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Category Archives: Discrimination

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HR FUN PUZZLE: Find what the AARP did right with this underperforming employee

Posted in Discrimination
If the AARP can’t win summary judgment in an age discrimination case, then who can? Who’d believe that the American Association of Retired Persons would fire somebody because she was too old? Who, indeed. The organization recently won a nice summary judgment victory in an age discrimination suit brought in federal court in New York by a former employee. The… Continue Reading

T.J. Simers discrimination trial: Are you paranoid if they really ARE out to get you?

Posted in Corporate Culture, Discrimination, Evidence
T.J. Simers, a well-known former sports columnist for the Los Angeles Times, is suing the Times for age and disability discrimination. We’re providing regular coverage of the jury trial, which is expected to last about four more weeks. For the background on Mr. Simers’ termination, go here. For the testimony of Mr. Simers’ psychiatrist earlier… Continue Reading

Double whammy for employer who won’t accommodate pregnancy — but will the EEOC’s case survive?

Posted in Americans with Disabilities Act, Discrimination, Pregnancy
This case may have some problems, but it’s a good illustration of why employers need to be careful, post-Young v. UPS. Thanks very much to Bill Goren for sending it my way. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed suit last week in a federal court in Pennsylvania against Landis Communities (retirement communities), claiming that Landis… Continue Reading

EEOC wins most of discovery dispute in transgender case

Posted in Discrimination, Gender Identity Discrimination
In July, I posted about a discovery dispute in the transgender lawsuit going on in the Detroit area. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has sued a funeral home for discriminating against Aimee Stephens, a transgender woman. The Defendants, represented by the Alliance Defending Freedom, had served discovery on the EEOC, seeking intimate details about Ms. Stephens’s transition, including… Continue Reading

What’s your two cents? Employment law in the news

Posted in Discrimination, Lawyers!, Social media
I’ve been vacationing by the shores of Gitche-Gumee this week, so I’m trying to give myself a little blog-cation as well. Here are some entertaining and controversial legal or employment-related developments from the news before I left. With apologies to John Oliver, let’s just call it “Last Week Today.” (Hey! I’m on vacation!) Feel free to debate and… Continue Reading

When terminating an employee, is a clean break better than a long limbo?

Posted in Americans with Disabilities Act, Discrimination, Employment at Will, Workers' Compensation
If you have a poor performer, is it better to make a clean break and fire him, or is it better to prolong his (and your) agony? That is obviously a biased question, but some employers will do almost anything to avoid firing an employee, including the following: Nothing Issue 8 bazillion warnings but never act on… Continue Reading

Employment law autopsy: “Old fart” gets fired

Posted in Discrimination, Employment at Will
Here’s a lesson: Don’t call your employee an “old fart,” especially if you think you may need to fire him someday. And don’t call his co-workers “old farts” right before you fire the co-workers. And don’t give your “old fart,” who has only a first-level warning on his record, three or four “progressive” warnings on the day that you… Continue Reading

EEOC, Abercrombie settle hijab lawsuit

Posted in Discrimination, Settlements
We went to the U.S. Supreme Court, and all I got was this lousy $45K? (Better than a lousy t-shirt, I guess.) Law360 reports that, now that the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled in favor of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in the high-profile religious discrimination and accommodation case, Abercrombie has agreed to pay Samantha Elauf $25,670.53 in… Continue Reading

Women aren’t lead counsel as often as men – it’s gotta be bias!

Posted in Discrimination, Lawyers!
“I like it when the judge calls me ‘honey’ – that means he’s going to grant my motion.” — Quote from real female attorney I know, circa 1990. Does the court system discriminate against women lawyers? Could be!!!! Anyway, that’s what a couple of women litigators assume, based on their study showing that men were lead counsel in… Continue Reading

This week in employment law, with a lick and a promise

Posted in Americans with Disabilities Act, Corporate Culture, Discrimination, Family and Medical Leave Act, Retaliation, Same-sex marriage, Social media, Telecommuting
It’s been a hectic week for me (I have a trial coming up), and so here are some links to employment law blog posts and workplace news items that I hope will entertain and edify. 5 Things Your Manager Doesn’t Want You to Know. By the great Evil HR Lady, Suzanne Lucas. (Just to whet your appetite,… Continue Reading

EEOC v. Abercrombie’s lesson for employers – in 5 minutes or your money back

Posted in Discrimination
This is a first. I don’t think I’ve ever agreed with Antonin Scalia and Ruth Bader Ginsburg at the same time. What’s the world coming to? In a nutshell, the Supreme Court decision in EEOC v. Abercrombie means this: if an employment decision is motivated by religion – even if the employer does not actually know the religious need of… Continue Reading

Probability, manipulation, and random drug testing

Posted in Discrimination, Drug Testing
Is that “random” drug test selection really random? Many employers — particularly, those in the transportation industry — use third party vendors to do the random selections for federally mandated drug and alcohol tests. I think it’s a great idea, because it prevents employees from claiming that they were selected for “random” testing in a not-very-random… Continue Reading

Can we stop with the age-based stereotypes?

Posted in Discrimination
Is “digital native” the latest code term for “young”? A hot topic for the past few days, after an article on the subject appeared in Fortune, has been whether it’s discriminatory for an employer to specify in recruiting that it’s seeking to hire “digital natives.” A “digital native” is someone who was born into the digital world, which… Continue Reading

EEOC transgender case in Detroit will go forward

Posted in Civil Procedure, Discrimination, Gender Identity Discrimination
As our readers know, the EEOC filed two lawsuits last fall against private employers, alleging discrimination against transgender individuals: one case against a medical practice in Florida, and the other against a funeral home operation in the Detroit area. And as I reported last week, the Florida case settled for $150,000 plus some training and other… Continue Reading

Hey – that EEOC wellness rule isn’t half bad

Posted in Affordable Care Act, Americans with Disabilities Act, Discrimination, Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act, GINA, Retaliation
NOTE: As I breathlessly reported last week, the EEOC has issued its long-awaited proposed rule on employer wellness programs and the Americans with Disabilities Act. (Here is a nicer copy than the one that was available then.) Brian Magargle, who knows a lot more than I do about the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act and the Affordable Care… Continue Reading

Is telecommuting a reasonable accommodation, or is it not?

Posted in Americans with Disabilities Act, Discrimination
Inquiring minds want to know! In the context of a lawsuit brought under the Americans with Disabilities Act, a recent court decision says that “regular attendance” is an essential function of the job. But what is “regular attendance”? Which made me think of this: (I promise – this is neither a pro- nor an anti-Hilary Clinton post,… Continue Reading