Civil Procedure Civil Rights

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Judge seals transcript of Title IX hearing

A federal judge in North Carolina sealed a transcript of a University of North Carolina (UNC) hearing to determine whether the plaintiff was responsible for committing sexual acts without consent. In the case in question, the...more

Unpaid Volunteers Are Not “Employees”, Says Court

The CHRO is no stranger to taking aggressive positions in the court system. So, it can really be no surprise that the agency wanted to expand who is covered by the state’s anti-discrimination laws....more

Anne Littlefield Quoted in Special Ed Connection Article, “Use Caution When Shortening Student’s School Day to Address Behavior”

A public charter school student with autism and an emotional disturbance is suspended frequently over the course of a school year, with 10 days of removals in total. In an effort to address his behavioral issues, which...more

Changes to North Carolina's HB2 Restore Employee Right File a Discrimination Suit in State Court

North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory signed into law House Bill 169 on July 18, 2016. The new law restores a North Carolina employee’s right to file a wrongful termination claim in North Carolina state court based on certain...more

New Jersey Supreme Court Broadly Defines “Marital Status” Discrimination

The New Jersey Supreme Court recently interpreted the state’s antidiscrimination law in an expansive manner, concluding that a broad spectrum of individuals can file suit and claim that their employers unfairly discriminated...more

When is Aberrant Workplace Behavior Sufficient to Justify Termination?

Aberrant workplace behavior caused by stress or a psychological condition is not uncommon. However, such behavior can also cause employers to become anxious regarding how to lawfully deal with the disruption and its effect on...more

California Federal Court Reminds Employers That They Must Carefully Navigate Disability Accommodation Process

The obligation to accommodate a disabled employee is an ongoing one; a doctor’s note may not be a prerequisite to engage in the interactive process – those are two important lessons that employers should take away from a...more

Employment Law - July 2016

Patchwork Expands as More Cities Adopt Paid Sick Leave - Why it matters - Following the recent example of Los Angeles and adding to the current patchwork of jurisdictions providing paid sick leave across the...more

ADA Allows Employer to Reduce Employee to Part-Time Status After Return From Medical Leave

Here is a common human resource scenario: An employee goes out of work on medical leave. While she is away from work, the managers or co-workers who cover her duties discover that the work can be readily accomplished without...more

Court of Appeals Hears National Federation of the Blind’s Challenge to DOT Rule Regarding Blind-Accessible Kiosks at Domestic...

On June 29, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit heard the National Federation of the Blind’s (NFB) challenge to a Department of Transportation (DOT) Final Rule regarding air carriers’ duty to...more

Natasha Baker Breaks Down Fisher II on Law360

On June 23, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its long-awaited decision in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin (Case No. 14–981)(Fisher II), ending nearly eight years of litigation involving UT’s use of race as a factor...more

Quirky Question #284: If a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it, can you still unlawfully retaliate against it?

Question: One of our male supervisors wants to fire a female employee who complained that he was sexually harassing her. The harassment allegations appear to have some substance: he asked her for pictures of herself in a...more

California Employment Law Notes - July 2016

Employer Is Entitled To Recover $4 Million In Attorney's Fees From EEOC - CRST Van Expedited, Inc. v. EEOC, 578 U.S. ___, 136 S. Ct. 1642 (2016) - The EEOC filed suit against CRST (a trucking company) alleging...more

Lessons From Fisher V. University Of Texas

By now, nearly everyone in higher education knows that the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the University of Texas's race-conscious admissions policy, turning back an effort to derail affirmative action. But the Court's ruling in...more

Fifth Circuit Says Texas May Challenge EEOC Criminal Background Check Guidance

In 2012, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued an Enforcement Guidance stating when employers’ use of criminal background checks to exclude applicants from jobs violates Title VII. The Guidance states the EEOC’s...more

Socially Aware: The Social Media Law Update Volume 7, Issue 4

Mixed Messages: Courts Grapple With Emoticons and Emoji - Emoticon and emoji are ubiquitous in online and mobile communications; according to one study, 74 percent of Americans use emoticons, emoji and similar images...more

The First Appellate District Confirms that the Attorney-Client Privilege and the Attorney Work Product Doctrine Apply to...

In City of Petaluma, the former employee filed a charge with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) alleging sexual harassment and retaliation during her employment with the City of Petaluma (“City”). The...more

HospitalityStaff Sued by EEOC for Religious Discrimination

Orlando Staffing Company Fired Rastafarian Employee Because of His Dreadlocks, Federal Agency Charges - ORLANDO, Fla. - An Orlando staffing company dedicated to Central Florida's massive hospitality industry violated...more

OSHA Hits Employer with Hefty Fine for Failing to Protect Employee from Assault by Client

A national home health care provider, doing business in York Pennsylvania as Epic Health Services, was recently issued a citation and significant fine by The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in connection...more

Personnel Investigation By Outside Attorney Protected From Disclosure In Discovery

Seyfarth Synopsis: California Court of Appeal holds that (1) an outside attorney’s investigation can be privileged even though the attorney simply investigated facts, and (2) the employer does not waive the privilege simply...more

CFPB and DOJ settle fair lending claims involving allegations of redlining, discretionary underwriting and pricing, and overt...

The CFPB and DOJ recently announced a proposed consent order with BancorpSouth Bank to settle charges that the bank’s mortgage lending practices violated the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act....more

Employment Law Letter - Summer 2016

Last year the General Assembly enacted legislation prohibiting all public and private sector employers from disciplining an employee for “discussing the amount of his or her wages [or] inquiring about the wages of another...more

SCOTUS Agrees to Review City of Miami Fair Housing Claim

The Supreme Court has agreed to review a discriminatory lending case brought by the City of Miami against Wells Fargo & Co. and Bank of America Corp. At issue is whether a city government is permitted to bring a suit seeking...more

No Texas Hold ‘Em: Fifth Circuit Allows Texas to Challenge the EEOC Enforcement Guidance

A somewhat surprising decision in favor of the State of Texas was handed down from the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals on June 27, 2016, which held that (i) Texas had standing to challenge the Equal Employment Opportunity...more

Court of Appeal Upholds Law Society of Upper Canada’s Decision to Not Accredit Proposed Law School

Religious freedom versus equality rights: how do we balance competing rights under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (Charter)? The Ontario Court of Appeal (Court) shed light on the issue last week when it upheld...more

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