Tag Archives: Supreme Court

Sow the wind, reap the hurricane for UK Government in Tribunal fee fiasco

There was a great deal of entirely unfair schadenfreude directed at the Government last month over its abject failure to justify the Employment Tribunal fees regime in front of the Supreme Court. After all, apart from the report of its own Justice Committee, the views of everyone else from both sides of industry and all … Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court Holds That Closely Held For-Profit Corporations Can Avoid ACA Contraception Mandate

The Supreme Court has issued a 5-4 decision in which it found that closely-held for-profit corporations can avoid the mandate under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that requires the provision of birth control coverage to their employees.  In reaching their decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties v. Burwell, the justices determined … Continue Reading

Fifth Circuit Overrules Key Portion of recent NLRB Decision – Arbitration Agreements Containing Class Action Waivers Held Enforceable

In a highly anticipated decision, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals declined to enforce the key portion of the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) decision in D.R. Horton, Inc.  In January 2012, the NLRB ruled that an arbitration agreement between an employer and an employee that required the employee to bring any claims against the … Continue Reading

Male dentist fires female assistant for being too attractive and in Iowa it’s legal!

Last week the Iowa Supreme Court confirmed its earlier ruling that a male dentist’s decision to terminate his “irresistibly attractive” female assistant was not sex discrimination under Iowa law.  Despite their 10 years of working together, the dentist, James Knight, claimed the firing of Melissa Nelson was necessary to save his marriage since he was … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Allows Class Arbitration, Despite No Explicit Agreement, Deferring To Arbitrator’s Bargained-For Interpretation Of Contract

The U.S. Supreme Court departed from the pro-arbitration stance it has taken in the past several terms in Oxford Health Plans LLC v. Sutter, No. 12-135, 569 U.S. ___ (June 10, 2013). Dr. John Sutter, a pediatrician, brought a putative class action lawsuit against Oxford Health Plans, a health insurance company, for Oxford’s purported failure … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Declines to Decide Whether Offers of Judgment to Named Plaintiffs Can Moot A Wage and Hour Collective Action

Yesterday, the United States Supreme Court had the opportunity to address a split in the circuits regarding whether or not a Rule 68 offer of judgment to a named plaintiff in a FLSA collective action mooted a potential collective action.  In Genesis Healthcare Corp., et al. v. Symczyk [pdf], the Supreme Court held that because … Continue Reading

Rigorous Analysis Required For Class Certifications

Recently, the Supreme Court reinforced that in class action litigation, the courts must undertake a rigorous analysis of the Federal Rule’s prerequisites in certifying a class of litigants.    As previously reported here, the Supreme Court addressed this issue in Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes in 2011.  In Dukes, the Supreme Court noted that trial courts … Continue Reading

Management Employees Critical of Company Investigations Are Not Protected by Title VII

Late in January 2013, the United States Supreme Court refused to hear a case, Brush v. Sears Holding Corporation, involving an employee who alleged that she was terminated in retaliation for criticizing her employer’s treatment of another employee’s sexual harassment claim.  Consequently, the Eleventh Circuit’s decision [pdf] stands.  The Court of Appeals found that complaining … Continue Reading

Health care reform: IRS Issues Guidance for Employers Determining Full-time Employees

As reported in Health care reform: The implications of Supreme Court’s decision for employers,  “the heart of the law requires that ‘large employers’ offer a medical plan that provides ‘minimum essential health benefits’ to their full-time employees or pay a tax effective Jan. 1, 2014.”  So which employees are full-time employees?  The Patient Protection and … Continue Reading

Judge Rules on Remaining Provision of Arizona’s SB 1070 Immigration Law

Following a recent United States Supreme Court decision striking down most of Arizona’s “Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act” (SB 1070) immigration law, a US District Court Judge lifted an injunction on Tuesday permitting the State to enforce the “show me your papers” provision of the law.   This now permits Arizona to begin … Continue Reading

Gender Non-Conformity . . . and Protection Based on Sexual Orientation?

In recent years, courts and administrative agencies have broadened the Title VII protections against discrimination based on sex using the Price Waterhouse theory of gender non-conformity.  For example, as previously reported here, the EEOC used this rationale to recognize a cause of action for transgender discrimination under a theory of sex stereotyping and gender non-conformity.  … Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Healthcare Law

Today in a landmark decision, the United States Supreme Court decided that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) is constitutionally permissible.  In a closely divided 5 – 4 decision, the Court ruled that the so-called “individual mandate” was constitutional as a tax. Based upon the Court’s ruling, the PPACA will continue.  Although some of … Continue Reading

Keeping U.S. Immigration Law Federal: “You Can See It’s Not Selling Very Well

So were the words of Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor to the Solicitor General Donald Verrilli during last week’s oral argument in Arizona v. United States,  as she challenged the government’s position that the Constitution and the doctrine of preemption prevents states from mandating their law enforcement officers to conduct immigration status checks.  Such a challenge … Continue Reading

For The First Time The Supreme Court Recognizes the Ministerial Exception – But Who is a Minister?

As recently reported on Squire Sanders’ Sixth Circuit blog, the United States Supreme Court recently held that a “ministerial exception” precluded employment discrimination claims brought by ministers against their churches in a landmark decision.  Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. EEOC, No. 10-553 (January 11, 2012). In this case, the Court found that a … Continue Reading

Dukes v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.: Round Two (Wal-Mart: 1, Plaintiffs: 0)

For the past couple years, it seemed we couldn’t avoid hearing or reading coverage on the unprecedented employment discrimination class action filed against Wal-Mart.  It has now been more than ten years since the case was filed.  Based on recent news, one cannot help but wonder whether the suit will be resolved before yet another ten years of litigation have passed.      The general background facts include:  … Continue Reading

United States Supreme Court Limits Class Actions

In a landmark victory for employers, in Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes [pdf] the United States Supreme Court threw out a sweeping sex-discrimination lawsuit against Wal-Mart Stores Inc., ruling Monday that the 1.6 million women allegedly victimized had too little in common to form a single class of plaintiffs.  As Jess Bravin and Ann Zimmerman … Continue Reading

The Demise Of Employment Class Actions?

The United States Supreme Court issued a decision in AT&T Mobility v. Conception, that the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”) prohibits states from conditioning the enforceability of arbitration agreements on the availability of class arbitration.  Prior to this ruling, many courts had refused to enforce employment and consumer arbitration agreements which waived class actions.  This week’s … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Broadens FLSA Whistleblower Protection To Include Oral Complaints

As previously reported in Squire Sanders’ Sixth Circuit blog, the Supreme Court recently ruled that oral statements made to an employer regarding wage and hour violations are sufficient to trigger the anti-retaliation provision of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).  Kasten v. Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics Corp., No. 09-834 (March 22, 2011).  Thus, employees are not … Continue Reading
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