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Category Archives: Discrimination

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5 things I don’t like about the EEOC’s “pay survey” proposal

Posted in Discrimination, Equal Pay
You have no doubt heard that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission proposes to require employers with 100 or more employees to start submitting compensation data with their annual EEO-1 reports. The proposal was announced by President Obama in a White House ceremony last week celebrating the seventh anniversary of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.… Continue Reading

Friendly reminder: Reverse discrimination is against the law, too

Posted in Discrimination
Pretty obvious, but a decision issued this week serves as a good reminder to employers that all race discrimination is illegal, whether it’s against members of minority groups or whether it’s against Caucasians. A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit reversed summary judgment for a company that allegedly told a white worker… Continue Reading

Transgender roadmap: 10 steps the EEOC thinks employers should take

Posted in Discrimination, Gender Identity Discrimination, Harassment
Law360 reported yesterday morning that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission settled a transgender discrimination and harassment lawsuit (not our Detroit-area funeral home case). Although the employer entered into the consent decree voluntarily, we now have a pretty good idea of what the EEOC thinks employers should do in dealing with employees who are transgender or have other gender identity variances.… Continue Reading

Employers, the ADA interactive process applies to post-offer medical examination, too

Posted in Americans with Disabilities Act, Discrimination
True or false: A rotator cuff injury is a "disability" within the meaning of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The best answer is “In all likelihood.” A minor tear that can be repaired may not be a disability (it depends), but a severe injury, or one that is inoperable with residual limitations, probably is. True… Continue Reading

BREAKING: Transgender claim will go to jury

Posted in Discrimination, Gender Identity Discrimination
Last year, Tommy Eden had a post about a gender identity lawsuit in which an employer in Georgia actually won summary judgment. A reader alerted me last night that a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit reversed the decision in part yesterday, finding that the Plaintiff’s mixed-motive claim should go to a jury. According… Continue Reading

Unequal pay causes mental illness? Let’s not jump to conclusions.

Posted in Discrimination, Equal Pay
Did you know that unequal pay causes depression and anxiety? Neither do I. A recent study has received a lot of publicity after it found a correlation between relatively low pay and rates of clinical depression and anxiety disorders among those who were lower paid. Guess what? The lower-paid, depressed/anxious people turned out to be predominantly… Continue Reading

Why the EEOC believes Title VII bans sexual orientation bias

Posted in Discrimination, ENDA, Gender Identity Discrimination, Harassment
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a “friend of the court” brief in a sexual orientation discrimination appeal, arguing that sexual orientation discrimination is “sex discrimination” prohibited by Title VII. (Thanks to EEOC General Counsel David Lopez for alerting me.) I am a skeptic on this subject. Title VII was enacted in 1964, and legend… Continue Reading

Who was naughty, and who was nice in employment law this year

Posted in Affordable Care Act, Americans with Disabilities Act, Discrimination, Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act, GINA, Harassment, Labor Relations, Lawyers!, Pregnancy, Protected Concerted Activity, Retaliation, Safety, Social media, Telecommuting, Wage-Hour
Who’s been naughty and who’s been nice in labor and employment law? Here are my picks for 2015. Feel free to add your own in the comments. NAUGHTY! The National Labor Relations Board, for being naughty in too many ways to mention. Its rules on employer handbook policies, including confidentiality and social media, are unrealistic… Continue Reading

Male minister who won’t wear makeup sues for religious bias

Posted in Discrimination, Gender Identity Discrimination
Boy, the Detroit area seems to be in the front lines for the gender-identity wars. As I’ve previously reported here, here, here, and here, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has a high-profile gender-stereotyping lawsuit going on against an area funeral home chain based on its discharge of a transgender employee. The funeral home is represented by… Continue Reading

Two new high-profile employment suits that you’ll want to watch

Posted in Americans with Disabilities Act, Defamation, Discrimination, Employment at Will, Retaliation
We have not one, but two new high-profile employment lawsuits that are worth following long-term: Former head football coach Steve Sarkisian’s alcoholism-discrimination lawsuit against the University of Southern California, and the wrongful termination lawsuit filed against the Michigan House of Representatives by former aides to adulterous former legislators Todd Courser (resigned) and Cindy Gamrat (expelled). Full “scorecards” appear… Continue Reading

Trojan travails: Coach Sarkisian’s alcoholism-discrimination lawsuit against USC

Posted in Americans with Disabilities Act, California FEHA, Discrimination, Retaliation
Readers have been clamoring for my take on the alcoholism-discrimination lawsuit filed by Steve Sarkisian against the University of Southern California. Actually, I got one email from a reader, who had a better take on the whole situation than I do. But who cares! I still think it’s a great topic, and a case worth following! Here’s the deal,… Continue Reading

Supreme Court to review CRST attorneys’ fee award against EEOC

Posted in Class actions, Discrimination, Harassment, Transportation Industry
The U.S. Supreme Court agreed last Friday to review a decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, which vacated a multi-million attorneys’ fee award for trucking company CRST Van Expedited, Inc. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission initially sued CRST on behalf of roughly 270 women who were allegedly sexually harassed in their… Continue Reading

It’s the 2015 workplace holiday party quiz!

Posted in Discrimination, Harassment, Independent Contractor, Off-Duty Conduct, Sexual Torts, Wage-Hour, Workers' Compensation
Chanukah starts at sundown this Sunday, and Christmas is only three short weeks away. Can you throw a workplace holiday party that won’t result in a lawsuit? It has been ages since we’ve had a quiz. Let’s do it! For more on this topic, please listen to the webinar on holiday parties that I did yesterday… Continue Reading

EEOC provides ADA guidance for employees’ doctors

Posted in Americans with Disabilities Act, Discrimination
Gee, Ma, this is swell! The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission came out this week with some guidance about the rights of individuals with AIDS and HIV. The guidance is unremarkable for anyone who is familiar with the Americans with Disabilities Act, although it never hurts to get a refresher, and in any event it’s aimed at employees, not… Continue Reading

Be thankful you’re not an employment law turkey

Posted in Discrimination, Harassment, Pregnancy, Retaliation, Social media, Work-Life Balance
Well, it’s that time of year again – what are you thankful for? Here are some Human Resources and employment law matters for which I am thankful. Please feel free to add your own in the comments. I’m thankful that I’m not Trey Gowdy. The Republican Congressman from South Carolina and chair of the House Benghazi Committee is not out, but he’s… Continue Reading

Pretty good year for the EEOC (in pictures)

Posted in Class actions, Discrimination
Bloomberg BNA reports that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission had a good year in FY 2015, which ended September 30. The agency collected more than $526 million in relief in all types of cases, involving federal as well as private-sector employees. If you have the ambition to read all 106 pages of the agency’s report, please be my… Continue Reading

BEFORE YOU SUE: 10 questions every employee should ask

Posted in Class actions, Discrimination, Employment at Will, Evidence, Harassment, Retaliation
Last week, we talked about 20 things an employer should ask itself before terminating an employee. In the interests of fairness, here are 10 things that an employee should ask before suing an employer. You should know that I generally don’t believe that lawsuits are the best way to resolve problems. (I realize that there are exceptions.)… Continue Reading

BEFORE YOU FIRE: 20 questions every employer should ask

Posted in Americans with Disabilities Act, Discrimination, Employment at Will, Evidence, Family and Medical Leave Act, Harassment, Labor Relations, Protected Concerted Activity, Retaliation, Safety, Settlements, Unemployment, Workers' Compensation
So you think you’re ready to terminate an employee. Are you really? Here are 20 questions that every employer should ask itself before going ahead with a termination. If you think I’ve missed anything, please feel free to add your own in the comments. GETTING STARTED No. 1. Is the employee covered by a collective bargaining agreement?… Continue Reading

Straight from the source: EEOC’s 10 hottest litigation trends

Posted in Americans with Disabilities Act, Background Checks, Class actions, Discrimination, Harassment, Pregnancy, Retaliation, Settlements, Telecommuting
Last week I heard David Lopez, General Counsel of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, speak about EEOC litigation developments at the annual North Carolina/South Carolina Labor and Employment Law conference. The EEOC has been litigating like a house afire, so I knew you would want to hear what he had to say. Mr. Lopez – who… Continue Reading