Utah passes historic legislation against sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination

March 13, 2015 0 COMMENTS

by Ryan B. Frazier

On March 12, Utah Governor Gary Herbert signed into law newly enacted legislation aimed at preventing employment and housing discrimination against gays, lesbians, and transgender individuals. The monumental legislation amends the state’s antidiscrimination law to prohibit employers statewide from making employment decisions based on an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity. Under the law, a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity cannot be the basis for refusing to hire, refusing to promote, demoting, or terminating him or her. Utah law already banned employment discrimination on the basis of race, sex, age, religion, pregnancy, national origin, and disability.

The new law also provides safeguards for religious freedoms. The law exempts religious leaders and organizations such as churches and religious schools and their affiliates from the application of the new provisions. It also exempts the Boy Scouts of America or any of its subsidiaries or councils.

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Utah case puts same-sex marriage issue on track to go before Supreme Court

June 26, 2014 0 COMMENTS

Utah’s constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage suffered another blow in a June 25 ruling from the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, and that ruling makes it likely that the issue of same-sex marriage will go before the U.S. Supreme Court.

The 10th Circuit’s decision upheld a December 2013 federal district court ruling that struck down Utah’s ban. The lower court’s ruling was on hold during the state’s appeal to the 10th Circuit.

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Utah: Compromise, Cooler Heads Will Prevail

November 04, 2010 0 COMMENTS

by Darryl J. Lee, Wood Jenkins LLC

Utah sends all of its incumbents back to the U.S. Congress, together with a new Tea Party constitutionalist, Republican Mike Lee, who easily won the open U.S. Senate seat vacated by Bob Bennett. (Bennett couldn’t make it out of Utah’s Republican caucus.)

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Utah Supreme Court Issues Major Workers’ Comp Ruling

March 06, 2009 0 COMMENTS

In a very recent decision handed down by the Utah Supreme Court, the court has substantially limited the protections afforded to employers under the workers’ compensation statute.

This decision involved an industrial accident at a Chevron refinery near Salt Lake City. According to the facts of the written opinion, Chevron tried a new, less expensive method of neutralizing spent toxic sludge that backfired, causing a number of workers in the vicinity to fall ill.

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