Archives: Sex Discrimination

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New TUC report on sexual harassment in the workplace lacks vital statistics

It is sadly impossible to write anything critical about a report on sexual harassment in the workplace without coming over like some frightful old golf club misogynist. To be clear, therefore, none of what follows seeks to belittle the distress of those genuinely harassed at work, but balance nonetheless dictates a counter-point to the TUC’s … Continue Reading

“Ladies’ Night” promotions in Hong Kong – good business or unlawful discrimination?

The hospitality industry is no stranger to the rules prohibiting discrimination in accommodations. The average restaurant or hotel operator is fully aware that he cannot deny goods, facilities or services to a customer on the basis of gender. What appears to be less well known is that, at least in Hong Kong, the same business … Continue Reading

EEOC Warns US Employers That State Law Cannot Be Used to Justify Transgender Discrimination

The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) reminded employers this week in no uncertain terms that they are required to provide transgender workers with access to bathrooms that corresponds with their gender identity.  A failure to do so – the EEOC warned – runs the risk of violating Title VII of the Civil Rights … Continue Reading

EEOC Files First – and Second – Sexual Orientation Discrimination Lawsuits

The EEOC has been pursuing equal protection based on sexual orientation for years, and recent moves by the agency prove their position is more than just talk. In December 2012, the EEOC approved a Strategic Enforcement Plan identifying “coverage of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals under Title VII’s sex discrimination provisions” as an agency … Continue Reading

Equal Pay Momentum – New Jersey Senate Labor Committee Approves Proposed Equal Pay Legislation

A week ago, President Barack Obama announced further efforts by the White House and EEOC to combat gender pay equality issues. The momentum from last week’s announcement carried its way up the coast from the District of Columbia to the state legislature of New Jersey. Yesterday, New Jersey’s Senate Labor Committee approved Senate Bill 992 … Continue Reading

President Obama Announces Further Efforts To Combat Gender Pay Inequality

A little-known (or perhaps forgotten) fact is that the very first bill President Obama signed into law was an employment law:  the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009.  This law unwound the Supreme Court’s 2007 decision in Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., and was intended to make it easier for employees to … Continue Reading

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Rules That Sexual Orientation Discrimination Violates Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act

    In a potentially groundbreaking decision that increases legal protections throughout the U.S. for lesbian, gay and bisexual employees, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) ruled on June 15, 2015, that existing civil rights law bars sexual orientation-based employment discrimination.  The EEOC addressed the question of whether the ban on sex discrimination in Title VII … Continue Reading

Government launches gender pay gap consultation

The Government has today launched a consultation on its commitment to introduce regulations to require private and voluntary sector businesses with at least 250 employees in Great Britain to publish gender pay gap information.  A gender pay gap shows the difference between the average earnings of men and women as a percentage of men’s earnings.  … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Rules EEOC Conciliation Efforts Are Subject to Oversight

On April 29, the US Supreme Court held unanimously that courts may review the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) efforts to informally resolve disputes between employers and employees. The EEOC, which is charged with policing compliance with employment discrimination laws, is required by statute to first try informal mediation methods to resolve disputes between employers … Continue Reading

Sixth Circuit clarifies: Demanding a supervisor cease harassment is a protected activity

On April 22, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision that clarifies that, for purposes of Title VII retaliation cases, an employee’s demand that a supervisor stop his or her harassing conduct constitutes protected activity under the statute. Affirming the findings of several district courts in the circuit, the appeals court held that … Continue Reading

Can you sack an employee for having ‘friends with benefits’?

You won’t be surprised to know that the word “poly” comes from the Greek word “polýs” which means ‘many’.  But did you know that, earlier this year, the Federal Circuit Court of Australia in Bunning v Centacare [2015] FCCA 280 was faced with the question of whether an employee of a religious organisation could be … Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court Revises Test For Pregnancy-Based Discrimination

Court Revives 2008 Pregnancy Bias Suit by Former UPS Employee Who Was Denied Light Duty Work Accommodation On March 25th, the United States Supreme Court vacated a lower court’s ruling in favor of United Parcel Service, Inc. (UPS) against a former delivery truck driver, Peggy Young, who claimed, among other things, that she was discriminated … Continue Reading

Utah Passes Law Prohibiting LGBT Employment Discrimination

On March 12, Utah Governor Herbert signed into law S.B. 296, which amends the Utah Antidiscrimination Act to prohibit discrimination in employment by Utah employers on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. Notably, and perhaps not surprisingly given that 60% of Utah residents identify as Mormons, although the law had the support of … Continue Reading

EEOC Internal Memo Reveals LGBT Discrimination Remains Enforcement Priority

On February 3, 2015, the EEOC’s Director of the Office of Field Programs issued a memorandum to the agency’s district directors regarding the handling of LGBT-related discrimination claims. Although Title VII does not explicitly prohibit discrimination on the basis of an employee’s identification as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender, the memorandum states that the EEOC … Continue Reading

EEOC Charge Filing in 2014: Number of Charges Down, Retaliation Claims Up

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has released its annual statistical report  detailing charge filing activity in 2014.  The EEOC, the federal administrative agency which investigates and prosecutes claims of employment discrimination, harassment, and retaliation under a number of employment and civil rights statutes, reported 88,778 charges filed in 2014, down from 93,727 charges filed … Continue Reading

Church –v- State in Polish pregnancy dismissal claim

In November in Poland the story of a dismissed Religious Studies teacher hit the news. What made this story of interest?    The Polish State requires schools to run Religious Studies (RS) classes. The teaching syllabus and text books are decided by the Church authorities and RS teachers must be issued a license (missio canonica) by … Continue Reading

“Womenomics” – harnessing the power of Japan’s most under-utilised natural resource

Gender is a hot topic in the business world at the moment – and nowhere more so than in Japan.     Back in January, Prime Minister Abe gave a special address at Davos in which he announced his intention to make Japan “a place where women shine.”    This week, he announced his Growth Strategy setting out … Continue Reading

A sorry state of affaires – sack your mistress or lose your family

Back in January 2013, my colleague David Whincup published a blog about an Iowa dentist who dismissed his assistant because of the threat which his wife considered her to pose to their marriage. For those happy few who have spent the last 17 months wondering what would happen in similar circumstances in the UK, wonder … Continue Reading

Impact of claimant’s dishonesty on injury to feelings compensation

So here is Friday’s teaser – let us suppose that an Employment Tribunal has just decided that you have been sexually harassed by your former boss, that he was fixated by your breasts, habitually stared at them and frequently addressed them while in conversation with you.  He has also touched you, uninvited and unreciprocated, on … Continue Reading
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