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Employment Matters Monthly - February 2016

A Note from the Editors - If January was a harbinger of what's in store for 2016, it's sure to be a busy year for HR professionals and employment attorneys. And Employment Matters is certainly here to guide you along the...more

Points & Authorities - Winter 2016

Attention California Employers: New Employment Laws Affecting Your Business Take Effect on January 1, 2016 - In past years the Governor of California has enacted new laws related to employment that place additional...more

Puerto Rico Supreme Court: Failure to Provide Safe, Private and Hygienic Area for Breastfeeding in the Workplace May Violate...

On January 25, 2016, the Supreme Court of Puerto Rico held that employers in Puerto Rico should provide a safe, private, and hygienic place for working nursing mothers to extract breast milk during the nursing period as...more

Political Apprentice At Work? You're Fired! A Guide To Surviving The Election Season At The Workplace

This presidential election cycle creates unique concerns for companies dealing with employees who wish to discuss politics at work. Regardless of what side they fall on, some of your workers could be more passionate, maybe...more

Can a Massachusetts Religious School Refuse to Employ a Worker in a Same-Sex Marriage?

In Barrett v. Fontbonne Academy, the Massachusetts Superior Court curtailed various statutory and constitutional defenses available to an employer affiliated with a religious institution that faces discrimination claims under...more

Florida Appellate Court Finds Widow Could Independently Bring FCRA Discrimination Claim After Her Husband’s Death

On January 20, a Florida appellate court held that a personal representative can initiate a Florida Civil Rights Act (FCRA) complaint alleging discrimination on behalf of the deceased former employee. In Cimino v. American...more

Pennsylvania Court Rules Background Screening Law Unconstitutional

On December 30, 2015, the Commonwealth Court in Pennsylvania unanimously found the Older Adults Protective Services Act’s (the Act) lifetime prohibition on the ability of individuals with convictions to hold certain jobs in...more

What Does 2016 Portend for Labor and Employment Law?

What is on the horizon for labor and employment policy in 2016, the last year of the Obama administration when the president will seek to cement his legacy, and a national election year when the White House and control of...more

Male Minister Who Won’t Wear Makeup Sues For Religious Bias

Boy, the Detroit area seems to be in the front lines for the gender-identity wars. As I’ve previously reported here, here, here, and here, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has a high-profile...more

As The Rotunda Turns . . . Affair, Coverup, Retaliation — And Lawsuit Against State House

You may have heard about the two Tea Party legislators in Michigan who were having an affair, engaged in a bizarre cover-up that failed, had to resign/were expelled, and then lost their election bids to get their seats back....more

Whistleblower Standing Split in Circuits & TN Federal Courts

There’s a developing circuit split over whistleblower standing for retaliation claims. A decision this week extended that split to U.S. district courts within Tennessee, too. In Verble v. Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, LLC, No....more

Court Finds Promotional Tests Violate Title VII

In Bruce Smith, et al. v. City of Boston, Case No. 12-CV-10291 (D. Mass. Nov. 16, 2015), Judge Young of the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts held that the City of Boston Police Department’s (the...more

District Court Cuts The Cord To Cable Employees’ Discipline And Promotions Class Claims

In a new order issued on November 13, 2015 in Brand, et al. v. Comcast Corp., Case No. 11-CV-8471 (N.D. Ill. Nov. 13, 2015), a matter we have previously blogged on here, Judge Matthew F. Kennelly of the U.S. District Court...more

Five Months after Same-Sex Marriages Held Constitutional: Where Are the Courts Headed on the Unanswered Questions?

On June 26, 2015, the United States Supreme Court issued its monumental decision in Obergefell, et al. v. Hodges, et al.; Case No. 14-556, holding that state bans of same-sex marriages are unconstitutional. Specifically, the...more

Firefighter’s Twelve Year Court Battle Over Racial Discrimination Ends in Reversal of His Million Dollar Judgment

In Jabari Jumaane v. City of Los Angeles (Ct. of Appeal B255763), published November 10, 2015, the Court of Appeal for the Second Appellate District ended 12 years of see-saw litigation, ruling that the racial discrimination...more

Court Dismisses Police Officers’ Class Action Complaint Regarding Anti-Tattoo Policy

In a recent order in Medici, et al. v. City of Chicago, Case No. 15 C 5891, 2015 WL 6501153 (N.D. Ill. Oct. 27, 2015), Judge Charles P. Kocoras of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois dismissed a...more

Avoiding Discrimination Claims After Obergefell

In June 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States issued its long-awaited opinion in Obergefell v. Hodges, striking down bans on same-sex marriage as unconstitutional and legalizing same-sex marriage in every state (135 S....more

Treasury and the IRS Issue Proposed Regulations Implementing Supreme Court Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

In recent guidance, the Department of Treasury and the IRS issued proposed rules that clarify under the Internal Revenue Code (Code) that the terms “spouse” and “husband” and “wife” refer to individuals who are lawfully...more

Employment Matters Newsletter, Fall 2015

With Experimental Benefits Come Additional Legal Considerations - Corporate experimentation, combined with innovative employment practices designed to promote more flexible work environments, may be transformative. These...more

Religious Institutions: October 2015

Timely Topics - A non-compete clause, covenant not to compete or restrictive covenant is a contract provision under which one party agrees not to enter into or start a similar profession, trade or business in competition...more

Connecticut Supreme Court Expands Protection for Would-Be Whistleblowers

Connecticut whistleblowers were handed a siren to sound the alarm on employers this week. In interpreting the state constitution in Trusz v. UBS Realty Investors, LLC, SC 19323 (Conn. Sup. Ct., official release Oct. 13,...more

Connecticut Bolsters Employee Whistleblower Protection

Based on a new and unique interpretation of the state constitution, the Connecticut Supreme Court has greatly increased the potential exposure of employers to damage claims by whistleblowers. In Trusz v. UBS Realty Investors...more

Can Kim Davis Be Fired? What CA Employers Should Know About Religious Accommodations

Last June, the U.S. Supreme Court determined that same-sex marriages are a fundamental liberty protected by the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution – and that states must issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples....more

Lessons Employers Can Learn from Kentucky Clerk’s Same-Sex Marriage License Dispute

Almost every day the news carries an additional story about Kim Davis, the Rowan County, Kentucky clerk who has defied the Supreme Court by refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The Kim Davis story may be...more

The NLRB Goes Back to Church (Schools), Gets Entangled

In our June 2015 blog post, “NLRB Moves to Assert Jurisdiction Over Religious Educational Institutions,” we reported that Regional Directors of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) were beginning to exercise jurisdiction...more

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