Category Archives: Discrimination

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Ramirez v. Dependable Highway Express: The Reasonable Accommodation of an Employee’s Family

In Luis Castro-Ramirez v. Dependable Highway Express, the California Court of Appeal held that California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”) – which requires employers to reasonably accommodate employees with disabilities – now requires employers to reasonably accommodate employees who are associated with a disabled person.  This is an unprecedented decision and will likely to … Continue Reading

California Employers: Get Ready for New FEHC Regulations Effective April 1st

As most California employers know, the complex web of laws that govern employment in the state is vast and ever-expanding.  It just got more complicated.  The Fair Employment and Housing Council (“FEHC”) has issued new anti-discrimination and anti-harassment regulations that most California employers must comply with.  The new regulations will go into effect April 1, … Continue Reading

You May Want To Reconsider Your Position – EEOC Announces New Procedure to Handle Administrative Charges Against Employers

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) recently announced new nationwide changes to the procedures relating to its investigation of administrative charges filed against employers. When an individual files a charge against an employer, the EEOC may ask the employer to submit a position statement responding to the allegations, typically within 30 days.  Under the old … Continue Reading

EEOC Proposes New Pay Data Reporting Requirements for Employers

The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) has published proposed revisions to the requirements associated with the Employer Information Report (EEO-1). The EEO-1 already requires employers with more than 100 employees to provide certain employment information to the federal government, including the ethnic, racial and gender breakdown of their employees.  The proposed revisions would … Continue Reading

New York City Human Rights Law Expanded To Protect Caregivers

The New York City Human Rights Law (“NYCHRL”) forbids employment discrimination on the basis of a number of protected characteristics, such as age, race, creed, color, national origin, gender (including gender identity and sexual harassment), disability, marital status, partnership status, sexual orientation, alienage, and citizenship status. The NYCHRL applies to employers with four or more … Continue Reading

New Year, New Rules for Employers Doing Business in New York

This past year the New York legislature and New York Department of Labor amended several employment laws implementing changes that are set to take effect at the end of 2015 or in early 2016. This update summarizes the new and updated legal requirements imposed by those amendments to help New York employers prepare and comply … Continue Reading

New Year, New Rules For Employers Doing Business in California

This year the California Legislature added over a dozen new employment laws, many of which take effect on January 1, 2016.  Some of these laws impose new prohibitions on employers, while others provide positive benefits such as safe harbors, cure provisions, and employer incentives for reclassification of certain independent contractors.  This update highlights key provisions … Continue Reading

Second Circuit Finds EEOC Investigation Not Subject to Review

Recently, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit held in the matter of Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) v. Sterling Jewelers Inc. (“Sterling Jewelers”), that the District Court erred by considering the sufficiency of the EEOC’s pre-suit investigation instead of simply considering whether an investigation occurred.  … Continue Reading

District Court for the EDNY Denies Motion to Dismiss Selective Enforcement Gender Discrimination and Retaliation Claims Related to Enforcement of Employer’s Hair Policy

In Visecchia v. Alrose Allegria LLC, a recent decision from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, the court granted in part and denied in part a motion to dismiss claims of gender discrimination and retaliation brought by a hotel chef against his former employer alleging that the employer selectively … Continue Reading

California Supreme Court Makes It Harder For Prevailing FEHA Defendants To Recover Their Costs

Under section 1032(b) of the California Code of Civil Procedure, “a prevailing party is entitled as a matter of right to recover costs in any action or proceeding” unless some statute expressly says otherwise.  It has been California’s rule for over a decade that this provision allowed victorious defendants in cases under the Fair Employment … Continue Reading

The Supreme Court Decides Mach Mining LLC vs. EEOC: A “Win” For Employers?

Last week, in Mach Mining, LLC v. EEOC, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that Title VII authorizes judicial review of the EEOC’s efforts to satisfy its statutory duty to conciliate before filing suit against an employer.  In the simplest of terms, Title VII requires that the EEOC try to remedy unlawful employment practices through “informal … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Crafts Modified McDonnell Douglas Analysis to Handle Pregnancy Discrimination Claims

On March 25, 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States issued a long-awaited decision in Young v. United Parcel Service, Inc., wherein the Court vacated the Fourth Circuit’s decision to affirm UPS’s successful motion for summary judgment.  The plaintiff, Peggy Young, had worked as a part-time driver for United Parcel Service (“UPS”).  Part of … Continue Reading

Supreme Court of New Jersey Adopts Faragher/Ellerth Affirmative Defense

On February 11, 2015, the Supreme Court of New Jersey expressly adopted the test created by the United States Supreme Court in Faragher v. City of Boca Raton, 524 U.S. 775, 807 (1998) and Burlington Indus., Inc. v. Ellerth, 524 U.S. 742, 765 (1998). The Faragher/Ellerth defense provides an employer with an affirmative defense to … Continue Reading

Appellate Division Panel Issues Ruling Broadly Interpreting New York State Human Rights Law

On January 14, 2015, in a case of first impression, the New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Second Department held that an employee can sufficiently demonstrate his membership in a protected class by virtue of his association with another person – in this case, his wife.  In Jeffrey Chiara v. Town of New Castle, 2015 … Continue Reading

Employer Permitted to Use “After-Acquired” Evidence at Discrimination Trial

In Weber v. Fujifilm Medical Systems USA Inc., et al., case numbers 13-4891 and 14-0206, decided on October 9, 2014, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit held that a former executive’s employer could use “after-acquired” evidence – evidence of an employee’s misconduct during the period of employment which the employer discovers after … Continue Reading

Reminder: New York Interns Are Now Protected Under Both the State and City Human Rights Laws

Following New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio’s endorsement of an amendment to the New York City Human Rights Law (“NYCHRL”) extending the statute’s anti-discrimination and harassment protections to interns earlier this year (as reported here), New York Governor Andrew Cuomo recently signed into law similar legislation modifying the New York State Human Rights Law … Continue Reading

Second Circuit Finds Possible Pretext in Vague Justification for Non-Transfer

On July 14th, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit vacated an award of summary judgment for the defendants in Abrams v. Department of Public Safety, State of Connecticut, et al., Case No. 13-111, holding that statements concerning an employee’s “fit” for a position could give rise to an inference of discrimination.… Continue Reading

DOL Proposes to Amend FMLA Definition of “Spouse” to Include Same-Sex Marriages

The U.S. Department of Labor has proposed amending the regulatory definition of “spouse” under the Family and Medical Leave Act to expressly include individuals in same-sex marriages. In a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking published on June 27, 2014, the DOL proposed the revision in light of the recent United States Supreme Court decision in United … Continue Reading

Undocumented Workers May Pursue Claims Under California’s FEHA, So Says The California Supreme Court

On June 26, 2014, in Salas v. Sierra Chemical Co., the California Supreme Court held that undocumented immigrants who fraudulently obtained employment still may pursue retaliation and discrimination claims under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA).  In its decision, the Court also found that the affirmative defenses of unclean hands and after‑acquired evidence, … Continue Reading

The Supreme Court’s Ruling in Hobby Lobby that Closely Held, For-Profit Companies Should Receive Religious Exemptions From ObamaCare’s Conception Mandate Likely Will Have Little Practical Impact Immediately in the Employment Arena

On June 30, 2014, the US Supreme Court decided the case of Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. in a 5-4 decision along partisan lines.  The Court ruled that closely held, for-profit companies are entitled to certain religious freedom protections from generally applicable regulations that violate the sincerely held religious beliefs of their owners.  Specifically, … Continue Reading
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