Takeaways from the EEOC’s Loss of Noteworthy Transgender Rights Case

Posted in Employment Discrimination Harassment & Retaliation

Since the EEOC first ruled in 2012 that discrimination based on transgender status constitutes sex discrimination in violation of Title VII, the EEOC has continued to expand protections for transgender employees, finding that intentional misuse of a transgender employee’s new name and pronoun may represent sex-based harassment and/or discrimination (decision available here); that an employer’s failure to revise its records pursuant to changes in gender identity may violate Title VII’s prohibition on sex discrimination (decision available here); and that an employer’s restrictions on a transgender employee’s ability to use a common restroom which corresponds to the employee’s gender identity constitutes unlawful disparate treatment (decision available here). The EEOC was recently dealt its first significant setback, however, in a federal court decision which reflects the growing tension between the anti-discrimination laws and religious liberty in the workplace. Continue Reading

Hope for Employers: Court Says Home Health Aides Can’t Bring Collective Action

Posted in Employment Litigation, Wage & Hour

Courts have been quick to allow one employee claiming to be due overtime to sue on behalf of others in the same job category by certifying a collective action, allowing that employee to represent the class and requiring the employer to provide contact information for others in the same job category.  However, in a case with potentially far reaching implications for the home care industry and elsewhere, one court decided to buck the trend and offer a glimmer of hope to employers that find themselves on the receiving end of a wage and hour lawsuit. Continue Reading

Employers Take Note, EEOC Issues Final Retaliation Guidance

Posted in Disability, Employment Counseling & Workplace Claims Prevention, Employment Discrimination Harassment & Retaliation

Employers should review their policies concerning retaliation and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) interference in light of the new Enforcement Guidance on Retaliation published by the EEOC this week.  As retaliation is now the most frequently alleged basis of discrimination, employers should take note.  Continue Reading

HHS Issues Final Non-Discrimination Rules for Healthcare Providers

Posted in Employee Benefits

Healthcare providers and others who receive federal financial assistance are now subject to new non-discrimination rules and notice requirements under the Affordable Care Act. The new regulation prohibits discrimination in healthcare programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability and sex – including pregnancy, gender identity, and sex stereotyping. The new rule also encompasses the obligation to provide language assistance services free of charge to persons with limited English proficiency. Continue Reading

Illinois Restrictive Covenants: July 2016 Update

Posted in Non-Compete & Trade Secret Litigation

Heads up, Illinois employers with post-employment restrictive covenants:  three new cases may impact your enforcement efforts. One continues the split between state and federal courts as to whether continued employment is sufficient consideration, another demonstrates the strict scrutiny courts can place on employers’ stated legitimate business interests, and a third makes clear that attorneys’ fees need not bear a rational relationship to damages awarded. Continue Reading

Stay Ahead Of The Tides: The Ever Changing California Employment Landscape

Posted in Medical & Other Leaves

Employers with California employees are already familiar with the particularities and unique challenges associated with doing business in this state. As other west coast states appear to be meeting or surpassing California’s previously employee-friendly landscape, California is stepping up its game with an ever-expanding list of new ordinances and regulations. In just the last few weeks, several cities have instituted or added new compliance obligations to paid sick leave, including Los Angeles, Santa Monica, San Diego and San Francisco. Employers whose workers perform work in the any of the affected cities for varying periods of time now have to comply with both the state law and the more favorable local ordinances — a particularly tricky task if an employer has mobile employees working in different geographical regions. San Francisco rules apply to any employee who performs work in the city, while San Diego and Santa Monica rules apply to those who work at least two hours in the city in a particular week. Los Angeles has a similar threshold of two hours in a week, but also requires at least 30 days within a year in the city from the start of employment.  In some cases, these paid sick leave requirements double or more what is required statewide.  Following in a similar vein, employers can expect local ordinances to pop up following San Francisco’s trailblazing on issues like flexible schedules or larger statewide initiates increasing the protected characteristics under the Fair Employment and Housing Act.

This next year will likely continue to bring new and different changes that make doing business in California more complex and nuanced.  Understanding both local and statewide requirements for all aspects of employment is critical for the success of any business.


Chicago Ordinance Requires Employer to Provide Paid Sick Leave

Posted in Employee Handbooks & Policies, Medical & Other Leaves

The City of Chicago joined a growing list of cities requiring private employers to provide paid sick leave to its employees. With no federal sick pay requirement, employers in the City of Broad Shoulders will now need to bear the burden of paying employees who miss work for qualifying reasons.   Continue Reading