The U.S. Supreme Court appeared to struggle over the question of who qualifies as a supervisor under federal nondiscrimination laws. Hearing oral arguments in a case from the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Nov. 26, 2012, the high court addressed the issue, left unanswered in previous Supreme Court decisions, of when a “supervisor” includes an employee who oversees and directs other workers’ daily tasks, but has no authority over their formal employment status, (Vance v. Ball State Univ., No. 11-556).
Voters in 38 states will consider 174 statewide ballot measures on Nov. 6, 2012, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). These proposals are wide-ranging, with a number of them having potential workplace implications.
Questions appear on the ballots in more than one state concerning:
• Medical marijuana use;
• Legalization of marijuana; and
• Same-sex marriage.
The California Supreme Court, on April 12, 2012, issued a long-awaited ruling in the case of Brinker Restaurant v. Superior Court (No. S166350), concluding that employers only have to provide meal periods to workers, not make sure employees actually take them.
“An employer must relieve the employee of all duty for the designated period, but need not ensure that the employee does no work,” Associate Justice Kathryn Werdegar wrote for the unanimous court in a 54-page opinion.