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By T. Christopher Bailey on August 7, 2019 at 12:30 PM

Woman's arms protecting a drawing of money on a chalkboard from question marksUnder a new law set to take effect September 29, 2019, Illinois employers will be prohibited from, among other things, asking for an employee’s wage history during the hiring process. The law, which amends the Illinois Equal Pay Act, is designed with the intent of avoiding future pay disparity between men and women based on prior wage differences.

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By T. Christopher Bailey on June 6, 2019 at 2:00 PM

United States Supreme CourtIn a unanimous decision, the U.S. Supreme Court held that an employee’s failure to exhaust administrative remedies is not a jurisdictional prerequisite to filing a lawsuit, rather it is a procedural requirement that could be waived by the employer’s failure to timely raise the issue.

In Fort Bend County, Texas v. Davis, --- S.Ct. ---- (U.S. June 3, 2019) the plaintiff, Davis, filed a charge of discrimination alleging sex discrimination and retaliation. While that charge was pending, Davis was told to report to work on a Sunday. When Davis refused due to a prior church commitment, her employment was terminated. Intending to amend her earlier charge, Davis submitted an EEOC Intake Questionnaire on which she handwrote “religion” under “Harms or Actions” and checked the boxes for “discharge” and “reasonable accommodation.” However, Davis made no change to her formal charge of discrimination document to allege discrimination on the basis of her religion.

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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 Kevin McLaughlin, T. Christopher Bailey on April 11, 2016 at 8:51 AM

A railway company and the business groups that supported its position scored a victory April 5 with the U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision that obesity is not a covered condition under the Americans with Disabilities Act. The ruling is the latest to support the position that general obesity, without an underlying medical cause, does not warrant protection under the ADA.

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By T. Christopher Bailey on February 1, 2016 at 4:38 PM

A new proposal announced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) would add a requirement that employers submit data on employees’ pay ranges and hours worked on federal EEO-1 forms beginning in September 2017. Companies with more than 100 employees and federal contractors are currently required to annually submit an EEO-1 report that includes information regarding employees’ race, ethnicity and gender.

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By Katherine Fechte, T. Christopher Bailey on September 23, 2015 at 11:14 AM

The National Labor Relations Board has long held employers cannot stifle employee communications about the conditions of their employment in general handbook confidentiality clauses, but on Aug. 27, the NLRB took that prohibition one step further.

In a 2-1 decision, the board ruled The Boeing Co.’s confidentiality restriction for employees under HR investigations violated the National Labor Relations Act. (Boeing Co., 2015 BL 278958, 362 N.L.R.B. No. 195, 8/27/15.)

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By Beata Krakus, T. Christopher Bailey on August 31, 2015 at 1:16 PM

Reversing course from more than 30 years of precedent, the National Labor Relations Board significantly expanded its standard for determining when two entities constitute a single joint employer over a unit of employees. In so doing, the NLRB creates questions about a number of entity relationships such as parent corporation/subsidiary, contractor/subcontractor and franchisor/franchisee relationships.

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By Amy Blaisdell, Lauren Daming, T. Christopher Bailey on March 26, 2015 at 10:43 AM

5388576411_700edd78b2By a 6-3 majority, the Supreme Court created a potentially new standard by which employers’ accommodations given or denied to pregnant women will be judged under the federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act (“PDA”).

In Young v. UPS, the plaintiff, Peggy Young, was deemed unable to work her part-time driver position once her physician placed her on a 20-pound lifting restriction. Young was placed on an unpaid leave, and returned to work after the birth of her child; however, Young subsequently filed a lawsuit against UPS alleging the company violated the PDA in refusing to accommodate her pregnancy-related lifting restriction and not assigning her to a light duty position. 

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By Beata Krakus, T. Christopher Bailey on July 30, 2014 at 8:54 AM

franchiseIn a decision that could have far-reaching legal implications for franchisors, on July 29, 2014, the General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) ruled that McDonald’s was a joint employer of its franchisees’ employees. This decision stems from allegations that McDonald’s and its franchisees violated employees’ rights following protests pertaining to wages and working conditions.

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By T. Christopher Bailey on May 20, 2014 at 1:34 PM

EmailThreatening to overturn current Board precedent, the National Labor Relations Board (“Board” or “NLRB”) has invited interested individuals and organizations to submit briefs addressing whether employees should have the right to use employer-provided e-mail and electronic communications systems for union organizing and any other activity protected by the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”). A successful effort by the Board will require both union and non-union employers to review their communications policies to ensure compliance with the NLRA.

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