Monday Blog

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Kansas takes a big step backwards on LGBT rights
Kansas Governor Sam Brownback issued an executive order last week eliminating protections available to state employees discriminated against on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.  In doing so, he did away with a 2007 executive order issued by then Governor Kathleen Sibelius preventing discrimination, harassment and retaliation against such employees.  Governor Brownback makes this move years into his administration at a time when nationwide LGBT rights are expanding.  Follow this link for more information.

Don’t quit
A federal appeals court in Boston recently ruled against a former employee in a disability case for quitting during the “interactive process.”  Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, employees seeking accommodation of a disability are to engage with the employer in an “interactive process” which involves an informal dialogue between the employee and the employer where the two parties discuss the issues affecting the employee and potential reasonable accommodations that might address those issues.  It requires cooperation from both parties.  The employee in this case suffers from diabetes and was seeking accommodation relative to her work schedule.  The court found that, although the employer rejected the employee’s suggested accommodation, it offered to look at other alternatives.  Rather than continue with the dialogue, the employee quit.  For more details read this article.

Orting’s first African-American police officer claims racism
Earlier this month Orting, Washington’s first African-American police officer filed a complaint alleging race discrimination and retaliation against the police department.  According to the former officer, prior to joining the department he never thought about how race may impact his employment experience.  During his probationary period he was subjected to racial remarks by the Police Chief.  Then, after complaining to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, his car was vandalized with racial profanity and a threat that he would pay for suing the Chief.  Click here for more details on this situation.