Federal Judge Halts EEOC Guidance on Protections for LGBTQ Employees

Vincent Jackson
Vincent Jackson
07/22/2022
A federal judge in Tennessee took the rare step of issuing a preliminary injunction to block the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission from issuing guidance regarding employment discrimination based upon sexual orientation or gender identity.  The case stems from the EEOC’s attempt to implement the Supreme Court’s landmark 2020 ruling in Bostock v. Clayton County, which held that Title VII’s ban on sex discrimination applied to...
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MarylandSaves: A Private Employer Retirement Savings Program, Launches September 1, 2022

Jordan Dunham
Jordan Dunham
07/13/2022
Maryland employers need to be aware that, effective September 1, 2022, certain employers must set up a mandatory retirement program for employees. In 2016, the Maryland General Assembly passed House Bill 1378 creating the Maryland Small Business Retirement Savings Program and Trust, or “MarylandSaves” for short.  Initially planned to go into effect in 2020, but delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the law creates an obligation on employers...
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Whole Foods Survives Challenge to Dress Code Related Discipline

Garrett Wozniak
Garrett Wozniak
07/01/2022
It was not that long ago when most workers who were working in person wore masks or other face coverings as a safety precaution.  Masks come in many variations – a single color, patterned, or even descriptive, with slogans, logos, and other messages and images.  Whole Foods’ dress code “prohibits employees from wearing clothing with visible slogans, messages, logos, or advertising that are not company-related.”  Prior to...
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Kiss, Hugs, and Rude Comments Not Enough for Viable Sex Harassment Claim

Garrett Wozniak
Garrett Wozniak
06/28/2022
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) makes it unlawful for an employer to “discriminate against any individual with respect to his compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, because of such individual’s . . . sex.”  42 U.S.C. § 2000e-2(a)(1).  Title VII’s prohibitions cover sex-based harassment that is “sufficiently severe or pervasive” such that it amounts to an actual change in an individual’s...
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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...
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The NLRB Reiterates The Importance of Immigrant Worker Rights

Randi Klein Hyatt
Randi Klein Hyatt
06/22/2022
In its continued aggressive efforts to expand legal protections for workers and unions, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) General Counsel’s office recently issued a memorandum reiterating the rights of immigrant workers under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).  Memorandum OM 22-09, titled Ensuring Safe and Dignified Access for Immigrant Workers to NLRB Processes, reiterates NLRB policy on a worker’s right to use the NLRB...
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Employee Who Requests Transfer To Less Stressful Location Gets Trial

Clifford Geiger
Clifford Geiger
06/17/2022
Employees sometimes assert that they suffer from stress or anxiety because they cannot work with a particular supervisor or coworker or at a particular busy or stressful location.  These claims are usually unsuccessful, but they may fare better when a large employer has the option or flexibility to transfer an unhappy employee. In one recent case, a court ruled that an employee who was denied a transfer from a particular location that caused him...
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Denied Parking Accommodation Equals Disability Trial

Darrell VanDeusen
Darrell VanDeusen
06/08/2022
Employers sometimes need to be reminded that a reasonable accommodation can be an easy thing.  Refusing to make one without first engaging in the “interactive process” can result in prolonged litigation. After all, everyone is entitled to their decade in court. Today’s story involves a former VA employee who the Eleventh Circuit decided will be able to have a jury decide if she was illegally denied permission to park in the VA lot for...
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Protecting Your Business From the Unexpected

Frank Kollman
Frank Kollman
06/07/2022
While you have heard this expression a thousand times, it is worth repeating:  "It is better to have a good customer than a good contract." If a project has gone as well as can be expected, the terms of the contract become almost meaningless. In fact, if you had to go to the contract to resolve a dispute, there was a failure of some sort. Contracts are more important when things go wrong than when things go right. Unfortunately, things often go...
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NLRB: No Union, No More Was OK

Darrell VanDeusen
Darrell VanDeusen
06/06/2022
I last blogged in April and wrote about the next generation of union organizing and the current  efforts by the NLRB’s General Counsel to overturn long standing Board precedent.  Increased efforts to organize Starbucks, Amazon and Apple cannot and should not be ignored. And lots of media attention is directed at the issue.  Often, however, the view is that it’s conscience shocking to believe some employees might NOT want to be in a union. ...
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