Discrimination against breastfeeding employee leads to jury verdict

January 14, 2018 0 COMMENTS

by Rozlyn Fulgoni-Britton

With the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), federal law required employers with more than 50 employees to provide breastfeeding employees a private location, other than a toilet stall, where they can express breastmilk in privacya. And, of course, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) has prohibited discrimination “on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions” since 1978. Despite those laws, court cases explaining employers’ duties to accommodate breastfeeding employees have been few and far between. In Hicks v. City of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, the U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals provided guidance about employers’ responsibilities to breastfeeding employees.   ???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

Facts

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Cure and punishment

December 17, 2017 0 COMMENTS

by Mark I. Schickman

In all of the attention recently given to Harvey Weinstein and his ilk, the focus has been on personalities and far too little of it on the systemic problem of ubiquitous sexual harassment. The discussion has been centered on punishment, with far too little said about the cure.  Stop Sexual Harassment red stop sign held by a female

Weinstein himself presents a plain and straightforward case of sexual harassment—a double dose of quid pro quo and hostile environment harassment directed against people who work for him. Miramax claims “shock and . . . utter surprise” at the sexual harassment allegations against him—hard enough to believe. But the legal test is whether Miramax knew or should have known of sexual harassment in its workplace, and it loses under that test. As serious an individual issue as this is for Weinstein, it’s also a bigger failing for the corporate employer that let it happen.

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Oklahoma jury awards transgender worker $1.165 million in bias suit

December 17, 2017 0 COMMENTS

by Charlie Plumb

The courts, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) hold differing views on whether Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employment discrimination based on sexual orientation or sexual identity. Nevertheless, on November 20, an Oklahoma City federal court jury awarded a transgender employee $1,165,000 on her discrimination and retaliation claims.    Vector modern transgender flag background

Professor Tudor’s claims

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Diversity and inclusion director gets a little inclusion

August 20, 2017 0 COMMENTS

by Michelle Lee Flores

The California Court of Appeal threw a solitary bone to Toyota’s director of diversity and inclusion when it reversed a trial court’s dismissal of his sexual orientation discrimination claim. The court of appeal held that the former employee had provided sufficient evidence that a senior manager’s perception that he was “too gay” was a substantial motivating factor for his termination. However, his evidence of sex or gender stereotyping didn’t support, and therefore didn’t save, his retaliation and wrongful discharge claims, both of which were dismissed by the trial court without going to the jury.  Justice is served

Diversity and inclusion director feels excluded

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Wild kingdom: sexual harassment at the NPS

February 19, 2017 0 COMMENTS

New EEOC guidance should remind employers to guard against retaliation

September 18, 2016 0 COMMENTS

No employer trying to build diversity in its workforce is likely to get very far if its culture tolerates discrimination, harassment, and retaliation against employees based on race, gender, age, disability, or any other characteristic protected by law. Not only does such a culture work against recruitment and retention of diverse talent, it also invites legal trouble. That’s why employers are taking a close look at new guidance from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) addressing retaliation claims.  Dangerous handshake

The EEOC issued its new guidance on August 29, replacing previous guidance released in 1998. In addition to the guidance document, the EEOC also released a question-and-answer document and a fact sheet for small business. The material from the EEOC follows a surge of retaliation claims in recent years.

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Anatomy of an employment lawsuit: best HR practices to help you win

April 19, 2015 2 COMMENTS

by Michael J. Modl

Imagine you employ Rajesh Tank, an employee of Indian descent, as a regional VP. Other employees report that Tank engaged in unprofessional conduct that hurt team morale, showed favoritism toward certain employees, and pressured employees to hire a particular contractor. You investigate the allegations, find some truth to them, order Tank to terminate the contractor, and place him on a corrective action coaching plan.  scales of justice

Tank then reports inappropriate racial workplace comments and objects to the level of discipline meted out to the employee who made the comments. He engages in unprofessional conduct after being placed on the corrective plan, and despite your request that he terminate the contractor, he doesn’t. He also raises concerns that he is being discriminated against in the workplace. As a result of coworkers’ complaints about him, you conduct a second investigation and conclude that discharge is the appropriate course of action.

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Sex, religion, and retaliation

August 18, 2013 1 COMMENTS

by Mark I. Schickman

I keep waiting for the day that employment discrimination claims disappear. We spend a ton of time training employees to prevent and avoid discriminatory conduct, and the proper behavior is pretty intuitive. So, logically, employment discrimination should have been eradicated, like polio and smallpox.

It would be terrible for my business if discrimination cases went away because defending them is much of what I do. But no worries―there isn’t much chance of employment discrimination disappearing. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) received about 100,000 charges in 2012, up from 75,000 in 2005. Religious discrimination is the fastest- growing category of charges, fed by a rising fear of those who practice Islam and the misplaced view that, unlike race or sex, a person can just change religion. The EEOC is putting extra enforcement effort into that area. read more…