LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
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...

U.S. Supreme Court Hears Arguments on EEOC’s Duty to Conciliate

WASHINGTON, D.C. — (Mealey’s) Since the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, must first attempt to resolve a claim of bias against a private employer through conciliation before filing suit, the court may conduct a “modest inquiry”...

A Hospital May Have Broken the Law by NOT Hiring a Convicted Meth Dealer

I see your wild sexual harassment lawsuit and, after the jump, raise you this doozie... Better call, Saul! Even Walter White and Jesse Pinkman were like, WTH?!? Close your eyes for a sec and picture you're out in Hawaii. [ Editor's Note : To those of you who are already in Hawaii, if...

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...

Collision Course? LGBT Protection and Religious Freedom

As employers in Michigan settle into 2015, there are some known developments on the horizon. The NLRB will implement its revised election procedures absent court intervention; the DOL will address overtime exemptions; and the EEOC will issue guidelines on wellness plans and implement its task force on...

The Supreme Court and the Men Who Lactate

How's that for a title? You can imagine my surprise when I saw a tweet: How in the world did I miss that!? A friend also emailed me a similar story: Breast-Feeding Mom Loses Discrimination Case Because Men Can Lactate Too . There's some tiny little smidgen of truth to the stories, buried...

Florida Bill Would Make It a Crime to Change Male Baby's Diaper in Ladies' Room

In a proposed bill directed at legalizing both discrimination and harassment of transgender people, Florida Representative Frank Artiles (R- Hell, er, I mean, Miami) has proposed a bill making it a crime for a person born of one sex to enter a public restroom designated for the other sex . The point...

Will Employer’s Attempt to Keep Ellen Pao Discrimination Trial Secret Work?

Nearly three years after a former junior-partner at venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufied & Byers LLC filed her lawsuit alleging gender discrimination and retaliation, the jury trial appears set to begin next week. As a general matter, jury trials of civil discrimination claims are presumptively...

The Pharmacist Who Refused to Give Flu Shots Lost His Age Discrimination Claim

In a world , where an employee cannot prove age discrimination after getting fired for playing golf during his medical leave , comes the story of a pharmacist *** dramatic pause *** who wouldn’t give flu shots. While we wait for Hollywood to greenlight this movie — I’m thinking Gary...

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...

It's Time for Michigan Employers to Address the Transgender Issue

The Michigan legislature has, to date, not amended the state's civil rights act to afford protection to LGBT individuals. There was a great deal of publicity concerning the subject at the end of last year when the legislature was in its "lame duck" session. The governor and the business...

Why Your Control Employees Must Care About Employment Laws

Last week I was asked if managers and supervisors have any liability for their own acts of discrimination or other unlawful activities. Like most things in the law, the answer is, “It depends” on the law about which you are concerned. If it’s wage and hour advice, for example, then...

Will Kleiner Win the Discrimination Battle but Lose the Retaliation War?

Most of the commentary on the Ellen Pao v. Kleiner Perkins jury trial has been focused on whether or not Pao will prevail on her claim of gender discrimination, but the testimony over the last couple of days has revealed that it’s actually Pao’s claim of retaliation that poses the highest...

De Minimus Adverse Employment Actions?

In Crane v. Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital, No. 1:13-cv-1294 (3/13/15) (W.D. Mich.), the district court granted the hospital's motion for summary judgment in a case brought by a black female nursing supervisor alleging that she was discriminated against when the hospital chose to accommodate...

U.S. Supreme Court Vacates Fourth Circuit’s Pregnancy Discrimination Ruling

WASHINGTON, D.C. — (Mealey’s) A pregnant worker who seeks to demonstrate disparate treatment via indirect evidence may do so under the framework established in McDonnell Douglas Corp. v. Green (411 U.S. 792, 802 (1973) [ an enhanced version of this opinion is available to lexis.com subscribers...

McDonnell Douglas Lives! Supreme Court Applies Decades-Old Test to Pregnancy Accommodation Claims

This morning, the U.S. Supreme Court issued one of its most anticipated employment-law rulings of this term, in Young v. United Parcel Service [pdf] [lexis.com subscribers may access Supreme Court briefs and an enhanced opinion for this case]. The case asked under what circumstances an employer must...

"English-Only" Rule Violates NLRA

Check out the opinion in Valley Health System, LLC . An NLRB judge (Administrative Law Judge, or ALJ) held that an employer's "English-only" policy violated the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) [ an enhanced version of this opinion is available to lexis.com subscribers ]. The employer...

Was the Ellen Pao Gender Bias Trial a Wakeup Call or Snooze for Businesses?

I intended to begin the week with a post about a company’s legal obligation to predict — yes, predict — an employee’s mental fitness for duty. Then, I started on a brief tangent on Ellen Pao , the former partner of a Silicon Valley venture capital firm, who just lost a highly...

Are Settlement Attempts Still Required for EEOC Charges?

by Faith Alejandro Should attempts to settle discrimination lawsuits with the EEOC be made in good faith? Employers in Illinois, Wisconsin, and Indiana think so and hope the Supreme Court of the United States will agree. Last month, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in an appeal from a case...

EEOC on Transgender Harassment, Discrimination, and Restrooms

The EEOC issued an important new decision regarding transgender discrimination in Lusardi v. Dept. of Army . The employee transitioned from a man to a woman and explained the transitioning process to (now-) her employer. Rather than allow the employee to use the common women's restroom, the employer...

LGBT Rules for Federal Contractors Now in Effect

If you are a federal contractor or subcontractor, this is big week for you. On April 8, the OFCCP’s Final Rule Implementing Executive Order 13672 Prohibiting Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity by Contractors and Subcontractors took effect. What does this mean for...

One of EEOC’s First Transgender Lawsuits Has Settled

Last September, I posted that the EEOC had filed its first two lawsuits against private employers alleging discrimination based on gender identity . The EEOC announced this week that one of the lawsuits — against Lakeland Eye Clinic of Florida — has settled. The Clinic has agreed to make...