Discrimination

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Another foot in the grave of workplace common sense? (UK)

“HMRC boss sending worker unwanted birthday card was harassment“, said the Times Online yesterday, surely a second nailed-on candidate for 2024’s No Good Deed Awards after a similar allegation earlier this year in relation to offering an older worker a chair. Needless to say, there is somewhat more to the story than that, so those … Continue Reading

Latest instalment on settlement agreements covering future claims (UK)

In an earlier post we looked at how far a settlement agreement could validly waive claims in respect of things which haven’t yet happened.  The Scottish Court of Session in Bathgate -v- Technip UK Limited had very sensibly indicated that you can agree not to pursue future rights provided that the settlement agreement contains wording … Continue Reading

The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination: New Guidance Clarifies How State Anti-Discrimination Protections Apply to Remote Workers (US)

Squire Patton Boggs’ Summer Associate Luis Ayala Gutierrez discusses recent guidance relating to the application of New Jersey’s employment discrimination law to remote workers. Although the pandemic is (mercifully) mostly behind us, many employers who implemented remote work arrangements as a pandemic measure have retained hybrid in-office/remote or fully remote workforce arrangements, providing employees with … Continue Reading

Artificial Intelligence (AI) Employment Discrimination Laws Proposed in Six States: What Employers Need to Know (US)

We recently wrote about Colorado’s historic law aimed at protecting, among others, employees and employment applicants from harm arising out of the use of artificial intelligence (AI) systems. Although Colorado is the first state to pass legislation addressing AI-based discrimination, similar bills have been proposed in at least six other states as well as at … Continue Reading

Could Artificial Intelligence Create Real Liability for Employers? Colorado Just Passed the First U.S. Law Addressing Algorithmic Discrimination in Private Sector Use of AI Systems (US)

On May 17, 2024, Colorado became the first U.S. state to pass a law aimed at protecting consumers from harm arising out of the use of artificial intelligence (“AI”) systems. Senate Bill 24-205, or the “CAIA,” is designed to regulate the private-sector use of AI systems and will impose obligations on Colorado employers, including affirmative … Continue Reading

Is your use of AI in the workplace compliant and guided by policies? (Germany)

The recent decision of the Hamburg Labour Court concerning a German works council’s attempt to enforce a ban on the use of AI in a workplace makes it clear once again that employers cannot simply let the use of AI run its course unchecked. Employers are well advised to take a moment check their current … Continue Reading

Dismissal for religious beliefs plays well in theatre drama – but as reason or context? (UK)

What with God, theatre and lesbians, the recent EAT decision in Omooba – v – Michael Garrett Associates and Another might truly be said to be the case that has it all.  Sadly the legal points underneath the facts are rather more prosaic, but this ruling is nonetheless worth noting for their possible practical application … Continue Reading

Fourth Circuit Holds Firm Against Expansion of Religion-Based Defenses to Discrimination (US)

Lonnie Billard was a well-loved and decorated drama and English teacher at Charlotte Catholic High School (CCHS) in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. He was named Teacher of the Year in 2012 after serving the Catholic high school’s students for eleven years. Two years later, CCHS told Mr. Billard he was not welcome back as a … Continue Reading

Belgium – the double or triple whammy of employment protection indemnities

In Belgian law, there are certain periods of employment during which there are greater than usual restrictions on an employer’s ability to dismiss an employee. These include periods of maternity, parental and other types of care leave. Parting company with employees during any period when they are protected against dismissal can become a costly affair, … Continue Reading

Clarity covers a multitude of sins – Court of Session restores order to settlement agreement waivers (UK)

Back in October 2022 we reported here on the EAT’s decision in Bathgate -v- Technip UK Limited. This was a particularly unnerving ruling to the effect that settlement agreements could not cover claims yet to arise because of the requirement under section 147 Employment Rights Act that such agreements must relate to “particular claims”. The … Continue Reading

New York State and City Anti-Discrimination Laws Apply to Non-Residents Seeking Employment in New York (US)

In 2010, the New York Court of Appeals (which is the highest state court in New York) established a test to determine the territorial scope of the New York State Human Rights Law (“NYSHRL”) and the New York City Human Rights Law (“NYCHRL”) – each of which protect employees and applicants for employment from employment-based … Continue Reading

“Getting the most out of the fit note”: new guidance for UK employers

Well, sort of.  Almost nothing has changed in this month’s new government guidance on fit notes over the previous versions.  You can receive a fit note digitally these days and (to reduce doctors’ workloads) a wider range of medical practitioners are now authorised to issue them, but officially that’s about it. That under-sells it, maybe … Continue Reading

New anti-bullying law proposals make grim reading all round for UK workplaces

So here we go again, another attempt to legislate against workplace bullying.  This is not the first – back in 2001 there was a Dignity at Work bill, a fantastically inept piece of drafting crippled alike by internal processes more complicated than the wiring diagram of a battleship and the inevitable (and as it turned … Continue Reading

Eleventh Circuit Says No ADA Failure to Accommodate Claim Without an Adverse Employment Action (US)

Squire Patton Boggs Summer Associate Tess Chaffee summarizes a recent opinion from the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit holding that an adverse employment action is required for a failure to accommodate claim under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Most employers are familiar with the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), which prohibits … Continue Reading

Summer State/Local Law Round-Up, Part 2 of 2 (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 of the alphabet. We now turn our attention to developments in the remaining states.… Continue Reading

New UK ethnicity pay reporting guidance – why should you bother?

Last week the government issued its first official guidance on ethnicity pay gap reporting.  Somewhat unusually among gov.uk workplace guidance, it is prospectively a very useful read. To its immediate credit, for example, it accepts right up front that there can be many legitimate reasons for disparities in average pay between ethnic minority groups.  “It … Continue Reading

Psychosocial hazards and poor organisational justice – necessary protection or a step too far for employers? (Australia)

There is a growing emphasis on the need to properly manage psychosocial hazards in the workplace that may create a risk to workers’ health and safety. But recent changes to safety laws indicate that psychosocial hazards include the potentially subjective concept of “poor organisational justice”. Have things gone too far, or is “poor organisational justice” … Continue Reading

The gender pay gap and what Belgian employers need to do about it (now and in the future)

The statistics Some uplifting news last week from Statbel, the Belgian Agency for Statistics. In 2021, there was no longer a pay gap for young women in Belgium. But as their age goes up, so opens up the pay gap with male colleagues. On average across all ages, women in Belgium earned 5% less per … Continue Reading

New GCC rules for employers, Part 1 (UAE)

A number of changes were introduced across the Gulf Cooperation Council states during the course of 2022 (several of which have now been implemented, while some are due to take effect later in 2023). In this article, the first of a short series covering those changes, we provide a brief summary of the key employment … Continue Reading

Impressing a Robot: EEOC Takes a Byte Out of AI Based Hiring (US)

Squire Patton Boggs Intern Ruzanna Mirzoyan discusses the EEOC’s focus on artificial employment tools in employment recruitment and hiring decisions. Job applicants might be surprised to learn that their resume may need to impress an artificial intelligence (“AI”) algorithm before they can score an interview. A significant (and growing) number of employers currently use AI … Continue Reading

Did you hear? The EEOC issues new guidance on auditory disabilities in the workplace. (US)

Hearing impairment probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when you think about workplace discrimination. In fact, it’s probably not even in the top ten. With hearing impairment affecting about 15% of adults, however, this is a topic that has recently moved its way up the EEOC’s priority list.… Continue Reading

Increased liabilities under new draft Code on dismissal and re-engagement – evidence is all (UK)

Back in November 20201 we reported here on some new Acas guidance on changing terms of employment through dismissal and re-engagement, and in November last year on the Government’s intention to issue a new statutory Code on that practice here. A first draft of that Code has now landed and we can exclusively report that … Continue Reading
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