Public Employees

News & Analysis as of

Perception Is Everything: Supreme Court Expands First Amendment Protections for Public Employees

In a decision that may expand the "zone of interest" protected by the First Amendment via 42 U.S.C. §1983, the Supreme Court in Heffernan v. City of Paterson, strengthened free speech rights for public employees by holding a...more

Executive Labor Summary - March / April 2016

NEWS & ANALYSIS - DOL’s “Persuader Rule”: Fight on! – As we have previously reported, the U.S. Department of Labor on March 24 issued new regulations that adopt a new interpretation of the "persuader" reporting...more

The Supreme Court – April 2016 #4

The Supreme Court of the United States issued a decision in one case on April 26, 2016: - Heffernan v. City of Paterson, No. 14-1280: Petitioner Jeffrey Heffernan was a police officer in Paterson, New Jersey. Heffernan...more

Supreme Court Decides Heffernan v. City of Paterson

On April 26, 2016, the Supreme Court decided Heffernan v. City of Paterson, No. 14-1280, holding government employees who are demoted because their employer believes they are engaging in constitutionally protected political...more

The Right to Strike: Changes to Alberta Labour Legislation

In light of the Saskatchewan Federation of Labour v Saskatchewan, 2015 SCC 4 decision, the Alberta government has undertaken a review of the Labour Relations Code (“LRC”) and the Public Service Employees Relations Act...more

Perceived Political Expression Protected By First Amendment, Supreme Court Says

In a 6-2 decision, the Supreme Court today held that the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects both actual and perceived political speech and expression by public employees. The unsurprising decision squares with...more

Can You Hear The Whistle Blowing?: OECD Releases Report On Global Whistleblower Protections

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (“OECD”), an international organization whose goal is to promote policies that will improve the economic and social well-being of people across the world, recently...more

Pennsylvania Governor Signs Sexual Orientation Nondiscrimination Orders

Protection from discrimination based on sexual orientation is now expanded to government contractors and government employees. On April 7, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf signed two executive orders. The first order...more

Governor Wolf Signs Executive Orders Protecting LGBT State Employees and Contractors from Discrimination

Pennsylvania government employees and contractors are now protected from discrimination based on their sexual orientation, gender expression, and gender identity....more

The Employment Law Authority - March/April 2016

A federal appellate court recently held that an employer did not violate the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) when it discharged an employee who had been sleeping at work and falling short of the employer’s performance...more

Supreme Court Ties Underscore Justice Scalia’s Missing Influence

After the passing of Justice Antonin Scalia, we predicted: “Justice Scalia’s passing will immediately impact several employment-related cases pending before the Court.” Specifically, cases in which Scalia was expected to...more

From The Jaws Of Defeat, Public Unions Snatch Lucky Victory

For many years, unions representing public employees in a variety of states have continued to require employees to pay union dues even if they have an objection to certain political, lobbying, or other activities the unions...more

Split Supreme Court Upholds Union Agency Fees...for Now

On March 29, 2016, the United States Supreme Court affirmed a decision permitting public-sector unions to continue collecting “agency fees” from nonmember workers. This is a major victory for public sector unions, as a...more

Supreme Court Tie Leaves Public Sector Agency Shops In Place...For Now

On March 29, 2016, in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, the Supreme Court issued a one-sentence decision affirming, by a 4-4 vote, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals' decision in a case challenging the...more

Public Sector Unions Dodge a Bullet on Non-Member Fees

Public sector union officials and their allies will breathe easier as a challenge to the collection of “agency fees” from non-members was rejected by a deadlocked United States Supreme Court earlier this week. In a per curiam...more

Supreme Court Tie Means That Public Sector Agency Shop Fees Are Still Lawful

On March 29, 2016, the Supreme Court issued a one sentence opinion in the highly publicized case of Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, stating “[t]he judgment is affirmed by an equally divided Court.” This outcome...more

Divided Supreme Court Allows Public Unions’ Agency Fee Collection to Continue

In a much anticipated case, an evenly divided U.S. Supreme Court has issued a per curiam order letting stand a Court of Appeals decision that allows unions to collect dues from public employees, even if those employees do not...more

Supreme Court Upholds The Constitutionality of Public Sector Union “Fair Share Fees”

As we previously reported, in July 2015, the United States Supreme Court decided to hear an appeal of a case from the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit regarding the legality of “fair share” fees for public...more

Supreme Court Hands Labor Unions a Reprieve

In the second split decision since the passing of Justice Antonin Scalia, the Supreme Court gave organized labor a status quo victory in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association on Tuesday. The case was brought by...more

The Supreme Court - March 2016 #5

The Supreme Court of the United States issued one per curiam decision on March 29, 2016: Friedrichs v. California Teachers Assn., No. 14-915: Petitioner Rebecca Friedrichs and other public school teachers in California...more

The Supreme Court’s Decision on Public Union Fees: Still Valid But No Further Guidance

On March 29, 2016, the Supreme Court of the United States issued a per curiam opinion in a case on the validity of public-sector “agency shop” arrangements, which permit unions to charge a fee (in order to pay for select...more

Unions May Enter Public Sector Agency Shop Arrangements

A U.S. Supreme Court Tie Means Victory for Unions - An equally divided United States Supreme Court means that public sector unions in California can still require employees to pay union fees, even if the employee is not...more

Supreme Court Leaves in Place “Agency Fees” for Non-Union Teachers, 4-4

I recently speculated that the death of Justice Antonin Scalia might result in a 4-4 split in Friedrichs v. California, a case in which non-union public school teachers in California contended that they should not be required...more

Never Mind! Supreme Court Splits on Public Employee Union Fee Case

The Supreme Court today issued a decision in one of the most anticipated cases of the session on whether public employees could be forced to pay fees to a union that they didn’t want to belong to. And in doing so, the...more

Public Sector Unions Get Reprieve By Deadlocked Supreme Court

In a deadlocked 4-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court could not reach a majority consensus in determining whether it is unconstitutional for states to force public sector employees to pay agency shop fees to their unions. For...more

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