Houston Equal Rights Ordinance to take effect

June 23, 2014 0 COMMENTS

by Michael P. Maslanka

Houston employers need to be ready for the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO), which will take effect June 27. The new law adds to the protected classes already covered under federal and state law. Here’s a look at the major aspects of the law.

Covered employers. During the first year, companies with 50 or more employees will be covered. On the first anniversary of the ordinance’s effective date, that number drops to 25. On the second anniversary, it drops to 15.

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Wal-Mart Asks Supreme Court to Review Huge Class Action

August 26, 2010 0 COMMENTS

By Nancy Williams

Last April, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals gave the green light to a nationwide sex discrimination class action against Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., the nation’s largest employer. Unwilling to permit the suit to proceed without a further challenge, Wal-Mart has now petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to revisit the class certification issue. The Ninth Circuit’s decision had defined a class of up to 1.5 million women who worked at any Wal-Mart in the last 12 years, making the lawsuit the largest potential class action ever pursued under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Wal-Mart’s petition argues that the case raises important questions under Title VII and affects operations at some 3,400 separately managed stores. Permitting the massive suit to proceed on a class basis risks violating the rights not only of Wal-Mart but also potentially of many class members. The company also urges the Court to consider whether class treatment is the appropriate mechanism for an action that focuses primarily on monetary damages and highly individual claims and defenses.

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