US Supreme Court Watch

Pending cases at the US Supreme Court:

  • Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association – (1) Whether Abood v. Detroit Board of Education should be overruled and public-sector “agency shop” arrangements invalidated under the First Amendment; and (2) whether it violates the First Amendment to require that public employees affirmatively object to subsidizing nonchargeable speech by public-sector unions, rather than requiring that employees affirmatively consent to subsidizing such speech.  [Opinion below] [Briefs]  [Blog] [Blog] Oral argument January 11, 2016.
  • Tyson Foods, Inc. v. Bouaphakeo – Whether class or collective actions can be certified where liability and damages will be determined with statistical techniques that presume all class members are identical to the average observed in a sample, and the class contains members who were not injured. [Opinion below] [Briefs] Oral argument November 10, 2015. [Transcript]  [Audio]
  • Dollar General Corporation v. Mississippi Band of Choctaw IndiansWhether Indian tribal court has jurisdiction over an intern’s claim that the manager of a store on tribal land sexually molested him while he was working there.  [Opinion below] [Briefs] [Blog] Oral argument December 7, 2015.
  • Campbell-Ewald Company v. Gomez – Whether an unaccepted Rule 68 offer that would fully satisfy an individual plaintiff’s claim moots that claim, and also moots a class action.  [Opinion below] [Briefs]  [Blog] Oral argument October 14, 2015.  [Transcript]  [Audio]
  • Green v. Brennan – Whether, under federal employment discrimination law, the filing period for a constructive discharge claim begins to run when an employee resigns, or at the time of an employer’s last allegedly discriminatory act giving rise to the resignation.  [Opinion below] [Briefs] [Blog] Oral argument November 30, 2015.   [Transcript]  [Audio]
  • Montanile v. Board of Trustees of the National Elevator Industry Health Benefit Plan – Does a lawsuit by an ERISA fiduciary against a participant to recover an alleged overpayment by the plan seek “equitable relief” within the meaning of ERISA section 502(a)(3), 29 U.S.C. § 1132(a)(3), if the fiduciary has not identified a particular fund that is in the participant’s possession and control at the time the fiduciary asserts its claim?  [Opinion below] [Briefs]  [Blog] Oral argument November 9, 2015. [Transcript]  [Audio]
  • Gobeille v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Company – Whether ERISA preempts Vermont’s health care database law as applied to the third-party administrator for a self-funded ERISA plan.  [Opinion below] [Briefs] Oral argument December 2, 2015.
  • Heffernan v. City of Paterson – Whether the First Amendment bars the government from demoting a public employee based on a supervisor’s perception that the employee supports a political candidate.  [Opinion below] [Briefs] Oral argument January 19, 2016.
  • MHN Government Services, Inc. v. Zaborowski – Whether California’s arbitration-only severability rule is preempted by the Federal Arbitration Act.  [Opinion below] [Briefs] Oral argument February 2016 or later.

Decisions during 2014-2015 session:

  • EEOC v. Abercrombie & Fitch Stores – An employer can be liable under Title VII  for refusing to hire an applicant based on a “religious observance and practice” even if the employer lacks actual knowledge that a religious accommodation was required, so long as the need for an accommodation was a motivating factor in the employer’s decision. June 1, 2015.  [Blog]
  • Tibble v. Edison International – ERISA trustee’s continuing duty to monitor investments determines when statute of limitations begins to run. May 18, 2015.  [Blog]
  • Mach Mining v. EEOC – Courts may enforce the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s mandatory duty to conciliate discrimination claims before filing suit, yet the scope of review is deferential. April 29, 2015.  [Blog]
  • Young v. United Parcel Service – If a pregnant woman can’t do her regular job and asks for a light duty assignment, and many (but not all) other workers get light duty as an accommodation for a disability or on-the-job injury, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act may require that the employer also accommodate the pregnant woman. March 25, 2015. [Blog]
  • Perez v. Mortgage Bankers Assoc – A federal agency [Department of Labor] need not engage in notice-and-comment rulemaking pursuant to the Administrative Procedure Act before it significantly alters an interpretive rule that articulates an interpretation of an agency regulation. March 9, 2015. [Blog]
  • M&G Polymers USA, LLC v. Tackett – When a collective bargaining agreement is silent concerning the duration of retiree health-care benefits, courts should apply ordinary contract principles, and not presume that silence means the parties intended those benefits to vest. January 26, 2015.
  • 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]