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BT Currents - Hot Topics in Employment Law

04 Apr Both Sides Face Tough Questions As The Supreme Court Hears Oral Argument Regarding the Contraceptive Mandate

On March 25, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court heard the long-awaited oral argument in Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores and Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. v. Sebelius.  In both cases, for-profit employers argued that the contraceptive mandate under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act violated their religious beliefs as protected by the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.  In contrast, the government argued that for-profit corporations cannot exercise religion and therefore cannot challenge the mandate on religious grounds….

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21 Feb The University of Notre Dame Asks The Seventh Circuit to Enjoin The Contraception Mandate

On Feb. 12, 2014 the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals held an oral argument in University of Notre Dame v. Sebelius. In this argument, the university asked the Seventh Circuit to reverse a district court decision denying the university’s request to enjoin the application of the contraception mandate in the Affordable Care Act. Several other courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court, have enjoined the application of the contraception mandate while the courts consider whether the mandate violates employers’ constitutional rights. We discussed these earlier decisions in…

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21 Feb Wisconsin Likely to Limit Access to Social Media Accounts

In late January, both houses of the Wisconsin Legislature passed the Social Media Protection Bill aimed at protecting individuals’ social media accounts. Governor Scott Walker is expected to sign the bill into law. The bill bars employers, schools, and landlords from requiring their employees, students, or tenants to produce their social media passwords. However, the bill allows employers, schools, and landlords to view individuals’ social media postings that are available to the public. Employers would also be permitted to monitor employee usage of devices provided…

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13 Jan 2013 Ends With A Flurry Of Activity Regarding the Contraception Mandate

As 2013 drew to a close, several non-profit religious employers sought injunctions to prevent the application of the contraception mandate under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act on Jan. 1, 2014.  Under the current regulations, a non-profit religious employer need not pay for contraceptive services if it certifies that it has a religious objection to providing these services to its employees. The insurer is then required to provide these items to the employees at no cost to either the employer or the employees. The Obama administration…

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27 Nov It’s Official—The Supreme Court Announces That It Will Review The Contraceptive Mandate

On Nov. 26, 2013, U.S. Supreme Court announced that it will review two cases in which for-profit employers challenged the application of the contraceptive mandate under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The cases are Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores and Conestoga Wood Specialites Corp. v. Sebelius.  Both employers say that their religious beliefs bar them from providing employees with drugs or other items that they consider abortifacients. These employers argue that the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act…

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