Employment Law Chicago Blog

  • Title VII Race Discrimination Lawsuit Fails

    On April 8, 2021, the 7th Circuit affirmed an order of the district court that granted summary judgment in favor of an employer on a former employee's claims for race, age, and disability discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act.  Gamble v. PCA US LLC, No. 20-2254 (7th Cir. April 8, 2021).  The employer fired the plaintiff for violating its anti-harassment policy for a second time.  The plaintiff asserted that he was treated unfairly during the employer's investigation, and that he was ultimately fired on account of his race, age, and disability.  He sued the employer for employment discrimination in federal court.

  • What is an Employer's Obligation to Provide an Employee with a Religious Accommodation under Title VII?

    On March 31, 2021, the 7th Circuit affirmed an order of the district court granting summary judgment in favor of an employer in a lawsuit in which the EEOC alleged that an employer failed to accommodate a prospective employee's religious practices, in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended ("Title VII").  Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Walmart Stores East, L.P. and Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., No. 20-1419 (7th Cir. March 31, 2021).  After receiving a job offer of full-time assistant manager, the prospective employee, a Seventh-day Adventist, indicated that he could not work between sundown Friday and sundown Saturday.

  • Lawsuit for Breach of Employment Law Settlement Agreement Unsuccessful

    On March 10, 2021, the 7th Circuit affirmed an order of the district court granting summary judgment in favor of an employer in a lawsuit in which a former employee alleged that the employer breached the confidentiality and non-disparagement provisions of an employment law settlement agreement.  Pack v. Middlebury Community Schools, No. 20-1912 (7th Cir. March 10, 2021).  The plaintiff had filed employment law claims against the employer.  The parties resolved the employment lawsuit by executing an employment law settlement agreement.

  • What is the New Illinois Non-Compete Law?

    On August 13, 2021, Governor Pritzker signed the Illinois Freedom to Work Act (the "Act") into law, which became effective on January 1, 2022, and applies to non-competition and non-solicitation agreements entered into after the effective date.  The Act codifies Illinois law on non-competition and non-solicitation agreements.  In so doing, the Act establishes a set of statutory requirements and express prohibitions, with which Illinois employers should immediately familiarize themselves.  The Act is distilled and outlined below.

    I. Statutory Requirements

  • What is Required for an Employee to Prevail on a Claim for FMLA Interference?

    On February 12, 2021, the 7th Circuit affirmed an order of summary judgment in favor of an employer-defendant in a federal lawsuit under the Family and Medical Leave Act ("FMLA") alleging FMLA interference and retaliation.  Hickey v. Protective Life Corporation, No. 20-1076 (7th Cir. 2/12/2021).  The plaintiff brought his lawsuit under the FMLA alleging that his former employer had interfered with the exercise of his FMLA rights and had retaliated against him for exercising those rights.  The district court held that he could not succeed on his FMLA interference claim because he could not prove that he had suffered any monetary damages as a result of the alleged interference or was otherwise entitled to equitable relief.  The 7th Circuit concluded that the plaintiff had no cognizable claim for FMLA interference in the absence of any evidence that he suffered harm for which the FMLA provides a monetary or equitable remedy.

  • What Is Required For An Employee To Prove Employment Discrimination?

    On February 17, 2021, the 7th Circuit affirmed an order of summary judgment in a federal employment discrimination lawsuit for age, sex, race, and disability discrimination, as well as retaliation.  Igasaki v. Illinois Department Of Financial And Professional Regulation, No. 18-3351 (7th Cir. 2/17/2021).  The plaintiff, a 62-year-old gay Japanese man with gout, worked as a staff attorney for the State of Illinois.  He alleged five claims: (1) race discrimination based on his Asian ethnicity in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 ("Title VII"), arising from the treatment of his job performance and his employment termination; (2) sex discrimination in violation of Title VII, arising from gender stereotyping and a hostile work environment based on his sexual orientation; (3) age discrimination in violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act ("ADEA"), arising from the treatment of his job performance and employment termination; (4) retaliation in violation of Title VII, arising from his employment termination after he filed his EEOC charge of discrimination; and (5) disability discrimination in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA"), arising from the failure to accommodate his gout disability.

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