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  • Blog Title: Federal Practice

    President Trump’s Travel Ban: How the Executive Order is Affecting Colleges and Universities

    On Friday, January 27, 2017, President Trump signed an executive order on immigration, which bars Syrian refugees from entering the United States indefinitely, suspends all refugee admissions under the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program for 120 days, and prohibits citizens from seven, predominately Muslim, countries from entering the United States for 90 days. Those seven countries […]

    Amtrak Employee Reinstated Following Retaliation for Whistleblowing

    A former employee of the National Railroad Passenger Corp. (“Amtrak”) was recently awarded a $892,551 settlement and was reinstated as an Amtrak employee, following an order from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”). The employee worked for Amtrak as a supervisory special agent in Amtrak’s inspector general’s office. In 2010, […]

    U.S. Supreme Court to Weigh in on Religious Exemptions from ERISA

    The United States Supreme Court recently agreed to hear appeals from hospitals with Christian affiliations regarding the Employee Retirement Income Security Act’s (“ERISA”) exemption for church retirement plans. ERISA is a federal law that sets forth minimum standards for pension plans established by private companies. In an effort to protect the interests of employee benefit […]

    NCAA Faces New Class-Action Concussion-Related Lawsuits

    The National Collegiate Athletic Association (“NCAA”) was hit with seven new concussion-related class action lawsuits on August 31, 2016. The new lawsuits increase the total number of lawsuits filed since May 2016 to 22 across the country. The latest cases have all been filed and are pending in the U.S. District Court for the Southern […]

    U.S. Supreme Court Blocks Order Allowing Transgender Restroom Choice

    On August 3, 2016, amidst national debate over transgender rights, the United States Supreme Court temporarily blocked a court order that had allowed a transgender student to use the boys’ restrooms in a Virginia high school. Gavin Grimm, who was born female but identifies as a male, is scheduled to commence his senior year at […]

    Seventh Circuit: Title VII Does Not Cover Sexual-Orientation Discrimination

    The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, in a decision on July 26, 2016, held that Title VII, a chapter of the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964 that protects employees from being discriminated against based upon race, sex, religion and national origin, does not protect employees against discrimination based upon sexual orientation. In Hively v. […]

    United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation to Consider Misrepresentation in Food Labeling

    On May 26, 2016, the United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (the “MDL”) will consider whether to consolidate dozens of cases from federal courts across the country involving food mislabeling for pretrial hearings and related proceedings. The panel will hear oral argument regarding whether clusters of cases, with defendants such as Kraft Heinz Foods, […]

    OSHA Fines May Increase More Than 80% In 2016

    The recent budget Congress passed included a provision that allows the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) to raise its fines, which has not been adjusted since 1990. By way of background, under the Occupational Safety and Health Act “employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthful workplace. OSHA’s mission is to assure safe and healthful […]

    EEOC Issues Proposed Rules to Expand Wellness Program Incentives

    Last week, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) announced that it plans to amend regulations for Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (“GINA”) to allow employers who offer wellness programs to provide financial and other incentives to employees who voluntarily provide his or her spouse’s current or past health information. By way of […]

    With the Ninth Circuit’s O’Bannon Decision, The NCAA Must Comply With Antitrust Laws

    Last year, in O’Bannon v. National Collegiate Athletic Association, et al., Ed O’Bannon, a former All-American UCLA basketball player, along with nineteen others, filed an antitrust class action suit against the National Collegiate Athletic Association (“NCAA”) for its failure to compensate collegiate-athletes for its use of their names, images, and likenesses (“NILs”). Suit was initiated […]