Seventh Circuit Breaks New Ground: Sexual Orientation Discrimination Prohibited by Title VII

In a landmark decision reflecting a potential turning of the tide for the LGBT community, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has become the first federal appeals court in the nation to hold that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is a form of sex discrimination prohibited by Title VII. Hively v. Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana, No. 3:14-cv-1791 (7th Cir. April 4, 2017). Continue Reading

11th Circuit Joins Others in Holding Sexual Orientation Discrimination Not Covered by Title VII

Joining nearly all other federal circuit courts, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit has held that Title VII does not cover discrimination based on sexual orientation. Evans v. Georgia Regional Hospital, 2017 WL 943925 (11th Cir. March 10, 2017). While closing the door on Title VII sexual orientation discrimination claims, the court re-affirmed that other theories of sex discrimination, such as gender non-conformity and same-sex discrimination, remain actionable. Continue Reading

EEOC Giving More Thought to Mental Health Conditions

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity (EEOC) this week issued a publication addressing the rights of employees and applicants with mental health conditions under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The publication, entitled “Depression, PTSD, & Other Mental Health Conditions in the Workplace: Your Legal Rights,” can be found here. Continue Reading

I’m Dreaming of a Risk-Free Holiday—Tips for Reducing Holiday Party Employment Claims

According to a recent survey, the number one reason employers have their tinsel in a tangle about office holiday parties is how much they cost.[1] But the cost of tinsel and treats is nothing compared to the expense of defending an employment lawsuit. The best way to keep holiday parties within budget—and a business out of the courtroom—is to follow these steps to minimize liability. Continue Reading

DOL Overtime Rule Blocked by Federal Court

On Tuesday, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas issued a decision enjoining the Department of Labor (DOL) from enforcing its new overtime rule. State of Nevada et al. v. U.S. Department of Labor et al., case number 16-cv-00731. The new rule, which was announced in May 2016 and was set to become effective on December 1, 2016, sent employers scrambling to comply with a substantial increase to the minimum salary requirements for the white collar exemptions. In his decision, the judge held that the DOL had exceeded its authority in issuing the rule. Continue Reading

Judge Not Persuaded, Permanently Enjoins DOL’s New Reporting Rule

In a major victory for the business community, Judge Sam R. Cummings of the U. S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas issued a permanent nationwide injunction blocking the Department of Labor (DOL) from enforcing its new “persuader” rule. National Federation of Independent Business, et al. v. Perez, et al., Case No. 5:16-cv-00066. The rule attempted to expand disclosure requirements by employers and their consultants (including attorneys) related to union-organizing campaigns. Continue Reading

Cook County Adopts Paid Sick Leave Ordinance and Minimum Wage Increase

Following in the footsteps of the City of Chicago, Cook County, Ill. has now adopted two new ordinances providing for paid sick leave for all employees and an increase to the minimum wage for low income workers. With both ordinances effective July 1, 2017, employers will need to budget accordingly to minimize the financial impact these two new laws may have. Continue Reading

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