Archives: Discrimination

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Anti-Discrimination Laws Going “Intern”-ational? New York City Extends Its Human Rights Law to Unpaid Interns

As we reported last October, a federal court in New York found that an unpaid intern could not bring a hostile work environment sexual harassment claim pursuant to the New York City Human Rights Law (“NYCHRL”).  (Wang v. Phoenix Satellite Television US, Inc., Case No. 1:13-cv-00218-PKC (S.D.N.Y. 2013).  On March 26, however, the New York … Continue Reading

The EEOC Amplifies its Focus on Religious Discrimination

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) received 3,721 charges alleging religious discrimination in fiscal year 2013.  In partial response to these charges, earlier this month, the EEOC issued new technical assistance publications addressing religious dress and grooming in the workplace under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”).  Given the … Continue Reading

Another Reminder That Inflexible Employment Policies and the ADA Don’t Play Well Together – Court Refuses to Dismiss EEOC Action Based on “100% Healed” Policy

One theme that resonates throughout court decisions and EEOC filings over the last few years is that application of inflexible employment policies to disabled employees often runs afoul of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  Such is the case with “100% healed” policies, which require employees returning from leaves of absence to do so without … Continue Reading

Pregnant Employees Become the Subject of Heightened Attention and New Legislation

Over the past decade, the number of claims pregnant workers have filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) has risen by almost 50 percent, according to the National Women’s Law Center (“NWLC”).  Most of these workers assert that their employers denied them reasonable accommodations, such as bathroom breaks, periodic rest breaks, breaks to facilitate … Continue Reading

Walking in a Winter Litigation Wonderland: Top Employment Mistakes to Avoid at Your Company Holiday Party

As 2013 draws to a close, attentions turn to the festivities and merriment of the holiday season, and many employers gear up for office holiday parties.  A holiday party is a great way to reward employees for a long year’s work, encourage employees to mingle with coworkers outside of their immediate work groups, and set … Continue Reading

Texas Files Suit to Strike Down EEOC Background Check Guidance

  Don’t mess with Texas. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) usually forces employers who are subject to Title VII to play defense.  The State of Texas, however, has upended that approach.  On November 4, 2013, Texas filed a federal lawsuit that seeks to strike down the EEOC’s April 2012 Enforcement Guidance limiting employers’ use … Continue Reading

Staffing Agency Employee May Sue Multiple Employers for Wrongful Discharge, Federal Court Rules

Whose employee is it anyway? The answer may be everyone’s. Companies who use staffing agencies to supply workers may be considered joint employers of those workers, even if the staffing agency hires and pays the workers.  Both companies may be held liable for retaliation and wrongful termination, a federal court in New York has just … Continue Reading

Court Slams EEOC on Background Check Lawsuit

Last week, a district court in Maryland granted summary judgment in favor of Freeman, Inc. (“Freeman”), a service provider for corporate events, with respect to a nationwide pattern and practice lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”).  EEOC v. Freeman, No. 09-CV-2573 (D. Md. Aug. 9, 2013).  In its lawsuit, the EEOC … Continue Reading

EEOC Files Two Race-Based Class Action Lawsuits on Criminal Background Checks

On June 11, 2013, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed separate class action lawsuits against two employers – Dollar General Stores and BMW – alleging that these employers engaged in racial discrimination by using criminal background checks to disqualify applicants from employment.  The BMW case filed in South Carolina has a 69-person class, and is location specific.  … Continue Reading
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