News & Commentary

June 27, 2017

On June 23, the Supreme Court decided Perry v. Merit Systems Protection Board.  The court held that when a government employee’s “mixed case” is dismissed by the Merit Systems Protection Board for lack of jurisdiction, that employee must appeal the decision to the federal district court, not the Federal Circuit.  A “mixed case” is one in which the employee claims that an adverse employment action was violative of the Civil Service Reform Act and federal anti-discrimination laws (e.g. Title VII).

Last Wednesday, Wisconsin Governor Scot Walker signed Assembly Bill 25 into law.  The law reduces “burdens” on employers that hire teenage workers.  The revised law redefines “minor of permit age” to exclude 16- and 17-year-old job applicants, thus eliminating their requirement to obtain a work permit.  The bill implicates restaurants, retailers, and other industries reliant on teenage labor. 

The New York Times discussed a study pointing to a lack of diversity in theater jobs.  Notably, the study found that women and minority actors and stage managers get fewer, and lower-paying, jobs than their Caucasian male peers.  The study was done and published by Actors’ Equity, a labor union focused on, among other things, making the entertainment industry better reflect the United States’ diversity.

On Monday, the Supreme Court announced that it would review Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, a case that made headlines when the Colorado Court of Appeals upheld a finding that a baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple, citing his religious convictions, had committed illegal discrimination against the couple.

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