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 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 was since confirmed...
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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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Supreme Court Limits ACA's Contraception Mandate

Kollman & Saucier
Kollman & Saucier
07/02/2014
On Monday, June 30, 2014, the Supreme Court issued its highly-anticipated decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., U.S., No. 13-354, 6/30/14, ruling 5-4 that owners of closely held for-profit corporations with sincerely held religious beliefs can opt out of the Affordable Care Act mandate that requires them to provide employee health insurance coverage for contraception. Under the Affordable Care Act, employers with 50 or more employees must...
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Supreme Court Issues Unanimous Decision, "Canning" Obama's Recess NLRB Appointments

Kollman & Saucier
Kollman & Saucier
06/27/2014
As part of its end of term productivity, on Thursday, June 26, 2014, the Supreme Court issued its much anticipated decision in NLRB v. Noel Canning,  regarding President Obama’s authority to grant recess appointments to fill vacant Board positions and avoid the Senate confirmation process of those Board members. The Noel Canning decision specifically involved President Obama’s recess appointments of Sharon Block, Terence Flynn, and Richard...
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Take the Money and Run - or Not

Kollman & Saucier
Kollman & Saucier
04/23/2014
During the past few years, more and more employers have found themselves in the unenviable position of having to lay off workers due to the economy.  Of course, the sting is felt more acutely by the laid off worker.  In order to lessen the sting and retain goodwill, employers sometimes grant the separated employee severance.  While most employers know that severance payments are wages for income tax purposes and, thus, income tax must be withheld...
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Supreme Court Hears ACA Contraceptive Mandate Cases

Darrell VanDeusen
Darrell VanDeusen
03/26/2014
On March 25, the Supreme Court heard oral argument on the validity of the women’s preventive services mandate under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in two companion cases, Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., 2013 U.S. LEXIS 8418, granting cert. from 723 F.3d 1114 (10th Cir. 2013), and Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. v. Sebelius, 2013 U.S. LEXIS 8419 granting cert. from 724 F.3d 377 (3d Cir. 2013). Also known as the “contraception mandate,”...
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Supreme Court Agrees to Decide Whether Employees Must be Paid for Time Spent in Security Screenings

Garrett Wozniak
Garrett Wozniak
03/06/2014
In January, the Supreme Court affirmed a decision of the Seventh Circuit, which held that steel workers were merely changing clothes when they were “doffing and donning” protective gear and, therefore, that time was not compensable under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”).  Sandifer v. U.S. Steel Corp., 2014 U.S. LEXIS 799 (Jan. 27, 2014).  Sandifer was discussed in a recent post here at the Employment Brief. Little more than a month...
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Supreme Court Unanimous: Steel Workers Were Just Changing Clothes

Darrell VanDeusen
Darrell VanDeusen
01/29/2014
The issue of what constitutes “compensable time” under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is, for most employers, not so difficult to figure out: you clock in, you work, you get paid.   There are, however, some occupations where things are less clear. What if you have to put on a uniform (a police officer or fast food server)?  Well, if you can put it on at home and drive to work, you do not get paid for “doffing and donning,” as it is...
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Supreme Court Hears Arguments on Validity of NLRB Recess Appointments

Kollman & Saucier
Kollman & Saucier
01/17/2014
It turns out that schoolchildren aren’t the only ones who care about how long recess is.  On Monday, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in National Labor Relations Board v. Noel Canning, No. 12-1281, a case that is expected to decide how to allocate power between the President and Senate when it comes to recess appointments and could result in the invalidation of hundreds of NLRB decisions . For those unfamiliar with the case, by January 3,...
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