Employment Law

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Former public employees who claim they were fired in retaliation for reporting alleged illegal activity can sue for retaliation under the Minnesota whistle-blower law. But, they must start their lawsuit within two years of first being notified that their job will be eliminated.
The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to decide a case that will determine if the Pregnancy Discrimination Act requires employers to grant light-duty accommodations to pregnant workers.
The U.S. Supreme Court’s unanimous June 26 ruling in NLRB v. Canning that three of President Obama’s 2012 appointments to the NLRB were illegal means that some 600 NLRB decisions made between January 2012 and July 2013 must be reheard.
The U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear appeals of rulings that declared two of the nation’s most far-reaching anti-­immigrant statutes unconstitutional. The towns of Farmer’s Branch, Texas, and Hazleton, Pa., had adopted ordinances punishing landlords who rented to “illegal immigrants.” The Hazle­­ton ordinance also targeted employers that hired illegals.
Hard on the heels of enactment of a new North Carolina law designed to eliminate tenure for public school teachers, the Robeson County Schools have reluctantly developed a point system to rank its teachers. No one, it seems, likes it—not school administrators and not teachers.
The union that represents employees at the Smithfield Foods plant in Tar Heel put on the feed bag in March to publicize efforts to organize employees at another company’s plant nearby. The goal: To build support for forcing a union election at the Mountainaire Farms poultry plant in Lumber Bridge.
While you likely have a grasp on the definition of unlawful harassment and discrimination, have you thought about what constitutes assault, battery and “intentional infliction of emotional distress” in the workplace?
Some employers mistakenly believe that having employees work on a contractual basis will save them from litigation. If they decide not to renew the contracts of workers considered “trou­­blemakers,” they figure they can avoid being sued. That’s a big mistake.
On June 19, declaring that “pub­­lic employees do not renounce their citizenship when they accept employment,” the U.S. Supreme Court held that the First Amend­­ment protects a public employee’s truthful sworn testimony, compelled by subpoena.
Good news for employers: Workers can’t go to state court to re-litigate an employment discrimination case based on the same underlying facts that already failed in federal court.
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