Porter Wright’s Labor and Employment Department represents management clients in matters ranging from complex employment discrimination and wrongful discharge litigation, including class actions and ERISA litigation, to compliance with various federal, state, and local employment laws and regulations, including the FLSA. 

Recent Blog Posts

  • Mental health claims on the rise: New normal for disability-related charges? By Jourdan Day   The COVID-19 pandemic took its toll on the mental health of employees. Employees struggled to adjust to the multiple burdens of working from home, caring for family members and achieving work-life balance. Data recently released by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission confirms that more and more discrimination charges include claims based on mental health conditions. This change is based largely on the increase in discrimination charges related to anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder. Mental health claims up nearly 50% In fiscal... More
  • Executive actions to increase pay equity announced in conjunction with Equal Pay Day By Emily Peffer   What is Equal Pay Day? Equal Pay Day is designated each year by the National Committee on Pay Equity to mark how far women in the United States must work into the year to be paid the same as men in the year prior. This year, Equal Pay Day was determined to be March 15, 2022. In a written statement, President Biden highlighted that for over 25 years Equal Pay Day has “helped draw attention to gender-based pay disparities[.]”... More
  • Caring for caregivers: Understanding caregiver discrimination under federal laws By Jyllian Bradshaw   As we enter the third year of a pandemic, the ongoing disruption caused by COVID-19 and its variants often leaves employers juggling legal and business considerations regarding their workforce. Specifically, many employees are also caregivers — whether they are caring for children, a spouse, an individual with a disability or older relatives. Practically, issues arise when facilities such as schools, daycares or nursing homes have quarantine or closure requirements that directly conflict with an employer’s quarantine or remote-work... More
  • House passes bill banning mandatory arbitration agreements By Nikki Mayo   We recently reported that the Senate passed a #MeToo bill that banned the use of mandatory arbitration agreements for sexual harassment and sexual assault claims. This bill was signed into law by President Biden on March 3, 2022. On March 17, 2022, the House took it a step further and voted 222-209 to pass the Forced Arbitration Injustice Repeal Act (H.R. 963). Why ban mandatory arbitration? The FAIR Act would void all pre-dispute mandatory arbitration agreements in employment, antitrust, consumer... More
  • Supreme Court considering granting certiorari in workers’ compensation medical marijuana cases By Nikki Mayo   Medical marijuana is being legalized in an increasing number of states, which will have an impact on a variety of employment issues, including workers’ compensation. The Supreme Court appears to be considering providing clarity to employers and employees alike regarding payment for medical marijuana in workers’ compensation claims. Is it a federal law violation? In February 2022, the Supreme Court requested that the Solicitor General submit an amicus brief regarding whether a carrier of workers’ compensation insurance paying for an... More
  • EEOC receiving influx of COVID-19 related claims By Nikki Mayo   The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has received thousands of claims related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The majority of these claims are related to disability discrimination and accommodations. There also has been a surge of claims related to employer-mandated vaccines. Since the beginning of the pandemic through the end of 2021, the EEOC received roughly 6,000 COVID-19 related charges. Additionally, more than 2,700 vaccine-related charges were received, most of which were in 2021 when vaccines became widely... More
  • EEOC issues guidance on COVID-19 vaccine religious accommodation requirements By Sarah Squillante   As the rate of COVID-19 cases continues to trend downward in most parts of the country, and employers begin to relax mask policies and encourage employees’ return to the office, COVID-19-related issues remain at the forefront — including employee vaccination status. On March 1, 2022, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) updated its COVID-19 guidance regarding religious objections to employer vaccine requirements. What to know about religious accommodation requirements Employees are required to tell their employer if they are requesting... More
  • Senate passes #MeToo bill, bringing changes for employment contracts By Nikki Mayo   Some employers attempt, through employment contracts, to require that employee legal challenges be pursued under private arbitration procedures, rather than through lawsuits or discrimination charges. The advantages to doing so include a less costly and more private forum for the dispute. But recent action in the U. S. Senate will prohibit employers from channeling certain cases to arbitration, specifically those alleging sex harassment or abuse. #MeToo bill heads to Biden for signature On Feb. 10, 2022, the Senate unanimously passed... More
  • Bio-shocked: In Illinois, workers’ comp not exclusive remedy for claims involving employee biometrics By Bide Akande   Employers beware: A recent holding out of Illinois has determined that employees may sue employers who collect and/or disclose employees’ biometric data. On Feb. 3, 2022, the Illinois Supreme Court issued a significant decision in McDonald v. Symphony Bronzeville Park, LLC, et al., impacting current and  future claims against employers involving the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA). The McDonald decision effectively held that the exclusive remedy provisions of the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act (IWCA) do not apply... More
  • OSHA withdraws COVID-19 ETS; But do not count OSHA out entirely By Mike Underwood   Not unexpectedly, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) officially has withdrawn the Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) calling for mandatory COVID-19 vaccination or testing by employers of over 100 employees. The agency did so in response to the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision which effectively killed any chance for OSHA to enforce the ETS. OSHA says it will begin steps for formal rulemaking needed to enforce a permanent version of the ETS. Even though the ETS is out... More