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Showing 12 posts in Religious 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 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 ›

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 ›

The EEOC's Battlecry: Cracking down hard on Religious Discrimination

On the heels of the biggest religious discrimination case in years, and in line with the EEOC's "hottest litigation trend" (according to David Lopez, General Counsel of the EEOC, pictured right), the EEOC continued its charge against religious discrimination in the workplace in EEOC v. Star Transport Co., Inc.. Last week, a Northern District of Illinois jury awarded two Muslim truck drivers $240,000 finding Start Transport fired them for refusing to transport alcohol despite their religious beliefs. More ›

“Hair Today? Gone Tomorrow!”: Employers Face Obstacles when it Comes to Enforcing Look Policies

Your author joined the ranks of the bearded in January after six years of daily shaving for the Air Force, skillfully concealing his newfound hirsuteness (look it up) amid the current popularity in facial hair (see: Special Forces members, hipsters, baseball players). For many others, though, beards, uncut hair, or other grooming practices are not personal preferences, but rather religious obligations. On the other hand, many employers wish to convey a certain image to the public or have safety concerns addressed through grooming standards.  More ›

Beware of Dog(ma): Did the Supreme Court just Require Employers to Accommodate Whenever a Request *Might* be due to Religion?

The U.S. Supreme Court has issued its long-awaited decision in the "Looks Policy" case. It's not terribly unexpected, but it is a little scary considering the potential far-reaching effects going forward.  More ›

Abercrombie & Fitch Doesn't look too good to Supreme Court

In a case we discussed earlier, the U.S. Supreme Court did not appear impressed with Abercrombie & Fitch's recent argument that a hijab wearing applicant needed to ask for religious accommodation before they were obliged to grant it to her. News sources have reported that oral argument this past Wednesday seemed to favor Samantha Elauf's right to an accommodation even though the teenage, Muslim job applicant in Tulsa did not explicitly tell Abercrombie & Fitch that she was wearing the black head scarf for religious reasons.   More ›

Employer not Required to Provide Religious Accommodation; Undue Hardship Proven

In what seems to be a rather rare result these days, an employer facing religious discrimination claims actually prevailed on its undue hardship defense!

In Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. JBS USA, LLC, No. 10-318 (Dist. Nebraska, October 11, 2013), though the court found that the refusal to accommodate employees' religious prayer practices constituted religious discrimination, the court found that the employer proved its affirmative defense that it could not accommodate the requests because it would cause undue hardship. More ›

EEOC Fails to Establish Employer’s Alleged Religious Discrimination

An applicant sought a position with a retail clothing company that had a "Look Policy," which required employees to dress in clothing that was consistent with the type of clothing sold in the stores. The policy precluded the wearing of caps, though the term was not defined. If, during the interview process, there is an issue about the application of the Look Policy, or if there's a request for a deviation from the policy due to religious practices, the manager is to contact a supervisor or human resources to determine how to proceed. More ›