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Category Archives: Discrimination

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The Supreme Court Rules that the Age Discrimination in Employment Act Applies to Small Government Employers

Posted in Age Discrimination, Discrimination, Diversity, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Fair Labor Standards Act, General Labor and Employment News and Updates, Government, Supreme Court
The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (“ADEA”) forbids employment discrimination against employees who are 40 years of age or older.  Private employers with less than 20 employees are not subject to the ADEA.  On November 6, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously[1] held that the ADEA’s 20-employee threshold does not apply to government employers,… Continue Reading

Jury Okays Firing Transgender Employee for Negative Glassdoor Review

Posted in Discrimination, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Gender Identity, General Labor and Employment News and Updates, LGBTQ Employees, Reasonable Accommodation, Sexual Orientation Discrimination, Terminations
On October 29, 2018, a San Francisco federal jury unanimously found that a Silicon Valley tech company did not commit unlawful retaliation by firing a transgender employee who accused the company of discrimination in a two-star Glassdoor review. Adrian Scott Duane, a transgender man, alleged on the job review website that IXL Learning, Inc. (IXL),… Continue Reading

Judge with Disabled Child Recuses Self from Disability Discrimination Suit

Posted in Americans with Disabilities Act, Discrimination, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, General Labor and Employment News and Updates, Government, Labor Relations
Despite the sensitive nature of employment-related claims like discrimination and retaliation and harassment and hostile work environment, it is rare for judges to admit to personal biases that could influence their decision-making. But a federal district court judge has recently just done exactly that.  On August 30, 2018, the Hon. Lewis T. Babcock, a Senior… Continue Reading

Start Spreadin’ the News: NYC’s “Cooperative Dialogue” Requirement for Accommodations is Effective Today

Posted in Americans with Disabilities Act, Civil Rights, Discrimination, General Labor and Employment News and Updates, Harassment, Labor Relations, New York Law, Pregnancy Discrimination, Reasonable Accommodation, Religious Discrimination, Workplace Policies
A spate of new state and local regulations is making it tougher to be an employer in the City That Never Sleeps.  As previously covered by HR Legalist, new requirements for sexual harassment policies went into effect across New York State on October 9, 2018, and burdensome new requirements for harassment-related training will go into… Continue Reading

Attention New York Employers: First Deadline for New Sexual Harassment Policy and Training Requirements is October 9th

Posted in Civil Rights, Discrimination, Harassment, New York Law, Sexual Harassment, State Law, Workplace Policies
In April 2018, Governor Cuomo signed the 2019 New York State budget, which includes sweeping new requirements for sexual harassment policies and training for private employers of all sizes.  The October 9th deadline for all New York State employers to create, publish and implement sexual harassment policies is fast approaching. Even more burdensome for employers… Continue Reading

Supreme Court Issues Narrow Ruling in Same-Sex Wedding Cake Case

Posted in Discrimination
On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court reversed a ruling of the Colorado Civil Rights Commission (the “Commission”) that a cake shop violated the state’s anti-discrimination act by refusing to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple for professed religious reasons.  This case is the latest in a series of high-profile cases pitting the religious… Continue Reading

Second Circuit Holds That Sexual Orientation Claims are Permissible Under the Civil Rights Act

Posted in Civil Rights, Discrimination, LGBTQ Employees
While the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community has made a number of important legal advancements over the last decade, it still amazes many people to learn that, under federal law, an employee can be fired because they are gay.  Politicians, advocacy groups and courtroom litigants have worked for decades to change that.  And while… Continue Reading

How the EEOC is Cracking Down on Equal Pay Act Violations in the Food Service Industry

Posted in Discrimination, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
With the prevalence of gender discrimination lawsuits in the media and the increasing number of equal pay laws nationwide, employers in the food services industry would be wise to review their hiring and payroll practices as soon as possible to ensure that they are not unlawfully contributing to the gender pay gap, or otherwise retaliating… Continue Reading

New Jersey Update: What Phil Murphy’s Election Could Mean for Employers and Employees

Posted in Discrimination, Employee Leave Management, Government, Medical Marijuana, Minimum Wage, New Jersey Law, Wage & Hour
Yesterday, Democrat Phil Murphy won the race for New Jersey governor, easily defeating Republican Kim Guadagno. Democrats also retained their majorities in both the state Senate and Assembly.  When Murphy is sworn in next January, he will have the opportunity to change laws impacting the workplace.  Here are some areas for employers and employees in… Continue Reading

Employer-Mandated Fingerprinting May be Religious Discrimination

Posted in Civil Rights, Discrimination, Reasonable Accommodation, Religious Discrimination, Retaliation, Terminations, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, Workplace Policies
Sincerely believing that fingerprinting is “the mark of the devil” may be enough to sue your employer for religious discrimination and retaliation in federal district court. On Monday, October 30th, Western District of Pennsylvania Judge Kim R. Gibson issued an Order declining to dismiss such a lawsuit at the initial, pleadings stage of litigation. The… Continue Reading

What #MeToo Means for Employers: Workplace Harassment in the Age of Awareness

Posted in Civil Rights, Discrimination, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Harassment, Retaliation, Social Media, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, Workplace Investigations, Workplace Policies
This past Sunday, actress Alyssa Milano posted the following message on Twitter: Me too. Suggested by a friend: “If all the women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted wrote ‘Me too.’ As a status, we might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem.” Since Ms. Milano’s original tweet, the hashtag #MeToo… Continue Reading

Feats of Strength: EEOC sues CSX for Employee Strength Tests as Gender Discrimination Under Title VII

Posted in Civil Rights, Discrimination, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Government, Hiring, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, Workplace Policies
The EEOC recently filed suit against CSX Transportation, Inc. (“CSX”) in Federal Court in West Virginia, on behalf of a nationwide class of female employees.[1]  In the suit, the EEOC alleges that CSX’s policy of requiring employees and job applicants to pass certain physical strength tests in order to be eligible for certain positions has… Continue Reading

Back to School, Back to Work – Parental and Family Rights in the Workplace

Posted in Discrimination, Employee Leave Management, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Family Medical Leave Act, Paid Sick Leave, Parental Leave, Workplace Policies
The end of August marks the beginning of the yearly “back to school” ritual.  Working parents in particular are hoping for a smooth transition, as this is also the time of year when vacations end and workloads tend to pick up.  But as those of us with children know, balancing work and family responsibilities can… Continue Reading

Political Speech, Discrimination and the Law: How Employers Should Respond to Charlottesville

Posted in Cat's Paw Liability, Civil Rights, Discrimination, Diversity, General Labor and Employment News and Updates, Political Discrimination, Social Media, Terminations, Workplace Policies
The recent tragic events in Charlottesville, Virginia and other news regarding the activities of white supremacists and similar groups, have served as a rude awakening for many that our national reality has shifted. These events, which occurred in the public square and have been widely documented through social media, are unfortunate examples of bigoted and… Continue Reading

Transgender Restroom Dispute Continues, Despite North Carolina “Deal” To Overturn Controversial “Bathroom Bill”

Posted in Discrimination, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Gender Identity, LGBTQ Employees, Workplace Policies
On Thursday March 30, 2017, Gov. Roy Cooper signed House Bill 142, which repealed North Carolina’s controversial House Bill 2. As previously reported by HR Legalist, House Bill 2 was signed into law on March 23, 2016, and prohibited local government from permitting transgender individuals to use public bathrooms that aligned with their sex or… Continue Reading

Federal Court of Appeals Rules that Civil Rights Law Protects LGBT Workers from Sexual Orientation Discrimination

Posted in Discrimination, LGBTQ Employees, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act
On Tuesday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit made history by extending the protections of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to LGBT individuals in the workforce when it held that “discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is a form of sex discrimination.” In Tuesday’s 8-3 decision, the… Continue Reading

Of Public Schools and Private Employers: Trump Reverses Direction on Male, Female and Gender Neutral Restrooms

Posted in Discrimination, Gender Identity, LGBTQ Employees, Workplace Policies
Overview Employers are caught, once again, between agency pronouncements and White House actions. While President Trump commented on the campaign trail that transgender people should “use the bathroom they feel is appropriate,” he appears to have rethought this position as commander-in-chief.… Continue Reading

Department of Justice’s Holiday Treat: A New Final Rule for Employers

Posted in Discrimination, Immigration, IRCA
As the saying goes, “No news is good news,” and HRLegalist is happy to report today that the final rule introduced this week by the Department of Justice, just in time for the holidays, introduces no new requirements for employers, which is about as good a gift as we can expect from the federal government!… Continue Reading

“Backlash Discrimination” and “Complex Employment Relationships” at the Heart of the EEOC’s 2017-2021 Strategic Enforcement Plan

Posted in Discrimination, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
On October 17, 2016, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC” or “Commission”) unveiled the adoption of its 2017-2021 Strategic Enforcement Plan (“SEP”). The SEP, which was approved by a 3-2 vote, outlines the Commission’s goals and strategies for enforcing the anti-discrimination laws under its purview for the next four years. On the whole, the… Continue Reading

One Expensive Bottle of Orange Juice: Denial of a $1.69 Orange Juice Costs Dollar General $277, 565 in Back Pay and Damages

Posted in Americans with Disabilities Act, Discrimination, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Workplace Policies
On September 16, 2016, a Tennessee jury awarded Linda Atkins, a former Dolgencorp LLC (“Dollar General” or the “Company”) Sales Associate, $277,565 in back pay and compensatory damages after being fired for drinking orange juice prior to paying the $1.69 cost to prevent a diabetic episode.… Continue Reading

Pokémon No! A Strategy Guide on Handling the Latest Smartphone Craze in the Workplace

Posted in Discrimination, Uncategorized
Although Pokémon Go is only 21 days young, over 30 million users have downloaded and played the augmented reality game on their smartphones.  In the latest release of the pocket monster franchise, your mission is to capture and train pokémon—facsimiles of real and fictional creatures ranging from caterpillars and pigeons to electric mice and water… Continue Reading

Spring Forward: Constructive Discharge Clock Doesn’t Start Until Employee Gives “Definite Notice” of Intent to Resign

Posted in Discrimination, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Terminations
On Monday, the Supreme Court resolved a circuit split over the deadline for employees to pursue their administrative remedies in connection with constructive discharge claims under Title VII.  Generally, employees must file a charge of discrimination with the EEOC no later than 180 days from the date that the alleged discrimination took place. This deadline… Continue Reading

Lawsuit Bait: Reimagining the Revenant in Today’s Litigious World

Posted in Discrimination, Family Medical Leave Act, OSHA
Although the Oscars are eleven days away, it seems that the online collective of paid critics, amateur bloggers, and self-professed film buffs has already announced the “rightful winners.”  Whatever the Academy Awards Committee officially decides, the court of public opinion has long since pulled the Oscar bait off the hook and separated the wheat from… Continue Reading