Employment & Labor Insider

Employment & Labor Insider

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Tag Archives: “Supreme Court”

The Deep Dive: A closer look at the Seventh Circuit’s sexual orientation decision

Posted in Discrimination, Sexual Orientation
As we reported early this morning, the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit decided in Hively v. Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana that the prohibition in Title VII against discrimination based on “sex” encompasses discrimination based on sexual orientation. It is the first federal appellate court to do so, although recent… Continue Reading

Trumpdate: Labor nominee Acosta gets through HELP Committee, Dems support Gorsuch

Posted in Politics
Two big developments of interest to employers: The Senate Heath, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee approved the nomination of Alex Acosta, President Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Labor, in a 12-11 straight party-line vote. This means that Mr. Acosta’s nomination will be voted on by the full Senate. According to The Washington Post, no date… Continue Reading

Weekly catch-up

Posted in FOCUS, Franchise, Labor Relations, Politics
Franchisors received some encouraging news this week from President Trump’s Acting Solicitor General, Nicholas Geale. Mr. Geale says that he prefers not to bring enforcement actions based on a theory that franchisors and franchisees are “joint employers.” He also said that he hopes the U.S. Department of Labor will focus on helping employers to comply… Continue Reading

Daily Trumpdate: Gorsuch seems to care about real people

Posted in Discrimination, Elections, Politics, Pregnancy
President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch is still looking good to me. I’ve now read his famous (among law nerds, anyway) concurrence in Gutierrez-Brizuela v. Lynch, in which he criticizes the Chevron doctrine. (Judge Gorsuch also wrote the majority opinion in Gutierrez-Brizuela, but his concurrence starts at pdf page 15.) The Chevron doctrine, from… Continue Reading

Daily Trumpdate: Must-see TV, LGBT protections here to stay, ICE to harden?, best way to less regulation

Posted in Elections, Gender Identity Discrimination, Immigration, Politics, Sexual Orientation
Must-see TV! President Trump said last night that he would be announcing at 8 p.m. EST tonight his nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court vacancy that was created by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. You have to hand it to the President for scheduling the announcement for prime time, when everyone can watch. Although I think… Continue Reading

Daily Trumpdate: The 4 known SCOTUS contenders

Posted in Elections, Politics
President Trump announced yesterday that he would be naming his nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court next week. The nominee, if confirmed, will fill the seat vacated by the late Justice Antonin Scalia. According to most news sources, the three leading contenders are U.S. Court of Appeals Judges William Pryor (Eleventh Circuit), Neil Gorsuch (Tenth Circuit),… 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

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

There’s a new Sheriff in town: The politics and pitfalls of patronage dismissals (Part 1 of 2)

Posted in First Amendment, Public Sector Employment
NOTE FROM ROBIN: This is the first in a two-part series on the law regarding patronage dismissals in public sector employment by Damon Kitchen, head of our public sector industry group. Damon, welcome to the blog!  It’s election season, and each year, like the dead leaves that fall from the trees, many loyal and long-term… 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

Massachusetts expands protections to transgender individuals

Posted in Discrimination, Gender Identity Discrimination
As of October 1, “places of public accommodation” in Massachusetts will be prohibited from discriminating based on gender identity. That is, persons accessing a “place of public accommodation” must be permitted to use gender-segregated locations (such as restrooms and locker rooms) consistent with their gender identity. Any place that is open to and accepts or solicits… 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

The “duty to conciliate” doesn’t mean the EEOC has to be reasonable.

Posted in Discrimination, Settlements
Just how much of a duty to conciliate does the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission have after the Supreme Court’s decision last year in Mach Mining? Hardly any, it appears. In Mach Mining, the Supreme Court decided that courts did have the authority to review the agency’s conciliation efforts (which caused employers to claim it as an… Continue Reading

Look out, employers! The new Class Action Outlook is out!

Posted in Class actions
The Spring 2016 edition features (in order of appearance) Naveen Kabir on the Supreme Court’s Tyson Foods decision, Anna Rothschild on the Supreme Court after Justice Scalia and Merrick Garland’s record on labor and employment cases, Mallory Schneider Ricci on the Supreme Court’s CRST Van Expedited v. EEOC decision (if you haven’t already, please check… Continue Reading

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

EEOC Retaliation Guidance, Part 2: Was your employment action “adverse”?

Posted in Retaliation
What’s a “materially adverse employment action”? This is the second part in what should be a three-part series (it’s possible that we’ll need four) on the proposed Enforcement Guidance on Retaliation and Related Issues recently published by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. To recap from last week, a plaintiff in a retaliation case has to prove three things:… 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

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

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