Joan S. Farrell, JD, is a Senior Legal Editor for BLR’s human resources and employment law publications. Ms. Farrell has over 10 years’ combined experience in employment law and human resources management. She worked as in-house counsel for an employer that had subsidiaries in several states. Her experience includes representing management in administrative matters and discrimination claims, and providing counseling on employment practices. Ms. Farrell received her law degree from Pace University School of Law.
Interview: See Joan’s interview with the Illinois State Register-Journal on social media and sexual harassment.
Video: Watch Joan's recent video on the ADA and employee discipline.
Yesterday, Illinois governor Pat Quinn signed a bill legalizing same-sex marriage in Illinois. The law takes effect June 1, 2014. The new law gives same-sex married couples the same rights, benefits, protections, and responsibilities under the state's laws as couples in an opposite-sex marriage. The law also provides legal recognition of any marriage legally entered into in another state or country.
Effective December 2, 2013, the Hawaii Marriage Equality Act of 2013 legally recognizes marriage between any two individuals, regardless of gender. Under the law, all gender-specific terminology such as "husband" or "wife" in all sources of state law must be interpreted in a gender-neutral manner.
Yesterday, the U.S. Senate passed the Employment Non-Discrimination Act of 2013 (ENDA) with a vote of 64 to 32. ENDA prohibits employers from discriminating against applicants and employees on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
On November 5, 2013, the Illinois legislature approved a bill that will legalize same-sex marriage in that state. The governor has said that he will sign the bill which would make Illinois the 15th state to legalize same-sex marriage.
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