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New York Bans Race Discrimination Based on Hairstyle

New York has become the second state to include hairstyles within the definition of race for purposes of the state’s anti-discrimination law.  Last week, California became the first state to ban such discrimination. The New York State law amends the definition of “race” to mean “traits historically associated with race, including but not limited to, […]

Employee Can’t Prove Supervisor’s “Black Ass” Remark Motivated His Termination

In a recent unpublished decision, the Eleventh Circuit held that an African-American former employee could not get past summary judgment on his Title VII and Section 1981 race discrimination claims.  Williams v. Housing Opportunities for Persons with Exceptionalities, No. 2:17-cv-00468-ACA (11th Cir. 7/15/19). Williams worked as a direct care provider for Housing Opportunities for Persons […]

Professor’s Misuse of Grant Funds Justified His Termination

Most employers have internal policies and procedures that govern the workplace.  In the university setting, faculty discipline issues typically are addressed through fairly robust processes that may include a hearing before a faculty member’s peers.  Employers are wise to adhere to their internal policies and to make those policies clear to avoid having a decision […]

Transgender Employee Succeeds on Hostile Work Environment Claim

Although the Supreme Court has yet to opine on the issue, many jurisdictions interpret Title VII as encompassing discrimination because of gender identity (and/or sexual orientation) as discrimination because of sex. Such was the case for a former transgender corrections officer for the Arizona Department of Corrections (“ADOC”).  John Doe v. State of Arizona, No. […]

Home Offices and Workers’ Compensation

When does an employee’s home qualify as a work site for purposes of Maryland’s Workers’ Compensation Act?  That was the question of first impression the Maryland Court of Special Appeals (COSA) considered in Schwan Food Co. v. Frederick, decided last month.  Given the proliferation of technology that permits employees to work for anyone, from anywhere, […]

Maryland’s Equal Pay Law: Are You In Compliance?

Watching the U.S. Women’s National Team play in and win the World Cup this past weekend took me right back to my own days of competitive girls’ soccer.  But nostalgia wasn’t the only thing that came to mind as the win brought additional attention to the Team’s recent lawsuit for equal pay.  That lawsuit, filed […]

Sixth Circuit Strikes Down Workers’ Compensation Claimant Solicitation Law

I read frequently about legal opinions interpreting various laws governing the employer-employee relationship.  Less often, I encounter one concerning the employment lawyer-client relationship.  So when I came across a recent case, Bevan & Associates, LPA, Inc., et al. v Yost, et al., No. 18-3262 (6th Cir. 7/8/19), in which the Sixth Circuit discussed the constitutionality […]

New California Law Adds Protected Status Based On Hairstyle

This past week marked not only the anniversary of our Independence Day, but also the 55th anniversary of the enactment of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  Amidst this well-deserved fanfare, California became the first state to make hairstyle a protected status under its state anti-discrimination law, the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA). Presently, […]