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 Seventh Circuit Breaks New Ground: Sexual Orientation Discrimination Prohibited 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 11th Circuit Joins Others in Holding Sexual Orientation Discrimination Not Covered by Title VII

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 EEOC Giving More Thought to Mental Health Conditions

In the midst of a legal, political and cultural landscape expanding the rights of LGBT individuals, the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals has held to prior precedent in reaffirming that Title VII does not prohibit sexual orientation discrimination. Kimberly Hively v. Ivy Tech Community College, __ S.Ct. __, No. 15-720 (July 28, 2016).  According to the court, though “the writing is on the wall” that sexual orientation discrimination should not be tolerated, because the writing is not in a Supreme Court opinion or Title VII, the court’s hands are tied. Continue Reading Seventh Circuit: Title VII Offers No Protection Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination

Schiff Hardin partner Tracey R. Wallace will present “LGBTQ: What Every Employer Should Know,” a webinar examining the changing landscape of federal, state, and local laws. She will prepare employers to address complaints of discrimination, issues related to the work environment, and best practices for LGBTQ employees. Continue Reading Webinar – LGBTQ: What Every Employer Should Know

It is a rare employer that has not fielded employee requests for time off to address a health concern. The requests can come in many shapes and sizes: weeks or months of leave, a few days of leave, sporadic days off here and there, taking certain hours off each day, rest breaks throughout the day, or any combination thereof. Indeed, many larger employers receive these requests monthly or even weekly; some employ designated staff or even an entire department to help respond appropriately. With the ADA, FMLA, workers’ comp, employer policies, operational concerns, past practices, and other considerations all in play, the rules can be tricky, and solutions not always clear. Continue Reading Love It or Leave It: Leaves of Absence the Focus of EEOC’s New ADA Accommodation Guidance

California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”) prohibits discrimination, retaliation, and harassment in the workplace. Recent amendments to FEHA’s implementing regulations issued by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing include significant new obligations for employers, and clarify a range of important issues.

The amendments take effect on April 1, 2016. The full text of the amended regulations can be found here. We summarize below some of the more significant provisions. Continue Reading New Regulations Implementing California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act Go Into Effect April 1, 2016

California’s new Fair Pay Act amends existing law to enact what is widely being considered as the most stringent equal pay law in the country.  The Fair Pay Act will amend existing law in a number of significant ways, making it easier for employees to bring equal pay suits against their employers.  Under previous law, an employee had to show that he or she was being paid less than an opposite sex colleague who was performing “equal work.”  The new law will allow employees to compare their pay with colleagues who hold different, but “similar” positions, regardless of job title. It goes into effect January 1, 2016. Continue Reading California Adopts Most Stringent Equal Pay Law in the Nation

California employers, take note: On October 9, 2015, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law AB 622, a bill that prohibits California employers from using the federal E-Verify system for most current employees and applicants.

The E-Verify system, administered by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, allows employers across the country to confirm that applicants and employees are authorized to work in the United States. The agency boasts that E-Verify is used nationwide by more than 600,000 employers, and is the only free online service to verify employee data against millions of government records within seconds. California’s new law creates strict rules regarding employers’ use of the E-Verify system to prevent discrimination in employment. Continue Reading California Employers Face New Restrictions on E-Verify Use

Managers who are trying to do employees a good turn may find themselves in an unwanted predicament, if the EEOC ever winds up getting involved.

Most of us know that disability claims are a primary focus for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. And with the ADA’s 25th anniversary last month, the focus is even more heightened. But what may come as a surprise to some is the EEOC’s highly aggressive stance when it comes to accommodating disabled employees.  Continue Reading No Good Deed: When Unnecessary ADA Accommodation May Become Required ADA Accommodation