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lhorras@hinshawlaw.com
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Linda Horras partners with her clients to defend, guide, and counsel them on difficult employment matters ranging from internal employee disputes to …

Showing 30 posts by Linda K. Horras.

District Court Permits Walmart to "Rollback" Job Offer Because of Undue Hardship from a Religious Accommodation

The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin recently addressed an employer's responsibilities to accommodate an employee's religious beliefs. In EEOC v. Walmart Stores East, LP, the court examined whether Walmart was required to accommodate a candidate for an assistant manager position who informed Walmart—after he received his offer—that he could not work on Saturdays due to his religion. Walmart ultimately withdrew the offer of employment, but offered the employee the opportunity to seek a non-management position as well as the assistance of human resources in his job search. The employee refused Walmart's offer and asserted claims of religious discrimination and retaliation under Title VII. More ›

New Statutory Framework Mandated for Employers Seeking to Limit Notice to Putative Class Members in an Enforceable Arbitration Agreement

The United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit recently articulated a new statutory framework for determining whether notice to a putative plaintiff should be issued under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). At issue was whether a district court may authorize notice to potential plaintiffs who had entered into arbitration agreements waiving the right to participate in a collective action; or in the alternative, whether these employees are “similarly situated” to a plaintiff that has not waived their right to participate in a collective action. More ›

U.S. Department of Labor Rings in the New Year with New Opinion Letters Regarding FMLA and the FLSA

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued three opinion letters on January 7, 2020—one addressing the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and two on the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The FMLA letter clarifies whether a combined general health district must consider employees of the county located in said health district when determining FMLA eligibility. As for the FLSA letters, one explores how a nondiscretionary bonus factors into an employee's regular rate of pay, while the other looks at whether per-project payments satisfy the salary basis test for exemption. Below, we take a closer look at each of these letters. More ›

New York State Prohibits Employee Discrimination Over Reproductive Health Decisions

On November 8, 2019, Governor Andrew Cuomo expanded the list of protected categories under existing New York City Human Rights Law by signing the New York Reproductive Choice Law. Under this provision, employers are prohibited from discriminating against employees or their dependents for their reproductive health decisions. Specifically, the law prohibits employers from accessing personal information about an employee or dependent's "use or access of a particular drug, device or medical service without the employee's prior informed affirmative written consent." Further, employers cannot retaliate against or treat an employee differently because they "use or access a particular drug, device or medical service." More ›

State of Illinois Prohibits Employers from Using Salary History in Hiring Process

On July 31, 2019, Illinois joined a growing list of state and local governments that have banned employers from using salary history in the hiring process. For those keeping count, there are now 18 state bans and 18 municipal bans nationwide. Illinois adopted its salary history ban through an amendment of the Illinois Equal Pay Act of 2003. Once the ban goes into effect, Illinois employers, employment agencies, and staff will be prohibited from seeking salary history information from a job candidate or her past employer. The main purpose of these bans is to bridge the wage gap between men and women doing the same or similar jobs. Many believe salary history information is used to perpetuate the long-running salary differences between the sexes, because employers have historically set starting salaries based on last reported wages by the applicant. The ban brings significant changes for employers, so it is likely that litigation in this area will increase. Fortunately, there are proactive steps employers can take to prepare for the ban, which goes into effect September 29, 2019. More ›

Seventh Circuit Rules Termination Based on Political Affiliation Was Lawful

As a result of the 2018 midterms, many public offices will be transitioning from one political party to the other. In a timely decision, the Seventh Circuit recently reaffirmed that government entities have the right to discharge employees for political reasons, including political affiliation, in certain circumstances. More ›

Illinois District Court Weighs in on Essential Functions Under the ADA

A central tenet of the Americans with Disabilities Act is that an employee must be a qualified individual with a disability to receive its protections. A qualified individual with a disability must be able to perform the essential functions of the position with or without a reasonable accommodation. While an employer may modify the duties for an employee to accommodate medical restrictions, this does not mean the essential purpose of the original job must change. The Northern District of Illinois recently addressed this issue in a case involving a Chicago police officer. The officer had suffered several disabling strokes. For years, she worked in a light duty assignment taking police reports over the phone. More ›

Amendments to Illinois Human Rights Act Allows Claimants to Bypass IDHR and Extend Filing Deadline

Late last month, the Illinois Human Rights Act was amended to provide a new judicial option for complainants and a longer charge filing period. Complainants now have the right to opt out of the Illinois Department of Human Rights ("IDHR") investigative process and request a right to sue. From there, they can take their claims directly into court. The time for filing charges has also been expanded from 180 days to 300 days. These changes align the Illinois Human Rights Act with federal statutes such as Title VII that provide complaining parties both with the right to forego investigation and a longer filing period. More ›

Rigid Compliance with Company Policy May Violate the ADA

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals recently issued a decision upholding a jury's guilty verdict against a large national retailer. Although a straightforward application of the Americans with Disabilities Act, this case a great example of how strict enforcement of company policy can run afoul of the Act’s prohibition against discrimination and an employer’s obligation to provide reasonable accommodations. More ›

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