Protected Class

News & Analysis as of

4th Circuit Decision Highlights Importance of Comparator Evidence

The Fourth Circuit recently upheld a lower court decision granting summary judgment to the employer in an employment discrimination suit brought under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”) and Maryland law,...more

Ohio Legislature Proposes Major Reform of Ohio Employment Discrimination Law

The Ohio employment discrimination statute may be in for substantial changes. A bill aimed at comprehensive reform of Ohio’s employment discrimination statute (R.C. § 4112) has been introduced Ohio Legislature....more

Age Discrimination Claims Valid When Both Candidates Over 40

In Irvin v. Ascension Parish School Board, the United States District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana denied Defendant’s motion for summary dismissal of a claim under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act...more

Third Circuit Permits ADEA “Subgroup” Claims

The Third Circuit recently held in Karlo v. Pittsburgh Glass Works, LLC, No. 15-3435, 2017 WL 83385 (3d Cir. Jan. 10, 2017), that workers in their 50s may be recognized as a “subgroup” of employees protected by the Age...more

What’s in a Pronoun? Liability for Employers

Political correctness in the workplace has become increasingly complex. Employers who have referred to transitioning employees with the wrong pronoun have found themselves in the crosshairs of the EEOC. But what about those...more

EEOC Seeks Input Regarding Proposed Harassment Enforcement Guidance

On January 10, 2017, the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued proposed enforcement guidance on preventing workplace harassment for which it seeks input before implementation. The deadline for...more

Third Circuit Rules That Employment Practices Favoring Employees in Their 40s Over Those in Their 50s Could Constitute Age...

The Third Circuit Court of Appeals (which handles appeals of federal cases in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, and the Virgin Islands) recently ruled that a facially neutral workplace policy that disproportionately affects...more

Algorithms and bias: What lenders need to know

The algorithms that power fintech may discriminate in ways that can be difficult to anticipate—and financial institutions can be held accountable even when alleged discrimination is clearly unintentional....more

You Mean It’s Un-American to Hire Only Americans? DOJ Issues Final Rule on Unfair Immigration-Related Employment Practices

If you thought it would be safer to require every new hire to be an American citizen—think again. The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has a new rule revising its prior regulations on Section 274B of the Immigration and...more

Louisiana Executive Order Extending Protections to LGBT Employees of State Contractors Enjoined

In June, we reported that in April 2016, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards (D) signed Executive Order JBE 2016 – 11, which sought to protect lesbian, bisexual, gay, and transgender individuals, among other protected...more

What Employers Can Expect from the New Administration – Part 1: Executive Orders & Administrative Actions

What will a Trump administration do to the labor and employment law landscape? While we can’t predict for certain, we figure we can at least provide better insight than the pollsters who have spent the last year following the...more

Pennsylvania Court Says Title VII Prohibits Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (‘EEOC”) has been aggressively advancing its position that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation even though sexual...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

California Legislature Adds Extra Set Of Teeth To Fair Pay Act’s Protections - New Law Extends Provisions To Race And Ethnicity

On September 30, 2016, California Governor Jerry Brown signed the Wage and Equality Act of 2016 (SB 1063) into law, which will prohibit employers from paying employees of one race or ethnicity a lower wage than employees of...more

New Fair Housing Rule Extends Liability to Housing Providers for Harassment

This week, HUD issued a final rule that creates liability under the Fair Housing Act (FHA) for housing providers for occurrences of “quid pro quo harassment” or “hostile environment harassment.” The new rule takes effect on...more

Ninth Circuit Finds ADA Claims Brought by Employee With Cerebral Palsy Can Go Forward

Facially neutral decisions that are part of routine workforce reductions may not hold up in court if the only employee to be discharged in a group belongs to a protected class. In Schwartz v. Clark County, No. 14-16365 (May...more

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

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