Public Employees

News & Analysis as of

Pensions Alert: Benefits for unmarried cohabiting partners

Last week the Supreme Court issued a unanimous judgment in a case concerning a claim by the unmarried cohabiting partner of a member of a public service pension scheme that she should be entitled to receive a survivor's...more

Pensions Round-Up - January 2017 (UK)

Welcome to the latest edition of DLA Piper’s monthly newsletter – Pensions Round-Up – in which we provide an overview of developments in pension legislation, case law and regulatory guidance. In this edition we look at...more

New Orleans Mayor Signs Executive Order Prohibiting Wage History Inquires

On January 25, 2017, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu signed Executive Order MJL17-01, which prohibits questions about salary history during the application process for persons seeking employment with the City of New Orleans....more

Executive and Judiciary Showdown over the Whistleblower Protection Act

The new administration’s recent decree that certain federal agencies refrain from communications with the media sets up a showdown between the executive and judicial branches of government. ...more

Public Sector Employees in Three States Sue to Nix Fair Share Fees

Four Pennsylvania school teachers, two Santa Clara Valley Medical Center pharmacists, and three New York school workers have filed separate suits challenging the constitutionality of state requirements permitting the unions...more

Married, but Without Benefits: The Obergefell Saga Continues in Texas

Same-sex couples can legally marry, but are they legally entitled to benefits? The Supreme Court of Texas will decide this issue after hearing oral arguments in March of 2017 in Pidgeon v. Turner. ...more

Fourth Circuit Rejects Police Department's Social Media Policy on First Amendment Grounds

Most of the recent legal controversy over employer enforcement of social media policies has involved employees’ concerted activity rights under the National Labor Relations Act. However, a recent case from the Fourth Circuit...more

Big Changes for California’s Labor, Employment Laws

Californians are starting to feel the effects of new labor and employment laws passed in 2016 that raise the state’s minimum wage, aim to erase wage gaps, protect immigrant and disabled workers, as well as establish...more

New Legal Challenges to Public Union Agency Fees

Public employees in three different federal circuits filed lawsuits this week challenging the constitutionality of public unions' right to require nonmembers to pay agency fees (also known as "fair share" fees). The...more

The Final Four Binding PAC Opinions of 2016 Remind School Districts of FOIA and OMA Requirements

In the final days of the year, the Illinois Public Access Counselor (PAC) issued four binding opinions that reiterate the requirements of both the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and the Open Meetings Act (OMA). Below is a...more

Work refusal due to second-hand smoke was not properly investigated: arbitrator

A correctional officer with sinusitis and sensitivity to second-hand smoke was entitled to have her work refusal investigated by prison management, an arbitrator has decided. Although the prison was a non-smoking...more

EEOC Rule on Affirmative Action for Individuals With Disabilities in Federal Employment

Seyfarth Synopsis: These new regulations require federal agencies to be “model employers” of individuals with disabilities. As such, they now must take specific steps that are “reasonably designed” to gradually increase the...more

Are Police-Worn Body Cameras A Mandatory Subject Of Bargaining?

Whether justified or not, the recent spate of high-profile police shooting cases throughout the United States has brought national attention to the issue of whether law enforcement officers should be using body cameras while...more

They’re Back! What Should Employers Expect from the 2017 Connecticut General Assembly Session?

On January 4, the 2017 session of the Connecticut General Assembly begins. The session is scheduled to adjourn on June 7, 2017. Numerous proposed bills affecting Connecticut employers and employees will be unleashed during...more

Looking Forward: New California Laws for Public Agencies

Like years past, there were plenty of laws passed in Sacramento in 2016 that will impact public agencies. Here is a summary of those that have specific importance to your work. We hope that you will contact us for further...more

Police Employers Beware — Benefits Payments Under General Municipal Law Section 207-c May Not Shield You From Tort Claims

Municipal police employers who thought that their payment of benefits to injured police officers under General Municipal Law Section 207-c shielded them from tort claims brought by those injured officers need to think...more

Court of Appeal Rejects Another Post-PEPRA Challenge

On December 20, 2016, the California Court of Appeal struck another blow to a legal challenge brought against an employer who changed its pension policies in the wake of the Public Employees’ Pension Reform Act of 2013...more

First Circuit Affirms Narrow Scope of Federal Criminal Statutes in Reversing Patronage Convictions of Massachusetts Probation...

On December 19, 2016, the Court of Appeals for the First Circuit issued its decision in United States v. Elizabeth V. Tavares, John J. O’Brien, and William H. Burke, III.1 In 2014, three officials of the Massachusetts Office...more

Policing Social Media Policies

Police officers in Petersburg had a First Amendment right to post to Facebook their complaints about their police department. A department policy limiting social media postings was unconstitutional. So held the U.S. Court...more

Reversal of Probation Dept. Convictions Means Ortiz Term Ends with a Whimper

Carmen Ortiz’s term as U.S. Attorney for the District of Massachusetts runs for only a few more weeks. If she’s wishing it were over today, I’d understand. ...more

Pensions Round-Up - November 2016 (UK)

In this edition we look at key developments from November 2016 including the following. - The Pensions Regulator: the publication of checklists about new information required in the 2016- 17 scheme return for DB and...more

Texas Appellate Court Finds Employee on FMLA Leave Is Not Entitled to Unemployment Benefits

In a case of first impression, Texas’s Second Court of Appeals recently examined the issue of whether an employee who is taking leave under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) may obtain unemployment benefits...more

In Legislative Foray vs. Principals, School Custodians Gain a Short-Lived Victory

On December 1, both the Massachusetts House and Senate enacted a bill during informal sessions that would have made it harder for public school principals to fire custodians and other non-teaching employees for not doing...more

Are Private E-mails & Text Messages “Public Records?”

Decision Expected Soon from California Supreme Court - Public agencies in California should prepare for the likelihood that communications on officials’ and employees’ private devices related to the agency’s “conduct of...more

What’s Next After First District Court of Appeals’ Vested Rights Decision in MAPE v. MarinCERA?

On Aug. 17, 2016, Division Two of the First District Court of Appeal issued a unanimous published decision in MAPE et al. v. MarinCERA, et al. (Aug.17, 2016, A139610) upholding the constitutionality of certain aspects of the...more

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