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The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, is not without its detractors -- the Republican-controlled House has voted to repeal it 37 times, reports The Washington Post. But what is not achieved through the legislative process, people are hoping to achieve with the help of the judiciary.

Conestoga Wood Specialties Corporation, is a secular, for-profit, closely-held, family-owned company (say that fast three times). The Hahns, the family that owns Conestoga, are Mennonites who had a problem with two drugs they had to provide through their group health plans: the morning-after pill and the week-after pill. They claimed that Conestoga's right to free exercise of religion, under the First Amendment and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act ("RFRA"), was violated because the health plan required they make the drugs available.

The Third Circuit disagreed.

Last week, the New Jersey Supreme Court handed down a decision that could have wide ranging repercussions for employers. Faced with determining several issues surrounding a discrimination claim, and its retaliatory responses, the New Jersey Supreme Court offered some clarity to employers, and employees alike.

Plaintiff Michael Battaglia at one point supervised defendant Wayne DeCraine, where he reprimanded DeCraine for making off-color comments about women. Because of Battaglia’s illness and time off from work, years later DeCraine ended up as Battaglia’s direct supervisor. Battaglia again heard DeCraine make derogatory statements about women, but only in the presence of men. These comments were the basis of a Law Against Discrimination (LAD) claim that Battaglia brought against UPS and DeCraine.

Can the Third Circuit Get Anything Right? SCOTUS Reverses Again

Last year, the Sixth Circuit surpassed the Ninth Circuit as the most-reversed federal appellate court, according to the ABA Journal.

This term, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals is looking like a real contender for the most mistaken crown.

Last month, the Supreme Court reversed the Philadelphia-based appellate court in Millbrook v. U.S. and Comcast Corp et al v. Behrend. This week, it added two more cases to that list: US Airways v. McCutchen and Genesis Healthcare Corp. v. Symczyk.

Female Ref Gets Another Shot at Suing the NJ Basketball Boys Club

Tamika Covington just wants to ref boys’ high school varsity basketball games.

After more than 10 years as a basketball official in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, Covington sued various entities that have some role in high school athletics in New Jersey, alleging gender employment discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, Title IX of the Education Amendments, and the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination.

School Can Pay Teachers With Out of State Experience Less

The Steel Valley School District in Pennsylvania pays its teachers pursuant to a salary scale based on their education and years of experience. When the District hired Patrick Connelly, he had had nine years of teaching experience — in Maryland. But working in Maryland is practically the same as not working at all, according to Steel Valley policies: The District credited him with only one year when calculating his starting salary. Other new teachers with similar experience acquired within Pennsylvania — but outside Steel Valley — received at least partial credit for each year they had taught.

This week, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals concluded that the District’s pay policy did not violate the right to interstate travel under the Privileges and Immunities Clause.

Walmart stores have been in the news numerous times for alleged crooked practices. In a recent Third Circuit Court of Appeals case, the court rejected numerous claims against the retail giant.

The facts and allegations of the case are more interesting than the underlying legal arguments. We’ll touch more on the facts in the case for this end-of-week blog post, but if you’re interested in reading the legal arguments further, have a look at the Third Circuit’s opinion. The case has been going on for eight years and there have been at least four opinions on this case.

Last month, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals released a decision in Roger Fouche v. New Jersey Transit, an appeal involving a born-again Christian bus driver who wanted his Sundays off.

Unfortunately for the bus driver, the New Jersey Transit Corporation fired him, citing that his request placed an undue burden on the company.

Employment discrimination cases pop up every so often in the Third Circuit Court of Appeals and here, the court addresses the elements of a prima facie racial discrimination case.

The court sided with the employer, Teva Pharmaceuticals. Nevertheless, the discussion on employment discrimination is always interesting and worth digging into.

The definition of “employer” is crucial to a valid federal employment claim and for class certification in class action lawsuits by employees. In a recent decision, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals narrowed down the Fair Labor Standards Act’s definition of “employer.”

The district court had previously held that Enterprise Holding (of Enterprise Rent-a-Car) was not a “joint employer” under the FLSA.

Do employees waive their rights to bring a class action lawsuit when they sign mandatory arbitration agreements?

The Third Circuit Court of Appeals says yes, in a recent opinion. Employees who consent to mandatory arbitration clauses in their employment agreements must arbitrate any controversy instead of litigating it.