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New PA Bill Would Ban Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity Discrimination

Twenty-one states and the District of Columbia have laws banning workplace discrimination in the private sector on the basis of sexual orientation. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, which currently bans discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity or expression in public employment...

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...

Senate on the Brink of Approving Bill to Improve LGBT Workplace Rights

Earlier this week, I blogged about Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) promising that the Senate would take up the Employment Non-Discrimination Act . Yesterday, the Senate obtained enough support to put ENDA to a full vote. Every Senate Democrat agreed to press forward. And even some Republicans helped get...

ENDA -- a Bill Banning LGBT Workplace Discrimination -- Passes the Senate

And it wasn't close at all. By a final vote of 64-32, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act , also known as ENDA, passed the Senate on Thursday. All 52 Democrats, plus 2 Independents and 10 Republicans voted in favor of the bill. Among the notable yes votes was Pennsylvania Senator Pat Toomey...

For Employers, the Practical Side of ENDA

While the Senate has passed the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), its future in the House is less certain. Employers, especially small and medium size employers who have the threshold 15 employees, wait, as they have done with other laws, to see if it is passed. Employers have long recognized...

Prejudice vs. Racism: Please Don't Confuse the Two

Last week, Inc. interviewed the billionaire, entrepreneur owner of the Dallas Mavericks, Mark Cuban . In light of Donald Sterling , racism was one of the topics covered. Mr. Cuban’s candid and honest response has sparked a wave of controversy: If I see a black kid in a hoodie and it’s...

Can You Fire an Employee Who Posts Nazi Propaganda on Facebook?

Maybe you've heard about it. I'm giving a little spiel today on social media in the workplace with a few friends at an event in Philadelphia. If I play my cards right, I'll do as little speaking as possible on the dais. Which means I'll get my two cents in and discuss on a hockey coach...

$185 Million Pregnancy Discrimination Award

Discriminating against pregnant employees or employees who oppose discrimination is generally unlawful. That's not news. A California federal jury awarded a woman who worked for AutoZone $872,719 in compensatory damages ($393,759 for past economic loss earnings, $228,960 for future economic loss...

Jury Verdicts Are Just Numbers on a Paper

On Monday, a California jury awarded a former Autozone employee $185 million in punitive damages. She had sued the company for pregnancy discrimination, claiming that the district manager who fired her was promised a promotion if he fired all of the women in his stores. Last week, the same jury awarded...

Why You Probably Aren't Getting A $186 Million Check If You Sue Your Former Employer

If you're contemplating bringing a discrimination case against your former employer, you've probably been scouring the Internet for information. You also probably found the recent case where an employee who was the victim of pregnancy discrimination won a $186 million verdict against her employer...

U.S. Supreme Court Hears Oral Arguments in Pregnancy Bias Suit

WASHINGTON, D.C. — (Mealey’s) United Parcel Service Inc. (UPS) violated the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) when it refused to accommodate an employee’s lifting restrictions that were caused by her pregnancy even though it provided accommodations for other employees with lifting...

Reading the #SCOTUS Tea Leaves: Young v. UPS and Pregnancy Accommodations

Yesterday, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Young v. UPS , which will decide whether Title VII requires an employer to accommodate pregnant workers the same as non-pregnant workers similar in their inability to work. UPS required Peggy Young to be able to lift up to 70 pounds as part of her...

Ebola Discrimination in Your Workplace, What the Department of Justice Wants You to Know

If you entered a time machine a few months ago and came out today to read this post, you missed a lot. The Kansas City Royals made the World Series. Grammy Award winning rapper Eve wed entrepreneur Maximillion Cooper at Cala Jondal Beach in Ibiza, Spain. And a big-time Ebola scare. Yeah, that Ebola...

Should It Matter If Your Employee Thinks Hand Scanners Are Tools of Satan?

If you’re a long time reader of my blog, you might recall a story I shared a few years ago about a co-worker at one of my high-school jobs, who held some interesting opinions about Lee Iacocca, Satan, and the end of the world. At the time, I made a point about taking the path of least resistance...

Mark This Beastly Religious Accommodation Case for the Employer

Last Monday, I wrote about a jury verdict against an employer that refused to make accommodation for an employee who objected to the use of the company’s time-keeping hand scanner for religious reasons. In response, one reader commented : Seems to me that the law should require some sort of...

U.S. Supreme Court Hears Arguments in EEOC, Abercrombie Dispute

WASHINGTON, D.C. — (Mealey's) The 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals erred in ruling in favor of a clothing retailer that refused to hire a Muslim applicant who wore a headscarf during her interview, Principal Duty Solicitor General Ian H. Gershengorn of Washington argued before the U.S. Supreme...

Reading the #SCOTUS Tea Leaves: Headscarves, Religious Accommodations, and Abercrombie

Yesterday, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in EEOC v. Abercrombie & Fitch Stores, Inc. ( transcript here [pdf] ), which will hopefully determine the circumstances under which an employer must, as a religious accommodation, grant an exception to its “Look Policy” for a hijab-wearing...