labor and employment

7th Circuit opinion highlights confusion over LGBT discrimination protection

August 24, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
Within the first nine pages of its opinion, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a district court’s ruling that sexual orientation is not protected by Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. And there, the panel could have ended its discussion. But the court spotlighted the growing confusion in the courts of when, exactly, sexual orientation crosses the line into gender nonconformity.
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Hanson/Eckhart: Class wage-and-hour litigation is an ongoing threat

August 24, 2016
Employers face countless labor and employment challenges every day. Wage-and-hour compliance issues are near the top of that list because employers have experienced an increase in the number of class- and collective-action lawsuits filed against them.
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Former Ivy Tech prof may ask 7th Circuit to rehear sexual orientation discrimination suit

August 10, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has granted a former Ivy Tech Community College adjunct professor, who claims she was passed over for promotions based on her sexual orientation, an extension of time to file a petition for rehearing and rehearing en banc.
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Uber in dare to judge says it’s ready to ditch driver settlement

August 1, 2016
 Bloomberg News
Uber Technologies Inc.’s message to the judge who must approve its $100 million settlement with drivers is clear: take it or leave it.
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7th Circuit takes detailed look at Title VII, sexual orientation claims

July 29, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
Noting the writing may be on the wall that people who bring sexual orientation discrimination claims under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 should be protected, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals was bound by precedent to deny a woman’s claim against Ivy Tech Community college in South Bend.
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Reversal: HHGregg prevails in appeal over managers’ bonuses

July 22, 2016
Dave Stafford
HHGregg senior managers are not entitled to share in $40 million in life insurance proceeds from the 2012 death of executive chairman of the board Jerry Throgmartin, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday, reversing a trial court ruling in the managers’ favor.
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COA won’t rehear injured immigrant worker’s case

July 13, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals will not revisit its divided ruling that an injured masonry laborer’s immigration status is valid evidence in his lawsuit against the general contractor at his worksite.
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COA orders new trial on vicarious liability issue

July 13, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
A new jury will decide whether a Sony employee in Terre Haute was acting in the scope of his employment when he hit a security guard on the property while driving to recycle personal items on company property.
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COA: Trial court properly reinstated demoted police officer’s rank

July 13, 2016
 Associated Press
In a case of first impression, the Indiana Court of Appeals agreed that a judge could order a police officer’s rank returned to sergeant instead of sending the matter back to the police merit board for further proceedings.
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Lack of evidence divides judges on false claims suit

July 8, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
Based on the evidence presented before it on a False Claims Act lawsuit brought by a labor union, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals decided to affirm summary judgment in favor of the union member’s company. But the dissenting judge believed the record required remand for a trial.
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Employers struggle with complicated immigration system

June 29, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
At the third meeting of the Senate Select Committee on Immigration Issues, business professionals and attorneys told committee members the measures Indiana has adopted in recent years have actually hurt the state’s economy and public safety.
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Justices rap Labor Dept. over change in overtime pay rules

June 20, 2016
 Associated Press
The Supreme Court of the United States ruled Monday that the Labor Department must do a better job of explaining why it is changing a longstanding policy on whether certain workers deserve overtime pay.
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Simon faces proposed class-action from guest services managers

June 17, 2016
Dave Stafford
Two former guest-services managers at shopping malls in Illinois and Oklahoma have sued Indianapolis-based Simon Property Group, claiming the retail property giant violated the Fair Labor Standards Act by failing to pay overtime and comply with other federal wage and hour provisions.
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Senate committee cautioned against trying to solve immigration headaches

June 16, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
Attorneys and business leaders repeatedly told state officials Wednesday that the immigration system is broken but the federal government, not Indiana, should make the repairs.
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7th Circuit affirms government employees must resign after elected to office

June 10, 2016
Scott Roberts
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld an Indiana law that prevents people employed by the government to also hold elected office in the same municipality they are employed in. The law was challenged by a host of individuals who both serve on city and town councils and work for the same town as police officers, office managers and firefighters.
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Local Uber driver sues company over compensation issues

June 10, 2016
Susan Orr, IBJ Staff
An Uber driver from Marion County has filed a class-action complaint against the ride-on-demand company, claiming that Uber treats its drivers like employees but classifies them as independent contractors in order to skirt labor laws.
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Sandwich chain Jimmy John's sued over noncompete agreements

June 9, 2016
 Associated Press
Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan is suing the Jimmy John's sandwich chain accusing it of improperly forcing low-level employees to sign agreements preventing them from seeking jobs with competitors.
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New overtime rules force hard choices for employers

June 6, 2016
Hayleigh Colombo, IBJ Staff
For Purdue University—the state’s eighth-largest employer—new overtime rules could mean an $8 million or so hit to the school’s already-stretched budget.
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Judge: US women's soccer team bound by no-strike clause

June 3, 2016
 Associated Press
A federal judge says the world champion U.S. women's soccer team currently does not have the right to strike to seek improved conditions and wages before the Summer Olympics.
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High court ruling helps federal workers file job bias claims

May 23, 2016
 Associated Press
The Supreme Court of the United States is making it easier for federal workers to file employment discrimination lawsuits after quitting their jobs over conditions they consider intolerable.
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COA: Worker's comp board may overrule medical examiner

May 19, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a Worker's Compensation Board decision that a man did not sustain a cervical injury as a result of a workplace accident. The board was not required to follow treatment recommendations of an independent medical examiner who saw the man after his employer notified him of its intent to terminate temporary total disability benefits.
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New OT rules force hard choices on small businesses

May 18, 2016
 Associated Press
The regulations being issued by the Labor Department today would double to $913 a week from $455 the threshold under which salaried workers must be paid overtime. In terms of annual pay, the threshold rises to $47,476 from $23,660. The rules take effect Dec. 1.
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Company must sign collective bargaining agreement

May 9, 2016
Scott Roberts
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals enforced a decision from the National Labor Relations Board that Merrillville's Polycon Industries must abide by a collective bargaining agreement it made with a Teamsters union after it had agreed to the terms.
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Lawsuit: Ex-IU med school official says he was sexually harassed

May 6, 2016
John Russell, IBJ Staff
A former administrator at the Indiana University School of Medicine says he was pressured to resign after complaining about a female administrator he claims sexually harassed him.
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Undocumented immigrant issues left unanswered

May 4, 2016
Scott Roberts
A recent Indiana Court of Appeals decision didn’t provide the guidance one attorney had hoped from the court regarding injured undocumented workers. But the judges did decide that the worker’s immigration status is important in his lawsuit.
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  1. Unlike the federal judge who refused to protect me, the Virginia State Bar gave me a hearing. After the hearing, the Virginia State Bar refused to discipline me. VSB said that attacking me with the court ADA coordinator had, " all the grace and charm of a drive-by shooting." One does wonder why the VSB was able to have a hearing and come to that conclusion, but the federal judge in Indiana slammed the door of the courthouse in my face.

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