Indiana employers need to be ready for religious freedom law

by Angela Johnson and Martha Lemert

The new Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act (IRFRA) is set to take effect July 1 after being signed into law in March and then amended in April because of objections that the statute would be used to discriminate, particularly on the basis of sexual orientation.

In its amended form, the IRFRA doesn’t authorize most employers to discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, ancestry, age, national origin, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or military service. That’s the case even if an employer raises a religious objection.

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Appeals court keeps hold on Obama’s immigration orders

May 27, 2015 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

No quick resolution is in sight to the uncertainty surrounding President Barack Obama’s executive actions on immigration. On May 26, a three-judge panel of the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals refused to lift a temporary hold on Obama’s actions, which were designed to ease deportation worries for millions of undocumented immigrants who have been in the United States for years.

“Employers will have to wait possibly months, or years, for the courts or Congress to resolve the status of undocumented immigrants who would have been eligible for work permits under President Obama’s executive action,” said Elaine C. Young, an attorney with the Kirton McConkie law firm in Salt Lake City and an editor of Utah Employment Law Letter.

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Indiana adds veteran protection to Civil Rights Act

by Matthew A. Brown

An amendment to the Indiana Civil Rights Act (ICRA) going into effect July 1 means employers should assess their policies and practices to ensure they don’t discriminate on the basis of an applicant’s or employee’s status as a veteran.

Indiana House Enrolled Act (HEA) 1242 adds veteran status to the protected categories already covered in the ICRA—race, religion, color, sex, disability, national origin, and ancestry. A veteran under the ICRA includes not only someone who served in the U.S. armed forces but also a member of the Indiana National Guard or a reserves component of the armed forces.

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Indiana AG appeals Lake County judge’s ruling that right-to-work law is unconstitutional

On September 5, Indiana’s right-to-work law was declared unconstitutional by a state trial court judge.  On Thursday, Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller filed a notice of appeal in the case.

Lake County Superior Court Judge John M. Sedia ruled that the right-to-work law violated the Indiana Constitution by requiring unions to provide services without payment. The law prohibits requiring employees to pay dues to a union.  Under federal law, however, unions must represent all workers in a bargaining unit, including nonunion members.  Sedia reasoned that the right-to-work law violated the Indiana Constitution’s provision guaranteeing just compensation for services rendered. Sweeney v. Zoeller, No. 45D01-1305-PK-52 (Superior Court, Sept. 5, 2013).

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Changes coming to Indiana’s background check law

by Rozlyn Fulgoni-Britton

Provisions of Indiana’s new background check law, which limits the information criminal history providers may give to employers, go into effect July 1.

Under the law, criminal history providers won’t be able to provide information related to the following:

  • An infraction, arrest, or charge that didn’t result in a conviction;

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Another NLRB recess appointment ruled invalid

May 20, 2013 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

Nearly four months after an appeals court ruled that recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) made in 2012 were invalid, another appellate court has ruled a previous recess appointment unconstitutional.

The U.S. 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals ruled May 16 in NLRB v. New Vista Nursing & Rehab. that President Barack Obama’s 2010 recess appointment of Craig Becker to the NLRB was invalid. Becker, a Democrat, served on the Board from April 5, 2010, through January 3, 2012.

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Governor Daniels Signs “Bring Your Gun to Work” Bill Into Law

March 19, 2010 - by: Holly Jones 0 COMMENTS

On March 18, Governor Mitch Daniels signed into law a bill allowing most employees in the state to bring weapons onto their employer’s property as long as the weapons are kept out of plain sight in locked vehicles. The bill will take effect July 1, 2010.

In the signing statement accompanying the bill, Governor Daniels acknowledged the broad bipartisan support the legislation had received in the legislature. He also acknowledged and encouraged the legislature to resolve the bill’s ambiguities to avoid unnecessary litigation. Most significantly, however, the governor’s decision to sign the legislation rested in large part on the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and the “even stronger language” of the Indiana Constitution, which states: “The people shall have a right to bear arms, for the defense of themselves and the State.” Here is Governor Daniels’ complete signing statement:

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