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issue 220 jun. 3, 2015

THIS WEEK: Does your website show how you can solve potential clients' problems? Or are you just trying to sell yourself or your firm? People aren't looking for employment lawyers -- they're looking for someone to help them get paid, make the harassment stop, or allow them to work in their industry again.

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In the News more

California Senate Approves Bill Allowing Undocumented Immigrants To Buy Health Insurance

Can the Senate stop low-wage employers from tying up workers with non-competes?

Making Victoria's Secret Pay For Keeping Staff On Call

Delaware minimum wage increases to $8.25 per hour

Supreme Court Rules For Woman Denied Abercrombie & Fitch Job Over Headscarf

Transgender employees get OSHA backing on bathroom access

Another Arizona immigration law dismantled by the courts

Legislature approves two worker protection bills

We Need More Nurses

When 'flexible' schedule means unpredictability

Why fewer workers are moving for better jobs

Bill would help poor workers injured on job

Ex-prosecutor sues DOJ, U.S. attorney for NE, alleges sex discrimination

Workers' rights on social media extend farther than some might think

Why minimum wage is a bigger problem for women than men

Topic of the Week more

Workplace Contradictions: Surviving In Difficult Times

Being more flexible and open minded at work is a requirement today, given how much change is taking place every day. read more

BLOGS: Today’s Workplacemore

Tatiana Kadetskaya

How to Handle a Group Life Insurance Claim Denial

June 3, 2015 | Tatiana Kadetskaya

Many employees receive life insurance coverage as part of their employee benefits. A group life insurance has many advantages over private life insurance policies. read more

All-Star NBA point guard Kevin Johnson is now the mayor of Sacramento, California-and the destroyer of the 40-year-old National Conference of Black Mayors. read more

On Tuesday, May 19, thousands of demonstrators marched through downtown Seattle to support a rolling strike by public school teachers across Washington state. The teachers are protesting what they say are unacceptably high class sizes and low pay, stemming from their state legislature's failure to fully fund public education. read more

Last fall, Samantha Elauf, a young Muslim who was denied employment at Abercrombie and Fitch because her headscarf violated the company's dress code, took her case all the way to the Supreme Court. On Monday, SCOTUS ruled against Abercrombie, 8-1, declaring that A&F's refusal to accommodate a hijab-wearing applicant was a violation of civil rights law. read more

United Bible Fellowship Ministries, Inc., which provides housing and care to people with disabilities, will have to pay a former employee $75,000 for firing her after she became pregnant to settle a lawsuit brought by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). read more

In the Courts more

EEOC v. Abercrombie & Fitch Stores, Inc.

U.S. Supreme Court; No. 14-86 Decision Date: June 1, 2015

To prevail in a disparate-treatment claim, an applicant need show only that his need for an accommodation was a motivating factor in the employer's decision, not that the employer had knowledge of his need. Title VII's disparate-treatment provision requires Elauf to show that Abercrombie (1) "fail[ed] . . . to hire" her (2) "because of " (3) "[her] religion" (including a religious practice). 42 U. S. C. 2000e2(a)(1). And its "because of" standard is understood to mean that the protected characteristic cannot be a "motivating factor" in an employment decision. 2000e2(m). Thus, rather than imposing a knowledge standard, 2000e2(a)(1) prohibits certain motives, regardless of the state of the actor's knowledge: An employer may not make an applicant's religious practice, confirmed or otherwise, a factor in employment decisions. Title VII contains no knowledge requirement. Furthermore, Title VII's definition of religion clearly indicates that failure-to-accommodate challenges can be brought as disparate-treatment claims. And Title VII gives favored treatment to religious practices, rather than demanding that religious practices be treated no worse than other practices. read more

Higgins-Williams v. Sutter Medical Foundation

California Court of Appeal; C073677 Decision Date: May 26, 2015

In an action for disability discrimination and wrongful termination, summary judgment in favor of the defendant employer is affirmed because the plaintiff employee's alleged disability -- an inability to work under a particular supervisor because of anxiety and stress related to the supervisor's standard oversight of job performance -- is not a disability recognized in California's Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) Gov. Code section 12900 et seq. read more

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