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BT Currents - Hot Topics in Employment Law

19 Oct Don’t Forget: New Procedures for Illinois Charges of Discrimination

On Aug. 24, the Illinois Human Rights Act (IHRA) was amended to increase filing timeframes, allow for employee opt-out provisions, and modify the structure of the Illinois Human Rights Commission. These amendments significantly altered the charge-filing process for employees on the state level.   More Time to File Employees now have 300 calendar days from the date of the alleged discriminatory act to file a charge of discrimination with the Illinois Department of Human Rights (IDHR) under the IHRA, as opposed to 180 days.  …

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06 Sep Is Severe Obesity A Disability Under The ADA? The Seventh Circuit Will Decide.

Advocates for the obese are arguing that the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit should overturn a holding that obesity does not constitute a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).   The case at hand started in March 2016, when former Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) bus driver Mark Richardson sued the CTA for violation of the ADA, claiming he was discriminated against because of his severe obesity. The CTA moved for summary judgment on the grounds that obesity does not…

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30 Jul Eleventh Circuit Overturns Dismissal of Race-Based Minimum Wage Statute Challenge

On July 25, 2018, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit overturned the Northern District of Alabama’s dismissal of a challenge to Alabama’s Minimum Wage and Right-to-Work Act (the “Act”) on the basis that the Alabama State Legislature may have violated the Fourteenth Amendment in enforcing the Act. In April 2015, the City of Birmingham – which is 72 percent African American and 30 percent below the poverty line – passed an ordinance to raise its minimum wage from $8.50 per hour to…

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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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