Sexual Orientation Discrimination Is Sex Discrimination

Workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation is sex discrimination and violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, according to the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The decision in Hively v. Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana directly conflicts with its sister circuits and will likely set up an appeal to the United States Supreme Court to resolve the split.

So what does this mean for Indiana employers? Employers should check their workplace policies about sexual-orientation and gender-identity discrimination. Employers without these workplace policies and with employees in Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin must update their anti-discrimination and harassment policies and training. Additionally, the availability of gender stereotyping claims may subject employers to potential liability for discrimination against gay, lesbian, and transgender employees.

While the effects of Hively remain to be seen, it is possible the case could expand beyond the boundaries of Title VII or clash with  interpretations of other federal laws barring sex discrimination, including the Equal Pay Act, the Affordable Care Act, the Fair Housing Act, federally funded educational programs (Title IX), and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act.

If you have questions or would like to advice related to your current discrimination policies, please contact a Jones Obenchain lawyer.


JO Knows Manufacturing & Construction

Whatever you make or build, we can help. Our clients include small parts manu­facturers, suppliers to the aerospace and medical-instruments industries, home­builders, and contractors in many trades. Whether it’s a purchase order with a big player like Honeywell or General Electric, a contract to pour a driveway, or a project agreement to build an apartment complex, we have the experience to assist you.

You know your business better than anyone. Putting us on your team will make you stronger.

And as unique as your enterprise is, you still have many things in common with other companies. You have partners, employees, government compliance concerns, bankers, the threat of lawsuits, and the need for succession planning in your life. Each with their own sets of issues. Whatever they might be we’ve probably seen something similar before.

Celebrate Buy a Musical Instrument Day

Always celebrated on May 22, Buy a Musical Instrument Day is your opportunity to fill the summer air with the sound of music. If you are a musician in need of a new instrument, today is a great day to get one.  If you have been considering taking up a musical instrument, today can be your starting point. The good news is, you’re never too old to begin playing a musical instrument!

JO Knows Non-Compete Agreements

A non-compete agreement is a legal contract between an employer and employee or between the joint owners of a business. It restricts a person’s ability to do harm to that business by taking away customers, other employees, confidential information, or new profit opportunities, not only after they leave but while still employed.

Courts will enforce non-competes, but only if they are properly written. They must be “reasonable” and not “over-broad” as the law defines those concepts. They cannot extend beyond the limits of the employers “protectable interests” —geographically and competitively—and must have proper time limits. Different employees at the same company might need different contracts.

One size obviously does not fit all. Jones Obenchain regularly advises local, regional, and national employers on a wide variety of employment matters, including non-compete agreements, their formation, and their scope.

JO Knows Creditor’s Rights

Someone who owes you money filed bankruptcy. Now what?

  • Can you still try to collect the debt?
    • Should you file a claim?
    • Can you foreclose or collect your collateral?
    • What if the debtor defrauded you?
    • How do you collect from a company in a Chapter 11?
    • Should you do business with a company in bankruptcy?
    • Can you get your product back?
    • Should you join the creditor’s committee? And what does it do anyway?

You have questions. Our creditors’-rights attorneys have answers.

Meet Our JO Team

Jacqueline Sells Homann was the first woman elected partner in Jones Obenchain’s 110+ year history. Jackie considers it her greatest privilege to provide business counseling and management of legal issues for her clients to resolve their problems as promptly as possible. Assessing risks, putting together a plan, and helping them navigate their course is what Jackie does best. Visit to learn more about Jackie and the ways in which she can counsel you and your business.

Jones Obenchain, LLP wins March Against Hunger competition

The Indiana State Bar Association, in coordination with the Office of the Indiana Attorney General and Feeding Indiana’s Hungry, announced the winners for this year’s March Against Hunger virtual food drive competition on May 4, 2017. There are winners in six divisions and each will receive the “Attorney General’s Cup” trophy at the Association’s Awards Luncheon on Aug. 30. Jones Obenchain, LLP won the 2017 small firms division.

This year’s March Against Hunger food drive competition took place March 1–31, generating $37,294.78 in monetary donations. Since 2009, the food drive has generated 70,019 pounds of food and $378,730 in monetary donations for Indiana food banks.

“May the Fourth be with you”

Star Wars Day is observed by fans of the movies on May 4. It  celebrates Star Wars, the space saga created by George Lucas. The date was chosen for the easy pun on the catchphrase “May the Force be with you as May the Fourth be with you. Even though the holiday was not actually created or declared by Lucasfilm, many Star Wars fans across the world have chosen to celebrate the day. The first organized celebration of Star Wars Day took place in 2011 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.