The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) continues to update its guidance on the interplay of COVID-related issues and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

The EEOC added new FAQs on April 9 (view our summary) addressing issues of confidentiality, reasonable accommodation, hiring, and harassment. On April 17 and April 23, the EEOC added additional FAQs addressing numerous topics, including the permissibility of widespread COVID-19 testing for employees entering the workplace and additional topics involving requests for accommodations during the pandemic and other issues.
Continue Reading EEOC Updates ADA/COVID Guidance Allowing for COVID Virus Testing and “End Dates” to Some Accommodations

Following the trend that began in New York and California, Illinois’ own #MeToo-inspired legislation, called the Workplace Transparency Act (WTA), applies to all Illinois employers[1] and takes effect on January 1, 2020.
Continue Reading New Year’s Reminder: Mandatory Sexual Harassment Training and Related #MeToo Protections to Take Effect in Illinois

As the #MeToo movement continues to sweep the country, on August 9, 2019, Governor J.B. Pritzker signed into law Illinois Senate Bill 75 (now Public Act 101-0221) which will mandate statewide sexual harassment training for employers in Illinois and add other obligations and restrictions aimed at curbing sexual harassment and discrimination in the workplace.

Taking effect in just a few short months, the Act will require at least some policy, practice, and/or contracts revisions by virtually all Illinois employers.

Substantively, Senate Bill 75 amends the Illinois Human Rights Act (IHRA) and the Victims’ Economic Security and Safety Act (VESSA) in numerous significant ways, and enacts the Workplace Transparency Act (WTA) and Hotel and Casino Employee Safety Act.

Unless otherwise noted, these amendments and new laws take effect January 1, 2020.
Continue Reading Mandatory Sexual Harassment Training and Other Sweeping #MeToo Protections to Take Effect in Illinois

Both New York State and New York City have recently passed a series of laws that significantly increased the protections against sexual harassment in the workplace. These laws outline additional and specific requirements that employers must comply with over the next year.
Continue Reading New York State and City Raise Bar for Employers in Handling Sexual Harassment Allegations

From Anita Hill’s allegations in the 1990s to the recent flood of allegations in the news headlines, sexual harassment has been a persistent and pervasive problem. It occurs at all levels, across all occupations. While many companies have policies addressing inappropriate and unwelcome sexual behavior in the workplace, those policies may not be enough.
Continue Reading Tips on How to Proactively Address Workplace Harassment

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

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

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