Archives: Discrimination

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Supreme Court Issues Controversial Ruling On LGBT Rights (US)

In 2012, David Mullins and Charlie Craig visited a Colorado bakery to order a custom cake for their upcoming wedding reception. The owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop refused to design a wedding cake for the same-sex wedding reception, saying he would not use his artistic talents to design a cake that conveyed a message supportive of … Continue Reading

NLRB Takes a Bite Out of Big Apple Restaurant, Finding Terminations Following Employee Emails Expressing Workplace Concerns Violated the NLRA (US)

A unanimous decision by a three-member panel of the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) recently found a New York City restaurant to have violated the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA” or the “Act”) when it fired four employees after each of them emailed a group of other restaurant employees and owners expressing their positions on various … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Finds Use of Salary History To “Justify” Unequal Pay Rates Violates Federal Pay Discrimination Law (US)

On April 9, 2018, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued an en banc ruling in Aileen Rizo v. Jim Yovino, case number 16-15372, holding that employers cannot justify a wage differential between men and women by relying on the employees’ respective wage histories alone. The plaintiff, a female consultant, learned that … Continue Reading

Employee pregnancy – is ignorance the best defence?

They do say that maternity in the workplace can be an unsettling and confusing time, leaving you confronting new questions and situations that no one has really prepared you for, and where the guidance comes at you from a range of sources as wide as they are inconsistent. Anyway, enough about employers.… Continue Reading

Title VII Bars Sexual Orientation Discrimination, Says Second Circuit Court of Appeals (US)

Last spring, we reported that the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals (which hears appeals from Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin federal trial courts) had become the first federal appellate court to conclude that Title VII’s sex discrimination prohibition also precludes discrimination based on sexual orientation. On February 26, 2018, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, ruling … Continue Reading

U.S. EEOC Announces Four-Year Strategic Plan

On February 12, 2018, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) approved its Strategic Enforcement Plan (SEP) for FY2018 – FY2022 (SEP).   Congress requires federal administrative agencies such as the EEOC to develop strategic plans every four years and publish their plans on their website.  The EEOC’s plan serves as a framework for the agency in … Continue Reading

Uncooperative employee loses disability rights protection

The duty on a UK employer to make reasonable adjustments applies only when it knows or ought to know about an employee’s disability. Establishing actual knowledge is easy enough, but what about constructive awareness, where the employer obviously does not know but is nonetheless being expected to act as if it did? In Gallop -v- … Continue Reading

All the rage – should confidentiality agreements in harassment cases be allowed?

News out this week that a committee of MPs is to look into workplace harassment, and in particular the use of confidentiality wording in settlement agreements arising from harassment allegations. Critics allege, says the BBC New Online, that such clauses are “abused by employers and legal experts to cover up wrongdoing” and used to “buy … Continue Reading

Recent First Circuit Decision Illustrates Overlap Between Title VII Gender and Sexual Orientation Claims (US)

“Sticks and stones may break some bones, but harassment can hurt forever,” began the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit’s January 25, 2018 (60-page) opinion in Franchina v. Providence Fire Department, a “sex-plus” discrimination case; the opening line foreshadowing the ultimate outcome of the appeal. In the underlying trial of this matter, … Continue Reading

When taking a stand on discrimination becomes misconduct

Rochford – v – WNS Global Services is a small (9 page) but perfectly formed UK Court of Appeal decision around when you can stand on your principles in the face of discrimination by your employer and when it just gets you sacked. Mr Rochford had been absent for an extended time with a bad … Continue Reading

Major Developments for Union and Non-Union Employers – NLRB Announces New Standards For Employment Policies, Joint Employment, and Signals Change In Election Rules

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB or Board) issued two groundbreaking decisions on December 14, which will give both union and non-union employers significantly more flexibility to manage their operations.  Earlier this week, the Board also signaled that it will revise the “quickie” election rules implemented in 2015 in the near future.  These developments will … Continue Reading

Landmark Same Sex Visa Application Judgment in Hong Kong

On 25 September 2017, the Hong Kong Court of Appeal passed down a unanimous judgment in the case of QT v. Director of Immigration to allow QT to obtain a dependent visa through her same-sex partner who works in Hong Kong. The spousal visa in question previously was granted by the Immigration Department only to heterosexual couples, … Continue Reading

The proper response to claims of historic sexual harassment by employees

Another day, another sex scandal. A Martian reviewing the Evening Standard could reasonably conclude that this is an issue limited to film, media and politics but there would undoubtedly be those in many less glamorous workplaces who also have stories to tell and hopefully feel empowered to do so by the flood of others coming … Continue Reading

When Mummy doesn’t necessarily know best – mediation and maternity rights claims

At the end of my post on Maternity Action’s report on unfair redundancies, I mentioned a number of the reasons why many recent mothers do not raise complaints about their perceived treatment at the hands of their employer. These included a fear of creating bad feeling with their employer or colleagues, a lack of information, … Continue Reading

New proposals for post-Brexit maternity protection – use German law

Back in March 2016 I posted a piece querying the headlines over an Equalities and Human Rights Commission report on maternity and pregnancy discrimination at work. The short point was that the report did not justify the apocalyptic headlines about the treatment of women who were pregnant or on maternity leave. Looked at close up, … Continue Reading

Trending Topic: Gender Identity Discrimination

In April 2012, the EEOC held for the first time in Macy v. Holder that transgender discrimination is sex discrimination and that Title VII sex discrimination prohibits discrimination of a job applicant based upon her status as a transgender woman. The opinion relied heavily on the US Supreme Court’s decision in Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins, … Continue Reading

Thriving at Work

Today saw the publication of the Thriving at Work report commissioned by the Prime Minister in January this year and written by Paul Farmer CBE, Chief Executive of MIND and Lord Stevenson, the former Chairman of HBOS who has been open about his own struggle with clinical depression. This is a far reaching report, a … Continue Reading

Sow the wind, reap the hurricane for UK Government in Tribunal fee fiasco

There was a great deal of entirely unfair schadenfreude directed at the Government last month over its abject failure to justify the Employment Tribunal fees regime in front of the Supreme Court. After all, apart from the report of its own Justice Committee, the views of everyone else from both sides of industry and all … Continue Reading
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