News & Analysis as of

New 'Digest Of EEO Law' Issued By EEOC

Includes Key Federal Sector Decisions, Special Article on Religious Expression - WASHINGTON - The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) today announced the latest edition of its federal sector Digest of...more

Africa Update - September 2015 #5

Leading the News - Burkina Faso: On September 25th, the United Nations (U.N.) Security Council issued a statement welcoming the reinstatement of President Michel Kafando and the transitional authorities of Burkina...more

“Opt Out” Accommodation Under Affordable Care Act Validated After Challenge from Religious Objectors

In what continues to be a controversial and developing area of employment law, a federal appellate court recently validated the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) “opt out” provision, finding that requiring nonprofit employers to...more

Location, Location, Location: The Property Underneath the Feet of Speakers Matters When Determining Whether A Public Institution...

Benjamin Bloedorn is an itinerant preacher who travels from college campus to college campus, loudly proclaiming his evangelical message for hours on end to anyone within earshot. In March 2008 he arrived at Georgia Southern...more

Top 10 Bad Questions to Avoid When Interviewing a Job Applicant

When interviewing job applicants, there are good questions and bad questions. A good question seeks relevant and helpful information about the person applying for the job and about the applicant’s job qualifications...more

Governor Signs Assembly Bill No. 987 – Requesting a Reasonable Accommodation is Protected Activity under FEHA

This bill was in direct response to the decision in Rope v. Auto-Clor System of Washington, Inc. (2013) 220 Cal.App.4th 635 (2013), which found that an employee who merely makes a request for an accommodation does not engage...more


Religion Clause Blog reports that Indiana’s First Church of Cannabis is using the state’s recently enacted religious freedom law to protect its founder and two members from prosecution for possession of marijuana. The Church...more

Religious Institutions: June 2015

Religious institutions commonly make payments to or receive payments directly or indirectly from governmental agencies for services rendered; e.g., day cares that benefit from public scholarships, hospitals that participate...more

Thou Shalt Not Sue: The Ecclesiastical Abstention Doctrine in Tennessee

Like most commercial litigators, I do not often find myself dealing with questions of religion or divine providence during work hours. However, that is exactly where I found myself last Easter (ironically enough), working...more

Unvaccinated Workers: An Employer’s Rights And Obligations

Vaccines for children have been front-page news around the country after the breakout of measles at Disneyland. Rightfully, the focus has been on children who are unvaccinated and the effect that it has on schools and places...more

District of Columbia Passes Two New Non-Discrimination Laws Impacting Employers

Earlier this week, D.C.’s Mayor signed two new measures amending the D.C. Human Rights Act (“DCHRA”) to prohibit (1) discrimination against employees of religiously-affiliated educational institutions on the basis of sexual...more

Supreme Court Decides Holt v. Hobbs

On January 20, 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States decided Holt v. Hobbs, No. 13-6827, holding that the Arkansas Department of Correction’s grooming policy violates Section 3 of the Religious Land Use and...more

Controversial Head Scarf Issue Heads to the Supreme Court

Image often plays a significant role in a company’s ability to market its products or services. But does maintaining that image justify violating a person’s civil rights? That's the question the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to...more

Food Litigation Newsletter - October 2014 #2

In This Issue: - RECENT SIGNIFICANT DEVELOPMENTS AND RULINGS ..Court rules that ‘Kosher’ suit poses religious question; dismisses with prejudice ..Settlement terms approved in stevia sweetener...more

Conn. Killer's Kosher Request Illustrates National Debate

A Muslim prisoner has taken Arkansas prison officials to the U.S. Supreme Court for refusing to allow him to grow a one-inch beard for religious purposes. In New Mexico, a prisoner sued corrections officials for not allowing...more

Supreme Court Agrees to Review EEOC Suit Against Abercrombie Based on Rejection of Applicant With Headscarf

At the opening of its new term last week, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s appeal of a lower court decision dismissing a Title VII claim against the Abercrombie clothing...more

Supreme Court To Decide Religious Accommodation Case

Last year, we reported on a decision from a federal judge in San Francisco granting summary judgment to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in a case brought on behalf of a former Abercrombie & Fitch employee...more

Post-Hobby Lobby Questions Remain About the Scope of Corporate Religious Freedom

The U.S. Supreme Court upheld a challenge to regulations mandating that employers provide contraceptive coverage for their employees. In Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., the Court found the regulations promulgated by the...more

Employment Flash - September 2014

In This Issue: - SEC Pays First Whistleblower Award to Audit and Compliance Professional - Supreme Court Allows Affordable Care Act Contraceptives Religious Exemption - EEOC Adopts New Pregnancy...more

Portions of Property Exempt for Religious Use

A panel of the Commonwealth Court held that portions of a 45-acre tract were entitled to exemption as places of regularly stated religious worship. Four Quarters Interfaith Sanctuary of Earth Religion v. Medford County Board...more

Norwalk Settles Mosque Lawsuit for $2 Million

A long-running dispute between the city of Norwalk and an Islamic group appears to be settled, with the city agreeing to pay $2 million to the group and help it find an alternate location for a mosque and a meeting...more

When You Wish Upon a Scheduling Accommodation, Dreams Come True…

The obligation for an employer to generally make scheduling accommodations to enable an employee to follow the basic tenets of his or her religious faith is a well-established requirement under Title VII’s anti-discrimination...more

Second Circuit Revives Chabad Group’s RLUIPA Suit

On September 19, 2014, the Second Circuit issued its decision in Chabad Lubavitch of Litchfield County, Inc. v. Borough of Litchfield (2d Cir. 2014), reversing the lower court’s entry of summary judgment in favor of the...more

Polsinelli Podcasts - Can Your Employee Wear That to Work? EEOC Updated Guidelines [Video]

You're an employer with a successful business that caters to the public. One day an employee walks in with attire that is making the rest of your employees uncomfortable. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has...more

What Is a Sincere Religious Belief? The Fifth Circuit Weighs In On a Religious Discrimination Claim

In a 2-to-1 decision written by Judge Edward Prado, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals recently chimed in on an employee’s claim that her employer failed to accommodate a religious observance, for which “she believed strongly...more

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