....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

Florida Court finds Workers' Compensation Statute Unconstitutional

Circuit Judge Jorge E. Cueto of the 11th Judicial Circuit in and for Miami-Dade County, Florida has found that Section 440.11 of Florida's Workers' Compensation Act (the "Act"), which makes the Act the "exclusive" remedy...more

SCOTUS Affirms Right to Blow Your Whistle in Public Sector

There has long been tension in the public sector regarding an employee’s duties as an agent of the state and his or her right as an individual to freedom of speech. In a decision handed down in June of 2014, the United States...more

The NLRB Does It Again!

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) recently ratified all the decisions made by the NLRB, including those made in administrative and personnel matters, during the period of time when it did not have a proper quorum....more

The Hobby Lobby Decision and Religious-Based Exemptions

On June 30, 2014, the United States Supreme Court issued a ruling which held that a closely held, for-profit entity can object to certain aspects of the birth control mandate imposed by the Patient Protection and Affordable...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

Summer 2014 SCOTUS Roundup: Burwell v. Hobby Lobby

To close out our review of the Supreme Court’s summer decisions impacting labor and employment issues, we’ll examine the ramifications of the much-publicized and hotly discussed Burwell v. Hobby Lobby....more

Secretary of the Commonwealth Issues Notice of Three Proposed Constitutional Amendments

WE, the people of Pennsylvania, have been governed by five different iterations of the state constitution since December 12, 1787, the day of our statehood. Each of those versions is the product of a state constitutional...more

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