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BT Currents - Hot Topics in Employment Law
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28 Aug 2014 Seventh Circuit Judges Grill State Attorneys on Gay Marriage

  On August 26, state officials from Wisconsin and Indiana faced blistering scrutiny from a panel of Seventh Circuit judges as they argued in favor of reinstating laws in each state banning gay marriage. Judges Posner, Hamilton and Williams pushed them to their limits and asked a number of pointed questions regarding their arguments.   Judge Posner took the attorneys to task regarding the interests of children, quickly interrupting Indiana’s Solicitor General Thomas Fisher and asking if children wouldn’t want their parents to be married…

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25 Aug 2014 The Interactive Process Under the ADA – Are you engaging in it?

  We’ve been seeing a lot of cases lately where employers are finding it difficult to dispose of ADA claims before trial. It’s not what it used to be where you could often show an employee was not disabled under the ADA and likely prevail on summary judgment. With the broader scope (or interpretation of) a disability under the ADA, employers often find themselves arguing over whether an employee with a disability is qualified for a position, or whether an accommodation is truly reasonable.  …

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22 Aug 2014 California Governor Signs Bills Impacting California Wage Suits

  California Governor Jerry Brown signed two bills earlier this week intended to clarify California’s wage laws. The first of these bills, A.B. 2074, clarifies the statute of limitations to file suit for liquidated damages in relation to a violation of California’s minimum wage payment law. Specifically, existing law allows an employee to bring a civil lawsuit against an employer for the unpaid balance of wages/compensation owed to that individual, as well as to recover liquidated damages equal to unpaid wages plus interest in an…

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15 Aug 2014 When “I Love You” May Be Too Much

  Normally, the words “I love you” make a person feel good, happy, confident and host of other emotions. However, in the employment context, saying these three little words can cause a host of potential issues for both employers and employees. Typically, as employment attorneys, we see these words leading to claims of sexual harassment. But, now it appears saying “I love you” (among other things) also can create a claim of religious discrimination.   In June of this year, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity…

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13 Aug 2014 Notice of San Francisco’s Fair Chance Ordinance Required as of August 13, 2014

  Companies located or doing business in San Francisco that have a total of 20 or more employees worldwide should prepare to provide notice of San Francisco’s Fair Chance Ordinance starting today, August 13, 2014. The Fair Chance Ordinance restricts inquiries regarding a job applicant’s criminal history and imposes other related requirements, including that notice be provided to employees and applicants. The required notice, available here, must be posted in a conspicuous place in every San Francisco worksite that is frequently visited by employees or applicants….

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12 Aug 2014 Add New Jersey to the List of “Ban-the-Box” States

  Yesterday, New Jersey joined 12 other states in its enactment of the “ban-the-box” legislation whereby employers will be prohibited from asking job applicants at the outset about their criminal records. Following New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s execution of the Opportunity to Compete Act (Act), New Jersey became the fifth state – in addition of Hawaii, Massachusetts, Minnesota and Rhode Island – to impose the “ban-the- box” prohibitions on private-sector employers.   Under the Act, an employer is barred from conducting any pre-application inquiry regarding…

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25 Jul 2014 Illinois Governor Signs Law Banning Criminal Background Questions from Job Applications

  Illinois employers should review their job applications and hiring policies to ensure they comply with a new Illinois law, effective January 1, 2015, that will prohibit questions about criminal history at the initial application stage.   Illinois Governor Pat Quinn has signed the Job Opportunities for Qualified Applicants Act into law. The Act prohibits covered private employers with fifteen or more employees and employment agencies from inquiring about or into, considering, or requiring disclosure of an applicant’s criminal history, until an applicant: (1) has…

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23 Jul 2014 U.S. Supreme Court to hear pregnancy accommodation case in its fall term

  Must employers that provide work accommodations to non-pregnant employees with work limitations also provide work accommodations to pregnant employees who are similar in their ability or inability to work?   That is a question that the U.S. Supreme Court justices have decided they will consider in their next term,  agreeing to take up the case of Young v. United Parcel Service, Inc. The issue is whether the federal  Pregnancy Discrimination Act, 42 U.S.C. §2000e(k) requires accommodations for pregnant workers such as “light duty” or…

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15 Jul 2014 New EEOC Guidance – Pregnant Employees May Now Be Entitled To Accommodations

  On July 14, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued its first new comprehensive enforcement guidance regarding the Pregnancy Discrimination Act since 1983, significantly expanding protection for pregnant employees. The EEOC’s guidance goes so far as to state that pregnant employees may be entitled to accommodations even if they do not have pregnancy-related disabilities.   The Pregnancy Discrimination Act requires employers to treat pregnant employees in the same manner as other workers who are not pregnant, but are similar in their ability or inability to…

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03 Jul 2014 Age Discrimination and Technology: Don’t Take a “Mechanized” Approach Letter of the Law: Current Employment Law Issues A-Z

  From robots performing minimally invasive surgical procedures to computerized payroll, almost all businesses look to the latest technology to optimize day-to-day operations.  Employers need to remain mindful, however, of potential employment implications of being “cutting edge.”   For example, in Marlow v. Chesterfield Cnty. Sch. Bd., 749 F. Supp. 2d 417 (E.D. Va. 2010), a terminated school administrator sued her former employer based on circumstantial evidence of age discrimination. Prior to termination, the Superintendent questioned the plaintiff employee’s “21st Century skills.” Additionally, the school corporation…

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