Category Archives: New and Recent Legislation

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Seventh Circuit Could Up-End Approach to Sexual Orientation Discrimination

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On November 30, 2016, all of the judges of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals (covering Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin) reheard a case that could change the way federal courts treat sexual orientation-based discrimination claims. As is typical for the federal appeals courts, the case (Hivey v. Ivy Tech Community College) had already been decided … Continue reading this entry

No Stay for Other Pay-Related Regulations

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A trio of recent court decisions staying implementation of the controversial persuader rule, most of the much-criticized Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces (“FPSW”) executive order, and the Department of Labor’s highly publicized overtime rule are a breath of fresh air for employers who have been struggling to keep up with the onslaught of new regulatory … Continue reading this entry

What Will Happen When the Smoke Clears? Post-Election HR Strategies for 2017 and Beyond

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The long and contentious presidential campaign is over.  So, now what?  What does President-elect Trump’s victory mean for employers? To explore this question, Foley and Lardner LLP’s Labor & Employment Practice group hosted a webinar titled “What Will Happen When the Smoke Clears? HR Strategies for 2017 and Beyond” on November 10, 2016.  The team … Continue reading this entry

Think Twice Before Making Payroll Advances to Employees

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It can be difficult to turn down an employee who asks for an advance on their earnings. However, there are lots of reasons for companies to think twice before making payroll advances to employees. One big and obvious reason is the administrative burden. Another is the possibility that the advances will be subject to the … Continue reading this entry

The DOL's New Rx for Federal Contractor Employees

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We have reported time and time again on the national trend of mandating paid sick leave for workers. As we noted last March, in a 2015 Executive Order, President Obama directed the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) to issue regulations requiring federal contractors to provide paid sick leave to their employees. The DOL issued a final rule … Continue reading this entry

Two Lawsuits Hope to Put the Brakes on Overtime Rule Changes

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With a December 1 deadline looming, millions of employers across the country are scrambling to implement new compensation and classification practices in response to the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) new overtime rule, announced in May. This past Tuesday, a duo of federal lawsuits was filed in Texas as a response to strong objections from … Continue reading this entry

Department of Labor Appeals "Persuader Rule" Order

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As employers may be aware, on March 24, 2016, the Office of Labor-Management Services (OLMS), an agency in the federal Department of Labor (DOL), issued a new interpretation of the so-called “Persuader Rule” that would have imposed significantly expanded reporting obligations on employers, consultants, and attorneys during union organizing and similar activities.  OLMS “reinterpreted” its … Continue reading this entry

Governor Kasich Legalizes Marijuana After Boy Band Member Could Not

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In case you missed it, Ohio Governor John Kasich signed a bill last month making Ohio the 25th state to legalize medical marijuana. This change in the law (effective September 8, 2016) comes following a failed Ohio ballot initiative in November 2015 to legalize both medical and recreational marijuana, backed by celebrity investors such as … Continue reading this entry

Wisconsin Evens the Score by Becoming the Twenty-Fifth Right-to-Work State — So What Happens Now?

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Wisconsin’s Legislature passed a “right-to-work” (RTW) law on Friday, March 6, 2015, and Wisconsin Governor (and possible presidential candidate) Scott Walker promptly signed the bill into law today. Wisconsin has now become the nation’s twenty-fifth state to exercise the option to have a right-to-work law. This article provides a brief summary of the law and … Continue reading this entry

Congress Renews Its Battles Over Workplace Rights and Obligations

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With Republicans now controlling both houses of Congress, we can expect to see the introduction — or reintroduction — of various pieces of legislation largely designed to advance the agenda of the majority party on issues affecting the American workplace, as well as blunt the ambitions of President Obama and the Democrats in that same … Continue reading this entry

Marijuana Card Saves Unemployment Benefits, Not Job

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In the rapidly evolving interplay between federal and state employment laws, state medical marijuana laws, and employer policies seeking to maintain drug-free workplaces, an appellate court in Michigan has just concluded that while having a medical marijuana card cannot save your job with a private employer after a positive drug test (as concluded by a federal … Continue reading this entry

The Line Out of This Place Is as Long as the Amazon.com River

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This month, the U.S. Supreme Court heard argument in a case that would seem to raise easy enough questions: When does an employee’s workday begin and end? What activities count as “work”? However, these questions have given way to tortured analysis and fairly arbitrary results. Over the years, courts have ruled pre-shift and post-shift activities … Continue reading this entry

Contemporary Clothing’s “Look” Collides With Title VII

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There is more than a little bit of irony when a clothing company with a target market of teens and young adults has a fashion dilemma. However, a national retailer has just such a dilemma arising from a potential religious accommodation dispute that has just taken a front and center position in the national legal … Continue reading this entry

Ban the Ban-the-Box? Proposed Law May Clarify Background Check Dilemma in Regulated Industries

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On the heels of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) increased scrutiny regarding criminal history questions during the hiring process and the wave of new state ban-the-box laws, Congress has proposed legislation that actually protects certain employers when they seek to comply with the laws that regulate their industries. The “Certainty in Enforcement Act of … Continue reading this entry

Ban-the-Box Bandwagon Requires Application Review

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On August 11, 2014, New Jersey joined Illinois and at least 11 other states, as well as dozens of cities and local governments, in prohibiting most employers from initially asking about criminal history on job applications. This follows the EEOC’s scrutiny of the use of criminal convictions in the hiring process. As “ban-the-box” increasingly becomes … Continue reading this entry

No Workers' Comp Immunity! No Insurance! Sure Is a Problem

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In many states, workers’ compensation benefits are ordinarily the exclusive remedy for an employee injured or killed on the job. In exchange for these benefits, often awarded on a “no fault” basis, the employee generally forfeits the right to bring civil suit (subject to limited exceptions) against his employer. However, this expected employer immunity may … Continue reading this entry

Federal Contractors May Lose Contracts Because of Labor and Employment Law Violations

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And here we go again. We have noted that the National Labor Relations Board is aggressively expanding employee protections and organized labor opportunities, that the EEOC has decided to claim many common provisions of separation and settlement agreements are unlawful, and that the Obama Administration has decided the overtime exemptions under the Federal Labor Standards … Continue reading this entry

Next-Generation Manufacturing Should Place Greater Emphasis on Trade Secret Concerns

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Picking up on our discussion last week about the pending Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2014, recent testimony by Eli Lilly’s Vice President and General Patent Counsel, Douglas K. Norman in support of this legislation offers a good example of why a set of enhanced and uniformed laws for the protection of trade secrets in … Continue reading this entry

Uncle Sam Wants You to Protect Trade Secrets (Maybe)

As business in the United States has increasingly focused on technology development, and as companies are looking to gain market advantages by developing processes and methods intended to increase their competitive position, preservation of trade secrets has become increasingly important. The U.S. Government has not failed to understand this; in recent years it has passed legislation … Continue reading this entry

Colorado High Court to Rule on Rocky Mountain High

The issue of medical marijuana continues to make news in Colorado and across the country. Earlier this year, the Colorado Supreme Court agreed to hear an appeal of the 2013 Colorado Court of Appeals ruling in Coats v. Dish Network, which analyzed the relationship between Colorado’s medical marijuana law and Colorado’s Lawful Activities Statute. The Lawful … Continue reading this entry

Finally, We Know What’s Worse Between an Ax-Wielding George Clooney and a Litigious Nanny

After much anticipation, the Supreme Court has settled the debate over which is more dangerous – an “ax-wielding” George Clooney or litigious “nannies, housekeepers and caretakers.” Seriously. In a recent ruling addressing the proper scope of whistleblower retaliation protections under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (“SOX”), these odd caricatures loomed large in the Court’s decision to recognize … Continue reading this entry

IRS Clarifies Taxability of Employee Benefits for Same-Sex Couples

Same-sex couples throughout the country celebrated the Supreme Court’s decision in US v. Windsor not only because it in many ways validated their relationships but also because it promised tangible tax and other financial relief afforded to married couples from which they had previously been excluded. But the decision, decided in the middle of the … Continue reading this entry

Is Chi-Town About to Become High-Town?

Medical marijuana legally blows into the Windy City and the rest of Illinois in 2014, are employers ready? The Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act (the “Act”) takes effect on January 1, 2014, carrying with it implications for employers in Illinois who will now be faced with issues of employees who become “registered … Continue reading this entry