SCOTUS Trio: Does Title VII “Sex” Discrimination Include “Sexual Orientation” and “Gender Identity”?

The U.S. Supreme Court recently accepted a trio of cases addressing whether Title VII’s prohibition of “sex” discrimination in employment contexts should focus on biological male and female distinctions, or if it should be expanded and redefined to cover “sexual orientation” or “gender identity.” Lower federal courts have split on these issues. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has favored such expansiveness, while the Trump administration is opposed. Against the backdrop of our prior articles on related employment discrimination litigation, this article highlights the tension between the judiciary and legislative government branches as well as significant religious liberty interests at stake.

Salary Threshold Increase for Exempt Employees

The minimum federal salary threshold for white-collar employees may soon increase from $23,660 to $35,308.  The U.S. Department of Labor recently released a proposed rule increasing the long-standing amount, as one of the requirements for “exempt” employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act.  Consequently, nonprofit employers with modestly or low-paid executive directors and other dedicated leaders may need to revisit their compensation structures to ensure that key leaders remain as exempt employees, for purposes of overtime pay and related legal compliance. In case this news sounds familiar, it is.  The DOL previously tried to increase the salary threshold much more drastically, and this second attempt might just stick. 

Reimbursing Employees for Work-Related Use of Personal Devices: It’s the Law!

Must employers reimburse their employees for work-related expenses, like cell phones and laptops used for work calls and projects?  Illinois recently joined the growing state trend, requiring employers to reimburse expenses incurred by employees within the scope of their employment.  As a result, many nonprofits need to revisit and update current reimbursement policies and communicate these changes to employees to mitigate against unexpected liability in this area.  Additional employment law aspects make legal compliance even more compelling.   

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