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Second Circuit Finds EEOC Investigation Not Subject to Review

Recently, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit held in the matter of Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) v. Sterling Jewelers Inc. (“Sterling Jewelers”), that the District Court erred by...more

Connecticut Supreme Court Expands Protection for Would-Be Whistleblowers

Connecticut whistleblowers were handed a siren to sound the alarm on employers this week. In interpreting the state constitution in Trusz v. UBS Realty Investors, LLC, SC 19323 (Conn. Sup. Ct., official release Oct. 13,...more

A Friendly Reminder from the EEOC—Don’t Toss Your Unselected Candidates’ Applications Just Yet

The EEOC recently filed suit against Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Mobile, asserting sex discrimination in violation of Title VII’s record retention provisions. The complaint alleges that Martina Owes applied in June 2010 for...more

Making Bad Choices: Title IX, Title VII and Ludlow V. Northwestern University

A prior post considered the case of Ha v. Northwestern University, in which the plaintiff claimed that Northwestern had violated Title IX by insufficiently disciplining one of its professors, Peter Ludlow, despite concluding...more

Court Allows EEOC’s Discrimination Suit Over Religious Garb To Proceed To Jury

In an order recently issued in EEOC v Jetstream Ground Services, Inc., Case No. 13-CV-02340 (D. Colo. Sept. 29, 2015), Judge Christine Arguello of the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado ruled that the EEOC had...more

California Governor Signs Strictest Equal Pay Law in U.S.

Yesterday, October 6, California Governor Jerry Brown signed the California Fair Pay Act, which media observers have called the nation’s most aggressive equal pay law. The Fair Pay Act will be effective January 1, 2016 for...more

Cat’s Paw, Part II: “Termination Review” by Independent Decision Makers Can Break the Causal Chain

Last week, we wrote about the “Cat’s Paw” theory of liability —where a person is used unwittingly to accomplish another person’s discriminatory purpose in the workplace. A common example would be when a racist employee...more

Commission Federal Sector Appellate Decisions to Use Randomly Generated Names

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) today announced a change in the Commission's practices with respect to federal sector appellate decision captions. Beginning on Oct. 1, 2015, all...more

U.S. Supreme Court Allows Disparate-Impact Claims Under Fair Housing Act

In a recent holding, the U.S. Supreme Court determined that discrimination claims under the Fair Housing Act (FHA) may be premised on "disparate impact," meaning that a plaintiff may challenge a practice even if it was not...more

ADA Suit Not Precluded By State Agency Decision

A district court improperly granted summary judgment to an employer defending against a claim of disability discrimination where the district court relied too heavily on the state agency’s finding that an employee failed to...more

Groundhog Day In September – Another Repeat Of The EEOC Fiscal Year-End Lawsuit Filing Frenzy

As the clock ticked down on the EEOC’s fiscal year (which ended on September 30), we are struck once again by the eerily consistent trend in the agency’s federal court filing trends. Employers around the country are seemingly...more

EEOC to Pay One Mmmillion Dollars

In EEOC v. Global Horizons, Inc. et al., No. CV-11-3045-EFS (E.D. Wash.), the court determined that the EEOC had conducted a shoddy administrative investigation and lacked a factual basis to pursue its theory of...more

Supreme Court Decision May Make It Easier for Borrowers to Sue for Discrimination

A recent decision of the Supreme Court of the United States may make it easier for borrowers to claim discrimination when denied a loan. In late June 2015, the Court addressed whether lawsuits brought under the Fair Housing...more

What Should Employers Expect During The New Supreme Court Term?

The first Monday in October is the traditional first day of a new U.S. Supreme Court term.  As always, the 2015-16 term will have several cases that are of particular interest to the nation’s employers.  Here is a review of...more

Court Says There is no Private Cause of Action to Create an SEC Whistleblower Award

AgFeed Industries, Inc.’s accounting irregularities culminated in a March 2014 enforcement action brought against AgFeed by the SEC. The enforcement action yielded an $18 million disgorgement penalty, referred to as the...more

Curing Cat’s-Paw

In a Title VII retaliation claim, a plaintiff has to prove protected conduct was the “but-for” cause of the materially adverse action. Can a plaintiff prove “but-for” causation relying on the supposed retaliatory animus of...more

“Cat’s Paw” – Or Perhaps “Tiger’s Paw” Theory Now

For those interested in the origin, the term “cat’s paw” derives from a fable of a monkey who employs flattery to convince a cat to pull chestnuts out of a fire. Today the term commonly refers to a person used unwittingly or...more

Supreme Court Ruling Endangers Ignorance Defense

Until now, job application and interview questions that reveal applicants’ protected characteristics have been strongly discouraged. In an economy where dozens of people apply for a vacant job posting, knowing too much about...more

OFCCP Launches Class Member Locator Website, Disclosing Conciliation Agreements

Today, the Office of Federal Contract and Compliance Programs (OFCCP), launched its “Class Member Locator,” a website designed to help the agency “identify protected class members” that may have been affected by illegal...more

EEOC Wins Most Of Discovery Dispute In Transgender Case

In July, I posted about a discovery dispute in the transgender lawsuit going on in the Detroit area. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has sued a funeral home for discriminating against Aimee Stephens, a transgender...more

District Court for the EDNY Denies Motion to Dismiss Selective Enforcement Gender Discrimination and Retaliation Claims Related to...

In Visecchia v. Alrose Allegria LLC, a recent decision from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, the court granted in part and denied in part a motion to dismiss claims of gender...more

The Second Circuit (Sort of) and the Fourth Circuit (Completely) Refuse to Apply “Manager Rule” to Title VII Retaliation Claims

The so-called “manager rule” addresses a concern that employers may face a “litigation minefield” if a manager whose very job duties required them to report discrimination complaints could later sue for retaliation if they...more

Eleventh Circuit Allows Miami’s Claims under the Fair Housing Act to Move Forward

The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals recently reversed a lower court ruling that dismissed discriminatory lending claims against Wells Fargo & Co., Bank of America Corp. and Citigroup Inc., all brought by the City of Miami....more

Light Duty Takes Hard Hit

Many employers have what they call “light duty” policies whereby they allow employees to continue working even though the employees are unable to perform some of the essential functions of their jobs. Very few employers can...more

Can I ask an employee to stop talking about a harassment claim at work?

One of our employees filed a sexual harassment claim with HR. We conducted an investigation but found no evidence to support her claim. The employee continues to discuss the situation with coworkers, and it’s becoming...more

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