US Supreme Court Watch

The US Supreme Court is in recess until October 6, 2014.

Pending cases:

  • 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.
  • 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.

Recent 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.