Discrimination

  • February 26, 2021

    February Roundup: Retaliation, Trans Bias, Natural Hair

    The California Supreme Court accepted the Ninth Circuit's invitation to clarify the legal bar plaintiffs must clear to sue for retaliation under state employment law, and the Eleventh Circuit was asked to eye whether a technical error on a fired transgender fire chief's EEOC charge dooms her bias suit. Here, Law360 catches you up on four recent legal developments that flew under the radar.

  • February 26, 2021

    Harvest Health Unit Hit With Age, Race Discrimination Suit

    A Pennsylvania subsidiary of pot giant Harvest Health & Recreation Inc. has been sued by a former worker who claims she's the victim of age, disability and racial discrimination after losing her job at a cannabis production facility in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic

  • February 26, 2021

    EEOC Charges Steady, But Virus Fallout May Shake Up 2021

    Data released Friday by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission show the overall number of bias charges that came into the agency stayed largely stable from fiscal year 2019 to 2020, but attorneys warned that storm clouds could be on the horizon as the pandemic's fallout reverberates in the year ahead.

  • February 26, 2021

    3 Ways Employers Can Help Asian Workers As Attacks Surge

    The novel coronavirus pandemic has exposed and amplified an ugly pattern of anti-Asian hatred in the U.S. Here, experts offer three tips to help employers look out for workers of Asian heritage.

  • February 26, 2021

    10th Circ. Says Professor Can't Restart Sexual Bias Case

    The Tenth Circuit backed a decision Friday in favor of a Denver university in a suit brought by a professor who adopted a former student, saying a probe into their relationship, rumors and a written warning weren't enough to sustain his gender bias case.

  • February 26, 2021

    Novo Nordisk Hit With Bias Suit Over 'Sexist Work Culture'

    A former employee of pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk sued the company and her supervisor on Friday, claiming she faced harassment and discrimination because of her gender.

  • February 26, 2021

    3rd Circ. Preview: AT&T Leads Packed March Schedule

    Employment law cases dominate the March oral argument schedule for the Third Circuit, which will consider appeals by an ex-AT&T manager seeking to revive her workplace bias claims and by a Pennsylvania transit contractor and deputy medical examiners fighting to undo defeats in overtime lawsuits.

  • February 26, 2021

    NHL Says Fired Official Was Racist, Not A Whistleblower

    The National Hockey League on Thursday asked a Florida federal judge to toss a former off-ice official's retaliation claims, arguing that he was fired not for reporting his colleagues' racist conduct but for participating in a group chat rife with racist jokes.

  • February 26, 2021

    Cook County Chief Judge Defeats Discrimination Suit

    An Illinois federal judge granted summary judgment Friday to the Cook County chief judge's office in a lawsuit brought by a Black employee alleging he was denied a modified work schedule because of his race and in retaliation for past reports of discrimination, saying the denial didn't cause injury but "failed to produce a perk."

  • February 26, 2021

    Texas Justices To Hear Apache's Fight With Fired Paralegal

    The Texas Supreme Court agreed Friday to review Apache Corp.'s challenge of a Houston jury's finding that it retaliated against a paralegal after she complained of a hostile work environment, a finding the energy company argues isn't supported by the evidence.

  • February 26, 2021

    Ex-Amazon Studios Exec Says Flight Upgrade Got Him Fired

    A former Amazon Studios executive has sued the tech behemoth in California state court, arguing it fired him in retaliation for upgrading his seat on the company's dime due to a back disability that deters him from flying coach on longer flights.

  • February 26, 2021

    Facebook Settles Revived Race Bias Suit With Black Engineer

    Facebook struck a deal with a Black facilities engineer who claimed his supervisor called him racial epithets behind his back and wrongly passed him over for promotions, agreeing to end a race bias suit the Fourth Circuit revived in August.

  • February 26, 2021

    Lawmakers Pan 'Hasty' Ax Of EEOC Pre-Suit Settlement Pilots

    Top Republicans on the House Committee on Education and Labor on Friday asked EEOC Chair Charlotte Burrows to shed light on why she cut short two pilot programs that tested changes to the agency's pre-suit processes for resolving job bias claims. 

  • February 25, 2021

    Calif. Court Says Teacher's Wi-Fi Illness Claim Is A Disability

    A California appellate court said a teacher adequately pled a claim that a Wi-Fi-induced illness is a disability in her lawsuit against the Los Angeles Unified School District, adding that she also properly claimed allegations that the school district failed to accommodate her disability in violation of the California Fair Employment and Housing Act.

  • February 25, 2021

    Michigan Corrections Dept. And Muslim Officer End Bias Case

    The Michigan Department of Corrections has agreed to resolve a case brought by a corrections officer who claimed he was harassed at work for being Muslim.

  • February 25, 2021

    DOJ Subpoenas Fintech Co. In Antitrust Employment Probe

    The employment practices of financial services technology provider nCino Inc. are being scrutinized by the U.S. Department of Justice's antitrust unit, the company said Thursday in a securities filing, revealing the agency's latest probe of competition issues in labor markets.

  • February 25, 2021

    Meet The Legal Team Behind The Harvard High Court Appeal

    A high-profile U.S. Supreme Court bid to end affirmative action in college admissions is pitting Harvard University and WilmerHale against conservative boutique Consovoy McCarthy PLLC, which prides itself on litigating with a leaner team than BigLaw firms and features several former clerks for Justice Clarence Thomas.

  • February 25, 2021

    DHS Escapes Black Worker's Discrimination, Retaliation Suit

    The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has dodged a race, sex and age bias suit from a Black worker who claimed her supervisor intimidated and refused to promote her after she asked for a temporary telework arrangement to care for an ill family member.

  • February 25, 2021

    Equality Act's Critics Rally Around RFRA Nullification

    The House's passage of the Equality Act on Thursday afternoon sets the stage for a pitched battle in the Senate, where Republicans are poised to attack the sweeping LGBTQ rights bill's ban on invoking the Religious Freedom Restoration Act as a defense against discrimination claims.  

  • February 25, 2021

    House Passes LGBTQ Rights Bill Over GOP Religious Fears

    The House approved the Equality Act on Thursday with a 224-206 vote after a tense and emotional hearing in which many Republicans insisted that religious freedom will take a hit if the sweeping LGBTQ rights measure becomes law.

  • February 25, 2021

    Yale Faces New Race Bias Suit Over Undergrad Admissions

    A group opposed to affirmative action slapped Yale University with a federal lawsuit Thursday, accusing the Ivy League school of discriminating against white and Asian applicants, less than a month after federal prosecutors dropped a similar suit filed in the waning days of the Trump administration.

  • February 25, 2021

    7th Circ. Says Magistrate Overstepped In HUD Bias Suit

    The Seventh Circuit has revived part of a discrimination suit by a former U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development employee after finding that a magistrate judge overstepped his authority by relying on HUD's assertions about a union grievance process.

  • February 25, 2021

    EEOC Sues Florida Resort For Firing Seventh-Day Adventist

    The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission hit a Miami-area hotel with a lawsuit on Wednesday for allegedly sacking a Seventh-Day Adventist who refused to work on Saturdays.

  • February 25, 2021

    11th Circ. Rejects Law School Age Bias Claims By Fired Prof

    The Eleventh Circuit on Thursday rejected a former Georgia law professor's claims that she was discriminated against because of her age by the now-closed Savannah Law School, which argued she was the worst teacher it had ever had.

  • February 25, 2021

    4th Circ. Revives Blind Worker's Fee Bid In Disability Suit

    The Fourth Circuit said a blind customer service representative can seek attorneys' fees for a disability suit she brought against the Maryland county she worked for, overturning a trial court's ruling that she couldn't claim fees even though a jury said she'd endured discrimination.

Expert Analysis

  • Employers Must Prioritize Pay Equity

    Author Photo

    The recent federal and state trend toward strengthening equal pay laws is sure to gain momentum, so it is now more important than ever before for employers to develop pay equity strategies, says Erin Connell at Orrick.

  • Employee Speech Considerations In The Age Of Remote Work

    Author Photo

    With the pandemic requiring most workforces to operate remotely, employees are increasingly voicing their opinions on social media, which presents unique challenges for companies investigating worker complaints and navigating free speech protections, say Noa Baddish and Elise Bloom at Proskauer.

  • How Employers Can Limit Discrimination Against Caregivers

    Author Photo

    Policymakers have proposed federal investments in caregiving amid higher family-care burdens and an accompanying rise in discrimination and retaliation lawsuits, but employers don't have to wait for legislation to create safer, more equitable workplaces, says Tina Tchen, CEO of Time's Up.

  • Employer Best Practices For Diversity, Equity And Inclusion

    Author Photo

    The days of employers remaining silent on diversity, equity and inclusion are over, and hiring metrics and employee engagement offer a good starting point toward a shift to an accommodative office culture that poses fewer risks of workplace investigations and employment discrimination claims, say attorneys at Robinson & Cole.

  • What The Biden Presidency Means For Class Actions

    Author Photo

    With Democrats now controlling Congress and the White House, class action litigation may flourish in the coming years — which will be good both for consumers and for well-behaving companies who would otherwise lose market share and profits to unpoliced cheaters, says Daniel Karon at Karon LLC.

  • Employer Takeaways From Latest NY And Federal Guidance

    Author Photo

    New York employers would do well to reexamine compliance on family leave and anti-discrimination accommodations following the recent release of guidance over state COVID-19 policies and federal regulation on vaccines, says Jonathan Trafimow at Moritt Hock.

  • Kan. Employers Face New Functional Impairment Questions

    Author Photo

    A recent Kansas Supreme Court ruling in Johnson v. U.S. Food Services clarified that while standards in the sixth edition of the American Medical Association Guides are constitutional, they do not entirely set functional impairment in workers' compensation cases, bringing new questions for employers, says Weston Mills at Gilson Daub.

  • Virus Mitigation Steps For Employers Amid OSHA Ramp-Up

    Author Photo

    New, stronger Occupational Safety and Health Administration guidance under President Joe Biden leaves no doubt that the agency expects employers to involve employees directly in developing programs for COVID-19 infection prevention, and the time for employers to reexamine current measures is now, say Robert Nichols and Caroline Melo at Bracewell.

  • Preparing For Anti-Sex Discrimination Laws After Biden Order

    Author Photo

    A recent executive order from President Joe Biden ensures that implementation of the U.S. Supreme Court's prohibition on sex-based discrimination becomes a priority for federal agencies, which means businesses need to ensure their policies and employee insurance plans are nondiscriminatory, say Chai Feldblum and Saghi Fattahian at Morgan Lewis.

  • A Guide To EEOC Anti-Discrimination Enforcement: Part 2

    Excerpt from Practical Guidance
    Author Photo

    While the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission holds the right to intervene in anti-discrimination litigation brought by an employee, so do employees in EEOC enforcement actions, and practitioners would do well to look at bias rulings covering both of these situations, says Micah Craft at LexisNexis.

  • A Guide To EEOC Anti-Discrimination Enforcement: Part 1

    Excerpt from Practical Guidance
    Author Photo

    Practitioners should familiarize themselves with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's anti-discrimination investigation and enforcement processes, as well as the potential jurisdictional overlaps that can occur with state and local civil rights agencies, says Micah Craft at LexisNexis.

  • 6th Circ. Bias Ruling Is Proof Honest Belief Rule Has Teeth

    Author Photo

    The honest belief rule can shield mistaken employer judgments from discrimination claims, as the Sixth Circuit's recent Smith v. Towne Properties decision underscores, but it's important that employers remember the importance of conducting good faith investigations, says Christina Dumitrescu at McDermott.

  • Calibrate Attendance Policy To Avoid Discrimination Pitfalls

    Author Photo

    As employers prepare to welcome back their employees from remote work to the worksite, they ought to make sure attendance policies stay compliant with growing leave and nondiscrimination laws and didn't become outdated during the pandemic, says Ramona Palmer-Eason at Armstrong Teasdale.