Monday Morning Minute
In This Issue
Paid Sick Leave Updates
Supreme Court Takes Up LGBT Protections Under Title VII
Firm Locations:  

Chicago Office:
Willis Tower
233 S. Wacker Drive
61st Floor-Suite 6154
Chicago, IL  60606
O. 312.291.8299

Milwaukee Office:
Historic Third Ward
342 N. Water Street
Suite 600
Milwaukee, WI  53202
O. 414.323.6337 

Phoenix Area Admin Office:
36889 N. Tom Darlington Dr.
PO Box 2800-145
Carefree, Arizona 85377
                  May 6, 2019


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Minneapolis Paid Sick Leave:  An Appeals Court upheld the Minneapolis sick pay leave as passed on Monday, April 29th.  Business had challenged the ordinance stating that it conflicted state law as well as o verstepped its bounds in applying the ordinance to Minneapolis workers with employers outside the city.  

The Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, the state's biggest business association, sued the city in 2016, arguing that state law already covers paid leave and prohibits Minneapolis from adding another requirement. 

Whether the Chamber will appeal is not known. For more details on the paid sick leave law, click HERE

Dallas Passes Paid Sick Leave: On April 24, 2019, the Dallas, Texas City Council voted to enact a mandatory paid sick leave ordinance, joining San Antonio and Austin. The ordinance is set to go into effect August 1st of this year for businesses with 15 or more employees while smaller businesses would have until August 1, 2021. However, Austin's ordinance is facing a legal challenge. Those opposing it claim that it is preempted by the state's minimum wage law. A Texas appeals court has temporarily blocked the ordinance from taking effect.  Furthermore, state lawmakers introduced a bill that would ban this type of local ordinance. What this may mean for Dallas and San Antonio's ordinances remains to be seen. 

In any case, the recently passed Dallas ordinance would apply to all private and public employers other than the United States, Texas, and Dallas City governments.  All employees who perform 80 or more hours of work for pay within the City of Dallas are eligible for paid sick leave benefits. Some of the provisions of the new ordinance would include:
  • employees earn one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked;
  • employers can limit accrual to whole-hour increments;
  • employers of 15 or more employees can cap the annual accrual of paid sick leave at 64 hours per employee;
  • employers with less than 15 employees can cap annual accrual at 48 hours per employee;
  • employees begin accruing paid sick leave at the commencement of employment or the effective date of the ordinance, whichever is earlier;
  • employees may also carry over all accrued, unused sick leave from year to year, subject to the annual caps;
  • employers may also prohibit employees from using paid sick leave on more than eight separate days in a given year; and
  • employers must provide regular notice of each employee's available paid sick leave at least monthly and must include a notice of employee rights and remedies in any employee handbook that employers may keep.
As with most other paid sick leave ordinances, the Dallas ordinance permits employers to frontload the maximum annual amount of paid sick leave in lieu of the accrual method.  Employers that choose to frontload need not track accrual or allow carryover of unused leave each year.
In what has been described as the fastest civil rights movement in history, two weeks ago SCOTUS decided to take up issues of existential importance to the LGBT community; i.e., legal protection from workplace discrimination.     First up is an issue that has not only the courts at odds, but also the Trump administration's DOJ and EEOC; i.e., whether Title Vll prohibits sexual orientation discrimination.   Altitude Express v. Zaria; Bostock v. Clayton Co.  The Circuit appellate courts are split on the issue, with the Second, Sixth, and Seventh circuits ruling that Title Vll's prohibition of gender discrimination extends to sexual orientation discrimination. The Eleventh Circuit has taken a contrary position.
SCOTUS will also consider the issue of whether Title Vll protects against gender identity/ transgender discrimination.  Harris Funeral Homes. The employer has asked for review of a Sixth Circuit decision upholding the EEOC's determination that Title Vll prohibits gender identity discrimination based upon "sex stereotyping."  The court has further agreed to consider whether Title Vll protects transgendered persons from discrimination based upon their transgendered status.  In Harris, the male employee was fired after informing the employer that he wanted to start wearing women's clothing at work. 

SPOGNARDI BAIOCCHI llp is a law firm dedicated to partnering with companies of all sizes to address the full spectrum of legal concerns for its business.  Our commitment is to find common sense solutions that fit each clients' unique situation to labor, employment, human resources and general business needs. 

With over 50 combined years of experience among its 2 founding partners in these areas, we can assist businesses in developing custom solutions to today's tough issues.  And as litigators, who combined have over thousands of trials  "under their belts" before state and federal courts as well as administrative agencies (such as the NLRB) you will find no better advocate and partner. 


For more information on the firm, please go to our website at or Lisa at