Showing 20 posts in Race Discrimination.

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 ›

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 ›

Supervisor's "Hitler" Comment not Enough to Create Hostile work Environment

Does a single incident create a hostile work environment? Just this month, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit held that one offensive comment was insufficient to create a hostile work environment. More ›

Security Guard Terminated After Incident with Psychiatric Patient Cannot Advance Discrimination Claims

The Sixth Circuit recently upheld a Michigan district court's decision to dismiss a 52-year-old African-American female security guard's age, race, and sex discrimination claims arising from her discharge following an incident with a combative psychiatric patient at the hospital where she worked. More ›

Fifth Circuit: Race Discrimination claim fails Because Bankruptcy Trustee is not “Employer”

An African-American woman was employed with the office of the Chapter 13 standing trustee for the Western District of Louisiana for 14 years. For the last several years, she served as the office manager. A new trustee came on board in 2008. She and the trustee did not get along, frequently getting into disagreements. Ultimately, after a peer review process, it was recommended that the employee be terminated. When she was replaced by a Caucasian woman, the employee claimed that the Caucasian woman was less qualified than she.

The employee filed suit against the trustee claiming that she was terminated due to her race in violation of the Louisiana Employment Discrimination Law. After various removal issues, the case ended up in federal district court, which granted summary judgment in favor of the trustee, finding that he was not an "employer" under state law. The employee appealed. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit affirmed, finding that to qualify as an "employer" under the state statutes, the trustee would have to employ twenty or more employees for twenty or more weeks. The court rejected the employee's assertion that the trustee was part of the larger association of the Chapter 13 system (which employed over 125 employees in the state of Louisiana) because the employee provided no authority or evidence for this position.

For more information read Bell v. Thornburg, No. 13-30155 (5th Cir. December 30, 2013).

Sixth Circuit: Employee Fails to Establish race Discrimination based on Having Biracial Children

An employee was terminated after her employer conducted an investigation which ultimately revealed that she was stealing hydrocodone pills from the employer’s pharmacy. As a result of the investigation, the employer contacted the local police and provided them with information that ultimately led to the arrest of the employee. The employee then filed suit against her employer, claiming that the employer was deliberately misleading and malicious in providing information to the police which led to her arrest. The employee claimed that her termination was actually because of her race, and more specifically, based on her having biracial children. She also claimed that she was retaliated against for her complaints about unlawful race discrimination. The employee alleged that the employer’s actions violated the state of Michigan’s Elliot-Larsen Civil Rights Act and common law, and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended. More ›

Seventh Circuit Upholds Decision in Favor of Employer in Race Discrimination Case

Two African-American nurses filed a complaint against their hospital-employer alleging that the hospital had discriminated against them on the basis of race and retaliated against them for their complaints about racial discrimination in violation of Title VII. Throughout their employment, both nurses complained about their working conditions. They alleged their supervisors failed to make the changes that they recommended and treated them less favorably due to their race. The nurses also alleged that they were retaliated against due to their complaints of race discrimination. More ›

Compensation System Found to be Race-Neutral and not in Violation of Title VII

A group of brokers filed suit against their employer firm claiming race discrimination under Title VII and 42 U.S.C. §1981 on the grounds that the firm’s “teaming” and account-distribution policies prevented black brokers from obtaining lucrative assignments and earning greater compensation. Thereafter, the firm was acquired by a bank, and the companies commenced a “retention-incentive program” which was designed to compensate brokers based upon their previous levels of production. A second lawsuit was filed against both the bank and the firm, alleging that the new program was similarly violative of Title VII because the new plan incorporated policies which were derivative of the prior firm’s discriminatory practices. More ›

Blog Editors