Wyatt Employment Law Report


Leave a comment

Kentucky Supreme Court Clarifies “Similarly Situated” Standard for KCRA Claims

By Courtney Ross Samford

NKU-library-1On March 17, 2016, the Kentucky Supreme Court addressed the “similarly situated” standard that must be established by all plaintiffs in Kentucky Civil Rights Act (KCRA) claims in The Board of Regents of Northern Kentucky University v. Weickgenannt, 2016 WL 1068245 (Ky. March 17, 2016) (unpublished).  Plaintiff Andrea Weickgenannt sued the Board of Regents of Northern Kentucky University (NKU), claiming that her application for tenure was denied because of her gender, in violation of the KCRA.  Initially, NKU’s accounting department recommended Weickgenannt for tenure to the Dean of the College of Business.  In his first tenure review since joining NKU, the Dean disagreed with this recommendation, based on his belief that Weickgenannt failed to publish three peer-reviewed articles in journals of “good quality” and her lack of a “continuing commitment to do scholarly activity in the future,” as required by the College of Business’s scholarship requirements.

Weickgenannt’s application was then reviewed by NKU’s female Provost.  She supported the Dean’s recommendation after speaking with faculty members from other Kentucky universities, each of whom confirmed that Weickgenannt’s articles were published in a journal that was insufficient to warrant tenure.  The Provost also Continue reading


Leave a comment

Senate Fails to Act on Pregnant Workers Fairness Act and Minimum Wage Bill

By Allison Grogan Buckley

Two high-profile bills pending in the Senate have failed to become law at the end of Kentucky’s 2015 regular legislative session.

In March, Kentucky’s House unanimously passed the Kentucky Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (House Bill 218), which would have required employers subject to the Kentucky Civil Rights Act to provide reasonable accommodations for “pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions.” As drafted, the Act would have also amended the definition of “a related medical condition” to include “lactation or the need to express breast milk for a nursing child.” The bill was received by the Senate on February 27 and sent to the Veterans, Military Affairs, & Public Protection committee on March 2, but the Senate failed to act further on the bill before the end of the 2015 regular session.

Also pending before the Senate was House Bill 2, which would have gradually raised the minimum wage in Kentucky from $7.25 to $10.10 per hour over the next two years. Like HB 218, the minimum wage bill was passed by the House and received in the Senate. The Bill was then referred to the Senate’s Appropriations & Revenue committee, but the Senate failed to act further prior to the end of the legislative session.

 


Leave a comment

House Unanimously Passes the Kentucky Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, Bill Now Onto Senate

The House unanimously passed the Kentucky Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (HB 218), which would require employers subject to the Kentucky Civil Rights Act to provide reasonable accommodations for “pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions.” It would also amend the Civil Rights Act to make it unlawful for employers to “fail to accommodate an employee affected by pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical condition [and would] require employers to provide notice to all employees regarding discrimination for pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions.” In addition, a “related medical condition” would be amended to include “lactation or the need to express breast milk for a nursing child and has the same meaning as in the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, 42 U.S.C. sec. 2000e(k).” The bill is now headed to the Senate.

pregnancy, workAccommodations for pregnant employees is a hot topic in employment news right now. This year, the U.S. Supreme Court will decide in Young v. UPS whether employers are required under the Federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act to provide accommodations for pregnancy–related symptoms. Young had requested light duty due to Continue reading