There is so much going with in regulatory and legislative circles these days, it can make your head spin. However, there are a few upcoming SCOTUS cases employers should keep on their radar.
With the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, a champion for women’s rights and workplace equity, the future of the Supreme Court and the cases it reviews is uncertain. At this point, no one can predict what the coming weeks and months will bring. While there aren’t many employment-related cases coming before the SCOTUS, there are a few that could impact how employers function in the new year and beyond.
Watch for the outcome of these three:
- Van Buren v. United States. While this isn’t directly related to employment, it’s still interesting. It involves an FBI sting and a prostitution ring. However, at its heart is a conflict about interpreting the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), which employers often use to sue workers or former employees who access electronic files on work computers. In this case, the petitioner had received authorization to access specific information for one purpose but used it for another. The court is being asked to determine if this constitutes a CFAA violation. The ruling may provide additional federal remedies to employers if there are damages from authorized use of files. However, at least one legal expert suggests that, regardless of the ruling, it won’t affect an employer’s right to limit the use of computer information to specific purposes.
- Affordable Care Act (ACA) Individual Mandate (California v. Texas and Texas v. United States). In two cases, the Court will decide whether reducing the penalty for people who don’t maintain a minimal level of health coverage to zero has rendered this minimum-coverage provision unconstitutional. Related but more significant, the SCOTUS will determine if the rest of the ACA can still be enforceable without this mandate. Everyone is watching this closely. However, in the meantime, employers should continue to comply with the employer mandate and reporting requirements for all employees.
- Arbitration Agreements (Henry Schein Inc. v. Archer and White Sales Inc.) will provide employers with clarification about how to draft employment arbitration agreements and what these documents need to say about whether the arbitrator can decide if issues should be brought into arbitration or go to court.
While the outcome of these cases may not impact how your organization and workers conduct business on a daily basis, they may affect policies and procedures or how you address these issues in onboarding efforts.