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BT Currents - Hot Topics in Employment Law

20 Jul Sixth Circuit Holds Full-Time Presence at Work not Essential Simply Because an Employer Says So

On July 17, 2018, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit reminded employers that determining the essential functions of a position is a highly fact specific endeavor in which categorical rules do not apply.   In Hosttetler v. College of Wooster, Heidi Hostettler worked as a full-time HR Generalist. After giving birth to her child, Hostettler experienced severe postpartum depression and separation anxiety. As a result, Hostetller’s physician determined it was medically necessary that she worked a reduced schedule and recommended that Hostettler…

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06 Jun Sixth Circuit Looks to Seventh and Ninth Circuits in Reviving Firefighters Title VII Suit against Union

On June 1, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit joined the Seventh and Ninth Circuits in holding that the standards governing a duty of fair representation claim (i.e., a duty held by unions to represent all employees in good faith, and without discrimination) do not govern Title VII discrimination claims against a union.    In Peeples v. City of Detroit, a group of Detroit firefighters brought suit against their union alleging disparate-treatment race and national origin discrimination in violation of Title VII. …

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12 Mar Sixth Circuit Holds Transgender Status Protected Under Title VII

  On March 7, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit weighed in on the continuing debate surrounding the scope of Title VII’s prohibition on sex discrimination. In a landmark decision, the court ruled that Title VII prohibits discrimination on the basis of transgender and transitioning status and further held that bare compliance with Title VII presents no substantial burden upon an employer’s sincerely held religious beliefs, precluding a defense under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (“RFRA”).   In EEOC v. R.G. &…

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26 Sep Seventh Circuit Declares ‘The ADA is an Antidiscrimination Statute, Not a Medical Leave Entitlement’

  On September 20, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit clarified a question that many employers struggle with: Is an employee entitled to additional long-term leave under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) after Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave expires? According to the Seventh Circuit, that answer is no when the leave requested spans multiple months.   In Severson v. Heartland Woodcraft, Inc., Raymond Severson took a 12-week medical leave under the FMLA to deal with serious back pain. On…

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