The EEOC, on behalf of two Muslim truckers, sued a Morton, IL based trucking company for failure to accommodate the trucker's religious rights when they demanded that their employees convey alcohol. This simple, straight-forward religious accommodation lawsuit belies the often confused regulatory approach to employment discrimination when it comes to religious accommodation and the magic term "reasonable" in terms of the accommodations that employers and employees can expect for their personal religious beliefs.
Eminent domain is one of the harshest tools government can assert to curtail property rights. Zoning regulates how a property owner may use their property, but eminent domain goes to their right to own the property itself. Traditionally victorious, the government occasionally is overzealous in its application of the doctrine against property owners. Recently, the Chicago Tribune wrote about a victory for property owners against a forfeiture action brought by the US government. The case involves a family owned motel in Tewksbury, Massachusetts.
The ABA Journal is reporting about Virginia's discriminatory application of its FOIA laws where out of state residents are unable to use the law to obtain public records. Apparently 2 separate cases have been brought, one in which a father lived in Virginia but subsequently moved and wanted paperwork related to this divorce, child custody, and child support payments. The other is a real estate data aggregator that requested public real estate data and was denied because he was an out of state petitioner.
As the calendar year turned, many new local, state, and federal laws came into effect. One of the provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), which is also called "Obamacare", has raised the hackles of a pair of privately held corporations. These corporations are religiously objecting to complying with PPACA's birth control access requirements, because as we know, corporations are people except for the purposes of carpooling, but they must have religious beliefs, right? As it turns out, (surprise!) not many courts are buying the argument that closely held private corporations have religious beliefs. Clearly these Court have not run into the cultish Apple devotees.
Weak jokes aside, Hobby Lobby's attempt to escape the regulatory clutches of PPACA is a novel attempt at imputing further First Amendment rights on corporations. It is a bold strike at enlarging recent caselaw and enhancing their position as a corporation.
The EEOC, despite major budget cuts and a stated goal of suing on behalf of classes or employers engaged in a pattern or practice of discrimination, decided to sue on behalf of a woman fired after only 2 days on the job allegedly because she had a prosthetic leg.
The EEOC is the federal administrative agency that authorizes individuals to sue for employment discrimination matters including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq.), the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (29 U.S.C. § 621-629), and the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. § 12101 et seq.).
The ACLU confirmed its latest victory in Illinois when Judge Hyman approved its settlement agreement with the Illinois Department of Public Health regarding the Department's prior policy of mandating gender reassignment surgery before it would consider reissuing changed birth certificates reflecting the applicant's new gender.
The Chicago Tribune reports that U.S. District Judge Edward Chen in the Northern District of California, has certified a class comprising of women employees of Costco holding that such a class meets the requirements the Supreme Court stated in Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Betty Dukes, et al., 131 S. Ct. 2541 (2011) regarding class certification in Rule 23.
The Chicago Tribune reports that, in the face of a federal discrimination lawsuit, the IHSA has changed their policy to allow disabled athletes to participate in some competitions.
The IHSA also created three events specifically for athletes with various disabilities. With the backing of the Illinois Attorney General, one student, Mary Kate Callahan, 17, has filed suit against the IHSA alleging violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Federal Rehabilitation Act. Early settlement talks were unsuccessful.
If you are a person with various accessibility needs and you feel that your are being discriminated against by anyone, contact an attorney to discuss whether the law provides a remedy that you can seek in court.
Each title of the ADA provides specific and general rights, privileges, powers, and protections and a litigation or transactional attorney can help you enforce your rights or draft agreements to protect and clarify rights or obligations under the ADA.
The Seventh Circuit, on September 7, overturned a Northern District of IL decision awarding summary judgment to United Airlines over their policy of placing disabled employees in vacant positions only when a more qualified candidate was not available.
In EEOC v. United Airlines, Inc., 11-cv-1774, the EEOC alleged, and the Seventh Circuit agreed, that United Airlines violated the Americans with Disabilities Act by failing to immediately assign disabled employees who required reasonable accommodations to vacant positions as long as they are qualified for those positions and that placing the employees in such positions did not present an undue hardship to the employer.
Employment litigation can often enter the news when it involves salacious or outrageous details, but newsworthy or not, not every employment dispute can be resolved through litigation. Retaliatory discharge (or demotion) claims can often be messy, but employers are not allowed under Federal and Illinois law to retaliate against employees for protected conduct. Employers can insulate themselves from liability by developing procedures and documentation. We can discuss with any size company measures that protect everyone from potential harm.
The anti-retaliation provision of Title VII of The Civil Rights Act of 1964 ("Title VII") prohibits an employer from "discriminat[ing] against any of his employees . . . because he has made a charge" under Title VII. 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-3(a). Title VII allows "a person claiming to be aggrieved" to file a charge with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (the "EEOC") alleging that the employer committed an unlawful employment practice, and, if the EEOC declines to sue the employer, the statute permits a civil lawsuit to "be brought . . . by the person claiming to be aggrieved . . . by the alleged unlawful employment practice." 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-5 (b), (f)(1).
Rishi Nair owns Nair Law LLC and practices as Of Counsel at Keener and Associates, P.C.