Robin E. Shea

Robin E. Shea

Constangy, Brooks, Smith & Prophete, LLP

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5 Things I Don’t Like About The EEOC’s “Pay Survey” Proposal

The proposal was announced by President Obama in a White House ceremony last week celebrating the seventh anniversary of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. The proposal could certainly have been worse. The EEOC would...more

2/5/2016 - Corporate Counsel EEO-1 EEOC OFCCP Pay Discrimination Pay Gap Title VII

EEOC Retaliation Guidance, Part 2: Was Your Employment Action “Adverse”?

What’s a “materially adverse employment action”? This is the second part in what should be a three-part series (it’s possible that we’ll need four) on the proposed Enforcement Guidance on Retaliation and Related Issues...more

2/5/2016 - Adverse Employment Action EEOC Enforcement Guidance Protected Activity Retaliation

Friendly Reminder: Reverse Discrimination Is Against The Law, Too

Pretty obvious, but a decision issued this week serves as a good reminder to employers that all race discrimination is illegal, whether it’s against members of minority groups or whether it’s against Caucasians. A...more

2/5/2016 - Construction Industry Reverse Discrimination Summary Judgment

Is Your Pay Equity Up To Snuff? EEOC Plans To Start Collecting Pay Data, And Using It

On the seventh anniversary of President Obama's signing into law the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, the President announced that not enough progress has been made to ensure that women and men are paid equally. In a...more

2/2/2016 - EEOC Equal Pay Fair Pay Act Federal Contractors OFCCP

EEOC Retaliation Guidance, Part 1: You Gotta Be “Protected”!

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued last week a proposed Enforcement Guidance on Retaliation and Related Issues that would update guidance issued in 1998. If you’re an in-house attorney or a Human Resources...more

1/29/2016 - Adverse Employment Action EEOC Enforcement Guidance Protected Activity Retaliation

Struggling As A Lawyer? Then Be More Like A Stripper! Yeah, That’s The Ticket.

Above The Law is, for the most part, a trash legal-gossip blog with the funniest, nastiest bunch of commenters anywhere. I read the comments it every business day. But whatever you do, be careful if you read it for the...more

1/23/2016 - Professional Responsibility Young Lawyers

Transgender Roadmap: 10 Steps The EEOC Thinks Employers Should Take

Law360 reported yesterday morning that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission settled a transgender discrimination and harassment lawsuit (not our Detroit-area funeral home case). Although the employer entered into the...more

1/23/2016 - Anti-Discrimination Policies Anti-Harassment Policies EEOC Employee Training Employer Group Health Plans Popular Transgender

Unequal Pay Causes Mental Illness? Let’s Not Jump To Conclusions.

Did you know that unequal pay causes depression and anxiety? Neither do I. A recent study has received a lot of publicity after it found a correlation between relatively low pay and rates of clinical depression and...more

1/19/2016 - Equal Pay Gender-Based Pay Discrimination Mental Illness Wage and Hour

BREAKING: Transgender Claim Will Go To Jury

Last year, Tommy Eden had a post about a gender identity lawsuit in which an employer in Georgia actually won summary judgment. A reader alerted me last night that a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit...more

1/15/2016 - Employment Discrimination Gender Identity Hiring & Firing Summary Judgment Transgender

Did Bill Clinton “Sexually Harass” Monica Lewinsky? Uh, No.

If you’re following the 2016 presidential elections at all, you know that Hillary Clinton’s political opponents are trying to attack her by making an issue of Bill’s sexual misconduct. One of the things being said by some of...more

1/12/2016 - Hillary Clinton Political Candidates President Clinton Sexual Harassment

Why The EEOC Believes Title VII Bans Sexual Orientation Bias

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a “friend of the court” brief in a sexual orientation discrimination appeal, arguing that sexual orientation discrimination is “sex discrimination” prohibited by Title VII....more

1/9/2016 - Associational Retaliation Corporate Counsel EEOC Sex Discrimination Sexual Orientation Discrimination Title VII

T.J. Simers $7.1 Million Discrimination Verdict: Easy Come, Easy Go?

Former sports columnist T.J. Simers sued the Los Angeles Times for age and disability discrimination, among other things, when he quit his job in 2013. The Times had allegedly demoted him (although with no cut in his salary...more

1/7/2016 - Age Discrimination Appeals Constructive Discharge Disability Discrimination LA Times Vacated

Have Yourself An Inclusive Little Christmas . . .

Last week, a high school principal in Bangor, Maine, banned a math teacher from having a little pink Christmas holiday Hello Kitty tree in her classroom for the holidays. She says she was told it was too “religious,” although...more

12/23/2015 - Holidays Religious Discrimination Religious Displays

Who Was Naughty, And Who Was Nice In Employment Law This Year

The National Labor Relations Board, for being naughty in too many ways to mention. Its rules on employer handbook policies, including confidentiality and social media, are unrealistic and almost impossible for employers to...more

12/23/2015 - DOL EEOC Job Applicants NLRB OSHA Over-Time Paternity Pregnancy Discrimination Reasonable Accommodation Religious Discrimination Sanctions SCOTUS Summary Judgment Wellness Programs

When A Customer Harasses Your Employee – What Should You Do?

As an employer, what do you do when one of your employees reports being sexually harassed by a vendor? Easy, right? You call the vendor’s boss and say, “If you want to continue doing business with us, then you will not...more

12/18/2015 - Costco EEOC Harassment Termination Third-Party Risk

Male Minister Who Won’t Wear Makeup Sues For Religious Bias

Boy, the Detroit area seems to be in the front lines for the gender-identity wars. As I’ve previously reported here, here, here, and here, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has a high-profile...more

12/17/2015 - Bias Demotions Disparate Impact EEOC Gender Identity Religious Discrimination

Despite “Legal Pot” Laws, Employers Still Hanging Tough

The Society for Human Resources Management just came out with a survey of employer marijuana policies in states that have legalized it in some degree. Here are some highlights from the SHRM study...more

12/17/2015 - Employment Policies Marijuana Medical Marijuana

Trojan Travails: Coach Sarkisian’s Alcoholism-Discrimination Lawsuit Against USC

Readers have been clamoring for my take on the alcoholism-discrimination lawsuit filed by Steve Sarkisian against the University of Southern California. Actually, I got one email from a reader, who had a better take on...more

12/14/2015 - ADA Coaches Disability Discrimination Drug & Alcohol Abuse FEHA Hiring & Firing Interactive Process Reasonable Accommodation University of Southern California (USC)

As The Rotunda Turns . . . Affair, Coverup, Retaliation — And Lawsuit Against State House

You may have heard about the two Tea Party legislators in Michigan who were having an affair, engaged in a bizarre cover-up that failed, had to resign/were expelled, and then lost their election bids to get their seats back....more

12/14/2015 - Defamation Free Speech Hiring & Firing Political Scandals Retaliation Whistleblower Protection Policies Wrongful Termination

Supreme Court To Review CRST Attorneys’ Fee Award Against EEOC

The U.S. Supreme Court agreed last Friday to review a decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, which vacated a multi-million attorneys’ fee award for trucking company CRST Van Expedited, Inc. The Equal...more

12/10/2015 - Attorney's Fees Class Action Conciliation Corporate Counsel Dismissals EEOC Mach Mining v EEOC SCOTUS Sexual Harassment

It’s The 2015 Workplace Holiday Party Quiz!

Chanukah starts at sundown this Sunday, and Christmas is only three short weeks away. Can you throw a workplace holiday party that won’t result in a lawsuit? It has been ages since we’ve had a quiz. Let’s do it!...more

12/7/2015 - Employer Liability Issues Holiday Parties

EEOC Provides ADA Guidance For Employees’ Doctors

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission came out this week with some guidance about the rights of individuals with AIDS and HIV. The guidance is unremarkable for anyone who is familiar with the Americans with Disabilities...more

12/4/2015 - ADA EEOC Health Care Providers New Guidance Popular

A Cornucopia Of Wellness Information For Employers!

Earlier this month, I had a relatively short post on the proposed rule on wellness incentives and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act issued by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. I also promised a more...more

11/27/2015 - ADA EEOC GINA HIPAA Wellness Programs

Be Thankful You’re Not An Employment Law Turkey

Well, it’s that time of year again – what are you thankful for? Here are some Human Resources and employment law matters for which I am thankful. Please feel free to add your own in the comments....more

11/27/2015 - Discrimination Hiring & Firing Sexual Harassment Termination Wrongful Termination

The EEOC And Wellness Programs: The Other Shoe Drops! (But It's Not That Bad)

Recently, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued a proposed rule on employer wellness programs and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act. The GINA proposal accompanies a proposed rule on employer wellness...more

11/25/2015 - ADA Affordable Care Act EEOC GINA HIPAA Popular Wellness Programs

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