Supreme Court Cases


Coleman v. Maryland Court of Appeals

At issue in the Supreme Court case of Daniel Coleman v. Maryland Court of Appeals is whether state employees have the right to take leave for their own serious medical needs, including pregnancy and childbirth, under the self-care provision of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and if states can be held accountable for violating the law. On March 20, 2012, the Court ruled that state employees do not have this right, effectively denying them meaningful recourse when their employers violate their rights under the FMLA.

Press Materials

Statement on the Court's Decision, 3/20/2012:
Women's Leader Calls Supreme Court's Coleman Ruling "Appalling and Dangerous"

News Release on Oral Arguments Day, 1/11/2012:
Experts Warn: Fundamental Protection for Workers and Families Hangs in the Balance as U.S. Supreme Court Hears Arguments in Family and Medical Leave Act Case. Read the release »

Audio Press Briefing Prior to Oral Arguments, 1/3/2012:
As the U.S. Supreme Court prepared to hear oral arguments in Coleman v. Maryland Court of Appeals, petitioner and legal experts discussed the case’s implications for millions of state workers.

Briefs

A group of 10 top civil and workers’ rights organizations, led by the National Partnership for Women & Families, filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the Coleman case.
Read the brief »
Read the news release »

Senator Tom Harkin, Representative George Miller and other members of Congress also filed a friend-of-the-court brief.
Read the brief »

The merits brief for the petitioner is located here.

Recent Blog Post

"Supreme Court Erodes State Workers' FMLA Rights," American Constitution Society Blog, by Sarah Crawford, Director of Workplace Fairness, March 21, 2012

"At Stake: A Fundamental Protection for Millions of Workers," Huffington Post, by Debra Ness, President, January 12, 2012

"Supreme Court to Decide State Workers’ Rights under FMLA," American Constitution Society Blog, by Sarah Crawford, Director of Workplace Fairness, January 11, 2012.

"State Workers Deserve FMLA Protections," by Sarah Crawford, Director of Workplace Fairness, September 29, 2011