Matthew C. Luzadder

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Altered State: Navigating the Haze Around Medical Marijuana in the Workplace

Medical marijuana occupies a gray space within the United States. Marijuana is an illegal drug under federal law and is included on the Drug Enforcement Administrations’ Schedule I, along with heroin and LSD. The drugs on this schedule are considered to have “no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.” In spite … Continue Reading

New Sexual Harassment Requirements for Illinois Lobbyists

Take action now to meet the new policy, training, and certification requirements. Beginning January 1, 2018, Illinois lobbyists and their employers must comply with new sexual harassment compliance rules. Governor Bruce Rauner signed into law Public Act 100-0554 (the Act) to combat sexual harassment in the state legislature. The Act imposes sweeping new requirements on … Continue Reading

Lessons From Equifax – Trends on Data Breach of Employee Information

The recent Equifax breach data and public missteps in handling the breach has companies revisiting their cybersecurity measures and refreshing their breach response plans.  Although not every company has consumer data likely to be targeted by hackers, employment files may be compromised, such as when breaches of U.S. government databases exposed the personally identifiable information … Continue Reading

Seventh Circuit Rules Title VII Bars Sexual Orientation

On April 4, 2017, the Seventh Circuit became the first federal appellate court in the country to extend the protections afford by the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.  The 8-3 decision came after they held a rare en banc hearing on Kimberly Hively’s case (Hively v. Ivy … Continue Reading

Leave as a Reasonable Accommodation under the ADA

In May 2016, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) published “Employer-Provided Leave and the Americans with Disabilities Act” The EEOC published the guidance as it observed a “troubling trend:” employment policies that deny or restrict leave as a reasonable accommodation for employees with disabilities.  It has been a year since this guidance was published and … Continue Reading

Your Employee is Leaving…. How Do You Safeguard Your Company’s IP?

It is a fact: employees leave.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average worker currently holds ten different jobs before age forty.[1]  Because employee transitions are inevitable, businesses must prepare to secure their data when an employee exits the company.  Otherwise employers risk having their information (e.g., customer lists and related information, research … Continue Reading

What’s in a “Like”?: Tips for Employers and In-House Counsel in Crafting Social Media Policies

Your colleagues are on social media.  Ninety-seven percent of online adults aged 16-64 say they have visited or used a social network within the last month.[1]  Because social media continues to grow and constantly evolves, employers need to take a proactive approach to reduce risk and exposure to litigation related to social media. In recent … Continue Reading

In Order to Avoid Liability, Employers Need to Reevaluate Employee Cell Phone Usage Policies

Employers have long understood that what their employees do on company time is directly linked to the company’s own potential liabilities. When employees using mobile electronic devices cause harm, their carelessness isn’t only a problem for them—on company time, it can become a major problem for employers, as courts across the country have made clear … Continue Reading

What the Seventh Circuit’s Recent Title VII Ruling Means for Sexual Orientation Discrimination in the Workplace

On July 28, 2015, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit (“Seventh Circuit”) ruled that Title VII does not protect against sexual orientation discrimination.  See, Hively v. Ivy Tech Cmty. Coll., 2016 BL 244172, 7th Cir., No. 15-1720, 7/28/16.  The Seventh Circuit ruling is the first by a federal circuit to address … Continue Reading

What You Need to Know About Recent Amendments to Illinois’s Equal Pay Act

As of January 1, 2016, Illinois’s Equal Pay Act (the “Act”) expanded to prohibit all employers, regardless of size, from paying unequal wages to men and women for doing the same or substantially similar work, except if the wage difference is based upon a seniority system, a merit system, a system measuring earnings by quantity … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Poised to Weigh in on Transgender Rights

In recent years, state and federal courts have consistently ruled in favor of those seeking to define their gender identity.  However, the Supreme Court has yet to weigh in — a situation that is about to change as the accelerating national discussion of transgender rights finally makes its way to the Supreme Court. In 2015, … Continue Reading

New OSHA Recordkeeping and Reporting Requirements to Take Effect August 2016

On May 11, 2016, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) finalized a recordkeeping and reporting rule to “modernize injury data collection to better inform workers, employers, the public, and OSHA about workplace hazards.” Currently, OSHA requires employers to keep a record of work-related injuries and illnesses.  Under the new rule, employers will send OSHA … Continue Reading

Employee Manuals – Sticking to the Script: New Guidance from the NLRB

On April 7, 2016, a National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) ruled that five Dan Gilbert companies, including Quicken Loans Inc., Fathead LLC, In-House Realty LLC, One Reverse Mortgage LLC, Rock Connections LLC and Title Source Inc.  (the “Companies”), promulgated rules in an employee manual called “The Big Book” that workers could … Continue Reading

Illinois Medical Marijuana Law: What Employers Should Know

Currently, 23 states have enacted laws to legalize medical marijuana.  Medical marijuana laws are challenging for all employers, but particularly multistate employers, as employers must reconcile federal and varying state laws. In November 2015, medical marijuana dispensaries in Illinois began treating patients under Illinois’ Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act (“Compassionate Use Act”).  … Continue Reading

The EEOC continues to recognize sexual orientation discrimination as sex discrimination under Title VII

On January 6, 2016, the EEOC field an amicus brief in Barbara Burrows v. The College of Central Florida arguing, for the first time, that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects workers against sexual orientation discrimination. The brief begins by acknowledging that the EEOC’s position has evolved over time citing its … Continue Reading

The Second Circuit “Likes” the NLRB’s Reasoning

In recent years, the National Labor Relations Board has tended to protect employees’ social media activity against employers.  A few weeks ago, the Second Circuit upheld a decision of the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) that a business violated Section 8(a)(1) of the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”) when it fired an employee for his … Continue Reading

Seventh Circuit Decision Drives Home Importance of Prudence in Communicating With Employees About Union Issues

In AutoNation, Inc. v. NLRB, the Seventh Circuit enforced a National Labor Relations Board decision that found a car dealership to be in violation of the National Labor Relations Act for interfering with workers’ efforts to unionize and for unlawful discharge of an employee. Libertyville Toyota learned that its auto mechanics were contemplating joining a … Continue Reading

Eleventh Circuit Decision Weakens Injunctive Enforcement of Restrictive Covenants

Last month, in Transunion Risk and Alt. Data Sols., Inc., v. MacLachlan, the Eleventh Circuit held that the district court should have considered hardship to an employee when it enforced a restrictive covenant in an employment contract. This holding limits the effect of a Florida statute favorable to employers in disputes over non-competition agreements when … Continue Reading

Federal Courts Now Have the Authority to Review Whether the EEOC has Satisfied its Duty to Attempt Presuit Conciliation

Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”), the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) is obligated to investigate charges of discrimination and retaliation in the workplace filed by a “person claiming to be aggrieved.”  If the EEOC finds “reasonable cause” to believe that the allegations have merit, it must attempt to … Continue Reading
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