Supreme Court Re-Asserts “Ministerial Exception”

Bill Wright The U.S. Supreme Court (“the Court”) today re-emphasized the “ministerial exception” to discrimination laws. The “ministerial exception” is a court-created doctrine that prevents the U.S. courts from becoming entangled in the internal governance and doctrines of religious organizations. In 2012, in Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. USOC, the Court had affirmed […]

Employer Narrows “Collective” Actions Thru Arbitration Agreement.

By: Beth Ann Lennon Last term, in Epic the Supreme Court ruled the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”) is not a “get out of arbitration free” card. Individual employees who sign an appropriate arbitration agreement can be compelled to arbitrate even their “concerted” claims. Now, according to the Sixth Circuit, that ruling also tells us […]

CCRC Gets Benchslapped

By Mercedes Pineda Most everyone watching the news these days has heard of the Masterpiece Cakeshop case, which challenges the Colorado Civil Rights Commission’s ruling that a baker broke the law when he refused to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple on account of his own devoutly Christian beliefs.  The case presents a […]

No End in Sight – Prepare for Years of Litigation

By Beth Ann Lennon The United States Supreme Court gave plaintiffs an undisputed win on Monday when it decided Artis v. District of Columbia.  In a 5-4 decision, the Court held that when a plaintiff brings both state and federal law claims in federal court, state courts must “stop-the-clock” on the statute of limitations for […]

Supreme Court Avoids Sex Orientation Case

By Bernie Siebert In an move that surprised many Supreme Court watchers, the Court declined to hear the case of Evans v. Regional Hospital et al. The case raised the issue of whether the prohibition in Title VII against employment discrimination because of sex encompasses sexual orientation. The Eleventh Circuit ruled that Title VII did not […]

EEOC Held to Relevance Standard

By Bill Wright The Supreme Court today ruled in McLane Co. v EEOC, No. 15–1248 (April 3, 2017).  The actual issue was narrow: whether a court of appeals should substitute its own judgment for the trial court’s judgment when deciding whether to enforce an EEOC subpoena. The Supreme Court answered that question: “no,” but in describing […]

Trump Win = Paid Maternity Leave?

By Bill Wright In the first of our “Trump Win =” blogs, we explore a recent Trump campaign promise, and a surprising one at that.  In September, then-candidate Trump announced that he would support the creation of a six-week paid maternity leave.  The leave would be available only to new mothers, and only in instances […]

SCOTUS Dodges EEOC Fee-Shifting

By John Alan Doran This morning, the Supreme Court dodged the final resolution of an issue we have all been dying to have resolved, but threw a nice bone to employers in the process. CRST Van Expedited, Inc. v. EEOC The case started when the EEOC brought a wide-ranging, scattergun lawsuit against trucking giant CRST Van […]

Class Averaging

By Bryan Stillwagon The Supreme Court ruled today that Plaintiffs’ use of average donning and doffing times was proper and sufficient to affirm a $5.8 million judgment against Tyson Foods. Tyson Foods, Inc. v. Bouaphakeo, No. 14-1146 (Mar. 22, 2016). Plaintiffs (employees in a pork processing plant in Iowa) relied at trial on an industrial relations expert’s […]