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Photo of Employment Law Observer Linda K. Horras
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lhorras@hinshawlaw.com
312-704-3022
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Linda Horras practices exclusively in the area of employment defense. She partners with clients to guide and counsel them on difficult employee …

Showing 17 posts by Linda K. Horras.

SCOTUS Green Lights Class Action Waivers in Major Win for Employers

The United States Supreme Court ruled earlier this week that employees must submit claims to arbitration on an individualized basis when their employment agreements require it, even when those claims could be brought as class or collective action under federal legislation such as the Fair Labor Standards Act. Writing for the majority, Justice Neil Gorsuch held that parties to an arbitration agreement are bound by their agreement, as the Federal Arbitration Act envisioned. The Court cited the long history of supporting private arbitration agreements as an efficient and cost-effective means of handling disputes between parties, including parties to an employment agreement who have a dispute over wages. More ›

The Risks and Rewards of Allowing Employees to Work During FMLA Leave

The Family & Medical Leave Act ("FMLA") grants employees leave in certain enumerated situations. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals recently held it also allows the employee and employer to strike an agreement that the employee will perform certain duties and responsibilities during the leave and receive compensation for it without creating an actionable interference claim under the FMLA. More ›

Use of Salary History Taboo? Ninth Circuit Weighs In

Use of one's last salary or salary history to determine compensation can be a proxy for sex discrimination. Once considered a legitimate "factor other than sex," some jurisdictions are banning the use of a job candidate's salary history to determine compensation as it has perpetuated pay inequities between the sexes. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals is the highest-profile court to address, and ban, use of salary history in the employment setting in most (but not all) cases. More ›

U.S. Supreme Court Rejects Narrow Reading in Favor of "Fair" Reading of FLSA Exemptions

The US Supreme Court recently issued a five-four decision addressing whether service advisers of a car dealership fell within the automobile sales exemption. While the opinion may not seem particularly helpful for businesses that do not sell cars, a deeper reading reveals that it is a positive case for employers. 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 ›

Employee's Emotional Distress Claim Not Pre-empted but Not Actionable Emotional Distress Either

The United States Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit recently addressed whether common law tort claims arising during the employment relationship are pre-empted by the Illinois Human Rights Act simply because they share similar fact patterns to claims of discrimination or harassment in Richards v. U.S. Steel. The answer is no. More ›

EEOC Seeks Public Input on Proposed Enforcement Guidance on Unlawful Harassment

The EEOC issued Proposed Enforcement Guidance on Unlawful Harassment on January 10, 2017. It is designed to consolidate numerous agency guidelines into one document and addresses hostile work environment harassment prohibited by statutes enforced by the EEOC. The Guidance examines three primary elements of a harassment claim. First, is the conduct based on a legally protected status; second, is the conduct sufficiently severe or pervasive to create a hostile work environment; and third, is there a basis for employer liability. The 75-page treatise covers key case law since the Supreme Court first recognized harassment as an actionable form of discrimination in 1986. More ›

(A Little) More to Digest on Criminal Background Checks

Last month, we discussed the importance of maintaining employment files, including records on the use of criminal background information in the employment process. We suggested steps to ensure that your use of such information is based on a business necessity that will pass agency muster. We'd like to supplement those suggestions based on a recent presentation by EEOC Commissioner Constance Barker.  More ›

EEOC Uses its Record Keeping Requirements to Police use of Criminal Background Checks

We don't think about personnel files — we just have them. Everything from employment applications to benefits enrollment forms to discipline and discharge documents goes into those files. But did you know that the EEOC requires employers to keep all personnel and employment records for at least one year?  More ›

Eighth Circuit: Doctor Is Unable to Maintain Employment Claims due to Determination of Independent Contractor Status

From 1991 until 2011, Larry Alexander worked as a pathologist for Avera St. Luke's Hospital in South Dakota. Under the terms of his contract, Alexander was an independent contractor free from control of Avera. Alexander paid his own taxes, maintained his own malpractice insurance and paid for his own professional licenses. Avera required him to have medical privileges at its facility, billed patients on his behalf, and paid Alexander in equal monthly payments for his services. More ›

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