Last year, we posted about a decision from the Southern District of Texas in which the court ruled that firing a woman because she was lactating or breast-pumping did not amount to sex discrimination under Title VII or the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA). The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals recently reversed the district court’s decision.
Lauren Shurman is an associate in the Litigation group. She focuses her practice on general commercial litigation, including intellectual property and employment litigation. Lauren has litigated complex commercial disputes in federal and state courts and in arbitration, and has represented clients in administrative proceedings before the Utah Labor Commission, the Utah Public Service Commission, the Utah State Tax Commission and the Utah State Board of Education. She has also represented condemning authorities in numerous condemnation actions and disputes involving power lines and electrical utility substations.
Before joining Stoel Rives as an attorney, Lauren was a summer associate in the Salt Lake City office (2004, 2005).
Utah State Senator Steve Urquhart (R-St. George) is sponsoring a bill that would amend Utah’s employment and housing antidiscrimination statutes to address discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. Urquhart introduced Senate Bill 262 to the Utah Senate Rules Committee on March 1, 2013. Currently, several municipalities in Utah have ordinances prohibiting employment or housing discrimination against LGBT individuals, but there is no state-wide protection against such discrimination, nor is the state’s Labor Commission empowered to investigate or remedy any such discrimination.
S.B. 262 would amend the Utah Antidiscrimination Act to make it unlawful for an employer to discriminate against or harass an otherwise qualified person because of that person’s sexual orientation or gender identity. The bill defines “sexual orientation” as “an individual’s actual or perceived orientation as heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual.” The bill defines “gender identity” as “an individual’s internal sense of gender, without regard to the individual’s designated sex at birth.” Utah’s Antidiscrimination Act applies to employers employing 15 or more employees but does not apply to religious organizations or associations. S.B. 262 would also exempt organizations “engaged in public or private expression if employing an individual would affect in a significant way the organization’s ability to advocate public or private viewpoints protected” by the First Amendment from the definition of “employer.” Thus, certain advocacy groups would not be required to employ LGBT individuals under S.B. 262 if doing so was inconsistent with their mission and would significantly affect their ability to advocate their viewpoints.Continue Reading Proposed Utah Bill To Prohibit Discrimination Based On Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity
For many new moms returning to work after the birth of a child, pumping breast-milk is considered to be a necessary evil. Necessary because pumping ensures that these mothers’ babies can continue to experience the many benefits of breast-milk, and helps the mothers to maintain their milk supplies, relieves painful engorgement, and prevents potentially serious …