Public Employees

News & Analysis as of

Having Election News Withdrawal?

Supreme Court Decides Case on Protected Political Activity in Public Employment - Some of us may have had enough of all things election by now. But the United States Supreme Court decided a case last April that...more

See You In Court! - December 2016

The last game for the Nutmeg Knights couldn’t come fast enough for veteran Nutmeg Board of Education member Bob Bombast. A defensive tackle on the legendary 1984 team, Bob bleeds Nutmeg persimmon and gold and attends every...more

Opposing Employer Actions Directed at General Public Not Protected Activity

Seyfarth Synopsis: An employee who expresses opposition to an employer’s policies and practices that affect members of the general public is not engaging in an activity that FEHA protects, because the activity is not opposing...more

Considerations When Hiring Legislative Branch Employees

With the 114th Congress drawing to a close, a number of officials will leave the legislative branch for new opportunities. This transition allows the private and nonprofit sectors to recruit seasoned professionals with recent...more

"Post-Election Issues"

Now that the 2016 elections are over, we must contend with special legal issues that arise from contributions made to, and expenses incurred for, federal, state or local inaugural or transition committees, as well as recounts...more

CAS Legal Mailbag Question of the Week – November, 2016

Dear Legal Mailbag: Last week, we had three teachers “take the knee” during the playing of the National Anthem at a whole-school pep rally. Fortunately, only a few of the students noticed their actions. Originally...more

Court Finds Airport Cannot Fly Under the Radar on Employee’s Email Privacy Claims

A federal district court in Virginia recently grounded an airport’s attempt to escape liability for accessing an employee’s email account. (Hoofnagle v. Smyth-Wythe Airport Commission.) The decision, which delivered a mixed...more

Did You Know…SCOTUS Ruling on Personnel Decision based upon Perceived Political Affiliation Impacts Public Employers

The U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled on a matter involving “perceived affiliation”, bringing clarity to the matter, where the circuits provided discordant rulings. As a result, personnel actions based upon even mistaken...more

Considerations When Hiring Executive Branch Employees

As the Obama administration winds down, the number of administration officials leaving the government will increase dramatically. The traditional exodus that accompanies the end of a presidential administration creates...more

"Private" E-mails and FOIA

Recent legal decisions continue to blur the line between private communications and public records, extending the reach of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Because of these shifts, proactive government officials are...more

Pensions Round-Up: September 2016 (UK)

In this edition we look at key developments from September 2016, including the following: The announcement of the Levy Estimate for 2017/18 and the publication of the consultation in relation to the levy rules; and a...more

Pros and cons of “resign to run” laws for elected officials

During this election season, we thought it would be timely to bring up what are commonly referred to as “resign to run” laws. So-called “resign to run” laws require that before an elected official may run for a different...more

2016 presidential election dynamics in the workplace: Free speech? ‘You’re fired’

None of us are immune from this year’s presidential election dynamics. Disrespect and name-calling seem more prevalent than policy discussions. The election is highly polarizing, potentially pitting employee against...more

Two Lawsuits Hope to Put the Brakes on Overtime Rule Changes

With a December 1 deadline looming, millions of employers across the country are scrambling to implement new compensation and classification practices in response to the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) new overtime rule,...more

Challenges Filed to DOL Overtime Regulations

The U.S. Department of Labor’s new regulations governing the “white collar” exemptions from overtime are only two months away. Under the new regulations, which go into effect on December 1, 2016, “white collar” employees...more

There’s a new Sheriff in town: The politics and pitfalls of patronage dismissals (Part 2 of 2)

In last week’s installment, I provided an introduction to the issue of patronage dismissals in the public sector, and a discussion of the Supreme Court’s Elrod (1976) and Branti (1980) decisions. In this installment, I’ll...more

Wage and Hour Compliance: 80% of Employers Likely Out of Compliance

The U.S. Department of Labor recently settled a lawsuit filed by the American Federation of Government Employees Local 12 for $7 million. The lawsuit, filed a decade ago, claimed that Labor Department employees had not been...more

There’s A New Sheriff In Town: The Politics And Pitfalls Of Patronage Dismissals

It’s election season, and each year, like the dead leaves that fall from the trees, many loyal and long-term employees of vanquished incumbents face the prospect of getting cashiered once the newly elected officials, or their...more

Ninth Circuit Finds ADA Claims Brought by Employee With Cerebral Palsy Can Go Forward

Facially neutral decisions that are part of routine workforce reductions may not hold up in court if the only employee to be discharged in a group belongs to a protected class. In Schwartz v. Clark County, No. 14-16365 (May...more

Eleventh Circuit Affirms Dissolution Of Class Action Consent Decree Due To Plaintiffs’ Inaction

Seyfarth Synopsis: After the City of Jacksonville stopped following a class action consent decree that required it to hire a proportionate number of black and white firefighters, the U.S. Court of Appeal for the Eleventh...more

New York Makes Some Workplace Assaults a Felony

New York has beefed up protections for certain private and public sector employees, designating assaults against them as Class D felonies, rather than just Class A misdemeanors. ...more

Governmental Employers Take Note: Court of Appeals allows employee’s claim for violation of N.C. constitution to go forward

In Tully v. City of Wilmington, No. COA15-956 (N.C. Ct. App. Aug. 16, 2016), the Court of Appeals held for the first time in North Carolina that a governmental employee had alleged a valid property and liberty interest in...more

First District Court of Appeal Weighs in on the Law of Vested Rights in California

On August 17, 2016, Division Two of the First District Court of Appeal issued a unanimous published decision in MAPE et al. v. MCERA, et al. (August 17, 2016, A139610) ___ Cal.App. 4th ___, ___ Cal.Rptr.3d___ [2016 WL...more

Connecticut's Highest Court Reinstates State Employee Fired for Smoking Marijuana at Work

The Supreme Court of Connecticut recently held, by a unanimous decision, that termination was not the only appropriate disciplinary action for a public employee who had been caught smoking marijuana during working hours. In...more

Informing Illinois Newsletter - August 2016

Is Your Police Department Ready for Body Cameras? - Police use of force has been heavily scrutinized for more than a year. In May 2015, the U.S. Department of Justice announced that it was providing $20 million in grants...more

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