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Showing 66 posts in Title VII.

SCOTUS Decides Title VII Protects LGBTQ+ Workers

In a historic 6-3 decision, the Supreme Court of the United States held that an employer who discriminates against an employee merely for being gay or transgender violates Title VII. 590 U. S. ____ (2020). This landmark decision provides LGBTQ+ employees across the nation protection from termination or other employment discrimination because of their LGBTQ+ status. The Supreme Court's decision resolved three cases: Altitude Express v. Zarda; Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia; and R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes Inc. v. EEOC. Justice Gorsuch delivered the opinion in which Justices Roberts, Ginsberg, Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan joined. Justice Alito filed a dissenting opinion, in which Justice Thomas joined. Justice Kavanaugh also filed a dissenting opinion. More ›

District Court Permits Walmart to "Rollback" Job Offer Because of Undue Hardship from a Religious Accommodation

The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin recently addressed an employer's responsibilities to accommodate an employee's religious beliefs. In EEOC v. Walmart Stores East, LP, the court examined whether Walmart was required to accommodate a candidate for an assistant manager position who informed Walmart—after he received his offer—that he could not work on Saturdays due to his religion. Walmart ultimately withdrew the offer of employment, but offered the employee the opportunity to seek a non-management position as well as the assistance of human resources in his job search. The employee refused Walmart's offer and asserted claims of religious discrimination and retaliation under Title VII. More ›

Federal Court Allows ADEA Disparate Impact Claims over Employer Policies to Proceed

Ever since the Supreme Court's 2005 decision in Smith v. City of Jackson, plaintiff employment lawyers have struggled with how best to assert a viable claim of disparate impact age discrimination. The concept of disparate impact discrimination was recognized by the Supreme Court decades ago in Griggs v. Duke Power, which established that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 made it unlawful—even if facially neutral—for employer practices to have a materially adverse impact on a protected group, unless the neutral practice is supported by business necessity. More ›

New York Passes Significant Amendments to Anti-Harassment and Anti-Discrimination Law

In an effort to align its legislation with the broader standards of the New York City Human Rights Law, New York State recently passed an amended anti-harassment bill which will significantly impact how employers handle harassment claims. Governor Cuomo signed the bill on August 12, 2019. Many of the new provisions, if not already in effect, will be effective within sixty days. All employers will be subjected to the new amendments, regardless of the number of employees. 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 ›

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 ›

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