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By Amy Blaisdell, Jill Luft, Scott Cruz on June 17, 2020 at 2:00 PM

Firing an employee for being gay (i.e. sexual orientation) or transgender (i.e. gender identity) is a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the U.S. Supreme Court said in a ruling issued June 15, 2020.

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By Katherine Fechte, Lauren Daming on January 22, 2020 at 10:15 AM

2020 review concept. Hand flip wood cube change year 2019 to 2020 and the word REVIEW on wooden block on wood tableThe theme for last year’s federal developments was reversal of Obama-era rules. The Department of Labor and National Labor Relations Board were especially active in this respect.

After a relatively quiet Supreme Court term for employment law in 2018-19, the stage is set for the court to rule in 2020 on highly anticipated topics. Below is a summary of major federal employment law headlines from last year and a look at what employers can expect in 2020.

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By Katherine Fechte, Lauren Daming on January 22, 2020 at 10:15 AM

Map showing Illinois and Missouri highlightedWhile Missouri employers saw few legislative updates that will affect the state of employment law in 2020, the Illinois legislature had a busy year. Below is a look at some of the legislative highlights of 2019 and how they might affect your business in 2020.

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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 on May 3, 2019 at 12:30 PM

Hundred dollar bills laying on top of a calendarAs we explained last week, a federal judge recently ruled that all employers who are required to submit EEO-1 surveys must report 2018 employee pay data by Sept. 30, 2019. In that ruling, the court also ordered the EEOC to collect a second year of pay data and gave the agency a choice between collecting employers’ 2017 data with the 2018 pay data or waiting to collect 2019 pay data next year. 

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By Lauren Harris on April 25, 2019 at 2:50 PM

Magnifying glass on dollar banknotes. A federal judge reportedly ruled April 25 that all employers who are required to submit EEO-1 surveys on employee demographic data must report employee pay data by Sept. 30, 2019.  This includes employers with at least 100 employees and federal contractors with at least 50 employees and a contract of $50,000 or more with the federal government. 

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By Lauren Daming on February 6, 2019 at 1:15 PM

Companies encouraged to revisit privacy policies in light of projected increase in litigation

Thumbprint getting scanned with a biometric scannerThe Illinois Supreme Court in January 2019 held that plaintiffs bringing claims under the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) are not required to allege that they suffered any actual harm as the result of a violation of the act. Instead, it’s enough to allege that an employer or other entity simply violated BIPA’s notice, consent or disclosure requirements. The court’s opinion in Rosenbach v. Six Flags is expected to result in an increase in class action litigation under BIPA, which regulates how private entities use information based on “biometric identifiers” such as fingerprints and retina scans.  

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By Katherine Fechte, Lauren Daming, Lauren Harris on January 18, 2019 at 10:10 AM

"2018" written out with wooden blocks with a person rotating the "8" to a "9"2018 was a relatively quiet year in federal employment law developments, but the stage is set for a much more active 2019. Below is a summary of major federal employment law headlines and a look at what employers can expect in 2019.

For Missouri and Illinois employers, a review of 2018 state updates and a look forward at 2019 can be found here.

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By Dennis Collins, Lauren Harris on June 29, 2018 at 11:40 AM

U.S. Supreme Court BuildingThe U.S. Supreme Court issued its opinion June 27 in Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, Council 31, 585 U.S. ___ (2018), holding that nonunion members working in union positions for public employers are not obligated to pay agency fees, also known as “fair share” fees. This overturns Abood v. Detroit Board of Education, 431 U.S. 209 (1977) which set the precedent that as long as the agency fees represent the percentage of the union’s expenditures for collective bargaining, contract administration, and grievance adjustment purposes, then state governments can legislate that public employees employed in positions represented by unions, even though not union members, can be required to pay service charges or agency fees. In conjunction, unions are required to provide detailed notices of how the agency fees are being spent for “chargeable” activities (contract and bargaining based activities) and “non-chargeable” activities (political and lobbying activities). It should be noted that federal law prohibits unions that bargain for federal workers to charge agency fees to nonunion members, but according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 27 percent of the federal workforce are union members.

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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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