Education Labor & Employment Civil Rights

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Can a Massachusetts Religious School Refuse to Employ a Worker in a Same-Sex Marriage?

In Barrett v. Fontbonne Academy, the Massachusetts Superior Court curtailed various statutory and constitutional defenses available to an employer affiliated with a religious institution that faces discrimination claims under...more

Interest Groups Support NCAA’s Anti-Felon Policy on Appeal

Recently, three interest groups filed an amicus brief to support the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s (“NCAA”) policy that bars anyone who has been convicted of a felony from coaching in NCAA-certified high school...more

“Cat’s Paw” Liability in Faculty Decision-Making

Children’s fables are often an overlooked source of wisdom. Take for example Aesop’s 17th century fable “The Monkey and the Cat.” As the story goes, a cat and monkey lived in the same house as pets. The monkey, desiring...more

On A Collision Course? How Religious Entities Should Address The Legal Expansions Of Gay Marriage And Gender Identity Protections

By now you are no doubt aware that the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2014 decision in Obergefell v. Hodges legalized same-sex marriage across the country. The decision has caused religious institutions and schools to ask about their...more

College Basketball Players Can Bring Sexual Orientation Claim Under Federal Law, And Why Employers Should Pay Attention

In the months since the EEOC’s landmark ruling in Baldwin v Foxx, the looming question has been: Would federal courts adopt the Commission’s position that claims of sexual orientation discrimination were cognizable under...more

A New Challenge to Anti-Nepotism Rules Based on Marital Status Discrimination

In a newly filed lawsuit that has garnered some publicity, a Shelton high school teacher is suing the Shelton Public Schools over the imposition of an anti-nepotism rule which she claims constitutes marital status...more

Trojan Travails: Coach Sarkisian’s Alcoholism-Discrimination Lawsuit Against USC

Readers have been clamoring for my take on the alcoholism-discrimination lawsuit filed by Steve Sarkisian against the University of Southern California. Actually, I got one email from a reader, who had a better take on...more

Perspectives - December 2015

Governor Signs New Law to Allow Asthma Inhalers in School and Camps. Asthma is a chronic lung disease that inflames and narrows the airways. It causes recurring periods of wheezing, chest tightness, shortness of breath...more

Canadian Employment News Series: BC Supreme Court overturns Human Rights Tribunal record award for injury to dignity

We reported previously on the decision of the Human Rights Tribunal in University of British Columbia v. Kelly. In that decision, the Human Rights Tribunal concluded that the University of British Columbia had discriminated...more

More Lawsuits This Holiday Season?

Employers are acutely aware of the legal pitfalls that come with the holiday season. Office parties and alcohol are a potent recipe for bad judgment, and that bad judgment leads to harassment charges and lawsuits. Another...more

King’s Way Baptist Church Sued By EEOC for Retaliation

Kindergarten Teacher at Church's Christian School Fired for Complaining About Sexual Harassment by Pastor, Federal Agency Charges - ATLANTA - The King's Way Baptist Church, Inc. of Douglasville, Ga., violated federal law...more

Making Bad Choices: Title IX, Title VII and Ludlow V. Northwestern University

A prior post considered the case of Ha v. Northwestern University, in which the plaintiff claimed that Northwestern had violated Title IX by insufficiently disciplining one of its professors, Peter Ludlow, despite concluding...more

What Should Employers Expect During The New Supreme Court Term?

The first Monday in October is the traditional first day of a new U.S. Supreme Court term.  As always, the 2015-16 term will have several cases that are of particular interest to the nation’s employers.  Here is a review of...more

Other Employment-Related Bills Awaiting Action by California Governor

In addition to AB 465, California employers should watch for Governor Jerry Brown’s actions as to the following employment-related bills: SB 358: The California Fair Pay Act is directed at closing the pay differential...more

What employers need to know about transgender discrimination

Recent developments in the area of transgender rights should put employers on notice that government agencies are serious about eliminating this type of discrimination. DOJ steps in to sue university in Oklahoma...more

The NLRB Goes Back to Church (Schools), Gets Entangled

In our June 2015 blog post, “NLRB Moves to Assert Jurisdiction Over Religious Educational Institutions,” we reported that Regional Directors of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) were beginning to exercise jurisdiction...more

NLRB Decision on Student-Athlete Unionization a Win for Colleges, But Title IX Still in Play

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued a unanimous decision on Aug. 17, 2015, dismissing a petition filed by Northwestern University scholarship football players seeking to unionize under the National Labor...more

Seventh Circuit Again Limits Application Of The Wal-Mart Ruling And Certifies Chicago Teachers’ Discrimination Claims

In Chicago Teachers Union, Local No. 1, American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO v. Bd. of Educ. of the City of Chicago, Case No. 14-2843 (7th Cir. Aug. 7, 2015), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit reversed a...more

Does Your Institution Have a Disability Accommodation Policy? It Should.

The Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (“ADA”) prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities. The ADA also requires an employer to make reasonable accommodations for the known disabilities of an...more

EEOC Scores Six Figure Settlement Against University Of Michigan; For Limited Reassignment To The Most Well-Qualified Candidate...

Earlier this year, the Department of Justice (DOJ), which enforces the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) alongside the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), sued the University of Michigan regarding the school’s...more

Right to Marry But Not to Work? Pennsylvania Catholic School Terminates Gay Married Teacher

Last month, Waldron Mercy Academy, a K-8 Catholic school located in Merion, Pennsylvania, fired Margie Winters from her position as Director of Religious Education, a job she had held for 8 years. According to Ms. Winters,...more

Deliberate Indifference to Bullying Can Amount to Massive Liability – Lessons from the Pine Bush Settlement

$4.48 million. That’s how much the Pine Bush School District in central-New York just agreed to pay to settle a lawsuit brought by a group of current and former students who alleged that school administrators were...more

Amendments Clarify Employers’ Background Check Obligations Under Pennsylvania Law

On July 1, 2015, Governor Tom Wolf signed into law Act 15 (House Bill 1276), which amends Pennsylvania’s Child Protective Services Law (CPSL) to clarify the requirements of employers and volunteer-based organizations to...more

“Enough is Enough” – Governor Cuomo Signs Campus Sexual Assault Legislation

On July 7, 2015, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law legislation to combat sexual assault on both public and private college campuses throughout New York. With a few exceptions, the provisions in the law will take...more

VAWA Regulations Take Effect July 1

The U.S. Department of Education’s rule implementing changes to the Clery Act under the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2014 (VAWA) takes effect today. The final rule was published in the Federal Register on...more

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