Protected Class

News & Analysis as of

Proposed Amendment to NYC Human Rights Law Would Prohibit Discrimination Against Uniformed Service Members and Veterans

An amendment to the New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL) introduced before the City Council this week would add current or prior service in the uniformed services as a protected class under the law. If approved by the...more

Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation Not Protected by Title VII, Federal Court Rules

The anti-discrimination protections under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act do not encompass workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, in Chicago, has...more

Pokémon No! A Strategy Guide on Handling the Latest Smartphone Craze in the Workplace

Although Pokémon Go is only 21 days young, over 30 million users have downloaded and played the augmented reality game on their smartphones. In the latest release of the pocket monster franchise, your mission is to capture...more

Massachusetts Governor Signs Act Granting Paid Leave to Veterans Participating in Veterans Day Activities and Adds “Veteran...

Seyfarth Synopsis: In July 2016, Governor Charlie Baker signed into law An Act Relative to Housing, Operations, Military Service, and Enrichment (“The HOME Act”). The HOME Act requires employers to provide paid leave to...more

Fourth Circuit Says Failure to Replace Employee Does Not Defeat Discriminatory Termination Claim

When a terminated employee alleges that her firing resulted from discrimination or retaliation, employers often dispute those claims by noting that the employer never hired anyone to take the terminated employee’s position....more

Going For the Gold: How To Legally Recruit The Best Candidates

This summer the world’s greatest athletes are competing for Olympic gold. In order to win, these athletes must follow a strict set of rules to prevent deductions and disqualifications. When employers compete for the best...more

LGBT Antidiscrimination Provisions to Apply to Louisiana Contractors on July 1

Government contractors in Louisiana should take note of the upcoming effective date of the state’s recently-signed antidiscrimination law. In April of 2016, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards (D) signed Executive Order JBE...more

NY Employer Alert: Human Rights Division Expands Scope of Discrimination Law

Ben Franklin advised colonists to "Be civil to all; sociable to many; familiar with few; friend to one; enemy to none." He may have offered similar advice today, following the adoption of a new regulation by the New York...more

Beauty is in the Eye of the…Defendant? Termination for Attractiveness Found Not to be Gender Discrimination

Is cuteness a protected class? Most of our mothers would say it should be. However, a recent decision in New York found a woman could not bring suit against her former employer based on her allegation that she was terminated...more

Legislating Bathrooms: SC Bill Highlights Transgender Issues at Work

The South Carolina Employment Law Letter normally analyzes newly issued cases in its lead article, but we take a moment to address a “hot button” issue that is impacting many states, including South Carolina. There has been a...more

Division of Human Rights Adopts Regulation Prohibiting Discrimination Based on Relationship or Association

On May 18, the New York State Division of Human Rights adopted a new regulation prohibiting employment discrimination based on an individual’s relationship or association with a member of a protected category covered by the...more

Best Practices for Conducting Pre-Employment Background Checks in Canada

Many employers perform background checks before hiring their employees. The process could be as simple as checking an applicant’s professional credentials, education, and references, or as detailed as a criminal records check...more

Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs and Its Potential Impact on Underwriting Policies and Procedures

In Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. Inclusive Communities Project, Inc., 135 S. Ct. 2507 (2015), one of the most watched cases of 2015, the Supreme Court held that plaintiffs may rely on a disparate impact...more

New York State Prohibits Discrimination Based on Relationship or Association

On May 18, 2016, the New York State Division of Human Rights (SDHR) adopted new regulations that prohibit discrimination based on a relationship or association with members of a protected class. The purported purpose of the...more

Tale of Several Lawsuits: Filings in North Carolina and Mississippi Regarding Gender Identity Laws

In response to the Department of Justice’s letter last week (see our previous blog post) regarding North Carolina’s HB2 law about transgender bathroom access (among other things), the Governor and Secretary of the Department...more

Health Care Discrimination Litigation Gets a New Set of Teeth under the ACA: 2015 Litigation Review and Preview of 2016

Discrimination in health care was prohibited before the Affordable Care Act, but on a limited basis. Protected classes did not include sex; prohibitions excluded private physicians accepting Medicare Part B; and, most...more

Amended California FEHA Regulations (Effective April 1, 2016)

All employers with employees in California should carefully review harassment, discrimination, and retaliation policies and practices to ensure compliance with amended FEHA regulations. New Requirements for a Written...more

Just Like Hollywood, Big Pictures are Best in Termination Decisions

A federal appeals court recently revived a former employee’s gender discriminatory discharge claim even though there appeared to be legitimate reasons for her termination. The decision suggests that employers take a big...more

EEOC Argues Adverse Employment Action Irrelevant in Racial Segregation Cases

Recently, the EEOC filed an appeal in EEOC v. AutoZone, Inc. et al., arguing that the lower court erred in dismissing the case against AutoZone Inc. by improperly requiring the EEOC to show that the employee at issue suffered...more

Downsizing and Firing Employees in California

Most companies will eventually face the unpleasant task of terminating an employee or group of employees. When they do, it’s critical that they follow best practices and comply with applicable laws for many reasons, ranging...more

Preparing for the Oscars: Can You Retaliate Against Your Worst-Dressed Employees?

The door opens. All eyes turn to watch the smiling woman as she strides across the carpet. Wait, is she wearing what I think she’s wearing? Oh my. What do you do when the outfit your employee is wearing makes your...more

OFCCP Reminds Us Men Can Be Victims Of Sex Discrimination, Too

The federal Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) recently filed an administrative complaint alleging hiring bias against men against AmeriQual, an Indiana company that manufactures portable meals for the...more

New York City Bans Discrimination Based on Caregiver Status

On December 16, 2015, the New York City Council amended the New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL) to include “caregiver status” as a protected class. The amended NYCHRL will prohibit discrimination on the basis of an...more

“Waterboy” a Protected Category

Adam Sandler fans will recall his Oscar-worthy starring role in the movie “The Waterboy,” in which he played a habitually-bullied waterboy for a college football team. Sandler played the part with an extremely pronounced...more

New York City Council Passes Caregiver Discrimination Bill

On Wednesday, December 16, 2015, the New York City Council voted 49-0 in favor of Int. No. 108-A, legislation that amends the New York City Human Rights Law (“NYCHRL”) to prohibit employment discrimination based on an...more

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