Sex-Plus Age Claim Viable Under Title VII

In Frappied v. Affinity Gaming Black Hawk, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit became the first federal appeal s court to recognize that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act 1964 permits “sex-plus age” claims.  The case arose from a lawsuit filed against a gaming company.  The eight female plaintiffs alleged the casino for which they worked discriminated against women over 40 years old, and they brought several claims, including...
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EEOC's Updated COVID-19 Guidance: Employees Not Entitled To Accommodations Because They Live With High-Risk Individuals; Treat Older Workers Equally Despite Risk

In an updated guidance on COVID-19, the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and Other EEO Laws, the EEOC has clarified an employer need not accommodate an employee's request to telework who is not high risk but lives with high risk individuals.  The EEOC has also clarified that companies may not mandate exclude older workers and pregnant employees from the workplace even though public health authorities advise they are a higher risk group for severe cases...
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Fourth Circuit Rules in Favor of Family Dollar in Age Bias Suit

Vincent Jackson
Vincent Jackson
04/30/2020
The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld summary judgment in favor of Family Dollar in a suit brought by a former employee who alleged age discrimination and retaliation.  The plaintiff, a 48-year old female, was fired after two “no-call, no-show” absences on consecutive days.  She was terminated by a 27-year-old female manager. The crux of the plaintiff’s case was that the manager made several comments regarding plaintiff’s age,...
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Age and Wage Issues Among Many Resolved On Election Day

As votes in yesterday’s elections continue to be tallied, there were several developments of interest to employers and to labor and employment practitioners alike. Age: The ADEA Applies To Public Sector Employers Of All Sizes First, yesterday morning, the Supreme Court announced its first decision of the 2018-19 term.  In a unanimous (8-0) ruling, the Court held in Mount Lemmon Fire District v. Guido that the Age Discrimination in Employment Act...
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Former Pepsi Employee’s ADEA Claim Fizzles Out

Garrett Wozniak
Garrett Wozniak
10/01/2018
To prevail on a claim of discriminatory termination under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), an employee must show that he was meeting job expectations.  Moreover, even if an employee can establish a prima facie case, an employer can prevail by showing that the personnel decision was made for a legitimate, non-discriminatory reason.  In an age discrimination discharge case, the plaintiff must prove that, but-for his age, he would not...
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Court Dismisses Grumpy Hospital Clerk's Claim of Age Discrimination

On March 12, 2018, a Virginia federal court dismissed a claim of age discrimination brought by a 54 year old woman who had worked for Norton Community Hospital as an admissions clerk for nearly 23 years.  In Moore v. Mountain States Health Alliance, et. al., No. 2:16CV00014 (W.D. Va. 2018), Judge James Jones granted summary judgment to the employer, reasoning that the undisputed facts showed that the plaintiff could not prove that she was meeting...
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Yet Another Example of the Importance of Documenting Performance Issues

Bernadette Hunton
Bernadette Hunton
02/06/2018
A case decided this past week in the United State District Court for the District of Maryland highlights the importance of documenting an employee’s (non-discriminatory) performance issues at the time they occur. Ward v. Columbia Bank, No. CCBC-16-3606 (D. Md. 2/2/18).  Plaintiff Ward began working for Columbia Bank in 1999, and was promoted to branch manager five years later.  In 2012, her branch’s overall performance began to decline. ...
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Not So Happy 420 Day: Court Upholds Dismissal of Pot-Selling Bartender

Kollman & Saucier
Kollman & Saucier
04/20/2017
On this 4/20, what could be more topical than a discussion of medical marijuana in the workplace?  As readers of this blog may recall, the subject has previously garnered our attention, given that it raises many sticky issues such as federalism, the business judgment rule, disability law, and the balance between employee privacy interests and employers’ interests in maintaining safe and healthy workplaces. The Current Legal Regime Governing...
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Split Developing On ADEA Disparate Impact Claims

A federal judge in California recently ruled that PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLC (“PwC”) must defend against a class action claim of unintentional age discrimination.  Rabin v. PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, No. 16-cv-02276-JST (N.D. Cal. Feb. 17, 2017). On April 17, 2016, Steve Rabin, on behalf of himself and other similarly situated unsuccessful job applicants, filed a putative class action alleging that PwC maintains hiring policies and other...
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Non-Renewal of Contract or Termination?

Employers often think that not renewing an employee’s contract is somehow qualitatively different from a termination of employment.  In some cases, and in certain limited circumstances, that may be true.  It is not true, however, with regard to statutory retaliation claims (e.g., my contract was not renewed because I engaged in activity protected by Title VII, the ADA, the FLSA, or some other statute containing anti-retaliation provisions).  In...
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