Religion

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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

Shop ‘til You Drop – But Take a Day to Pray

Retail stores cannot force an employee to work seven consecutive days without giving the employee one day off to worship or rest. Like the ADA, retail stores must also accommodate the religious beliefs of employees unless it...more

District Court Refuses to Certify Class of “Non-Liturgical” Protestant Navy Chaplains

Given the rich diversity and array of religions, and the First Amendment prohibitions both on the establishment of religion and impeding the free exercise of religion, the appointment and promotion of chaplains in the...more

Government Issues New Rules for Religious Employers, But Health Plans, TPAs, and PBMs are still on the Hook to Provide...

The Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) requires that non-grandfathered health plans make preventive care and screenings available to their members at no cost (i.e. no deductibles, coinsurance, or co-payments). The Department of...more

Supreme Court Grants Injunction to Religious University Barring Strict Enforcement of Accommodation Scheme for ACA Contraception...

The United States Supreme Court granted Wheaton College, a religious non-profit college in Illinois, an injunction permitting the college to opt into the ACA contraception mandate’s accommodation scheme available to certain...more

Losing My Religion: Do I Want to Know My Employee’s Beliefs?

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals recently updated employees’ guide to southern manners. Don’t worry, employees should still say “yes ma’am” and “no ma’am.” But you know the old saying that you should never discuss politics...more

China Update - August 2014

In This Issue: - U.S.-China Relations - Chinese Embassy News - Energy & Environment - Trade - Excerpt from U.S.-China Relations: 2013 Report on International Religious Freedom...more

Hobby Lobby ripples still being measured

How can the controversial decision in the Hobby Lobby contraception coverage case impact employers? The U.S. Supreme Court in June decided the controversial case of Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores Inc. The court ruled...more

The Hobby Lobby Decision and Religious-Based Exemptions

On June 30, 2014, the United States Supreme Court issued a ruling which held that a closely held, for-profit entity can object to certain aspects of the birth control mandate imposed by the Patient Protection and Affordable...more

Benesch Perspectives - July 2014 Newsletter

In this issue: - Not-for-Profit Spotlight - Giving to Religion Trending Downward for a Decade - What You Can Learn from Giving 2014 - Is the Front Door Closing on the Parsonage...more

For-Profit Corporations Can Object to Federal Laws on Religious Grounds

The United Statutes Supreme Court’s recent Hobby Lobby decision holds that for-profit closely held corporations can object, on the basis of sincerely held religious beliefs, to the contraception mandate imposed by the Patient...more

Second Circuit Rules New York City’s Prohibition of Religious Services in School Facilities Constitutional

Recently, in Bronx Household of Faith v. Board of Education of the City of New York[1], the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (the “Second Circuit”), in a 2-1 decision, reversed the lower court’s decision and ruled that...more

Labor & Employment E-Note

In This Issue: - High Court to Hear Case on Pregnancy Accommodations - Supreme Court Says Some Employees Don't Have to Pay Union Fees - Recent Decision Leaves Questions About Religion in Hiring Process - NLRB...more

Supreme Court: Some Corporations Can Opt Out of Obamacare’s Contraception Coverage Mandate

On June 30, 2014, the United States Supreme Court held 5-4 in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. that closely held for-profit corporations cannot be forced to comply with the Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act’s...more

The Washington Supreme Court Mandates New Obligations for Employers Under State Law to Accommodate Employees’ Religious Beliefs

In a dramatic shift in Washington state law on accommodating religious beliefs, the Washington Supreme Court’s decision in Kumar v. Gate Gourmet, Inc. recognized, for the first time, that the Washington Law Against...more

“Mark of the Beast” Claim Busts

In Yeager v. FirstEnergy Generation Corp., No. 5:14cv-567 (N.D. Ohio June 27, 2014), a plaintiff asserted a religious discrimination claim for refusal to hire. In the complaint, he alleged he was not hired because he refused...more

The Surprising Truth about Hobby Lobby's Effect in California

On June 30, 2014, the Supreme Court of the United States handed down its decision in the Burwell v. Hobby Lobby case, holding that closely-held corporations could refuse to provide contraceptive coverage mandated by U.S....more

New EEOC Guidelines Regarding Employers’ Obligations With Respect to Background Checks and Accommodation of Religious Dress and...

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) recently announced new guidelines that may impact the way employers conduct background checks and accommodate religious dress and grooming practices....more

Trademark Review - Ikea, Chanel, a Religious Mark, and Target (June 2014)

Ikea’s Fame Insufficient to Prevent Akea’s Registration for Unrelated Goods - The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board held there was no likelihood of confusion between Opposer’s IKEA mark and Applicant’s AKEA mark for...more

High Court Will Hear Religious Exemption Case

As reported in an earlier post, entitled New York Pagan Phryganium Wins Real Property Tax Assessment Appeal, the Third Department recently held that the Town of Catskill improperly denied a pagan religious group a real...more

EEOC Sues United Health Programs of America and Parent Company for Religious Discrimination

Company Coerced Participation in Religious Activities and Fired Employees Who Opposed Them, Federal Agency Charges - NEW YORK - A Syosset, N.Y.-based health network violated federal law when it forced employees to take...more

For The Love Of G-D, Don't Say You Love Me

We have come to this in our workplaces, in the lyrics of Annie Lennox: “No more ‘I love you’s.” Please enjoy today’s guest post from one of your employees: I have difficulty getting close to people. I have trouble...more

Supreme Court Upholds Town’s Practice of Opening Board Meetings with Prayer

Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a New York town’s practice of opening town board meetings with prayer did not violate the First Amendment. The decision provides guidance to school boards and other public bodies...more

Secret to Reasonable Accommodations for Religion: Be Reasonable

If there is a secret to avoiding or, if necessary, winning lawsuits involving employee requests for religious accommodations, it is this: be reasonable. Two recent federal appeals court rulings highlight this seemingly...more

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