Hively Update: Seventh Circuit Expands Title VII’s “Sex” to “Sexual Orientation,” in En Banc Ruling

When does the word “sex” mean “sexual orientation,” for purposes of employment discrimination? In the pivotal Hively v. Ivy Tech Community College ruling issued last month, an eight-member majority of all the federal Seventh Circuit judges expanded “sex” to encompass “sexual orientation” for purposes of Title VII protection, although for varying reasons expressed through concurring opinions.  Three other judges dissented, urging judicial restraint in light of statutory interpretation constraints and settled law.  How did the judges come to such differing conclusions, and what can nonprofit employers learn from this decision?

Million-Dollar Salaries and Charities: An Unlikely Mix?

Feeling underpaid and overworked at your nonprofit organization?  For many nonprofit workers, such conditions are the norm.   Nonprofit employees are often willing to accept less pay than their private-sector counterparts because they also enjoy rich non-financial rewards:  helping others in need, serving worthy causes, and achieving goals not attainable through ordinary economic forces.   According to a recent Wall Street Journal article, however, top executives at some charities are increasingly very well paid.   The article states that over 2,700 top executives made more than seven-figure salaries in 2014.  How can some nonprofits justify such high salaries, and what can the rest learn from them? 

Q & A: Severance Pay for Nonprofit Employees

Nonprofit organizations may legally provide severance pay.   But under what circumstances, and how much?  How do unemployment benefits fit with severance?  And why put it in writing?  Whenever a nonprofit employer considers whether to provide severance pay to a terminated employee, many significant questions can arise warranting careful evaluation of several factors including risk management, stewardship, fairness, and practical business decisions. 

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