Menopause in the Workplace: A Multi-Faceted Issue

Menopause is something that approximately 50 percent of the workforce will experience during their working lives, but it is still infrequently discussed or considered in the workplace and many of us are unaware of how menopause can affect those going through it. However, employers are seeing an increase in employees concerned about menopause and their experience with it at work. This is a multi-faceted issue that encompasses a range of potential employment law issues.


Most countries do not recognise menopause as a characteristic that is specifically protected by discrimination laws. But employees experiencing menopause may be protected by discrimination laws relating to age, sex, disability and gender reassignment. Generally, people experiencing menopause are women aged between 45 and 55 so any unfavourable treatment (whether direct or indirect) towards an employee experiencing menopause could amount to sex and/or age discrimination. Gender reassignment discrimination may also be relevant if the employee experiencing menopause is transgender.

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Illinois Employers – Are You Due for a Mid-Year Compliance Check-Up?

In the past 15 months, employers have juggled many new and unique situations. Indeed, employers have been navigating their way through complex federal, state and local COVID-19 guidelines, while their employees have faced their own challenges related to work, family, and possible health concerns. As more employees return to the office, it may be a good time for employers to conduct a mid-year compliance check-up to identify any areas that need attention as COVID-19 mitigation protocols wane. Here are a few areas that Illinois employers should consider reviewing.

Employee Handbooks – Part 1: Anti-Harassment Policies and Training in the #MeToo Era

Late last month, we previewed our upcoming series of blog posts discussing Employee Handbooks – What’s New and Why Does it Matter? If you happened to read that post, then you know we introduced the topics for parts one through six of our handbook series. We will now embark on part one of our journey to the land of employee handbooks. This journey will have several other stops along the way, but for now our topic is anti-harassment policies and training in the #MeToo era.

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Managing in the #MeToo Era: Are Employers Required to Conduct Anti-Harassment Training?

On April 11, 2018, the New York City Council passed a package of legislation referred to as the “Stop Sexual Harassment in NYC Act,” (“NYC Act”) which, if passed, will require covered New York City employers to, among other things, provide annual anti-sexual harassment training to employees.  The legislation now awaits the signature of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. New York City follows on the heels of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s signing the Budget Bill, which contained a new state law (“NY State Act”) requiring covered employers to provide annual anti-sexual harassment training to employees as of October 9, 2018.  For a more comprehensive discussion about the NYC Act and NY State Act, please see our LaborSphere blog. Also, employers will be receiving more guidance regarding what constitutes compliant training programs as New York City’s legislation, if passed, directs the NYC Human Rights Commission to develop an online interactive module that can be used to satisfy the law’s requirements.  In New York, the Commissioner of Labor and the New York State Human Rights Division are jointly compelled to create a model sexual harassment training program.

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