Employee Rights Supreme Court of the United States

Most countries provide some degree of workplace protection for employees and job applicants. Depending on the jurisdiction, these protections generally include safety precautions and policies, anti-discrimination... more +
Most countries provide some degree of workplace protection for employees and job applicants. Depending on the jurisdiction, these protections generally include safety precautions and policies, anti-discrimination policies, collective bargaining and unionizing rights, meal and rest requirements, minimum wage rules, and medical and family leave rights to name a few. In the United States, the federal framework for employee rights stem from statutes such as the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, and the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). In addition, employee rights statutes are implemented and enforced by regulatory authorities such as the EEOC, NLRB, OSHA, and the Department of Labor. Further, many state and local governments provide additional and localized protections for employees that are enforced by local regulatory entities. less -
News & Analysis as of

U.S. Supreme Court to Address the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, Even as EEOC Issues Its Own Guidance on the Same Subject

Pregnancy discrimination has generated a lot of press this summer. On July 1, the Supreme Court agreed to hear Young v. United Parcel Services, Inc., which raises fundamental questions about the protections pregnant women are...more

Workplace Law Has Come a Long Way, Baby!

In 1964, Nicholas Katzenbach, the Attorney General of United States, ordered Ollie's Barbecue, a tiny restaurant in Birmingham, Ala., to desegregate. When the U.S. Supreme Court upheld that order, the newly passed Civil...more

The Supremes Sing Out About Control: It is the Primary Test for Deciding Whether a Worker is an Employee or an Independent...

In December 2008, newspaper carrier Maria Ayala sued Antelope Valley Newspapers on behalf of herself and a putative class of other newspaper carriers. The crux of her allegations in the complaint is that Antelope Valley...more

Supreme Court Agrees to Consider Pregnancy Accommodation Obligation

On July 1, the U.S. Supreme Court granted review of a case from the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals (which includes North and South Carolina) that may resolve a circuit split with regard to employers’ obligations to provide...more

Supreme Court to Review EEOC’s Charge Conciliation Obligation

Under Title VII and related federal civil rights laws, if the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission finds cause to believe that an employee’s rights have been violated, the agency is required to attempt to negotiate a...more

Public Sector Unions Take a Hit in Recent Supreme Court Decision

The United States Supreme Court recently held in Harris v. Quinn that the First Amendment protects certain "quasi-public" employees from being forced to pay fees to a public sector labor union that they don't support. While...more

Burwell v. Hobby Lobby: What Else the Hobby Lobby Decision means

Whether you are a friend or foe of the Hobby Lobby decision handed down by the United States Supreme Court this past Monday, citizens must know the very real and far-reaching consequences of the decision. This...more

How Employers Fared With the Supremes This Term and What the Future May Hold

During its recently concluded 2013 term, the U.S. Supreme Court issued decisions in two labor and employment cases, three constitutional or quasi-constitutional cases that impact labor and employment concerns, and one tax...more

Recent Employee Benefits Developments

Amending Retirement Plans to Recognize Same-Sex Marriages Plan sponsors need to review retirement plan documents and operations to determine whether changes are needed in response to last year's Supreme Court decision in U.S....more

DOL Seeks to Extend FMLA Rights Relating to Same-Sex Spouses

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) published a notice of proposed rulemaking on June 27, 2014, announcing a proposal that would expand the definition of “spouse” under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to include all...more

DOL Proposes To Amend FMLA’s Definition of ‘Spouse’

A year after the Supreme Court struck down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act in United States v. Windsor, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has proposed to amend its regulations under the Family and Medical Leave Act...more

Supremes Rule That Trial Speech is Protected Speech – Part 1

This morning the U.S. Supreme Court issued an important decision affecting public employers and employee First Amendment rights to free speech. Lane v. Franks et al., No. 13-483 (U.S. June 19, 2014) Central Alabama Community...more

Obama Administration Announces Proposed Rule Extending FMLA Leave Rights for Same-Sex Couples

President Obama plans to announce today a proposed rule that would 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. ...more

50 For 50: Five Decades Of The Most Important Discrimination Law Developments - Number 27: Discrimination and Harassment Policies...

Before Title VII, employee handbooks were rare and, if they existed, they were small pamphlets explaining intra-office procedures. It wasn’t until the proliferation of lawsuits under Title VII that employers began to craft...more

State Pension Fight heads to Supreme Court

Four public employees unions are taking the state to the Supreme Court, seeking reversal of 2011 increases to the amounts they pay toward their pensions, as well as refunds for increased pension payments they made during the...more

Supreme Court Accepts Certiorari In Security Screening Case

We’ve written at least twice now on class actions arising out of time spent by employees going through security lines, primarily at the end of their shifts. The question is whether and when such time might be compensable...more

Fenwick Employment Brief - March 2014

In February, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed the Fair Chance Ordinance, which limits when and to what extent employers can inquire into the criminal history of applicants and employees. The ordinance also...more

2013 Employment Law Growing Pains

Every year there are developments in employment law that challenge accepted norms of practice and require creative workable solutions. In particular 2013 had several areas that caused some of these “growing pains,” including...more

Supreme Court Rules On Donning/Doffing Under The FLSA

Today's U.S. Supreme Court decision in Sandifer v. United States Steel Corp. paves the way under collective bargaining agreements for the possibility of excluding time spent donning and doffing many kinds of personal...more

NLRB Abandons ‘Poster Rule’

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) recently announced that it will not seek U.S. Supreme Court review of the two Court of Appeals decisions invalidating the NLRB’s 2011 posting rule requiring employers to post notices...more

NLRB Effectively Scraps Plans (For Now) To Pursue Notice Posting Rule By Deciding Not To Seek Review By U.S. Supreme Court

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has suffered a series of setbacks recently at the hands of federal judges. In December, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals largely struck down the NLRB's prohibition on class action...more

NLRB Drops Its Pursuit of Notice-Posting Rule

The National Labor Relations Board recently announced that it would not seek U.S. Supreme Court review of two U.S. Court of Appeals decisions that struck down its proposed union poster rule. The rule, originally announced by...more

2014 Update for California Employers

While 2013 was marked by some novel and interesting judicial and administrative decisions, including Quicken Loans (in which the National Labor Relations Board invalidated certain common employee handbook policies), Vance v....more

Employee Arbitration Agreements in California: Employers, Don’t Put Your Thumb on the Scale

Recent decisions by the California Supreme Court, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the California Court of Appeal demonstrate that California courts will scrutinize and find unconscionable employee arbitration...more

Supreme Court Hears Argument on Latest “Donning” and “Doffing” Wage Case

Thursday, the United States Supreme Court heard argument in another “donning and doffing” case. Donning and doffing refers to the need for employees to put on (“don”) and take off (“doff”) clothing as part of their job. The...more

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