Protected Class

News & Analysis as of

5 Workplace Safety Tips to Protect Employees from Violent Co-Workers (While Complying with Employment Laws)

According to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), homicide is the fourth-leading cause of fatal occupational injuries in the United States. This article gives employers practical advice aimed at keeping the...more

Three Key Employment Updates

We have summarised three of the most notable employment related updates for you to mull over while enjoying the summer sun. European case opens the door for easier indirect discrimination claims to be brought by...more

The Customer Can’t Always Be Right

Imagine this scenario: You’ve worked hard to build a profitable business and you’ve done it the right way. You’ve taken every step to control the things you can control about every aspect of your company. You’ve got handbook...more

Workplace Bullying: What’s the Employer’s Responsibility?

Over the past two decades, parents, schools, school boards and legislators have worked hard to address bullying in the classroom and on the playground. In the workplace, which also sees its share of bullying behavior, there...more

Not-So-Sudden Impact: Insurers Face A New Breed Of Claim Under the Fair Housing Act (Part 1 of 3)

Late in June, in Texas Dept. of Housing v. Inclusive Communities, No. 13–1371 (U.S. June 25, 2015), the U.S. Supreme Court ended years of debate by embracing a “disparate impact” claim against a housing authority under the...more

EEOC Decision: Title VII Protects Employees' Sexual Orientation

The EEOC’s Decision - On July 18, 2015, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) decided that Title VII’s prohibition on sex discrimination extends to discrimination based on an individual’s sexual orientation....more

Supreme Court Slams The Brakes On Challenge To Disparate Act

As of now, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) prohibits dealers from unintentional, or “disparate impact,” discrimination in setting dealer reserves in auto financing. This disparate impact can result from policies or...more

EEOC Rules that “Sex” Encompasses Sexual Orientation Under Title VII; Ruling Helpful to LGBT Employees, But Not an End to the...

In a sweeping decision, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission found that Title VII prohibits sexual orientation-based discrimination. Although the statute does not explicitly include sexual orientation as a...more

Deliberate Indifference to Bullying Can Amount to Massive Liability – Lessons from the Pine Bush Settlement

$4.48 million. That’s how much the Pine Bush School District in central-New York just agreed to pay to settle a lawsuit brought by a group of current and former students who alleged that school administrators were...more

Is Sexual Orientation Now a Protected Class?

In our June 26 alert regarding the U.S. Supreme Court's same-sex marriage decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, we said we would continue to keep you posted regarding new developments in this area of the law. Some of you may...more

No Fault Employment?

The divorce metaphor bears fruit yet again when it comes to the employment relationship. To this mix I add the concept of “no fault” divorce and the reasons employment ends. A “no fault” divorce permits a spouse to end a...more

Fourth Circuit Holds Employer to High Standard for Responding to Anonymous Workplace Harassment

Employers and employees often face frustrations when trying to determine the identity of persons who engage in anonymous acts of harassment in the workplace. These acts can involve notes, graffiti, telephone messages or other...more

Pregnancy Discrimination Prohibition To Be Included in Florida Civil Rights Act

In April 2014, the Florida Supreme Court held in Delva v. The Continental Group, Inc. that pregnancy discrimination was encompassed within “sex” discrimination as protected in the then-enacted version of the Florida Civil...more

2015 Employment Bills Moving Through The CA Legislative Process

Thursday, June 5 marked the last day for bills to pass out of their house of origin in the California Legislature. Here is a summary of some key employment bills that made it through (followed by some significant bills that...more

New York Appellate Division Permits Worker to Establish Membership in Protected Class Based on Association with Another

Chiara v. Town of New Castle, (N.Y. App. Div., 2d Dep’t Jan. 14, 2015): A recent decision by the New York Appellate Division, Second Department, held that a plaintiff claiming religious discrimination under the New York State...more

Transgender Discrimination and the Equal Opportunity Workplace

Although most companies have workplace policies prohibiting discrimination and harassment based on an employee’s sex, race and religion, many companies have not yet added gender identity to the list of protected categories....more

Employers: Don’t Forget About the Possibility of Associational Discrimination Liability

A case out of a New York State appeals court should remind employers that they may liable for discrimination where they take an adverse action against an employee based on the employee’s association with someone in a...more

Appellate Division Panel Issues Ruling Broadly Interpreting New York State Human Rights Law

On January 14, 2015, in a case of first impression, the New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Second Department held that an employee can sufficiently demonstrate his membership in a protected class by virtue of his...more

If You Haven’t Already, It’s Time to Add Sexual Orientation and Trans-Gender to Your Discrimination Policy

On its face, federal law does not list sexual orientation or trans-gender status as protected categories. Some states or cities have passed their own laws offering such protections, leaving a patchwork of laws across the...more

Implementing Regulation B Spousal Signature Provisions

The Equal Credit Opportunity Act and its implementing rule, Regulation B, prohibit any creditor from discriminating based on sex or marital status, among other protected statuses. All the federal banking agencies are involved...more

Texas Apartment Association Files Amicus Brief in U.S. Supreme Court Fair Housing Act Case

The U.S. Supreme Court will review a Fair Housing Act case to address whether the Act prohibits facially neutral conduct that has an unintended disparate impact on members of a protected class. In its amicus curiae brief, the...more

New Jersey Division on Civil Rights Issues Amended Regulations on Employment Advertising

On June 23, 2014, the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights (DCR) issued amended regulations concerning employment advertisements. First, the prohibition on employment advertisements containing a preference for—or...more

Springfield Employers Take Note: City Council Adds Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity to List of Protected Classes

On October 13, the Springfield, Missouri City Council, on a vote of 6-3, approved a bill expanding the city’s non-discrimination ordinance to include sexual orientation and gender identity as protected classes. Council...more

The New Protected Class: Unpaid Interns (Are They Worth the Trouble?)

It is a constant challenge for employers to keep up with the panoply of protections afforded to actual employees by federal, state and local employment discrimination and other laws. Beware — there is a new trend afoot that...more

Title VII at 50: What's New? - Employment Law Update

This summer marked the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, legislation first introduced by President John F. Kennedy in response to the growing civil rights movement. For employers, the most important component...more

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