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On Deck: Four Employment Cases To Watch In the Next U.S. Supreme Court Term

Following the close of the U.S. Supreme Court's October 2013 term, employers should look to the high court's next term, which includes four important employment cases addressing pregnancy discrimination, the authority of federal agencies, and wage-and-hour issues.

Young v. United Parcel Service, Inc.
This case involves a claim under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (“PDA”). Young, who took unpaid leave due to a restriction on how much she could lift, claimed that UPS violated the PDA by failing to provide her with the same accommodations – most notably, assigning her light-duty work – as non-pregnant workers with similar restrictions. The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court's Order granting summary judgment in favor of UPS, but the Supreme Court agreed to hear the case. Two weeks later, the EEOC issued an enforcement guidance on pregnancy discrimination and related issues in which the EEOC addressed light-duty work and other issues. The Supreme Court's decision in Young should provide employers with some clarity on their PDA obligations.

Mach Mining, LLC v. EEOC
Mach Mining addresses a split among the federal courts of appeal regarding the extent to which the courts may enforce the EEOC's statutorily-required duty to conciliate claims before the agency files suit. The federal courts generally have sided with the EEOC in those cases.

Perez, et al. v. Mortgage Bankers Assoc.
Perez addresses a July 2013 D.C. Circuit decision that struck down the U.S. Department of Labor's 2010 reclassification of mortgage loan officers as eligible for overtime wages because the DOL failed to use notice-and-comment rule making procedures. A Supreme Court decision affirming the D.C. Circuit may make it tougher for federal agencies to quickly change positions on important issues.

Integrity Staffing Solutions, Inc. v. Busk
Integrity involves the issue of whether workers must be paid for time spent passing through anti-theft screenings at the end of their shift. As most employers know, FLSA claims are increasingly becoming the most prevalent form of employment-related litigation.

Decisions in the above cases will likely not be handed down until 2015. In the meantime, if you have any questions about these or any other issues, please contact your Elarbee Thompson attorney, or respond to this email.

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