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Jay Holland comments on recent employment law issues

Jay Holland was recently quoted in Law360 on four, important employment law issues.

On July 1, Holland commented on the U.S. Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling for Hobby Lobby in its challenge to federal regulations under the Affordable Care Act’s requirement that companies provide employees with contraception coverage. The Court cited the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

“Though the rationale that the RFRA extended to companies echoed the high court’s controversial Citizens United decision in 2010, Monday’s ruling was ‘unprecedented’ in the context of protecting the freedom of religion of a for-profit corporate entity,” said Holland.

“The implications can be fairly dramatic,” Holland said of the Hobby Lobby ruling. “Closely held entities employ millions and millions of people.”

Also on July, Holland was quoted regarding the U.S. Supreme Court’s agreement to review a former UPS Inc. driver’s pregnancy discrimination suit, a case that gives the justices a chance to clarify employers’ obligations to accommodate pregnant workers and which may impact Equal Employment Opportunity Commission guidance on the issue.

Holland said, “Employers would have to be careful to heed, first, the guidance of the courts in their jurisdiction, but certainly not be blind to or ignore the EEOC’s guidance. It’s always safer to take a broader view of your obligations an employer.”

On June 27, Holland was quoted in an article regarding the Word Cup and the opportunity it presents for employers to improve office camaraderie through soccer-themed activities. “I always think it’s a good thing for employers to come up with creative ways to boost employee morale,” said Holland.

On May 21, the issue of same- sex marriage was the topic in the article Employers Must Rethink Policies After Gay Marriage Wins. “That’s very significant, that these states where the federal courts have struck down [same-sex marriage bans] as unconstitutional … must also comply with FMLA,” said Holland. “That’s a very big issue for employers and employees alike. When it comes to company policies and practices, that’s something people need to look at,” he said.

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