Employment & Labor Insider

Employment & Labor Insider

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Tag Archives: “Sexual Orientation”

“Free to Be . . . You and Me”: The 11th Circuit’s strange LGBT decision

Posted in Discrimination, Sexual Orientation
This latest decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit on sexual orientation discrimination is weird. A panel of the court found 2-1 in Evans v. Georgia Regional Hospital that the plaintiff did not have a valid Title VII claim against her employer for sexual orientation discrimination. Whether you agree with it or not,… Continue Reading

Fair Pay & Safe Workplaces Rule is on the chopping block

Posted in Affirmative Action, Elections, Gender Identity Discrimination, Politics, Sexual Orientation
In good news for federal contractors, Congress has taken its first step toward permanently blocking implementation of the Fair Pay & Safe Workplaces Rule, also known as the contractor “Blacklisting” Rule.  As we have discussed previously, the Rule (which includes regulations and guidance implementing President Obama’s Executive Order 13673) requires federal contractors bidding on contracts worth… Continue Reading

Nitpicking the EEOC’s proposed guidance on harassment

Posted in Discrimination, Gender Identity Discrimination, Harassment, Sexual Orientation
This week, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued a proposed Enforcement Guidance on workplace harassment. It’s 75 pages long, so a little too much to cover in a single blog post. The EEOC is seeking comments from the public until February 9, so I will start with the comment-worthy provisions. Next week, I’ll post about… Continue Reading

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

Oh, wait a minute — sexual orientation bias DOES violate Title VII?

Posted in Gender Identity Discrimination, Harassment, Sexual Orientation
Feeling whipsawed? Last summer, I reported on the Hively v. Ivy Tech decision, in which a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit ruled that discrimination based on sexual orientation is not “sex discrimination” or unlawful sex stereotyping that violates Title VII. That decision has since been vacated, and the case will… 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

Notes from the Industry Liaison Group National Conference

Posted in Affirmative Action, Discrimination, Equal Pay, Gender Identity Discrimination, Harassment, Sexual Orientation
The 2016 Industry Liaison Group National Conference was held last week in Charlotte, North Carolina. Sylvia Smith, an Affirmative Action Specialist from our firm’s Atlanta Office, and I had the pleasure and privilege of attending and presenting this year. The headliners, as usual, were Patricia Shiu, Director of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, and… Continue Reading

Huh? Title VII and sexual orientation bias, revisited

Posted in Discrimination, ENDA, Gender Identity Discrimination, Same-sex marriage, Sexual Orientation
UPDATE (10/14/16): The Hively decision discussed below was issued by a three-judge panel of the Seventh Circuit. This week, the full Seventh Circuit set aside the decision and agreed to rehear the case with all of the judges participating. Here is a copy of the order.  The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit… Continue Reading

EEOC sexual orientation lawsuit settles for $200K plus

Posted in Discrimination, Harassment, Sexual Orientation
As I’ve previously reported, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has filed two lawsuits alleging that employers discriminated against employees based on sexual orientation, which the Commission says is prohibited by Title VII. One of the lawsuits, filed against Pallet Companies/IFCO Systems, settled this week for $202,200. The former employee will receive $182,200, and the remainder… 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

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

Five harassment “must haves” for employers

Posted in Harassment
Maybe it’s just me, but workplace harassment issues seem to come in waves — I’ll go months, or even a year, without an issue, and then WHAM! everybody has a “situation,” or at least they need to get their preventive training done.   Right now, we’re in a bit of a “flash flood,” so I thought it might be a… Continue Reading

15 for ’15: Employment and labor resolutions for the new year

Posted in Affirmative Action, Affordable Care Act, Alternative Dispute Resolution, Americans with Disabilities Act, Background Checks, Discrimination, Drug Testing, Equal Pay, ERISA, Family and Medical Leave Act, Harassment, Independent Contractor, Labor Relations, Lactation, Pregnancy, Protected Concerted Activity, Safety, Social media, Wage-Hour
By David Phippen of our Metro D.C. Office. While the year is still young, here are 15 New Year’s resolutions that employers may want to make: 1. Make sure your “independent contractors” are really independent contractors. “Independent contractors” are under scrutiny by the Internal Revenue Service, the U.S. Department of Labor, the National Labor Relations Board, state… Continue Reading

5 legal traps for the wariest employer

Posted in Affirmative Action, Americans with Disabilities Act, Employment at Will, Family and Medical Leave Act, Gender Identity Discrimination, Harassment, Protected Concerted Activity, Retaliation, Wage-Hour
You’re an employer who tries to do the right thing. But what hidden traps are out there, waiting to grab your ankle and yank you into a lawsuit? Here are a few that cause trouble for even the best employers:… Continue Reading

LGBT charges are rolling in, EEOC Commissioner says

Posted in Discrimination, Gender Identity Discrimination
Chai Feldblum, a Commissioner of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, recently presented an update on the EEOC’s handling of charges alleging sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination. At the meeting, reported this week in Bloomberg BNA, Commissioner Feldblum said that the EEOC is now tracking the intake and resolution of these charges, which I’ll… Continue Reading

Sex stereotyping, sexual orientation discrimination, and federal law – crazy-mixed-up right now

Posted in Discrimination, ENDA, Harassment
The Employment Non-Discrimination Act is dead again. Is there any federal law on same-sex harassment or discrimination? If so, what is it? Here are some scenarios that may be helpful in picking through this crazy extremely complex and rapidly transitioning area of the law. (Answers are provided after Scenario 6, below.) The American Bar Association… Continue Reading

Obama signs LGBT discrimination, affirmative action order

Posted in Affirmative Action
This morning President Obama signed an Executive Order amending the 1965 Executive Order 11246. President Obama’s EO prohibits discrimination and requires affirmative action by federal contractors based on sexual orientation and gender identity. (It isn’t clear what the affirmative action obligation will mean.) The President’s EO also makes corresponding amendments to Executive Order 11478, which pertains to the… Continue Reading