Archives: Recent Cases

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Private investigations video doesn’t leave employer in dire straits (EU)

In January 2018 we wrote about Ribalda –v- Spain, a European Court of Human Rights case in which a number of supermarket employees were awarded compensation for breach of their privacy rights. They had been stealing quite handsomely from their employer over some months, as they freely admitted, but nonetheless thought it entirely improper that … Continue Reading

Seventh Circuit:  ADA Does Not Prohibit Discrimination Based on Future Impairments (US)

On October 29, 2019, railway operator Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway Company (“BNSF”) prevailed before the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit – which covers Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin – in a case in which the company argued that its refusal to hire an obese candidate due to an unacceptably high risk that … Continue Reading

When is refusing a settlement offer the reasonable conduct of ET proceedings? (UK)

Don’t you just love a good understatement? How about this little beauty on the merits of a rejected flexible working complaint: “The difficulty for the claimant is that she never proved that this arrangement could work by producing the required amount of work in the required time. This was both in terms of quality and … Continue Reading

US Supreme Court Leaves Standards of Website Accessibility Ambiguous, Vexing Businesses

Employers already are (or should be) familiar with their obligations not to discriminate against and to reasonably accommodate employees and applicants with disabilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), which requirements are addressed in Title I of the ADA.  But the ADA also imposes additional non-employment obligations on governments and municipalities (Title II) and … Continue Reading

Don’t Stress – Anxiety May Not Always Be A Disability Under the ADA (US)

On October 22, 2019, a Tennessee federal district court dismissed a disability discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) against West Meade Place LLP (“WMP”), a skilled nursing facility, after finding on summary judgment that the EEOC failed to establish that former WMP employee … Continue Reading

EEOC Must Continue Collecting Pay Data Until January 31, 2020 (US)

On October 29, 2019, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ordered that the EEOC must continue to take all steps necessary to complete EEO-1 Component 2 data collection for calendar years 2017 and 2018.  As we recently discussed here, the EEOC filed a motion on October 8, 2019 asking the court to … Continue Reading

Careless talk, costs, lies: EAT upholds £170,000 costs award (UK)

It’s all about the numbers in Brooks -v- Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, a new case on when an Employment Tribunal can order costs against an unsuccessful participant – 18 alleged protected disclosures, 40 detriments, a 27-day hearing, a witness statement of 214 pages and over a thousand paragraphs and a hearing bundle of well … Continue Reading

Update on EEOC Pay Data Reporting:  EEOC Asks Court to End EEO-1 Component 2 Data Collection (US)

As we most recently reported here and here, as of September 30, 2019, employers with 100 or more employees  (and federal contractors with 50 or more employees) were required to report to the federal government pay data for 2017 and 2018 for their workforce (known as “Component 2” data), broken down by race/ethnicity, sex, and job … Continue Reading

Likely lad – employee’s workplace stress disability claim revisited by EAT (UK)

Back in 2017 we posted a piece about the difference between disability and unhappiness at work. In that case, Mr Herry had been off work for over a year but still failed to establish that he was disabled. In large part this was because his absence was felt not to be the result of an … Continue Reading

US District Courts Start Applying Kisor v. Wilkie; Is Auer Deference Now a “Paper Tiger”?

Our colleague Brent Owen at the FrESH Law Blog (which covers perspectives on Environmental, Safety, and Health law) recently provided an update to his prior post addressing the US Supreme Court’s then-pending decision in Kisor v. Wilkie.  In that case, decided in late June 2019, the Court addressed the Auer standard of deference that is applied by courts to administrative agencies’ interpretations … Continue Reading

A Divided U.S. Supreme Court Hears Oral Arguments on Trio of LGBT Employment Discrimination Cases (US)

On October 8, 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral argument in three employment discrimination cases involving what protection, if any, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 – which prohibits discrimination in employment on the basis of, among other things, sex – affords against sexual orientation and gender identity-based discrimination.  As we previously discussed … Continue Reading

U.S. District Court Decision Upholds “Race-Conscious” College Admissions Policy at Harvard University, Affirming Affirmative Action Plan (US)

On October 1, 2019, a U.S. District Court Judge for the District of Massachusetts ruled in favor of Harvard University in a closely watched case examining whether the college’s admissions process, which takes candidates’ race and economic circumstances into account, results in race-based animus against Asian-Americans. The suit, filed by an anti-affirmative action advocacy group, … Continue Reading

Vegetarianism – fussy eating or philosophical belief? (UK)

“Philosophical belief” for religious discrimination purposes has been found to include a number of not-remotely-religious views on matters as diverse as fox hunting, climate change and the higher purpose of public service broadcasting. You would have thought that adding vegetarianism to that list would be a walk-over. After all, it is commonly and genuinely practised, … Continue Reading

Sixth Circuit Eliminates Contractual Limitations Periods For Title VII Claims (US)

Our colleagues Colter Paulson and Justin DiCharia at the Sixth Circuit Appellate Blog (which covers, as you may have guessed, developments in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit) authored the post below discussing the Sixth Circuit’s recent decision in a case in which the Court was tasked with deciding whether an employer … Continue Reading

Sexual harassment in the workplace, Part 4 – assessment of injured feelings compensation

Here is a mildly disconcerting decision issued by the Employment Appeal Tribunal about the calculation of compensation for injury to feelings in discrimination cases. Mr Komeng was found by the ET to have been serially and directly discriminated against by his employer, Creative Support Limited, in relation to opportunities for personal and professional development and the … Continue Reading

Summer Vacation Is Definitely Over At The NLRB (US)

Between August 29 and September 10, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or “Board”) issued four decisions that resolve important issues that have been the subject of long-running disputes.  It also issued an invitation to submit briefs in a case that provides an opportunity for the current Board majority members to revise the standard for … Continue Reading

When employee consent is the start of the problem, not the end – the GDPR shows some teeth

The Greek Data Protection Authority has imposed a 150,000 EUR fine on PriceWaterhouseCoopers Business Solutions SA for – get this – asking their employees’ consent to process their personal data. It may strike you as counterintuitive (and going against everything your mother ever told you) that asking consent could get you into trouble, but where … Continue Reading

NLRB Issues First Decision Addressing Mandatory Arbitration Agreements Since Epic Systems (US)

If you’ve been following our blog, you already know that the topic of employer-mandated arbitration agreements has been a hot issue in recent years for government agencies and in the state and federal courts.  Most notably, in May of last year, the United States Supreme Court issued its highly-anticipated decision in Epic Systems v. Lewis, … Continue Reading
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