Legal Eagles: NFIB’s Supreme Court Victories

Date: March 10, 2016

From battling the EPA to fighting for employee security screenings, the NFIB legal team scored some big wins.

Here are NFIB’s big Supreme Court wins in 2015—and why they’re great for small business:

Michigan v. EPA

We scored a regulatory win when the court ruled that the
Environmental Protection Agency wrongly interpreted the Clean Air Act when it failed
to examine the costs associated with regulations against power plants emitting mercury and other materials.

“Not only did the Supreme Court strike down a regulation
that would have been detrimental to small business owners, but it has confirmed
that agencies must consider all economic implications before creating any
future regulations,” says Karen Harned, executive director of the NFIB Small Business Legal
Center.

Horne v. Department of Agriculture

The high court
finally vindicated property rights when it determined that a California law
requiring raisin growers to turn over a portion of their crop was
unconstitutional. The court’s decision will limit the government’s power to
take private property from American businesses of every kind in the future.

Mach Mining, LLC v. EEOC

The court unanimously ruled that Title VII, the federal
anti-discrimination law, requires that the Equal Employment Opportunity
Commission try to remedy unlawful employment practices through “informal
methods of conference, conciliation and persuasion” before it is permitted to
file a lawsuit against the employer. If nothing else, the decision reminds the
federal agency that the “sue first, ask questions later” approach clearly
violates Title VII.

Direct Marketing Association v. Brohl

The NFIB Small Business Legal Center joined in a challenge
to a Colorado law that required out-of-state merchants to disclose confidential
purchasing information about customers to the state’s revenue department. NFIB
argued that subjecting out-of-state businesses to additional reporting
requirements was unfair and that merchants should be allowed to challenge the
law in federal court because of the impact on interstate commerce. The Supreme
Court agreed.

Integrity Staffing Solutions, Inc. v. Busk

The court handed employers a unanimous wage and hour
victory, ruling that time spent going through security screenings is not
compensable. The decision should make businesses more comfortable conducting
security screenings of their employees, and may help bring an end to most class
actions filed against employers seeking compensation for employees’ time spent
in such screenings.

Comptroller of the Treasury of Maryland v. Wynne

Maryland’s revenue authorities suffered a defeat thanks to
our support in the dispute over whether Maryland could tax a resident’s income
that was earned and already taxed in another state, without providing a full
tax credit. In a victory for small business owners, the court ruled that Maryland’s
personal income tax was unconstitutional. 

Learn more about how our Small Business Legal Center is fighting for you.

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