Archives: Discrimination

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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

New York Lawmakers Upend the Employment Law Landscape…Again (Part 1)

Late last week, New York legislators passed a series of sweeping changes to the state’s employment laws. These drastic changes come on the heels of landmark legislation enacted just last year – in April 2018 – aimed at curbing workplace sexual harassment. This year’s laws, which are in part a further response to the #MeToo … Continue Reading

New York City Council gives the green light to a ban on marijuana testing for job applicants

On April 9, 2019, New York City Council passed a bill amending the New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL), to bar NYC employers from testing prospective employees for marijuana use. The Bill comes in the wake of the City’s efforts to reduce the legal consequences of marijuana use, including reducing arrests and prosecutions for … Continue Reading

Eleventh Circuit holds that comparators in discrimination cases must be “similarly situated in all material respects”

On March 21, 2019, the full en banc U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit clarified that in order to establish a prima facie case of workplace discrimination through alleged preferential treatment of a comparator outside the plaintiff’s protected class, a plaintiff must show that the alleged comparator is “similarly situated in all material … Continue Reading

New York City Commission on Human Rights issues new guidance on race discrimination on the basis of hairstyle

On February 19, 2019, the New York City Commission on Human Rights (NYCCHR) issued new enforcement guidance regarding (1) policies that place restrictions, or ban, naturally curly hair, dreadlocks, braids and cornrows, among other hairstyles; or (2) neutral grooming policies that are discriminatorily applied to employees based on aspects of their appearance associated with race. … Continue Reading

Fifth Circuit judge asserts Title VII does not prohibit sexual orientation and transgender discrimination

On February 6, 2019, the Fifth Circuit affirmed summary judgment in favor of an employer on claims that it discriminated against the plaintiff based on her transgender status. In Wittmer v. Phillips 66 Company, the plaintiff sued Phillips 66 Company for sex discrimination under Title VII in the Southern District of Texas, claiming that the … Continue Reading

New York Federal Court lays down the law: Employees cannot invoke NYCHRL’s broad protections when impact of discrimination is felt outside NYC

In Amaya v. Ballyshear LLC, et al., a case before a New York Federal District Court, Nelly Amaya, a Long Island resident, alleged that her former employers engaged in unlawful discrimination and retaliation, in violation of the New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL). Amaya’s employers argued that Amaya failed to show that their alleged … Continue Reading

Seventh Circuit limits ADEA’s scope, but beware state law

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit recently reversed its prior decision and upheld an Illinois district court ruling that the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) does not protect job applicants from disparate impact claims. But beware, as this seemingly apparent win for employers in Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin may drive … Continue Reading

New Jersey Legislature Considering Bill Prohibiting Waiver of Employees’ Rights Under Discrimination Laws

The New Jersey Legislature is considering a bill with potentially far-reaching implications for employment contracts and agreements resolving discrimination, harassment or retaliation claims. Bill S121/A1241 precludes the waiver of rights or remedies related to any claim of discrimination, retaliation or harassment in “employment contracts,” and specifies that rights and remedies under the New Jersey Law … Continue Reading

Second Circuit Holds Title VII Prohibits Sexual Orientation Discrimination, Advancing the Circuit Split

In a recent en banc decision issued on February 26, 2018, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit held that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964’s prohibition against sex discrimination in employment includes discrimination based on sexual orientation. The case, Zarda v. Altitude Express, makes clear that employees working within … Continue Reading

Third Circuit Finds No ADA Violation Where Employee Deemed Unfit for Duty

On Tuesday August 15, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit affirmed the dismissal of a claim for disability discrimination, where the plaintiff was deemed psychologically unfit for duty and subsequently had his employment terminated. The Third Circuit’s decision provides guidance for employers regarding the extent of their obligations to accommodate employees under … Continue Reading

EEOC Determination: Denial of Transition-Related Health Care Benefits Violates Title VII Rights of Transgender Employees

In a recent Letter of Determination, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) found probable cause to believe an employer violated the Title VII rights of a transgender employee when it excluded coverage for “transgender treatment/sex therapy” services from its medical benefit plans.  Specifically, the EEOC determined that denying coverage for transition-related services constituted sex … Continue Reading

New California Workplace Harassment Guide Is Useful Tool for Preventing and Addressing Harassment, Discrimination, and Retaliation

On May 2, 2017, the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) issued a Workplace Harassment Guide, which offers recommendations for employers on how to prevent and address harassment in the workplace. While the Guide focuses on workplace harassment, it also is a useful tool for how to handle other workplace issues, including discrimination … Continue Reading

Sexual Revolution: Seventh Circuit Holds Title VII Protects Sexual Orientation

On April 4, 2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit broke new legal ground by ruling that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits sex discrimination in employment, also forbids sexual orientation discrimination.  Hively v. Ivy Tech Community College, No. 15-1720 (7th Cir. 2017) (en banc).  The ruling … Continue Reading

Emerging Labor & Employment Law Trends (Part 2)

With summer 2016 almost behind us, employers should begin to plan for the major labor and employment law trends expected to emerge in the last quarter of the year and into 2017. In the first part of this two-part series, we looked at some of the principal trends likely to be shaped by federal regulators.  … Continue Reading

Emerging Labor & Employment Law Trends (Part 1)

With summer 2016 almost behind us, employers should begin to plan for the major labor and employment law trends expected to emerge in the final quarter of the year and into 2017. In the first part of this two-part series, we will take a look at some of the principal trends likely to be shaped … Continue Reading

Reminder for NYC Employers: Ban on ‘Caregiver’ Discrimination Has Taken Effect

On May 4, a New York City law barring discrimination against “caregivers” took effect. Specifically, the law prohibits employers from taking an adverse action (e.g., refusing to hire, firing, or demoting), or otherwise discriminating against an employee with respect to the terms and conditions of employment, based on the employee’s actual or perceived status as … Continue Reading

Gov. Christie Vetoes Proposed Equal Pay Act Again as ‘Business Unfriendly’

On May 2, 2016, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, for the second time, issued a conditional veto of proposed legislation that would bar gender-based pay discrimination, saying in part that the Bill would go too far beyond federal standards and make New Jersey “very business unfriendly.” In an effort to address and remediate gender-pay gaps … Continue Reading

This Is Not a Prank: California’s New Amended FEHA Regulations Are Effective April 1

California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”) prohibits harassment and discrimination in the workplace that is based on one or more of the categories commonly protected by local, state and federal discrimination laws. On April 1, 2016, new regulations interpreting and expanding upon the statutory language go into effect. Below, we provide a summary of some … Continue Reading
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