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Discrimination Archives

Governor Rauner Vetoes Expansion of Some State Anti-Discrimination Laws Which Would Have Included Small Illinois Employers (Less Than 15 Employees)

Good news for Illinois employers!

Intent To Discriminate No Longer Inferred From Conduct Caused By Disability

Over the last several years, the Wisconsin Labor and Industry Review Commission ("LIRC") has developed a maddening interpretation of the Wisconsin Fair Employment Act as it relates to disability discrimination; that is, if the conduct that prompted an employee's discipline was caused by a disability, then taking action based on that conduct is an act of discrimination, regardless of whether the employer was aware of the connection between the two. For example, if an employee with a known mental disability tells his supervisor to "stick it" and is then disciplined, but later contends his conduct was due to his disability, LIRC has found that disciplining the employee because of his conduct is tantamount to disciplining him because of his disability, and therefore a violation of the WFEA.

LGBTQ Rights vs. Religious Freedom - Fight Lasts for Another Day!

On Monday, June 4, 2018, the United States Supreme Court issued its ruling in Masterpiece Cake Shop Ltd, et al. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, et al. Case No. 16-111 in which it ruled in favor of a Christian baker who had refused to bake a custom wedding cake ordered by a same-sex couple in the State of Colorado. As an aside, it is interesting to note that while this Case has been pending for at least six (6) years, at the time that the same-sex couple (Messiers Craig and Mullins) wanted to place their cake order, same-sex marriages were illegal in the State of Colorado. In point of fact, they planned to wed in Massachusetts and host a reception afterwards in Denver.

Over 40 Need Not Apply?

One of the constants over the last few decades in Labor and Employment Law has been the fact that our society has become more litigious (i.e. people file lawsuits at the drop of a hat). Unfortunately, that saga now seems to be impacting the "older generation" as well.

Politics and Religion in the Workplace - "Backlash Discrimination" of Muslims and Middle Eastern Employees

Fear, emotionally charged perspectives on the Trump administration's immigration policy and deeply embedded religious views are all topics ripe for disagreements possibly escalating into use of slurs, threats and insults. The workplace, where many of us spend the majority of our weekdays, is one place where these agreements may percolate to a dangerous boiling point.

BREAKING NEWS: Seventh Circuit Becomes First Federal Court of Appeals to Recognize Sexual Orientation Discrimination Under Title VII

In what will certainly be considered a landmark appellate court decision, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals issued an opinion in Hively v. Ivy Tech Community College yesterday concluding that individuals can bring sexual orientation discrimination claims under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. By a vote of 8-3, the Court held that discrimination on the basis of "sexual orientation" (which is not explicitly listed as a protected class under Title VII) is equivalent to discrimination on the basis of "sex" (which is listed as a protected class).

Gender Identity Issues are Front and Center in 2017

From President Trump's Recent Executive Order and the U.S. Supreme Court's Anticipated Decision this spring on Use of Public Bathrooms According to One's Gender Identity, to a Case Pending in Minnesota Federal Court Involving Claims of Discrimination in Health Care under the Affordable Care Act and the Minnesota Human Rights Act

EEOC Prioritizes National Origin Discrimination in the Workplace

It is likely pure coincidence that the EEOC issued its position on national origin discrimination within days of the November elections. The guidelines went into effect on November 21, 2016, modifying the EEOC's previous position on national origin discrimination, issued 15 years ago. The current guidelines are consistent with the EEOC's Strategic Enforcement Plan (SEP) for 2017-2021, which identifies the rights of immigrants as a top priority for the agency.

Avoid Religious Discrimination in Your Workplace

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is a federal law which prohibits employers (with at least 15 employees) from discriminating in the workplace based on such issues as religion.

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