Welcome to the Employment Law section of our webpage. Employment law issues are complex, often subject to state and local law (not ordinarily covered on CLIC pages) as well as federal law. This front page will reflect our most current information on employment law affecting educational institutions.
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center v. Nassar, Case No. 12-484, June 24, 2013
The question before the Court was whether the lessened causation standard (the motive to discriminate was one of the employer's motives, even if the employer had other lawful motives) is applicable to claims of employer retaliation under §2000e–3(a). The Court held "Title VII retaliation claims must be proved according to traditional principles of but-for causation, not the lessened causation test stated in §2000e–2(m). This requires proof that the unlawful retaliation would not have occurred in the absence of the alleged wrongful action or actions of the employer." In reaching this decision the Court noted as follows:
The proper interpretation and implementation of §2000e–3(a) and its causation standard have central importance to the fair and responsible allocation of resources in the judicial and litigation systems. This is of particular significance because claims of retaliation are being madewith ever-increasing frequency. The number of these claims filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has nearly doubled in the past 15years—from just over 16,000 in 1997 to over 31,000 in 2012. EEOC, Charge Statistics FY 1997 ThroughFY 2012, http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/statistics/enforcement/charges.cfm (as visited June 20, 2013, and available inClerk of Court’s case file). Indeed, the number of retaliation claims filed with the EEOC has now outstripped those for every type of status-based discrimination except race.
See the Chronicle article on the case from June 24, 2013. ACE had filed a brief in this case in favor of the University, arguing that mixed motives standards are hard to disprove in court.
Vance v. Ball State University et al., No. 11-556 Decided June 24, 2013.
In this case the University was not vicariously liable for a racially hostile work environment. The Court held that an employee is a supervisor for purposes of vicarious liability under Title VII only if he or she is empowered by the Employer to take tangible employment actions against the victim of the harassment. If the harassing employee is the victim's co-worker, the employer is liable only if it was negligent in controlling working conditions. See the Chronicle article titled Supreme Court Rules for Ball State U. in Workplace Harassment Case.
Final Rule on Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Program: Essential Health Benefits in Alternative Benefit Plans, Eligiblity Notices, Fair Hearings and Appeal Processes and Premiums and Cost Sharing; Exchange: Eligiblity and Enrollment, to be published in July 15, 2103 Federal Register. All 606 pages.See page 356 for the statement that a simple attestation from an applicant that he or she qualifies will suffice for an applicant applying to an exchange.
One Year Delay on Implementation of Employer Mandate, July 2, 2013 Announcement by Treasury (Assistant Secretary for Tax Policy)
Treasury states it will provide an additional year before the Affordable Care Act (ACA) mandatory employer and insurer reporting requirements begin, and will provide formal guidance concerning the transition during the week of July 8. The transition relief will make it impractical to determine which employers owe shared responsibility payments (under section 4980H) for 2014. The government thus extends transition relief to employers on shared responsibility payments. These payments will not apply for 2014. Any employer shared responsibility payments will not apply until 2015. The contraceptive mandate is not affected by this rule.
National Association of Manufacturers, et al. v. NLRB, No. 12-5068 consolidated with 12-5138, Decided May 7, 2013. (U.S. C.A. D.C. Circuit)
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit invalidated the entire NLRB final rule issued August 30, 2011 requiring employers to post notice of employee rights. After a brief discussion of recess appointments, the court turned to section 8(c) of the act which states:
The expressing of any views, argument, or opinion, or the dissemination thereof, whether in written, printed, graphic, or visual form, shall not constitute or be evidence of an unfair labor practice under any of the provisions of this [Act], if such expression contains no threat of reprisal or force or promise of benefit.
The court then noted that the Board's rule violates this section of the LMRA by making the employer's failure to post an unfair labor practice, and then also by allowing the failure to be evidence of anti-union animus.
Since Subpart B of the Final Rule cannot be severed from Subpart A, the court held the entire rule to be invalid.
Revised I-9 Form: Effective starting 3/8/2013, with a grace period until May 7, 2013. See the USCIS web page on the new form. Revisions to the form include additional data fields (employee’s foreign passport information, if applicable, and e-mail addresses), improved instructions, and expanding the form from one to two pages.
Brief Amici Curiae Filed March 11, 2103 by American Council on Education and others in Supreme Court Case of University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center v. Naiel Nassar, supporting Texas and arguing Congress has not authorized plaintiffs to use the mixed motive standard to prove retaliation.