Labor & Employment Civil Rights Civil Procedure

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New California Employment Laws 2016

California’s 2016 legislative session ended, once again, with a flurry of activity in the legislature and by Governor Jerry Brown, resulting in numerous new laws requiring employer action. The end-of-session bills were not...more

Seventh Circuit Could Up-End Approach to Sexual Orientation Discrimination

On November 30, 2016, all of the judges of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals (covering Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin) reheard a case that could change the way federal courts treat sexual orientation-based discrimination...more

Long-Term Shift of Essential Job Functions May Remove Them as Mandatory Qualifications

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) only requires employers to provide accommodations that allow the disabled employee or applicant to perform the essential functions of the job. The employer is not required to shift or...more

Co-worker’s racial statements may support discrimination claim

As a recent ruling by a Tulsa federal court shows, an employer may be held liable for the racial bias and conduct of its employees, even if those employees do not work in a decision-making capacity within the company....more

Hospitality Industry Law Newsletter

New Labor Code Section Prevents Employers from Using Out-of-State Choice of Laws Provisions in Contracts with California Employees - On September 27, 2016 Governor Jerry Brown signed a new law impacting the contract...more

4th Circuit Bounces Bank's Request to Dismiss Manager's FMLA Case

In a relatively recent decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit (whose rulings apply to all South Carolina employers) found that an employer's faulty notice to an employee about his rights under the Family and...more

Courts Say Title VII Forbids Employment Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

Seyfarth Synopsis: Increasingly, courts have held that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity violates Title VII. Federal district courts in Nevada and Pennsylvania have recently joined their...more

Another Year, Another Set of Laws: What California Employers Should Know

In keeping with California’s reputation of being an employee-friendly state, Governor Brown has enacted a number of laws, most of which go into effect on January 1, 2017 (unless specified otherwise below), that place...more

The Election is Over, Now What?

Now that the election is over, many clients and friends are asking what labor and employment law might look like under the soon to be President Trump. Of course, no one can predict exactly what will happen in the coming term....more

Opposing Employer Actions Directed at General Public Not Protected Activity

Seyfarth Synopsis: An employee who expresses opposition to an employer’s policies and practices that affect members of the general public is not engaging in an activity that FEHA protects, because the activity is not opposing...more

Chris Lazarini Examines Case of Constructive Discharge in Employment Discrimination Case

Bass, Berry & Sims attorney Chris Lazarini examined a case where Plaintiff, a 61-year-old female bank employee, sufficiently pleaded constructive discharge in support of her employment discrimination claims where she was...more

Finally! Something That's Not "Protected Activity" in California

It turns out that “protected activity” sufficient to make out a retaliation claim in California is not as broad as it may sometimes seem. On November 9, 2016, the Court of Appeal affirmed summary judgment for the employer in...more

No New Trial: Court Grounds EEOC Following JetStream’s Victory In Religious Discrimination Trial

Seyfarth Synopsis: Following a major victory for an airline-industry employer over the EEOC in a Title VII action regarding religious accommodations, the Court denied the EEOC’s motion for a new trial. The decision is a...more

Federal Court Issues Historic Ruling in EEOC Lawsuit: Civil Rights Act of 1964 Prohibits Sexual Orientation Discrimination

Court Agrees With Federal Agency's Position That Sexual Orientation Discrimination Is a Form of Sex Discrimination Prohibited by Title VII - WASHINGTON - The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced...more

Sexual Orientation Discrimination Under Title VII

Last week, on November 4, 2016, a District Judge in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania held that discrimination based on sexual orientation constitutes sex stereotyping and is prohibited by Title VII. EEOC v. Scott Medical...more

Revitalization Act Held to Grant Whistleblower Implied Private Right of Action

On October 24, 2016 the New York Supreme Court, Kings County entered a decision allowing a former employee to proceed with a lawsuit against a not-for-profit, private college preparatory school and its headmaster alleging...more

The Employment Law Authority - November/December 2016

Court Upholds Employer’s Dreadlock Ban Finds Grooming Policy Did Not Violate Title VII of the Civil Rights Act - A federal appellate court recently held that an employer’s policy banning dreadlocks did not constitute...more

Employers May Need To Offer Accomodations To Job Applicants And EMPLOYEES Even If They Do Not Ask For An Accomodation

Most employers maintain either formal or informal grooming and appearance policies. These policies address the employee’s personal appearance while at work including hairstyle, jewelry, tattoos, piercings, head coverings and...more

Supreme Court of Canada to consider scope of human rights protection in non-traditional employment relationships

The Supreme Court of Canada will once again be looking at the issue of which members of the workforce should have the protection of human rights legislation. On October 13, 2016, the Supreme Court granted leave to...more

Restroom Access and Transgender Issues in the Workplace Go Supreme

I still remain amazed at the sold-out crowd we had at last week’s Labor & Employment Law seminar. Well over 250 people registered for the program and I kind of wanted to whisper to people: “You know this is just a LEGAL...more

Second Circuit Seeks Guidance from NY Court of Appeals on Standard for Awarding Punitive Damages Under the New York City Human...

The Second Circuit is once again seeking guidance from the New York Court of Appeals, this time on the question of the appropriate standard for awarding punitive damages for unlawful discriminatory acts under the New York...more

Stuck in Cape Town Again

By creatively patching together scheduled days off, vacation days, and personal holidays, and then switching a shift, the plaintiff put together 21 days off. Unfortunately, he was still scheduled for one shift right in the...more

The Eighth Circuit & the ADA, Part II: Must a Request for Accommodation be Explicit?

In contrast to Parker v. Crete Carrier Corporation, et al, in Kowitz v. Trinity Health, et al, No. 15-1584 (October 17, 2016), a split panel of the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed summary judgment for an employer on...more

U.S. Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Transgender Bathroom Case

Questions regarding bathroom access for transgender individuals have been among the most prevalent in American society in the last year. We have written about this topic on several occasions recently due to activity in...more

E.D. Pennsylvania Limits Protected Activity Under SOX

In Westawski v. Merck & Co., No. 14-cv-3239 (E.D. Pa. Oct. 18, 2016), the Eastern District of Pennsylvania granted Defendant Merck & Co. (Company) summary judgment on Plaintiff Joni Westawski’s (Plaintiff) SOX whistleblower...more

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