The U.S. Supreme Court wrapped up the term yesterday by issuing a decision on the Affordable Care Act (ACA). While healthcare reform was in the spotlight, the Court issued opinions on several other cases that affect the workplace. Here’s a recap of the Court’s activity over the past two weeks.
Healthcare Reform—The U.S. Supreme Court has upheld the majority of the ACA, also referred to as healthcare reform act. In a split decision, the Court upheld the individual mandate provision—perhaps the most controversial provision of the act—which requires virtually all Americans to obtain health care coverage or pay a penalty starting 2014. Learn more about what this ruling means for your organization going forward.
Arizona’s Immigration Law—The U.S. Supreme Court has struck down several provisions of Arizona’s immigration law, SB1070. The Court found that that Section 3, 5(C), and 6 are preempted by federal law. Section 5(C) makes it a misdemeanor for an unauthorized alien to seek or engage in work in Arizona. The majority found that the criminal penalty is preempted by the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA).
Public Unions—The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that a public-sector union violated the First Amendment when it imposed a special assessment for political activities without first providing notice and obtaining consent from nonunion members. The Supreme Court reversed and remanded the Ninth Circuit Court ruling in a 7-2 vote. This is a blow to public sector unions, as it will likely be more difficult to get nonunion members to opt-in to any special assessments.
Pharmaceutical Sales Reps—The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that employers need not pay overtime, under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), to pharmaceutical sales representatives (PSRs). The high court has affirmed the Ninth Circuit’s ruling in Christopher v. SmithKline Beecham Corp., which conflicted with a Second Circuit decision involving the drug maker Novartis.
In addition to opinions, the Court also granted certiorari to several cases, including one that could impact the scope of “supervisor” liability rule under Title VII.
In Vance vs. Ball State University, the Justices will decide on whether the supervisor liability rule applies to harassment by those who direct a victim’s daily work, or if it is limited to harassment by those who have the power to “hire, fire, demote, promote, transfer, or discipline” their victim.