SCOTUScast 3-30-17 featuring Karen Harned Karen Harned March 30, 2017
On February 21, 2017, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in McLane Co. v. EEOC. Damiana Ochoa worked for McLane Company, a supply chain company. After returning from maternity leave, Ochoa was required to take a “physical abilities” test, which she failed three times. Ochoa was fired by McLane but then filed a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) alleging that McLane violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC opened up an investigation and issued a subpoena for information McLane withheld, including either “pedigree information” for each test-taker or reasons the test-taker’s employment was terminated. When McLane refused, EEOC filed a subpoena enforcement action. The district court granted enforcement of the subpoena with respect to some information (such as the gender and score of each test taker) but declined to require the production of pedigree information or the reasons why others who had failed the test were terminated. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, reviewing the district court’s decision “de novo,” held that the district court had erred in refusing to compel production of the pedigree information, and also needed to consider whether production of the reasons for other terminations would be unduly burdensome.
The question before the U.S. Supreme Court is whether a district court’s decision to quash or enforce an EEOC subpoena should be reviewed de novo, which only the Ninth Circuit does, or should be reviewed deferentially, which eight other circuits do.
To discuss the case, we have Karen Harned, who is Executive Director of the National Federation of Independent Business Small Business Legal Center. Labor & Employment Law Practice Group Podcast
Karen Harned February 23, 2017
In McLane v. EEOC the Supreme Court is being asked to resolve a circuit split regarding appellate court standard of review of district court decisions to quash or enforce an EEOC subpoena.
Damiana Ochoa worked for McLane Company, a supply chain company. After returning from maternity leave, Ms. Ochoa was required to take a “physical abilities” test, which she failed three times. Subsequently, she was fired and Ms. Oschoa brought a gender discrimination claim against McLane. The district court denied part of one of the subpoenas EEOC issued to McLane. The 9th Circuit reversed, reviewing the district court’s decision to limit the scope of the EEOC subpoena “de novo,” which is contrary to the deferential review eight other appellate courts follow. The Supreme Court has been asked to resolve this circuit court split.
Karen Harned, Executive Director of the National Federation of Independent Business Small Business Legal Center, attended oral argument and joined us to provide her impressions of argument, examine the case, and explore potential impacts of the upcoming decision on employers, employees, and the EEOC during this Courthouse Steps Teleforum conference call.
- Karen Harned, Executive Director, National Federation of Independent Business Small Business Legal Center
Short video on the Sharing Economy
February 09, 2017
The sharing economy is changing the nature of work, yet it doesn’t fit clearly within laws governing labor and employment. In this short documentary, policy experts, lawyers, and sharing economy workers weigh in on the debate over "contractors v. employees" and what kind of protections workers need in this new economy. Labor & Employment Law Practice Group Podcast
Ronald E. Meisburg November 30, 2016
Ronald Meisburg, former National Labor Relations Board Member and General Counsel, joined us to discuss recent updates to joint employment law. Joint Employment is defined under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Workers Protection Act as a form of employment that “exists when an employee is employed by two (or more) employers such that the employers are responsible, both individually and jointly, to the employee for compliance with a statute.”
This issue has risen to the forefront of labor law as President Obama’s Department of Labor has become more aggressive in his last year and as businesses grapple with the coming of a new administration.
2016 National Lawyers Convention
- Hon. Ronald Meisburg, Special Counsel, Hunton & Williams
The “gig" or “on demand" economy may be the fastest growing segment of our economy, with 22.4 million consumers spending $56.6 billion annually. By 2020, according to some studies, 7.6 million Americans will be working as independent contractors in the gig economy. At the same time, however, the U.S. Department of Labor has narrowed standards for classifying workers as independent contractors, and entered enforcement partnerships with 30 States looking to find misclassified independent contractors in order to increase workers' compensation, unemployment and employment tax revenue. A battle has begun between regulators and entrepreneurs, between independent contractor and employee status. This panel will explore who should win, who will win, and whether there is a third way – creating a new legal category, the “independent worker," for those who occupy the grey area between employee and independent contractor.
This panel was held on November 17, 2016, during the 2016 National Lawyers Convention in Washington, DC.
Labor & Employment Law: The Battle for the Gig Economy
1:45 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.
- Hon. Mark Brnovich, Attorney General, Arizona
- Mr. Mark Floyd, Senior Director and Global Relations Lead, Uber Technologies Inc.
- Mr. Randel K. Johnson, Senior Vice President, Labor, Immigration and Employee Benefits, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
- Mr. Bill Samuel, Director of Government Affairs, AFL-CIO
- Moderator: Hon. Thomas M. Hardiman, U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit
The Mayflower Hotel