Menu

Showing 16 posts in Sex 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 ›

Massachusetts Passes Radical Equal Pay Law

On August 1, 2016, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed An Act to Establish Pay Equity, which as the name aptly suggests, seeks to ensure equal pay for comparable work for all Massachusetts workers and equal opportunity to earn competitive salaries. The Act will take effect on January 1, 2018.

The new law prohibits any wage disparity between genders for “comparable work.” The statute defines “comparable work” as “work that is substantially similar in that it requires substantially similar skill, effort and responsibility, and is performed under similar working conditions; provided, however, that a job title or job description alone shall not determine comparability.” More ›

The Writing is on the Wall, Yet Seventh Circuit Holds Sexual Orientation Is Not a Protected Class Under Title VII

Earlier this week, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals held in Hively v. Ivy Tech Community College that Title VII does not protect employees or offer redress for discrimination based on sexual orientation.  As a result, discrimination against an employee based solely on sexual orientation is not prohibited by federal law, while discrimination against an employee based on gender non-conformity claims is prohibited. More ›

DOL Updates Federal Contractor Regulations Prohibiting Sex Discrimination for First Time Since 1970

On Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Labor announced a final rule to expand sex discrimination guidelines for federal contractors and subcontractors. The final rule updates—for the first time in over 40 years—the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs' sex discrimination regulations to align them with current interpretations of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the realities of today's diverse workforce. 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 ›

New York District Court Holds Sexual Orientation not Protected by Title VII

Last week, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") announced filing its first federal lawsuits against private-sector businesses, challenging sexual orientation discrimination as sex discrimination. Coincidentally, a week later, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York held in Christiansen v. Omnicom Group, Inc. that, although sexual orientation discrimination is "reprehensible," it does not violate Title VII. These cases demonstrate the legal community's struggle in defining and interpreting the law as currently written while, at the same time, attempting to ensure equal protections for gay and lesbian individuals. 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 ›

Eighth Circuit Holds that Supervisor's Bizarre Conduct does not Constitute Discrimination

In Rickard v. Swedish Match North America, Inc., the Eighth Circuit held that a supervisor's allegedly inappropriate behavior did not rise to the level of actionable discrimination based on age and sex. The case reminds us that an employment discrimination plaintiff must do more than simply allege offensive conduct. The alleged actions must be sufficiently serious as to affect the "terms, conditions or privileges" of employment. More ›

Blog Editors