Tag Archives: Discrimination

How Will the EEOC Change Under the Trump Administration?

EEOC Developments
Employers, human resource professionals, and employment attorneys all have the same burning question on their minds – what is the Trump administration’s Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), with newly appointed Acting Chair Victoria A. Lipnic, going to do? An important part of this conversation is understanding the ways in which the EEOC is able to … Continue reading this entry

EEOC Issues New Harassment Guidance

discrimination
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently issued proposed guidance crystallizing the agency’s expectation that employers be proactive in eliminating workplace harassment.  The Proposed Enforcement Guidance on Unlawful Harassment, which was published on January 10th, requires that employers implement programs to combat “known or obvious risks of harassment,” and states that a failure to do … Continue reading this entry

Mandatory Flu Vaccinations? Immunize Yourself Against Religious Discrimination Claims

Discrimination
You are an HR generalist at a 300-bed community hospital. Your boss has instructed you to make sure that all personnel files document that the employee received the hospital’s annual mandatory flu vaccination. However, you notice that seven employees still have not gotten their vaccinations, two weeks after the deadline. When you email them to … Continue reading this entry

Seventh Circuit Could Up-End Approach to Sexual Orientation Discrimination

EEOC Developments
On November 30, 2016, all of the judges of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals (covering Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin) reheard a case that could change the way federal courts treat sexual orientation-based discrimination claims. As is typical for the federal appeals courts, the case (Hivey v. Ivy Tech Community College) had already been decided … Continue reading this entry

Limit Your Pre-Employment Inquiries to Job-Related Questions

Biometric data
As most employers know, it is unlawful to ask an employment or promotion candidate questions which reflect bias based on race, color, age, gender, religion, or any other protected status. For example, a candidate cannot be asked about their race, age/date of birth, religion, marital status, pregnancy, children, or plans for a family. Hiring decisions … Continue reading this entry

EEOC Issues New Retaliation Guidance

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For the first time since 1998, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has issued new enforcement guidance on retaliation. Retaliation claims have been a growth industry over the last 18 years. Back in 1998 retaliation claims constituted 24 percent of all EEOC claims, behind both race and sex charges. Since then, however, retaliation has become … Continue reading this entry

Watch Out for the Cat’s Paw - Employers May Be Accountable for Low-Level Employee Actions

discrimination
In the world of employment law, there is something called the “Cat’s Paw” theory of liability. The name comes from a fable dating back to the 17th century in which a clever monkey persuades a naïve cat to pull roasting chestnuts from a fire for the pair to eat. However, as the cat removes the … Continue reading this entry

Expanding the Timer: Supreme Court Gives Employees More Time to File Claims

discrimination
They say that timing is everything — or at least now it is for so-called “constructive discharge” claims. Last month, the United States Supreme Court, in a 7-1 decision, solidified the rule that the time within which an employee can file such a claim against his or her employer starts with the employee’s resignation from … Continue reading this entry

EEOC Must Conciliate, But Still Few Answers Regarding Routine Separation Agreement Provisions

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In February 2014, the EEOC sent waves through employer communities when it filed a lawsuit against a national retail pharmacy contending some of the company’s separation agreement provisions — which many considered “standard” and largely unremarkable — interfered with employee rights under Title VII and therefore violated the civil rights law. In October 2014, however, the … Continue reading this entry

"Fair Is Foul and Foul Is Fair" - NYC Employers Gird for Fair Chance Act

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Things or people are not as they always appear to be. That message pervades not only Shakespeare’s Macbeth but also New York City’s Fair Chance Act (FCA), which is scheduled to go into effect next week (on October 27) and is designed to promote the hiring of individuals who have prior criminal convictions. To that end, … Continue reading this entry

Take Care to Avoid Reverse Discrimination Claims

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Most discrimination cases involve claims that an employer discriminated against a minority employee on account of race, against a foreign employee based on national origin, or against a woman on account of gender. A recent case from the Second Circuit Court of Appeals (covering New York, Connecticut and Vermont) is a good reminder, however, that discrimination … Continue reading this entry

Court Holds That Employer Meeting to Discuss Ideas for Retirement Packages Does Not Constitute Evidence of Discrimination

When an employer meets with an employee to solicit opinions from retirement-age employees as to ideas for retirement packages the meeting itself does not constitute evidence of age discrimination, a court recently held. In McWhorter v. Maynard, Inc. (W.D. Ark. July 19, 2011), the former employee alleged violations of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act … Continue reading this entry

The "R" Word: Are You Taking Steps to Avoid Future Retaliation Claims?

A recent case illustrates the importance of taking steps to protect your company from potential retaliation claims. Ms. Danielle L. Pickett, a former employee and a housekeeper at a nursing home, claimed that she had been fired in retaliation for repeatedly complaining about being sexually harassed by nursing home residents. Shortly after complaining about being “cornered … Continue reading this entry