OWENSBORO, Ky. - Bias based on a worker's sexual orientation is not barred under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 or Kentucky state law, a Kentucky federal judge ruled June 12, citing a 2009 decision by the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (Terry Lindsey v. Management & Training Corporation, No. 17-146, W.D. Ky., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 98001).
DENVER - A district court did not err when it instructed a jury in a Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 retaliation case that the plaintiff must show that retaliatory animus was "the but for cause" for eliminating her position because that instruction is not equivalent to a "sole cause" standard, a 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled June 1 (Mary McDonald v. City of Wichita, Kansas, et al., No. 17-3043, 10th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 14481).
CINCINNATI - A Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on June 1 reinstated national origin and race bias claims by Detroit firefighters against their union as the result of a change in seniority calculation for layoffs, joining the Ninth and Seventh circuits in holding that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 discrimination claims against a union do not require a showing of breach of duty of fair representation (Erick Peeples, et al. v. City of Detroit, Michigan, et al., Nos. 17-1222/1250, 6th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 14486).
ATLANTA - An 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on May 10 reaffirmed the precedent established in Evans v. Ga. Regional Hospital, 850 F.3d 1248, 1255 (11th Cir. 2017), and ruled that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. 2000e et seq., does not cover bias based on sexual orientation (Gerald Lynn Bostock v. Clayton County Board of Commissioners, et al., No. 17-13801, 11th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 12405).
TAMPA, Fla. - A former employee's age discrimination claim is not preempted by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act because the Florida Civil Rights Act provides an independent legal basis for the age discrimination claim, a Florida federal judge said April 20 in denying the defendants' motion to dismiss (John Morton v. Nexagen Networks Inc., et al., No. 18-386, M.D. Fla., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 66521).
DALLAS - A Texas federal judge on Jan. 26 dismissed the remaining discrimination claim in a disability claimant's suit seeking benefits under a short-term disability (STD) plan for breast augmentation surgery to treat the illness of gender dysphoria after determining that the claimant failed to prove that the employer discriminated against her under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act (Charlize Marie Baker v. Aetna Life Insurance Co., et al., No. 15-3679, N.D. Texas; 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 12854).
PHOENIX - Motel 6 Operating L.P. and G6 Hospitality LLC, doing business as Motel 6, maintain a policy of disclosing guest registration information to agents of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) without requiring a warrant or reasonable suspicion of criminal acidity in violation of the U.S. Constitution, federal civil rights statutes and Arizona statutes, several unnamed Latino guests allege in a class complaint filed Jan. 23 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona (Jane V., et al. v. Motel 6 Operating L.P., et al., No. 18-242, D. Ariz.).
PHOENIX - The Geo Group Inc., the operator of the Central Arizona Correction Facility and Arizona State Prison-Florence West Facility in Florence, Ariz., will pay $550,000 and provide other relief to settle sexual harassment and retaliation claims filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Arizona Civil Rights Division of the Attorney General's Office, the EEOC announced Jan. 8 (The State of Arizona, et al. v. The Geo Group, Inc., No. 10-1995, D. Ariz.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Dec. 11 declined to hear an appeal by a former hospital security officer seeking sexual orientation discrimination protection under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Jameka K. Evans v. Georgia Regional Hospital, et al., No. 17-370, U.S. Sup.).
NEW ORLEANS - A landscaping supervisor who alleges that he was terminated after alleging that he was shorted pay failed to show that he engaged in any activities protected by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, a Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Nov. 28, affirming the summary judgment ruling for the employer (Derrick Allen v. Envirogreen Landscape Professionals, Incorporated, No. 16-31247, 5th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 23987).
TOLEDO, Ohio - An Ohio federal judge on Oct. 17 awarded summary judgment to the city of Toledo and several of its police officers on a mother's claims that the officers violated her son's civil rights by getting him killed for being a drug informant, after finding that an expert for the city and police was qualified to testify and his methodology was reliable (Marcia Przybysz v. City of Toledo, et al., No. 3:16-cv-0353, N.D. Ohio, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 171631).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The American Civil Liberties Union filed a class complaint against federal government officials on Oct. 13 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, alleging that unaccompanied immigrant minors, many of whom have been sexually abused or assaulted, are being denied access to abortions in violation of their rights under the First and Fifth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution (Rochelle Garza, et al. v. Eric Hargan, et al., No. 17-2122, D. D.C.).
BOSTON - The First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Oct. 11 upheld findings by a Massachusetts federal judge that a disgruntled civil litigant conveyed a nonexclusive license to the "Ripoff Report" website when he clicked a box acknowledging that a user who posts on the site agrees to give the site's owner an "irrevocable right" to display the posting (Small Justice LLC, et al. v. Xcentric Ventures LLC, Nos. 15-1506, 16-1085, 1st Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 19866).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a memorandum on Oct. 4, withdrawing a December 2014 memorandum that the then-Attorney General Eric Holder had issued, which opined that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 encompasses gender identity per se.
CINCINNATI - U.S. Steel Corp. can't be held vicariously liable for alleged sexual harassment by one male worker toward another male worker because the alleged harasser was not a "supervisor" under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and because it responded appropriately when it was notified of the alleged harassment, a Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Oct. 3 (David Hylko, Jr. v. John Hemphill, et al., No. 16-2414, 6th Cir.).
CHICAGO - A plaintiff must show that a proposed class satisfies the requirements of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23, but does not need to do so "to a degree of absolute certainty," an Illinois federal judge ruled Sept. 28, quoting from Messner v. Northshore Univ. HealthSystem, 669 F.3d 802, 811 (7th Cir. 2012), in his opinion granting class certification to individuals who were arrested by the Chicago Police Department (CPD) and are now suing, alleging that their due process rights were violated when their personal property was seized and sold or destroyed (Blake Conyers, et al. v. City of Chicago, No. 12-6144, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 159666).
ST. LOUIS - An Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Aug. 29 affirmed a Minnesota federal judge's decision that a trades service association has a right to collect fringe benefit contributions due under a collective bargaining agreement (CBA), saying that the Employee Retirement Income Security Act permits a fiduciary of a plan, like the association, to bring a civil action to enforce the obligation arising under a plan or a collectively bargained agreement (Twin City Pipe Trades Service Association, Inc. v. Wenner Quality Services, Inc., No. 16-1791, 8th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 16468).
SEATTLE - An employee of the Idaho Department of Corrections (IDOC) who claims that she was raped by a co-worker may proceed to trial with her Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 hostile work environment claim, a split Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled July 31, partially reversing a trial court's grant of summary judgment to the IDOC (Cynthia Fuller v. Idaho Department of Corrections, et al., No. 14-36110, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 13862).
NEW YORK - The U.S. Department of Justice on July 26 filed an amicus curiae brief in the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on behalf of the United States stating that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does not protect from discrimination based on sexual orientation (Melissa Zarda, co-independent executor of the estate of Donald Zarda, et al. v. Altitude Express, doing business as Skydive Long Island, et al., No. 15-3775, 2nd Cir.).
DETROIT - The Michigan Court of Appeals on July 11 determined that a municipal liability insurer has no duty to defend a police officer against an underlying federal civil rights lawsuit arising from the disappearance and death of the police officer's cousin, reversing a lower court (Timothy Matouk v Michigan Municipal League Liability & Property Pool, No. 332482, Mich. App., 2017 Mich. App. LEXIS 1106).
COLUMBUS, Ohio - A man who claims that J.P. Morgan Chase Co. (JPMC) violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and Ohio Fair Employment Practices Act by denying his request for parental leave on the ground that only women can be primary caregivers for children on June 14 filed a charge asking the Ohio Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to investigate his allegations on a classwide basis.
CHICAGO - A woman suing Chicago police after being wrongly convicted of murdering her young son can present expert testimony that police erred in giving her a lie detector test during a lengthy interrogation and that her responses to the test were truthful, despite the police labeling the test results as "inconclusive," an Illinois federal judge ruled May 31 (Nicole Harris v. City of Chicago, et al., No. 14-4391, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 82698).
AUSTIN, Texas - The Texas Supreme Court on May 26 found that neither an insurer nor its insureds have a unilateral right to specify the format of discovery under Texas Rule of Civil Procedure 196.4, Texas R. Civ. P. 196.4, denying the insurer's request for mandamus relief without prejudice in a dispute over the discovery submission form for electronically stored information (ESI) (In re State Farm Lloyds, Nos. 15-0903 and 15-0905, Texas Sup., 2017 Tex. LEXIS 482).