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Showing 57 posts in Discrimination.

Major League Baseball Umpire Strikes Out in His Assertion of Union Privilege in Discrimination Claim

A Federal District Court in New York recently fielded the issue of whether there is such a thing as a union relations privilege and the extent of that privilege. In Hernandez v. Office of the Commissioner of Baseball (18 Civ.No.35), baseball umpire Angel Hernandez alleged that Major League Baseball (MLB) had discriminated against him with respect to crew chief assignments and post-season umpiring assignments. There was no evidence Hernandez filed a grievance under his collective bargaining agreement regarding his discrimination claim and this was key to MLB's defense. Hernandez asserted union privilege in order to protect any discussions with representatives of the Major League Baseball Umpires Association (the "Union"). A New York District Court Judge, agreeing with the Magistrate Judge's recommendation, determined that under federal common law, any union relations privilege would only cover communications made in the context of representation by a union representative during disciplinary proceedings under a collective bargaining agreement. More ›

Hair Today…Discrimination Tomorrow? California and New York Adopt Hair Style Protections, Others Surely to Follow

On July 3, 2019, California Governor Gavin Newsom approved Senate Bill No. 188 providing legal protection from discrimination in the workplace and in public schools for natural and protective hairstyles historically worn by black people and people of color. This bill expanded the scope of what is considered a protected race category under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act to include traits "historically associated with race, including, but not limited to, hair texture and protective hairstyles." Following California's lead, New York then became the second state to ban discrimination based on natural hairstyles on July 12, 2019, when Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law S.6209A/A.7797A, which amends the Human Rights Law and Dignity for All Students Act. There is now proposed legislation in New Jersey as well, modeled after Senate Bill No. 188. This means employers in other states should take a hard look at their workplace hair and grooming policies to avoid discrimination actions. More ›

Employer Alert: SCOTUS Holds That EEOC Charge Processing Rules can be Waived by a Defendant Since they are not Jurisdictional

On June 3, 2019, the Supreme Court of the United States made a ruling that employers and their legal counsel need to be aware of. In Fort Bend County v. Davis, the Supreme Court ruled that the charge-filing requirements for EEOC discrimination claims filed under Title VII, including that Act's scope of charge and filing rules, are not jurisdictional and instead are claims processing rules which can be waived by a defendant if not timely raised in federal court proceedings. This decision resolves a split among multiple federal Circuit Courts which have confronted the issue. More ›

Hair today...discrimination case tomorrow?

California is well on its way to unanimously becoming the first state to ban discrimination in schools and workplaces based on hair/hairstyles, hair textures, and protective hairstyles such as twists, braids, updos, and wigs. The CROWN (Create a Respectful and Open Workplace for Natural Hair) Act would prohibit employers and schools from enforcing discriminatory grooming, hair keeping policies, or dress codes that could disproportionately affect people of color. Going forward, California employers should look at their related polices to ensure they are non-discriminatory and do not specifically target hairstyles or hair textures of people of color. More ›

Eleventh Circuit Clarifies Legal Standard in Evaluating Similarly Situated Individuals

For years, advocates in the Eleventh Circuit have expressed confusion over the term "similarly situated" when addressing claims of discrimination under the McDonnell Douglas burden-shifting analysis. In a rare move, the Eleventh Circuit sought to clear up "the mess" it had created through prior circuit court decisions. As a result of the Court's findings, employers—particularly those in Alabama, Georgia, and Florida—will have more clarity when evaluating possible discrimination claims. More ›

New York City Adds Layer of Protection for Employee Decisions Concerning "Sexual and Reproductive Health"

The New York City Council signaled its commitment to expanding employee protection when it further amended the New York City Human Rights Law by adding “sexual and reproductive health decisions” to its list of protected classes from discrimination. Under the amended bill, employers with four or more employees are prohibited from discriminating against employment applicants or existing employees based on sexual and reproductive health decisions. The amendment is before Mayor DiBlassio for signature, which is expected. Once signed, it will take effect 120 days thereafter. More ›

The 12 Days of California Labor & Employment Series – Day 11 "More #MeToo and More Lack of Confidentiality"

It's the end of the year and while everyone is busy, employers in California should be aware of new laws and regulations that go into effect on January 1, 2019. In the spirit of the season, we are using the next "12 days of the holidays" to blog about one California law a day and that law's impact on California employers. On the eleventh day of Christmas, my Labor and Employment attorney gave to me—eleven ladies dancing and AB 3109. More ›

Seventh Circuit Rules Termination Based on Political Affiliation Was Lawful

As a result of the 2018 midterms, many public offices will be transitioning from one political party to the other. In a timely decision, the Seventh Circuit recently reaffirmed that government entities have the right to discharge employees for political reasons, including political affiliation, in certain circumstances. More ›

The 12 days of California Labor & Employment Series – Day 10 "Expansion of DLSE Powers"

It's the end of the year and while everyone is busy, employers in California should be aware of new laws and regulations that go into effect on January 1, 2018. In the spirit of the season, we are using the next "12 days of the holidays" to blog about one California law a day and that law's impact on California employers. On the tenth day of Christmas, my Labor and Employment attorney gave to me – ten pipers piping and SB 306. More ›

Baby Bump to Pregnant Employee Rights: Massachusetts Enacts Pregnant Workers Fairness Act

In another effort to take aim at disparate treatment of women in the workforce, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed into law the Massachusetts Pregnant Workers Fairness Act on July 27, 2017. The new law takes effect on April 1, 2018.

The Act requires Massachusetts employers to provide pregnant women and new mothers with "reasonable accommodations" for their pregnancies and any conditions related to their pregnancies. The new Massachusetts law expands existing protections and provides express instructions on the types of accommodations employers are required to provide.  More ›

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