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Do You Have To Accommodate An Employee Who Worships The Flying Spaghetti Monster?

Employers are generally aware of their duty to accommodate an employee’s religious beliefs. Whether that means rearranging work schedules, permitting modifications to dress codes, permitting prayer breaks, or any number of...more

Employment Law Letter - Spring 2016

Will Smoking Pot on the Job Get You Fired? You’d think that would be a slam dunk question, but if you’re a state employee whose union is willing to take your case to an arbitrator, apparently it isn’t. Back in 2012,...more

Bathrooms, Cakes, Wedding Poetry and DJs—Delving Into the North Carolina and Mississippi Laws on Transgender Issues

In the last several weeks, North Carolina and Mississippi have passed laws about transgender rights that have garnered headlines across the country. Although both touch on issues of transgender rights, they are actually very...more

Recent Cases Suggest Colleges and Universities Should Review Their Employee-On-Employee Sexual Harassment Policies

Just this past month, another Title IX lawsuit was filed against Columbia University (“Columbia”). This time, however, it involved the sexual harassment of an untenured professor by her mentor, a tenured professor....more

Higher Education Highlights - Spring 2016

Upcoming changes to the Fair Labor Standards Act salary-basis test may convert many of your smartphone-toting exempt employees into non-exempt employees, requiring you to track the evening and weekend time these employees...more

Suit Seeks To Block N.C. “Bathroom Bill”

Of significance to employers, the bill, which was signed into law last Wednesday, eliminates the common-law cause of action for wrongful discharge based on “EEO” discrimination....more

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

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