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United States Supreme Court Employment Law Cases 

 

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U S Supreme Court Employment Law Cases - - Pending and Decided 

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Status 

Case Name
Link to summary and briefs

Issue

Decided 
December 10, 2012 
Kloeckner v. Solis  HELD: MSPB "mixed case" appeals are filed in district court, not in the Federal Circuit  
Oral argument 
November 26, 2012 
Vance v. Ball State University  Issue: Scope of the "supervisor" liability rule under Title VII 
Oral argument 
December 3, 2012 
Genesis HealthCare Corp v. Symczyk  Issue: Mootness of FLSA Section 216(b) collective action 
Oral argument 
March 27, 2013 
United States v. Windsor  Issue: Constitutional  ity of Defense of Marriage Act;  jurisdiction; standing 
Decided 
June 10, 2013  
Oxford Health Plans v. Sutter  HELD: Arbitrator is authorized to order class arbitration  
Oral argument 
to be scheduled 
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center v. Nassar  ISSUE: Standard of proof in Title VII retaliation cases
Oral argument 
to be scheduled 
Sandifer v. United States Steel  ISSUE: What constitutes “changing clothes” within the meaning of Section 203(o) of the Fair Labor Standards Act? 



Decided 
January 11, 2012
Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School  Held: Ministerial exception bars minister's termination suit against church 
Decided 
June 21, 2012 
Knox v. Service Employees Int’l Union  Held: Mid-year union dues increase requires Hudson notice (7-2); nonmembers must affirmatively consent (5-4) 
Decided 
March 20, 2012 
Coleman v. Maryland Court of Appeals  Held:  FMLA self-care leave provision is not enforceable against states (5-4) 
Decided 
April 17, 2012 
Filarsky v. Delia  Held: Private lawyer retained by government is entitled to seek qualified immunity 
Decided 
June 11, 2012   
Elgin v. Department of the Treasury  Held: No district court jurisdiction for federal employee challenging adverse employment action (6-3) 
Decided 
June 18, 2012  
Christopher v. SmithKline Beecham Corp Held: Pharmaceutical sales representatives are FLSA exempt as outside salesmen (5-4); DOL's interpretation given no deference
Decided 
June 25, 2012  
Arizona v. United States  Held: State statute criminalizing unauthorized aliens who work is preempted (5-3) 



Decided 
January 11, 2011 
Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research v. United States  Held: Court upholds IRS's categorical exclusion of medical residents from the student exemption from Social Security tax  
Decided 
January 19, 2011 
National Aeronautics and Space Administration v. Nelson Held: NASA's background investigations did not violate federal contract employees' constitutional right to informational privacy 
Decided 
January 24, 2011 
Thompson v. North American Stainless, LP   Held: Title VII creates a cause of action for third-party retaliation for persons who did not themselves engage in protected activity 
Decided 
March 22, 2011 
Kasten v. Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics Corp Held: Oral complaint is protected conduct under FLSA's anti-retaliation provision
Decided 
March 1, 2011 
Staub v. Proctor Hospital  Held: If a supervisor performs an act motivated by antimilitary animus that is intended by the supervisor to cause an adverse employment action, and if that act is a proximate cause of the ultimate employment action, then the employer is liable under USERRA
Decided 
April 27, 2011
AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion  Held: Federal Arbitration Act preempts state law that made class action waiver unconscionable (5-4). 
Decided 
May 16, 2011 
CIGNA Corporation v. Amara  Held: ERISA relief is possible without showing detrimental reliance 
Decided 
May 26, 2011  
Chamber of Commerce of the United States v. Whiting  Held: Arizona statute that imposes sanctions on employers who hire unauthorized aliens is not preempted (5-3)  
Decided 
June 20, 2011 
Borough of Duryea v. Guarnieri  Held: First amendment retaliation liability under the Petition Clause is limited to matters of public concern 
Decided 
June 23, 2011 
CSX Transportation v. McBride  Held: FELA plaintiff need not prove proximate cause; "played any part" instruction is approved 
Decided 
June 20, 2011 
Wal-Mart Stores v. Dukes  Held: 1.5 million member class cannot be certified 



Certiorari denied 
February 28, 2011 
Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp v. Lopes  Whether highly-paid pharmaceutical sales representatives are covered by the FLSA 
 

 

Decided 
December 8, 2009 
Union Pacific Railroad Company v. Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen General Committee of Adjustment, Central Region   Held: Pre-arbitration conference is not a jurisdictional prerequisite to National Railway Adjustment Board arbitration 
Decided 
April 27, 2010 
Stolt-Nielsen S.A., et al. v. AnimalFeeds International Corp.  Held: Imposing class arbitration on parties who have not agreed to it violates Federal Arbitration Act (5-3)  [Not an employment law case.] 
Decided 
March 30, 2010 
Graham County Soil & Water v. US ex rel Wilson   Held: Qui tam suit is barred by prior disclosure in county and state reports (7-2). 
Decided 
April 21, 2010 
Conkright v. Frommert  Held: ERISA Plan administrator's interpretation is entitled to deference even after reversal for violating ERISA (5-3). 
Decided 
June 21, 2010 
Granite Rock Company v. International Brotherhood of Teamsters  Held: Court, not arbitrator, decides CBA's ratification date; new cause of action for tortious interference rejected  
Decided 
May 24, 2010 
Lewis v. City of Chicago  Held: In disparate impact case, the use of an earlier unlawful employment practice states a claim. 
Decided 
June 17, 2010 
New Process Steel v. National Labor Relations Board  Held: NLRB cannot act when only two of its five positions are filled (5-4) 
Decided 
June 17, 2010 
City of Ontario v. Quon   Held: Search of police pager text messages was reasonable, so no 4th amendment violation  
Decided 
June 21, 2010 
Rent-A-Center West v. Jackson  Held: Arbitrator, not court, decides whether arbitration agreement is unconscionable (5-4)
Decided 
May 24, 2010
Hardt v. Reliance Standard Life Insurance Company  Held: ERISA claimant can get attorney fees if there is "some degree of success on the merits." 
 

 

Certiorari DENIED 06/28/2010  Golden Gate Restaurant Assoc v. City and County of San Francisco  Whether ERISA preempts local laws mandating employer contributions for employee health-benefits 
Case settled, removed 
from docket February 24, 2010.
Health Care Service Corporation v. Pollitt, et al.  Whether Federal Employees Health Benefits Act preempts state law claims 
 

 

Decided 
January 21, 2009    
Locke v. Karass Held: Supreme Court allows local union to charge non-members for national litigation expenses
Decided 
March 9, 2009  
Vaden v. Discover Bank  Held: Arbitration: Federal court may “look through” a §4 petition to determine whether it is predicated on a controversy that “arises under” federal law; however, a federal court may not entertain a §4 petition based on the contents of a counterclaim when the whole controversy between the parties does not qualify for federal-court adjudication.  [Not an employment law case.] 
Decided 
January 26, 2009  
Crawford v. Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County, Tennessee  Held: Answering questions during employer's internal investigation is protected against retaliation 
Decided 
January 26, 2009 
Kennedy v. Plan Administrator for Dupont Savings and Investment Plan   Held: ERISA plan administrator must pay according to plan documents 
Decided  
February 24, 2009
Ysursa, Idaho Secretary of State v. Pocatello Education Association  Held: State ban on political payroll deductions, as applied to local governmental units, does not infringe unions' 1st amendment rights. 
Decided 
April 1, 2009
14 Penn Plaza LLC v. Pyett  Held: A provision in a collective-bargaining agreement that clearly and unmistakably requires union members to arbitrate ADEA claims is enforceable as a matter of federal law. 
Decided 
May 15, 2009
AT&T Corporation v. Hulteen  Held: Seniority system insulates retirement calculations based on pre-PDA rules that differentiated on the basis of pregnancy (7-2) 
Decided 
June 18, 2009 
Gross v. FBL Financial Services, Inc.  Held: Burden-shifting "mixed motives" instruction is never proper in an ADEA case
Decided 
June 29, 2009 
Ricci v. DeStefano  Held: City violated Title VII by discarding racially disproportionate test results (5-4)


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