Education Civil Rights

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New York’s Property Tax Cap Wins Again

In 2013 we reported on NYSUT‘s lawsuit which claimed that New York’s recently-enacted property tax “cap” was unconstitutional. The thrust of NYSUT’s 2013 arguments against the cap were that it (1) harmed school districts that...more

OCR Issues Guidance Regarding Immunization Requirements for Students With Disabilities

The U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights (OCR) recently issued guidance regarding how schools should address situations where a student with a disability is unvaccinated. This guidance recognizes that there are...more

NSBA Concerned About Recent Supreme Court Decision’s Impact on OCR Investigations

The National School Boards Association (NSBA) recently expressed its concerns over the Supreme Court’s recent landmark ruling in Perez v. Mortgage Bankers Association, which allows federal agencies to issue “interpretive...more

Must Gluten-free Be Free? What You Should Know About Celiac Disease and the ADA

Restaurants nationwide are beginning to offer gluten-free alternatives to regular menu items. This is welcome news to those long suffering from celiac disease, a chronic and serious immune reaction to eating gluten, a protein...more

Court Denies Summary Judgment to Employer on Professor’s Allegations He Was Denied Tenure After Reporting Inappropriate Facebook...

A federal court in Oklahoma recently denied summary judgment to Northeastern State University, finding that a professor’s discrimination and retaliation claims, among others, could proceed to trial. The professor, Dr. Leslie...more

Religious Institutions Update: March 2015

Several interrelated legal developments make it more important than ever for religious institutions intending to qualify for exemptions to generally applicable laws to do the hard work before litigation or administrative...more

A Review of New York’s Proposed Sexual Violence Legislation – Part I: Consent

As we noted in our last post, we will be taking a closer look at the specific provisions of New York’s proposed sexual violence legislation over the next week or so. With the Governor’s Office urging New York colleges and...more

The California Public Employment Relations Board Broadly Construes Protected Activity Under Educational Employment Relations Act

The Public Employment Relations Board ("PERB") in Crowell v. Berkeley Unified School District found the anti-retaliation provisions contained in the Educational Employment Relations Act ("EERA"), Cal. Gov. Code § 3540, et...more

The NLRB Appears To Clear The Path Toward Greater Unionization Of Private Colleges And Universities

In a decision notable for not just one, but two revisions to established National Labor Relations Board (the “Board”) analytical framework, the Board appears to open the door toward increased unionization of private...more

South Carolina Legislative Update

The South Carolina House of Representatives last week adopted the South Carolina Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, several ethics reform measures, and revisions to the South Carolina Whistleblower and Public Employee...more

Reasonable Accommodation of a Disability Does Not Require Elimination of an Essential Job Function

The federal Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits discrimination in employment against a qualified individual on the basis of disability, and discrimination includes failing to make a reasonable accommodation. The...more

Ex-Dallas ISD Employees Say HR Department Operated Through Fear, Retaliation

Shortly after Chrystal Thierry refused to approve some extremely high pay raises for several top administrators within the Dallas Independent School District, she says she became the victim of retaliation. As the compensation...more

Why Employers Should Think Twice Before Making Employees Play Hurt

Recently, my Alma Mater, The University of Southern California, was sued by a former member of the Trojan football team. Former cornerback Brian Baucham filed a lawsuit against USC and former coach Lane Kiffin, alleging he...more

Ninth Circuit to Consider Civil Rights Issue in Review of California SIP

On February 12, 2015, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals will hear arguments in El Comite Para El Bienestar De Earlimart v. EPA, a case challenging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) approval of provisions in a...more

Developments in Pregnancy Discrimination Law: UPS, EEOC, and I

Readers of this blog have seen several posts on the topic of pregnancy discrimination. In the last couple of weeks, the following additional developments concerning the topic have occurred...more

White House Task Force Publishes Sample Law Enforcement MOU for Sexual Assault Cases

On January 26, 2015, the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault (Task Force) published new guidance on building partnerships between law enforcement agencies and institutions of higher education....more

District of Columbia Passes Two New Non-Discrimination Laws Impacting Employers

Earlier this week, D.C.’s Mayor signed two new measures amending the D.C. Human Rights Act (“DCHRA”) to prohibit (1) discrimination against employees of religiously-affiliated educational institutions on the basis of sexual...more

School Teacher With Breast Cancer Could Proceed With Disability Discrimination Lawsuit

Lauralyn Swanson was a teacher for the Yucca Valley Elementary School who was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent a mastectomy. After the district’s board of education voted not to renew Swanson’s contract, Swanson...more

Department of Education Closes 2014 with Prolific Guidance

The U.S. Department of Education (DOE) was busy the last quarter of 2014, issuing guidance on six issues, plus another already in 2015. The Dear Colleague Letters (DCL), Frequently Asked Questions, and Fact Sheets provide an...more

Justice Department Settlement Casts Doubt on Mandatory Medical Leave - Universities Should Be Well Trained in ADA Compliance and...

On Jan. 12, 2015, the U.S. Department of Justice announced a settlement with Quinnipiac University, a private institution located in Connecticut, to resolve allegations that the university violated the Americans with...more

Connecticut’s U.S. Attorney to Focus on Discrimination in Schools

Educational institutions – including public and private schools, colleges, and universities – may have to defend various types of discrimination claims brought by students, and in various arenas. In addition to federal court...more

NLRB Issues Significant Decision on Faculty Unionization

The National Labor Relations Board (Board) recently ruled that it would assert jurisdiction over Pacific Lutheran University's (PLU’s) full-time contingent faculty members. In the context of a union's attempt to organize...more

U.S. Department of Education Finds Harvard Law School To Be In Violation of Title IX

It may seem hard to believe – but even one of the most prestigious law schools in the country got mixed in the U.S. Department of Education’s recent crackdown on campus sexual misconduct....more

Two California Appellate Decisions Expand the Scope of Tameny Claims Based on Whistleblower Laws

Two significant decisions on whistleblower protections were recently issued by two districts of the California Court of Appeal. Both courts reversed trial court dismissals of claims for wrongful termination in violation of...more

Eighth Circuit: Custodian Failed to Establish Constructive Discharge Following Wife's Public Comments

A school custodian’s hours and work assignments were changed six days after his wife spoke about eliminating the superintendent’s position at a school board meeting about budgetary issues. The custodian’s reassignment...more

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