The solution @ETNOL posted is exactly right.
TLDR: go to the repo’s “Settings” tab on Github and deselect any obsolete “status keys”.
As a part of the rollout of workflows, we are posting statuses to Github with a key that includes the job by name. Currently, we post all job statuses in chronological order.
There is no overall “workflow status” yet, we may implement that in a later iteration of the workflows feature.
So if you choose to protect your branches, you may need to tweak the status keys you expect from CircleCI.
Thanks very much to @ETNOL for the sleuth work to find this out. Many of us didn’t realize Github had this feature.