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5th Circuit: Outing Whistleblower Equals Adverse Action

On November 12, 2014, in Halliburton, Inc. v. Admin. Review Bd., 5th Cir. No. 13-cv-60323, the Fifth Circuit affirmed an ARB’s decision that disclosing the identity of a whistleblower may constitute an “adverse action” under...more

Court Tosses HUD’s Disparate Impact Rule: Is Protection for Lenders from Disparate Impact Claims on the Horizon?

Since the 1970s, courts have routinely held that the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 3601 et seq., may remedy housing discrimination proven through use of the disparate impact theory. The doctrine of disparate impact permits a...more

Federal court strikes down HUD’s disparate impact regulations

On Monday, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia issued a scathing opinion that struck down HUD’s disparate impact rule. The disparate impact rule, also referred to as a ”discriminatory effects”...more

Court Rules Disparate Impact Claims Cannot Be Made Under Fair Housing Act

Earlier this week, a federal district court judge struck down a regulation issued by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which would have allowed for claims of housing discrimination to be based on...more

Disparate impact on the ropes: federal district court vacates HUD rule

A federal district court in Washington, D.C. dealt a heavy blow on Monday to HUD’s position that disparate impact claims are cognizable under the Fair Housing Act (FHA). In American Insurance Association v. U.S. Department of...more

CFPB Proposes Federal Oversight of Auto Financing Companies

On September 17, 2014, noting the auto lending discrimination it has uncovered at banks, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (Bureau or CFPB) announced its plan to further extend its reach under the Dodd-Frank Act by...more

Inclusive Communities Project case summary

On March 24, 2014, the Fifth Circuit was the first Circuit to directly adopt HUD’s new disparate impact rule. Inclusive Communities Project v. Texas Dep’t of Hous., 2014 WL 1257127 (5th Cir. Mar. 24, 2014). Now, a challenge...more

Preventive Measures: Avoiding Predatory and Discriminatory Lending Litigation

Slides addressing the management and defense against claims of discriminatory lending and assessing the status of ‘disparate impact’ in Fair Lending litigation and enforcement. ...more

Insurance Trades Challenge HUD Disparate Impact Rule

On June 26, two insurance associations filed a lawsuit challenging a rule promulgated earlier this year by HUD that authorizes so-called “disparate impact” or “effects test” claims under the Fair Housing Act....more

HUD Obtains First Settlement Under Rule Requiring Sexual Orientation And Gender Identity Equal Access

On January 2, HUD announced that a lender agreed to settle a claim that it refused to provide FHA financing to a lesbian couple. HUD noted that the agreement is the first enforcement action taken under a rule finalized in...more

Conducting Workplace Investigations

Recently, when advising a client who was investigating a complaint of sexual harassment, I had the opportunity to revisit the EEOC’s Enforcement Guidance: Vicarious Employer Liability for Unlawful Harassment by Supervisors...more

Employment And Labor Insight: Year In Review - Are Your Employment Procedures, Practices And Policies In Compliance?

As we enter 2013, we would like to update you on the importance of reviewing your application, background check procedures, employment policies and employee handbook for compliance with the changing laws in these areas....more

Justice Department Settles ADA Claims against Debt Collector

A recent Department of Justice settlement with a debt collection law firm that was accused of violating the Americans with Disabilities Act exemplifies the mounting federal scrutiny of the debt collection industry....more

Can ‘Disparate Impact’ Become the Basis for a Fair-Lending Claim?

As part of its aggressive program to protect consumers in financial matters, the Consumer Protection Financial Bureau (CFPB) has announced that it is prepared to adopt a controversial “disparate impact” theory of liability...more

CFPB Ombudsman's Office Publishes First Annual Report

Full text copy of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Ombudsman's Office first annual report. From the report: "The CFPB Ombudsman advocates for a fair process as between consumers, the providers of consumer financial...more

Section 342 of Dodd-Frank Intersects With Employment Law

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the “Act”) celebrated its two-year anniversary this past July. At that time, the Act drew much attention from the media and political pundits because of its...more

Legislators Accuse Assistant AG of Inappropriate Interference in Disparate Impact Case

On September 24, Representatives Lamar Smith (R-TX), Patrick McHenry (R-NC), and Darrell Issa (R-CA), along with Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA), sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder alleging that Assistant...more

Damned if You Do, Damned if You Don't: Origination of "Qualified" Residential Mortgages May Trigger Disparate Impact Fair Lending...

Federal fair lending laws prohibit discrimination in credit transactions. The Equal Credit Opportunity Act (“ECOA”) and the Fair Housing Act prohibit discrimination in mortgage lending on the basis of certain factors...more

Massachusetts Federal Court Reverses Prior Certification of Class in Fair Lending Case

On September 18, the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts decertified a class of borrowers who allege that their mortgage lender violated the Equal Credit Opportunity Act and the Fair Housing Act by allowing...more

FFIEC Releases 2011 HMDA Data

On September 18, the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) released data collected in 2011 under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA)....more

Diversity standards highlighted in Director Cordray’s remarks to Congressional Black Caucus Foundation

In his remarks last week to the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, CFPB Director Richard Cordray spoke about the role of the Office of Minority and Women Inclusion (OMWI) that various federal agencies are required to...more

U.S. Department of Justice Turns Spotlight on Disparate Impact Discrimination Claims

Fair lending is back with a giant thud! In addition to the regulatory burdens imposed by the Dodd-Frank Act, financial institutions must now adjust to the potential of a new round of discrimination claims that are...more

DOJ Fair Lending Focus Continues in Settlement of Case Challenging Lender's Minimum Loan Amount Policy

The Department of Justice's recent announcement that it had settled its case against Luther Burbank Savings challenging Luther's minimum loan amount policy demonstrates the DOJ's continued focus on fair lending. The...more

DOJ Settles Fair Housing Disparate Impact Suit

On August 27, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York approved a settlement between the DOJ and GFI Mortgage Bankers, Inc., a nonbank mortgage lender, resolving allegations that certain of the lender’s...more

Newly Released Draft Equator Principles Reflect Greater Focus on Human Rights

The proposed draft of the revised Equator Principles, released on August 13, reflects a greater focus on human rights, with explicit mention of the expectation of human rights due diligence as set forth in the U.N. Guiding...more

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