Cole v. Pa. Dep’t Envtl. Prot.

Petitioners appealed the Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) decision to approve a plan to construct a natural gas compressor station. The Pennsylvania Environmental Hearing dismissed the appeal, concluding that it lacked subject matter jurisdiction. Petitioners appealed that dismissal. The question before the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court was whether Section 19(d)(1) of the federal Natural Gas Act … Read more

Gates v. City of Pittsburgh Hist. Rev. Comm’n

The Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court agreed with Pittsburgh’s Historic Review Commission that the appellants lacked standing to challenge the Commission’s decision to allow changes to a historic home. A homeowner sought permission to swap aluminum windows for vinyl windows in their historic home. A neighbor within the same historic district spoke out against the swap. When … Read more

FREMCO Assoc., LLC v. Dep’t of Revenue of PA Unemployment Comp. Audit Div.

FREMCO petitioned the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court, seeking a writ of prohibition and writ of mandamus to set aside a settlement agreement as void ab initio due to the incapacity of FREMCO’s Chief Officer. In addition, FREMCO’s petition requested the Court to allow a challenge to an assessment for unemployment compensation taxes nunc pro tunc. The … Read more

Jack Lehr Elec. v. Unemployment Comp. Bd. of Rev.

The Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court addressed the interplay between an employer’s prohibition on drug use and an employee’s use of marijuana pursuant to a valid prescription. Here, the claimant alerted his employer about the medical marijuana before the drug test, and no evidence suggested that the claimant ingested marijuana immediately before or during his shifts. The … Read more

Neshaminy Sch. Dist. v. Pa. Human Rel. Comm’n

The Neshaminy School District petitioned for review of a finding that the District had violated Section 5(i)(1) of the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act (Act), 43 P.S. § 955(i)(1), through the District’s use of Native American imagery and the term “Redskins” because such use is harmful to non-Native American students as they create impermissible stereotypes. The … Read more

In re Att’y Gen. Law Enf’t Directive Nos. 2020-5 and 2020-6

The New Jersey Supreme Court largely upheld the Appellate Division’s opinion that delivered a major victory for advocates of police-department transparency. The Court upheld the Attorney General’s directives that require law enforcement agencies to publish a synopsis of all complaints, which resulted in certain adverse employment actions against police officers. The main change the Court … Read more

Massie v. Unemployment Comp. Bd. of Rev.

The Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court reversed an Unemployment Compensation Board of Review order that had affirmed a referee’s determination. The referee found that the claimant failed to prove that he had necessitous and compelling cause to quit his job. Initially, the Commonwealth Court dealt with a COVID-related fiasco: the employer failed to appear at the initial … Read more

Lancaster Co. Agric. Pres. Bd. v. Fryberger

In Lancaster Co. Agric. Pres. Bd. v. Fryberger, the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court reviewed orders that rejected the defendants’ agreement to create an easement to benefit one defendant on the co-defendant’s land. The land at issue was subject to a conservation easement agreement. The proposed easement would have allowed certain waste-water treatment equipment and some small recreational … Read more

SEPTA v. Workers’ Comp. Appeal Bd. (Hansel)

In SEPTA v. Workers’ Comp. Appeal Bd. (Hansel), Employer petitioned for review of a decision that granted Claimant’s fatal claim petition related to the suicide of her husband (Decedent). Employer argued the Workers’ Compensation Judge (WCJ) erred in concluding that Decedent’s suicide was unintentional and, therefore, not compensable. Employer also argued that the WCJ erred … Read more

In re J.S.

The New Jersey Appellate Division revisited the Sexually Violent Predators Act (SVPA) and civil commitment when deciding In re J.S. The Court held that an individual who is the subject of a civil commitment hearing under the SVPA has the right to effective assistance of counsel and can raise the issue on direct appeal. But … Read more