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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

Ninth Circuit Issues Decision Clarifying Businesses Obligations to Persons with Disabilities (US)

Many employers are familiar with Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which sets forth employers’ obligations to disabled applicants and employees, but the ADA also imposes obligations on businesses that are places of public accommodation – and nearly all are – with respect to their patrons. A recent Ninth Circuit appellate decision, … Continue Reading

Obesity Continues to Divide Courts: Washington’s High Court Says Obesity Qualifies as an Impairment (US)

As we previously discussed here and here, courts are split regarding the extent to which obesity qualifies as a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”). The Second, Sixth, Seventh and Eighth Circuit Courts of Appeal have held that obesity must be accompanied by an underlying physiological disorder for it to constitute a disability, … Continue Reading

Playback time – the rights and wrongs of covert recordings in the workplace (UK)

Phoenix House Limited -v- Stockman has been kicking round the Employment Tribunal system ever since Ms Stockman was dismissed in 2013.  It has something for all the family – discrimination, some victimisation, a touch of whistleblowing and a light dusting of trust and confidence.  However, on its second trip to the Employment Appeal Tribunal at … Continue Reading

Separating doubt from dismissal – Headmaster narrowly escapes caning in disability harassment (UK)

All the best-practice recommendations about accommodating employees with disabilities stress the importance of dialogue with them about the limitations their disability may impose and the adjustments which might be made to help overcome them. Unimpeachable advice in principle, but not without risk in practice, as it turns out.… Continue Reading

National Labor Relations Board Limits Another Union Tactic (US)

On June 14, 2019, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) issued another favorable decision for employers who might find themselves facing union organizing activities or other types of union solicitation.  This latest decision will make it significantly more difficult for unions to solicit employees, strategize with supporters, or engage in similar activities on an employer’s … Continue Reading

Seventh Circuit: Obesity Alone Is Not A Disability Under the ADA (US)

As we previously reported here, the issue of whether obesity is a legally-protected impairment is complex, and jurisdictions differ on the extent to which they consider obesity to be a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”).  On June 12, 2019, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit joined the Second, … Continue Reading

England beats Germany on penalties in new holiday pay decision (UK)

Flowers –v- East of England Ambulance Services NHS Trust this month concerned a claim by a number of workers in the Trust ambulance service that their holiday pay should include an allowance in respect of overtime, both non-guaranteed and voluntary. For these purposes, voluntary overtime was work which the employee was under no obligation to … Continue Reading
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