Companies that do business across state lines are subject to a patchwork of state and local laws governing their relationship with their employees at all levels in the chain of command. Especially for companies that do business in many different states, keeping up with the applicable laws can be full-time work. On Monday, we highlighted a new law in Illinois that arguably gives employees and job applicants rights in their interactions with employers that they would not otherwise have. A recent appeal in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit of a ruling (the district court order upholding the magistrate’s report and recommendation is here) further underscores the variation in states’ laws when it comes to protections for employees. Starbucks' recent brief on appeal is here.
This just in: on Thursday, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed a new law making it unlawful for an employer to request or require an employee or prospective employee to provide the password for his or her account or profile on a social networking site. The law, which amends Illinois’s existing Right to Privacy in the Workplace Act, and goes into effect on January 1, 2013, supposedly addresses the trend of employers requiring job applicants to give access to their Facebook profiles as part of the job application process.
The latest gold medalists in the race for our attention:
On Monday, we talked about how plaintiffs can prove pregnancy discrimination by direct evidence – the proverbial “smoking gun.” Now, it’s time to tackle how a plaintiff can prove pregnancy discrimination under the McDonnell-Douglas test, through making a prima facie case of discrimination and then rebutting the employer’s assertion that it acted for legitimate, nonpretextual reasons. Once again, the star of our hypothetical scenario is Marissa Mayer, the newsworthy new Yahoo! CEO.
Marissa Mayer is big news these days. She’s the new Yahoo! CEO, at only 37 years old. She’s also expecting her first child, and made waves when she told Fortune Magazine that her maternity leave would be a “few weeks long” and she’d “work through it.”
All of the hullaballoo over Mayer’s career and personal life made the Suits by Suits team curious. What if Mayer suffered repercussions at Yahoo! due to her pregnancy or upcoming childbirth? How would she be able to prove that Yahoo! discriminated against her?
Here’s another post in our occasional series on religious discrimination in the workplace. Today, we’re looking at a decision by the federal Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals that brings together three different concepts: religious organizations as employers, disabled persons as employees, and federal laws that apply to hiring. As when you mix any three ingredients that are fine on their own, the results can be disastrous. Throw in legislative history – the record Congress creates when it writes a law, and which some courts look to for guidance on how to interpret that law – and you have one fine mess.
For your reading list: The best advice for employees who don’t want to get caught in a non-compete agreement with a former employer, writes Elizabeth Ditts of Corporate Counsel magazine, is to avoid signing them in the first place. But that’s usually easier said than done, and Ditts’ article thoughtfully points out things an employee and her prospective new employer need to think about when the employee has a non-compete with the old employer. Her key conclusion, and it’s probably easier than litigating out of the contract: the employee and the old employer negotiate a way out of the deal, with the new employer watching carefully.
This week in suits by suits and other related items of interest:
As the regulatory and business environments in which our clients operate grow increasingly complex, we identify and offer perspectives on significant legal developments affecting businesses, organizations, and individuals. Each post aims to address timely issues and trends by evaluating impactful decisions, sharing observations of key enforcement changes, or distilling best practices drawn from experience. InsightZS also features personal interest pieces about the impact of our legal work in our communities and about associate life at Zuckerman Spaeder.
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