Polsinelli at Work |  Labor & Employment Blog

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Losing my Religion: NLRB Extends Jurisdiction over Religious Institutions

Losing my Religion: NLRB Extends Jurisdiction over Religious Institutions

By Robert E. Entin

After millions of Americans celebrated Easter and Passover this month, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB or the “Board”) provided a “celebration” of sorts to labor unions. In four decisions—three from the Board and one at the Baltimore regional office—the NLRB lowered the bar for organizing employees of religious institutions.

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Stay Diligent: 4 Steps to Avoid the New Wave of Harassment and Discrimination Cases

Stay Diligent: 4 Steps to Avoid the New Wave of Harassment and Discrimination Cases

By Robert J. Hingula

This past year has seen an increase in gender discrimination and sexual harassment claims. More recently, these claims have not only been brought by women, but also by individuals using Title VII’s “sex” protected class to bring claims for harassment and discrimination based on sexual orientation, being transgender, and other LGBTQ classifications. With these claims becoming more prevalent, employers should review their current policies and train their employees on these policies. Below are four steps employers can take to avoid these types of claims.

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Five Employment Cases at the Supreme Court This Term

Five Employment Cases at the Supreme Court This Term

By Mary Kathryn Curry

The employment and labor law cases we previously reviewed have now been resolved by the eight Justices. Despite the possibility of deadlock, a majority ruling was issued by the Court in most of the cases. Click below to find out more information and updates on these cases.

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Clear as Mud? The FCRA’s “Concrete” Requirement Again Proves to be Slippery

Clear as Mud? The FCRA’s “Concrete” Requirement Again Proves to be Slippery

By Kelly J. Muensterman

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently considered the United States Supreme Court’s landmark 2016 decision in Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins. Spokeo provided employers some hope in the area of litigation of background checks when it hinted that “harmless” technical violations of the Fair Credit Report Act’s (FCRA) procedures might not satisfy Article III of the Constitution’s requirement that a plaintiff suffers a “concrete” injury. Spokeo and its aftereffects, covered at length in a May 2016 blog post and a November update, remains in front of the Ninth Circuit on remand. The Ninth Circuit must now determine whether Thomas Robins suffered a “concrete” injury or a mere “bare procedural violation” when Spokeo disseminated incorrect information about him on the internet. 

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Seventh Circuit Extends Title VII Coverage to Include Sexual Orientation

Seventh Circuit Extends Title VII Coverage  to Include Sexual Orientation

By Scott Gilbert

Reversing prior Seventh Circuit precedent, an en banc opinion from the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit held that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 extends to discrimination based on sexual orientation.  In doing so, the court did not add a protected class to the litany set forth within the statute; rather, it held that “discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is a form of sex discrimination.”  The opinion acknowledges that it is reversing prior Seventh Circuit precedent on this issue, and is at odds with opinions from almost every other circuit on the issue, including an Eleventh Circuit opinion from March of this year. The Seventh Circuit’s opinion is based on two Supreme Court opinions interpreting the protections of gender discrimination under Title VII. 

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