On July 12, 2018, NELA was pleased to join our colleagues at AARP and AARP Foundation Litigation on an amicus brief in support of the Respondents John Guido and Dennis Rankin in Mt. Lemmon Fire District v. Guido & Rankin, pending currently in the U.S. Supreme Court. This case concerns whether the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) applies to state and local government entities with fewer than twenty employees. The brief makes a number of compelling arguments in favor of upholding the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that the ADEA covers the entities in question. First, settled principles of statutory construction that have been reaffirmed many times by the U.S. Supreme Court support the conclusion that the employer in question is covered by the ADEA. Second, the brief draws on a number of previous decisions in which the Court declined to apply interpretations from cases arising under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act to the ADEA, where there were key differences in the texts, contexts, and histories of the respective statutes. Finally, the brief does well to point out that the Petitioners’ arguments regarding the potential threats that ADEA enforcement would pose to the financial survival … Read More
Sharon Reagan-Diaz v. Jeff Sessions in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.… Read More
On January 19, 2018, NELA joined a coalition of over 80 civil and workers’ rights groups in filing an amicus brief on behalf of the Respondents in Janus v. AFSCME, et al., pending currently in the U.S. Supreme Court. This case involves a challenge to “Fair Share” rules, which require non-union employees to pay a modest sum to a union who represents other workers in the same bargaining unit, in exchange for the numerous resources those unions expend on behalf of union and non-union workers alike. The brief brings to the Court’s attention the primary role that public sector professions have played in providing equal employment opportunity and economic empowerment for members of some of the most vulnerable, disenfranchised people in America. Further, it highlights the importance of “Fair Share” fees in allowing public sector unions to continue to provide essential benefits and protections for both union and non-union workers. The brief was drafted by our colleagues at The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and the National Women’s Law Center, with assistance from colleagues at Jenner & Block LLP and the Supreme Court and Appellate Clinic at the University of Chicago Law School.… Read More
On August 3, 2016, NELA, joined by the Truckers Justice Center, Teamsters for a Democratic Union, and General Drivers, Warehousemen & Helpers Local No. 89, filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Administrative Review Board (ARB) in support of whistleblower complainant Kenneth Palmer in Palmer v. Canadian National Railway/Illinois Central Railroad Company.
In its order setting Palmer for en banc review, the ARB requested supplemental briefs from the parties and interested amici curiae addressing two questions: 1) In deciding, after an evidentiary hearing, if a complainant has proven by a preponderance of the evidence that his protected activity was a “contributing factor” in the adverse action taken against him, is the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) required to disregard the evidence, if any, the respondent offers to show that the protected activity did not contribute to the adverse action? 2) If the ALJ is not required to discard all such evidence, are there any limitations on the types of evidence the ALJ may consider?
The amicus brief argues that the plain meaning of the applicable statutory text, the legislative history surrounding the adoption of the text, and the text’s purpose as part of a broader regulatory scheme … Read More
On March 11, 2016, NELA joined the Equal Justice Society, Justice at Work, the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts, and the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice in filing an amicus brief in support of the Plaintiff-Appellants in Jones v. City of Boston, currently pending in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.
The amicus brief provides the court with important historical context regarding the development of the law governing disparate impact, and its importance to addressing systemic discrimination in professions, like law enforcement, with deeply-imbedded cultures of exclusion that would otherwise be practically impossible to remedy.
After providing that background, the brief turns to the problems raised by the manner in which the district court evaluated both “business necessity” and “availability of a less-discriminatory alternative” in the context of resolving a motion for summary judgment. As the brief argues, the district court applied a “watered-down” version of the business necessity requirement to the Department and a heightened version of the less discriminatory alternative standard to the plaintiffs. This is particularly problematic at the summary judgment stage, because doing so necessitated drawing a number of inferences against the plaintiffs, weighing the evidence inappropriately, and … Read More