US Supreme Court Watch

Recently decided cases at the US Supreme Court: 

  • 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]

Pending cases at the US Supreme Court:

  • 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. [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? Oral argument to be scheduled for October 2015 or later. [Blog]

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.