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Employment & Labor Insider

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Category Archives: Discrimination

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An open love letter to Justice Clarence Thomas

Posted in Class actions, Discrimination, Harassment, Transportation Industry
I admit it.  I have a crush on Justice Thomas.  Today’s unanimous Supreme Court opinion in CRST Van Expedited, Inc. v. EEOC – holding that a merit-based dismissal is not necessary for a defendant to qualify as the “prevailing party” in a Title VII case – would make any employment defense lawyer’s heart skip a… Continue Reading

Legal, or Illegal? Employee leaves of absence and the ADA

Posted in Americans with Disabilities Act, Discrimination, Family and Medical Leave Act
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission came out this week with a fact sheet dealing with leaves of absence and the Americans with Disabilities Act. First, I say kudos to the EEOC for again providing good, readable, not-overly-technical “preventive” guidance for employers. Second, let’s see what you know about the EEOC’s position on leaves and the… Continue Reading

BREAKING: North Carolina sues USDOJ over bathroom law

Posted in Discrimination, Gender Identity Discrimination
Law360 reported this morning that the State of North Carolina has filed suit against the U.S. Department of Justice in federal court in Raleigh. The suit seeks a declaratory judgment (official ruling from the court) that, by enforcing HB 2’s provisions regarding “bathroom use and changing facility use by state employees,” the state is not in violation of Title… Continue Reading

EEOC posts fact sheets on LGBT discrimination, transgender issues

Posted in Discrimination, ENDA, Gender Identity Discrimination, Harassment, Settlements, Sexual Orientation
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has published a new Fact Sheet on LGBT discrimination that employers will find helpful. As I’ve reported before here and here, the agency is taking an aggressive position regarding coverage of LGBT issues under Title VII’s sex discrimination provisions. The EEOC’s fact sheet, as well as other materials linked in it,… Continue Reading

Court sheds light on “pregnancy accommodation” obligation after Young v. UPS

Posted in Discrimination, Evidence, Pregnancy
A federal appeals court panel has come out with a decision interpreting the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision last year in Young v. UPS, and the result wasn’t too good for the employer. The Sheriff’s Department of Ulster County, New York, provided light duty for employees with work-related injuries but didn’t provide it for anyone else.… Continue Reading

Your labor and employment reading for this weekend.

Posted in Constangy News, Discrimination, FOCUS, Labor Relations, Labor Trafficking, Non-Competition, Only in California
Federal protection for trade secrets, “suitable seating,” inadvertent labor trafficking, Uber’s status as an employer — whew! Be sure to check these out if you haven’t already: *Billy Hammel of our Austin Office and Bill McMahon of our Winston-Salem Office (and my next-door neighbor), with Anna Rothschild of our Washington D.C. Metro Office, are digging… Continue Reading

Vindicated, and it feels so good . . .

Posted in Discrimination, Equal Pay
The Washington Post “Fact Checker” column gave Two Pinocchios last week to the “79-cent pay gap factoid.” That’s the factoid that says women make only 79 cents for every dollar that men make. Debunking that dubious statistic has been my life’s work. And “factoid” was the Post‘s word, not mine! I am not just a blogger. I am… Continue Reading

North Carolina’s HB 2: The final analysis

Posted in Discrimination, Employment at Will, Gender Identity Discrimination, Lawyers!, Sexual Orientation
This will be my last “analysis” post on the wrongful discharge provisions of North Carolina’s HB 2. (I know you are heartbroken!) I’ll continue to post on breaking HB 2-related news as it develops. Several commenters disagreed with my contention that Charlotte’s human rights ordinance, which was amended to include LGBT rights and then nullified by… Continue Reading

A whole bunch of nothing: Five takes on Gov. McCrory’s “walkback” of N.C. HB 2

Posted in Discrimination, Employment at Will, Gender Identity Discrimination, Sexual Orientation
NOTE FROM ROBIN: As you know, my main collaborator on HB2-related developments has been my law partner, Jon Yarbrough, who is in our firm’s Asheville Office. Jon has offered his thoughts about Executive Order No. 93, which Gov. Pat McCrory (R) signed yesterday. My initial thought is that Executive Order No. 93 is a whole bunch of nothing cloaked… Continue Reading

This just in: Gov. McCrory signs Executive Order backing wrongful discharge for “EEO” discrimination

Posted in Discrimination, Employment at Will
Thanks very much to the colleague who just sent me this. Gov. Pat McCrory (R) of North Carolina has signed Executive Order No. 93, which is somewhat of a backtrack on HB 2. Of interest to our readers in the employment community, the Governor declares that he supports restoration of the common-law cause of action for… Continue Reading

Is obesity a “per se” disability? One court says no.

Posted in Americans with Disabilities Act, Discrimination
A panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit ruled this week that obesity is not a “disability” within the meaning of the Americans with Disabilities Act — even as amended in 2009 — unless the condition was caused by some underlying physiological disorder. In addition, if the individual develops a medical condition… Continue Reading

Ignore the hype: Here’s what employers need to know about North Carolina’s HB 2

Posted in Discrimination, Employment at Will
Argh! I was hoping not to have to talk about HB 2 again (North Carolina’s notorious “bathroom bill”), but there has been so much misinformation about what it did to wrongful discharge claims that I’ve just gotta. UPDATE (6:20 p.m. Friday, 4/8/16): I had a good conversation this evening with Greg Lacour of Charlotte Magazine… Continue Reading

Suit seeks to block N.C. “bathroom bill”

Posted in Discrimination, Employment at Will, Gender Identity Discrimination
Of significance to employers, the bill, which was signed into law last Wednesday, eliminates the common-law cause of action for wrongful discharge based on “EEO” discrimination. I talked about that here. Here is a copy of the lawsuit, filed today in federal court in Greensboro, North Carolina. The plaintiffs are three individuals (two transgender men… Continue Reading

N.C. “bathroom bill” has a bomb for wrongful discharge plaintiffs

Posted in Discrimination, Employment at Will, Gender Identity Discrimination
Big news for employees and employers in North Carolina — the General Assembly enacted a bill on Wednesday (signed by Gov. Pat McCrory (R) within hours) that was primarily intended to preempt a certain high-profile municipal “bathroom” ordinance. (More on that in a sec.) But included in the bill is a provision that eliminates the wrongful discharge/public policy cause… Continue Reading

Female lawyers, Republican bosses, and kitchens: The Sequel

Posted in Discrimination, Lawyers!
I have to admit, I was afraid that I might need to go into hiding after I expressed doubts last week about that study claiming that female lawyers don’t do well when their bosses are male Republicans. But the reader feedback has been positive, with the possible exception of an ambiguous comment on LinkedIn (more on that below): From Commenter Oaktown… Continue Reading

Female lawyer with Republican boss? Go back to the kitchen!

Posted in Corporate Culture, Discrimination, Lawyers!, Work-Life Balance
I don’t know what to make of the study, conducted by business professors from the University of Michigan and Temple University, that purports to find a negative correlation between political conservatism among some law firm partners and the advancement of the careers of female attorneys in reporting to those same partners. To put that in plainer English:… Continue Reading

Is your company small? The EEOC has a little fact sheet that may help.

Posted in Discrimination, Harassment, Retaliation
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission released a nice little “fact sheet” this week for small businesses, summarizing their obligations under the laws that the EEOC enforces. Here’s a link. Just be aware that “sex,” in the EEOC’s opinion, includes sexual orientation and gender identity. (No jokes about small hands or “little” presidential candidates.)… Continue Reading

BREAKING: EEOC files 2 Title VII suits alleging sexual orientation bias

Posted in Discrimination, Gender Identity Discrimination, Harassment, Sexual Orientation
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed today two lawsuits contending that employers’ alleged discrimination and harassment based on sexual orientation violates the Title VII ban on sex discrimination. One suit was filed on behalf of a gay call center employee in Pennsylvania, and the other was filed on behalf of a lesbian forklift operator in Maryland. Here… Continue Reading

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