It’s Time to End Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity Discrimination

There is currently legislation pending in both the Ohio House [ H.B. 163 ] and Ohio Senate [ S.B. 125 ] that would include “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” to the list of classes from which employees are protected from discrimination by their employers. Notably, the...

Heads' Up for Employers

I had the opportunity to talk with two plaintiff's attorneys last night at a reception recognizing the Michigan lawyers who were newly elected to the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers. Both attorneys indicated that they were extremely busy with discrimination cases. The first attorney indicated...

Employment Staffing Agency Sued by EEOC for Sexual Discrimination

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has filed a gender-based discrimination suit against Industrial Labor Management Group, Inc. (ILM). The suit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee, alleges that ILM refused to refer qualified female applicants...

Separation of Protected Activity and Discipline Can Protect Employers From Retaliation Claims

Can an employee succeed on a retaliation claim if the decision maker did not know about the alleged protected activity at the time the employer decided to terminate? The answer, according to McElroy v. Sands Casino (E.D. Pa. 1/9/14) , is no [ an enhanced version of this opinion is available to lexis...

Bill Would Limit Use of Criminal Histories for Delaware Employers

So-called “ban-the-box” initiatives, which limit employers’ inquiries into an applicant’s criminal history, have been adopted by several cities and municipalities. Philadelphia adopted such a law in the Spring of 2011. The City of Wilmington joined the ban-the-box bandwagon in...

Fourth Circuit Considers Immunity Issues in Discrimination Suit

by Allison B. Williams Recently, in the matter of McCray v. Maryland Dept. of Transportation [ an enhanced version of this opinion is available to lexis.com subscribers ], the Fourth Circuit had the opportunity to consider whether sovereign immunity or legislative immunity applied to a discrimination...

"Protected Class" and the 6th Circuit

In Shazor v. Professional Transit Management, Inc. [ an enhanced version of this opinion is available to lexis.com subscribers ], the 6th Circuit reversed an award of summary judgment and found that the plaintiff had presented sufficient circumstantial evidence of race and sex discrimination to go to...

It's Still Illegal Not to Hire Someone Because They Have HIV

Twenty years ago, Tom Hanks won the Best Actor Oscar for his portrayal of Andrew Beckett, a man with AIDS fired by his law firm because of his condition. Last week, the EEOC announced that it has filed suit against Maxim Healthcare Services, a Pittsburgh medical staffing company, for its refusal to hire...

GINA Strikes Again

by Mark Jeffries A few months ago, we told you about the EEOC’s first lawsuit alleging a violation of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (“GINA”). A week after settling that case, which was brought on behalf of an individual, the EEOC filed another complaint. In...

San Francisco Employers Must Limit Criminal History Inquiries

San Francisco has joined several other cities in enacting “ban the box” legislation to restrict the ability of private employers to inquire about and consider criminal history information for employment purposes. San Francisco’s recently enacted Fair Chance Ordinance takes effect August...

Your Corporate Message Against Discrimination Must Start at the Top

By now, you’ve likely read about Donald Sterling, the now-banned owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, caught on tape by his ex-girlfriend making racist comments. This story teaches an important lesson about corporate culture and your workplace. If your company has a culture of condoning this type...

Three Employees Fired For Posing at Work in KKK Garb and Makeshift Crosses Claim Discrimination. Yep.

The thing about this law-blogging gig, other than the money, power and women, of course, is the pride of being first to post about a crazy new case. Last week, I missed out on the nude sunbather who sued an elementary school-employer for retaliation . Well, Jon Hyman at the Ohio Employer's Law...

A Black And Blue Lawsuit: Tiffany & Co. Sued for Race Discrimination

My dog’s name is Loula Mae. “Loula” is name of the dog on the kids cartoon Pocoyo , which my son was obsessed with when we got her. “Mae” just sounded right to pair with Loula, and gives her a bit of a gentile, southern charm. Little did we know, however, that the birth...

New York City Statute Authorizes Certain Unpaid Interns to Sue For Employment Discrimination or Workplace Harassment

Effective June 14, 2014, certain unpaid interns in New York City gained the right to sue their employers for discrimination in employment or workplace harassment. However, the effect of this new statute is quite limited, because most unpaid trainees in New York City fall outside the new statute’s...

Ohio Supreme Court Punts on Individual Discrimination Liability … For Now

Earlier this summer, I reported on Hauser v. City of Dayton , which I hoped would answer the question of whether Ohio’s employment discrimination statute still provided for individual liability for managers and supervisors. Last week, the Court issued its ruling in Hauser , and, disappointingly...

The Best Defense to a Discrimination Claim Is…

Wilson v. Chipotle Mexican Grille (6th Cir. 9/17/15) [pdf] is an unusual or distinct case, yet it teaches employers an important lesson about how to win a discrimination case [ an enhanced version of this opinion is available to lexis.com subscribers ]. Catherine Wilson, an African-American female...

The EEOC Makes History by Filing Its First Ever Transgender-Discrimination Lawsuits

Bending iPhone 6's? Derek Jeter's last home game in Yankee pinstripes? Attorney General Eric Holder to resign? Bah! The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission was the one stealing the headlines yesterday -- err, doing something that I decided to be most blogworthy. Yesterday, the...

An Employer Should Never Ask About Disability or Religion. Except When It Should.

Everybody knows that an employer should never, ever, ever ask an applicant about religion or disability until after a conditional offer of employment has been made. And maybe not even then. Right? Right? Well, mostly right. But, as a couple of EEOC lawsuits show, there may be times when you have...

The Employer Who Wanted to "Bring Color" Into the Workplace; Brought Lot$A Green to the Plaintiff Instead

I'm talking about a $620,000 jury verdict and nearly $165,000 in attorney's fees. Let's get one thing clear. Anyone can be a victim of discrimination. And when it comes to race, we're talking black, white, brown, whatever. Case in point, in Boneberger v. St. Louis Metropolitan Police...

LGBT Charges Are Rolling In, EEOC Commissioner Says

Chai Feldblum, a Commissioner of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, recently presented an update on the EEOC’s handling of charges alleging sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination. At the meeting, reported this week in Bloomberg BNA , Commissioner Feldblum said that...

Racial Talk at Work? Beware of Reverse Discrimination.

“What’s good for the goose . . .” When I do harassment training, I ask my audiences whether they think employers should ban the “N” word even when it’s used by African-Americans among themselves. In my experience, the African-Americans in the audience have been...

Michigan's Religious Freedom Restoration Act: Heading for Righteous Trouble?

It was anticipated that this lame duck session of the Michigan legislature would see a bill to amend the state's civil rights act to add protection to prevent discrimination based on an individual's sexual orientation and gender identity, and a bill modeled after the federal religious freedom...