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Posts tagged U.S. Supreme Court.
By T. Christopher Bailey on January 13, 2022 at 3:30 PM

On January 13, 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court issued two decisions addressing COVID-19 vaccine mandates implemented by the Biden Administration. In the first opinion (National Federation of Independent Business v. OSHA), by a 6-3 majority, the Supreme Court blocked implementation of OSHA’s Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) that would have required all employers with 100 or more employees to adopt a policy requiring mandatory COVID-19 vaccination and/or testing and masking policies for employees. OSHA’s ETS had recently taken effect, and the vaccination/testing requirements were set to become effective as of February 9. This ruling from the Supreme Court appears to signal the end of OSHA’s ETS.

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By Nicholas Coyle, Lauren Daming, Lauren Harris on January 3, 2022 at 4:15 PM

As in 2020, employment law in 2021 was dominated by COVID-19 as employers grappled with whether to voluntarily extend employee benefits provided by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, issues with working remotely, and returning to work. The new year begins with uncertainty as the U.S. Supreme Court is set to decide the fate of several employer vaccine mandates in just a few days. The pandemic’s challenges are sure to keep employers busy in 2022. Here are our picks for the highlights of last year and a look at what’s to come in the new year.

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By Katherine Fechte, Lauren Daming on January 8, 2021 at 12:30 PM

In a year marked by federal responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, federal agencies managed to finalize some non-pandemic legal developments in 2020: the Department of Labor’s (DOL) new overtime rule and joint employer test both went into effect, and the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) overturned a handful of Obama-era precedents. With Joe Biden’s election as president in November 2020, the coming four years will likely bring some reversal of the impact of the Trump administration, particularly on the DOL and NLRB. The 2019-2020 Supreme Court term was relatively busy for employment, including a major development for Title VII. Of course, much of the energy and resources of the federal agencies overseeing employment laws were spent on providing guidance to employers related to COVID-19 issues. Below is a summary of major federal employment law headlines from last year and a look at what employers can expect in 2021.

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By Katherine Fechte, Lauren Daming on January 22, 2020 at 10:15 AM

2020 review concept. Hand flip wood cube change year 2019 to 2020 and the word REVIEW on wooden block on wood tableThe theme for last year’s federal developments was reversal of Obama-era rules. The Department of Labor and National Labor Relations Board were especially active in this respect.

After a relatively quiet Supreme Court term for employment law in 2018-19, the stage is set for the court to rule in 2020 on highly anticipated topics. Below is a summary of major federal employment law headlines from last year and a look at what employers can expect in 2020.

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By T. Christopher Bailey on June 6, 2019 at 2:00 PM

United States Supreme CourtIn a unanimous decision, the U.S. Supreme Court held that an employee’s failure to exhaust administrative remedies is not a jurisdictional prerequisite to filing a lawsuit, rather it is a procedural requirement that could be waived by the employer’s failure to timely raise the issue.

In Fort Bend County, Texas v. Davis, --- S.Ct. ---- (U.S. June 3, 2019) the plaintiff, Davis, filed a charge of discrimination alleging sex discrimination and retaliation. While that charge was pending, Davis was told to report to work on a Sunday. When Davis refused due to a prior church commitment, her employment was terminated. Intending to amend her earlier charge, Davis submitted an EEOC Intake Questionnaire on which she handwrote “religion” under “Harms or Actions” and checked the boxes for “discharge” and “reasonable accommodation.” However, Davis made no change to her formal charge of discrimination document to allege discrimination on the basis of her religion.

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By Katherine Fechte, Lauren Daming, Lauren Harris on January 18, 2019 at 10:10 AM

"2018" written out with wooden blocks with a person rotating the "8" to a "9"2018 was a relatively quiet year in federal employment law developments, but the stage is set for a much more active 2019. Below is a summary of major federal employment law headlines and a look at what employers can expect in 2019.

For Missouri and Illinois employers, a review of 2018 state updates and a look forward at 2019 can be found here.

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By Dennis Collins, Lauren Harris on June 29, 2018 at 11:40 AM

U.S. Supreme Court BuildingThe U.S. Supreme Court issued its opinion June 27 in Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, Council 31, 585 U.S. ___ (2018), holding that nonunion members working in union positions for public employers are not obligated to pay agency fees, also known as “fair share” fees. This overturns Abood v. Detroit Board of Education, 431 U.S. 209 (1977) which set the precedent that as long as the agency fees represent the percentage of the union’s expenditures for collective bargaining, contract administration, and grievance adjustment purposes, then state governments can legislate that public employees employed in positions represented by unions, even though not union members, can be required to pay service charges or agency fees. In conjunction, unions are required to provide detailed notices of how the agency fees are being spent for “chargeable” activities (contract and bargaining based activities) and “non-chargeable” activities (political and lobbying activities). It should be noted that federal law prohibits unions that bargain for federal workers to charge agency fees to nonunion members, but according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 27 percent of the federal workforce are union members.

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By Lauren Harris, T. Christopher Bailey on June 7, 2018 at 2:50 PM

Person decorating a white wedding cakeOn June 4, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court released its long-awaited decision in Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, 584 U.S. ___ (2018), which examined whether a Colorado bakery violated that state’s Anti-Discrimination Act by refusing to bake a wedding cake celebrating a same-sex marriage ceremony. While a 7-2 majority of the court sided with the bakery, the much-anticipated decision left more questions unanswered than answered. The decision and concurring and dissenting opinions can be read here.

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By Lauren Daming, Heather Mehta on May 21, 2018 at 2:40 PM EDT

Supreme Court buildingIn a 5-4 decision written by newcomer Justice Gorsuch, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld employment agreements that require employees to individually arbitrate disputes with their employers.

The May 21, 2018, opinion in Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis resolves a trio of cases before the Supreme Court in which employees brought suits against their employers alleging state and federal wage and hour violations. In each situation, the employees had signed contracts agreeing to resolve any employment-related disputes in individualized arbitration. Nevertheless, they sought to litigate their claims in class or collective actions. 

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By Jill Luft on April 12, 2018 at 9:50 AM

Words "Out of Office" written on a piece of paper held up by a businesswomanAs we reported last fall, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals determined that a multi-month continuous leave of absence is beyond the scope of a reasonable accommodation under the ADA. The case was Severson v. Heartland Woodcraft, Inc., 872 F.3d 476 (7th Cir. 2017). After exhausting 12 continuous weeks of FMLA leave for a serious back condition, Severson informed his employer that he would need to remain off work for another two to three months. The Seventh Circuit reasoned that the ADA is an antidiscrimination statute, not a medical leave entitlement, and an employee who needs long-term medical leave cannot work and is therefore not a qualified individual under the ADA.

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