Labor & Employment Civil Rights

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on Labor & Employment issues written by leading professionals.
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Can French Employees Wear Unrestricted Religious Symbols in the Workplace?

The French Supreme Court provides guidance to employers in France on how to deal with employees who wear religious symbols in the workplace....more

ALJ Nixes Hospital's Broad English-Only Rule Under NLRA

For years, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has cautioned employers against adopting strict English-only rules in the workplace. The EEOC considers such policies to constitute race and/or national origin...more

Seller of Business is Special Circumstance That Justified Termination Following Expiration of Contract

When a small business is sold, the purchaser often agrees to hire the former owner. The buyer wants to retain the seller’s expertise and experience, and the salary paid to the seller can make up part of the purchase price....more

EEOC Issues Proposed Rule on Application of the ADA to Employer Wellness Programs

Proposed Rule Would Permit Incentives, Emphasize Confidentiality - WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) today published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) describing how Title I of...more

Sixth Circuit Rejects EEOC's Demand for Telecommuting as ADA Accommodation

Last year, a panel of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals held 2-1 that the Americans with Disabilities Act required Ford Motor Company to allow a buyer with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) to possibly telecommute up to four...more

Is Telecommuting A Reasonable Accommodation, Or Is It Not?

In the context of a lawsuit brought under the Americans with Disabilities Act, a recent court decision says that “regular attendance” is an essential function of the job. But what is “regular attendance”?...more

EEOC Issues Important Transgender Rights Ruling, Finding that Restroom Use Should Match Gender Identity

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) forged new ground earlier this month when it ordered the U.S. Army to pay damages to a transgender employee based on a discriminatory restroom policy. We have reported in...more

Employers Can Decide That Physical Presence at the Workplace is an Essential Function

On April 10, 2015, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals issued its long-awaited en banc decision in Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Ford Motor Company following a vacated panel decision from April 2014 in which a...more

En Banc Sixth Circuit Decision Holds that Telecommuting Was Not a Reasonable Accommodation Under the Americans with Disabilities...

Last Friday, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals sitting en banc held that telecommuting up to four days a week was not a reasonable accommodation under the ADA for a disabled Ford Motor Co. employee. The decision, EEOC v....more

When Do Volunteers Become “Employees” Under Anti-Discrimination Laws?

Having this blog for nearly eight years, it’s fair to say that I’ve covered quite a few topics. But every once in a while, a never-before-discussed issue makes it way to the forefront. Today is one of those days....more

EEOC Consent Decrees are its Most Powerful Enforcement Mechanisms

The vast majority of settlements between an employer and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) take the form of a court-approved consent decree. This document is a public record designed to highlight and...more

6th Circuit Provides Road Map for ADA Accommodation Cases

A recent Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals case provides employers with a great example of how to evaluate accommodation requests under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). In EEOC v. Ford Motor Co., a case which...more

Race and National Origin Discrimination Persist 50 Years after EEOC’s Founding, Experts Say

Panel of Practitioners At Miami Meeting Of the EEOC Says Despite Positive Advances, Fight For Equal Treatment in Employment Far From Over - MIAMI - Despite significant progress in the 50 years since the U.S. Equal...more

One Of EEOC’s First Transgender Lawsuits Has Settled

The EEOC announced this week that one of the lawsuits — against Lakeland Eye Clinic of Florida — has settled. The Clinic has agreed to make two payments of $75,000 to Brandi Branson, who had been the Clinic’s Director of...more

Hiring Tests in the News

A front page article in yesterday's Wall Street Journal highlights the growing use of pre-employment personality and psychological testing to screen job candidates. These tests are designed to evaluate technical skills,...more

In Case You Missed It - Interesting Items for Corporate Counsel - April 2015

We knew someone would do this for us if we just waited long enough. A summary of early trends in proxy access responses suggests most are including the shareholder proposal and recommending a no vote. See here. Only a single...more

Transgender Litigant Challenges Exclusion of "Gender Identity Disorder" in Americans with Disabilities Act

The Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. § 12191, et seq. ("ADA"), expressly excludes from its protections individuals whose gender identity disorder is not the result of a physical impairment. The so-called "GID...more

Former Harvard Professor Files Title IX Lawsuit After Being Denied Tenure

Over the past year, an exceptional number of colleges and universities have been accused by both complainants and accused students of mishandling complaints of sexual misconduct in violation of Title IX. Now, in a somewhat...more

Seattle's New Wage Theft Ordinance Imposes Notice Requirements and Civil Penalties

Effective April 1, 2015, a new Wage Theft Ordinance imposes specific wage and tip notice requirements on employers in the City of Seattle. The Seattle Office for Civil Rights (SOCR) is granted power to investigate complaints,...more

DOL to Enforce Same-Sex Spouses FMLA Regulation In All But Four States

In our previous post, Same-Sex Marriage Partners Now Covered by FMLA, we reported on the final FMLA rule that expanded the definition of “spouse” under the FMLA to include employees in legal same-sex marriages. ...more

6th Circuit: Telecommuting Not a Reasonable Accommodation

On Friday, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit issued its decision in EEOC v. Ford Motor Company, No. 12-2484, 2015 WL 1600305 (6th Cir. Apr. 10, 2015), an ADA case involving telecommuting as a reasonable...more

SEC Assault on Employee Confidentiality Agreements

The Securities and Exchange Commission recently announced an enforcement action against KBR, Inc., alleging that a form of confidentiality agreement used in internal investigations violated an SEC whistleblower rule. To...more

Social Media: Strategy and Implementation - Are you protected?

With more companies utilizing social media as a part of doing business, are you protecting yourself and your business from issues that can arise when implementing these strategies? Where do you stand legally when employees...more

SEC Blows the Whistle on Confidentiality Agreements

Thanks to a recent enforcement action brought by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), it may be time to review and revise the confidentiality provisions in employment agreements, severance agreements, employee...more

Sixth Circuit Holds Telecommuting Not a Reasonable Accommodation Where Regular and Predictable On-Site Job Attendance is an...

Courts have repeatedly recognized that “regular job attendance” is an essential function of most jobs that need not be altered in order to reasonably accommodate a disabled employee. This common sense notion, however, has...more

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