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Category Archives: Employment Discrimination

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“New” Equal Pay Bill for Maryland

Posted in Employment Discrimination, HR Compliance, Labor Law & NLRB, Laws & Regulations, Legislative Developments, Wage & Hour, Workplace Trends

The Maryland 2016 legislative session ended on Monday.  A friend of mine mentioned that she heard the General Assembly passed an equal pay law in Maryland. But guess what? There is already an Equal Pay for Equal Work law in Maryland – it’s been in place for almost 25 years!! The current law already prohibits employers from discriminating… Continue Reading

Menstrual Leave – Really?

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

Last week, I heard about a British company, Coexist, that is planning to develop a “period policy” to provide menstrual leave to its female employees. As a female employment attorney, I’m a strong believer in equal rights for women, but this notion struck me as so very … odd. Initially, I wasn’t quite sure what to make of… Continue Reading

Political Discussions in the Workplace

Posted in Employment Discrimination, HR Compliance, Workplace Trends

Well, regardless of your political leanings, it’s definitely been an interesting political season. I have witnessed several heated political discussions among my acquaintances, and even in my family (let’s just say that my crazy teenagers don’t share my political views). Although physical violence has not yet been involved, there has been some nasty name-calling. And… Continue Reading

Thoughts on Equal Pay Proposals from a Management Lawyer

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

Equal pay has become a hot topic on both the state and federal levels. As a woman who is a management-side employment attorney, I sometimes find myself puzzled as to how this topic came to be such a hot button issue, especially since there are already many laws on the books that address equal pay. On… Continue Reading

Return of the Beast: Religious Accommodation Redux

Posted in Employment Discrimination, HR Compliance, Laws & Regulations, Litigation, Reasonable Accommodation, Unions

Back around Halloween, we offered you a seasonally appropriate and cautionary tale about accommodating an employee’s religious concerns. As we discussed in that blog about the case of EEOC v. Consol Energy, Inc., the employee refused to use a biometric hand scanner because he was afraid it would reveal or imprint the mark of the… Continue Reading

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