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U.S. Supreme Court Hears Arguments On Overtime For Pharmaceutical Reps

WASHINGTON, D.C. - (Mealey's) Pharmaceutical sales representatives, or "detailers," "tout" drugs to doctors but do not actually engage in sales as defined in the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and thus are entitled to overtime pay, an attorney representing a class of sales representatives...

Unanimous High Court: Private Attorney Hired By Government Entitled To Immunity

WASHINGTON, D.C. - (Mealey's) A private attorney who is temporarily retained by the government to carry out the government's work may seek qualified immunity from a lawsuit under 42 U.S. Code Section 1983, a unanimous U.S. Supreme Court ruled April 17 ( Steve A. Filarsky v. Nicholas B. Delia...

U.S. Supreme Court Holds Secret Service Immune From 1st Amendment Claim

WASHINGTON, D.C. - (Mealey's) The U.S. Supreme Court ruled June 4 that a Colorado man may not pursue his First Amendment claim against two Secret Service agents because they are entitled to qualified immunity ( Virgil D. "Gus" Reichle, Jr., et al. v. Steven Howards , No. 11-262, U.S. Sup...

U.S. High Court Issues Split Ruling On Jurisdiction Of Federal Employees' Suit

WASHINGTON, D.C. - (Mealey's) The Civil Service Reform Act (CSRA) precludes district court jurisdiction over claims by federal employees seeking to declare acts of Congress unconstitutional, a split U.S. Supreme Court ruled June 11 ( Michael B. Elgin, et al. v. Department of the Treasury, et al....

Split High Court Finds Mid-Year Agency Fees Require New Notice, Consent

WASHINGTON, D.C. - (Mealey's) An appeal of a lawsuit by nonunion employees who pay an annual fee to their union and are challenging what constitutes proper notice of temporary mid-year fees assessed by a union and used for political purposes is not moot, a U.S. Supreme Court majority ruled June 21...

Littler Mendelson on Employment Law Class Actions, Second Edition, Just Released

Written by the attorneys of Littler's Class Action Practice Group, Employment Law Class Actions provides a comprehensive review of the strategic, procedural and legal issues that arise in such matters. The Second Edition includes an extensive expansion and reorganization of the publication and features...

Defending Employment Discrimination Cases Resembles A Snipe Hunt

My summer reading list includes Joel Stein's Man Made: A Stupid Quest for Masculinity . The book recounts the self-proclaimed effete Stein's journey to become more masculine in the wake of the birth of his son. In one chapter, Stein spends a weekend with a boy scout troop to learn how to camp...

Williams Mullen: The Strategic Importance Of ERISA Preemption In Wrongful Termination Cases

By Mark S. Thomas and Robert W. Shaw In Swindler v. Ben Lippen School and Columbia International University , No. 3:12-CV-2314-CMC [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ], the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina remanded a case back to state court after the plaintiff...

High Court Considers Whether Offer Of Judgment Moots Collective Action

WASHINGTON, D.C. - (Mealey's) An employer's offer of judgment in an amount representing alleged unpaid wages plus attorney fees, costs and expenses under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 68 to an employee who brought a collective action under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) moots the collective...

U.S. Supreme Court Says Employment Law Case Belongs In District Court, Not Federal Circuit

WASHINGTON, D.C. - (Mealey's) The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled Dec. 10 that a federal employee claiming that an agency action appealable to the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) violates an antidiscrimination statute in 5 U.S. Code Section 7702(a)(1) should file the appeal in a district...

D.C. Circuit: Labor Board Lacked Quorum In February 2012

WASHINGTON, D.C. - (Mealey's) The District of Columbia U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Jan. 25 declined to enforce a National Labor Relations Board ruling that an employer violated the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) by refusing to reduce an oral agreement to writing and signing off on a collective...

U.S. Supreme Court: No Stay In Union Dispute Despite Questions Over NLRB Quorum

WASHINGTON, D.C. - (Mealey's) The U.S. Supreme Court on Feb. 6 denied an application for a stay filed by a Connecticut nursing home company in a suit over a union strike in light of questions over the legitimacy of 2012 appointments to the National Labor Relations Board ( HealthBridge Management...

Williams Mullen: Retirement Plan Plaintiffs Were Not Required To Exhaust Administrative Remedies Before Filing Their Class Action

By Mark S. Thomas and Robert W. Shaw The Second Circuit has held that a putative class of ERISA plaintiffs was not required to exhaust a plan's administrative remedies prior to filing claims for a redetermination of future retirement benefits and alleged irregularities in plan amendments. Kirkendall...

Supreme Court: Medical Battery Suit Against United States May Proceed

WASHINGTON, D.C. - (Mealey's) A citizen may proceed with his lawsuit against the United States alleging medical battery by a Navy doctor acting within his scope of employment, a unanimous U.S. Supreme Court ruled this morning ( Steven Alan Levin v. United States, et al. , No. 11-1351, U.S. Sup.)...

High Court Agrees to Hear Appeal Of Ruling On Government Workers' Age Discrimination Claims

WASHINGTON, D.C. - (Mealey's) The U.S. Supreme Court on March 18 agreed to hear the appeal of a Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling that state and local government employees may bring age discrimination claims directly under the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution...

U.S. High Court: Prison Officers Not Immune From Assault Claims

WASHINGTON, D.C. - (Mealey's) The Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) waives sovereign immunity for law enforcement officers' acts where a claim arises out of one of six intentional torts where an officer is "acting within the scope of his office or employment," a unanimous U.S. Supreme...

U.S. High Court Hears Arguments On Proof Of Title VII Retaliation Claims

WASHINGTON, D.C. - (Mealey's) A Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 retaliation claim must prove but-for causation, the attorney representing the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center (UTSW) argued before the U.S. Supreme Court April 24 ( University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center...

High Court Agrees To Hear Appeal Of NLRB Quorum Dispute

WASHINGTON, D.C. - (Mealey's) The U.S. Supreme Court on June 24 agreed to decide whether President Obama's "recess" appointments of three members to the National Labor Relations Board in 2012 should be upheld ( National Labor Relations Board v. Noel Canning, a Division of the Noel Corp...

U.S. Supreme Court Agrees To Hear Suit Over Organizing Assistance

WASHINGTON, D.C. - (Mealey's) The U.S. Supreme Court on June 24 granted a petition for writ of certiorari in a case regarding whether an employer and union may enter into an agreement under which the employer promises to remain neutral to union organizing and grants unions reps limited access to...

Split Supreme Court Narrows Definition Of 'Supervisor'

WASHINGTON, D.C. - (Mealey's) An employer is vicariously liable for an employee's harassment only if that employee is given the power by the employer "to take tangible employment actions against the victim," a split U.S. Supreme Court ruled June 24, rejecting the Equal Employment Opportunity...

Split U.S. High Court Finds Higher Standard For Title VII Retaliation Claims

WASHINGTON, D.C. - (Mealey's) Retaliation claims filed under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 must prove but-for causation, a split U.S. Supreme Court ruled June 24, rejecting the lessened causation test outlined in 42 U.S. Code Section 2000e-2(m) [ an annotated version of this statute is...

Social Media Blunders in Employment Law – How a Facebook Post Can Turn a Case Upside Down

Social media has forever changed how the world communicates. While many have cited the positive consequences of social media, employment law attorneys are discovering that a simple Facebook post can turn into a costly mistake. The latest social media blunder occurred in an age discrimination case...

Williams Mullen: ‘You Can’t Bend It That Way, Beckham’: Federal Court Dismisses Plaintiff’s Attempted Claims For Equitable Relief

By Mark S. Thomas and Robert W. Shaw Following the U. S. Supreme Court’s decision in CIGNA Corp. v. Amara , 131 S. Ct. 1866 (2011) [ enhanced opinion available to lexis.com subscribers ] [lexis.com subscribers may access Supreme Court briefs for this case ] , the federal courts have wrestled with...

Foley & Lardner LLP: Cherry-Picking: 7th Cir. Criticizes Lawyers' Summary-Judgment Practice

By Thomas L. Shriner Jr. Two weeks ago, in an order given wide publicity nationally, federal District Judge Mark Bennett of the Northern District of Iowa issued sanctions in Security National Bank v. Abbott Laboratories , addressing what Judge Bennett perceived as abusive discovery conduct in a case...

Colorado Supreme Court Upholds Employers’ Rights To Fire Employees For Medical Marijuana Use

2015 CO 44; 2015 Colo. LEXIS 520 An employee of DISH Network was discharged after he testified positive for THC during a random drug test. The employee was a quadriplegic confined to a wheelchair and obtained a state-issued license to use medical marijuana to treat painful muscle spasms caused by...