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Civil Rights Civil Procedure

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

Major Companies Call for Second Circuit to Declare Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation Unlawful under Title VII

by Bowditch & Dewey on

On May 25, 2017, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals agreed to rehear the case of Zarda v. Altitude Express, Inc. to determine whether Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual...more

Employment Law - July 2017

California Supreme Court Reverses PAGA Discovery Ruling - Why it matters - On July 13, 2017, the California Supreme Court in Williams v. Superior Court (Marshalls) issued its first opinion addressing the scope of...more

Massachusetts Top Court Permits Disability Discrimination Claim for Medicinal Cannabis

by Ballard Spahr LLP on

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) recently held in Barbuto v. Advantage Sales & Marketing, LLC that employees have a viable claim for disability discrimination under state law if they suffer an adverse employment...more

Massachusetts Employers May Have To Accommodate Use Of Medical Marijuana, Court Says

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled this week that an employee’s use of medical marijuana to treat her disability may have to be reasonably accommodated under the state’s handicap discrimination law. In Barbuto...more

Single Racial Slur May Be Sufficient to Establish Workplace Harassment

by Blank Rome LLP on

Action Item: The Third Circuit Court of Appeals recently held that a single isolated use of a racial slur may be sufficient to establish unlawful workplace harassment. Background and Analysis: On July 14, 2017, a...more

Chemtrusion to Pay $145,000 to Settle EEOC Class Disability Discrimination Case

Company Screened Out Job Applicants After Medical Examinations Without Any Individualized Assessments on Fitness for Work, Federal Agency Charged - INDIANAPOLIS - Chemtrusion, Inc., a Houston-based manufacturing services...more

DOJ Settles Race And National Origin Fair Housing Act Case For $70,000

by Fox Rothschild LLP on

Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) settled a Fair Housing Act (FHA) case filed in Massachusetts for $70,000 in which the Complainants asserted discrimination based on race and national origin. As a...more

Use Of Medicinal Marijuana Not A Facially Unreasonable Accommodation Under Massachusetts Employment Discrimination Law

by DeWitt Law, LLC on

In a case that may be a precursor of things to come across the country as more and more states “legalize” the medicinal use of marijuana, in a July 17, 2017 decision in Barbuto v. Advantage Sales and Marketing, LLC, SJC...more

Medical Marijuana in the Workplace: An Employee's Balm; an Employer's Bane

by Bowditch & Dewey on

On July 17th, the Supreme Judicial Court ruled that Massachusetts employers may not terminate an employee merely because of his or her off-site use of medical marijuana. According to the Court, the use of medically-prescribed...more

Massachusetts: Medical Marijuana as a Reasonable Accommodation in the Workplace

As our readers know, we have been monitoring decisions regarding the ability of employers to take disciplinary action against employees for using marijuana at work. The most recent high court to weigh in on this topic is the...more

Washington Public Employer Hit with $1.8 Million Judgment for Failing to Accommodate Prescription Drug User

by Littler on

Last month, a Washington federal district court judge ordered an employer to pay a terminated employee a little over $1.8 million in damages for failing to accommodate the employee’s use of opioids that had been prescribed to...more

Canary in a Coal Mine: Analyzing Title IX, OCR, and On-Campus Sexual Misconduct Adjudications in Plummer v. University of Houston

It is unusual for a dissenting opinion to be more noteworthy than the majority’s holding, yet that is the case in Plummer v. University of Houston, a decision recently handed down by the United States Court of Appeals for the...more

Temporary Worker Not Entitled To Leave As A Reasonable Accommodation

by DeWitt Law, LLC on

The Tenth Circuit recently addressed whether an employer had failed to make a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq., (“ADA”) regarding a temporary worker’s request for...more

Medical Marijuana User’s Disability Discrimination Claim Survives Employer’s Motion to Dismiss in Massachusetts

by Benesch on

In a decision that is the first of its kind, the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts reversed the dismissal of a state law disability discrimination claim arising from an employee’s request for a reasonable accommodation...more

Minnesota Tightens Restrictions on “Drive-By” Disability Access Lawsuits

On May 23, 2017, Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton signed into law amendments to the Minnesota Human Rights Act (MHRA) that are intended to curb the flood of “drive-by” disability access lawsuits in the state. The law now...more

Company’s Reaction to Claim of Unequal Pay Provides Lessons for Employers

Complaints of unequal pay should not be taken lightly, and certainly should not be met with an immediate adverse employment action. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit recently reinstated a female office worker’s...more

Want to Peek at Your Employee’s Email? Be Careful!

Can you look at an employee’s personal email account if you access it on company equipment? A recent opinion from the federal District Court of Maryland should at least make you think twice before doing that. In Levin, et al....more

Court Rules Request for Religious Accommodation Is Not “Protected Activity” for Title VII Retaliation

by Seyfarth Shaw LLP on

Seyfarth Synopsis: A recent decision by a federal district court in Minnesota held that a religious accommodation request is not “protected activity” under Title VII. In defending retaliation litigation, employers should...more

Tim Horton's In Romulus Sued By EEOC for Failure To Provide Religious Accommodation

Employee Not Permitted to Wear Skirt Instead of Pants, Federal Agency Charges - DETROIT - Sleneem Enterprises, LLC, a franchise operator of Tim Horton's Café and Bake Shop in Romulus, Mich., violated federal law by...more

Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Rules That Employers May Need To Accommodate Off-Duty Medical Marijuana Use

by Seyfarth Shaw LLP on

Seyfarth Synopsis: On July 17, 2017, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court held that an employer could be liable under the Massachusetts Anti-Discrimination Act for disability discrimination by declining employment based...more

IDEA Exhaustion is Alive and Well: Applying Fry in Graham v. Friedlander

A Connecticut Superior Court judge has issued what might be the first decision in the country applying the United States Supreme Court’s recent test for determining whether a party is required to exhaust the administrative...more

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

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

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

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

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