On December 8, 2014, the Supreme Court issued its decision in Integrity Staffing Solutions v. Busk. This case concerned whether time employees spend undergoing mandatory security screenings after work is compensable under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), as amended by the Portal-to-Portal Act, which clarifies that certain activities are generally not compensable working time under the FLSA.
Justice Thomas delivered the opinion for a unanimous Court, which held that the time that employees spent waiting to undergo (and undergoing) security screenings is not compensable under the FLSA. Justice Sotomayor filed a concurring opinion, which Justice Kagan joined. The judgment of the Ninth Circuit was reversed.
To discuss the case, we have Karen Harned, who is the Executive Director of the National Federation of Independent Business Small Business Legal Center.
On December 9, 2014, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Alabama Department of Revenue v. CSX Transportation. The question presented in the case is twofold: (1) whether a state violates the Railroad Revitalization and Regulatory Reform Act of 1976 (4-R Act) by “discriminating against a rail carrier” when it requires rail carriers to pay a sales-and-use tax but exempts railroads’ competitors from paying the same tax; and (2) whether, in resolving a claim of unlawful tax discrimination under the 4-R Act, a court should consider the state's broader tax system rather than focusing only on the challenged tax provision.
To discuss the case, we have Andy Grewal, who is an Associate Professor of Law at the University of Iowa College of Law.
Congress adopted the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) to protect consumers from aggressive telemarketing and to bolster the “right to be left alone.” But more than 20 years after its adoption, the statute has given rise to an explosion of class action lawsuits, raising questions about whether the law is continuing to serve its intended purpose. Defendants have sought relief from the implementing agency, the Federal Communications Commission, and some relief has been forthcoming. However, the rate at which lawsuits have proliferated has far outstripped the pace of regulatory relief. Our experts discussed whether fundamental TCPA reform is needed and, if so, how it might be achieved.
Scott D. Delacourt, Partner, Wiley Rein LLP
Jason D. Goldman, Senior Telecommunications Policy Counsel, Managing Director, Environment, Technology & Regulatory Affairs Division, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
The Akaka Bill, originally proposed by former U.S. Senator Daniel Akaka, was designed to establish a process for Native Hawaiians to gain federal recognition similar to that of some Native American tribes. Based on this status, members can then receive preferential treatment. Critics argue that such treatment would violate the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution. Supporters argue that such preferences would be authorized because they would be on the political relationship that existed between the U.S. government and its native peoples, and based on the pre-existing sovereignty of those native peoples. Will the Akaka Bill, or some version of it, resurface? If so, is it good law? Good policy?
Hans A. von Spakovsky, Manager, Election Law Reform Initiative and Senior Legal Fellow, Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies, The Heritage Foundation
On December 9, 2014, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Gelboim v. Bank of America Corporation. This case concerns whether and in what circumstances the dismissal of all claims in one civil action that has been consolidated with other cases for pre-trial purposes through Multi-District Litigation, is final and immediately appealable?
To discuss the case, we have Erik Zimmerman, who is an Olin-Searle-Smith Fellow and Constitutional Law Center Fellow at Stanford Law School.