Tag: U.S. Supreme Court

Harvard Law Grad Reflects on Employers’ Prospects If Kagan on Court

by Joanna R. Vilos President Barack Obama today nominated Elena Kagan to replace Justice John Paul Stevens on the U.S. Supreme Court. Stevens has a reputation for making employee-friendly decisions in cases that have reached the high court, but most employers don’t have much familiarity with Kagan or her views on employment-related issues. So how […]

Was Termination Because of Poor Performance or Age Discrimination?

by Isabella Lee The Eleventh U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals recently rejected the “same decision” affirmative defense in age discrimination cases following the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Gross v. FBL Financial Services. The Eleventh Circuit ultimately decided that employers that use age as a reason for termination cannot seek to dismiss a case […]

Supreme Court Rules for Employer in Benefits Case

By David R. Godofsky Yesterday’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Conkright v. Frommert rejects the “one-strike-and-you’re-out” rule, awarding a home run to Xerox as sponsor of a defined benefit pension plan. The Conkright case arose when Frommert and other employees brought a claim for benefits. The employees contended that the method Xerox used to compute […]

Do Your Benefit Plans Violate the ADEA?

by Stephen Stine We aren’t getting any younger, and neither are your employees. As a result, employers are increasingly having to confront age-related issues that may lead to legal liability. These issues arise not only in the context of hiring and firing decisions but also in the design of benefit plans. To ensure your benefit […]

U.S. Supreme Court to Address Privacy of Text Messages

The U.S. Supreme Court announced on Monday that it would hear arguments in a case involving sexually explicit text messages sent by employees using their employer-provided pagers. The issue for the court is whether the employer violated its employees’ privacy rights by reading the messages. The case involved several police officers with the Ontario, California, […]

New Legislation Would Make Proving Age Discrimination Easier

Democrats introduced a new bill yesterday that would make it easier for employees to win age discrimination lawsuits under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). Three congressional committee chairmen — Representative George Miller (D-California), Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), and Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) — introduced the Protecting Older Workers Against Discrimination Act, a bill […]

Will Gender, National Origin Make a Difference in Sotomayor’s Jurisprudence? – Part 1

by James M. Sconzo and James C. Goodfellow Sonia Sotomayor’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court has triggered a classic clash of left versus right. Those speculating on how Judge Sotomayor might rule on key constitutional issues have characterized her as everything from a level-headed jurist who applies the law to the facts of the […]

Will Gender, National Origin Make a Difference in Sotomayor’s Jurisprudence? – Part 2

by James M. Sconzo and James C. Goodfellow Last week, we disussed the overall makeup of the U.S. Supreme Court and the personal background of the High Court’s newest nominee, Sonia Sotomayor. We also looked at Judge Sotomayor’s decision in the discrimination case filed by New Haven, Connecticut, firefighters which was recently overturned by the […]

Supreme Court Affirms Arbitration for Union Member Discrimination Claims

A sharply divided U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled that provisions of a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) that clearly and unmistakably require union members to arbitrate age discrimination claims are enforceable. While the decision is unlikely to affect many employers, the ruling is the latest in a series of Supreme Court decisions finding arbitration to be […]

Employers See Dramatic Rise in Pregnancy Discrimination Claims

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) is back in the news as the U.S. Supreme Court considers whether AT&T violated the Act by paying reduced pension benefits based on uncredited pregnancy leave taken before enactment of the PDA in 1978. That upcoming decision may influence whether companies have to change their policies retroactively to comply with […]