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Prevailing FEHA Defendant Not Entitled To Litigation Costs Unless Plaintiff’s Lawsuit Lacked Objective Basis

The California Supreme Court in Williams v. Chino Valley Independent Fire District affirmed the asymmetrical nature of litigation costs awards in discrimination lawsuits under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act...more

Emergence of Transgender Status Issues in Workplace Raises Compliance Questions for Employers

Transgender issues have been grabbing headlines in recent months—perhaps most notably with Bruce Jenner’s televised announcement about his gender transition. Beyond the bright lights of pop culture, a wave of litigation and...more

What is Retaliation in the Second Circuit Under the FLSA?

On April 20, 2015, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit reversed a long-standing precedent when it held in Greathouse v. JHS Security Inc., that an internal oral complaint could be sufficient to...more

Navigating complex post-pregnancy leave and restrictions

When Congress passed the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA), the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Family and Medial Leave Act (FMLA), it considered them as needed protections for clear-cut situations. For...more

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - May 2015

Editor's Overview - This month we focus on the EEOC's proposed rules concerning wellness programs. As our colleague, Amy Covert, discusses, a recent change of position by the EEOC provides employers with opportunities...more

Complaining to the Boss? The Second Circuit Says That’s Protected

In 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court held in Kasten v. Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics Corporation that oral complaints are protected by anti-relation provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), but it did not address a...more

LinkedIn Reference Search Not Subject To Fair Credit Reporting Act

Finding that LinkedIn’s “Reference Search” function was not subject to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), a Northern California federal district court dismissed a putative class action filed on behalf of job applicants who...more

Punitive Damages Not Authorized for State Employment Discrimination Claims, Says Court

In yesterday’s post, I talked about the case of Tomick v. UPS in looking at the prima facie case for disability discrimination. But the new Appellate Court case may be even more significant for its discussion of...more

Even Under the ADA, Some Jobs Require Being On-Site; Court of Appeals Decision Offers Lessons

Last month in EEOC v. Ford Motor Co., 782 F.3d 753 (6th Cir. 2015) (en banc), the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit found that a Ford employee was not qualified for her job under the ADA because she was not...more

Fourth Circuit Joins Other Federal Courts in Broadly Interpreting the Scope of Title VII Retaliation Claims

On May 7, 2015, the Fourth Circuit ruled that an isolated instance of harassment, if "extremely serious," can create a hostile work environment, and that complaining about such harassment constitutes protected activity under...more

Fenwick Employment Brief - May 2015

EEOC Conciliation Efforts Subject To Limited Judicial Review - In Mach Mining, LLC v. EEOC, the United States Supreme Court held that the conciliation efforts of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) are...more

Ninth Circuit Reinforces that Arbitration Agreements Will be Enforced

Ashbey was employed from December 1996 until November 2010, when he was discharged. He started with Archstone as a service technician and was promoted to regional service manager. In 2009, Ashbey signed a document titled,...more

Courts can review EEOC’s pre-litigation conciliation efforts: 6 steps for employers

The United States Supreme Court has unanimously held in Mach Mining, LLC v. EEOC that courts can review conciliation efforts by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) before the agency sues an employer. ...more

EEOC Victory Reversed for Improper Direct Threat Standard

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently experienced a particularly painful loss, as a former “win” was reversed. In March, the 10th District Court of Appeals ruled that an EEOC victory was erroneous due to...more

Telling Harasser to Stop Conduct Protects Employee from Retaliation

Title VII and related federal civil rights laws prohibit employers from retaliating against an employee who files a claim, participates in an investigation or opposes conduct prohibited under anti-discrimination laws....more

Fourth Circuit Reverses Position on Single Racial Slur as Sufficient to Create Hostile Work Environment

For years, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals (which includes North Carolina and South Carolina) set a high bar for plaintiffs suing for workplace harassment. The court rejected multiple claims involving obnoxious and crude...more

Is This New Harassment Decision The End Of The World For Employers?

Are harassment and retaliation lawsuits all going to the jury now? Are employers doomed? Are the plaintiffs’ lawyers popping the champagne corks? Is the EEOC dancing for joy?...more

Maine Law Court Weighs In Again on Whistleblower Claims

The Maine Supreme Judicial Court, acting as the Law Court, recently issued a decision reiterating the scope of protected activity under the Maine Whistleblowers’ Protection Act. The decision is a win for employers and...more

Employment Law - May 2015

U.S. Supreme Court Permits Narrow Review of EEOC Conciliation Process - Why it matters: The U.S. Supreme Court handed a victory—albeit limited—to employers when it determined that courts may consider the...more

Supreme Court Concludes EEOC Conciliation Efforts Subject to Judicial Review

Before filing a discrimination claim in federal court under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII), the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is statutorily required to engage in potential...more

Employment Law Letter - Spring 2015

In this Issue: - Is a Volunteer an Employee For Discrimination Law Purposes? - Don’t Use “Just Cause” Except In Union Contracts - Are Courts Getting Tough On Disability Claims? - Legal Briefs and...more

Supreme Court Gives Conciliatory Nod to the EEOC’s Duty of Conciliation

In a unanimous decision issued on April 29, 2015, the United States Supreme Court has unequivocally allowed judicial review of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC)’s pre-litigation conciliation efforts, but...more

The EEOC Secures Favorable Ruling Over Discovery Of The Government’s Employment Practices

In EEOC v. DolGenCorp, LLC d/b/a Dollar General, No. 13-CV-4307 (N.D. Ill. May 5, 2015), Judge Andrea R. Wood of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois decided several discovery issues that have become...more

The EEOC’s Minimal Conciliation Obligations

The U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled that before bringing a discrimination lawsuit, the EEOC must first attempt to conciliate the matter with the employer; however, to comply with that obligation, the EEOC need only inform...more

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