Employment & Labor Insider

Employment & Labor Insider

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Category Archives: Discrimination

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Employment and labor law developments (and a few other things) I’m thankful for

Posted in Affirmative Action, Discrimination, Elections, FOCUS, Gender Identity Discrimination, Labor Relations, Public Sector Employment, Settlements, Sexual Orientation
This has been a weird year for me. (And, no, I’m not even thinking about the election!) But I have much to be thankful for, and I hope you do, too. BREAKING THING TO BE THANKFUL FOR: Yesterday evening, the U.S. Department of Labor’s new rule governing white-collar exemptions under the Fair Labor Standards Act was struck… Continue Reading

DOL’s new online tool may result in more OFCCP complaints

Posted in Affirmative Action, Discrimination, Labor Relations, Retaliation, Safety, Wage-Hour
The U.S. Department of Labor recently rolled out www.worker.gov, an online tool designed to help employees file various types of complaints against their employers. The White House announced that the website will assist individuals “if they have had wages stolen, been injured on the job, faced discrimination, or been retaliated against for joining together to… Continue Reading

“It’s going to be beautiful, believe me”: Trump on labor & employment law issues

Posted in Discrimination, Elections, Gender Identity Discrimination, Labor Relations, Pregnancy, Sexual Orientation, Uncategorized, Wage-Hour
Congratulations to President-Elect Donald J. Trump, and to everyone who was elected or reelected to office yesterday. With a President Trump and Republican majorities in both houses of Congress, employers may see some changes in the form of less aggressive regulatory agencies, a National Labor Relations Board that is more employer-friendly, and some relatively conservative… Continue Reading

ConstangyTV is on the air!

Posted in Affirmative Action, Constangy News, ConstangyTV, Discrimination, Equal Pay, Gender Identity Discrimination, Pregnancy, Sexual Orientation
I am delighted to announce the launch of ConstangyTV’s Close-Up on Workplace Law, a new video series on labor and employment law issues. We’ll be offering these videos on a monthly basis, in addition to our newsletters and blog posts. Our debut is about the evolving definition of sex discrimination under federal law. Host Leigh Tyson, a… Continue Reading

Voluntary self-ID isn’t proof of hiring bias, Shiu’s acting replacement named

Posted in Affirmative Action, Discrimination
Federal contractors, will asking applicants to voluntarily self-identify by race — a request that the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs requires you to make — be used against you in a hiring-discrimination lawsuit? A recent decision from a federal court in New Jersey indicates that the answer is NO, as long as you handle the… Continue Reading

Tech company sued for alleged hiring bias against Asians, OFCCP’s Shiu to step down

Posted in Affirmative Action, Discrimination
Being part of the “in” crowd with the FBI apparently does not protect you from the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs. To the contrary: It was an FBI contract that subjected a California-based technology company to an OFCCP review that has resulted in an administrative complaint. Palantir Technologies is a large government contractor with more… Continue Reading

Workplace investigations and the case of the planted peanut butter

Posted in Americans with Disabilities Act, Discrimination, Harassment
I’m a week late with this follow-up. (Sorry.) Two weeks ago, I posted about an employee (fictionally named “Zoey”) who had a peanut allergy. After she asked a peanut-butter-loving co-worker (“Addison”) to be considerate, Zoey found a big glob of peanut butter smeared under her desk, which caused her to get sick. Addison denied being responsible. To… Continue Reading

EEOC appeals loss in Detroit transgender case

Posted in Discrimination, Gender Identity Discrimination
As we knew it would, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has appealed the decision of Judge Sean Cox, who granted summary judgment to a Detroit-area funeral home chain in a transgender discrimination case. Here is my analysis of Judge Cox’s decision. The case will go to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, which hears… Continue Reading

Court sets aside Title VII sexual orientation decision, agrees to rehear

Posted in Discrimination, Gender Identity Discrimination, Sexual Orientation
The full U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has vacated Hively v. Ivy Tech Community College, which found that Title VII did not protect against sexual orientation discrimination. I wrote about the decision, issued by a three-judge panel of the Seventh Circuit, in August. The court will rehear the case with all of the… Continue Reading

Restroom use “catch 22” for transgender individuals violates Title VII, court says

Posted in Discrimination, Gender Identity Discrimination, Settlements
Roberts v. Clark County (NV) School District involved a female-to-male transgender police officer. Although the School District later changed its policy, when Bradley Roberts first told the District in 2011 that he was presenting as a male, he was told that he could not use the men’s room until he submitted proof of gender reassignment surgery.… Continue Reading

Peanut passions, the ADA, and co-workers who take an employee’s allergy with a grain of salt

Posted in Americans with Disabilities Act, Discrimination, Harassment
Karla Miller of the “WorkAdvice” column in the Washington Post had a doozy last week. I’m going to assume that all the people involved in this story are female. I’m probably wrong, but that will allow me to make up fake names for them. PEANUT BUTTER PASSION The letter writer (let’s call her Zoey), had a peanut allergy… Continue Reading

Weekly catch-up

Posted in Affirmative Action, Discrimination, Elections, Equal Pay, Reference
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced last week that it would indeed require all employers with 100 or more employees to file EEO-1 reports that contain compensation data by EEO category, race, ethnicity, and sex. The first compensation reports will be due March 31, 2018, for a “snapshot” period that will run from October 1 through… Continue Reading

EEO-1 reports will require comp information starting 2017-18

Posted in Affirmative Action, Discrimination, Equal Pay
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced yesterday that it will indeed start requiring employers with 100 or more employees to include compensation information in their annual EEO-1 reports. This includes companies that are not federal contractors as well as those that are. The new reporting obligations will begin on March 31, 2018, for the 2017 calendar year.… Continue Reading

EEOC Small Business Resource Center: Two thumbs up!

Posted in Discrimination, Equal Pay, Gender Identity Discrimination, Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act, GINA, Harassment, Pregnancy, Product Review, Retaliation, Sexual Orientation
I spent some time yesterday at the new Small Business Resource Center, which went live this week on the website of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. I think it’s great. Small businesses, which may be just below or at the cusp of coverage by federal anti-discrimination laws, are often confused about (1) whether they are covered, and (2)… Continue Reading

Hillary, or The Donald: A voting guide for employers

Posted in Benefits, Class actions, Discrimination, Equal Pay, Family and Medical Leave Act, Independent Contractor, Labor Relations, Lactation, Pregnancy, Sexual Orientation, Wage-Hour
As our regular readers know, Employment & Labor Insider is a non-partisan blog. But with the first Presidential debate coming on Monday night, I thought it would be helpful to look at the two major presidential candidates and their positions on issues of interest to employers. The following comes from each of the candidates’ websites, supplemented… Continue Reading

Contractor settles with OFCCP for more than $250K

Posted in Affirmative Action, Discrimination, Equal Pay, Settlements
Louise Davies is an Affirmative Action Paralegal in Constangy’s Winston-Salem, North Carolina, office. For more than 15 years, she has helped employers develop affirmative action plans and respond to audits and on-site investigations by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs. She also conducts diversity training for employers. Louise is a graduate of Wesleyan College… Continue Reading

Will “ban the box” backfire?

Posted in Affirmative Action, Background Checks, Discrimination
Ever since the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission updated its Enforcement Guidance on the Consideration of Arrest and Conviction Records in Employment Decisions in 2012, many state and local jurisdictions have adopted laws limiting employers’ ability to inquire about applicants’ criminal histories. And many employers not covered by those laws are voluntarily adopting policies against considering criminal information… Continue Reading

About that new “cat’s paw” decision . . .

Posted in Discrimination, Harassment, Misconduct, Retaliation, USERRA
Employers should beware of being too quick to believe an employee who accuses a co-worker of wrongdoing. If the accuser has an illegal motive (such as discrimination or retaliation), and if the employer is “negligent” in investigating before taking action against the co-worker, then the employer could be legally responsible. So says the U.S. Court of Appeals… Continue Reading

The EEOC’s defeat in Detroit: Pants, skirts, gender identity, and religion

Posted in Discrimination, Gender Identity Discrimination
UPDATE (10/17/16): As expected, the EEOC has appealed the District Court’s decision described below to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. Last week, I reported that summary judgment was granted against the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in its transgender discrimination lawsuit against R.G. and G.R. Harris Funeral Homes, linked to the decision… Continue Reading

Weekly catch-up

Posted in Affirmative Action, Discrimination, ENDA, Gender Identity Discrimination, Sexual Orientation
*The Summer 2016 edition of Preventive Medicine, our health care industry publication, is out, featuring an article by Susan Bassford Wilson on the ever-changing law on LGBT discrimination. We also have the EEOC’s latest LGBT charge-filing statistics, and all the latest employment law news of interest to health care employers since our Spring 2016 edition.… Continue Reading

BREAKING: Detroit-area funeral home wins in EEOC transgender case

Posted in Discrimination, Gender Identity Discrimination
Remember EEOC v. R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes? This was the transgender discrimination case brought by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against a suburban Detroit funeral home chain for allegedly discriminating against an employee after she began presenting as a female. It’s one of the few cases where the employer actually fought back, with the… Continue Reading