Discrimination

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Animal magic – Assistance animals at work (UK)

So you’ve seen the news stories about the chap suing Sainsburys for not letting him in with his “assistance cat”, yes?  He suffers from severe autism and unless accompanied by his cat, finds the noise, lights and crowds within the store impossible to manage.  You would allow in a guide dog, he says, so what’s … Continue Reading

Summer State/Local Law Round-Up, Part 2 of 2: Ohio through West Virginia (US)

In our post earlier this week, we covered recent developments in state and local labor and employment laws in the states at the beginning at the alphabet. We now turn our attention to developments in the remaining states.… Continue Reading

Summer State/Local Law Round-Up, Part 1 of 2: California through New York (US)

Now that we’re almost half-way through 2022, it’s time again to cover all of the development in state and local labor and employment laws. It’s been a busy time in the state legislatures and city councils, with lots of new laws and amendments to existing laws. In fact, due to the large number of updates, … Continue Reading

Letters from America – risks of discrimination in AI-backed recruitment processes (UK)

So following our recent post on proposed new regulations it’s not just the EU which is looking askance at the potential risks of artificial intelligence in recruitment.  From across the pond comes news that the US Department of Justice has warned employers to take steps to ensure that the use of AI in recruitment does … Continue Reading

EEOC Issues Guidance on the Interplay between the Use of Artificial Intelligence in Employment Decisions and the ADA (US)

Many businesses use artificial intelligence (“AI”), algorithms, software, and other forms of technology to make employment-related decisions. Employers now have an array of computer-based tools at their disposal to assist them in hiring employees, monitoring job performance, determining pay or promotions, and establishing the terms and conditions of employment. As such, many employers rely on … Continue Reading

Proposed new EU regulatory regime for Artificial Intelligence – more relevant to HR than you might think (UK)

For the last year or so the EU Commission has been working on the world’s first serious attempt to create a regulatory framework around the use of AI, the Artificial Intelligence Act.  The Proposal itself runs to over 100 pages of dense type and no pictures, so is a fairly off-putting read at first look.  … Continue Reading

D&I reporting and quotas — practical concerns for employers (UK)

Here are two related questions from our What’s Next webinar of a fortnight ago, both arising out of government consultations in connection with possible further diversity reporting obligations. Since the webinar the government has issued a response to the consultation around ethnicity pay reporting which implies strongly that there won’t be any legislation on that … Continue Reading

DOL Issues New Guidance, Specific Examples of Prohibited Retaliation Under WHD-Enforced Wage & Hour Laws (US)

On March 10, 2022, the Wage and Hour Division (WHD) of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) published a Field Assistance Bulletin (FAB) entitled “Protecting Workers from Retaliation.” The FAB provides guidance on worker anti-retaliation protections available under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the Migrant and Seasonal … Continue Reading

EEOC Issues Reminder That Caregiver Duties Continue Even As COVID Surge Wanes (US)

On March 14, 2022, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released a new technical assistance document, “The COVID-19 Pandemic and Caregiver Discrimination Under Federal Employment Discrimination Law,” reminding employers that caregiver obligations continue notwithstanding our gradual return to normal. The 10-page document warns that, even as pandemic conditions change, many employers, schools, and daycare … Continue Reading

Congress Bars Forced Arbitration of Sexual Harassment Claims (US)

On February 7, 2022, the U.S. House of Representatives passed, and on February 10, the U.S. Senate approved, a bill (the Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Act (Act)) that would amend the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) so as to invalidate clauses in employment agreements requiring employees to arbitrate claims of sexual … Continue Reading

Looking into workplace investigations, Part 7 – the inclusivity imperative (UK)

The increased spotlight upon D&I matters which seems to be replacing covid as our clients’ dish of the day shines upon investigations too.  How you investigate employees’ disclosures or complaints (especially but by no means necessarily, of discrimination or harassment) can make a considerable difference as to how those employees and others sharing their protected … Continue Reading

Looking into workplace investigations, Part 6 – preparing the statutory defence (UK)

Once you have done all the scoping out and refining of allegations you can before starting your investigation, there will come the point where you have to raise the allegations made with the people they are made against. If the allegations are false, those people will be very angry.  If they are true, they will … Continue Reading

State Law Round-Up: Year-End Edition (US) (Part 2 of 2)

Welcome to Part 2 of the 2021 Year-End Edition of the State Law Round-Up, covering states in the second half of the alphabet. Part 1, covering the first part of the alphabet, can be found here. Maine:  Maine’s “ban-the-box” law, HP 845, went into effect October 18, 2021.  The law prohibits private employers from requesting … Continue Reading

State Law Round-Up: Year-End Edition (US) (Part 1 of 2)

Welcome to the 2021 Year-End Edition of the State Law Round-Up! Due to the large number of updates, we will be splitting this State Law Round-Up into two parts, with each part organized alphabetically by state; today we will cover the first half of the alphabet, and tomorrow the remainder. Two exceptions: First – Minimum … Continue Reading

EEOC Opines Long-Haul COVID-19 Consequences May Constitute ADA Disability (US)

This past summer, we reported that President Biden expressed in a speech commemorating the enactment of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) that his administration believes “long-haul” COVID may constitute a disability. Unlike mild cases of COVID-19 that resolve in days or weeks, long-haul COVID is marked by chronic symptoms that continue weeks or months … Continue Reading

US Federal Labor Viewpoints – Week of November 8, 2021

From our Capital Thinking blog, our public policy colleague Stacy Swanson shares the latest federal employment law developments in in the legislative and executive branches during the week of November 8, 2021. *** In this issue, we cover: U.S. Economy Update Federal Vaccine Mandate Legal Challenges Update Other General COVID-19 Updates U.S. Agencies Promote Workers’ Rights Proposal … Continue Reading

Grievances and punishment – Is it enough to succeed, or must others fail? (UK)

If you look for the statutory source of the ordinary right to bring a workplace grievance, you may be gone some time.  It arose initially as a by-product of the implied duty of trust and confidence, and formally bubbled to the surface in WA Gould (Pearmak) Limited – v – McConnell in 1995.  There the … Continue Reading

COVID-19: what next for UK employers, Part 5 – are they at risk under the away goals rule?

Here is another good question from our What Next webinar a couple of weeks ago. More to follow soon. If someone whose role involves International travel has a medical condition which makes that travel undesirable in a post-pandemic World, would the capability dismissal process be applicable? Probably so, but we need to look at the … Continue Reading

COVID-19: what next for UK employers, Part 4

In deciding whether to allow an employee’s request to continue a full or partial remote working schedule, what account should be taken of the reasons for that request? In our ‘What next’ webinar last week, I indicated that in most cases the safest answer to this question is “none”, and that the employee’s reasons for … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Says Favoritism Towards A Sexual or Romantic Partner Is Not Unlawful Sex Discrimination Under Title VII (US)

Workplace romances are a tale as old as time. According to a 2020 study conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management (“SHRM”) and the University of Chicago’s AmeriSpeak Panel surveying 696 American workers, 27% admitted to having romantic relationships with their work colleagues, and about 27% of those workers indicated that they dated someone … Continue Reading

US Federal Labor Viewpoints – Week of June 28, 2021

From our Capital Thinking blog, our public policy colleague Stacy Swanson shares the latest federal employment law developments in in the legislative and executive branches during the week of June 28, 2021. *** This is a weekly post spotlighting labor topics in focus by the US legislative and executive branches during the previous week. In this issue, … Continue Reading

Biden Administration Nixes Trump-Era EEOC Pre-Suit Conciliation Rule (US)

Late last year, we reported that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) had released a proposed rule modifying the mandatory conciliation process the EEOC must follow before it can file a lawsuit in its own name against an employer. Under long-standing anti-discrimination statutes, before the EEOC can commence litigation against an employer for employment discrimination … Continue Reading
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