Publications

Illinois Bar Journal
Articles on Civil Rights

The Supreme Court DOMA Ruling, Civil Unions, and Same-Sex Marriage in Illinois By Ray Prather and Padraig McCoid September 2013 Article, Page 460 The U.S. Supreme Court's DOMA case opens the door to an array of federal benefits for same-sex married couples. But Illinoisans won't enjoy its full advantages, the authors argue.
Employers may not violate pregnant employees’ civil rights. PA 097-0596. November 2011 Illinois Law Update, Page 556 The Illinois Human Rights Act has been amended to protect pregnant employees (775 ILCS 5/2-102).
(Asset) Buyer Beware By Sherwin D. Abrams December 2010 Column, Page 644 Warning to buyers of going businesses: you may be buying some of your sellers' liabilities.
Employer v. Employee: When Is it Forbidden Retaliation Under Title VII? By Nicholas P. Cholis December 2010 Article, Page 636 Does an Illinois employer violate Title VII's anti-retaliation provision by suing a worker who has filed a discrimination claim? Here's a look at this complex question.
EEOC complaints: sender’s fax confirmation “strong evidence” of receipt By Helen W. Gunnarsson February 2010 Lawpulse, Page 66 The seventh circuit holds that the fax confirmation generated by the sender's machine is strong evidence the EEOC actually received a complaint at a given time and date.
GINA prevents discrimination based on genetic information By Helen W. Gunnarsson September 2009 Lawpulse, Page 438 Employers and insurers beware: effective November 21, a new federal statute forbids discrimination on the basis of genetic information.
Strict Liability for Sexual Harassment by Supervisors By Cynthia Hyndman, Robert Margolis, and Aleeza Strubel September 2009 Article, Page 454 The Illinois Supreme Court's Sangamon County Sheriff's Department decision subjects employers to strict liability for sexual harassment by their supervisors. So, who is a supervisor?
Sexual harassment and the chain of command By Helen W. Gunnarsson June 2009 Lawpulse, Page 278 Under state law, employers are liable for sexual harassment by supervisors whether or not the employer knew about it and even though the employee-victim doesn't work under the supervisor.
“Rape Shield” for Civil Lawsuits By Helen W. Gunnarsson May 2009 Lawpulse, Page 220 An Illinois House bill would extend the prohibition against admitting evidence of an alleged victim's sexual history to sexual harassment charges.
Pleading Civil Rights Claims By Professor Jeffrey A. Parness March 2009 Column, Page 156 The challenges civil-rights claimants face in choosing a forum, shaping their pleadings, and more.
llinois Civil Rights Act amended to protect against gender discrimination. PA 0 95-0541 November 2007 Illinois Law Update, Page 576 The Illinois General Assembly has amended Section 5 of the Illinois Civil Rights Act of 2003 to prohibit gender discrimination. 740 ILCS 23/5.
Race-Based School Assignments After Parents Involved in Community Schools By Mark E. Wojcik October 2007 Article, Page 526 The Supreme Court struck down a pair of race-based plans for assigning students to public schools. So what kinds of plans do pass constitutional muster?
Slavery reparations claims dismissed by 7CA By Helen W. Gunnarsson April 2007 Lawpulse, Page 170 The court held that slave descendants' section 1982 claims are, inter alia, too speculative and the claimants too far removed from the wrong of slavery.
The Dream and the Dreamkeeper(s) By Irene F. Bahr March 2007 Column, Page 116 Lawyers stand at the gates to challenge tyranny and abuse of power.
Separate but equal grooming standards okayed By Helen W. Gunnarsson June 2006 Lawpulse, Page 278 Requiring female but not male bartenders to wear makeup does not violate Title VII, the ninth circuit rules. 
What’s crude talk among Friends? By Helen W. Gunnarsson June 2006 Lawpulse, Page 278 Sexually charged talk in the workplace doesn't always equal sexual harassment, the California Supreme Court says. 
How Illinois’ New Gay Rights Law Affects Employers and Workers By Bryan P. Cavanaugh April 2006 Article, Page 182 "Sexual orientation" is now a protected status in the Illinois workplace. Here's what that means for your clients.
Is Your Law Practice ADA Compliant? By Helen W. Gunnarsson April 2005 Article, Page 188 Every private practice is a "public accommodation" under the ADA. Are you meeting your obligations to clients and others with disabilities?
Illinois Attorney General may bring actions for civil rights violations PA 093-1017 February 2005 Illinois Law Update, Page 68 Whenever the Illinois Attorney General has reasonable cause to believe a person or group of persons is engaged in a pattern and practice of discrimination prohibited by the Illinois Human Rights Act.
When Are Supervisors Personally Liable for Employment Law Violations? By Jane M. McFetridge and Grace Hwang Lee December 2004 Article, Page 628 Can employees recover from a misbehaving supervisor in addition to the company? Sometimes yes, sometimes no.
Civil rights claims under the Illinois Civil Rights Act of 2003 may now be heard in federal courts P.A. 093-0750 September 2004 Illinois Law Update, Page 456 Effective on January 1, 2005, any party aggrieved by conduct that violates the Illinois prohibition on excluding a person from participation in, or denying a person the benefits of, any program or activity on the grounds of that person's race,
All civil rights claims, whether based on federal or state law, shall be prosecuted in an administrative forum, as required by the Illinois Human Rights Act July 2004 Illinois Law Update, Page 340 On April 12, 2004, the Fifth District Appellate Court held that the Circuit Court of St. Clair County did not have subject matter jurisdiction over an employee's Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) claim.
Brown v Board and the ISBA Board By Terrence J. Lavin March 2004 Column, Page 116 Americans are great about celebrating anniversaries. We celebrate the anniversary of heroic or tragic national events. 
Demystifying the USA PATRIOT Act By William F. Zieske February 2004 Article, Page 82 Have you wondered what this massive, controversial Act is really all about? Here's a summary and review.
Counseling gay couples By Helen W. Gunnarsson November 2003 Lawpulse, Page 544 While the issues that arise in gay relationships are familiar, the legal framework is different. It's a difference that family practitioners and estate planners should learn to navigate.
Little-noted Illinois Civil Rights Act takes effect January 1 By Helen W. Gunnarsson October 2003 Lawpulse, Page 486 Among other things, the new law allows attorney-fee awards to prevailing claimants.
Correspondence from Our Readers June 2003 Column, Page 270 More on "the perniciousness of racism".
A Guide to EEOC Mediations By Mary B. Manzo November 2002 Article, Page 607 Pointers about the EEOC program from the Chicago office's ADR coordinator.
Department of Corrections did not violate state Religious Freedom Restoration Act when it confiscated religious pamphlet that contained inflammatory language about correction officers October 2002 Illinois Law Update, Page 512 On August 13, 2002, the Appellate Court of Illinois, Fifth District, affirmed the ruling of the circuit court of Randolph County, and granted the Illinois Department of Corrections' (DOC) motion to dismiss this case.
Defendant’s failure to assign plaintiff tasks that were given to more experienced employees did not constitute a materially adverse employment action under Title VII September 2002 Illinois Law Update, Page 454 On July 12, 2002, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit affirmed the grant of summary judgment to the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) in a suit brought by an employee under Title VII.