Tag Archives: Sixth Circuit

The Doctor Is Out: US 6th Circuit Strips “Unprofessional” Medical Student of Diploma

In a decision issued this week, the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit reversed a lower court decision ordering Case Western Reserve University to award a diploma to a medical student who had exhibited a pattern of unprofessional behavior. Though Amir Al-Dabagh received good grades, his medical school career was marked by a … Continue Reading

US 6th Circuit: “Mark of the Beast” or Not, Employers Need Not Accommodate Religious-Based Refusal to Provide Social Security Numbers

Earlier this week, the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit affirmed the dismissal of a discrimination lawsuit brought by an individual who claimed that FirstEnergy Generation Corp. had illegally failed to accommodate his sincerely-held religious beliefs. And what were those beliefs? That having a social security number (or any identification number, for that … Continue Reading

Sixth Circuit Adopts Joint Employer Liability for Title VII Claims

On December 10, 2013, the Sixth Circuit formally adopted a new theory plaintiffs can use to hold entities liable under Title VII. In EEOC, et. al., v. Skanska USA Building, Inc., 2013 FED App. 1021N (6th Cir.), the Sixth Circuit found that Skanska, a general contractor, was liable under Title VII though Skanska did not … Continue Reading

Counseling Constitutes an ADA-Protected Medical Examination

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), employers are restricted as to when and for what reason they may require employees or potential employees to submit to a medical examination.  For current employees, an employer may only compel a medical examination if such an examination is shown to be job‑related and consistent with business necessity.  … Continue Reading

Is Severance Pay Subject To FICA Taxation?

On September 7, 2012, in United States v. Quality Stores Inc., No. 10-1563, [pdf] the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals found that employment taxes should not have been imposed on severance pay for hundreds of employees in an involuntary layoff.  The Court reasoned that the severance payments were not wages subject to the tax because … Continue Reading

The Sixth Circuit Clarifies the Narrow Reach of McDonnell Douglas

Earlier this week, the Sixth Circuit resuscitated the individual claim and proposed class-action of Plaintiff-Appellant Kathryn Keys (“Plaintiff”), an African-American female who alleged that her former employer, Defendant-Appellee Humana, Inc. (“Humana”) engaged in a pattern of discrimination against African American managers and professional staff. Keys v. Humana, Inc., No. 11-5472 (6th Cir. July 2, 2012). … Continue Reading

The Divided Sixth Circuit Affirms a “Lamentable-But-Benign” Discrimination Claim

A deeply divided panel upheld an award on Tuesday to Plaintiff Clifford Litton (“Plaintiff”), an African-American custodian who accused the Talawanda School District (“District”) of racial discrimination and retaliation when he was involuntarily transferred to a new school building and his request to transfer back was denied. Litton v. Talawanda School District, Case No. 10-3559 … Continue Reading

The Sixth Circuit Alters the Applicable Causation Standard in ADA Cases

The United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit recently announced a change to the causation standard that will be used when adjudicating cases under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  This change will affect ADA cases contested in the federal courts of that circuit, which include the states of Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and … Continue Reading

Sixth Circuit Clarifies “Honest Belief” Standard in Age Discrimination Case

As recently reported on the Squire Sanders’ Sixth Circuit blog, the Sixth Circuit recently clarified its jurisprudence on the “honest belief” standard. Resuscitating Plaintiff-Appellant Johnnie Brooks, [pdf] Jr.’s (“Brooks”) claim under the Age Discrimination Employment Act, 29 U.S.C. § 621 et seq., (“ADEA”) the Sixth Circuit reversed the lower court, finding Brooks established a prima facie … Continue Reading

The Sixth Circuit holds employees must perceive, or be aware of events that create a hostile work environment

In a 2 – 1 decision, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals held that the totality of the circumstances used to determine whether a plaintiff was subjected to a hostile work environment was limited to those circumstances the plaintiff either personally perceived or was aware of. In Berryman v. SuperValu Holdings, Inc. [pdf], eleven plaintiffs … Continue Reading

Transgender Employees Are Protected from Discrimination

Late last year, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals upheld summary judgment for the plaintiff, Vandiver Elizabeth Glenn, against her employer in a sex discrimination case [pdf].  Ms. Glenn alleged that she was fired from her job because she intended to transition from male to female.  The court noted that discrimination against a transgender employee … Continue Reading

A Recent Sixth Circuit Decision Raises the Question: Does Your Promotional Process Have a Disparate Impact on Minorities?

A panel for the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals recently required the City of Memphis (“City”) to immediately promote twenty-eight African American police officers to the rank of lieutenant. Thirty-five African-American patrol officers filed suit alleging, in relevant part, that a sergeant’s exam had a disparate impact under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act … Continue Reading

Expansion of Discrimination Law

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”) forbids employers with 15 or more employees to discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, religion or national origin. In a case of first impression, the Sixth Circuit recently affirmed that a volunteer may constitute an “employee” under Title VII. Expressly rejecting the Second Circuit’s two-step … Continue Reading