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  • Author Archives: Thomas B. Wassel

    President Trump’s Travel Ban: How the Executive Order is Affecting Colleges and Universities

    On Friday, January 27, 2017, President Trump signed an executive order on immigration, which bars Syrian refugees from entering the United States indefinitely, suspends all refugee admissions under the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program for 120 days, and prohibits citizens from seven, predominately Muslim, countries from entering the United States for 90 days. Those seven countries […]

    U.S. Supreme Court to Weigh in on Religious Exemptions from ERISA

    The United States Supreme Court recently agreed to hear appeals from hospitals with Christian affiliations regarding the Employee Retirement Income Security Act’s (“ERISA”) exemption for church retirement plans. ERISA is a federal law that sets forth minimum standards for pension plans established by private companies. In an effort to protect the interests of employee benefit […]

    EEOC Issues Guidance on Rights of Employees with Mental Health Conditions

    The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) recently issued a resource document titled “Depression, PTSD, & Other Mental Health Conditions in the Workplace: Your Legal Rights” intended to provide guidance on workplace rights for individuals with mental health conditions under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (“ADA”). The EEOC, the government agency responsible for […]

    Seventh Circuit: Title VII Does Not Cover Sexual-Orientation Discrimination

    The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, in a decision on July 26, 2016, held that Title VII, a chapter of the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964 that protects employees from being discriminated against based upon race, sex, religion and national origin, does not protect employees against discrimination based upon sexual orientation. In Hively v. […]

    Supreme Court Upholds University of Texas Race-Conscious Admissions Program

    In a long-awaited decision, the Supreme Court recently furnished a victory for affirmative action admissions programs. The 4-3 decision in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, written by Justice Kennedy, declared that the University of Texas at Austin’s race conscious admission program passes strict scrutiny. By way of background, affirmative action programs are governed by […]

    Seattle Becomes First City in U.S. to Allow Uber Drivers to Unionize

    In December, 2015, the Seattle City Council unanimously voted in favor of legislation that expressly permits drivers for Uber, Lyft and other ride-hailing services to unionize. Drivers for these companies, who are treated as independent contractors, will now be given the opportunity to join a union and permitted to collectively bargain with the companies, a […]

    NRLB to Reconsider Unionization of Private College Graduate Students

    Last month, the National Labor Relations Board (“NRLB”) voted 3 to 1 to reconsider whether graduate students who work as teaching assistants or research assistants at private universities are protected by the National Labor Relations Act (the “Act” or “NLRA”) and whether they can participate in collective bargaining with institutions. By way of brief background, […]

    The Seventh Circuit Allows Data Breach Class Action Plaintiffs to Breach the Barriers to the Court

    Until now, the majority of courts around the Country have dismissed data breach plaintiff class actions based on lack of standing because such plaintiff’s injuries were too speculative.  On July 20, 2015, the Seventh Circuit, in Remijas v. Neiman Marcus Group, LLC, No. 14-3122, 2015 WL 4394814 (7th Cir. July 20, 2015), reversed the Federal […]

    The Supreme Court’s Decision in Harris v. Quinn May Change the Landscape of Labor Unions in America

    On June 30, 2014, in the matter of Harris v. Quinn, the Supreme Court issued a 5-4 decision holding that the First Amendment prohibits the collection of an agency fee from home health care providers who do not wish to join or a support a union. The plaintiffs in this case were personal assistant health […]

    Employers Sick Over New Paid Sick Day Laws: The Epidemic is Spreading

    Newark is the latest city to enact a mandatory Paid Sick Leave law, joining Jersey City and New York City. These laws will be impacting employers long after the latest bug goes around the workplace. These cities are joining other cities and states across the country, including Seattle, Connecticut, and San Francisco, in requiring employers […]