Connecticut Employment Law Blog Insight on Labor & Employment Developments for Connecticut Businesses

Tag Archives: scotus

The Employment Law Exemption for “Religious Corporations” You Never Knew About

Posted in CHRO & EEOC, Discrimination & Harassment, Highlight, Human Resources (HR) Compliance, Laws and Regulations

Over the past month, after the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision, much has been made in the press about how it is unprecedented for the court to consider a company’s religious beliefs in making its decisions. The issue of taking into account a corporation’s religious belief in the workplace has been also catapulted to the center of… Continue Reading

Supreme Court’s Narrow Rulings Leave Questions for Connecticut Employers

Posted in Discrimination & Harassment, Highlight, Human Resources (HR) Compliance, Litigation

The U.S. Supreme Court this morning came out with two controversial decisions that will impact employers in Connecticut. The first one, Harris v. Quinn, dealt with whether non-union public employees could be forced to pay union dues.  The court issued a relatively narrow holding, ruling that “partial” public employees could not be required to do so. … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Invalidates NLRB Recess Appointments; Dozens of Decisions Impacted

Posted in Labor Law & NRLB

The U.S. Supreme Court, in a 9-0 decision (with a heated split on the reasoning), ruled that the recess appointments to the NLRB made by President Obama during a three-day recess were invalid. You can download the decision here. Much of the early instant analysis has focused on the recess appointment power itself. But for… Continue Reading

For Connecticut Employers, First Amendment Case Will Have a Small Impact

Posted in Highlight, Human Resources (HR) Compliance, Litigation, Wage & Hour

Much will be written about the new First Amendment free-speech-in-the-workplace case decided by the U.S. Supreme Court today. But frankly, I wouldn’t be surprised if most of them say nearly the same thing — that testimony by an employee who has been subpoenaed outside the course of his or her job responsibilities is now protected… Continue Reading

SOX Stake Claim in Winning … a Whistleblower Protection Case (Revisited)

Posted in Highlight, Litigation, Wage & Hour

It’s Baseball Season; a time for the Sox to come out and play. Not the Red Sox — this is, after all, a legal blog (run by a Yankees fan, no less).  No, today, we’re talking about Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) Whistleblower Protection. Still with us.  My colleague, Clarisse Thomas, has taken a look back at the U.S…. Continue Reading

Donning, Doffing and “Changing Clothes”: Supreme Court Says When Employees Get Paid

Posted in Class Actions, Highlight, Human Resources (HR) Compliance, Laws and Regulations, Litigation, Manager & HR Pro’s Resource Center, Wage & Hour

Raise your hand if you know what “Donning and Doffing” is? To those that have raised your hand, you are most likely: a) an employment lawyer; b) a Scrabble nerd; or c) not being honest with yourself. It’s just not a phrase anyone uses in real life — like a “snood” (I’ll get to the… Continue Reading

What Can Employers Learn From 2013 for 2014

Posted in Human Resources (HR) Compliance

January is almost over, which probably seems a little strange to be talking about what happened in 2013. But as someone who majored in history in college, I’m a firm believer that you can learn a lot by studying the past — even the recent one. Which is why I’m excited about tomorrow’s presentation that… Continue Reading

Remember that NLRB Notice? “Never Mind”

Posted in Highlight, Human Resources (HR) Compliance, Labor Law & NRLB, Laws and Regulations

Readers of a certain vintage, will remember Gilda Radner’s character Emily Litella who often said “Never Mind”.  (If you’ve never heard of Gilda Ratner or this, then I’ll pause while you watch this classic video.)  Readers of a later vintage will think of Nirvana’s “Nevermind”. If you just want the dictionary definition, here it is. My… Continue Reading

State Officials Ask Supreme Court to Rule on Constitutionality of 2002 Layoffs

Posted in Class Actions, Labor Law & NRLB, Litigation

Last Friday, lawyers representing two government officials petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to hear arguments over whether former a 2002 state decision to layoff only union personnel violated those employee’s constitutional rights. Back in June 2013, you may recall that the Second Circuit ruled that such layoffs did violate the right of association.  I’ve discussed the… Continue Reading

Quick Hits: Carnivals, Trade Secrets, Interactive Process, Taxes and Arbitration

Posted in Discrimination & Harassment, Human Resources (HR) Compliance, Litigation, Wage & Hour

Busy week here.  So, it’s time to bring back a recurring post of “Quick Hits” of articles you may have missed along the way.  Here are some of my recent favorites: First, the October Employment Law Blog Carnival is up with a Halloween theme. Lots of great employment law articles for you to choose from…. Continue Reading

No Ifs, Ands, or Buts: “But For” Standard Requires New Trial, Court Rules

Posted in Discrimination & Harassment, Highlight, Human Resources (HR) Compliance, Litigation

It’s always a little tricky to determine exactly how lower courts will apply a rule of law that develops from a U.S. Supreme Court. Take the case of University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center v. Nassar, decided in June, which held that a “but for” standard (i.e., that an employer would not have taken an adverse employment… Continue Reading

The Times Says “Most Lawyers” Won’t Take Age Discrimination Cases Anymore. Really?

Posted in CHRO & EEOC, Discrimination & Harassment, Highlight, Litigation

In Tuesday’s The New York Times, an article (that, as of Monday evening was one of the lead pieces on the NYTimes.com website) argues that age discrimination continues to exist in society and that it is hitting the baby boomers particularly hard.  (Indeed, the article’s tag is ”for-laid-off-older-workers-age-bias-is-pervasive”.) I do not challenge the assertion that age… Continue Reading

For Same-Sex Couples: If You’re Married in CT, You Have a ‘Spouse’ Under FMLA

Posted in Highlight, Human Resources (HR) Compliance, Laws and Regulations, Manager & HR Pro’s Resource Center

Back in June, after the Supreme Court’s ruling on same-sex marriage, I made a fairly easy prediction: The federal FMLA is also anticipated to undergo some pretty big changes in states that approve same-sex marriages. Already in 2010, the FMLA regulations suggested that married same-sex couples could take time off to care for a newborn… Continue Reading

Appearance on Where We Live

Posted in Discrimination & Harassment, Highlight, Litigation

Early on Wednesday, shortly before the Supreme Court issued its landmark rulings in same-sex marriage cases, I had the fortunate opportunity to return to one of my favorite radio shows, Where We Live.  (You can relive my previous experiences here and here, for starters.) Along with the host, John Dankosky, we spoke at length about… Continue Reading

BREAKING: U.S. Supreme Court Holds “But For” Standard of Proof Applies; Big Implications for Retaliation Cases

Posted in Discrimination & Harassment, Litigation

In another big win for employers today, the Supreme Court ruled that Title VII retaliation cases must be proved by a “but for” standard of proof, not a lower standard that had been used in various courts before. At issue in the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center v. Nassar case is the following question… Continue Reading

Offers of Judgment in FLSA Collective Actions: Another Tool for Wage & Hour Claims

Posted in Class Actions, Highlight, Litigation, Wage & Hour

Last week, while most of us were focused on the events in Boston, the U.S. Supreme Court came down with a notable decision last week involving a wage & hour class action (it’s actually called a “collective” action, but for the non-lawyers out there, just think of it as a class action) and what should… Continue Reading

Should You Care That Supreme Court Will Rule on Offers Of Judgment in Wage Cases?

Posted in Class Actions, Litigation, Wage & Hour

I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Not all employment law cases decided by the U.S. Supreme Court matter are of equal significance and importance to employers. What? How can that be, you say? It’s the SUPREME COURT!  Isn’t everything that they say important? Well, sort of. The truth is that sometimes… Continue Reading

BREAKING: Pharmaceutical Representatives are “Outside Salesmen” Under FLSA; Exempt from Overtime

Posted in Class Actions, Highlight, Litigation, Wage & Hour

The U.S. Supreme Court this morning ruled, 5-4, that pharmaceutical representatives are “outside salesmen” under the Fair Labor Standards Act.  In plain English, this now means that those representatives are now considered exempt from overtime. This decision is a big victory for pharmaceutical companies who have been facing years of class action suits (some of… Continue Reading

BREAKING: U.S. Supreme Court Supports Fairly Broad “Ministerial Exception” to Anti-Discrimination Laws

Posted in CHRO & EEOC, Discrimination & Harassment, Featured, Highlight, Litigation

In a unanimous decision, the U.S. Supreme Court today gave some teeth to the “ministerial exception” that, in essence, precludes some employees of religious institutions from suing them under federal discrimination laws. I’ve discussed the exception in various posts over the years here and here.  Its been supported in the Second Circuit and by the… Continue Reading

Wal-Mart v. Dukes: What The Class-Action Decision Really Means for Employers

Posted in Class Actions, Discrimination & Harassment, Featured, Highlight, Litigation

Over the last 24 hours, there’s been a lot written about the Supreme Court’s decision yesterday in Wal-Mart Stores v. Dukes.  Frankly, all of them are starting to say the same thing:  The decision is going to hamper all class-action discrimination cases going forward. But that statement tends to simplify the decision a bit too… Continue Reading

BREAKING: Supreme Court Rejects Class Action Against Wal-Mart

Posted in Class Actions, Discrimination & Harassment, Litigation

Back in March, I reported on the likelihood of a victory for Wal-Mart in an important class action case up at the U.S. Supreme Court. This morning, the Supreme Court unanimously rejected the class action against the nation’s largest employer, saying, in essence, that the women who were bringing the sex discrimination charges would have… Continue Reading

The Quickly Shifting Landscape of Class Actions and Arbtirations

Posted in Class Actions, Litigation, Wage & Hour

Now that the dust has settled a bit, it’s time to look at the long-term impact of last month’s Supreme Court decision in AT&T v. Concepcion for employment matters.  (For a great analysis of the decision itself, see this SCOTUSblog post.)  All the analysis that has been coming out seems to suggest that there are two main… Continue Reading

Are Some Employment Law Class Actions in Jeopardy? New Supreme Court Case Suggests Path

Posted in Class Actions, Discrimination & Harassment, Litigation, Wage & Hour

The U.S. Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision,  yesterday held that the Federal Arbitration Act preempts state laws that discuss or limit arbitration agreements on the availability of class action arbitration procedures.  The case, AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion (download here) isn’t an employment law case (it concerns whether AT&T should have charged consumers sales tax on… Continue Reading

The Strong Pull of a “Day in Court”; Lessons Learned from Wal-Mart v. Dukes

Posted in Class Actions

Nearly everyone has chimed in over the oral argument in Wal-mart v. Dukes over the last 36 hours up at the Supreme Court.  And nearly everyone seems to be predicting an outright victory to Wal-mart.  Because we don’t even have a decision yet, I’ll leave it to others to prognosticate (read: guess) what will really… Continue Reading