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Category Archives: Employment Discrimination

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President Obama Radically Expands EEO-1 Reporting Requirements

Posted in Employment Discrimination, HR Compliance, Laws & Regulations, Legislative Developments, Workplace Trends

On January 29, 2016, President Obama announced a series of actions intended to close the gender pay equity gap, including proposed revisions to the EEO-1 form that would require the submission of detailed pay information. As President Obama stated in his press conference, and as set forth in a White House Fact Sheet, “New Steps… Continue Reading

Must Employers Accept An Employee’s Stated Disability Without Question?

Posted in Employment Discrimination, Laws & Regulations, Litigation, Reasonable Accommodation

According to the federal district court in Mendillo v. The Prudential Ins. Co. of America, the answer is “yes.” But I struggle with this decision, because I think it ties an employer’s hands and undercuts the employer’s right to demand medical information under the Americans with Disabilities Act. In this case, a call center employee… Continue Reading

Giving Employees What They Want Doesn’t Preclude Discrimination Claim

Posted in Employment Discrimination, Laws & Regulations, Legislative Developments, Workplace Trends

So I found this case, Smith v. URS Corp., interesting because it involved a black employee who got what he wanted, but was still able to sue for discrimination. The black employee received the job he applied for (training specialist) and more pay than he asked for ($57,668 instead of $46,000). He was given a classification title and job… Continue Reading

The Playgirl Model’s Sexual Harassment Claim

Posted in Employment Discrimination, Harassment, Litigation, Sexual Harassment

So, someone who posed as a nude lumberjack for Playgirl is now upset about the (foreseeable!) consequences of his decision – teasing by his coworkers. And a federal court judge has found that the employee’s sexual harassment claim against his employer, based on his coworkers’ teasing, may have merit. To me, this case, Sawka v. ADP, Inc., is crazy on… Continue Reading

No Protection for a Breastfeeding Mother?

Posted in Employment Discrimination, HR Compliance, Laws & Regulations, Litigation

As you may know, I am a die-hard management lawyer. For example, I recently saw a production of J.B. Priestly’s, “An Inspector Calls.” The titular Inspector forces various members of a wealthy family in Edwardian England to examine their roles in putting a young woman on the path to suicide. In particular, the father had fired the… Continue Reading

Religious Accommodations – A Beastly Concern

Posted in Employment Discrimination, Laws & Regulations, Litigation, Reasonable Accommodation

So as Halloween approaches, a recent religious accommodations case involving the “mark of the beast” seemed seasonally appropriate. For those of you not so familiar with the Bible, the Book of Revelation tells the story of a satanic beast that comes out of the earth and forces all humans to worship another beast coming from… Continue Reading

EEOC Says Sexual Orientation Is Protected Under Title VII!

Posted in Employment Discrimination, Laws & Regulations

So I’ve noticed that the EEOC likes to adopt major policy shifts in sneaky ways.  For example, when the EEOC first decided that pregnancy-related impairments may be disabilities under the amended Americans with Disabilities Act, it didn’t put in the revised regulations, but slid it into the Q&A document on the revised regulations.  When the… Continue Reading

Same Sex Marriage in the Workplace

Posted in Employee Benefits, Employee Leave (FMLA and ADA), Employment Discrimination, HR Compliance, Laws & Regulations

The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, in which it held that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry, made headlines.  This decision has a practical impact on employers – particularly on those with operations in states that to date had not recognized the validity of same-sex marriages. There are a number… Continue Reading

OSHA Releases Guide to Restroom Access for Transgender Workers

Posted in Employment Discrimination, HR Compliance, Legislative Developments, Uncategorized, Workplace Trends

Transgender rights have been receiving a considerable amount of media attention this week, most of which has been sparked by the magazine Vanity Fair featuring a cover story about “Keeping up with the Kardashians” star and former Olympian Bruce Jenner as a trans woman (Caitlyn Jenner). On the same day that the cover story was… Continue Reading

Inability to Speak English Is a Disability?!!!

Posted in Employment Discrimination, Laws & Regulations

OK, I know that I frequently and flippantly say that, under the expanded American with Disabilities Act, we are all disabled. But the situation described in a recent Washington Post blog found by one of my law partners is really beyond ridiculous! Apparently, individuals who can’t speak English may receive federal Social Security disability benefits!… Continue Reading

Accommodating a Teacher’s Fear of Children?

Posted in Employment Discrimination, Laws & Regulations, Litigation, Reasonable Accommodation

I love these odd cases – like the one-armed man who wanted to be an “unarmed” security guard, about which I blogged previously. Here’s another one that tickled my funny bone – the teacher with pedophobia, which is a debilitating fear of children! (Let’s just absorb the irony of that for a moment, shall we?) OK, to… Continue Reading

A New Boss Is Not A Reasonable Accommodation

Posted in Employment Discrimination, Laws & Regulations, Litigation, Reasonable Accommodation

The bad boss is a cliché. There have been many movies about evil supervisors- for example, “Horrible Bosses” and (because one wasn’t enough) “Horrible Bosses 2.” There are TV shows featuring frustrating or bad bosses – like Michael Scott in “The Office,” or Mr. Burns from “The Simpsons.” There’s even a website where you can… Continue Reading

Employee’s “Husband” Didn’t Sexually Harass Her

Posted in Employment Discrimination, Litigation, Sexual Harassment

This one raised my eyebrows – definitely not your typical sexual harassment case. In Waltz v. Dunning, the plaintiff began working for a company, BHC, in 2001. She reported directly to the CEO.  They began a sexual relationship in 2003, which the plaintiff claimed was initially non-consensual (she said she only had sex with the CEO… Continue Reading

What Is the EEOC’s Own Policy on Background Checks?

Posted in Background Checks, Employment Discrimination, Litigation

I don’t actually have the answer to that. But someone else will soon – BMW Manufacturing Co., who is being sued by the EEOC regarding BMW’s use of criminal background checks. As we’ve discussed in prior posts, the EEOC is being exceedingly (and sometimes unreasonably) aggressive in challenging employer’s criminal background check policies, claiming that… Continue Reading

Ebola in the Workplace – Practical Suggestions

Posted in Employee Leave (FMLA and ADA), Employment Discrimination, HR Compliance, Laws & Regulations, Workplace Trends

Our last two blog posts talked about Ebola facts and the legal background that will frame any employer actions taken to address Ebola in the workplace.  This post will offer some practical guidance on what options employers might consider. The bottom line question of interest to employers is what can they do with regard to… Continue Reading

Ebola in the Workplace – The Law

Posted in Employee Leave (FMLA and ADA), Employment Discrimination, HR Compliance, Laws & Regulations, Workplace Trends

This is the second in a three-part series on Ebola in the workplace.  In the last blog posting, I discussed the actual facts about Ebola as set out by the Centers for Disease Control – exposure, symptoms, and self-monitoring.  In this posting, I will discuss the legal framework with regard to developing and implementing Ebola… Continue Reading

Ebola in the Workplace – The Facts

Posted in Employee Leave (FMLA and ADA), Employment Discrimination, HR Compliance, Laws & Regulations, Workplace Trends

Media reports of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, along with the recent infection of two nurses in Dallas, have raised fears of the potential spread of Ebola in the United States, and employers are increasingly concerned about what they should do to address the possibility of Ebola in the workplace.  These concerns are heightened… Continue Reading