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Employment Discrimination

Rumors About Sleeping With Her Boss Nets One Employee A Viable Sexual Harassment Claim

In today’s #MeToo age, it is hard not to know that sexual harassment is wrong and illegal.  This recent case of unlawful sexual harassment comes with an admittedly unexpected lens.  Rumors that a female employee is “sleeping her way to the top” is the latest version of prohibited sexual harassment in workplace.  While endless movies, […]

Supreme Court to Decide if EEOC Charge Filing is Jurisdictional or Administrative

The Supreme Court has granted a writ certiorari to address the question of whether Title VII’s requirement of the need to file a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) before going to court is a jurisdictional or administrative exhaustion requirement.  The case comes from the Fifth Circuit and has been bouncing around the lower […]

Employee Grooming Standards: Ensuring Your Policy Complies With Title VII

Last week, as many readers are likely aware, a high school wrestling referee in New Jersey ordered an African American student wrestler tocut his dreadlocksimmediately prior to a match, or else forfeit the match.  According to the referee, the dreadlocks and head covering the wrestler offered to wear violated the league’s rules.  A video of […]

Kentucky Court Holds That State Law Does Not Permit Associational Discrimination Claims

Nearly two weeks ago, in a post on associational discrimination claims, I pointed out that while these claims may be relatively uncommon, they are still possible under the ADA and Maryland law. By contrast, last week, a Kentucky state court held that the Kentucky Civil Rights Act (KCRA) does not encompass associational discrimination claims.  The […]

Virginia Employer Defeats Retaliation Claim With Timely Documentation of Performance Issues

A Fourth Circuit case decided this past week is yet another example of how documenting employee performance problems– at the time they actually occur– can save an employer from a retaliation claim, even when an employee is fired immediately after a complaint of unfair treatment.  McDougald v. Quad/Graphics Mktg., No. 18-1026 (4th Cir. 12/13/18). In […]

Losing Out On Voluntary Overtime Chances Can Be Tangible, Adverse Action.

Employers are by now well-versed in the concept that under Title VII, an employer is strictly liable for a supervisor’s harassment when the harassment results in a tangible employment action.  The obvious employment actions include termination, demotion, failure to promote, reassignment with significantly different responsibilities, etc.  The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, in Ray v. […]

Parties Seek Supreme Court Guidance on Transgender Identity Discrimination

Earlier this year, R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes, Inc. appealed the Sixth Circuit’s decision against it that found that “sex” discrimination under Title VII encompasses “gender identity” discrimination.  The case was brought by Aimee Stephens, a transgender former funeral home director, whom the funeral home terminated a few weeks after she announced that she […]