Posts tagged Illinois.

The increase was signed into law just minutes ago.

Federal is the safest bet.

Two states and D.C., plus a number of local governments, will increase their minimum wages on July 1.

This week, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit held that a “multimonth leave of absence is beyond the scope of a reasonable accommodation” under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

In doing so, the court rejected longstanding guidance from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that a long-term medical leave is a reasonable accommodation when the leave is (1) definite and time-limited (not open ended); (2) requested in advance; and (3) likely to enable the employee to perform the essential job functions on return. Noting that under the EEOC’s position “the length of leave does not matter,” the court characterized it as an “open-ended extension” of leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act.

(Not an actual letter from Mr. Kleber.

(Not an actual letter from Mr. Kleber.)

Last week, I received a scathing comment from Dale Kleber, a Chicago-area lawyer and a plaintiff in an age discrimination lawsuit. Mr. Kleber did not like my gut reaction to his lawsuit, which was based on an article that I’d read in The Washington Post. It appeared to me that Mr. Kleber — then a 58-year-old lawyer with roughly 30 years of experience, including experience as a CEO of a dairy industry trade group, Chief Legal Counsel, and General Counsel — was rejected for a low-level in-house staff attorney position because he was overqualified for the position, not because he was 58 years old.

Prompted by Mr. Kleber’s comment, I have now read the court papers (well, a lot of them, anyway).*

*Mr. Kleber’s case is currently on appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, but it is still in the very early stages. For you procedural nerds, I’ve included a summary at the end of this post. Non-nerds can skip it.

Now that I know more about Mr. Kleber’s lawsuit, I haven’t changed my mind. In other words, I still think he was rejected for being overqualified.

Can’t “overqualified” be a code word for “too old”? Yes, but not necessarily. Read on!

At a client seminar that my office presented during the very contentious 2016 campaign season, my law partner John Doyle delivered an introductory disclaimer. Although I may not have his words verbatim, I will never forget the message, which was as follows:

The only thing we’re partisan about is employers. That’s it.

It was a great way to dispel the perception that we were being politically partisan while we had to discuss the positive and negative impacts of the candidates’ proposals on employment law issues.

This morning, I got a comment from the plaintiff in an age discrimination lawsuit that I referenced last year, based on an article that had appeared in The Washington Post. Here’s what the plaintiff, Dale Kleber, said to me:

Well, Robin, I was surprised that although you have formal legal training, the article you wrote contains so many factual assumptions that simply are false. I suspect that your firm primarily represents defendant employers and your “analysis” is tainted with the bias of economic self-interest. In the near future, I expect to obtain an objective review of my case from the the Seventh Circuit. Your article, devoid as it is of even the most basic factual or legal analysis is simply an editorial masquerading as a legal newsletter. But perhaps that is what your clients want to hear.

I admit I did not think Mr. Kleber was a victim of age discrimination based on the information in the WaPo article, and I admit that I said so. Reading between the lines on his comment, it appeared to me that he had lost his case (since he was hoping to be vindicated on appeal), but I read the court filings today and it’s more complicated than that. (I’ll have a separate blog post about the merits of Mr. Kleber’s lawsuit, which I think is pretty interesting.)

As far as writing “editorials” on this blog, I plead guilty. This ain’t, after all, The New York Times.

I also admit that I and my firm represent employers, and that we are always on the employers’ side.

But what I’d really like to talk about is what it means to be “on the employers’ side,” or, as John says, “partisan” on behalf of employers.

Patrick White, an attorney in the Cook County (Illinois) Public Defender’s Office, lost his claim that the county’s promotion process had an adverse impact on male attorneys. This judicial finding follows a jury verdict against the lawyer on his claims of disparate treatment discrimination.

Mr. White was a Grade III public defender, seeking a promotion to Grade IV. He contends ...

Two court decisions came out last week that ought to scare the heck out of employers.

Both involved employers who seem to have been aware of their legal obligations and tried to comply. The employers lost their cases because they either didn't go far enough, or didn't pay enough attention to "optics."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oPwrodxghrw

I'd like to talk about each of these ...

Supreme Court agrees to review "travel ban" cases and partially stays injunctions on the ban pending a final decision. The Trump Administration won a partial victory this week when the U.S. Supreme Court decided that portions of the Hot Dog Man.flickrCC.JeleneMorrispreliminary injunctions against the "travel ban" issued in March should be stayed. What that means is that the travel ban is now in effect for foreign ...

Did you know that May is Mental Health Awareness Month? (Neither did I, but I do now.) Our beloved blogger Mallory Schneider Ricci is back at FOCUS, our women's Hot Dog Man.flickrCC.JeleneMorrisleadership blog, with a post about mental health issues that affect women -- and men -- in the legal profession, and what they can do to take care of themselves.

The March-April Executive Labor Summary is out! David Phippen

Robin Shea has 30 years' experience in employment litigation, including Title VII and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act (including the Amendments Act). 
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