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Showing 47 posts in Discrimination.

Seventh Circuit Opinion Highlights Importance of Proactively Addressing and Documenting Employee Performance

Every employer has faced the unfortunate experience of hiring an employee whose performance fell well below expectation. As highlighted in the Seventh Circuit’s recent Ferrill v. Oak Creek-Franklin Joint School District decision, employers faced with poor performing employees should carefully address and document such shortcomings to ward off potential Title VII charges. More ›

The Second Circuit Gives Ex-Cons’ Wrongful Termination Suit A Second Chance

On May 31, 2017, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit gave two Ex-Cons a second chance at pursuing their wrongful termination suit against their employer’s client, after New York’s highest court weighed in, advising that out-of-state entities that aid or abet employment discrimination against individuals with criminal convictions may be liable under New York State Human Rights Law (“NYSHRL”). More ›

May Employers Weed Out Medical Marijuana Patients Through Drug Testing? Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Will Weigh In

The ever-changing landscape of medical marijuana laws in states across the nation has given rise to several lawsuits regarding an employer’s right to enforce anti-drug policies against employees who hold valid state-issued medical marijuana licenses. As the Employment Law Observer has previously reported, the Colorado Supreme Court and a federal district court in New Mexico previously held that these states’ medical marijuana laws do not impose any duty on employers to accommodate medical marijuana use. The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court is set to weigh in on the issue next. More ›

The Seventh Circuit Clarifies Evidentiary Standards in Employment Discrimination Cases

In Ortiz v. Werner Enterprises, Inc., the Seventh Circuit stated in very clear terms that lower courts and parties to discrimination actions should not divide evidence into direct and circumstantial buckets under the familiar direct and indirect methods of proving discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The Court’s instruction should apply with equal force to claims brought under the Age Discrimination and Employment Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act. More ›

SCOTUS Aligns Application of Statute of Limitations in Constructive Discharge and Actual Discharge Cases

The U.S. Supreme Court held in Green v. Brennan that the statute of limitations for a constructive discharge begins to run on the date of resignation, not the date of the employer’s last discriminatory act, resolving a circuit split. As a result, in determining the deadline for filing a charge of discrimination with the EEOC, constructive discharge cases will be treated the same way as actual discharge cases. More ›

Where Do I Pee? “The Bathroom Corresponding to Your Gender Identity Says the EEOC

Bathroom use by transgender individuals is today’s hot-button civil rights issue. The often strong and disparate opinions about the subject creates a conundrum for employers: How do we make everyone comfortable while ensuring a safe and inclusive environment? And how do we do that without violating the law? More ›

NY Transit Agencies Escape Vicarious Liability for Contractors Alleged Discrimination

It is not uncommon for companies to contract their daily business operations to third-party companies. In Motta et al v. Global Contact Services, Inc., the court addressed whether such relationships relieve the outsourcing company of any duties to address discrimination or harassment in the workplace. More ›

EEOC’s Updated Retaliation Enforcement Guidance Seeks to Expand the Reach of its Anti-Retaliation Laws

Effectively responding to employee discrimination complaints by current employees without running afoul of federal and state anti-retaliation laws presents a slippery slope for all employers. In fact, retaliation complaints make up nearly half of all discrimination charges filed with the EEOC today. Thus, it is critical that employers, their managers, supervisors, and employees understand who the laws protect and what constitutes retaliation.

On Thursday the EEOC sought to clarify these standards by issuing updated proposed enforcement guidance. The proposal is the first update to the EEOC’s Compliance Manual since 1998. The proposal was prompted by significant developments in the law and the marked increase of retaliation claims over the last eighteen years.

The 76-page proposal covers the definition of retaliation, the elements of a retaliation claim, interference claims under the Americans with Disabilities Act, remedies, and best practices.  Rather than summarize all of the above, I will highlight the most significant developments below. More ›

Seventh Circuit Reiterates Standard for Establishing Substantial Limitation on the Ability to Work

It goes without saying that an employee cannot prevail on a disability discrimination claim unless he is actually disabled. In the context of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), this means that he must show that a disability “substantially limits” one or more of his “major life activities.”  Predictably, plaintiffs often allege that the “major life activity” that their disability has impacted is the activity of “working." Thus, an important question for employers is this: when does a disability actually limit an employee’s ability to work? More ›

EEOC Clarifies when Employers may Offer Incentives to Employee's Spouses to Provide Genetic Information

Earlier this year, this blog brought you a look at proposed rules by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) that provided some guidance on how to administer a voluntary employee wellness program without running afoul of the Americans with Disabilities Act. 

Yet, one question remained open for years and was not clarified by those proposed rules — how the EEOC would handle employers offering incentives allowing them to collect certain genetic information of employees' spouses in connection with employer wellness programs. Recently proposed rules seek to clarify that issue. More ›

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