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Showing 7 posts in SCOTUS.

U.S. Supreme Court Holds Section 1981 Racial Discrimination Claims Require But-For Causation

In a unanimous decision issued on March 23, 2020, the United States Supreme Court held that a but-for causation standard applies to claims brought under Section 1981 of the Civil Rights Act of 1866. The Supreme Court also noted that this standard applies throughout the litigation process, including the initial pleading stage.

The Civil Rights Act of 1866, a Reconstruction-era statute, includes Section 1981, which guarantees "[a]ll persons . . . the same right . . . to make and enforce contracts . . . as is enjoyed by white citizens." In Comcast Corp. v. National Association of African American-Owned Media, the plaintiff pursued a number of theories, but essentially argued that the Court should adopt the motivating factor test employed in cases arising under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Employment law practitioners often will see complaints including counts for both violations of Title VII and Section 1981. It is important to recognize that the causation standards are different for these two statutes. More ›

SCOTUS Reviewing Standard of Proof in Workplace Allegations of Racial Discrimination

For the last 150 years, the "motivating factor" standard of proof test was the pinnacle of what a plaintiff had to meet to prove allegations of racial discrimination in the workplace. However, the U.S. Supreme Court recently heard oral arguments in a case that will hold the "motivating factor" test to a much higher "but for" standard of proof in order to prevail in a racial discrimination suit. A decision in this case could have far-reaching effects on both the employment and economic sectors. More ›

Employer Alert: SCOTUS Holds That EEOC Charge Processing Rules can be Waived by a Defendant Since they are not Jurisdictional

On June 3, 2019, the Supreme Court of the United States made a ruling that employers and their legal counsel need to be aware of. In Fort Bend County v. Davis, the Supreme Court ruled that the charge-filing requirements for EEOC discrimination claims filed under Title VII, including that Act's scope of charge and filing rules, are not jurisdictional and instead are claims processing rules which can be waived by a defendant if not timely raised in federal court proceedings. This decision resolves a split among multiple federal Circuit Courts which have confronted the issue. More ›

SCOTUS Reverses Ninth Circuit, Finds Class Arbitration Must be Explicitly Authorized in Agreements

Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) handed employers a major win in Epic Systems v. Lewis, when it ruled 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. More recently, in Lamps Plus Inc. et al. v. Frank Varela, SCOTUS addressed the issue of whether a worker can pursue class arbitration when an arbitration agreement does not explicitly address class arbitration. By a 5-4 vote, the court said class arbitration is also barred in such circumstances, holding that "[u]nder the Federal Arbitration Act, an ambiguous agreement cannot provide the necessary contractual basis for concluding that the parties agreed to submit to class arbitration[.]" More ›

U.S. Supreme Court Holds the ADEA Applies to All Public Employers

In a recent 8-0 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision holding the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) applies to public employers of any size. More ›

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 ›

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 ›

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