Employment Law Chicago Blog

  • 7th Circuit Affirms Summary Judgment for Employer in Title VII Lawsuit

    On January 19, 2021, the 7th Circuit affirmed an order of summary judgment in favor of an employer-defendant in a Title VII employment discrimination lawsuit alleging wrongful termination on the basis of national origin, race, and religion, as well as unlawful retaliation.  Khungar v. Access Community Health Network, No. 20-1958 (Jan. 19, 2021).  Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 ("Title VII") prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of sex, race, religion, national origin, ethnicity, color, and genetic information.  To defeat a summary judgment motion in a Title VII case, a plaintiff must raise factual disputes sufficient to support a reasonable finding of discrimination by a jury.  A plaintiff may prove employment discrimination with direct or circumstantial evidence under the direct or indirect burden-shifting method.

  • 7th Circuit Affirms Summary Judgment for Employer in Title VII Lawsuit

    On January 19, 2012, the 7th Circuit affirmed an order of summary judgment in favor of an employer-defendant in a Title VII employment discrimination lawsuit alleging unlawful discrimination on the basis of national origin, race, and religion, as well as unlawful retaliation.  Khungar v. Access Community Health Network, No. 20-1958 (Jan. 19, 2021).  Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 ("Title VII") prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of sex, race, religion, national origin, ethnicity, color, and genetic information.  To defeat a summary judgment motion in a Title VII case, a plaintiff must raise factual disputes sufficient to support a reasonable finding of discrimination by a jury.  A plaintiff may prove employment discrimination with direct or circumstantial evidence under the direct or indirect burden-shifting method.

  • 7th Circuit Affirms Summary Judgment on Failure to Accommodate Claim

    On January 14, 2021, the 7th Circuit affirmed an order of summary judgment in favor of an employer-defendant in a failure to accommodate lawsuit under the federal Rehabilitation Act.  Conners v. Robert Wilke, No. 19-2426 (7th Cir. Jan. 14, 2021).  The plaintiff worked as a nurse at a VA hospital.  Her job duties included treating and observing patients, giving immunizations, managing the front desk, teaching classes, and filling out paperwork.  After she was involved in an automobile accident, her injuries impeded her ability to perform most of her nursing duties.  Her supervisor initially permitted her to retain her position, but reduced her job responsibilities to only teaching and paperwork.  Subsequently, the VA concluded that she could not perform the essential duties of her position, even with reasonable accommodations, and it terminated her employment.

  • 7th Circuit Reverses Summary Judgment in Pay Discrimination Lawsuit

    On January 5, 2021, in its first employment law decision of 2021, the 7th Circuit reversed an order of summary judgment in favor of an employer-defendant in a sex discrimination and equal pay lawsuit under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 ("Title VII") and the Equal Pay Act ("EPA").  Kellogg v. Ball State University, No. 20-1406 (7th Cir. 1/5/2021).  The decision turned on a single statement that the Director made to the plaintiff when he hired her, that she "didn't need any more starting salary because he knew her husband worked."  The 7th Circuit found that this statement is "evidence of unequivocal discrimination."  The statement contradicted the defendant's proffered explanations for the pay disparity, and put them into dispute.  This was so even though the statement was made long ago and well outside of the statute of limitations, because it affected paychecks that the plaintiff received within the statute of limitations.  Thus, the 7th Circuit held that the defendant blatantly discriminated against the plaintiff by telling her that, because her husband worked, she did not need any more starting pay.  "Such clear discrimination calls the sincerity of the defendant's rationales into question."

  • 7th Circuit Affirms Summary Judgment on ADA Claim

    On December 30, 2020, the 7th Circuit affirmed an order of summary judgment in favor of an employer-defendant in a federal lawsuit under the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA").  McAllister v. Innovation Ventures, LLC, No. 20-1779 (7th Cir. 12/30/2020).  The plaintiff, a machine operator, was injured in a car accident and consequently could not return to work.  The defendant terminated her employment since she could still not return to work after she had exhausted her leave of absence under the Family and Medical Leave Act ("FMLA").  The defendant maintained a company policy that employees who were unable to return to work after six months of leave would be terminated.  The plaintiff filed a failure-to-accommodate lawsuit under the ADA.

  • Mandatory FFCRA Leave Expires on December 31, 2020

    On December 21, 2020, Congress passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act (the "Act").  The Act does not extend the requirements for covered employers to provide employees with emergency paid sick leave or emergency paid family and medical leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (the "FFCRA").  Mandatory leave under the FFCRA expires on December 31, 2020.  Effective January 1, 2021, covered employers may voluntarily provide employees with emergency paid sick leave or emergency paid family and medical leave under the FFCRA, but are not required to do so.

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