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Showing 6 posts in Third Circuit.

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 public employee may bring a suit premised on his engagement in protected political activities, even when the employee did not engage in those activities, and the employer was mistaken in its belief that he had.

The Case

The city demoted a police officer (Heffernan) after it believed Heffernan was holding a campaign sign supporting a mayoral candidate and speaking to the candidate’s campaign staff. The demotion was intended as punishment for Heffernan's "overt involvement" in the campaign. However, the city was mistaken about his political activity, because Heffernan was only transporting the challenger's sign to his sick mother, at her request. More ›

Third Circuit: Appointment of NLRB Member During Intrasession Break not Valid

In an ongoing and continuing discussion and battle concerning President Obama’s recess appointment of Craig Becker as a member of the National Labor Relations Board back in 2010, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals has weighed in, holding that the appointment was invalid, and that the board panel which included Becker therefore lacked a valid quorum. The Third Circuit Court of Appeals considered this issue because the Board issued a bargaining order to a nursing facility, which the facility claimed was invalid due to lack of quorum.  More ›

Third Circuit Upholds Termination of Employee for Dishonesty About Drug Addiction on a Post-Offer Medical Questionnaire

A hospital-employer hired the employee as a security guard. On his post-offer medical questionnaire, the employee affirmatively stated that he had never suffered from drug or alcohol addiction in the past nor participated in a drug and alcohol treatment program. More ›

Collective Action Cannot Proceed Where Representative Plaintiff’s Claim Rendered Moot

Today, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its ruling in Genesis Healthcare Corp et al v. Symczyk, No. 11-1059 (U.S. Supreme Court, April 16, 2013) , holding that the employee could not maintain a collective action once her individual claims were rendered moot.  More ›

Third Circuit Upholds Termination of Employee for Dishonesty About Drug Addiction on a Post-Offer Medical Questionnaire

A hospital-employer hired the employee as a security guard. On his post-offer medical questionnaire, the employee affirmatively stated that he had never suffered from drug or alcohol addiction in the past nor participated in a drug and alcohol treatment program. Thereafter, the employee suffered an injury at work and reported to the hospital’s emergency department. When discussing his treatment with the physician, the employee indicated that he was a recovering drug addict. The employee’s medical information was then transferred to the hospital’s employee services division. Upon learning that the employee had suffered from past drug addiction, the hospital terminated the employee for dishonestly on his post-offer medical questionnaire. More ›

Police Sergeant Engaged in Protected Activity when Complaining About Gender Inequality

Last month we reported to you the case of a public school principal whose First Amendment and retaliation claims were stricken by the Court due to the fact that she was not speaking as a private citizen, and thus, her speech was not protected. On the other side of the coin, here, the Third Circuit finds that a triable claim exists where a public employee articulates complaints of sex discrimination in the police force, because such speech implicates matters of public concern.  More ›

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