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Employment Policies and Procedures Archives

Expanding Title VII?

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals' landmark decision in Hively v. Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana (Case No. 15-1720), which established that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 bans discrimination on the issue of sexual orientation, may be an indication that the Courts are willing to adopt much more inclusive positions towards gay workers and may, as well, keep moving in that same direction with regard to transgender employees. It is quite clear from a review of print and social media that LGBT advocates are becoming much more aggressive in the challenging of perceived discrimination in the workplace. Clearly, the Legal Basis behind the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals Decision in Hively could also be used in future Cases to widen the scope of protection for transgender workers.

Being Caught in a Tangled Web

In the March, 2017 Client Alert, the Author submitted an Article on giving guidance to Employers in the creation of good documentation to substantiate and defend Employment Decisions when those Decisions are called into question. While the presence (or lack thereof) of good documentation can be the success or failure in any Employment Litigation, there are certain situations where an Employer's documentation may create a "tangled web" in which an Employer catches himself/herself.

Good Employer Documentation

One of the most difficult and time consuming tasks that has confronted me over my lengthy career as a Management Labor Employment Lawyer is the continuing lack of documentation - i.e. evidence - that exists when I am attempting to defend either a Union Grievance, an EEOC Charge, etc. The most important thing that a Supervisor, HR Professional or Employer Representative must remember is that you have to accurately and completely document any event dealing with Employee Discipline.

Illinois' Sick Leave Saga

As most of the Employers in the State of Illinois are aware, there has been recent activity by the City of Chicago, the County of Cook and the Illinois State Legislature to create specific provisions providing "Sick Leave" for Employees.

The Marijuana Plant Keeps Growing!

In two (2) Wessels Sherman Client Alerts (August, 2015 and December, 2015) I wrote articles about the expansion of Medical Marijuana usage and its authorization in then twenty-three (23) States (Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington, as well as the District of Columbia) and also the fact that there were four (4) States that permitted the "recreational use" of Marijuana that also allowed Medical Marijuana (Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington). With the past Election of November 8, 2016, that list of States is rapidly expanding.

Dealing with Post-Election Conflict in the Workplace

As we all know, events occurring outside the workplace usually find their way into the workplace - but generally with little disruption or impact. It is therefore not surprising that the results of the recent election and the divisiveness that it has produced have spilled into the workplace - only this time with disruptive and serious consequences.

The Holidays Are Upon Us

It is never too early to begin planning for the Holiday Season of Calendar 2016 and the inevitable business Holiday Party. There is no doubt whatsoever that the festive season of November and December calls out every year for a business celebration and it is incumbent upon all Employers to be well prepared both for the party and the potential problems that it can create. Do not forget that we are a highly litigious society and individuals are always looking to "stick it to somebody" to enhance their financial standing. It is not too far-fetched to believe that Employers may be liable for injuries caused to innocent third parties under the doctrine of Respondeat Superior and, therefore, any Employer-related activity must be planned and controlled.

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