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Showing 20 posts in United States Supreme Court.

SCOTUS Green Lights Class Action Waivers in Major Win for Employers

The United States Supreme Court ruled earlier this week that employees must submit claims to arbitration on an individualized basis when their employment agreements require it, even when those claims could be brought as class or collective action under federal legislation such as the Fair Labor Standards Act. Writing for the majority, Justice Neil Gorsuch held that parties to an arbitration agreement are bound by their agreement, as the Federal Arbitration Act envisioned. The Court cited the long history of supporting private arbitration agreements as an efficient and cost-effective means of handling disputes between parties, including parties to an employment agreement who have a dispute over wages. More ›

U.S. Supreme Court Rejects Narrow Reading in Favor of "Fair" Reading of FLSA Exemptions

The US Supreme Court recently issued a five-four decision addressing whether service advisers of a car dealership fell within the automobile sales exemption. While the opinion may not seem particularly helpful for businesses that do not sell cars, a deeper reading reveals that it is a positive case for employers. More ›

Whistleblowers Now Actually Have to Report to The SEC For Dodd-Frank Protection

On February 21, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that provisions of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act that protect whistleblowers from being fired, demoted, or harassed by their employers only apply to people who actually make a report of a violation of the federal securities laws to the Securities and Exchange Commission. The Dodd-Frank Act established a whistleblower program that was designed to motivate individuals to report securities laws violations to the SEC by providing whistleblowers with incentives and protections. Individuals who voluntarily report information to the SEC may be entitled to a cash award of 10 to 30% of the monetary sanctions collected in enforcement actions, and they are protected from retaliation by their employers for having provided that information. More ›

SCOTUS Aligns Application of Statute of Limitations in Constructive Discharge and Actual Discharge Cases

The U.S. Supreme Court held in Green v. Brennan that the statute of limitations for a constructive discharge begins to run on the date of resignation, not the date of the employer’s last discriminatory act, resolving a circuit split. As a result, in determining the deadline for filing a charge of discrimination with the EEOC, constructive discharge cases will be treated the same way as actual discharge cases. More ›

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 ›

U.S. Supreme Court Rules Employers Cannot Avoid Class Actions By Offering Complete Relief to Plaintiffs

In a 5-3 decision, the United States Supreme Court affirmed the Ninth Circuit’s decision in Campbell-Ewald Co. v. Gomez, holding that an unaccepted settlement offer or offer of judgment providing for an individual plaintiff complete relief does not moot a class action complaint, resolving a split among circuits. However, the Court limited its holding by declining to address “whether the result would be different if a defendant deposits the full amount of the plaintiff's individual claim in an account payable to the plaintiff, and the court then enters judgment for the plaintiff in that amount.” The Court’s dissenting opinions and concurring opinions suggest actual tender would moot the plaintiff’s claim. More ›

Of Interest: U.S. Supreme Court Finds Constitutional Support For Same-Sex Marriage

Note: Though the Supreme Court's decision in Obergefell v. Hodges (issued today) does not directly implicate an employment issue, the opinion represents a significant shift in U.S. culture and society, and therefore is likely of import to many employers. Thus, we share a summary of the opinion.

In a monumental decision, the United States Supreme Court ruled today that same-sex marriage is a fundamental right protected by the 14th Amendment of the United States Constitution. The laws of Michigan, Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman were upheld by the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit but then struck down by the Supreme Court's decision.  More ›

Of Interest: U.S. Supreme Court Saves Obamacare a Second Time

Note: Though the Supreme Court's decision in King v. Burwell (issued today) does not directly implicate an employment issue, the opinion is quite significant and likely of interest to many employers who have been following the developments of the Affordable Care Act. Thus, we share a summary of the opinion addressing the latest challenge to the ACA prepared by our colleagues in Hinshaw's national Appellate Practice Group.

By a 6-3 margin, the Supreme Court has ruled in King v. Burwell that the provision in the Affordable Care Act (also known as "Obamacare") that offered tax credits to people who purchase health insurance on a health insurance exchange created under the ACA applied whether or not the exchange was established by a State or by the federal government. In doing so the Court saved the ACA from the consequences of what was largely thought to be a "scrivener's error," that is, a drafting mistake in a bill that was nearly 1,000 pages long. More ›

Beware of Dog(ma): Did the Supreme Court just Require Employers to Accommodate Whenever a Request *Might* be due to Religion?

The U.S. Supreme Court has issued its long-awaited decision in the "Looks Policy" case. It's not terribly unexpected, but it is a little scary considering the potential far-reaching effects going forward.  More ›

Supreme Court Vacates fourth Circuit in UPS Pregnancy Discrimination case, but Rejects EEOC's "Most Favored Employee" Argument

Since the case was argued on December 3, 2014, practitioners and clients alike have been anxiously awaiting the Supreme Court's decision in Young v. United Parcel Service, Inc.That wait is over as the Supreme Court issued a divided opinion yesterday. The majority opinion vacated the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals decision that had affirmed summary judgment in UPS's favor in a suit that arose out of the company's decision to deny leave to a pregnant driver in accordance with the terms of its leave provisions set out in a collective bargaining agreement.   More ›

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