Category Archives: EEOC

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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

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

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

Counseling Employers About Performance Improvement Plans

Performance Improvement Plans (PIPs) are a great tool to use when an employee’s work is not meeting required standards. It is particularly useful with exempt or management staff, when deficiencies are sometimes subjective and hard to define.  The goal of a PIP is to lay out the performance problems, and give the employee some specific … 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

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

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

The Bathroom Dilemma in the News – Transgender Rights on the Front Page

The front page of last Sunday’s New York Times ‘Styles’ section was almost entirely devoted to an article called “The Symbols of Change,” recounting how many public venues are converting from the traditional male/female restroom model to unisex restrooms. On Wednesday, it was reported that a teacher in Texas is suing her school, claiming that … Continue Reading

UPS Settlement Signals That Pregnant Workers Are Expecting Job Accommodations

Last week, UPS settled its long-running case with Peggy Young, the employee whose case went up to the Supreme Court after she was denied light duty.  As many will recall from an earlier blog post, the high court found that UPS’s policy of refusing light duty to pregnant employees violated the “Pregnancy Discrimination Act” (“PDA”).  … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Abercrombie & Fitch Ruling: It’s the Motive that Matters

As most lawyers and HR professionals know, on June 1, 2015, Justice Antonin Scalia authored a concise opinion, overturning the Tenth Circuit and holding that Abercrombie & Fitch had intentionally discriminated against Samantha Elauf, a young Muslim job applicant, when it refused to hire her because of concerns about her head scarf.  The company had … Continue Reading

Update on EEOC Transgender Litigation

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) has continued its push for increased focus on LGBT discrimination issues, with two cases in federal courts in Florida and Michigan pushing its position that gender stereotypes violate civil rights afforded under Title VII.  One case, EEOC v. Lakeland Eye Clinic, in which the EEOC alleged the Clinic fired … Continue Reading

Federal Courts Now Have the Authority to Review Whether the EEOC has Satisfied its Duty to Attempt Presuit Conciliation

Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”), the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) is obligated to investigate charges of discrimination and retaliation in the workplace filed by a “person claiming to be aggrieved.”  If the EEOC finds “reasonable cause” to believe that the allegations have merit, it must attempt to … Continue Reading

Sixth Circuit Finds that Verbal Demand to Supervisor to Cease Harassing Behavior is Protected Activity Under Title VII

Most practitioners know  that Title VII prohibits retaliation against any employee because he or she “opposed any practice made an unlawful employment practice [by the statute].”  Title VII does not define “oppose,” but the Supreme Court has held that it should have its ordinary meaning – “to resist or antagonize . . . ; to … Continue Reading

A “Common Sense” Victory for Employers – The Ford Telecommuting Decision is Reversed

On April 10, 2015, the 6th Circuit reached what many believe is the right decision and reversed its much–debated decision in EEOC v. Ford Motor Co., 752 F.3d 634 (6th Cir. 2014) from April 2014 – which had held that Ford had violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) by declining to allow an employee … Continue Reading

The EEOC is Cracking Down on Workplace Wellness Programs

According to the EEOC, a majority of employers now offer some form of wellness program.  Employer wellness programs are designed to incentivize employees to adopt a healthier lifestyle and benefit employers in the form of lower costs for insurance premiums and decreased absenteeism.  Participation requirements vary widely from program to program, but employees who participate … Continue Reading

Court of Appeals Dismisses EEOC Appeal of Background Check Suit, Faulting Agency Process

In the appeal of a lawsuit brought by the EEOC over a Texas employer’s use of background checks in the hiring process, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Freeman, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals slammed the EEOC’s sloppy investigative work and dismissed the suit. The underlying case arose from a racial discrimination charge brought by … Continue Reading
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