FEDERAL COURT RULES LOCAL GOVERNMENTS CAN RESTRICT UNIONS FROM CHARGING FEES

Just before Thanksgiving, in a unanimous decision the federal Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that local governments can enact right-to-work laws that will apply to private sector businesses and organizations whose labor relations are covered by the National Labor Relations Act ("NLRA"). Right-to-Work is shorthand for a law or ordinance that prohibits private sector collective bargaining agreements from making the payment of money to a labor union a condition of employment. The decision, United Autoworkers Union v. Hardin County, Ky., is now the law in Ohio, Kentucky, Michigan and Tennessee, the states that constitute the Sixth Circuit. Prior to Hardin, the NLRA was interpreted to reserve that right to the state government itself. Organized labor waged a furious, but ultimately futile campaign against the Hardin County law. [More]

The Sixth Circuit Steps into the Transgender Debate By Affirming The Highland Local Decision

The ongoing debate regarding the responsibilities of public school districts with respect to transgender students has continued to be fueled by a new decision from the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. On December 15, 2016, the Sixth Circuit issued an Order in Board of Education of Highland Local School District v. United States Department of Education, et al., affirming the decision of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, which blocked that school district's attempt to prevent a transgender student identifying as a female from using the girls' restroom at her school. Both the lower court's decision and the Sixth Circuit decisions in Highland align with the U.S. Department of Education's ("DOE") interpretation of Title IX. Specifically, the DOE has provided that funding recipients must "generally treat transgender students consistent with their gender identity." [More]