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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 Katherine Fechte on August 26, 2019 at 1:45 PM

Blue binder that says "policies" on itCan employers violate employees’ rights by creating policies that prohibit certain hairstyles at work? New York City and California think so; and they likely won’t be the last jurisdictions with a say on the matter.

Just this year the New York City Commission on Human Rights issued guidelines saying that while employers can require that employees maintain a work-appropriate appearance, a grooming policy that prohibits locs, cornrows, fades, Afros, and other such hairstyles will be considered racial bias. Specifically, the guidelines state:

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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 Katherine Fechte on March 1, 2019 at 4:10 PM

The Missouri Supreme Court held on Feb. 26, 2019, that under the Missouri Human Rights Act (MHRA), sex-based stereotypical attitudes can form the basis of a sex discrimination claim when the complaining party is homosexual. While finding sexual orientation is not protected under the MHRA, and standing alone, the characteristic of being lesbian, gay, or bisexual cannot sustain a sex stereotyping claim, the court’s holding does offer greater protections for LGBTQ employees in Missouri.

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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 Katherine Fechte on July 27, 2018 at 12:10 PM

Businessman holding a baby. In an age when companies are more progressive than ever and employers are focused on keeping employees happy and healthy, employee benefits such as vacation days and paid leave are on the rise. Bloomberg reports that more than one in three U.S. employers now offers paid maternity leave beyond the amount required by law, up from one in six earlier this decade. Similarly, benefits such as paternity leave for new fathers and parental leave for new adoptive parents and same-sex couples have become more common.

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By Audrie Howard on July 2, 2018 at 3:50 PM

International world flags shown on badgesIn recent years, “English-only” workplace policies have garnered increased scrutiny under employment discrimination laws on the state and national levels. Employers with these policies need to take note of recent updates to state statutes and regulations governing the lawfulness of “English-only” workplace policies and the overall broadening scope of other bases for discrimination claims.

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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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