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Labor & Employment Law

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Subcommittees

  • Discrimination & Disability Law
  • Pro Bono Outreach
  • State Employment Law
  • Union Activity & Individual Employee Rights

Courthouse Steps: Microsoft v. Baker

Litigation Practice Group Teleforum
Cory L. Andrews March 22, 2017

On March 21, 2017, the Supreme Court will hear oral argument in Microsoft v. Baker. The case involves a class action lawsuit against the Microsoft Company by plaintiffs who alleged that during games on their Xbox video game console, the game disc would come loose and scratch the internal components of the device, permanently damaging the Xbox. Since only .4% of Xbox consoles experienced this issue, the district court determined that "a class action suit could not be certified and individuals in the suit would have to come forward on their own." The named plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed their claims with prejudice. The case was then appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit where the court overturned the lower court's decision and held that the district court misapplied the law and abused its discretion in removing the class action allegations.

As Microsoft v. Baker comes before the Supreme Court, the major question is whether or not appellate courts have the jurisdiction to review a class action suit after the plaintiffs voluntarily dismiss their claims with prejudice.

Featuring:

  • Cory L. Andrews, Senior Litigation Counsel, Washington Legal Foundation

Courthouse Steps: McLane v. EEOC - Podcast

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.

Featuring:

  • Karen Harned, Executive Director, National Federation of Independent Business Small Business Legal Center

 

Courthouse Steps: McLane v. EEOC

Labor & Employment Law Practice Group Teleforum
Karen Harned February 21, 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 will join 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.

Featuring:

  • Karen Harned, Executive Director, National Federation of Independent Business Small Business Legal Center

Labor Issues in the Sharing Economy

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.

Statewide vs. Local Right to Work Laws - Podcast

Labor and Employment Law Practice Group Podcast
Andrew R. Kloster, James Sherk, Ariana R. Levinson, Raymond J. LaJeunesse January 06, 2017

In 1957, an article in the Stanford Law Review asked the question: can counties and cities pass right to work ordinances under the Taft-Hartley Amendments to the National Labor Relations Act? The law explicitly allowed states to prohibit "agency-shop" contracts, but did not clearly address subdivisions of states. This question of federal preemption was addressed by courts only three times in more than fifty years. In that time, twenty-six states have passed statewide right to work laws. But recently, Hardin County in Kentucky passed, and the federal Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit upheld, a local right-to-work ordinance. Consequently, this sleeper issue may be hugely important in "purple" states across the country.Our panel of labor law and federalism experts talked about the law and politics of local right to work laws.

Featuring:

  • Mr. Andrew R. Kloster, Attorney, Washington, DC
  • Mr. James Sherk, Research Fellow in Labor Economics, The Heritage Foundation
  • Prof. Ariana R. Levinson, Professor of Law, University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law
  • Moderator: Mr. Raymond J. LaJeunesse Jr., Vice President & Legal Director, National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation

 

Statewide vs. Local Right to Work Laws

Labor and Employment Law Practice Group Teleforum
Andrew R. Kloster, Raymond J. LaJeunesse, Ariana R. Levinson, James Sherk January 06, 2017

In 1957, an article in the Stanford Law Review asked the question: can counties and cities pass right to work ordinances under the Taft-Hartley Amendments to the National Labor Relations Act? The law explicitly allowed states to prohibit "agency-shop" contracts, but did not clearly address subdivisions of states. This question of federal preemption was addressed by courts only three times in more than fifty years. In that time, twenty-six states have passed statewide right to work laws. But recently, Hardin County in Kentucky passed, and the federal Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit upheld, a local right-to-work ordinance. Consequently, this sleeper issue may be hugely important in "purple" states across the country. Join our panel of labor law and federalism experts to talk about the law and politics of local right to work laws.

Featuring:

  • Mr. Andrew R. Kloster, Attorney, Washington, DC
  • Mr. James Sherk, Research Fellow in Labor Economics, The Heritage Foundation
  • Prof. Ariana R. Levinson, Professor of Law, University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law
  • Moderator: Mr. Raymond J. LaJeunesse Jr., Vice President & Legal Director, National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation

The Future of Labor Law under the New Administration - Podcast

Labor & Employment Law Practice Group Podcast
David Fortney, Brent Garren, John S. Irving December 16, 2016

2016 was a big year for labor and employment law. In Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, a deadlocked Supreme Court allowed a lower court ruling to stand, denying a First Amendment challenge to mandatory union dues. Meanwhile, President Obama’s Department of Labor released a new overtime regulation which would more than double the maximum salary required for exemption from overtime pay. The implementation of the regulation was halted just a few days before going into effect by a nationwide injunction by a federal district court judge.

With 2017 ahead and the general election behind, our experts discussed the future of labor law under the Trump administration.

Featuring:

  • Mr. David S. Fortney, Co-founder,Fortney & Scott, LLC
  • Brent Garren, Deputy General Counsel, Local 32 BJ, Service Employees International Union
  • John S. Irving, Of Counsel, Kirkland & Ellis LLP

The Future of Labor Law under the New Administration

Labor & Employment Law Practice Group Teleforum
David Fortney, Brent Garren, John S. Irving December 15, 2016

2016 was a big year for labor and employment law. In Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, a deadlocked Supreme Court allowed a lower court ruling to stand, denying a First Amendment challenge to mandatory union dues. Meanwhile, President Obama’s Department of Labor released a new overtime regulation which would more than double the maximum salary required for exemption from overtime pay. The implementation of the regulation was halted just a few days before going into effect by a nationwide injunction by a federal district court judge.

With 2017 ahead and the general election behind, our experts will discuss the future of labor law under the Trump administration.

Featuring:

  • Mr. David S. Fortney, Co-founder,Fortney & Scott, LLC
  • Brent Garren, Deputy General Counsel, Local 32 BJ, Service Employees International Union
  • John S. Irving, Of Counsel, Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Federalist Society Review, Volume 17, Issue 3

Katie McClendon December 08, 2016

We are pleased to bring you the latest issue of the Federalist Society Review. The Federalist Society Review is the legal journal produced by the Federalist Society’s Practice Groups. The Review was formerly known as Engage, and although the name has changed, it still features top-notch scholarship on important legal and public policy issues from some of the best legal minds in the country.

The Review is published three times a year, thanks to the hard work of our fifteen Practice Group Executive Committees and authors who volunteer their time and expertise. The Review seeks to contribute to the marketplace of ideas in a way that is collegial, accessible, intelligent, and original. Articles and full issues are available on our website and through the Westlaw database. 

We hope that readers enjoy the articles and come away with new information and fresh insights. Please send us any suggestions and responses at info@fedsoc.org.

[Read Now]

Joint Employment Update - Podcast

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.

Featuring:

  • Hon. Ronald Meisburg, Special Counsel, Hunton & Williams