On June 29, 2023, the United States Supreme Court issued a decision, Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. v. President & Fellows of Harvard College, striking down decades of precedent that had previously permitted affirmative action programs in connection with admission practices at colleges and universities. While the Harvard decision does not directly impact employers, the rationale supporting it has the potential to impact employment practices moving forward, as discussed below.Continue Reading FORECASTING THE IMPACT OF THE SUPREME COURT’S LATEST AFFIRMATIVE ACTION DECISION ON EMPLOYERS
On January 7, 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments on the federal vaccine mandates for employers with 100 or more employees and for healthcare facilities receiving federal funds. The Court has ordered additional briefing on the issues and has set one hour for oral argument.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) released…
Soon the name Bostock will join those of Brown (v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas), Miranda (v. Arizona) and Obergefell (v. Hodges) in the annals of US Supreme Court history as the Court on June 15, 2020 issued its decision in the case of Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia. The court decided in an opinion incorporating a trio of cases asking whether Title VII prohibits employment discrimination based on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) status. The Court concluded in a 6-3 opinion that an employer who fires a worker for being gay or transgender violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Continue Reading US Supreme Court Rules That Title VII Protects Gay and Transgender Employees
Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against Intel Corporation in, Intel Corporation Investment Policy Committee v. Sulyma, a case with potentially far reaching implications to employers who maintain Section 401(k) retirement plans.
The case involved a class action lawsuit brought by an Intel employee who claimed that Intel, Intel committees and individuals administering two Intel retirement plans had breached their fiduciary duties under ERISA, the federal law that governs such plans, by offering two investment funds that were imprudently overinvested in “alternative investments” such as hedge funds and private equity and failed to disclose relevant facts about those allocations to plan participants. This is but one of many similar class action ERISA lawsuits brought against large employers, universities and colleges. The Supreme Court decision focused on the time a plaintiff has to bring such a claim. ERISA Section 413 allows a plaintiff as long as six years to file suit following an alleged ERISA breach or violation. However, if a plaintiff has “actual knowledge” of a breach or violation, that period is reduced to three years.Continue Reading United States Supreme Court Rules in ERISA Fiduciary Case
The US Supreme Court recently announced it accepted three cases that will determine the scope of “sex” discrimination under federal law. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, makes it unlawful for employers to discriminate against employees on the…
In a long awaited decision reversing 26 years of existing precedent, on June 21st the United States Supreme Court ruled in South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc., that states and other taxing jurisdictions could require out of state retailers to collect sales tax on online sales even though the retailers had no physical presence in the taxing jurisdiction.
Continue Reading United States Supreme Court Declares Open Tax Season on On-line Retailers
In a 5-4 decision, the United States Supreme Court has held that employers may enforce arbitration agreements signed by employees that bar class-action lawsuits and require individualized arbitration. In so holding, the Court found that the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) instructs courts to enforce the terms of arbitration agreements, including terms requiring one-on-one arbitration proceedings. It also found that the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) says nothing about how legal disputes must be resolved. “Far from conflicting, the Arbitration Act and the NLRA have long enjoyed separate spheres of influence and neither permits this Court to declare the parties’ agreements unlawful,” wrote Justice Neil Gorsuch for the majority.Continue Reading Employers Get Green Light for One-on-One Arbitration Clauses in Employment Agreements
Last month, President Trump nominated Judge Neil Gorsuch from the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit to fill the vacant seat left by the late Antonin Scalia on the United States Supreme Court. While Judge Gorsuch’s nomination has been met with both praise and criticism from a divided electorate, it may bring good news to employers wrestling with leave requests under federal disability laws.
Continue Reading Supreme Court Nominee’s Record on Disability Leave Favorable to Employers
On August 3, 2016, the US Supreme Court voted 5-3 to put on hold a lower federal court ruling that a transgender male student be allowed to use the bathroom of his gender identity.
The Virginia student, who was born a girl and…
In Tyson Foods, Inc. v. Bouaphakeo, the U.S. Supreme Court held that statistical or representative evidence could be used by a class of employees to prove liability for an employer’s failure to pay them for donning and doffing protective gear in violation of…