On May 2, a three-judge panel overturned a lower court’s decision in an Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) class action case in a 2-1 decision. The case, Sweda et al., v. University of Pennsylvania et al., centered on a group of University of Pennsylvania employees who felt that the school was not meeting its fiduciary burden when managing their retirement funds.
As the #MeToo movement reaches its first anniversary this year, we have been reflecting on what a dynamic year it has been for employment law. It’s almost hard to believe that it has only been one year since the earth-shattering allegations against Harvey Weinstein were made public, catalyzing the movement. Perhaps unsurprisingly, one of the biggest effects of the #MeToo movement has been an increase in the number of sexual harassment charges and lawsuits filed in 2018. A similar swell was seen in the year following the Anita Hill hearings, as Clarence Thomas was confirmed to the U.S. Supreme Court. Continue reading
The Third Circuit recently had the opportunity to rule on a case brought against the Delaware Department of Labor’s Office of Anti-Discrimination (“OAD”), by its former Acting Administrator. The OAD was awarded summary judgment, and the Third Circuit confirmed the award, holding that even accepting all of the employee’s allegations as true, there was no legal basis to conclude that OAD had violated the federal Equal Pay Act. Continue reading
The 2018 Supreme Court spring rulings were undeniably victorious for employers. Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis ruled that workers have to abide by arbitration agreements, and that such provisions do not violate the collective bargain rights of the National Labor Relations Act. A second, Janus v. AFSCME, ruled that public-sector unions cannot require fair share fees from workers who do not wish to join the union. The impact of these decisions has been significant for public- and private-sector employers, nationwide. Continue reading
Judge Brett Kavanaugh will likely have his confirmation hearing in the near future. The media has spent many news cycles and think pieces addressing hot-button topics including his views on Roe v. Wade, Obergefell v. Hodges, and investigations into the Executive Branch. These are all important issues, but for the sake of this blog, we care about how he will rule on labor- and employment-related matters. Continue reading
The Third Circuit has updated its decision on transgender bathroom policies, which we discussed previously here. The precedential opinion, which was filed on June 18, was revised on July 26 to take a softer stance on whether the decision to require transgender students to use separate, single-stall bathrooms violates federal law. The same panel that issued the original decision issued the revised decision and denied allowing the case to be reheard with a full court. The attorneys for the students have two weeks to renew their request. The attorneys argue that the first ruling—among other things—conflated gender and sex, and ignored long-standing precedent regarding sexual harassment and bodily privacy. This case is a contentious one, with Circuit Judge Kent A. Jordan, joined by Judges Michael Chagares, Thomas Hardiman, and Stephanos Bibas, writing a strongly worded dissent recommending that the Third Circuit rehear the case en banc, meaning that every judge sitting on the appellate court would be asked to hear and rule on the matter. We will monitor the situation and keep you apprised of any updates to this case.
On June 21 the Trump administration announced its proposal to merge the Department of Labor and the Department of Education into one overarching department. Mick Mulvaney, the White House Budget Director, said that Ivanka Trump’s emphasis on workforce training was the inspiration behind the proposed merger. Mulvaney said in statement that the departments are, “doing the same thing.” Continue reading
Saturday June 30 (and into the wee hours of Sunday July 1) saw the end of the fiscal year and with it came midnight and last minute (literally) deals in the Delaware General Assembly. Here were some of the biggest takeaways that will affect employment law: Continue reading