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SCOTUS Expands “Ministerial Exception;” Shields Religious Employers

The U.S. Supreme Court adopted a broad reading of a legal doctrine that shields religious employers from anti-discrimination laws, saying the First Amendment bars secular courts from deciding if the religious duties of teachers at two Catholic schools are important enough to justify the exemption. In a 7-2 vote, the justices reversed a pair of   Continue Reading »

SCOTUS Exempts Religious Employers From Birth Control Coverage

On Wednesday, July 8th, the Supreme Court of the United States voted to uphold the Trump administration regulations that allow employers with religious or moral objections to remove contraception from their health care plans, an Affordable Care Act (ACA) requirement. It was a 7-2 decision, which Democratic state attorneys general have said could deprive tens   Continue Reading »

Lake County Indiana Judge to Discuss Best Practices for Holding A Jury Trial During a Pandemic

On Thursday, July 16th, at 12:00pm CT, Hon. Bruce D. Parent, a senior judge in the Lake County [Indiana] Superior Court, will lead a live webinar discussing his experience holding the State’s first jury trial since the onset of the pandemic.  Lake County Bar Association (LCBA) Civil Litigation Chair and Johnson & Bell Attorney, Catherine   Continue Reading »

Chicago Fair Workweek Ordinance Effective July 1

Starting Wednesday, July 1st, many Chicago employers will now have to comply with the city’s new “fair workweek” law. The goal of the bill is to require that employers give employees advance notice of their schedules and pay a premium for last-minute changes, as unpredictable schedules and uneven paychecks, make it hard to plan for   Continue Reading »

Not All Good Deeds Go Unpunished – EEOC Warns That Even Well-Intentioned Policies Directed at Older Workers Can Result In ADEA Violation

New guidance recently issued by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) advises that employers who preclude employees over the age of 65 from returning to work may be in violation of the Age Discrimination In Employment Act (ADEA), a law aimed at protecting workers over 40 from job-related discrimination. This guidance comes as part of   Continue Reading »

Illinois COVID-19 Order Limiting Religious Events Upheld by 7th Circuit

On Tuesday, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals backed a lower court’s decision not to tinker with Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s executive order limiting the size of religious gatherings to help slow the spread of COVID-19.  The appellate panel supported the lower court’s decision that churches are closer to concert halls and movie theaters, which are   Continue Reading »

ALFA International Webinar: Fencl to Discuss Coverage Issues in the Aftermath of Riots, Vandalism

On Thursday, June 18th, at 12:00pm CT, Glenn F. Fencl of Johnson & Bell, Valerie A. Moore of Haight Brown & Bonesteel LLP, and Angela Higgins of Baker Sterchi Cowden & Rice, LLC, all members of the Insurance Group from ALFA International, will be hosting a webinar about insurance coverage claims in the aftermath of   Continue Reading »

IDOI Issues Claims Handling Bulletin in Wake of Civil Unrest

On June 8, 2020, the Illinois Department of Insurance (IDOI) issued Company Bulletin 2020-15 (CB 2020-15): “Coverage Related to Business and Property Damage Losses, Including but not Limited to Those Arising Out of Vandalism and Looting” directed to all insurance companies issuing and/or delivering property and casualty policies in the state of Illinois.  The Bulletin   Continue Reading »

SCOTUS Decides that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 Prohibits Employment Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation and Transgender Status

In a landmark decision this morning, the United States Supreme Court held that Federal Law prohibits job discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. The case concerned Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which bars employment discrimination based on race, religion, national origin and sex. The question for the Court was whether   Continue Reading »

Chicago Launches $5M Chicago Resiliency Fund

On Wednesday, June 10, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced the creation of the Chicago Resiliency Fund. The goal of the $5 million fund is to provide cash assistance to Chicago families and residents that were excluded from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, though the program is targeted towards undocumented immigrants,   Continue Reading »
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