The Second Circuit Court of Appeals brings an interesting labor decision. In State Employee Bargaining Coalitation v. Roland, ___F.3d___( 2d Cir. May 31, 2013), the court found that targeting Union employees for layoffs violates the First Amendment (freedom of association).
In this case, the employer employed around 50,000 people. 75% of these employees were members of the Union, and 25% were not. In December 2002, the employer fired only Union employees. No non-Union employees were fired.
It is important to note that an employer can manage the size of their work force. However, the employer cannot target a protected group (here, employees who associated themselves with the Union). The reason for this is because by targeting a protected group, the effect is to inhibit employees from their freedom to associate.
Under the Constitution, in order for the employer to not violate the Constitution it must show that they used the less restrictive means to accomplish their interest and must be narrowly tailored to achieve their goals.
The following are the pivotal facts of this case. The employer’s interest was to manage their economical situation. However, the laying off those Union employees had a minimal effect on their budget. In fact, these Union-only lay offs were not included in the Balanced Budget Plan. Further, the facts showed that because both Union and non-Union employees had the same health care and pension benefits there was no reason why only the Union employees were targeted.
via Adjunct Law Prof Blog: Targeting Union Employees For Layoffs Violates The First Amendment.
Governor Dayton will soon be signing a new bill that includes new protections for homeowners facing foreclosures. This new law is known as the Homeowners Bill of Rights.
Some of the ways that it protects homeowners are as follows:
- Loan servicers are required to communicate all options to homeowners.
- Loan servicers are required to offer loan modifications to all eligible homeowners.
- “Dual tracking” is banned. Dual tracking is when servicers foreclose without a clear yes or no on loan modification.
- Servicers are required to assist homeowners in submitting documentation regarding the foreclosure process.
- Homeowners are allowed to take the servicer to court to stop a foreclosure if the servicer fails to comply with any aspect of the law.
The District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania allowed a case challenging the Ten Commandments monument to proceed.
This case arises from the installation of a large stone monument in front of the Valley High School. Plaintiffs argue that this is a violation of the First Amendment’s prohibiting the government from endorsing a religion. The district court refused to remove the Ten Commandments monument. The district’s argument is that the Ten Commandments monument is a historical landmark.
The district asked the federal court to dismiss the lawsuit. The District Court denied the motion, stating that the case has “sufficient merit” to proceed to the discovery phase.
via Judge refuses to dismiss Ten Commandments case | TribLIVE.