Category archive: Employee Rights

Sexual Orientation Discrimination Now Recognized Under Title VII

On April 4, 2017, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit for the first time recognized that sexual orientation discrimination is covered under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. The case is Hively v. Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana. Although the court which heard the case en banc reached the result via three routes, the holding confirms that sexual orientation discrimination is cognizable under Title VII in the Seventh Circuit.

A Primer on the New Missouri Right to Work Law

What does Right to Work Mean?

Employers are barred from: requiring employees to become, remain, or refrain from becoming a member of a labor organization; or pay dues or other charges required of labor organization members as a condition of employment.

Seventh Circuit Holds Title VII Does Not Protect Sexual Orientation

On July 28, 2016, the Seventh Circuit issued its decision in Hively v. Ivy Tech Community College holding Title VII does not prohibit employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. The Seventh Circuit’s opinion is the first to address this issue since the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission held in July 2015 sexual orientation is sex discrimination and therefore violates Title VII.

Illinois Blood Donation Leave

It is becoming increasingly difficult for Illinois employers to keep up with the numerous Illinois leave laws. Here is one you may not know about – The Illinois’ Employee Blood Donation Leave Act. There is no corresponding federal law.

DOL Plans to Announce Increased Salary Requirement in the Summer of 2016

As we previously reported, the minimum salary amount for an exempt employee since 2004 was $455/week or $23,660/annually. On July 6, 2015, the DOL announced its proposed rule which, in part, would mandate that employers have to pay an exempt employee a minimum salary of $970.00/week, or $50,440/annually.

FMLA Interference: How To Get Sued

Under the FMLA, an employer must not –

Interfere with, restrain or deny the exercise of, or attempt to exercise, an employee’s FMLA rights [29 U.S.C. § 2615(a)(1)], or
Discharge or discriminate against an individual for opposing any unlawful practice under the FMLA [29 U.S.C. § 2615(a)(2) and (b)].

Employees Are Protected From Third-Party Harassment … Including Patients At Health Care Facilities

In a case straight from “Bad Grandpa” the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals further confirmed an employer’s obligation to provide a work environment free of all forms of discrimination and harassment. In Chavonya Watson v. Heartland Health Laboratories, the 8th Circuit “assumed” for sake of analysis that an employer can be held liable under the Missouri Human Rights Act (“MHRA”) for harassment by a third-party who is not an employee. Ultimately, however, the 8th Circuit found that the incidents of harassments did not rise to the level of “hostile work environment” and affirmed summary judgment on behalf of the employer.

Employer Alert: NLRB Holds a General Recommendation of Maintaining Confidentiality During Internal Investigations As An Infringement on Employees Section 7 Rights

The National Labor Relations Board has continued its well-established pattern of finding routine and generally accepted personnel practices as an unlawful infringement on employee’s free speech rights. Conventional wisdom is to maintain confidentiality of informant and witness statements in internal investigations. In doing so, employers routinely request or recommend employees to maintain the confidential nature of the facts discussed during the investigation in order to maintain the neutrality and objectiveness of witnesses. To further promote objective and fair investigations, The Boeing Company promulgated a general workplace notice to employees that recommended employees refrain from discussing a case during a pending investigation. Makes perfect sense right? Wrong?!?

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The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation.
This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. © 2014 Sandberg Phoenix & von Gontard P.C. All Rights Reserved.

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