|May 21, 2019 | www.fisherphillips.com|
Pick a favorite flavor, abandon all beach body goals, and disregard whether it’s anyone’s birthday: the 2017-2018 Supreme Court term saw employers having their cake and eating it, too (with only a few minor exceptions). Overall, the Court rejected plaintiffs’ quests for more favorable applications of wage and hour, retaliation, and arbitration laws. And the few decisions that could negatively impact employers are largely procedural or very limited in their application. Think of them as unappetizing vegetables along what was otherwise a cakewalk term.
On the final day of the Supreme Court’s just-completed term, it issued its long-awaited decision in Janus v. AFSCME, Council 31, changing the labor law landscape as we know it. The case involved the compulsory “fair share” fees paid by public sector employees who choose to not belong to a union, but are still covered by a collective bargaining agreement. As we described in our Legal Alert, “SCOTUS Hands Significant Defeat to Both Public Sector Unions And National Labor Movement,” the Court ruled that the First Amendment prohibits these “fair share” fees. At the time of the decision, 22 states permitted such “fair share” fee arrangements, but those state laws immediately became unconstitutional. How will unions respond, and what do employers need to know?
There has been a burst of recent Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) decisions from around the country that can teach valuable lessons to employers. Last month, we looked at three cases examining the question of whether an employee was “disabled” under the terms of the ADA. This month, we look to three more recent cases that examine another touchstone issue when it comes to disability discrimination litigation: whether a particular job task is an essential function of the job.