Archives: Discrimination

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Are Employers Going to be Required to Accommodate Medical Marijuana Use?

State-registered medical cannabis patients may now sue a private employer for discrimination under Massachusetts’ law if they are fired for their off-the-job marijuana use, according to landmark ruling issued July 17, 2017, by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. Citing the Massachusetts Medical Marijuana Act, the court states that patients shall not be denied “any right … Continue Reading

Putting your money where your mouth is – are injured feelings index-linked?

Through a long and not very relevant series of arguments, the Court of Appeal in De Souza – v – Vinci Construction (UK) Limited has just decided that in effect they are. This is not a surprising conclusion, since otherwise inflation would erode the value of such awards as either proper compensation for the employee … Continue Reading

Intentional Segregation By Race Is Not Enough to Trigger Title VII Liability, Says Seventh Circuit

In EEOC v. AutoZone, Inc., the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit (which covers Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin) ruled that AutoZone did not violate the anti-segregation provision of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”), when it transferred Kevin Stuckey, an African American employee, from a store with … Continue Reading

Context or causation – the role of race in unfavourable treatment

Statutory construction can be a bit like nuclear fusion – you take an atom of something relatively ordinary and then subject it to such pressure that it explodes into a million flaming pieces and lays waste to your entire afternoon.   Employment Tribunals and Courts do the same to words, taking perfectly mundane sentences and phrases … Continue Reading

Justification of Redundancy Following Disability-Related Absence

If because of your disability you are absent from work and if because of that absence your employer discovers that it doesn’t actually need you, does your resulting redundancy arise from your disability?  This is important because Section 15 Equality Act 2010 says that if A treats B unfavourably “because of something arising in consequence … Continue Reading

Politics is not the art of the possible. It consists in choosing between the disastrous and the unpalatable”. Main parties’ employment manifestos reviewed

General Elections. Don’t they seem to come round more frequently than they used to? A tough call for voters, this particular one, not just because of economist JK Galbraith’s wise words above but also because the outcome won’t make the slightest difference to the biggest issue of the day, the terms on which we are … Continue Reading

Improving support in the workplace for employees with mental health issues

This post was prepared with the kind assistance of Andy Bell, Deputy Chief Executive of the Centre for Mental Health, a charity dedicated to changing the lives of people with mental health problems by improving support and bringing about fairer policies. https://www.centreformentalhealth.org.uk/. Many employers have experience of dealing with prolonged, costly and challenging sickness absences … Continue Reading

Testing times for employers in recruitment assessments

Hot on the heels of our post on indirect discrimination in employee tests for promotion   http://www.employmentlawworldview.com/indirect-discrimination-you-know-what-they-say-about-statistics/ comes another decision posing similar challenges for employers. Government Legal Service –v- Brookes concerned the Situational Judgement Test (SJT) which forms part of the recruitment process for lawyers wanting to join the Service. Ms Brookes told the GLS in … Continue Reading

Pay History: An Improper Factor for Employers To Consider In Starting Salaries? Not Necessarily, According To the Ninth Circuit

As we previously reported to you, pay history has recently become a topic of much discussion among federal, state and municipal legislatures. Many jurisdictions around the country are considering laws that would quell employer inquiries into candidate pay history. The underlying purpose of these laws is to level out the historical pay gap between men … Continue Reading

One Racial Slur May Be Sufficient To Create a Hostile Work Environment, Says Second Circuit

The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit held last week that a single racial slur might provide sufficient basis for a hostile work environment claim.  In the case, Daniel v. T&M Protection Resources, LLC,  Plaintiff Daniel, a black, gay man from the Caribbean, alleged he was harassed at work on the basis … Continue Reading

U.S. Appellate Court Declares That Title VII Prohibits Employment Discrimination Based On Sexual Orientation

On April 4, 2017, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit became the first federal appellate court to hold that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is a prohibited form of sex discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII).  And it did so in no … Continue Reading

EEOC Pilots New Online Inquiry and Intake Program in Five Major US Cities

On March 13, 2017, the EEOC launched a new Online Inquiry and Intake System, making it easier for employees to seek assistance from the agency regarding claims of workplace discrimination, harassment, and retaliation. The new system is available to individuals who live within one hundred miles of the EEOC’s offices in Charlotte, Chicago, New Orleans, … Continue Reading

Senate Approves Measure to Kill Obama-era Contractor Disclosure Rule

In another roll-back of Obama-era regulations, the Senate voted last night, 49 to 48, to repeal the contractor disclosure rule.  This rule required companies bidding on federal contracts valued at more than $500,000 to disclose violations of 14 federal labor laws, including those pertaining to workplace safety, wages and discrimination. Finalized in August and blocked … Continue Reading

A year late but worth the wait? – Tribunal fee impact reviewed

After the gestation period of an elephant, the Government Review of the impact of the fees for Employment Tribunal cases finally emerged squalling into the daylight earlier this month. Weighing in at a healthy 100 pages and with a foreword by proud father Justice Minister Sir Oliver Heald, the Review takes a detailed look at … Continue Reading

Los Angeles Joins Growing Number of States, Counties, and Cities Supporting “Ban the Box” Movement

  New ordinance prohibits private employers in the City of Los Angeles from inquiring about applicants’ criminal history before making a conditional offer of employment. On January 22, 2017, the “Fair Chance Initiative for Hiring” ordinance took effect in Los Angeles. The ordinance limit the ability of employers to inquire about a job applicant’s criminal … Continue Reading

Gender pay gap reporting and legal professional privilege – what’s the link?

As we have mentioned in previous blog posts, having a gender pay gap does not mean in any way that an employer has necessarily failed to comply with its equal pay obligations under the Equality Act 2010. But this new obligation to publish pay information is likely to bring the issue of equal pay to … Continue Reading

US Federal Contractors: 2016 Year in Review, 2017 Preview, Effect of Trump Presidency

2016 was another year filled with changes and new requirements for federal contractors and subcontractors. And the Office of Federal Contracts Compliance Programs (OFCCP) has continued its record of active enforcement. It is generally expected that the election of Donald Trump to the presidency will mean a more employer-friendly climate. Many believe that Trump will … Continue Reading

Gap analysis – the JFK approach

It would be wrong (in fact, outright churlish) to end the year without another poke at the new draft Gender Pay Gap Regulations, or rather the Government Equalities Office’s Response to the public consultation on them. This is broadly a rehearsal of the different views expressed during that consultation process, mostly concerning the mechanics of … Continue Reading

A cynic’s guide to the draft Gender Pay Gap Regulations

So here they are, out yesterday, a strange parallel universe where months last 30.44 days and years 365.25, and where you don’t include pay for periods of leave except when you do. In past blogs here we have criticised Government Regulations and statutory Guidance as too vague, leaving employers unclear whether they are caught by … Continue Reading
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