Big employment law decision day at the Court

Well, we were right about the ERISA decision, at least!

For those who are just waiting for the release of the Exxon and gun ban decisions from the Court, you will be disappointed today, because they were not handed down.

But it was a hot day on the employment law front, as the Court handed down five decisions, four of which are employment-related.

In the ERISA decision, MetLife v. Glenn, the Court held that when an ERISA claim administrator also funds the plan, that constitutes a conflict of interest that must be weighed when a court reviews the decision.

In a case that clarifies the burden-shifting scheme in ADEA disparate impact claims, the Court held in Meacham v. Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory that the employer bears both the burdens of production and persuasion on the issue of whether the employment decision was based on a “reasonable factor other than age.”

In Kentucky Retirement Systems v. EEOC, the Court held that where age is not a motivating factor for a pension calculation, there is no violation of the ADEA.

In Chamber of Commerce v. Brown, the Court issued yet another pro-federal preemption decision, finding that federal labor law preempts a California law barring the use of state funds by employers to influence union organizing.

Finally, in the criminal case, the Court held in Indiana v. Edwards, that a finding that a defendant is competent to stand trial does not mean that the defendant has the constitutional right to represent himself.

More later on this blog the impact of Meacham and the employment cases, and more tomorrow on all of these cases in Lawyers USA‘s website.

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