Category Archives: Discrimination

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A Conflicted 7th Circuit Holds Title VII Does Not Cover Sexual Orientation Discrimination

In a precedent-setting decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit ruled on July 28th that Title VII does not protect against sexual orientation discrimination.  The case is Kimberly Hively v. Ivy Tech Community College, No. 15‐1720 (7th Cir. July 28, 2016). The 7th Circuit upheld a district court’s decision to dismiss a … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Stays Fourth Circuit’s Ruling Affirming Transgender Students’ Bathroom Rights

The Supreme Court stayed a Fourth Circuit ruling that requires schools to allow transgender students to use the bathroom of the gender they identify as. We are monitoring the case for its impact on employers going forward. For our past analysis on this issue, please refer to the following posts: Supreme Court Poised to Weigh … Continue Reading

Workplace Video Monitoring: What Employers Need To Know

The omnipresence of video cameras is a fact of life. The average American, aware or not, is caught on surveillance camera more than 75 times a day. Given the availability and effectiveness of inexpensive video equipment, many companies use video to monitor their entire operations for safety, security and quality control. But video surveillance can … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Poised to Weigh in on Transgender Rights

In recent years, state and federal courts have consistently ruled in favor of those seeking to define their gender identity.  However, the Supreme Court has yet to weigh in — a situation that is about to change as the accelerating national discussion of transgender rights finally makes its way to the Supreme Court. In 2015, … Continue Reading

EEOC LGBT Cases in the News

Settlement of Sexual Orientation Case – The EEOC and a Maryland employer have settled a landmark sexual orientation discrimination case.  EEOC v. Pallet Companies d/b/a IFCO Systems NA, Inc. was filed in March 2016, and was among one of the earliest EEOC lawsuits against a private employer, alleging discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.  … Continue Reading

Transgender Rights In the News

Almost every day the news has some new legal development involving the rights of LGBT employees. We already reported on the litigation heating up between North Carolina and the DOJ concerning that state’s now infamous ‘bathroom law’, which the DOJ contends violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.  The rulings which come out of that … Continue Reading

Webinar: What is on the EEOC’s Agenda? LGBT Rights in the Workplace

Please join Kelley Drye’s Labor and Employment practice group for a special webinar presentation on May 25th that will explore the shifting, often controversial, and important landscape for employers regarding LGBT rights in the workplace. With the right to same-sex marriage established, the workplace has become the next civil rights frontier. The tide has clearly turned:  … Continue Reading

The U.S. Department of Justice and North Carolina Face Off On Transgender Rights

On Monday, the U.S. Department of Justice and the State of North Carolina exchanged federal law suits concerning the legality of a recently enacted North Carolina law known as “H.B. 2”.  The law requires public agencies in North Carolina to restrict access to multiple occupancy bathrooms to individuals of the same “biological sex.” The law … Continue Reading

EEOC Acts Again on LGBT Rights

The EEOC has again taken the reins on LGBT rights by issuing some “Bathroom” guidance, giving employers a further strong indication of where the agency is leaning when it comes to enforcement of LGBT rights in the workplace. In the guidance, the EEOC makes clear again its position that Title VII prohibits discrimination against employees … Continue Reading

Managing Employee Requests for “Indefinite” Disability Leave: the D.C. Court of Appeals Offers Guidance

Managing employees’ requests for disability accommodations can be challenging, particularly when an employee requests leave for extended or unlimited periods of time. A common misperception by employers is that once an employee’s FMLA leave runs out, the employer no longer has any obligation to accommodate such an employee, particularly if they request more time off, … Continue Reading

The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals Sets Precedent, Undermining Rationale For Anti-Transgender Legislation and Policies

On Tuesday, the Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit issued a 2-1 ruling in Grimm v. Gloucester County School Board, No. 15-2056, finding that a transgender student has the right to sue his school board under Title IX for discrimination after they barred him from using the restroom matching his gender identity. Title IX … Continue Reading

Disability Laws and LGBT Rights in the Workplace

Kelley Drye’s Communications and Labor and Employment practice groups are hosting a webinar on labor issues affecting communications and technology companies on April 19, 2016 from 12:00 – 1:00 pm EST. Among the top priorities of Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s 2016 “Strategic Plan” is enforcement of the alphabet soup of disability laws (the Americans with Disabilities … Continue Reading

New York City Makes “Caregivers” the Newest Class of Protected Employees

Effective May 4, 2016, New York City employers with four or more employees are prohibited from firing or refusing to hire an individual, and from discriminating against an individual in compensation or terms and conditions of employment because of the individual’s actual or perceived “caregiver status.” This amendment to the New York City Human Rights … Continue Reading

EEOC Files First Suits Challenging Sexual Orientation Discrimination As Gender Bias

On March 1, the EEOC filed its first two lawsuits alleging that discrimination based on sexual orientation violates Title VII as a form of sex discrimination.   Those two cases, against Scott Medical Health Center on behalf of a gay male employee and against IFCO Systems on behalf of a lesbian employee, are the latest actions … Continue Reading

Illinois Medical Marijuana Law: What Employers Should Know

Currently, 23 states have enacted laws to legalize medical marijuana.  Medical marijuana laws are challenging for all employers, but particularly multistate employers, as employers must reconcile federal and varying state laws. In November 2015, medical marijuana dispensaries in Illinois began treating patients under Illinois’ Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act (“Compassionate Use Act”).  … Continue Reading

Walmart Discrimination Case Makes Headline

Last month Walmart was hit, in headline making fashion, with a massive $31.2 million verdict in a New Hampshire disability and gender discrimination case.  What makes this verdict particularly news-worthy is not only its size, but also the fact that the plaintiff was a pharmacist at Walmart, and not an executive earning a six-figure salary. … Continue Reading

Company to Pay $115,000 to Settle Sex Discrimination Suit on Behalf of Transgender Employee

As predicted, the news in the Labor/Employment world continues to center on developments in the area of legal rights for transgender employees.  On January 21, the EEOC announced a $115,000 settlement of a complaint against a company which had been accused of discriminating against a transgender female employee.  According to the EEOC press release, the … Continue Reading

The EEOC continues to recognize sexual orientation discrimination as sex discrimination under Title VII

On January 6, 2016, the EEOC field an amicus brief in Barbara Burrows v. The College of Central Florida arguing, for the first time, that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects workers against sexual orientation discrimination. The brief begins by acknowledging that the EEOC’s position has evolved over time citing its … Continue Reading

New York Employers – Looking Backward and Forward.

Last year was a ‘big year’ in New York in terms of new employment laws, and 2016 is shaping up to be just as big – as employers come into compliance with the many new laws, and brace for additional changes to come. Among the most significant new laws are the series of statutes signed … Continue Reading

IN FASHION: Kelley Drye Fashion and Retail Law Summit 2016

Gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) issues are at the forefront of new issues and challenges in the workplace and in employment law.  How should employers adapt?  Partners Barbara Hoey and Mark Konkel will explore the world of new issues, stumbling blocks for employers, and best practices to accommodate the ever more fluid boundaries of … Continue Reading

Transgender Rights on the Front Page: A Continuing Conversation

The Evolving Expectation of Employers Transgender issues continue to confront employers in a number of different industries. A transgendered woman recently filed a complaint with the EEOC against one of the largest health care providers in the nation, and commenced a federal lawsuit alleging sex discrimination in violation of Title VII and sought unspecified damages. … Continue Reading
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