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Michigan Supreme Court Rules That Sexual Orientation is Covered by Michigan Law

2 August 2022

Michigan Supreme Court Rules That Sexual Orientation is Covered by Michigan Law

Author: Anthony Kaylin

Last week, the Michigan Supreme Court in a 5-2 decision ruled in the Rouch World LLC v. Department of Civil Rights (SC Docket 162482) case that sexual orientation is covered by “sex” in the Elliott-Larsen Act. This case was brought by businesses that denied services to customers who were either a same-sex couple or an individual who was transitioning their gender identity for religious reasons. Defendants in the lawsuit include Uprooted Electrolysis LLC, based in Gwinn, and Rouch...
When an Employee Refuses to do Work That Violates Their Religious Beliefs

26 July 2022

When an Employee Refuses to do Work That Violates Their Religious Beliefs

Author: Anthony Kaylin

In a recent situation that not only involved religious beliefs but also medical needs, a Walgreens’ employee refused to sell a male contraceptive to a married woman because it violated their faith.  Walgreens policy allows for employees to do this.  A Walgreens spokesperson said that its employees are allowed to “step away from completing a transaction to which they have a moral objection.”  A manager eventually sold the contraceptive to the woman. 
The Importance of Inclusive Employment Forms

26 July 2022

The Importance of Inclusive Employment Forms

Author: Linda Olejniczak

Inclusive forms and paperwork are an important part of LGBTQ-affirming organizational culture. Not only will inclusive forms allow your organization to capture the most accurate information, but they also serve as “markers” for people exploring your organization. Forms, paperwork, and applications send strong messaging around who is welcome and counted in your culture.

Is There Going to be a New Standard for Religion in the Workplace?

5 July 2022

Is There Going to be a New Standard for Religion in the Workplace?

Author: Anthony Kaylin

Although there were a number of ancillary issues with the recent U.S. Supreme Court case of Kennedy v. Bremerton School District, No. 21-418 (June 27, 2022), a major question for employers is how to now regulate religion in the workplace.  At first blush, the Kennedy decision seemed to be about a public high school teacher leading a prayer with students at the 50-yard line after a football game, separation of church and state, but it has broader implications as to religion in the...
Discrimination Issues with AI

31 May 2022

Discrimination Issues with AI

Author: Anthony Kaylin

As more organizations embrace artificial intelligence (AI), the EEOC and U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) have begun to be more cognizant of the discriminatory issues associated with these tools.

When Diversity Messaging and Beliefs Collide to Create Liability to an Organization

24 May 2022

When Diversity Messaging and Beliefs Collide to Create Liability to an Organization

Author: Anthony Kaylin

In today’s world, gender identity is a hot topic and extremely fluid.  At the same time, “old school” values, many times from religious upbringing, will collide with “new world” values.  As the platinum rule for diversity is “treat others as they want to be treated,” this brings up the situation when in diversity neither side can treat the others as they would want.

 

U.S. Department of Justice Issues New Guidelines for Website Accessibility

3 May 2022

U.S. Department of Justice Issues New Guidelines for Website Accessibility

Author: Anthony Kaylin

On March 18, 2022, the U.S. Department of Justice ("DOJ") published guidance on website accessibility specific to how state and local governments (Title II of the ADA) and "public accommodations" (Title III of the ADA) can remove unnecessary barriers that make it difficult or impossible for people with disabilities to use websites. 

Perceptions are not Always Reality – Minority Estimation Biases

19 April 2022

Perceptions are not Always Reality – Minority Estimation Biases

Author: Anthony Kaylin

Americans tend to overestimate the percentages of minority groups in the U.S.  The news, politics, and other outlets may exacerbate a situation or activity, simply because of reporting biases. A new poll from YouGov America appears to confirm that in broad terms, Americans consistently, and vastly, overestimate the size of minority groups.

Ageism is Alive and Well and Running Rampant

22 March 2022

Ageism is Alive and Well and Running Rampant

Author: Anthony Kaylin

In a recent survey by the AARP, nearly 80% of older employees say they’ve seen or experienced age discrimination in the workplace. The percentage of jobseekers in February above the age of 55 who were “long-term unemployed,” meaning they’d been looking for a job for 27 weeks or more, was more than 36%, compared to around 23% among those between the ages of 16 and 54.

#BreakTheBias – Removing Road Blocks to Women’s Leadership Journeys

8 March 2022

#BreakTheBias – Removing Road Blocks to Women’s Leadership Journeys

Author: Heather Nezich

Yesterday, March 8th, was International Women’s Day, a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. The 2022 theme is #BreakTheBias.

The No-Label Generation and Self-Identification

4 January 2022

The No-Label Generation and Self-Identification

Author: Anthony Kaylin

A growing issue today is identifying demographics, not of just applicants, but also employees.  While typically 1% to 2% of each group may not identify, today anecdotally it is being found at 10% to 15%.  There is a conflict today with 1960 and 1970’s regulations and today’s workforce that prefer no labels. Further, because of government reporting requirements and unknowns both by gender and ethnicity/race in the workforce, HR professionals are becoming more hesitant to...
Is Racism Subtly Prevalent in Your Organization?

21 December 2021

Is Racism Subtly Prevalent in Your Organization?

Author: Anthony Kaylin

As Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives take root at many organizations, the questions organizations face is whether or not racism exists in the organization, or if the organization simply reflects norms and culture within it.  As Roosevelt Thomas Jr., a diversity pioneer, has described in his seminal book, Beyond Race and Gender, the roots of an organization run deep, and they are hard to break.  In many cases, social equity initiatives attack these roots to attempt...
Michigan Supreme Court Looks to Review State’s ELCRA Coverage of Sex Discrimination

6 July 2021

Michigan Supreme Court Looks to Review State’s ELCRA Coverage of Sex Discrimination

Author: Michael Burns

Since last year’s U.S. Supreme Court decision employers would be correct in thinking that sexual orientation is protected by Title VII of the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964, and for most Michigan employers they would be correct. However, Michigan itself has its own anti employment discrimination law in the Elliot-Larsen Civil Right Act (ELCRA) and it too has a sex discrimination prohibition in it.  However, Michigan has not technically extended its laws to fully protect sex...
New European Union Pay Equity Requirements

29 June 2021

New European Union Pay Equity Requirements

Author: Anthony Kaylin

The European Union (EU) has long had pay equity laws since its founding by the Treaty of Rome in 1957.  A 2006 Directive (Directive 2006/54/EC) on equal treatment of women and men in matters of employment and occupation requires employers to ensure equal pay for equal work or work of equal value between women and men. It was complemented in 2014 by a European Commission Recommendation on pay transparency. As of March 2021, according to the latest Eurostat findings, the gender pay gap in...
How COVID-19 Has Impacted Civil Rights in the Workplace

11 May 2021

How COVID-19 Has Impacted Civil Rights in the Workplace

Author: Heather Nezich

At a hearing on April 28, 2021, the EEOC heard from a dozen invited experts on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on civil rights in the workplace. EEOC Chair Charlotte A. Burrows said that the testimony of the panelist made clear that while the pandemic continues to have serious impacts on public health and our economy, it has also created a civil rights crisis for many of America’s workers.

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