Public Employees

News & Analysis as of

Expect MDOR Audit Delays After the July 4, 2015 Holiday

Governor Charlie Baker’s recent plan to trim the number of Massachusetts employees was recently signed into law. According to published reports, more than half of all employees at the Massachusetts Department of Revenue are...more

Illinois Supreme Court Rules Pension Reform Unconstitutional

On Friday, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled that pension reform legislation passed in 2013, commonly referred to as Senate Bill 1, violates the pension protection clause of the Illinois Constitution. The Court upheld a...more

FICA Tax Student Exemption Resolution: Fifth Circuit Decision About Refunds of FICA Taxes Paid by Medical Residents Stands

FICA taxes, which fund the Social Security program, are not levied on state employees unless a state voluntarily opts in to the program. A state opts in by executing an agreement, commonly referred to as a “section 218...more

Illinois Supreme Court Debates Tort Duty of Care for 911 First Responders

In the closing days of the March term, the Illinois Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Coleman v. East Joliet Fire Protection District, a case from the Third District. Coleman poses the question of whether public entities...more

Arrest Warrant Service is Not "Protected Activity" Under California's Anti-SLAPP Statute

Government Employees and Officials Should Heed Limits of the Statute’s Protections - The anti-SLAPP process can be successfully deployed by government entities, officials and employees in fending off lawsuits brought...more

E-Discovery Update: When Personal and Work Data Collide

In the modern world, employees routinely receive work-related data on personal mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, and access personal data on work-owned devices. ...more

City of Waterbury v. Connecticut Alliance of City Police — A New Standard of Impartiality for Arbitrators in Interest...

The Superior Court’s decision in City of Waterbury v. Connecticut Alliance of City Police, could mark the emergence of a new standard of impartiality for party-selected arbitrators in Municipal Employee Relations Act [“MERA”]...more

ERISA: Public School Teacher’s Employee Benefits Governed by ERISA? Yes!

When you see a claim for disability or life insurance benefits by a public school teacher, you might assume the claim is not governed by ERISA because of the governmental plan exception....more

U.S. Army Loses Battle to Regulate Bathroom Selection of Transgender (Civilian) Employee

On April 1, 2015, the EEOC ordered the Army to pay damages for discriminating against a transgender employee when it prevented her from using the common women’s bathroom and routinely demeaned her by calling her “sir” and...more

Judge Orders Fair Share Payments to Continue During Litigation

On Friday, a St. Clair County court issued an order requiring all State of Illinois agencies to immediately reinstate the payment of fair share fees, deducted from non-union member State employees’ paychecks, to labor unions...more

It May Not be a Matter of 'If,' but 'When' for Private Employers in the Commonwealth -- Virginia 'Bans the Box' for Many State...

On April 3, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe issued Executive Order #41, thereby adding Virginia to the growing list of jurisdictions (including California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois,...more

Court Of Chancery Explains Effect Of Spin-Off

This is an interesting decision because it deals with what is the effect of a spin-off of corporate assets on existing contracts that apply to the parties’ “transferees, successors and assigns.” ...more

Illinois Supreme Court to Decide If State’s Union Contract Conditioned on Appropriations

In the closing days of the March term, the Illinois Supreme Court agreed to wade yet again into the contentious and politicized area of public employee wages and benefits. State of Illinois v. American Federation of State,...more

CFPB issues No FEAR Act report

The CFPB has issued its No FEAR Act Annual Report for FY 2014. The “No FEAR Act” is the Notification and Federal Employee Antidiscrimination and Retaliation Act of 2002. It requires federal agencies to submit an annual report...more

Naming Names: Washington Supreme Court Holds That Public Employers Must Disclose the Names of Employees Being Investigated for...

On April 2, 2015, the Washington Supreme Court held that public employees under investigation for workplace misconduct cannot prevent their identities from being disclosed in response to a request for public records. The...more

Court of Appeal Strikes Down 2011 S.F. Charter Requirement that SFERS Be "Fully Funded" Before Vested Supplemental COLAs May be...

In a March 27, 2015 opinion, the First District Court of Appeal unanimously declared a voter-approved amendment to the Charter of the City and County of San Francisco (City) to be unconstitutional as applied to current City...more

State Employees Seek to Join Governor Rauner in Lawsuit against Fair Share Fees

Last week, three State of Illinois employees filed a motion to intervene in Governor Rauner’s lawsuit challenging fair share fees, which is currently pending in federal court in the Northern District of Illinois. Meanwhile,...more

Pension News

In This Issue: - Budget Reforms - DC Charges and Governance - Department for Work and Pensions - Legislation - Public Service Pension Schemes - Other News - On the Horizon - Excerpt from...more

EEOC Holds Twitter Chat on Implementation of Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act

EEOC, DOL and OPM Encourage a Dialogue on Removing Barriers for Federal Workers - WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) will hold a live Twitter chat on Thursday, April 2 from 1:00 to...more

Maine to Pay Out $142,500 to Settle Whistleblower Suit

The state Department of Health and Human Services in Maine will pay $142,500 to a former employee as a part of a settlement for a federal whistleblower suit. That employee is Sharon Leahy-Lind, who was at one time a...more

What You Didn’t Say Can Be Used Against You in a Court of Law: Perceived Speech is Not Protected Speech

What some might charitably consider a loophole in First Amendment protections of public employees received deferential treatment recently by the Third Circuit. ...more

Enhance Diversity & Inclusion Efforts in Four Areas CFPB, Audit Recommends

Last week, the Office of Inspector General published its findings following an audit assessing the CFPB’s human resources-related operations and other efforts for equal employment. The audit, which was conducted in response...more

CFPB OIG Report on Agency’s Diversity and Inclusion Efforts Calls for Enhancement

On March 4, the CFPB Office of Inspector General (OIG) issued a report on its audit of the CFPB’s diversity and inclusion efforts, which was completed at Congress’s request. The report outlines its findings, noting that while...more

Governor LePage Pushes Right to Work Legislation

Governor Paul LePage is aggressively pushing LD 489, An Act to Ensure the Right to Work without Payment of Dues or Fees to a Labor Union as a Condition of Employment. Current law allows public employees to opt out of joining...more

Justice Department and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Sign Memorandum Of Understanding to Further the Goals of Title VII...

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the U.S. Department of Justice's (DOJ) Civil Rights Division yesterday signed a new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to further the goals of Title VII...more

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