Employment Law Chicago Blog
7th Circuit Affirms Summary Judgment on Title VII Discrimination and Retaliation Claims.
On July 14, 2021, the 7th Circuit affirmed an order of summary judgment in favor of the defendant in a Title VII employment discrimination and retaliation lawsuit, in which the plaintiff alleged that he was disciplined and denied a promotion because of his race and gender as well as in retaliation for opposing unlawful sexual harassment. Logan v. City of Chicago, et al., No. 20-1669 (7th Cir. July 14, 2021). Title VII prohibits an employer from discriminating against any individual with respect to his or her compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, because of such individual’s race, color, religion, […]
What are the Elements of a Title VII Retaliation Claim?
On June 16, 2021, the 7th Circuit affirmed an order of summary judgment in favor of a defendant in a Title VII retaliation and sex discrimination lawsuit, in which the plaintiff alleged that the defendant refused to hire her twice, in retaliation for filing an earlier complaint of sex discrimination. Eaton v. J.H. Findorff & Son, Inc., No. 20-1731 (7th Cir. June 16, 2021). The plaintiff had filed a charge of discrimination against the company with the EEOC, alleging that her layoff amounted to unlawful discrimination on the basis of her sex. Subsequently, she filed her federal lawsuit, claiming both […]
Employer not Liable for Title VII Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliaiton under the Cat’s Paw Theory.
On May 28, 2021, the 7th Circuit affirmed an order of summary judgment in favor of an employer and against a former employee on her Title VII employment discrimination and retaliation claims. Vesey v. Envoy Air, Inc. d/b/a American Eagle Airlines, Inc., No. 20-1606 (7th Cir. May 28, 2021). The plaintiff, an airline agent, was terminated, according to the airline, after she abused her travel privileges. She filed a lawsuit in federal court, alleging that she was harassed because of her race and terminated in retaliation for reporting the harassment.
She also alleged that she was subjected to a hostile work […]
ADEA Retaliation Claim based on the Cat’s Paw Theory Fails
On April 26, 2021, the 7th Circuit affirmed summary judgment for an employer on retaliation and discrimination claims under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (“ADEA”). Sinha v. Bradley University, No. 20-1848 (7th Cir. April 26, 2021). One ADEA retaliation claim failed for lack of proximate cause under the cat’s paw theory of liability, and the other claim was time-barred. The plaintiff alleged that his employer discriminated against him on the basis of sex, in violation of Title VII, and retaliated against him for opposing the employer’s purported (discriminatory) age discrimination policy, in violation of the ADEA.
The plaintiff sued in […]
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 […]
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 […]
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.
The settlement agreement contained confidentiality and non-disparagement provisions. The plaintiff alleged in his new lawsuit that the employer breached the […]
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
The Act provides that a covenant not to compete or a covenant not to solicit is illegal and void unless:
1. The employee receives […]
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 […]
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 […]