Pending cases at the US Supreme Court:
- Integrity Staffing Solutions, Inc. v. Busk – Whether time spent in security screenings is compensable under the Fair Labor Standards Act, as amended by the Portal-to-Portal Act. Oral argument October 8, 2014.
- Department of Homeland Security v. MacLean – Whether certain statutory protections codified in the Whistleblower Protection Act, which are inapplicable when an employee makes a disclosure “specifically prohibited by law,” can bar an agency from taking an enforcement action against an employee who intentionally discloses Sensitive Security Information. Oral argument November 4, 2014.
- M&G Polymers USA, LLC v. Tackett – Whether, when construing collective bargaining agreements in Labor Management Relations Act (LMRA) cases, courts should presume that silence concerning the duration of retiree health-care benefits means the parties intended those benefits to vest (and therefore continue indefinitely), as the Sixth Circuit holds; or should require a clear statement that health-care benefits are intended to survive the termination of the collective bargaining agreement, as the Third Circuit holds; or should require at least some language in the agreement that can reasonably support an interpretation that health-care benefits should continue indefinitely, as the Second and Seventh Circuits hold. Oral argument November 10, 2014.
- Perez v. Mortgage Bankers Assoc – Whether a federal agency [Department of Labor] must engage in notice-and-comment rulemaking pursuant to the Administrative Procedure Act before it can significantly alter an interpretive rule that articulates an interpretation of an agency regulation. Oral argument December 1, 2014.
- Young v. United Parcel Service – Whether, and in what circumstances, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act requires an employer that provides work accommodations to non-pregnant employees with work limitations to provide work accommodations to pregnant employees who are “similar in their ability or inability to work.” Oral argument December 3, 2014.
- Mach Mining v. EEOC – Whether and to what extent a court may enforce the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s mandatory duty to conciliate discrimination claims before filing suit. Oral argument to be scheduled for January 2015 or later.
- EEOC v. Abercrombie & Fitch Stores – Whether an employer can be liable under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 for refusing to hire an applicant or discharging an employee based on a “religious observance and practice” only if the employer has actual knowledge that a religious accommodation was required and the employer’s actual knowledge resulted from direct, explicit notice from the applicant or employee. Oral argument to be scheduled for January 2015 or later.
Decisions during 2013-2014 session:
- NLRB v. Noel Canning 06/26/2014 – The President’s “recess appointments” to the National Labor Relations Board violated the constitution. [Blog post]
- Harris v. Quinn 06/30/2014 – Compelling home-care providers to make payments to a union that represents their interests before state agencies violates the first amendment. [Blog post]
- Lane v. Franks 06/19/2014 – 1st amendment prohibits a public employer from firing an employee for giving truthful subpoenaed testimony. [Blog post]
- United States v. Quality Stores 03/25/2014 – Severance payments made to employees whose employment was involuntarily terminated are subject to FICA tax.
- BG Group PLC v. Republic of Argentina 03/05/2014 – Arbitrators, not a court, determine whether a precondition to arbitration (here, a requirement to first litigate for 18 months) has been satisﬁed or excused. [Blog post]
- Lawson v. FMR LLC 03/04/2014 – Sarbanes-Oxley Act § 1514A’s whistleblower protection includes employees of a public company’s private contractors and subcontractors. [Blog post]
- Sandifer v. U.S. Steel Corporation 01/27/2014 – Time spent donning and doffing protective gear is not compensable due to FLSA Section 203(o). [Blog post]
- Heimeshoff v. Hartford Life & Accident Insurance Co 12/16/2013 – Court upholds ERISA Plan’s contractual limitations period – three years after “proof of loss.” [Blog post]
- UNITE HERE Local 355 v. Mulhall (12/10/2013) The writ of certiorari was dismissed as improvidently granted, so the Court did not decide whether union-management neutrality agreements are lawful.
- Madigan v. Levin (10/15/2013) The writ of certiorari was dismissed as improvidently granted, so the Court did not decide whether public sector employee can bring an age bias claim directly under the Constitution without following ADEA procedures.