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By Kevin McLaughlin on November 18, 2016 at 11:27 AM

Union demonstrationA federal judge’s decision to block the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) from enforcing its new persuader rule means employers may continue hiring legal counsel on unionization issues without facing an argument from the DOL that fees paid to legal counsel must be publicly disclosed.

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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 Katherine Fechte, Kevin McLaughlin on October 30, 2015 at 4:23 PM

On Oct. 28, 2015, the Missouri Court of Appeals for the Western District held that discrimination based on sexual orientation is not prohibited under the Missouri Human Rights Act (MHRA).

James Pittman worked as a controller at Cook Paper Recycling Corp. and alleged he was harassed and eventually terminated because of his sexual orientation. Among other things, Pittman alleged that the president of Cook Paper called him derogatory names because of his sexual orientation. The trial circuit court dismissed Pittman’s claims last February, and he appealed.

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By Jill Luft, Kevin McLaughlin, Audrie Howard on June 30, 2015 at 3:35 PM

Hourly minimum rises to $10 on July 1, 2015, and will reach $13 in 2019

conceptual sign with words minimum wage increase  ahead over blue skyChicago’s Minimum Wage Ordinance takes effect July 1, 2015, raising the minimum wage to $10 per hour for non-tipped employees and $5.45 for tipped employees.

It provides for subsequent raises each July 1 until the hourly minimum wage reaches $13 for non-tipped employees in 2019. The full text of the ordinance can be found here.

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By Kevin McLaughlin on July 5, 2013 at 6:43 PM

DOMA Struck DownIf you’re reading this blog, then it’s probably safe to assume that you heard about the Supreme Court’s decision that the Defense of Marriage Act (“DOMA”) is unconstitutional. And it’s probably also safe to assume that you’ve had friends and acquaintances weighing in with their thoughts on the decision on Facebook, LinkedIn and in other venues. Getting lost in the debate, however, is the impact this decision has on how employee benefits are administered.

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By Kevin McLaughlin on April 8, 2013 at 3:26 PM

OSHA Accident Free PosterOSHA has continued its proactive approach to targeting and inspecting businesses in 2013. It’s not like it used to be, when you could expect to be clear of an OSHA inspection if you kept your employees happy (i.e., no complaints to OSHA) and safe (i.e., no reportable accidents). If you met those two goals not long ago, then you were likely in the clear to avoid OSHA inspections in any given year.

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