An EEOC Reminder: Discrimination by Third Parties is also Illegal

Darrell VanDeusen
Darrell VanDeusen
09/28/2022
  Let’s start today’s blog with a  brief visit to Employment Discrimination Law 101.  An employer cannot discriminate on the basis of race, sex, color, etc., etc., etc.  Discrimination includes harassment – name calling, epithets, and such stuff – that creates a hostile work environment.   And (yes, I know you know this) an employer is responsible for the actions of all of its employees, not just its supervisors or managers (e.g.,...
read more

Fourth Circuit Allows Claim of Color Discrimination to Advance

Eric Paltell
Eric Paltell
07/22/2022
While claims of employment discrimination are somewhat commonplace, it is far less common to see cases of discrimination based on color. In Felder v MGM National Harbor, No. 20-2373, the United States Court of Appeals for the Court Circuit reversed a trial court and allowed a claim of color discrimination to proceed beyond the Motion to Dismiss stage.  The case arose when the plaintiff, Britney Felder, filed suit alleging that she was...
read more

Lack of Comparator Dooms Discrimination Claim

Randi Klein Hyatt
Randi Klein Hyatt
06/24/2022
The Seventh Circuit recently reaffirmed the need to identify a relevant comparator in discrimination claims.  In Abebe v. Health and Hospital Corporation of Marion County, Ms. Abebe worked as a dental assistant starting in 2014.  Her behavior during her employment was marked with multiple concerns about her attitude and interactions with others.  In 2016, she received a poor review for "respect" due to her negative attitude and poor interactions...
read more

Maryland Poised To Increase Damages Caps For Discrimination Claims

The Maryland Fair Employment Practices Act (FEPA) is the state analog to federal anti-discrimination laws.   The law prohibits discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, and disability.  If an employer is found to have engaged in an unlawful employment practice under FEPA the remedies can include compensatory damages, back pay, injunctive...
read more

Fourth Circuit ADA Plaintiff Loses on Summary Judgment Due To Admissions Made In His Own Complaint

Bernadette Hunton
Bernadette Hunton
01/21/2022
One of the more challenging areas of employment law that businesses must grapple with is leave accommodations.  Employers and employees often disagree about how much leave is too much leave and, when circumstances result in an employee’s termination, it’s not uncommon for litigation to ensue. Such were the facts of an employment dispute decided by the Fourth Circuit this week. Jessup v. Barnes Group, Inc., No. 20-1801 (1/19/22). Plaintiff...
read more

Waiting Too Long to Sue Sinks Case

Darrell VanDeusen
Darrell VanDeusen
12/22/2021
I am not a procrastinator by nature, although some of my closest friends (and a few family members) are.  For me, waiting until the last minute to get something done is just irritating and anxiety provoking.  But enough oversharing.   My point is that, waiting until the last minute to accomplish a task can have a negative outcome. That is what happened to Brian Lax, a former FEMA employee who sued for disability discrimination.  Lax v. Mayorkas...
read more

Fourth Circuit Offers Guidance on Employer's Obligation to Make Reasonable Accommodations

 A recent decision from the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit is a good reminder that the ADA does not require that an employee be granted the exact accommodation they are seeking. Rather, an employer fulfills its obligation when it offers to provide a reasonable alternative accommodation.  Murphy v. County of New Hanover, No. 21-1471 (September 17, 2021). Dante Murphy was employed by the county of New Hanover, North...
read more

Texas Challenges EEOC's New Bostock Guidance

In July 2021, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released FAQ guidance and a landing page as resources to employers in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia, 140 S. Ct. 1731 (2020).  Bostock was the 2020 Supreme Court decision that recognized that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964’s prohibition on employment discrimination based on sex includes a categorical bar on...
read more

Long Gap Not Fatal To Retaliation Claim

A retaliation claim under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) requires that there be protected activity, a materially adverse employment action, and a causal connection between the protected activity and the adverse action.  An employee engages in protected activity when, for example, he opposes an unlawful employment practice or participates in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing regarding conduct that is proscribed by...
read more

Employee Reassignment Due To Poor Performance Not Adverse Action

Bernadette Hunton
Bernadette Hunton
09/08/2021
From time to time I get questions from employers about the legal risks associated with transfer or reassignment of a poor performing employee.  Maybe a contract prevents immediate termination, or the current office dynamic simply isn’t good.  The relationship with the employee is on a rapid decline and the employer wants to know- will the transfer increase the risk of liability for an employment discrimination claim? As lawyers often say to our...
read more
Email Updates

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Loading