Bass, Berry & Sims attorney Tim Garrett analyzes the implications of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges and its effect on workplace issues. In June 2015, the Supreme Court ruled that the right to marry is a fundamental right guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution, regardless of the gender of the intended spouse.
Wise employers know that a single severe act can be enough to satisfy the standard of “severe or pervasive” and be sexual harassment. But how severe does the act have to be?
A recent 6th Circuit ruling gives some assistance. In Ault v. Oberlin College, the Court discussed why a single physical incident was sufficiently severe. The ruling is likewise informative because it also discusses why several infrequent but boorish comments were not sufficiently severe or pervasive.
Continue Reading Single Severe Act Can Be Sexual Harassment – But How “Severe”?
Is the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Young v. United Parcel Service, here, a limited ruling, applicable only in the context of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA)? Or, does the decision ring in a whole new (and less employer-friendly) era in discrimination case law? It is too early to tell. Allow this explanation for why.
The Supreme Court ruled that UPS may have violated the PDA by not providing a temporary light duty assignment to a pregnant driver who was on temporary, pregnancy-related restrictions. But the Court found that neither party was entitled to their desired interpretation of the PDA.
Continue Reading Supreme Court Revives Pregnancy Discrimination Case
Bass, Berry & Sims attorney Tim Garrett commented on the Supreme Court decision, Young vs. UPS, questioning whether an employer must provide equal accommodations regarding limited duty to employees who have pregnancy-related limitations and those whose limitations are not pregnancy-related. The Supreme Court referred the case back to the 4th Circuit for review. In…
In a landmark decision, the United States Supreme Court ruled yesterday that President Obama’s three recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) were unconstitutional. Click here for the ruling. President Obama had relied upon the Constitution’s Recess Appointments Clause to appoint three members of the NLRB. The Court ruled, however, that the “pro forma” sessions in January 2012 when the recess appointments were made were not truly a “recess” of the Senate within the meaning of that provision of the Constitution. Since the NLRB was not lawfully appointed, its decision that the employer in the case, Noel Canning, had violated the law was not a proper finding and was not enforceable against the employer.
Continue Reading Supreme Court Rules Recess Appointments Unconstitutional – What Does It Mean?
The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that a class action waiver in an arbitration agreement is enforceable. Although not an employment case, the decision likely signals that an employee’s waiver of the right to bring a class action will be enforceable if included in an employment agreement that requires arbitration to settle any employment-related dispute. American Express Company v. Italian Colors Restaurant, No. 12-133 (June 20, 2013). A copy of the opinion is available here.
What does this decision mean for employers?
Continue Reading Supreme Court Says a Class Action Waiver in Arbitration Agreement is Enforceable