Last month marked the beginning of what is expected to be an impactful session of the U.S. Supreme Court concerning labor and employment law.

Here is a summary of the significant cases to watch:

What's Next for DACA?

DACA, also known as the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, allows some undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children to temporarily work and avoid deportation.

It's a program launched by President Obama in 2012. The Trump administration is seeking to rescind the program.

The federal government has asked the high court to decide if it's legal for the Department of Homeland Security to end DACA.

Several appellate courts have ruled that the administration's efforts to end DACA are "arbitrary, capricious or otherwise not in accordance with law."

Can Employees Who Don't Read Benefits Disclosures Sue?

This case involves an employee from Intel, who is suing the company's retirement plan committee for making poor investment decisions.

In their defense, Intel is citing the Employee Retirement Income Security Act's three-year limit on filing such claims.

Intel contends that the employee is prevented from filing a suit because he received all plan investment information more than three years before he filed his complaint.

The employee is arguing that his claim is within the law because he doesn't recall reading the investment information until just before he filed his lawsuit.

Does Federal Law Protect LGBT Workers?

There is a trio of cases the Supreme Court will consider to determine if Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act prohibits employment discrimination based on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender status.

It's important to note that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has long held that LGBT workers are protected by Title VII.

The U.S. Justice Department takes the opposite view and is asking the high court to decide the matter.

What Is the Standard of Proof for Federal Workers Who Bring Age Discrimination Claims?

Here the Justice Department is arguing that a strict "but-for" standard should apply to federal workers' age discrimination claims (meaning an employee should have to show that an unfavorable employment action by their employer would not have taken place "but for" employer bias concerning age). 

The employee in the case is arguing for a more lenient standard. 

Oral arguments on each of these cases are expected before the end of the year.


About the author: Miguel Escalera is a partner at the labor and employment law firm Kainen, Escalera & McHale in Hartford.