5 Supreme Court employment cases to watch

US Supreme Court opens its next session on October 6, 2014. Five employment law cases we are watching involve compensability of security screenings, whisleblowing, lifetime health care coverage, pregnancy discrimination, and EEOC's duty to conciliate discrimination claims.

Pending cases:

  • Integrity Staffing Solutions, Inc. v. Busk - Whether time spent in security screenings is compensable under the Fair Labor Standards Act, as amended by the Portal-to-Portal Act. Oral argumentOctober 8, 2014.
  • Department of Homeland Security v. MacLean - Whether certain statutory protections codified in the Whistleblower Protection Act, which are inapplicable when an employee makes a disclosure “specifically prohibited by law,” can bar an agency from taking an enforcement action against an employee who intentionally discloses Sensitive Security Information. Oral argument November 4, 2014.
  • M&G Polymers USA, LLC v. Tackett - Whether, when construing collective bargaining agreements in Labor Management Relations Act (LMRA) cases, courts should presume that silence concerning the duration of retiree health-care benefits means the parties intended those benefits to vest (and therefore continue indefinitely), as the Sixth Circuit holds; or should require a clear statement that health-care benefits are intended to survive the termination of the collective bargaining agreement, as the Third Circuit holds; or should require at least some language in the agreement that can reasonably support an interpretation that health-care benefits should continue indefinitely, as the Second and Seventh Circuits hold. Oral argument November 10, 2014.
  • Young v. United Parcel Service - Whether, and in what circumstances, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act requires an employer that provides work accommodations to non-pregnant employees with work limitations to provide work accommodations to pregnant employees who are “similar in their ability or inability to work.” Oral argument December 3, 2014.
  • Mach Mining v. EEOC - Whether and to what extent a court may enforce the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's mandatory duty to conciliate discrimination claims before filing suit. Oral argument to be scheduled for January 2015 or later.

[Keep up with current SCOTUS employment law cases at Supreme Court Watch.]