Labor & Employment Civil Rights

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on Labor & Employment issues written by leading professionals.
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EEOC Releases New Online Resource Center for Small Businesses

Provides User-Friendly Information on Federal Anti-Discrimination Laws, Tips for Small Businesses and Videos on Frequently Asked Compliance Questions - WASHINGTON - The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)...more

When to Say When? Fifth Circuit Rules on When an Accommodation Isn’t Working

In a published opinion, the Fifth Circuit has held that an employee’s poor performance in a light-duty position can relieve the employer from any further obligation to find a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with...more

Notable Immigration-Related Hiring Discrimination Claims Settled this Summer with Department of Justice and Heads Up! A New Form...

?In the past three months, there have been four settlements with three staffing agencies and one private company reported by the Department of Justice. The three settlements with staffing agencies resolved allegations that...more

District Court Decision Upholds Employer’s Wellness Program But Signals Support for EEOC Positions Going Forward

In EEOC v. Orion Energy Systems, Inc., the Eastern District of Wisconsin rejected the EEOC’s claims that Orion Energy’s wellness program violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”). Although the court upheld the...more

I Can’t Ask That? - Taking a Closer Look at Citizenship and National Origin Discrimination

When seeking a qualified candidate for an open position, Human Resources professionals are aware that it is generally impermissible to inquire about or consider an applicant’s race, sex, religion, or disability during the...more

Federal ALJ Says NLRA Also Protects Employee Social Media Use from Union Interference

Employers are well aware of the National Labor Relations Board’s increasingly aggressive prosecution of employers accused of violating employee rights by attempting to restrict their social media interactions. Earlier this...more

EEOC Issues Updated, Expansive Guidance on Retaliation Claims

Claims against a business by an employee or former employee for retaliation under Title VII or other fair employment practices statutes enforced by the EEOC are common and dangerous. In announcing the EEOC’s newly released...more

Employer Wins Dreadlocks Deadlock: Three Things To Know About Latest Court Decision

A federal appeals court recently ruled that a woman rejected from a job because she refused to cut her dreadlocks could not proceed with a race discrimination claim against the employer. The decision highlights the...more

Employer’s No Dreadlock Policy Did Not Violate Title VII, Says Eleventh Circuit

An employer’s decision to rescind an African American applicant’s job offer after she refused to comply with a race-neutral grooming policy that prohibited her from wearing her hair in dreadlocks did not constitute race...more

NASCAR’s racing to defend race discrimination lawsuit—is your company ready?

Earlier this week, news broke that NASCAR is being sued for alleged racial discrimination. NASCAR insists the case has no merit, but only time will tell the outcome. When the rubber meets the road, will your business be ready...more

EEOC Sues M&T Bank for Disability Discrimination

Bank Fired Manager Instead of Accommodating Her Disability, Federal Agency Says - BALTIMORE - Manufacturers and Traders Trust Company, doing business as M&T Bank, violated federal law when it refused to provide a...more

Employment Law Navigator – Week in Review: September 2016 #4

Last week, 21 states filed a lawsuit challenging the Department of Labor’s new overtime rules. Within hours, another suit was filed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and business groups. The lawsuits contend that the Department...more

SDNY Refuses to Dismiss Executive’s Dodd-Frank Retaliation Claim

On August 24, 2016, the Southern District of New York denied Defendants’ motion to dismiss a Dodd-Frank whistleblower retaliation claim brought by its former co-CEO and Executive Chairman of its Board of Directors, finding...more

OSHA Addresses Sarbanes-Oxley Whistleblower Releases

We have written about SEC enforcement actions related to severance and confidentiality agreements that restrict reporting matters to the SEC. OSHA has also issued guidance regarding settlement agreements with whistleblowers...more

Wearable Device Data: The Next Big Thing for Employment Litigation Cases

Wearable device data may be the next big thing in the world of evidence for employment cases since social media. Given that it has already been used in personal injury and criminal cases, it is only a matter of time before...more

Wisconsin Court Rejects Employer’s Argument That Wellness Programs Are Insulated from Disability Law

Trial to Be Scheduled on Retaliation Claim - MILWAUKEE - A federal court has ruled in favor of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in a disability discrimination case involving wellness programs filed...more

EEOC Issues New Retaliation Guidance

For the first time since 1998, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has issued new enforcement guidance on retaliation. Retaliation claims have been a growth industry over the last 18 years. Back in 1998...more

Watch Out for the Cat’s Paw - Employers May Be Accountable for Low-Level Employee Actions

In the world of employment law, there is something called the “Cat’s Paw” theory of liability. The name comes from a fable dating back to the 17th century in which a clever monkey persuades a naïve cat to pull roasting...more

HUD Releases New Guidance on Limited English Proficiency Discrimination Under the Fair Housing Act

On September 15, 2016, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) issued guidance on how the nondiscrimination provisions in the Fair Housing Act (FHA) apply to persons who consider an individual’s “Limited...more

E.D. Wisconsin: SOX Does Not Protect Whistleblower Complaints Based On Immaterial, Routine Events

On August 25, 2016, the Eastern District of Wisconsin granted the Defendant’s Motion for Summary Judgment on its former CEO’s SOX whistleblower claim. The court ruled that Plaintiff’s complaint to the Board of Directors did...more

Harassment Investigation Techniques

In a recent post, we talked about how digital technology can provide a platform for sexual harassment in the workplace. Today, we want to focus on the investigation of complaints of sexual harassment, including a review of...more

What Federal Contractors with Employee Arbitration Agreements Need to Know Now

Portions of the “Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces” Executive Order (E.O. 13673), often referred to as the “Blacklisting” or “Bad Actors” Executive Order, will take effect on October 25, 2016, and federal contractor employers are...more

SEC Issues Another Multi-Million Dollar Whistleblower Award

Less than one month after issuing a $22 million award, the SEC issued another multi-million dollar whistleblower award on September 20, 2016. The SEC’s most recent award exceeded $4 million. The SEC issued its typical...more

Illinois Becomes Seventh State to Expand Employment Rights to Domestic Workers

On August 21, 2016, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner signed into law the Illinois Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights, amending four existing state employment laws so they will now apply to domestic workers. Effective January 1,...more

GAO Report Finds Weaknesses in OFCCP Compliance Evaluations

On September 22, 2016, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report evaluating the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP). The report, entitled “Equal...more

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