Employment Discrimination

Last month, many of us took a few moments out of our day to view the solar eclipse (with the proper eyewear, of course – which made me wonder about the workers’ compensation liability for eye injuries incurred from deficient protection during “watch parties” at work – but I digress). As you’ve no doubt heard, there are even some folks who will travel in order to experience “totality.” I’m sure work productivity across the nation took a bit of a hit that day. But what is not ok is to totally blow off a deposition in order to chase the eclipse – which is what happened in a discrimination case.Continue Reading No, the Solar Eclipse Is Not a Good Reason to Skip a Deposition

On April 29, 2024, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued its long-promised Enforcement Guidance on Harassment in the Workplace. The document updates and replaces existing EEOC resources on workplace harassment and unsurprisingly (under this pro-worker administration) takes a very broad approach to the topic. Of particular interest to employers, the EEOC also provides specific direction on what it would consider to be best practices for employers in preventing and addressing workplace harassment, including as to policies, training and investigations.Continue Reading The EEOC’s New Harassment Guidance: What Employers Need to Know

The U.S. Supreme Court, in a unanimous decision, has ruled that adverse employment actions need not be “significant” in order to constitute a violation of Title VII’s prohibition against discrimination. This ruling undercuts decades of court decisions that applied a heightened standard of harm, although recent federal appellate court rulings already showed a trend away from that standard.Continue Reading Supreme Court Lowers the Bar for Title VII Discrimination Claims

On April 15, 2024, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued a Final Rule and Interpretive Guidance to implement the relatively new Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA), which was enacted by Congress in December of 2022 and which already took effect on June 27, 2023. The Final Rule and Interpretive Guidance provide guidance, with many illustrative examples, on how the EEOC plans to interpret employers’ obligations under the PWFA – and in some cases, expands the obligations beyond even the heightened standards under the Americans with Disabilities Act.Continue Reading The EEOC Releases Onerous Final Rule Implementing the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act

The Maryland General Assembly’s 2024 session ended at midnight on Monday, April 8. A number of employment bills that were passed will have a significant impact on employers, including another delay to the forthcoming paid family and medical leave insurance (FAMLI) program, a new wage range posting mandate, expanded pay stub notice requirements, and additional discrimination protections, including an expansion of the equal pay law. Employers will also face increased penalties for occupational safety and health violations. Additionally, there was a revision to the law restricting the use of non-compete agreements to make it applicable to certain health care providers and veterinarians.Continue Reading New Employment Laws in Maryland – Changes to Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance, Wage Range Posting Requirements, New Discrimination Protections and More (and a Webinar!)

According to some courts, no. According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and other courts, yes. And the EEOC is being the squeaky wheel regarding its position, as evidenced by a recent settlement announcement. Continue Reading Are Reasonable Accommodations Required for an Employee’s Commute?

In the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s decision rejecting affirmative action in college admissions, there have been well-publicized attacks on corporate diversity initiatives. And now the conservative advocacy group, America First Legal Foundation, is tackling the NFL and its Rooney Rule – a development of concern to employers who use diverse candidate slates in their hiring process. Continue Reading Wiping the (Diverse Candidate) Slate Clean?

And employers should take heed, because making assumptions about employees when making employment decisions can certainly make you look like an ass (and by that, I do mean the donkey-like animal and not the body part. Honestly, keep your mind out of the gutter!). That was the lesson learned by Walmart, according to a recent EEOC press release.Continue Reading Employers, “When you assume, you make an ass out of u and me.” – Oscar Wilde (or not?*)

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission just announced a resolution of its investigation into Groupon’s recruitment and hiring practices, with a rather unusual term that specifically benefits Black individuals – an issue of heightened sensitivity as employers have struggled with the employment implications of the Supreme Court’s recent decision banning affirmative action in college admissions. Continue Reading An Interesting Resolution to an EEOC Race Discrimination Investigation…

This week, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced a $6.875 million settlement (ouch!) with Scripps Clinical Medical Group over its mandatory retirement age policy. Which reminded me that the EEOC has also sued Yale New Haven Hospital for its “Late Career Practitioner Policy,” requiring certain doctors age 70+ to undergo certain medical testing. Since my husband is a doctor (of a certain age), I am particularly interested in these developments – but I note that these principles apply across all employers.Continue Reading Mandatory Retirement or Medical Exams Based on Age?