Archives: Equal treatment

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Which employers will be caught by the new UK gender pay gap reporting obligations?

At this stage we are still waiting for the final regulations on the new mandatory gender pay gap reporting obligations.  This current series of blog posts is therefore based on what we know from the draft regulations and discussions around them. In terms of which employers will be caught by the new gender pay gap … Continue Reading

New TUC report on sexual harassment in the workplace lacks vital statistics

It is sadly impossible to write anything critical about a report on sexual harassment in the workplace without coming over like some frightful old golf club misogynist. To be clear, therefore, none of what follows seeks to belittle the distress of those genuinely harassed at work, but balance nonetheless dictates a counter-point to the TUC’s … Continue Reading

New legislation on the posting of workers to Poland

New legislation to protect employees sent from outside the country to work for a limited time in Poland came into effect on 18 June. The legislation implements just in time the EU Posted Workers Directive, which Member States were required to bring into force within two years of June 2014. The new legislation is intended … 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

NLRB puts employers in a “damned if you do and damned if you don’t” situation

The National Labor Relations Board repeatedly has found that employers that unilaterally grant a wage increase prior to an impasse in collective bargaining, or absent extenuating circumstances, engage in an unfair labor practice. Thus, in an effort to avoid bargaining-related charges, employers typically seek to avoid making any changes to wages (or benefits) while bargaining … Continue Reading

10th Circuit Reverses EEOC Win After Lower Court Applied Wrong ADA Direct-Threat Standard

On March 16, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals – which has jurisdiction over appeals from Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Utah and Wyoming – drove home that when it comes to jury instructions, the devil is in the details.  Reasoning that a lower court jury “might have relied on the erroneous direct-threat standard,” the … Continue Reading

Utah Passes Law Prohibiting LGBT Employment Discrimination

On March 12, Utah Governor Herbert signed into law S.B. 296, which amends the Utah Antidiscrimination Act to prohibit discrimination in employment by Utah employers on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. Notably, and perhaps not surprisingly given that 60% of Utah residents identify as Mormons, although the law had the support of … Continue Reading

Freeman’s Background Check Win Has Little to Do with Background Checks, Everything to Do with EEOC Experts.

The EEOC has pushed hard in recent years to curb employer use of background checks in hiring decisions (see our blog post here).  In 2009, the EEOC filed suit against Freeman, a national provider of integrated services, alleging that Freeman relied on credit and criminal background checks that caused a disparate impact on black and … Continue Reading

EEOC Internal Memo Reveals LGBT Discrimination Remains Enforcement Priority

On February 3, 2015, the EEOC’s Director of the Office of Field Programs issued a memorandum to the agency’s district directors regarding the handling of LGBT-related discrimination claims. Although Title VII does not explicitly prohibit discrimination on the basis of an employee’s identification as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender, the memorandum states that the EEOC … Continue Reading

Teaching agency gives School a hard lesson on UK worker liabilities

The 2010 Agency Worker Regulations require that once an agency worker has been in post for 12 weeks, he should receive the same pay as would a permanent employee of the hirer in the same role.   This is the principle of equal treatment.    Regulation 14(3) makes the agency liable for any breach of equal treatment … Continue Reading

Navy affair rocks the boat – but is the response sexist?

It was reported recently that the Royal Navy’s first female warship commander has been relieved of her post following allegations of an affair with an officer under her command (a comment on their working hierarchy rather than any judgment on their alleged romantic relationship, I should make clear).   Sarah West is undoubtedly an important figure … Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court Holds That Closely Held For-Profit Corporations Can Avoid ACA Contraception Mandate

The Supreme Court has issued a 5-4 decision in which it found that closely-held for-profit corporations can avoid the mandate under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that requires the provision of birth control coverage to their employees.  In reaching their decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties v. Burwell, the justices determined … Continue Reading

“The three most important things a man has”, said writer Samuel Butler, “are his private parts, his money and his religious opinions”

In the world of work in the UK there have been many decided cases and much official guidance to employers to the collective effect that if they respect the third of Mr Butler’s list, the Employment Tribunal will let them keep the other two.  So why the uproar around Marks & Spencer last week, given … Continue Reading

Standing up for equality in the UK: should pregnant women have seats in Parliament?

What a shame.  It would have been a great story, one almost worthy of the Daily Mail’s front page coverage of it last week.  Apparently “sources close to” heavily-pregnant Equality Minister Jo Swinson reported her taking the view that it would have been “sexist” for any of male MPs to offer her his seat rather … Continue Reading

Coronation Street, two Advocate Generals and surrogacy in Europe

Hot on the tail of UK soap opera Coronation Street’s recent surrogacy plot line (so I have been told) are two recent Advocate General opinions on the topic of intended mothers’ rights to maternity leave under the EU Pregnancy Working Directive (PWD). Unhelpfully, one opinion states that intended mothers are entitled to maternity leave and … Continue Reading

Agency Workers Regulations 2010: 8 Tribunal claims relating to the “switch” on to a Pay Between Assignments/Swedish Derogation contract were dismissed

In Bray & others v Monarch Personnel Refuelling (UK) Limited, Monarch (the agency) supplied the 8 Claimants to BP as tanker drivers. BP had permanent employees who performed the same role and were paid 70p an hour more than the agency workers. The Agency Workers Regulations 2010 give agency workers the right to equal treatment … Continue Reading
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