U.S. Legislative Update for the Week of June 30, 2014

Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Appeal in Young v. UPS

On July 1, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to review Young v. UPS, a decision that will determine whether and to what extent an employer must provide pregnant employees with work accommodations, such as light duty, under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA). Read the full post here. (July 3, 2014) 

Supreme Court Agrees to Consider Controversial Conciliation Case

In December 2013, in EEOC v. Mach Mining, LLC, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit became the first federal circuit to foreclose an employer's ability to use the implied affirmative defense that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) failed to conciliate prior to bringing suit. The Seventh Circuit held that, based on the conciliation language in Title VII and Seventh Circuit precedent, the EEOC's approach to conciliation during the administrative charge process is not judicially reviewable and not an affirmative defense to be used against the agency.  The Seventh Circuit's holding is contrary to every other circuit that has evaluated this issue. Read the full post here. (June 30, 2014) 

Supreme Court Rules Against Public Sector Union in Limited Decision

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday delivered a limited blow to public sector unions.  In Harris v. Quinn, the Court held that compulsory union agency fees imposed on Illinois home care workers violate the First Amendment.  However, the Court held back from issuing a more expansive ruling that could have sounded the death knell for public sector unionism as a whole.  Specifically, the Court did not overrule its 1977 decision in Abood v. Detroit Bd. of Educ., in which it held that an agency-shop clause was valid for public sector employees so long as the fees are used for collective-bargaining, contract-administration, grievance-adjustment purposes, and other activities “germane to its duties as collective-bargaining representative.” Instead, the Court in Harris distinguished the home care workers from “full-fledged public employees” and declined to apply Abood. As a result, the personal care providers in this case cannot be compelled to accept and financially support the union as their exclusive representative. Read the full post here. (June 30, 2014)

Information contained in this publication is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or opinion, nor is it a substitute for the professional judgment of an attorney.