News & Commentary

February 28, 2018

Today, a strike by unionized public school teachers in West Virginia will end as union leaders and Governor James C. Justice have reached a deal.  Governor Justice promised the state’s teachers and other school employees a 5 percent raise and that he would create a task force to address the problem of rising insurance costs for public employees.  This would be a significant victory for unions at a time when the Supreme Court just heard oral arguments in Janus on Monday.  The New York Times reports.

On Monday, the Supreme Court also granted cert on a couple of employment related cases.  In New Prime Inc. v. Oliveira, the court will decide whether a dispute over applicability of the Federal Arbitration Act’s Section 1 exemption is an arbitrability issue that must be resolved in arbitration pursuant to a valid delegation clause; and (2) whether the FAA’s Section 1 exemption, which applies on its face only to “contracts of employment,” is inapplicable to independent contractor agreements.”  In Mount Lemmon Fire District v. Guido, the court will determine whether, under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the same 20-employee minimum that applies to private employers also applies to political subdivisions of a state, as the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the 6th, 7th, 8th and 10th Circuits have held, or whether the ADEA applies instead to all state political subdivisions of any size, as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit held in this case.

The EEOC and Estée Lauder have reached a deal in the EEOC’s first-ever lawsuit claiming that a company’s parental leave policy discriminated against new fathers.  The policy had provided women with six weeks of paid parental leave for child bonding, on top of paid leave for childbirth recovery, but provided new fathers whose partners had given birth only two weeks of paid leave for child bonding.  Reuters reports.



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