Labor & Employment Constitutional Law

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DOL Extends FMLA Protection to Same-Sex Spouses

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) recently issued a final rule amending its definition of “spouse” under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to extend FMLA protection to legally married employees with same-sex spouses,...more

Same-Sex Spouse Has No Standing to Assert COBRA Notice Claim

A New Jersey federal district court held (in an unpublished opinion) that a former plan participant’s same-sex spouse who never enrolled in the benefit plan did not have standing to assert a claim alleging that his spouse’s...more

Spiritual Director Doesn't Have a Prayer When it Comes to Her Discrimination and Termination Claims

Religious employers can rejoice once again, as yet another court upholds the ministerial exception and dismisses an employee's discrimination and termination claims....more

DOL Issues Final Rule Extending FMLA Leave Rights to Same-Sex Couples: Here's Everything Employers Need to Know

The Department of Labor has issued a final rule that will allow an employee to take FMLA leave to care for a same-sex spouse, regardless of whether the employee lives in a state that recognizes their marital status. This...more

The U.S. Department of Labor Announces a Revised Definition of “Spouse” Under the FMLA

The U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) today announced a change to the definition of spouse under the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”). Under this new rule, which will be published later this week (on February 25, 2015),...more

New FMLA Rule Will Give Rights To Same-Sex Spouses Based On “Place Of Celebration”

The U.S. Department of Labor announced today its Final Rule changing the definition of “spouse” in the Family and Medical Leave Act to include most same-sex married couples. I blogged about the proposed rule in June, and the...more

U.S. Supreme Court Update, March/April 2015

The Supreme Court heard oral arguments in two cases involving state taxation on consecutive days in December. On 12/8/14, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Direct Marketing Ass'n v. Brohl, where the Court has...more

Illinois Supreme Court Agrees to Decide Breadth of Misconduct Exception for Unemployment Benefits

In the closing days of its January term, the Illinois Supreme Court agreed to hear a case from Division 5 of the First District, Petrovic v. The Department of Employment Security. Petrovic presents an interesting issue on the...more

Implementation Of DACA Expansion And New DAPA Program Delayed

Even before the President’s executive actions on immigration have been implemented, there is a new development. On Monday, a federal district court in Texas issued a preliminary injunction blocking implementation of the new...more

The Illinois Pension Plaintiffs’ Brief: The Cause of State Underfunding, and The Constitutional Convention Revisited

As we’ve written previously, the plaintiffs in the Pension Reform Litigation pending before the Illinois Supreme Court needed to accomplish three things in their Appellees’ Briefs to put themselves in a position to prevail –...more

Federal Judge Grants Preliminary Injunction to Block Executive Action on Immigration While Related Regulations Proceed

Executive Action on Immigration Halted - On February 16, 2015, Judge Andrew S. Hanen of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas ordered a temporary injunction to halt key portions of President...more

An Overview of the Lingering Uncertainty Surrounding the "Guns in Trunks" Law

Background The volume of gun sales has been increasing steadily across the United States over the last few years, and more citizens than ever are obtaining state-issued concealed firearms licenses. State governments, as well...more

Pensions at the Constitutional Convention, Part II: The Clause is Introduced

Although there were several reasons for the 1970 Illinois Constitutional Convention, public pensions became a major subject of discussion in the weeks before the delegates gathered. Elmer Getz, the Chair of the Convention’s...more

Pensions at the Constitutional Convention, Part III: The Opponents and the Vote

We conclude our discussion of the July 21, 1970 debate on the Pension Protection Clause at the Illinois Constitutional Convention. Today, we’ll take a look at more statements by opponents of the measure, the summations by...more

Alabama’s New “I Do”: Same-Sex Marriage, the FMLA, and Employee Benefit Considerations

Alabama probate judges began issuing marriage licenses and presiding over ceremonies for same-sex couples a few days ago. The landmark occasion follows a recent ruling out of the Southern District of Alabama that struck down...more

Due Process Requires the Right to Cross-Examine a Workers' Compensation Applicant

On January 29, 2015, the Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District, ordered the publication of Ogden Entertainment Services v. WCAB (Ritzhoff), (B254082), previously a non-certified opinion that issued on December 31, 2014....more

Religious Accommodations: May Be Required by Law, Unless the Request is Unlawful

Several weeks ago, the EEOC secured a jury verdict of $150,000 in compensatory damages against an employer for failure to accommodate an employee’s religious objection to a workplace rule. But last week, the Sixth Circuit...more

Pensions at the Constitutional Convention, Part I: The New Jersey Spina Decision

One of the central issues in the ongoing battle, now pending before the Illinois Supreme Court, is about what the delegates to the Constitutional Convention of 1970 who adopted Illinois’ Pension Protection Clause understood...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

Essential Services and Essential Rights: Saskatchewan Federation of Labour and the New Constitutional Right to Strike

In Saskatchewan Federation of Labour v. Saskatchewan, 2015 SCC 4, the Supreme Court of Canada held that the right to strike is protected under the right to freedom of association, guaranteed by s. 2(d) of the Canadian Charter...more

Supreme Court Update: TEVA Pharmaceuticals USA V. Sandoz (13-584); Department Of Homeland Security V. Maclean (13-894); Holt V....

Greetings, Court fans! While we in New Haven were more-or-less spared having to dig out from "Winter Storm Juno" (aka "snowbigdeal"), it's taken us a while to dig out from the Court's recent pile of opinions. With this...more

Supreme Court to Review Same-Sex Marriage Cases

The Supreme Court of the United States announced on January 16, 2015, that it would review four cases challenging the constitutionality of state laws banning same-sex marriage in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee. The...more

Court of Appeal of Alberta Upholds Employers Anton Piller Order

Among the Court of Appeal of Alberta’s first decisions of the New Year, was its decision in Peters & Co Limited v Ward, 2015 ABCA 6 (CanLII), regarding the matter of an Anton Piller Order obtained by an employer, an...more

Illinois Supreme Court Denies All Ten Amici Requests in Support of State in Pension Appeal

Over four days in mid-January, no fewer than ten entities – public entities, charitable institutions and individuals – filed motions for leave to file amicus briefs in support of the State’s defense of the public pension...more

Nossaman Comment on Recent Court of Appeal Decision re Constitutionality of PEPRA

Much has been made of the recent Court of Appeal decision resolving a challenge to the Public Employees' Pension Reform Act of 2013 (PEPRA), Deputy Sheriffs' Assn. of San Diego County v. County of San Diego (Jan. 22, 2015,...more

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