SUPREME COURT HOLDS WEARING OF RELIGIOUS SCARVES IS REASONABLE ACCOMMODATION

Abercrombie & Fitch maintains a dress code for employees known as its Look Policy. Headwear is not allowed under the policy because it is “too informal for Abercrombie’s desired image.” Samantha Elauf, a practicing Muslim who wears a headscarf, interviewed for an available position for which she was found to be qualified. Still, Elauf was not hired because the District Manager, who was told by another manager that she thought Elauf’s...
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Supreme Court Rules That Courts May Review Whether The EEOC Has Satisfied Its Duty To Attempt Presuit Conciliation

Garrett Wozniak
Garrett Wozniak
04/30/2015
On April 29, 2015, the Supreme Court unanimously vacated a Seventh Circuit decision holding that courts cannot delve into whether the EEOC satisfied the conciliation requirement of Title VII. The EEOC has a legal duty to try settling cases first, but the question before the Court was how much a court could peer into those negotiations to ensure that the EEOC acted in good faith. Ruling against the agency, the Court gave employers a new, albeit...
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Supreme Court to Decide When the Filing Period for a Constructive Discharge Claim Begins

On April 27 the Supreme Court granted certiorari in Green v. Donahoe to determine whether, under federal employment discrimination law, the filing period for a constructive discharge claim begins to run when an employee resigns, as five circuits have held, or at the time of an employer’s last allegedly discriminatory act giving rise to the resignation, as three other circuits have held.  See Green v. Donahoe, 760 F.3d 1135 (10th Cir....
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Supreme Court Okays DOL's FLSA Interpretative Rule Change

The Supreme Court has confirmed that federal agencies, including the Department of Labor (DOL), are exempted from the Administrative Procedure Act's formal notice-and-comment rulemaking requirements when changing interpretative rules, as explained in its unanimous decision Perez v. Mortgage Bankers Ass'n, No. 13-1041, (U.S. March 9, 2015).  With this decision, the Supreme Court overruled the long established doctrine from Paralyzed Veterans of...
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Supreme Court Set to Clarify Issues Surrounding Vesting of Retiree Health Benefits

Kollman & Saucier
Kollman & Saucier
11/14/2014
On November 10, 2014, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in M & G Polymers USA, LLC v. Tackett, a case that has the potential to reshape significantly the legal landscape of retiree health benefit provisions in collective bargaining agreements (CBA). At issue is the legal framework courts should apply when faced with CBA retiree health benefit cases. There is currently a wide split among several federal circuits on the issue. On the...
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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 retire and receive pension benefits at age 65, regardless of their length of...
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UPS To Deliver Light Duty To Pregnant Employees

In advance of the Supreme Court's oral argument on a former employee's pregnancy discrimination case (Young v. UPS, Inc., U.S. No. 12-1226), United Parcel Service (UPS) has announced that, effective, January 1, 2015, it will make light duty available to pregnant workers with lifting or other restrictions on the same level as it offers to employees who need light duty because of worker's compensation injuries.  In explaining this change in protocol,...
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Employment Cases on the Supreme Court’s 2014-15 Docket

Darrell VanDeusen
Darrell VanDeusen
10/06/2014
It’s the first Monday in October and, apart from the most important thing happening this week – the Baltimore Orioles are going to the ALCS – the Supreme Court starts its 2014-15 term. There are, for now, eight labor and employment law cases on the docket. Integrity Staffing Solutions, Inc. v. Busk (No. 13-433): In the first case of the term to be argued, the Court will decide whether the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) may require employers...
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NLRB General Counsel Offers Input on Practical Effects of Noel Canning

Kollman & Saucier
Kollman & Saucier
07/11/2014
As Randi Klein Hyatt discussed recently, the Supreme Court’s decision in NLRB v. Noel Canning is expected to have significant ramifications for the NLRB (the “Board”) and the parties who previously appeared before the Board in 2012 and the first half of 2013, when the unconstitutional recess appointments of Members Block, Flynn and Griffin continued to leave the NLRB without a quorum.  Richard Griffin, one of the three recess appointees who...
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Supreme Court Will Decide What Accommodations Employers Must Make for Pregnant Employees

Until recently, the United Parcel Service (UPS) utilized the well-known slogan, “What can brown do for you?” After deciding last Monday to hear Young v. UPS during its next term, the Supreme Court will be faced with the question of “what brown must do” for its pregnant employees under federal law. (The Fourth Circuit’s decision and the briefs filed in the case (to date) can be found here.) In Young, the plaintiff, Peggy Young, was covered...
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