Message from the Chairs
We enthusiastically welcome you to the ABA Litigation Section’s Employment & Labor Relations Law Committee. The committee is widely viewed as the nation’s primary “go to” resource for labor and employment litigation, standing at the vanguard of critical thinking in an area of law that continues to be highly dynamic and socially relevant.
The Supreme Court recently ruled that Title VII precludes employers from engaging in discriminatory conduct on the basis of sexual orientation and transgender status in employment-related actions. The Court also addressed a number of issues arising under the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) including the circumstances under which a party may be found to have waived its right to invoke arbitration, and the FAA’s exemption for workers engaged in interstate commerce. The Court also ruled on the scope of First Amendment protections for employees engaged in expression of religious beliefs. Notably, the Court overturned Roe v. Wade to find that the federal constitution does not provide a right to abortion, a decision which may have implications for employers under federal laws such as ERISA and Title VII.
On the labor-law front, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has issued a proposed rule that would revise the standard for determining whether two employers are “joint employers” under the National Labor Relations Act. The NLRB’s general counsel has announced her intention to overturn prior board decisions restricting union-representative access to employer property, and to prohibit “captive audience” meetings in which employees are required to listen to employer speeches prior to a union representation election.
We anxiously await more developments in the upcoming year including the highly anticipated Supreme Court ruling on affirmative action, which arises from lower court rulings involving Harvard University and the University of North Carolina. Also on the Court’s docket is a case that will decide whether a state law prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and other protected characteristics violates an employer’s exercise of religion and expressive speech under the First Amendment.
The ABA Litigation Section is the leading voice for litigators in the nation, and we are proud to be part of the committee that serves as an innovative, inclusive, and dynamic voice for employment and labor relations law practitioners. Please feel free to contact us with any suggestions you may have on how the committee can continue to best serve your needs and support your professional practice.
Jerry M. Cutler
Michele Ballard Miller
Cochairs, Employment & Labor Relations Committee