Archives: Discrimination

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Illinois releases guidance regarding reporting rule for sexual harassment and discrimination judgments

On July 14, 2020, the Illinois Department of Human Rights (IDHR) released guidance for employers regarding the state’s new “adverse judgment or administrative ruling” reporting requirement.  Following amendments to the Illinois Human Rights Act, employers with at least one adverse judgment or administrative ruling must disclose to the IDHR the total number of final, non-appealable … Continue Reading

EEOC provides updated guidance related to excluding high-risk workers, required accommodations, and pandemic-based harassment

As we previously posted, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) CDC recently issued guidance on reopening the workplace. In its latest update on June 11, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) updated its COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions (the Guidance) to provide further guidance on returning employees to the workplace. Notably, the Guidance covers … Continue Reading

Expanding the definition of sex: SCOTUS rules employers cannot discriminate based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

On June 15, 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a landmark decision in Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia, No. 17-1618 (U.S. Jun. 15, 2020), which held that an employer who fires an individual merely for being gay or transgender violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In a 6-3 opinion authored by Justice … Continue Reading

Virginia adopts a wave of new employment laws. Part 1 – Expansive discrimination and retaliation protections

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic that is dominating the news, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam signed into law a slew of bills passed by the General Assembly that transform Virginia’s employment laws. Effective July 1, 2020, Virginia’s long-standing status as a business-friendly state with few labor and employment laws will end. These new state … Continue Reading

New Jersey’s wild ride – The status of cannabis user employment protections and how we got here

The New Jersey Supreme Court recently affirmed the reinstatement of an employee’s complaint alleging disability discrimination based on his registered medical marijuana user status, reasoning that the employee was entitled to disability protections despite violating the employer’s drug policies.  This case, as well as recent amendments to the state’s medical marijuana law, indicate that employers … Continue Reading

EEOC stops issuing right-to-sue letters in response to COVID-19, delaying litigation deadlines

In an effort to delay litigation deadlines, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has stopped issuing Right-to-Sue Letters amid the COVID-19 pandemic, unless specifically requested by an employee.  Although the EEOC has not publicly announced its new policy, it has confirmed this practice to several news outlets. The EEOC is the federal agency responsible for … Continue Reading

Supreme Court confirms race discrimination claims under section 1981 require “but-for” causation

On March 23, 2020, in Comcast Corp. v. National Association of African American Owned Media, the Supreme Court resolved a circuit split on whether discrimination claims brought under section 1981 require “but-for” causation or whether they can be analyzed under Title VII’s “motivating factor” test. The Court confirmed “but-for” causation is required. The plaintiff in … Continue Reading

California privacy, harassment and discrimination considerations during the coronavirus outbreak

In addition to considerations under federal law and California’s wage and hour laws, California employers should consider privacy, harassment and discrimination laws that are unique to California. California laws tend to be more protective of employees than federal counterparts and these differences may impact how an employer needs to respond to coronavirus concerns. Privacy Unlike … Continue Reading

New Jersey enacts major changes on the independent contractor front

The start of 2020 has already proven to be a busy year for employers in New Jersey. In addition to becoming the first state in the nation to mandate severance payments for mass layoffs, New Jersey has enacted some sweeping changes to its independent contractor laws. Governor Phil Murphy recently signed five bills aimed at … Continue Reading

California extends deadline to file employment claims from one year to three years

Beginning January 1, 2020, an individual’s deadline to exhaust their administrative remedies through advancing a charge of unlawful workplace discrimination, harassment, and retaliation with the California Department of Fair Housing and Employment (DFEH) will be extended from one year to three years. Assembly Bill 9, known as the Stop Harassment and Reporting Extension (SHARE) Act, … Continue Reading

The future is now: Employer use of present-day medical information to predict future disabilities does not violate the ADA

The sci-fi film Minority Report envisions the year 2054, when the U.S. government uses predictive foreknowledge of “precogs” to apprehend criminals before their crimes are ever committed, thereby reducing future harm. More than 15 years after the popular film was made, the Seventh Circuit’s decision in Shell v. Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway Company arrives … Continue Reading

When do beliefs attract legal protection at work?

An employer is likely to find a wide variety of beliefs held by its employees. We’re all aware that some people hold (and perhaps we share) firm beliefs as regards climate change, and there is certainly a growing trend towards a vegan lifestyle and beliefs. Others may hold beliefs in spiritualism, life after death, and … Continue Reading

NYC Council amends the New York City Human Rights Law definition of covered employer

New York City’s Human Rights Law (NYCHRL) is one of the broadest anti-discrimination statutes in the country. But does it apply to all Big Apple employers, regardless of size? A recent amendment passed by the City Council clarifies precisely which entities are considered “employers” for purposes of the NYCHRL. In its current incarnation, the NYCHRL … Continue Reading

Supreme Court poised to hear oral arguments in blockbuster LGBTQ+ workplace discrimination cases

On October 8, 2019, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in three landmark LGBTQ+ rights cases, which could broaden protections for the LGBTQ+ community by prohibiting employers from discriminating against employees based on their sexual orientation, transgender-status, or gender identity under federal law. Currently, conflicting federal cases and shifts in interpretation and policies at … Continue Reading

New York City’s Commission on Human Rights issues new guidance on immigration status and national origin discrimination

For decades, the New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL) has provided protections against discrimination, harassment, and retaliation on the basis of an individual’s actual or perceived immigration status or national origin. However, last week, New York City’s Commission on Human Rights (NYCCHR) issued new guidance (the Guidance) that greatly expands the basis on which … Continue Reading

New Jersey prohibits employers from asking about salary history

A part of the hiring process for many employers involves asking applicants about their prior salary and compensation information. Employers might use this information in deciding whether to make an offer to a particular candidate and the amount of compensation to offer the potential employee. However, beginning January 1, 2020, employers in New Jersey will … Continue Reading

Eighth Circuit affirms working overtime can be essential job function

Overtime work is essential in many industries. As a result, employers frequently structure job roles to require mandatory overtime. Although mandatory overtime can present difficult questions when an employee has a disability that disqualifies them from working overtime, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, in McNeil v. Union Pac. R.R., No. 18-2333, recently confirmed that … Continue Reading

Fall to bring more than just foliage for New York employers

New York lawmakers had a busy summer overhauling many of the state’s existing workplace laws. Many of the newly enacted changes, as well as others enacted within the past year, become effective in October 2019. Below we will highlight the new laws taking effect in October and discuss measures employers should take to ensure their … Continue Reading

New York bans religious garb and grooming discrimination

New York lawmakers have been busy this summer. First, in June, they passed a suite of bills significantly expanding the protections afforded by the state’s antidiscrimination law and adding remedies for employees asserting unpaid wage claims. Then in July, they loosened the definition of retaliation under the state’s labor law. They apparently were not done. … Continue Reading

New York Continues Expansion of Worker Wage Protections (Part 1)

The New York state legislature recently passed two bills providing additional protections to employees asserting unpaid wage claims. These changes are the latest in the state’s overhaul of its employment law landscape this summer. As we discussed in previous posts, New York recently enacted limitations on the use of nondisclosure provisions in settlement and separation agreements, new standards for … Continue Reading

New York and California ban discrimination against natural hair

On July 3, California became the first state to pass legislation that bans discrimination based on natural hairstyles. Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law the CROWN Act (Create a Respectful and Open Workplace for Natural Hair). The CROWN Act amends the state’s Government Code and Education Code to define “race or ethnicity” as “inclusive of … Continue Reading

New York Lawmakers Upend the Employment Law Landscape…Again (Part 5)

Today is the last in a five-part blog series on New York’s sweeping changes to the legal landscape for Empire State employers. In prior posts, we covered limitations on the use of nondisclosure provisions in settlement and separation agreements, the new standards for litigating and defending harassment claims, expanded equal pay protections, and the statewide … Continue Reading

New York Lawmakers Upend the Employment Law Landscape…Again (Part 4)

Today is the fourth in a five-part blog series on New York’s sweeping changes to the legal landscape for Empire State employers. In prior posts, we covered limitations on the use of nondisclosure provisions in settlement and separation agreements, the new standards for litigating and defending harassment claims, and expanded equal pay protections. Today, we … Continue Reading

New York Lawmakers Upend the Employment Law Landscape…Again (Part 2)

This is the second in a series of blog posts concerning a suite of legislation passed last week by New York State legislators. Yesterday, we discussed a Bill that will change how nondisclosure provisions are used in the context of settlement and separation agreements. Today, we look at a series of measures that will change … Continue Reading
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