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47 Lab. & Emp. L. 1 (2018-2019)

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Lfr and Employment Law

A Revi~ of th~ Supreme Court s

201 A2018 Labor and Employment Deciblons

On the last day of the 2017-2018
term, the Supreme Court decided
its most anticipated labor case in
decades, and the opinion wasn't
even the day's leading story Hours
after Janus v. AFSCME reversed
forty-one years of precedent and
invalidated statutory provisions in
twenty-two states, the most impor-
tant labor decision in years was
overshadowed by Justice Kennedy's
retirement announcement-the
most important change to the
Court's makeup in recent history.
A pivotal justice's retirement trig-
gering an embattled nomination
process that would dominate the
better part of summer recess was
a fitting conclusion to the Court's
year. But in a period that marked
not only the last full term for Justice
Kennedy and the first for Justice
Gorsuch-but also upheld the
President's Travel Ban, heard
cases on voting rights and partisan
gerrymandering, and established
new legal principles in technol-
ogy-the significance of the Court's
2017-2018 labor and employment
rulings cannot be overstated.
  This Article reviews several of
these decisions. Parts I and II dis-
cuss two landmark labor cases:

Janus v. AFSCME, which invali-
dated a major source of financial
security for labor unions in the
public sector; and Epic Systems
Corp. v. Lewis, which enforced
arbitration clauses waiving
employees' rights to arbitrate
workplace grievances collectively.
Part III describes three lesser-
known rulings addressing collec-
tively bargained-for retiree bene-
fits, exemptions to overtime-pay,
and whistleblower protections:
CNH Industrial N V v. Reese, Digital
Realty Trust, Inc. v. Somers, and
Encino Motorcars, LLC v. Navarro.
Not surprisingly, with the addition
of conservative Justice Gorsuch to
the Court, all five of these decisions
were employer friendly. Together
they have enhanced the authority
of corporations, limited the liabil-
ity of employers, and restrained
employee collective activities and
bargained-for privileges, even
when doing so has meant sidestep-
ping core principles of stare decisis
and judicial restraint.

Janus v. AFSCME
In an anticipated blow to orga-
nized labor, Janus v. AFSCME
               continued on page 9

                                       Plaintiff Mark Janus meets the press.        PHOTO BY COURTLYN ROSER-JONES
Published in Labor and Employment, Volume 47, Number 1, Fall 2018. © 2018 by the American Bar Association. Reproduced with permission. All rights reserved. This information or any portion thereof
may not be copied or disseminated in any form or by any means or stored in an electronic database or retrieval system without the express written consent of the American Bar Association.

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