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Civil Rights Updates

Read Civil Rights updates, alerts, news, and legal commentary from leading lawyers and law firms:

Eleventh Circuit Decision May Prompt Supreme Court to Determine Coverage of Sexual Orientation Bias Under Title VII

On July 6, the full Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals declined to hear the appeal of a case dismissing a sexual orientation bias claim under Title VII for lack of jurisdiction. This decision creates a split among the federal...more

Rhode Island Superior Court Decision Holds that Employers Cannot Refuse to Hire Medical Marijuana Cardholders

by Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP on

The Rhode Island Superior Court recently issued a decision in Callaghan v. Darlington Fabrics Corp. holding that defendant employer violated Rhode Island's Hawkins-Slater Medical Marijuana Act ("the Act") by refusing to hire...more

A Generic Doctor’s Note, Without More, Will Not Support A Claim Under The NJLAD

Does this sound familiar?  Your employee hands you a note from his doctor stating, “Please excuse Josh from work from 3/18 through 4/20 when he will be reevaluated.”  Often, doctor’s notes say little else, and many times you...more

Massachusetts Employers See Medical Marijuana Defense Go Up In Smoke - Supreme Judicial Court Ruling Requires Employers To Engage...

by Fisher Phillips on

The highest state court in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts issued a decision yesterday announcing that handicapped employees who have been prescribed medical marijuana may be entitled to a reasonable accommodation under the...more

Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Issues Groundbreaking Decision Allowing Medical Marijuana User to Assert State Law Handicap...

On July 17, 2017, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court issued a unanimous ruling in Barbuto v. Advantage Sales and Marketing, LLC, allowing medical marijuana users to assert claims for handicap discrimination under the...more

EEOC Sues To Force Gentlemen’s Club To Hire Male Bartenders

Our tax dollars at work.- In a recent lawsuit filed in federal court in Florida, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has asserted a claim of sex discrimination against a gentlemen’s club in Florida for allegedly...more

Massachusetts High Court Allows Disability Discrimination Claims Of Medical Marijuana User To Proceed

by Fox Rothschild LLP on

In a decision awaited by many in the industry, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled that a licensed medical marijuana user who was fired after testing positive for marijuana can proceed with claims under the state’s...more

Biometrics And “The Mark Of The Beast”: Dealing With Employee Accommodation Requests

by Fisher Phillips on

Employers are increasingly using biometric data such as facial characteristics, hand geometry, retina/iris scans, fingerprints and voiceprints in the workplace. Biometric data can be used to establish records of employee...more

Employment Law Navigator – Week in Review: July 2017 #3

by Zelle LLP on

Last week, the City of San Francisco joined other municipalities around the country that prohibit employers from asking applicants for wage history. The Board of Supervisors passed an ordinance that will go into effect in...more

Another Form of Workplace Harassment

Harassment is a form of workplace discrimination. The most well-known is sexual harassment, which can consist of unwelcome sexual advances or requests for sexual favors, but also includes conduct of a sexual nature which...more

NC Legislative Update: End of Session Wrap

by Nexsen Pruet, PLLC on

2017 Session - After 23 weeks of session, lawmakers adjourned the 2017 long session of the North Carolina General Assembly on June 30th. The Adjournment Resolution passed by both bodies reconvenes the legislature on...more

EEOC Sues Connections CSP For Disability Discrimination

Human Services Provider Unlawfully Fired Employees Who Needed Medical Leave, Federal Agency Charges - WILMINGTON, Del. - Connections CSP, Inc., one of Delaware's largest non-profit organizations that provides health care,...more

Supreme Court of Canada reaffirms personal liability for directors in oppression actions

by Dentons on

On July 13, 2017, the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) unanimously reaffirmed that a corporation’s directors may be personally liable in an oppression action, and set out the criteria for imposing personal liability. In Wilson...more

Third Circuit Holds that A Single Word Can Lead to Liability for Hostile Work Environment

Most employers take proactive steps to prevent and eliminate workplace harassment. Until recently, courts recognized and rewarded the proactive approach. Businesses in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware could avoid...more

It’s Reasonable to Employ Marijuana Users

by Sherman & Howard L.L.C. on

A requested accommodation for a disability is not unreasonable as a matter of law just because it is illegal under federal law, says the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court in a recent case. As applied there, the result is...more

3d Circuit Clarifies Standard in Workplace Harassment Cases

In a decision issued last week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit clarified that a single comment may give rise to a claim of workplace harassment. In its decision, issued in Castleberry v. STI Group, the court...more

EEOC Sues Capstone Logistics For Disability Discrimination

Human Services Provider Unlawfully Fired Employees Who Needed Medical Leave, Federal Agency Charges - WILMINGTON, Del. - Connections CSP, Inc., one of Delaware's largest non-profit organizations that provides health care,...more

EEOC's Race Discrimination Suit Against Janitorial Company Includes Background Check Allegations

by Littler on

The filing of a new discrimination lawsuit by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) answers the question whether, after five years of intensive scrutiny, employers can breathe a sigh of relief in terms of...more

Connecticut Expands Anti-Discrimination and Accommodation Protections for Pregnant Employees and Applicants

Earlier this month, Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy has signed into law “An Act Concerning Pregnant Women in the Workplace” (the “Act”), which enhances employment protections for pregnant employees and applicants under the...more

Biometric Attendance Scanner or “Mark of the Beast”?: How an Employee’s Unusual Religious Belief Cost the Employer $600,000.

by Dorsey & Whitney LLP on

A recent case from the Fourth Circuit illustrates the risks for employers posed by the obligation to reasonably accommodate religious objections to workplace rules and practices under Title VII. How should an employer handle...more

Six Steps to Arbitrating an Age Discrimination Case

by JAMS on

Fifty years ago, in 1967, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) was passed by Congress. According to the Department of Labor, it protects “employees 40 years of age and older from discrimination on the basis of age...more

Fifth Circuit Addresses Privilege Log Requirements

by Strasburger & Price, LLP on

In Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. BDO USA, L.L.P., the Fifth Circuit clarified how to use a privilege log to protect privileged documents. The EEOC subpoenaed information in connection with an employment...more

Federal Court Allows Title IX Claim to Proceed Based Upon Allegations That Student Harassed By Peers for Failure to Conform to...

by Tucker Arensberg, P.C. on

Russell Bittendender, et ux. v. Bangor Area School District, Case No. 15-6465 (E.D. Pa. 2017). The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania refused to dismiss a complaint alleging that a school...more

Food & Beverage Litigation Update | July 2017

Cruz-Alvarez and Canfield Examine Recent Ruling on Website Access for Visually Impaired - Food and beverage companies offering retail sales on the web are facing a wave of lawsuits filed by visually impaired plaintiffs...more

Employers, Be Wary of Judging "Sincerely Held Beliefs"

by Baker Donelson on

The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals recently upheld a $586,860 verdict in a religious discrimination case brought by the EEOC against Consol Energy, Inc. What went so wrong for Consol? The case involved a West Virginia...more

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