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

Just a few days ago Alex Galvan posted on our blog about the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) mission to expand Title VII’s protections to LGBT employees. As if on cue, the EEOC has now taken another next step towards completing its mission.  Last week, in a 3-2 decision, the EEOC held that Title VII prohibits employers from treating an applicant or employee differently on the basis of their sexual orientation because “sexual orientation is inseparable from an inescapably linked to sex” and as a result “[s]exual orientation discrimination is sex discrimination.” 
Continue Reading Another Round: EEOC Continues Expansion of Workplace Protections for LGBT Employees

While much of the recent focus in the LGBT rights arena has been on same-sex marriage—especially in light of the Supreme Court’s ruling in Obergefell—employers should keep a close eye on the growing protections being afforded LGBT employees.

To those who argue that LGBT employees are not protected by Title VII on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has a simple, monosyllabic response: Sex.
Continue Reading Let’s Talk About “Sex”: Workplace Protections for LGBT Employees under Title VII

Employment law loomed large on the Supreme Court’s docket this term. In seven highly anticipated cases, the Court interpreted federal employment statutes from Title VII and the Pregnancy Discrimination Act to FLSA and ERISA.

While employers received favorable rulings in some cases, the Court’s decisions regarding religious discrimination and the accommodation of pregnant workers could impact employers’ current practices and policies. Employers should review hiring, accommodation, and other policies—even those that are facially neutral—to ensure compliance with the Court’s recent holdings.
Continue Reading Employment Law Highlights from the Supreme Court’s Current Term