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By Audrie Howard on March 16, 2017 at 3:15 PM

Sexual orientation discrimination representation, choosing one person out of a crowdThe 11th Circuit Court of Appeals created a likely split in federal courts of appeals this week when it upheld a district court’s dismissal of a complaint alleging harassment on the basis of sexual orientation.

The 11th Circuit’s decision in Jameka Evans v. Georgia Regional Hospital rested on the ground that discrimination on the basis of an employee’s sexual orientation is not prohibited under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act (Case No. 15-15234). The plaintiff in this case, a former hospital security guard, alleged that she was harassed because she is a lesbian and because she did not conform to gender norms. As precedent for its decision, the 11th Circuit cited to a 1979 case out of the 5th Circuit (Blum v. Gulf Oil Corp., 597 F.2d 926).

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By Katherine Fechte on March 3, 2017 at 3:52 PM

"Minimum Wage Increase Ahead" on street signThe Missouri Supreme Court on Feb. 28, 2017, upheld St. Louis’ minimum wage ordinance, over the arguments of business groups who claimed the ordinance was preempted by Missouri state law. The decision means the minimum wage in St. Louis will increase to $10 per hour this year and $11 in 2018.

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By Lauren Harris on February 24, 2017 at 3:22 PM

Male and female bathroom sign. With a new year and a new presidential administration, the restroom access debate is a hot topic again.

On Feb. 22, 2017, the Trump administration withdrew the Obama-era directive to public schools that instructed schools to permit transgender students access to restrooms and locker rooms that correspond with their expressed gender identity or risk violating Title IX’s prohibition on sex discrimination. The Trump administration clarified that its action in rescinding President Obama’s guidance was not an attack on the LGBTQ community, but an action taken on the premise that this is a state’s rights issue. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos explained in a statement: “We have a responsibility to protect every student in America and ensure that they have the freedom to learn and thrive in a safe and trusted environment…This is an issue best solved at the state and local level. Schools, communities, and families can find — and in many cases have found — solutions that protect all students.”

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By Lauren Daming on February 21, 2017 at 1:25 PM

Image of St. Louis, Missouri City HallA St. Louis city ordinance took effect Feb. 13 protecting employees against discrimination on the basis of their “reproductive health decisions.” Ordinance 70459 prohibits employers from taking any adverse employment action — such as termination or demotion — against an employee due to the employee’s decision to use drugs, devices or medical services related to reproductive health that the employer does not agree with, including contraceptives, fertility treatments or abortion.

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By Audrie Howard on February 6, 2017 at 10:13 AM

States highlighted in green with right-to-work legislationMissouri has become the 28th state to enact right-to-work legislation banning mandatory union dues. Gov. Eric Greitens signed the bill into law on Feb. 6, 2017, and it will take effect on Aug. 28, 2017.

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By Lauren Daming on January 30, 2017 at 9:53 AM

People joining in tug of war.Last week, 60 business groups and four states joined the fight against the Department of Labor’s new overtime rule by filing amicus briefs in the Fifth Circuit asking the court to uphold the district court’s injunction blocking the rule from taking effect.

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By Audrie Howard, Camille Toney, Lauren Harris on January 26, 2017 at 3:57 PM

Shoes moving from 2016 to 2017 with pictures of Illinois and MissouriThe Missouri and Illinois legislatures were quite active in 2016 in creating laws affecting employers, and they have been just as busy in the first few weeks of 2017. Below is a summary of employment law developments that may affect your business in those states in the coming year. 

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Business shoes moving from 2016 to 20172016 was a busy year for employment law developments on a national level, and 2017 promises to follow suit. To help employers navigate the changes, here is a summary of major developments that may affect your business this year.

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By Amy Blaisdell, Heather Mehta on January 18, 2017 at 3:40 PM

Supreme Court buildingThe U.S. Supreme Court on Jan. 17 ended a yearlong legal challenge to the enforceability of a forum selection clause in an ERISA-governed benefit plan, when the court denied the plaintiff’s petition for writ of certiorari. The case is Clause v. U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 719 (Jan. 17, 2017).

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By Audrie Howard on January 3, 2017 at 1:20 PM

Documents coming out of computer screenEmployers should be on notice that the Department of Homeland Security has published a new edition of the Form I-9 for use beginning no later than Jan. 22, 2017.

The new Form I-9 should be used to verify identity and employment authorization for all new hires and re-verifications of expired documents. It is available in a fillable PDF here and in paper form here.

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