Labor & Employment Constitutional Law

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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

The Ninth Circuit Provides Clarity on ERA Whistleblower Protections.

On November 7, 2014, the Ninth Circuit issued its ruling in Tamosaitis v. URS Inc. and provided clarity on three key aspects of the whistleblower protections afforded under the Energy Reorganization Act (ERA), 42 U.S.C. 5801...more

D.C. Circuit Upholds Contraceptive Coverage Mandate

Last week, a unanimous three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit upheld the religious accommodation to the Affordable Care Act’s (“ACA”) contraceptive coverage mandate (Priests for Life v. HHS, D.C. Cir. No. 13-5368, Nov. 14,...more

D.C. Circuit: USAID Worker Jailed in Cuba Can’t Recover Damages from the Government

On November 14, 2014, in Alan Gross and Judith Gross v. U.S.A., a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit unanimously held that a humanitarian aid worker, who sub-contracted with the...more

DC Circuit Dismisses Appeal By Three Hospitals Challenging Subcontractor Status

On November 14, 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia dismissed as moot an appeal by three hospitals affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. The hospitals had challenged...more

Illinois Supreme Court Debates Scope of Whistleblower Statute

During the September term, the Illinois Supreme Court debated an important question about the scope of the state Whistleblower Act: does a plaintiff state a claim under the statute by alleging that the defendant falsified...more

A former physician assistant student at Lock Haven University sued eight individual defendants (but not the university) after his...

A former physician assistant student at Lock Haven University sued eight individual defendants (but not the university) after his dismissal from the program, alleging civil rights violations. In Weil v. White,...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

Does the President Have the Power to Defer Deportation of Undocumented Immigrants?

President Obama has announced that before the end of the year he intends to issue executive orders to address the dysfunctional immigration system if Congress does not act on immigration reform legislation. There is...more

Illinois Supreme Court Agrees to Return to Pension Debates

In the closing days of its September term, the Illinois Supreme Court agreed to return once again to what surely must be the most controversial subject at the moment in all of Illinois’ civil law: public pensions. Matthews v....more

U.S. Supreme Court Rules that Failure to Include Section 1983 Claim in Complaint is Not Fatal to Suit Against State Actor

On November 10, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court entered a per curiam order in Johnson v. City of Shelby, Mississippi, reversing the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals’ opinion affirming the dismissal of a suit against a Mississippi...more

Supreme Court Concludes Plaintiffs Not Required to Plead Specific Legal Theory

Plaintiffs are not required to explicitly mention the statute that allows them to plead their case, according to a per curiam opinion issued by the U.S. Supreme Court earlier this week. This decision effectively clarifies the...more

Indiana Supreme Court Upholds Right–to-Work Law

The debate over the constitutionality of Indiana’s right-to-work law may finally be over. In Zoeller v Sweeney (No. 45S00-1309-PL-596, November 6, 2014), the Indiana Supreme Court reversed a lower court ruling that had held...more

Employment Law Reporter – November 2014: The Impact of Burwell v. Hobby Lobby

Has the Supreme Court “ventured into a minefield,” by its “decision of startling breadth,” as Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote in her dissent to Burwell v. Hobby Lobby? In Hobby Lobby, the Court held that the contraceptive...more

The Customer is Sometimes Right

You’re a subcontractor with employees at your customer’s worksite. The customer orders you to remove an employee from the project. In fact, the customer emails you that the employee’s repeated safety complaints are killing...more

Indiana Supreme Court Upholds Right to Work Law

The Indiana Supreme Court has reversed a July 2014 ruling by Lake Superior Court Judge John M. Sedia that two provisions of the Indiana Right to Work (RTW) law are unconstitutional. In a 5-0 decision, written by Justice...more

iSpy: Tracking Employees with GPS Technology on Mobile Devices

More than 90 percent of the 322 million cellular phones in use in the United States contain global positioning system (GPS) tracking devices that allow wireless carriers to obtain continuous, highly accurate information...more

Sixth Circuit Creates Circuit Split on Same-Sex Marriage; Tees Up Issue for Possible Supreme Court Review

Yesterday afternoon, in DeBoer v. Snyder, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals issued an eagerly-awaited opinion, upholding laws in Ohio, Kentucky, Michigan, and Tennessee banning same-sex marriage. The court held that laws...more

Will SCOTUS Review Same-Sex Marriage Now?

You may recall that in early October the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review decisions from U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Fourth, Seventh, and Tenth circuits* that struck down same-sex marriage bans....more

Supreme Court Declines to Hear Challenge of Illinois Independent Contractor Classification Law

On October 14, 2014, the Supreme Court of the United States refused to consider a challenge to the Illinois Employee Classification Act, which classifies workers in the construction industry as employees unless they can meet...more

The Contraception Coverage Controversy Continues…

As we have been discussing, the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) requires all health plans to cover preventive health services for women, including all Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”)-approved contraceptives, at no cost (i.e....more

Political Speech and Activity in the Workplace: The 2014 Midterms are Here

Election season can be a heated time. In many contexts, this can mean arguments with friends, family, and acquaintances. It can also mean added tension and disagreement in the workplace. In some cases, employers may seek...more

Impact of Supreme Court’s Recent Actions on Employee Benefits

Did the Supreme Court legalize same-sex marriage? On October 6, 2014, the Supreme Court of the United States denied review of seven petitions challenging federal court of appeal rulings in the Fourth, Seventh, and...more

Employers: How Do Your Retirement Plans Treat Same-Sex Unions?

IRS Issues Long Awaited Guidance on Application of US v. Windsor to Retirement Plans - New IRS guidance means that action is required by employers sponsoring qualified retirement plans if the terms of the plan are...more

Tennessee AG: Guns in Trunks Constitutional

Tennessee’s “guns-in-trunks” law is constitutional and enforceable, according to a recent opinion from the Tennessee Attorney General’s Office. In 2013, the Tennessee legislature passed and Governor Bill Haslam signed...more

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