Legal History

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50 For 50: Five Decades Of The Most Important Employment Discrimination Decisions - Number 44: Psychiatric or Mental Disabilities...

In the continuing evolution of equal employment opportunity law, no area has led to more stress for employers (all puns intended) than complying with their poorly defined and ever-changing obligations under the Americans with...more

50 For 50: Five Decades Of The Most Important Employment Discrimination Decisions - Number 40: “Me Too” Evidence

“Me too” evidence is testimony from employees other than the plaintiff who claim that they were subjected to discrimination, retaliation or harassment during their employment. Plaintiffs often seek to have this evidence...more

South Florida Federal, Local Agencies to Observe 50th Anniversary of 1964 Civil Rights Act

Landmark Legislation Still Holds Significance for Millions of Americans - MIAMI -- Several federal agencies and local government bodies will join forces on July 2 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of President Lyndon...more

50 for 50: Five Decades of the Most Important Discrimination Law Developments - Number 38: The Supreme Court Defines “Supervisor”...

In hostile environment harassment cases under Title VII, an employer’s liability for the conduct of its employees depends on whether a supervisor or an individual contributor commits the wrongful acts. If a supervisor...more

50 for 50: Five Decades of the Most Important Discrimination Law Developments - Number 36: “Family Status” Is Not a Protected...

Family status discrimination (“FSD”) is an increasingly recognized term that refers to discrimination against employees on the basis of their caregiving responsibilities, including those that actively participate in providing...more

50 for 50: Five Decades of the Most Important Discrimination Law Developments - Number 34: Religious Dress And Appearance Requires...

A recent survey by the Pew Research Center reports that 58% of Americans say that religion is very important in their lives and 76% of Americans say that prayer is an important part of their daily lives. The survey also...more

50 for 50: Five Decades of the Most Important Discrimination Law Developments - Number 32: Understanding Retaliation Claims Under...

One of the plaintiffs’ bar’s perennial favorite claims is the amorphous and, hence, ubiquitous retaliation claim. Over the years, the law under Title VII has made these claims more difficult for plaintiffs to bring. At the...more

50 for 50: Five Decades of the Most Important Discrimination Law Developments - Number 30: An Employer’s Honest Belief A Surefire...

Proving discrimination – or the absence of it – is a tricky proposition at its core and there can be more twists and turns than a roller coaster. What happens when an employee is fired for both legitimate and discriminatory...more

50 for 50: Five Decades of the Most Important Discrimination Law Developments - Number 29: The EEOC Requires Employers to File...

The EEOC is tasked not only with enforcement and adjudication of employment discrimination; it also has data-collecting requirements. In some cases, that data-collecting is easy: the EEOC can easily count the number and type...more

50 For 50: Five Decades Of The Most Important Discrimination Law Developments - Number 25: The Rise in Frequency of Retaliation...

When considering Title VII complaint statistics, it is usually assumed that race discrimination or sexual harassment claims would be the most frequent charge. Since 2009, however, a different claim became the statistical...more

50 For 50: Five Decades Of The Most Important Discrimination Law Developments - Number 24: The Supreme Court Balances TheTension...

Employment tests and other selection procedures have long been part of hiring and promotional processes for many employers. Designed and used properly, employment tests can be very effective in assisting employers to...more

When Judges Met Jazz: The First Decade Of Jazz Law

In honor of African American Music Appreciation Month, sometimes known as Black Music Month, we recall the first judicial decisions in which jazz music was the subject of a legal dispute. Although jazz originated in the late...more

50 For 50: Five Decades Of The Most Important Discrimination Law Developments - Number 21: From The Courts To Pop Culture —...

It is tough to determine the precise moment that sexual harassment went from something that Hollywood “did” (the ubiquitous “casting couch”) to something that Hollywood exploited as story-line. But over the five decades of...more

50 for 50: Five Decades of the Most Important Discrimination Law Developments - Number 19: HIV/AIDS Is a Protected Disability...

The social, economic and public health effects of the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s propelled public health and community-based organizations to join forces and advocate for the passage of a federal anti-discrimination law. ...more

50 for 50: Five Decades of the Most Important Discrimination Law Developments - Number 17: What Happens When An Employer Has...

What happens when an employer decides to terminate an employee for discriminatory and non-discriminatory reasons? The Supreme Court gave a surprising answer to that question of “mixed motives” in its seminal 1989 decision:...more

50 for 50: Five Decades of the Most Important Discrimination Law Developments - Number 16: Employers Fight Against Title VII...

Summary judgment motions have long been in the toolkit for employers to combat weak and frivolous Title VII claims brought by their former (and sometimes, current) employees. But that was not always the case, and recent...more

50 for 50: Five Decades of the Most Important Discrimination Law Developments - Number 15: Affirmative Action For Federal...

Within months of signing Title VII into law, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed Executive Order 11246 on September 24, 1965, establishing requirements for ensuring non-discriminatory practices on four grounds (race, color,...more

50 for 50: Five Decades of the Most Important Discrimination Law Developments - Number 11: Workplace Investigations and the Good...

Allegations of employee misconduct – particularly as they relate to claims of discrimination and harassment – have been raised in the workplace ever since the Civil Rights Act was passed. But human resource executives were...more

A Brief History of the Patent Law of the United States

Public perception of the patent system has swung widely over the years from highs, such as those in the late nineteenth century when Mark Twain could write “a country without a patent office and good patent laws was just a...more

Court Allows Agency To Withhold Certain Historical Records Under FOIA

Yesterday, the D.C. Circuit issued a ruling in allowing the CIA to withhold a draft of one volume of a history of the Bay of Pigs Invasion under FOIA Exemption 5, the exemption for "inter-agency or intra-agency memorandums or...more

50 for 50: Five Decades of the Most Important Discrimination Law Developments - Number 9: And Then There Were None”: The Story...

The EEOC made a name for itself in the early days of Title VII by bringing large “pattern or practice” cases. Employers were forced to reevaluate their policies to see if protected groups — frequently females — were being...more

50 for 50: Five Decades of the Most Important Discrimination Law Developments - Number 10: Harassment Training Becomes The Norm

In 2005, when first responders arrived in New Orleans to help victims of Hurricane Katrina, they did not hit the ground running. Some of that was attributed to mismanagement and other bureaucratic delays, but one fact was...more

50 for 50: Five Decades of the Most Important Discrimination Law Developments - Number 5: The Americans With Disabilities Act...

Like many discrimination laws, the Americans with Disabilities Act was born from a grass roots movement. On Monday, March 12, 1990, disability activists descended on the U.S. Capitol Building, rallying for equal rights for...more

50 for 50: Five Decades of the Most Important Discrimination Law Developments: Number 4: In 1991, Congress Broadens the Law

By the late 1980’s, the legal battles concerning employment discrimination had become increasingly mature and several cases had been decided by the United States Supreme Court favorable to employers. In the Civil Rights Act...more

50 for 50: Five Decades of the Most Important Discrimination Law Developments: Number 3: In 1986, The Supreme Court Recognizes...

It’s hard to imagine now, but from 1964 to 1986, “sexual harassment” as it is known today did not exist. That all changed when the Supreme Court issued its landmark decision in Meritor Savings Bank v. Vinson. It was that...more

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