Title VII

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act is a United States federal law enacted in 1964 and aimed at preventing discrimination in the workplace on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, and religion. Title VII... more +
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act is a United States federal law enacted in 1964 and aimed at preventing discrimination in the workplace on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, and religion. Title VII has been subsequently extended to discrimination on the basis of pregnancy and sexual stereotypes and to prohibit sexual harassment. Title VII applies to all employers with fifteen or more employees including private employers, state and local governments, and educational institutions.  less -
News & Analysis as of

Knowingly or Not? When Does an Employee Agree to Arbitrate?

There was a time, not so long ago, when federal courts refused to enforce arbitration agreements in Title VII cases, rendering arbitration agreements in the employment context virtually meaningless. Then, in 1991, Congress...more

California Supreme Court Makes It Harder For Prevailing FEHA Defendants To Recover Their Costs

Under section 1032(b) of the California Code of Civil Procedure, “a prevailing party is entitled as a matter of right to recover costs in any action or proceeding” unless some statute expressly says otherwise. It has been...more

Asking Supervisor to Stop Harassment Qualifies as Protected Activity Under Title VII

A recent Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling may concern employers, since it gives a broad definition to Title VII retaliation claims. On April 22, the court of appeals affirmed the trial court in ruling that informal...more

More than Just a TV Show: How Bruce Jenner’s Story Sheds Light on the Importance of Workplace Policies for Transgender Employees

Last month in a nationally televised interview, U.S. Olympic icon Bruce Jenner revealed to the world that he is a transgender woman. While the coming out process for the rest of the nearly 700,000 transgender Americans may...more

Religious Institutions Update: May 2015

Religious institutions commonly keep ministry supporters and members abreast of developments through newsletters, correspondence and other communications. Sometimes, the developments reported are embarrassing to those...more

Spring Vacations: Which arguments are winning on appeals from arbitration so far in 2015?

Today I present a collection of recent state and federal appellate court decisions that vacate or un-vacate arbitration awards. The seven opinions below emphasize how difficult it is to prove that an arbitrator exceeded his...more

Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals Holds Hostile Work Environment Can Be Created With A Single Racial Epithet

Despite consistent direction from the United States Supreme Court that courts should look at "all the circumstances" in determining whether a workplace environment is sufficiently hostile or abusive to give rise to an...more

Transgender and Sexual Orientation Anti-Discrimination Protections — Maybe not yet the Law of the Land, but Your Policies Better...

Though most Americans do not seem to realize it, anti-discrimination legal protections in employment for transgender, gay, bisexual, and lesbian (LGBT) employees are not uniform across the U.S. In fact, the federal Employment...more

Fourth Circuit Joins Other Federal Courts in Broadly Interpreting the Scope of Title VII Retaliation Claims

On May 7, 2015, the Fourth Circuit ruled that an isolated instance of harassment, if "extremely serious," can create a hostile work environment, and that complaining about such harassment constitutes protected activity under...more

Ninth Circuit Reinforces that Arbitration Agreements Will be Enforced

Ashbey was employed from December 1996 until November 2010, when he was discharged. He started with Archstone as a service technician and was promoted to regional service manager. In 2009, Ashbey signed a document titled,...more

EEOC Takes On Transgender Discrimination Under Title VII

On April 21, 2014, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan ruled that the EEOC may proceed with sex discrimination claims on behalf of a transgender plaintiff. This litigation is one of two actions filed...more

EEOC Will Now Process Sexual Orientation Discrimination Claims

On February 3rd, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission released an internal memorandum stating that the EEOC will now process and investigate claims of discrimination based on sexual orientation, transgender status, and...more

Update on EEOC Transgender Litigation

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) has continued its push for increased focus on LGBT discrimination issues, with two cases in federal courts in Florida and Michigan pushing its position that gender...more

Courts can review EEOC’s pre-litigation conciliation efforts: 6 steps for employers

The United States Supreme Court has unanimously held in Mach Mining, LLC v. EEOC that courts can review conciliation efforts by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) before the agency sues an employer. ...more

Telling Harasser to Stop Conduct Protects Employee from Retaliation

Title VII and related federal civil rights laws prohibit employers from retaliating against an employee who files a claim, participates in an investigation or opposes conduct prohibited under anti-discrimination laws....more

Fourth Circuit Reverses Position on Single Racial Slur as Sufficient to Create Hostile Work Environment

For years, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals (which includes North Carolina and South Carolina) set a high bar for plaintiffs suing for workplace harassment. The court rejected multiple claims involving obnoxious and crude...more

In a Win for Employees, Fourth Circuit Finds That Two Racial Slurs May Support Harassment Claim

The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals recently made two noteworthy rulings in a single case concerning sexual harassment and retaliation under Title VII. First, as it relates to sexual harassment, the Court found that two...more

Lowering the Bar: Fourth Circuit Rules Single Incident Sufficient to Trigger Title VII Hostile Work Environment Claim

Out with the old and in with the new. In a decision issued last week, the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals held that a single incident of harassment was sufficient to move a harassment claim forward. This decision is certainly...more

Employment Law - May 2015

U.S. Supreme Court Permits Narrow Review of EEOC Conciliation Process - Why it matters: The U.S. Supreme Court handed a victory—albeit limited—to employers when it determined that courts may consider the...more

Supreme Court Concludes EEOC Conciliation Efforts Subject to Judicial Review

Before filing a discrimination claim in federal court under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII), the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is statutorily required to engage in potential...more

Federal Court Limits Employer's Right to Discover Information About the EEOC’s Own Hiring Policies and Expands the EEOC's Rights...

In recent years, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has aggressively sought to enforce its April 2012 enforcement guidance concerning how, in the EEOC’s view, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 restricts an...more

Supreme Court Gives Conciliatory Nod to the EEOC’s Duty of Conciliation

In a unanimous decision issued on April 29, 2015, the United States Supreme Court has unequivocally allowed judicial review of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC)’s pre-litigation conciliation efforts, but...more

The EEOC’s Minimal Conciliation Obligations

The U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled that before bringing a discrimination lawsuit, the EEOC must first attempt to conciliate the matter with the employer; however, to comply with that obligation, the EEOC need only inform...more

Same-Sex Marriage Issues for Employers

In the case of Searcy v. Strange, 2015 WL 328825 (S.D. Ala Jan. 25, 2015), the federal Court for the Southern District of Alabama held that Alabama's ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional. Alabama news headlines have...more

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