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By Lauren Harris on June 20, 2018 at 1:33 PM

Person filling out an employment application on a mobile phoneOn June 9, 2018, Kansas City, Missouri’s “ban-the-box” ordinance went into effect. The ordinance is applicable to private employers with six or more employees and is being touted as Ban-the-Box-PLUS, since it not only prohibits the use of questions about criminal background on the job application form but also requires employers to have additional justifiable reasons for using an applicant or employee’s criminal background as the basis for any employment decision.

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By Lauren Harris, T. Christopher Bailey on June 7, 2018 at 2:50 PM

Person decorating a white wedding cakeOn June 4, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court released its long-awaited decision in Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, 584 U.S. ___ (2018), which examined whether a Colorado bakery violated that state’s Anti-Discrimination Act by refusing to bake a wedding cake celebrating a same-sex marriage ceremony. While a 7-2 majority of the court sided with the bakery, the much-anticipated decision left more questions unanswered than answered. The decision and concurring and dissenting opinions can be read here.

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By Lauren Daming, Heather Mehta on May 21, 2018 at 2:40 PM EDT

Supreme Court buildingIn a 5-4 decision written by newcomer Justice Gorsuch, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld employment agreements that require employees to individually arbitrate disputes with their employers.

The May 21, 2018, opinion in Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis resolves a trio of cases before the Supreme Court in which employees brought suits against their employers alleging state and federal wage and hour violations. In each situation, the employees had signed contracts agreeing to resolve any employment-related disputes in individualized arbitration. Nevertheless, they sought to litigate their claims in class or collective actions. 

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By Dennis Collins on May 18, 2018 at 10:50 AM

Person casting a vote on a ballotThe Missouri legislature has approved a proposal that moves the date of a public vote on the state’s right-to-work law to the August 2018 ballot.

The proposal was approved 96-47 in the Missouri House on May 17. The Senate had already passed the measure. The legislative approval moves a statewide vote on whether to prevent the Missouri right-to-work law from taking effect from November to the Aug. 7 primary ballot. 

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By Dennis Collins on May 10, 2018 at 11:10 AM

Picture of Missouri State Capitol BuildingOn May 8, 2018, a Missouri Senate committee approved a proposal to have voters decide in August 2018, rather than November 2018, whether to prevent the Missouri right-to-work law from taking effect. If allowed to become effective, the right-to-work law would prohibit employers from requiring employees to join a union or pay union dues as a condition of employment.

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By Jill Luft on April 12, 2018 at 9:50 AM

Words "Out of Office" written on a piece of paper held up by a businesswomanAs we reported last fall, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals determined that a multi-month continuous leave of absence is beyond the scope of a reasonable accommodation under the ADA. The case was Severson v. Heartland Woodcraft, Inc., 872 F.3d 476 (7th Cir. 2017). After exhausting 12 continuous weeks of FMLA leave for a serious back condition, Severson informed his employer that he would need to remain off work for another two to three months. The Seventh Circuit reasoned that the ADA is an antidiscrimination statute, not a medical leave entitlement, and an employee who needs long-term medical leave cannot work and is therefore not a qualified individual under the ADA.

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By Katherine Fechte on April 4, 2018 at 9:50 AM

Person receiving car keys from a car salesmanOn April 2, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court, in a close 5-4 decision, held that car dealership service advisors are exempt from the overtime requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). In reaching this conclusion, the court rejected the long-held belief that FLSA exemptions should be applied narrowly.

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By Jill Luft on April 3, 2018 at 2:50 PM

Stethoscope on top of a BibleThe U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) earlier this year announced that it would create a new division within the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) to enforce certain federal laws to protect religious freedom and the rights of conscience of workers in health and human services. This new Conscience and Religious Freedom Division will provide an avenue for HHS to more aggressively enforce laws protecting the rights of conscience and religious freedom.

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By Lauren Daming on February 27, 2018 at 1:54 PM

Word "confidential" written on shredded paperA National Labor Relations Board administrative law judge in February struck down two provisions in a severance agreement relating to confidentiality and participation in third-party claims. In Baylor University Medical Center, the administrative law judge (ALJ) concluded that these provisions violated the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) because they had the effect of restricting protected conduct and were not justified by any countervailing concerns. The ALJ relied on the board’s recent Boeing Company decision that outlined a new framework for reviewing employer policies.

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"2017" and "2018" written on metal wheelsThe federal employment law landscape saw some interesting developments in 2017, as well as some anticipated changes that were ultimately halted or delayed. Below is a summary of major federal employment law headlines and a look at what employers can expect in 2018.

For Missouri and Illinois employers specifically, a review of 2017 updates and a look forward at 2018 can be found here.

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