Blog Authors

Latest from Emery Law Blog

On June 15, 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court made clear, in a 6-3 ruling, that federal law, through Title VII, protects workers from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. 

The Court held that “Title VII makes it ‘unlawful … for an employer to fail or refuse to hire or to discharge any individual, or otherwise to discriminate against any individual … because of such individual’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.” “The straightforward application of Title VII’s terms interpreted in accord … with their ordinary public meaning at the time of their enactment resolves these cases.”

Continue Reading U.S. Supreme Court Rules That Title VII Prevents Sexual Orientation Discrimination

Unlawful workplace retaliation can take many forms, and an employee may even have a claim for activity outside of work. For example, as explained by the EEOC in his June 2019 press release, an employer can be liable where it prohibits or otherwise harasses an employee for participating in a Title VII investigation, lawsuit or other proceeding – even if the participation has nothing to do with the employee’s current job.
As explained by the EEOC, the employer in the case at issue sought to prevent its current employee, a coal miner, from testifying in a Title VII (national
Continue Reading Retaliation for Supporting Another’s Claim of Discrimination is Illegal

The Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act (the “IWPCA”) has long provided protections for employees to ensure their employers timely pay them all the compensation they are owed, including, in some cases, personal liability for the person making the decision to withhold compensation. It was recently amended to provide even greater safeguards for employees when it comes to expenses employees may incur in the course of doing their job duties. Effective January 1, 2019, Section 115/9.5 of the IWPCA now requires employers to reimburse employees for “all necessary expenditures or losses incurred by the employee within the employee’s scope of
Continue Reading Illinois Law Now Requires Employers to Reimburse Employee Expenses

Over the years, I’ve dealt with a number of what I would call “near” whistleblowers. I say “near” because, while the potential client may have attempted to expose wrongdoing, they failed to do it in a way to bring them within whistleblower status as defined under Illinois law. It can be the ultimate lose-lose for the potential client – they are out of a job because of what they complained about and they do not have a legal path forward as a whistleblower. But it is a scenario that can be avoided.
First things first – in the employment context
Continue Reading Avoiding the Pitfalls of “Near” Whistleblowers

Illinois has previously provided protections for pregnant women in the workplace. For example, the Illinois Human Rights Act has expressly recognized pregnancy as a protected personal characteristic. But now, with the passage of an amendment to the Illinois Nursing Mothers in the Workplace Act (the “Act”), Illinois has increased the rights of nursing mothers in the workplace.
Beginning in 2001, Illinois law required employers to provide nursing mothers unpaid lactation breaks in the workplace. But, in its original form, the Act only required “reasonable unpaid break time each day” with those breaks to be, if possible, to be at the
Continue Reading Illinois Now Required Paid Nursing Breaks For At Least One Year

Discrimination in the workplace can take many forms and, in Illinois, a large number of personal characteristics are protected and legally actionable under the Illinois Human Rights Act (the “Act”). For example, if your employer has discriminated against you on the basis of your race, skin color, religion, gender, national origin, age, sexual orientation, or pregnancy (among others), you may have the basis to file a “Charge of Discrimination” with the Illinois Department of Human Rights (the “IDHR”) – the Illinois governmental department responsible for investigating and otherwise administering the Act.
There are several important changes coming to the Act
Continue Reading Senate Bill 20 will bring major changes to the Illinois Human Rights Act