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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

Supreme Court Says Appellate Courts Must Defer To District Court Decisions Regarding Enforceability of EEOC Subpoenas

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) bestows upon the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) the right to subpoena records from employers against whom formal charges of discrimination have been filed; the EEOC also can subpoena employer representatives for interviews.  The purpose of this subpoena power is to allow the EEOC … 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

Extended Comment Period Gives Employers More Time to Weigh In On EEOC’s Proposed Guidelines On Unlawful Harassment

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has provided additional time for public comment on its recently-issued proposed guidelines on unlawful harassment.  The 75-page draft, which issued on January 9, 2017, expands upon existing interpretations of many aspects of workplace harassment, including prohibited bases for harassment, conduct constituting illegal harassment, the role of social media, … Continue Reading

EEOC Issues New Guidance on the Rights of Applicants and Employees with Mental Health Conditions

On December 12, 2016, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission published a resource document explaining the legal rights of workers with mental health conditions under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Each year, approximately 5% of charges filed with the EEOC allege discrimination or harassment based on mental health conditions. While not announcing new law, the guidance … Continue Reading

EEOC Issues New Enforcement Guidance on National Origin Discrimination

On November 18, 2016, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued new Enforcement Guidance regarding national origin discrimination. The EEOC also published a parallel question and answer page, as well as a fact sheet on national origin discrimination applicable to small businesses.  Although not carrying the force of law, like a statute or regulation, the Enforcement … Continue Reading

U.S. District Court Judge Sides With EEOC, Holds That Title VII Prohibits Discrimination Based Upon Sexual Orientation

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects employees by prohibiting employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, and sex.  This much is clear.  What is not clear is whether the prohibition on sex-based discrimination extends to sexual orientation-based discrimination?  The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) – the government … Continue Reading

New EEO-1 Report Finalized: Employers Required to Report Pay Data Starting with 2017 Report

Employers will officially be required to report compensation data and hours to the EEOC beginning with the 2017 EEO-1 report. Last week, the EEOC announced approval of the revised version of the EEO-1 report. Although private employers have long been required to report sex and race/ethnicity to the EEOC, now private employers with 100 or … Continue Reading

Final Rules Released for Federal Contractor Paid Sick Leave and New EEO-1 Report

Yesterday was a busy day, with the announcement of two long-awaited final rules from the EEOC and the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”).  The EEOC released the final version of the revised EEO-1 form, and the DOL released the final paid sick leave rule for federal contractors.  (And, as we reported yesterday, the U.S. House … Continue Reading

EEOC Issues Long-Awaited Retaliation Guidance

On August 29, 2016, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued its final “Enforcement Guidance on Retaliation and Related Issues,” which replaced the Agency’s nearly-20-year-old 1998 Compliance Manual, Section 8: Retaliation.  As the title clearly implies, the guidance primarily sets forth the Agency’s evolving interpretations of the law of retaliation.  It also focuses on the … Continue Reading

EEOC Gives Employers Extra Time to File EEO-1 Pay Data Reports

The Obama Administration, together with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) kicked the year off with a bang on the equal pay frontier, announcing a proposed rule that will revise the EEOC’s longstanding Form EEO-1.  The proposed rule was published on the Federal Register website on February 1, 2016 and a public comment period was … Continue Reading

EEOC to Issue Comprehensive Guidance on National Origin Discrimination – Opens Comment Period to the Public

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (the “EEOC”) has proposed comprehensive enforcement guidance addressing national origin discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC announced this past Thursday that it is seeking public comments prior to issuing its final enforcement guidance. Enforcement guidance documents from the EEOC state the agency’s … Continue Reading

Time Off as an ADA Accommodation? You Better Be-Leave It!

Many employers maintain policies that restrict the amount of time an employee can take off from work, or that prohibit employees who are ineligible for leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act to take time off from work at all even when ill or injured.  But a new resource document issued by the EEOC … Continue Reading

EEOC Warns US Employers That State Law Cannot Be Used to Justify Transgender Discrimination

The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) reminded employers this week in no uncertain terms that they are required to provide transgender workers with access to bathrooms that corresponds with their gender identity.  A failure to do so – the EEOC warned – runs the risk of violating Title VII of the Civil Rights … Continue Reading

EEOC Files First – and Second – Sexual Orientation Discrimination Lawsuits

The EEOC has been pursuing equal protection based on sexual orientation for years, and recent moves by the agency prove their position is more than just talk. In December 2012, the EEOC approved a Strategic Enforcement Plan identifying “coverage of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals under Title VII’s sex discrimination provisions” as an agency … Continue Reading

EEOC To Give Employees Access to Employer Position Statements Upon Request

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently announced a change that will now provide discrimination claimants with their employers’ position statements. The new uniform policy will mean employees alleging unlawful discrimination will now be able to see their employer’s position statement, instead of merely receiving a verbal summary from the EEOC. To protect confidential and privileged … Continue Reading

Equal Pay Momentum – New Jersey Senate Labor Committee Approves Proposed Equal Pay Legislation

A week ago, President Barack Obama announced further efforts by the White House and EEOC to combat gender pay equality issues. The momentum from last week’s announcement carried its way up the coast from the District of Columbia to the state legislature of New Jersey. Yesterday, New Jersey’s Senate Labor Committee approved Senate Bill 992 … Continue Reading

President Obama Announces Further Efforts To Combat Gender Pay Inequality

A little-known (or perhaps forgotten) fact is that the very first bill President Obama signed into law was an employment law:  the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009.  This law unwound the Supreme Court’s 2007 decision in Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., and was intended to make it easier for employees to … Continue Reading

Executive Action: Obama’s Legacy and 2016 Predictions (Part 2 of 2)

As promised in our previous post, today we conclude our predictions on President Obama’s 2016 executive activity.  While we believe the President’s final executive orders will target immigration and perhaps even corporate political expenditures, we predict executive agency action will cover a broad range of pressing labor and employment issues.  With federal legislative gridlock expected … Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court to Weigh in on Attorneys’ Fees In Title VII Cases

On December 4, the Supreme Court agreed to hear CRST Van Expedited, Inc. v. EEOC, a case which will have a significant impact on the availability of attorneys’ fees in cases brought by the EEOC, and perhaps more broadly.  The Court will consider whether attorneys’ fees may be awarded to a successful defendant when a court … Continue Reading

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Rules That Sexual Orientation Discrimination Violates Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act

    In a potentially groundbreaking decision that increases legal protections throughout the U.S. for lesbian, gay and bisexual employees, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) ruled on June 15, 2015, that existing civil rights law bars sexual orientation-based employment discrimination.  The EEOC addressed the question of whether the ban on sex discrimination in Title VII … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Rules EEOC Conciliation Efforts Are Subject to Oversight

On April 29, the US Supreme Court held unanimously that courts may review the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) efforts to informally resolve disputes between employers and employees. The EEOC, which is charged with policing compliance with employment discrimination laws, is required by statute to first try informal mediation methods to resolve disputes between employers … Continue Reading

Sixth Circuit clarifies: Demanding a supervisor cease harassment is a protected activity

On April 22, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision that clarifies that, for purposes of Title VII retaliation cases, an employee’s demand that a supervisor stop his or her harassing conduct constitutes protected activity under the statute. Affirming the findings of several district courts in the circuit, the appeals court held that … Continue Reading
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