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Stock-Not So-Well: Officers Denied Class Certification Of Age Discrimination Claims (Again)

As we reported here to our loyal blog readers, in April 2014, the Ninth Circuit overturned an order denying class certification of age discrimination claims filed by a group of police officers in Stockwell v. City & Cnty. of...more

Alert: Websites as Places of Public Accommodation: DOJ Settlement May Extend Accessibility Requirements to Virtual Space

Recent headlines around a high-profile settlement between the US Department of Justice and edX, Inc., one of the largest and earliest distributors of MOOCs, have once again highlighted the importance of understanding the...more

Single Plant Employment Discrimination Class Survives Dukes Challenge

A divided panel of the Fourth Circuit ruled that a South Carolina district court judge improperly applied Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes in decertifying disparate treatment and disparate impact claims challenging promotion...more

Should Employers Guess Their Applicants’ Religion? SCOTUS Expected to Face Accommodations Issues Head On

The Supreme Court of the United States is poised to decide a case that should clarify employers’ obligations to provide applicants with accommodations for their religious practices. Simply put, the question is whether...more

Fourth Circuit Orders Class Certification for African-American Steelworkers—Again

For the second time, the Fourth Circuit has determined that African-American employees at a South Carolina steel plant are entitled to Rule 23 class certification. In Brown v. Nucor Corporation and Nucor Steel-Berkeley,...more

Bad News, Good News: Disability Discrimination Plaintiff Sometimes Need Not Show He Was Qualified, But May Never Recover Punitive...

In a decision to be officially released on May 19, 2015, the Connecticut Appellate Court has addressed two interesting issues in the state law of employment discrimination, one of which is of considerable importance (and...more

Quirky Question #261, When will our employee return?

Question: We’re a large company with offices in many locations, including in California, Minnesota, Washington and New York City. We often have disabled employees provide doctors’ notes that say they are unable to...more

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

Kosher Meals for Prisoners: U.S. Department of Justice Wins Claim of Religious Discrimination against the Florida Department of...

A federal court has ruled that the Florida Department of Corrections’ (Department) refusal to provide kosher meals to inmates violates the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA). The court’s decision in...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

Ninth Circuit Issues Decision in Civil Rights Case in Review of California SIP

On May 8, 2015, in El Comite Para El Bienestar De Earlimart v. EPA, a Panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit denied a petition for review filed by several groups that the court describes as “community...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

Supreme Court Decides City and County of San Francisco v. Sheehan

On May 18, 2015, the United States Supreme Court decided City and County of San Francisco v. Sheehan, No. 13-1412, holding that police officers were entitled to qualified immunity against a constitutional claim based on...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

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