US Supreme Court Watch

Recently decided cases at the US Supreme Court: 

  • Department of Homeland Security v. MacLean – Whistleblower’s disclosures, which were contrary to TSA’s regulations
    on sensitive security information, were not “specifically prohibited by law,” because regulations do not qualify as “law” under the whistleblower statute.  January 21, 2015.
  • Integrity Staffing Solutions, Inc. v. Busk – Time spent in post-shift security screenings is not compensable under the Fair Labor Standards Act as amended by the Portal-to-Portal Act. December 9, 2014. [Blog]

Pending cases at the US Supreme Court:

  • 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. [Transcript] [Audio]
  • 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. [Transcript] [Audio]
  • 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. [Transcript] [Audio]
  • 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 January 13, 2015. [Transcript] [Audio]
  • 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 February 25, 2015.

Decisions during 2013-2014 session:

Certiorari dismissed:

  • 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.