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Showing 53 posts in Discrimination.

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 ›

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 ›

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