Title VII Employer Liability Issues

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

Transgender Issues in the Workplace

Since 2012, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has taken the position that transgender individuals are protected from discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII). The EEOC...more

Getting Releases Right

There are times when it makes sense to resolve an actual or potential employment law claim by paying something and getting a release from the employee. Paying severance in return for a release and waiver of claims isn’t...more

Fourth Circuit Adopts the Joint Employer Test for Title VII Claims

Who's The Boss? - In Butler v. Drive Auto. Indus. of Am., Inc., the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals (which has jurisdiction over North and South Carolina) joined the majority of federal appellate courts in holding that...more

Third Circuit Issues Employer-Friendly Ruling in Discrimination and Retaliation Case

On August 12, 2015, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals issued a precedential opinion in Jones v. SEPTA, a discrimination and retaliation claim brought by a former employee of the Philadelphia-area transit agency. The Third...more

Fourth Circuit Rejects "Manager Rule" Exception to Title VII Retaliation Claims

Like most federal labor laws, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employers from retaliating against employees who oppose unlawful employment practices. However, a number of federal courts have adopted a...more

Fourth Circuit Rejects “Manager Rule” in Title VII Cases

In an important recent decision, DeMasters v. Carilion Clinic, the Fourth Circuit determined that the so-called “manager rule” exception to federal anti-retaliation laws does not apply to employment cases filed under Title...more

Employment Law - August 2015

California Sick Leave Law Gets Updates - Why it matters: California's Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act just took effect on July 1 but Governor Jerry Brown has already signed into law tweaks to the statute....more

One-Time Anomaly Or Potential Turning Of The Tides? A Review Of The Supreme Court's 2014-2015 Term

In a marked departure from the overwhelming success employers experienced before the Supreme Court in recent years, the less successful recently wrapped 2014-2015 term could be an indication that the judicial tides may be...more

Second Circuit Clarifies Pleading Standard for Title VII Claims

A Second Circuit panel recently revived a former employee’s racial discrimination suit against New York City, reversing in part the Southern District of New York’s dismissal of her case. In Littlejohn v. City of New York,...more

Fourth Circuit Says Host User of Temporary Employee Liable for Title VII Violations

Most employers using temporary workers from an employment agency assume that they are liable as employers for certain legal claims. While a reasonable assumption, until last week, this status had never been formally...more

Employer Potentially Liable for Harassment of Supervisor by Her Subordinates

Employers are well aware of their potential liability for workplace harassment claims involving co-workers or third parties. They also understand their heightened legal responsibility when the alleged harasser is the...more

Risky Business: A Three-Step Plan For Addressing Harassment By Nonemployees

Employers have long understood that they face potential liability when an employee is sexually harassed by another employee and they do nothing to prevent or fix the known problem. It is also true, but perhaps less well...more

EEOC Issues Overview on LGBT Rights Under Title VII

As reported in EmployNews, over the past year the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has aggressively shifted its position on the extent of coverage of LGBT workers under Title VII. In federal employee cases where the...more

EEOC Issues Ruling on Workplace Sexual Orientation Discrimination

On July 15, 2015, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) issued its ruling in Complainant v. Foxx finding that all types of discrimination based on sexual orientation are forms of sex discrimination...more

EEOC’s Pattern-Or-Practice Claims Against JBS to Proceed to Trial, Federal Judge Orders

Federal Court Denies Meat Processor's Motion for Summary Judgment on Agency's Title VII Race, National Origin, and Religious Discrimination and Retaliation Case - DENVER - A federal judge has denied, in its entirety, the...more

Serving Two Masters- Fourth Circuit Recognizes the Joint Employment Doctrine

Much to the delight of employees and their counsel, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals has expanded the number of potentially liable defendants in Title VII employment discrimination actions. In the July 15, 2015 published...more

Employers Can be Liable For Acts of Anonymous Harassers

A recent federal court case emphasized an important lesson for all companies to consider: employers are under an obligation to investigate employee complaints of a hostile work environment even if the identity of the harasser...more

Where’s the Beef Part II: Court Refuses To “Butcher” EEOC’s Religious Discrimination Claim

Our loyal blog readers may recall a post we authored in October 2013 regarding EEOC v. JBS USA, LLC (the “Nebraska Case”), where Chief Judge Laurie Smith Camp of the U.S. District Court for the District of Nebraska entered...more

The Equality Act: Federal Anti-LGBTQ Discrimination Law Introduced in Congress

Last month, in a historic case, the U.S. Supreme Court recognized that same-sex couples—like their heterosexual counterparts— have the constitutional right to marry. On the heels of this decision, federal agencies and...more

EEOC Rules That Title VII Prohibits Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation

In a 3-2 decision published on Thursday, July 16, 2015, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) concluded that intentional discrimination against an employee based on their sexual orientation is sex...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

That is SO last week - July 2015 #3

There’s just no rest for employment lawyers this summer. We had another exciting week. The biggest news was the EEOC’s ruling that Title VII prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. The agency found that...more

Quirky Question #265, Can I have an English-Only Policy?

Question: Our Company may implement a policy that requires employees to speak in the English language. What risks should we be aware of? ...more

Oregon’s New “Ban the Box” Law Prohibits Criminal History Questions on Employment Applications

It’s been an active legislative session in Oregon this year regarding laws affecting the state’s employers. Hot on the heels of enacting laws relating to paid sick leave, noncompete agreements, and employee privacy on social...more

EEOC Rules Sexual Orientation a Protected Category Under Title VII

Jumping on the coattails of the recent Supreme Court decision regarding same-sex marriage, the EEOC has found that discrimination based on sexual orientation is a form of sex discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights...more

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