There are three cases that fall into this general category. The U.S. Supreme Court doesn’t consider nearly as many traditional labor cases as employment cases, but Judge Sotomayor obviously has judicial experience dealing with labor issues.
Only one decision by Judge Sonia Sotomayor falls within the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) category. Of course, this decision would have occurred well before the new ADA Amendments Act became effective. It’s still instructive about her approach to disability discrimination cases.
Two of Sonia Sotomayor’s district court cases fall within the category of national origin discrimination. Although her opinions in these cases aren’t clearly wrong, they perhaps indicate her interest in and empathy for employees allegedly discriminated against on the basis of national origin.
While a Judge for the U.S. District Court in the Southern District of New York, Sonia Sotomayor decided two cases dealing with the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). Age discrimination cases comprise a healthy percentage of employment discrimination claims. It’s predicted that there will be an increase in these cases as baby boomers move into their 60s in record numbers. It’s a certainty that, if confirmed, Sotomayor will be involved in age discrimination cases on the U.S. Supreme Court. Let’s see what she’s already done on this subject as a district court judge.
There’s only one case in this category. Judge Sonia Sotomayor’s opinion in this case is over 50 pages in length, so it provides a good look at her approach to sex or gender discrimination cases. It also provides a thorough analysis of when an award of punitive damages is appropriate.
As promised, we now consider cases decided by Sonia Sotomayor while she was Judge for the U.S. District Court in the Southern District of New York. Four of Judge Sotomayor’s decisions deal with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Since wage and hour litigation stemming from the FLSA is one of the hottest areas going these days, looking at Sotomayor’s point of view on the FLSA is important.
As noted previously, a topic that doesn’t receive enough attention is the misclassification of employees as independent contractors. Colorado has just enacted a state law dealing with this subject, and there’s also a federal bill pending. There’s now a case on this subject filed in federal court in Minnesota that’s drawing attention.
I’ve done one general post on Sonia Sotomayor and another one dealing with her personal background. We now turn to Sotomayor’s record as a judge, with particular emphasis on her involvement with labor and employment cases. My thanks to April Finn, one of our summer clerks at Miller & Martin and a law student at Washington & Lee University, for her assistance with this post and several to follow.
Most of the news today is about employers laying off employees, sometimes resulting in getting sued by the laid off employees. As reported by The Seattle Times, it’s possible, even today, for the shoe to be on the other foot.
As noted in a previous post, I’ll be providing information about the person President Barack Obama has nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court, Judge Sonia Sotomayor. This first post deals with personal background information. All posts on Sotomayor will be designed to look at her from a labor and employment perspective, not a political or ideological one.
According to the New York Times, a subject regularly covered on this blog raised its head recently at the annual Seventh Circuit Bar Association meeting in Indianapolis during a freewheeling panel discussion among judges. Since word got out about this, lawyers across the country have joined an online debate that impacts all kinds of employers.
In AT&T Corporation v. Hulteen, the U.S. Supreme Court takes us back to another time in our country when maternity leave was inferior. The Court’s decision isn’t just a trip down memory lane, but significant for the present.
As you’ve surely heard by now, President Obama has nominated Sonia Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court. If confirmed, Sotomayor would be the first Latino justice ever on the Supreme Court. She was appointed first to the federal District Court by President George H.W. Bush over 16 years ago and then to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals by President Bill Clinton. Stay tuned for a full report on Judge Sotomayor’s likely impact on labor and employment law if she’s confirmed.
After the flap over Miss California’s answer to a question about gay marriage in the Miss USA beauty pageant, I did a post on culture wars and protected classes. I predicted that if the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) passes to make sexual orientation (and maybe bisexuality and transgender status) a protected class, the culture wars and employment law would merge — or clash.
A federal criminal statute, 18 U.S.C. 1028A(a)(1), imposes a mandatory two-year prison sentence on anyone convicted of other crimes if, during the commission of those other crimes, the offender “knowingly transfers, possesses, or uses, without lawful authority, a means of identification of another person.” This statute has been widely used to prosecute illegal workers.
We’re all familiar with the principal protected classes under federal employment law: race, color, sex or gender, pregnancy, national origin, religion, age and disability. Some state statutes and municipal ordinances add others: sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, family status, creed, and ancestry, just to name a few.
Dan Schwartz reminds us that today, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral argument in one of the most important discrimination cases to come along in a while. Check out Dan’s summary and then wait with much anticipation for the Court’s decision. I’ll have a full report when that occurs.
Much has been made of the recent disclosure of detailed memos describing interrogation techniques used by the Central Intelligence Agency against terrorist detainees, like keeping them awake for up to 11 straight days, placing them in a dark, cramped box, and putting insects into the box to exploit detainee fears. There was also forced nudity, slamming detainees into walls, and dousing detainees with cold water.
In a New York Times report about the ongoing inquiry into the New York State pension fund, what’s been bothering me about the federal bailout money finally became clear. The state pension fund contains $122 billion, and the investigation focuses on the use of one of the world’s largest pools of assets by pension fund officials to reward friends, pay back political favors, and reap millions of dollars in cash rewards for themselves. Simply put, when there’s that much money involved, people in positions of trust can’t be trusted.