Public Employees First Amendment

News & Analysis as of

Court Dismisses Police Officers’ Class Action Complaint Regarding Anti-Tattoo Policy

In a recent order in Medici, et al. v. City of Chicago, Case No. 15 C 5891, 2015 WL 6501153 (N.D. Ill. Oct. 27, 2015), Judge Charles P. Kocoras of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois dismissed a...more

Pending Supreme Court Case Could Affect Collection of Public Employee Union Agency Shop Fees

Recently, the United States Supreme Court commenced a new session with a docket full of interesting cases. One case, Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, is of particular significance to those in the field of...more

U.S. Supreme Court’s October 2015 Term Promises Slew of Significant Labor and Employment Cases

Each year, the U.S. Supreme Court begins its term on the first Monday in October. Although known as the “October Term,” the term in fact continues, alternating between two-week “sittings” and “recesses,” until late June or...more

Supreme Court Update: Maryland V. Kulbicki (14-848) And Order List

… und willkommen zurück! Oktober Term 2015 kicks off today with argument in OBB Personenverkehr AG v. Sachs (13-1067), a case which explores the contours of the commercial-activity exception to the Foreign Sovereign...more

Lessons Employers Can Learn from Kentucky Clerk’s Same-Sex Marriage License Dispute

Almost every day the news carries an additional story about Kim Davis, the Rowan County, Kentucky clerk who has defied the Supreme Court by refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The Kim Davis story may be...more

Supreme Court Update: Glossip V. Gross (15-7955) And Order List

We're back with our final Update of OT14, covering Glossip v. Gross (15-7955), a doubly divisive death-penalty case, and providing a roundup of the Court's orders over the last few weeks. (Did you think we'd forgotten about...more

Supreme Court to Hear Challenge to Public Sector Union Fees for Non-Members

On June 30, the United States Supreme Court agreed to hear a long-awaited challenge to the practice of allowing unions to collect fees from public sector employees who do not wish to be union members. In the more than 20...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

Governor Rauner Issues Order Eliminating Fair Share Fees

Yesterday, Governor Bruce Rauner signed Executive Order 15-13 eliminating “fair share” fees paid by state employees who choose not to join a union. At the same time, Rauner filed a complaint in federal court seeking a...more

Whistleblower Liability: Two Recent U.S. Supreme Court Rulings Could Have Major Implications for Employers

The United States Supreme Court’s 2013-14 docket featured a number of labor and employment law decisions warranting employers’ attention. Media headlines focused mostly on cases dealing with employers’ religious beliefs and...more

SCOTUS Affirms Right to Blow Your Whistle in Public Sector

There has long been tension in the public sector regarding an employee’s duties as an agent of the state and his or her right as an individual to freedom of speech. In a decision handed down in June of 2014, the United States...more

Supreme Court Invalidates Union Fee Requirements Imposed on Homecare Employees

On June 30, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected Illinois law that required homecare providers for Medicaid recipients to pay fees to a union. In Harris v. Quinn, the Court held that compulsory union agency fees imposed on...more

Harris v. Quinn Decision May Set Stage for Further Rulings Limiting Public Unions

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court decided Harris v. Quinn. As readers of my June 10 posting will recall, the plaintiffs in that case objected on First Amendment grounds to being required to contribute public union dues as a...more

Supreme Court Issues Decision In Harris V.Quinn: Abood Survives, But For How Long?

On Monday, the United States Supreme Court issued its anxiously anticipated decision in Harris v. Quinn, a case brought by Illinois home health aides challenging the requirement in a collective bargaining agreement that they...more

U.S. Supreme Court Finds Sworn Testimony Outside Scope of Regular Job Duties Entitled to First Amendment Protection

While the labor and employment law world is abuzz after the decisions in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby and Harris v. Quinn (cases this Blog will cover in the coming days), the United States Supreme Court also issued a decision...more

Agency Fees Can’t Be Required for Illinois Rehab Personal Assistants, SCOTUS Rules

The State of Illinois cannot require Rehabilitation Program “personal assistants” (PAs) who decide not to join a union, to pay compulsory union dues, commonly known as “agency fees,” the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Harris v....more

Radical Shift Coming In Public Sector Agency Fees

On Monday, the Supreme Court took a swipe at public sector compulsory unionism. In doing so, the Court took a slice out of decades of Supreme Court jurisprudence and suggested a future re-thinking of agency fees in the public...more

Supreme Court Rejects Labor’s Mandatory Dues Collection Initiative in Favor of Workers’ First Amendment Rights

Yesterday, the Supreme Court of the United States held that the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution prohibits a public-employee union from collecting an agency fee from home-care workers who do not want to join or...more

Supreme Court Decides Harris v. Quinn

On June 30, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court decided Harris v. Quinn, No. 11-681, holding that the First Amendment does not permit a state to compel public employees to subsidize speech on matters of public concern by a union...more

Two Significant Decisions Affecting Employers Issued the Final Day of the U.S. Supreme Court Session

On the last day of its 2013-2014 session, the U.S. Supreme Court held today that (1) for-profit companies are protected as "persons" under the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 (RFRA) and (2) that the...more

Supreme Court Strikes Down Mandatory Union "Fair Share" Deductions For Public Sector Employees

Today, in a 5 to 4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to extend its previous holdings regarding “fair-share” fees (fees that an employee who refuses to join a union is required to pay in lieu of union dues) to...more

United States Supreme Court Strikes Down Illinois Regulatory Framework Requiring Personal Assistants for Medicaid Recipients to...

In its much anticipated decision in Harris v. Quinn, 573 U.S. __ (2014), the Supreme Court of the United States in a five to four ruling struck down an Illinois regulatory framework that required personal assistants (PAs) for...more

Supreme Court Finds Public Employee's Testimony in Criminal Trial Protected Under First Amendment

Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously held that a public employee cannot be retaliated against by his employer based on testimony provided by him under subpoena in a criminal proceeding. In Lane v. Franks, the...more

First Amendment Protects Public Employees for Sworn Testimony Given Outside Scope of Regular Job Duties on Matters of Public...

U.S. Supreme Court Makes Unanimous Ruling in Lane v. Franks - The First Amendment protects a public employee from adverse employment action taken in retaliation for providing truthful sworn testimony, compelled by...more

Supremes Rule That Trial Speech is Protected Speech

Last week 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

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