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Showing 62 posts in Title VII.

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 ›

SCOTUS Will Decide Whether Title VII Protects LGBTQ Workers

After considerable anticipation, the U.S. Supreme Court today agreed to hear three cases involving questions of whether Title VII's prohibition against sex discrimination encompasses discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

The first two cases, Altitude Express v. Zarda and Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia, were brought by employees who alleged their employers terminated their employment after learning they were gay. The Court's decision will resolve a widening circuit split over whether Title VII prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. In Altitude Express, the Second Circuit joined the Seventh Circuit in holding it does cover sexual orientation, overturning longstanding precedent in the process. The court reasoned "the most natural reading of the statute's prohibition on discrimination 'because of . . . sex' is that it extends to sexual orientation discrimination because sex is necessarily a factor in sexual orientation." In Bostock, the Eleventh Circuit held it does not, explaining it remained bound by a 1979 case holding "[d]ischarge for homosexuality is not prohibited by Title VII." More ›

Uniform Application of Employment Policies Leads to Positive Outcome in Employee’s Suit

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals recently explained that an employee’s inconvenience from a neutral workplace policy or the employer’s discretionary denial of benefits cannot support a claim under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), Title VII of the Civil Rights Act (“Title VII”), or the Family Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”). More ›

Amendments to Illinois Human Rights Act Allows Claimants to Bypass IDHR and Extend Filing Deadline

Late last month, the Illinois Human Rights Act was amended to provide a new judicial option for complainants and a longer charge filing period. Complainants now have the right to opt out of the Illinois Department of Human Rights ("IDHR") investigative process and request a right to sue. From there, they can take their claims directly into court. The time for filing charges has also been expanded from 180 days to 300 days. These changes align the Illinois Human Rights Act with federal statutes such as Title VII that provide complaining parties both with the right to forego investigation and a longer filing period. More ›

Being Called a Racist Is Not Unlawful Harassment If Comments Are Not Racially Motivated

Employers are equipped and know how to handle complaints of racial discrimination and harassment—or at least should be so prepared. However, facts have a funny way of developing into novel situations. What happens, for instance, if an employee is being called a racist by other employees? More ›

In Florida, One-Event Sexual Advance at a Non-Work Sponsored Party Can Support Sexual Harassment and Retaliation Claims

Florida’s Fourth District Court of Appeal recently decided two questions of first impression under Florida law: (1) whether a one-event sexual advance at a private, non-work sponsored party may support sexual harassment and retaliation claims, and (2) whether rejecting a supervisor’s sexual advance is protected “opposition.” The court answered both questions “yes.” More ›

EEOC Lawsuit Reminds Employers to Accommodate Pregnant Workers As It Does Other Employees

Reminding employers of their obligation to accommodate pregnant employees in the same manner as non-pregnant employees, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently filed a sex discrimination lawsuit against a North Carolina nursing center. The complaint alleges the center violated the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (PDA) when it terminated two nursing assistants because of their pregnancy-related restrictions. In one case, the center placed the nursing assistant on unpaid leave when she asked the center to accommodate a pulling, lifting, and pushing restriction placed on her by her physician, then terminated her employment. The center terminated the second employee for similar reasons. The EEOC alleges the nursing center had the ability to accommodate such restrictions because they accommodated similar restrictions for non-pregnant employees who suffered work injuries.The EEOC is seeking declaratory and compensatory relief, as well as other monetary relief, for the terminated employees. More ›

6th Circuit First Appellate Court to Declare Transgender or Transitioning Status Discrimination is Sex Discrimination Under Title VII

In a milestone decision, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals held discrimination based on an employee’s transgender or transitioning status violates Title VII. In addition, the court held as a matter of law that a religious employer “cannot rely on customers’ presumed biases to establish a substantial burden” under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). Thus, the employer’s sincerely held religious beliefs did not free it from the proscriptions of Title VII. More ›

Second Circuit Declares Sexual Orientation Discrimination is Sex Discrimination under Title VII

Acknowledging the “changing legal landscape” surrounding Title VII protections against discrimination, the Second Circuit overturned prior precedent and held sexual orientation is discrimination because of sex. The Second Circuit, sitting en banc in Zarda v. Altitude Express, Inc., examined the issue “from the perspective of sex stereotyping,” and unequivocally concluded that “sexual orientation discrimination is predicated on assumptions about how persons of a certain sex can or should be,” which is “an impermissible basis for adverse employment actions.” In Zarda, a deceased skydiving instructor was allegedly fired for disclosing his sexual orientation to a client and not conforming to the “straight male macho stereotype.” More ›

Wisconsin Employers: Do Your Job Postings Run Afoul of the Wisconsin Fair Employment Act’s Prohibition Against Conviction Record Discrimination?

Believe it or not, individuals with criminal convictions can make a business out of trolling online job boards for job postings that express an intent to discriminate against applicants with conviction records—think job postings with “no felonies” as a qualification. Postings of this type run afoul of the Wisconsin Fair Employment Act, which prohibits employers (1) from circulating job ads and applications that express an intent to discriminate against applicants with conviction records and (2) from refusing to hire applicants because of their arrest or conviction record (among other types of discrimination directed at individuals with arrest and conviction records). Postings that violate this prohibition can cost your company a whole lot of headache and money. Penalties range from a cease and desist order to job instatement and backpay if the applicant can show he or she would have been hired but for her conviction. More ›

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