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EEOC Lawsuit Reminds Employers to Accommodate Pregnant Workers As It Does Other Employees

Reminding employers of their obligation to accommodate pregnant employees in the same manner as non-pregnant employees, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently filed a sex discrimination lawsuit against a North Carolina nursing center. The complaint alleges the center violated the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (PDA) when it terminated two nursing assistants because of their pregnancy-related restrictions. In one case, the center placed the nursing assistant on unpaid leave when she asked the center to accommodate a pulling, lifting, and pushing restriction placed on her by her physician, then terminated her employment. The center terminated the second employee for similar reasons. The EEOC alleges the nursing center had the ability to accommodate such restrictions because they accommodated similar restrictions for non-pregnant employees who suffered work injuries.The EEOC is seeking declaratory and compensatory relief, as well as other monetary relief, for the terminated employees. More ›

6th Circuit First Appellate Court to Declare Transgender or Transitioning Status Discrimination is Sex Discrimination Under Title VII

In a milestone decision, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals held discrimination based on an employee’s transgender or transitioning status violates Title VII. In addition, the court held as a matter of law that a religious employer “cannot rely on customers’ presumed biases to establish a substantial burden” under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). Thus, the employer’s sincerely held religious beliefs did not free it from the proscriptions of Title VII. More ›

Second Circuit Declares Sexual Orientation Discrimination is Sex Discrimination under Title VII

Acknowledging the “changing legal landscape” surrounding Title VII protections against discrimination, the Second Circuit overturned prior precedent and held sexual orientation is discrimination because of sex. The Second Circuit, sitting en banc in Zarda v. Altitude Express, Inc., examined the issue “from the perspective of sex stereotyping,” and unequivocally concluded that “sexual orientation discrimination is predicated on assumptions about how persons of a certain sex can or should be,” which is “an impermissible basis for adverse employment actions.” In Zarda, a deceased skydiving instructor was allegedly fired for disclosing his sexual orientation to a client and not conforming to the “straight male macho stereotype.” More ›

Wisconsin Employers: Do Your Job Postings Run Afoul of the Wisconsin Fair Employment Act’s Prohibition Against Conviction Record Discrimination?

Believe it or not, individuals with criminal convictions can make a business out of trolling online job boards for job postings that express an intent to discriminate against applicants with conviction records—think job postings with “no felonies” as a qualification. Postings of this type run afoul of the Wisconsin Fair Employment Act, which prohibits employers (1) from circulating job ads and applications that express an intent to discriminate against applicants with conviction records and (2) from refusing to hire applicants because of their arrest or conviction record (among other types of discrimination directed at individuals with arrest and conviction records). Postings that violate this prohibition can cost your company a whole lot of headache and money. Penalties range from a cease and desist order to job instatement and backpay if the applicant can show he or she would have been hired but for her conviction. More ›

Lessons for Employers in the Case of a Former Google Software Engineer Fired for Violating Company Anti-Discrimination Policies

Earlier this week, an NLRB attorney issued an advice memo concluding that software giant Google did not violate Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act ("NLRA"), when the company terminated software engineer James Damore, who penned a controversial memo criticizing Google’s diversity initiatives. The memo, and Google's swift reaction, were widely covered in the press and speculation followed questioning whether Google's response was appropriate or whether it would face a challenge.   More ›

Whistleblowers Now Actually Have to Report to The SEC For Dodd-Frank Protection

On February 21, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that provisions of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act that protect whistleblowers from being fired, demoted, or harassed by their employers only apply to people who actually make a report of a violation of the federal securities laws to the Securities and Exchange Commission. The Dodd-Frank Act established a whistleblower program that was designed to motivate individuals to report securities laws violations to the SEC by providing whistleblowers with incentives and protections. Individuals who voluntarily report information to the SEC may be entitled to a cash award of 10 to 30% of the monetary sanctions collected in enforcement actions, and they are protected from retaliation by their employers for having provided that information. More ›

A Win for "Gig-Economy" Employers in California

In a win for California’s “gig economy employers,” a California District Court held earlier this week that Chicago-based GrubHub, Inc. properly classified a food delivery driver as an independent contractor, not an employee. Accordingly, the driver's labor law claims, which require an employer-employee relationship, were precluded. More ›

Hinshaw Employment Webinar Series: Employer-Assisted Student Loan Repayment Programs

The Hinshaw employment webinar series kicks off its next program on March 8, with a presentation by Vaishali Rao and Anthony Antognoli about the growing trend of employer-assisted student loan repayment programs. Vaishali and Anthony will offer a series of best practices and tips for success on this topic, including identifying risks, offering regulatory insight, examining tax treatments, and providing a checklist for planning and deploying a successful employer-assisted student loan repayment program.

For more information, and to register, visit: https://www.hinshawlaw.com/events-Employer-Assisted-Student-Loan-Repayment-Programs.html

Temporary Employees in Wisconsin Now Able to Bring Tort Suits for Work Injuries Despite Worker's Compensation Act's Exclusive Remedy Provision

In a game-changing decision, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals recently ruled that temporary employees who have not filed a compensation claim under Wisconsin’s Worker’s Compensation Act may sue their temporary employer in tort. In other words, they may choose to file a worker’s compensation claim or file a lawsuit seeking damages not available under the Act. The decision is likely to cause shock waves among employers who use temporary employees--until this decision, employers were previously immune from tort claims by all employees, temporary or permanent, under the Act’s exclusive remedy provision. More ›

2017 EEO-1 Reporting is Open and Due by March 31

Annual EEO-1 reports are due by March 31, 2018. Employers may begin submitting reports any time now that the necessary EEO-1 report website is open. This report will reflect employment data on race, ethnicity, sex, by job category from a payroll period in October, November, or December 2017. The EEO-1 report website contains helpful information including commission contact information, procedures and instructions, and a FAQ. More ›

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