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Employer Law Blog

We address issues, cases and matters of statutory and regulatory compliance of employment law that can impact a business' growth and profitability.

Employer Law Blog
November 12, 2017

Preventing the “Weinstein” in your Organization: Common Pitfalls in Complying With State and Federal Harassment Laws

As seemingly daily revelations surface of sex harassment allegations in the entertainment/media industry it is imperative for organizations to learn from the mistakes of others when it comes to sexual harassment in the workplace. The plethora of harassment complaints in is not a recent dilemma. In fact, there have been federal and state laws prohibiting “harassment” in the workplace for over 30 years. In this regard, on June 19, 1986, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously that sexual harassment violated federal laws against discrimination and that companies could be held liable for sexual harassment committed by supervisors — even if the company was unaware of the harassment.

Employer Law Blog
September 5, 2017

General Assembly Strikes Again

The Illinois General Assembly has struck again. On August 11, 2017, Governor Rauner signed into law an amendment to the Illinois Human Rights Act providing that discrimination includes a practice by an employer imposing upon a person as a condition of obtaining or retaining employment, including promotion, advancement, or transfer, any terms or conditions that would require such person to violate or forgo a sincerely held practice of his or her religion, including, but not limited to, the wearing of any attire, clothing, or facial hair in accordance with the requirements of his or her religion.

Employer Law Blog
April 6, 2017

Sexual Orientation Discrimination Now Recognized Under Title VII

On April 4, 2017, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit for the first time recognized that sexual orientation discrimination is covered under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. The case is Hively v. Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana. Although the court which heard the case en banc reached the result via three routes, the holding confirms that sexual orientation discrimination is cognizable under Title VII in the Seventh Circuit. Chief Judge Wood led a five-member majority in holding that sexual orientation discrimination is sex discrimination under Title VII and, therefore, covered by the statute.

Employer Law Blog
July 29, 2015

EEOC Must Try to Conciliate

Before suing an employer, the EEOC must first endeavor to eliminate the alleged unlawful employment practice by informal methods of conference, conciliation and persuasion. 42 U.S.C. 2000e-5. The MaEEOC may only file suit after determining that attempts to conciliate have failed.

Employer Law Blog
May 13, 2015

Pregnancy Discrimination: A New Federal Standard

The U.S. Supreme Court recently established a new standard for analyzing claims under the Federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act. In Young v. United Parcel Service, Inc., the divided court held that a pregnant worker can show that the employer’s legitimate, non-discriminatory justifications are pretextual under the McDonnell Douglas burden-shifting framework if its accommodation policies impose a "significant burden" on pregnant workers and its reasons are not "sufficiently strong." Over Justice Scalia scathing dissent, the Court vacated the Fourth Circuit's decision granting summary judgment to UPS, and remanded the case for further consideration in light of the Court’s new standard and interpretation of the statute.