Conservatives dominate liberals in the Supreme Court 2 to 1 — and even though the highest court in the land is supposed to be non-partisan, most of us know what kind of impact this could have on any controversial law on the docket. What can we expect? Here are a few ways that the new SCOTUS might impact employment law over the next twelve months.
One of the biggest impacts involves the continued debate around vaccine mandates. Many jurisdictions have tried to implement mask or vaccine mandates in schools. The more radical conservative groups have gone so far as to describe these mandates akin to “rape.” The Supreme Court has so far allowed several states to move forward with such mandates. Will federal mandates hold? We’ll know soon.
Another case will determine how flight attendants are paid. Should airlines comply with wage-based legal codes in states where the flight attendants live? The laws are murky because attendants don’t actually work in their home states — they work all over the country.
Whether or not employers can force arbitration has long been a question before the courts. But what about whether or not employees can use a loophole to avoid arbitration clauses by filing lawsuits on behalf of the state and not themselves? The Private Attorneys General Act currently allows plaintiffs who do just that to hold onto a quarter of the funds for any verdict won. The Supreme Court will soon decide.
Yet another case will set in stone exactly how employee retirement plans can or cannot avoid litigation. The question before them is whether or not these plans can offer cheap investment options to avoid excessive-fee lawsuits, which have been filed often over the last few years.
We also expect SCOTUS to inevitably hear more cases about new legislation related to COVID-19 as these laws are drafted throughout the year — primarily because we expect the pandemic to continue into the foreseeable future, and likely become endemic to our population.