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Public Sector Employment Law

State Of Maryland Cannot Be Sued In Federal Court For State Law Discrimination Claims

The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals concluded that Maryland’s employment discrimination statute (FEPA), Md. Code Ann., St. Gov’t § 20-601 et seq., does not waive the State’s immunity to be sued in federal court under that law for alleged employment discrimination, harassment and/or retaliation.  In Pense v. Maryland Dept’ of Public Safety and Correctional Services, […]

Supreme Court Rules That Public Sector Agency Fees Are Unconstitutional

On the last opinion day of the 2017-2018 term, the Supreme Court issued a long-expected decision prohibiting public sector collective bargaining agreements from requiring employees who are not members of the union to pay agency fees. In a 5-4 decision written by Justice Alito, the Court overturned 41 year old precedent and ruled that requiring […]

Baltimore Prosecutor Who Opposed Mosby’s Election Loses First Amendment Challenge

Keri Borzilleri, a former high-ranking Assistant State’s Attorney (ASA) who worked for nine years in the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s office, was fired without cause just four days after Marilyn Mosby took office as the newly elected lead prosecutor in 2015. Though no explanation was publicly given, Borzilleri was likely terminated for having supported Mosby’s […]

Social Media Strikes Again

Here is another tale of social media posts and “likes” getting an employee into hot water.  Again, the culprit is Facebook.  In Grutzmacher, et al. v. Howard County, et al., No. 15-2066, (4th Cir. March 20, 2017), the plaintiffs were a former Howard County, Maryland, Battalion Chief with the Maryland Department of Fire and Rescue […]

Fourth Circuit Finds Fire Captains Eligible for Overtime

In a case with potentially far-reaching implications for fire departments in Virginia, Maryland, the Carolinas, and West Virginia, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ruled that Fairfax County, Virginia fire captains are non-exempt employees entitled to overtime compensation. Morrison v. County of Fairfax, No. 14-2308 (June 21, 2016).  The Court reversed […]

Supreme Court Declines to Hear Baltimore County Pension Case

On November 3, 2014, the United States Supreme Court denied Baltimore County’s petition for review of the Fourth Circuit’s decision which held Baltimore County’s retirement plan violated the ADEA. Balt. Cnty. v. EEOC, No. 14-7, cert. denied 11/3/14. In 1945, Baltimore County established a retirement plan for its employees. The plan provided that employees could […]

EEOC May Sue State Court for Discrimination in Federal Court

A federal court ruled that a Pennsylvania state court that allegedly fired an employee because of her age does not have 11th Amendment immunity to avoid a lawsuit on the fired employee’s behalf brought by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act.  EEOC v. Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny […]

Video Camera Hidden in Teddy Bear Does Not Violate Rights of Drinking School Teacher

Government officials are entitled to qualified immunity from liability under Section 1983 when their discretionary acts do not violate clearly established statutory or constitutional rights of which a reasonable person would have known. In Chadwell v. Brewer, No. 2:14-CV-00003 (W.D. Va. Oct. 1, 2014), a federal district court concluded that qualified immunity insulated from liability […]