Tag Archives: EEOC

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

Kelley Drye to Host Complimentary CLE Seminar on LGBT Rights in the Workplace

On November 5, 2015, Kelley Drye will host an afternoon seminar at its New York office, addressing discrimination against LGBT individuals in the workplace. The seminar will be presented by Kelley Drye partners Barbara Hoey and Mark Konkel, joined by partner Anne Clark of Vladeck, Raskin & Clark, P.C, who will provide perspective from the … Continue Reading

Recent Ruling in LGBT Case Another Reminder That Religion Cannot Justify Discrimination

We predicted in blog posts on July 24th and July 7th that we would be seeing more in the way of LGBT litigation. I also recommended that managers be given extra training or reminders that in states where LGBT discrimination is unlawful it will not be tolerated.  Further, managers cannot allow their personal or religious … 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

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

Publically Traded Companies Beware: An SEC Filing Can be Evidence of an Adverse Employment Action in a Claim of Retaliation

A Title VII plaintiff can prove retaliation using either the direct or indirect method.  Under the direct method a plaintiff must prove (1) that she engaged in a statutorily protected activity; (2) that she was subjected to an adverse employment action; and (3) that there was a causal connection between the two. In Greengrass v. … Continue Reading

Abercrombie Hijab Case Could Create “Damned if You Do, Damned if You Don’t” Situation for Employers

All reports and the transcript from Wednesday’s Supreme Court argument in the closely-watched Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Abercrombie & Fitch Stores Inc. case seemed to reveal a Court that was skeptical of the employer’s position, which is frankly too bad.  Most readers are probably aware of the the facts of the case, but, in … Continue Reading

Recent EEOC Settlements Serve as Reminder to Employees to Offer Reasonable Accommodations for Employee Drug Tests

While drug testing policies are becoming commonplace, employers must remember that they can violate the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) if reasonable accommodations are not provided, as a recent decision in a Maryland federal court demonstrates. In January, Kmart settled an EEOC suit over its alleged discriminatory urine drug test policy. The lawsuit was based … Continue Reading

Beer Distributor Settles Hairy Situation over Rastafarian Delivery Driver

Last month, a North Carolina beer distributor agreed to a $50,000 settlement with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”), after being accused of discriminating against a Rastafarian man when it refused to hire him unless he cut his hair. The man, Christopher Alston, interviewed for the delivery driver position with Mims Distributing Co. back … Continue Reading