Employer Defeats Title VII Claims With Consistent, Documented Explanation

Garrett Wozniak
Garrett Wozniak
07/20/2021
A recent decision from the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, Dawson v. Washington Gas Light Company, provides a reminder of what is (or should be) an obvious point:  when disciplining or terminating employees, employers should not change or shift their explanations over time.  Dawson v. Washington Gas Light Company, No. 19-2127 (4th Cir. July 13, 2021).  Dawson -- a case involving alleged retaliation, race, and color discrimination and...
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Fourth Circuit Revives Same-Sex Harassment Claim

The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals last week joined several other federal appellate courts when it rejected a narrow reading of Supreme Court precedent regarding same-sex harassment claims under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  Roberts v. Glenn Industrial Group, Inc., No. 19-1215 (4th Cir. May 21, 2021).  The Fourth Circuit covers Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia. The case involves Glenn...
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It’s Time to file EEO-1 Reports

Darrell VanDeusen
Darrell VanDeusen
05/05/2021
Last week, the EEOC issued the following press release, which is reproduced here as released.  Employers sometimes forget about EEO-1 reporting requirements.  If you are a covered employer, do not forget to complete your report.  If you have questions, contact us.  K&S lawyers will assist you in understanding your obligations.  EEOC ANNOUNCES OPENING OF 2019 AND 2020 EEO-1 COMPONENT 1 DATA COLLECTION Employers Have Until July 19, 2021 to...
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Md. General Assembly Approves Legislation Extending Time To File Charges of Discrimination And Expanding Reporting Requirements For Local Agencies

Bernadette Hunton
Bernadette Hunton
04/16/2021
The Maryland General Assembly has approved legislation aimed at expanding workplace discrimination rights and identifying trends in workplace discrimination complaints  to recommend changes in policy.  The bills, which now head to Governor Hogan for review, are summarized below. Employment Discrimination- Time For Filing Complaints HB290/SB455 amends Maryland’s Fair Employment Practices Act (FEPA) to extend the time period for filing a charge...
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White Employee Gets Trial on Claim She Was Fired to Send Message Against Racism

A Maryland federal judge has ruled that an employer must stand trial on claims by a former white employee who alleged she was terminated to set an example of the company’s commitment to fight racism.  In Wethje v. CACI-ISS,  2021 U.S. Dist. Lexis 34543 (D. Md. 2/24/21), Judge Paula Xinis denied the company’s motion for summary judgement on the employee's claims of race discrimination under Title VII and Section 1981. The case arose when CACI...
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Sixth Circuit Confirms But-For Causation Standard Remains In ADEA Claims

Last month, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit declined to extend the Supreme Court’s ruling in Bostock v. Clayton County, 140 S.Ct. 1731 (2020) to an Age Discrimination in Employment Act (“ADEA”) claim.  In Pelcha v. MW Bancorp, Inc., 984 F.3d 1199 (6th Cir. Jan. 12, 2021), the Sixth Circuit affirmed the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio’s dismissal of an ADEA lawsuit, stating the plaintiff failed to show...
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Maryland Federal Court Rules Transgender TGI Friday’s Cook Can Proceed To Trial On Bias Claims

Bernadette Hunton
Bernadette Hunton
02/19/2021
Though Maryland workers have been protected from gender identity discrimination under State law since 2014, it wasn’t until last year that the Supreme Court made clear employees are protected under federal law too.  You can read about the landmark Title VII decision, Bostock v. Clayton County, No 17-1618 (U.S. June 15, 2020), here. A recent district court decision offers useful guidance about the circumstances courts in this jurisdiction may...
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Court Rejects Laches Claim Due to EEOC’s Delay

Darrell VanDeusen
Darrell VanDeusen
11/25/2020
One of my first cases as a baby lawyer was a sex harassment lawsuit brought by a former employee who waited over six years for a decision from the EEOC and Maryland Commission on Civil Rights (which did eventually dismiss the charge).  She got her notice of right to sue and, with the help of very able counsel, filed her lawsuit.  No one (still alive) recalled her complaining or supported her claim, but she testified that she had raised her...
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Maryland District Court Permits Claim Alleging Supervisor Harassment

Kollman & Saucier
Kollman & Saucier
11/10/2020
Last Friday, the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland reminded us all about the importance of preventing workplace harassment and especially harassment by supervisors and managers.  In Rosinbum v. Azar, No. TDC-19-3119 (Nov. 6, 2020), the Court found that a former FDA research fellow sufficiently alleged claims of discrimination, retaliation, and hostile work environment under Title VII. The bulk of the Court’s opinion recites...
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Lack Of Discriminatory Motive Dooms Employee’s Sex Discrimination Suit

Kollman & Saucier
Kollman & Saucier
11/04/2020
In Williams v. Housing Authority of Savannah, the 11th Circuit held that an employee failed to show that a Georgia Housing Agency acted discriminatorily when the employee failed to rebut the employer’s basis for her termination –  she violated HAS rules by failing to maintain possession of her master keys and did not report that she never got them back. Monica Williams was an Assistant Asset Manager for the Housing Authority of Savannah...
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