Law and the Workplace

Tag Archives: title VII

U.S. Supreme Court Holds That Filing an EEOC Charge Is Not a Jurisdictional Requirement for Title VII Suits

In a unanimous decision in Fort Bend County, Texas v. Davis, the United States Supreme Court held that while an employee has a mandatory obligation to file a charge with the EEOC prior to bringing a discrimination suit under Title VII, such obligation is a procedural, rather than jurisdictional, requirement.  The key takeaway for employers … Continue Reading

SCOTUS to Decide Whether Title VII Protects Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

On April 22, 2019, the Supreme Court granted certiorari in three cases that raise the question of whether Title VII prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.  In two of the cases, Altitude Express v. Zarda and Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia, the Court will consider whether Title VII’s prohibition on … Continue Reading

[Podcast]: Recent Developments in Title VII

In this episode of The Proskauer Brief, senior counsel Harris Mufson and associate Laura Fant discuss the latest developments in Title VII. We will discuss the two recent circuit court decisions concerning the scope of sex discrimination under Title VII, one by the Second Circuit and the other by the Sixth Circuit. In addition, we will highlight some of … Continue Reading

Second Circuit Rules Sexual Orientation Discrimination Is Prohibited Under Title VII

Second Circuit sealIn an en banc decision in Zarda v. Altitude Express, Inc., the Second Circuit has become the latest federal appeals court to hold that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is prohibited sex discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”). Background The case involved Donald Zarda, a gay … Continue Reading

Seventh Circuit Becomes First Federal Court of Appeals to Hold That Sexual Orientation Discrimination Is Prohibited Under Title VII

In an 8-3 en banc decision in Hively v. Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana, the Seventh Circuit has held that discrimination based on sexual orientation is a form of sex discrimination under Title VII.  In so holding, the Seventh Circuit has become the first federal appellate court to extend the protections of Title VII … Continue Reading

Second Circuit Addresses Title VII Sexual Orientation Claims And Leaves Door Ajar For Sex Stereotyping Claims

Second Circuit sealIn a three-member panel decision in Christiansen v. Omnicom Group, Inc., the Second Circuit revived a homosexual employee’s claims under Title VII on the theory of sex discrimination based on sex stereotyping, but stopped short of reconsidering prior Circuit precedent holding that Title VII does not expressly prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. … Continue Reading

Second Circuit Holds That Non-Supervisory Employee’s Retaliatory Intent May Be Imputed to an Employer Under Title VII

Second Circuit sealIn Vasquez v. Empress Ambulance Service, Inc., the Second Circuit adopted the “cat’s paw” theory of liability under Title VII and held that the retaliatory intent of a low-level, non-supervisory employee may be imputed to an employer where “the employer’s own negligence gives effect to the employee’s retaliatory animus and causes the victim to suffer … Continue Reading

2015 Year in Review—the Top 10 Trends in New Jersey Employment Law

In 2015, there were important developments in New Jersey employment law. This newsletter examines some of those developments in ten key areas— background checks, whistleblowing, paid sick leave, wage and hour, Law Against Discrimination (“LAD”) litigation, arbitration, workplace injury, “Faithless Servant” Doctrine, Family Medical Leave Act, and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of … Continue Reading

Federal Court Decision Highlights Complexities of Laws Applicable to Pregnant Employees

As the laws governing the treatment of pregnant employees and new mothers continues to evolve, one recent decision from the United States District Court for the Northern District Alabama highlights the complexities that arise from the patchwork of federal laws that apply to employees during and after pregnancy. Facts The plaintiff in Hicks v. City … Continue Reading

Second Circuit Decision Resuscitates EEOC’s Gender Discrimination Suit Against Sterling Jewelers

This week, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit sharply limited employers’ ability to challenge the adequacy of the EEOC’s pre-suit investigations. The Court issued an opinion vacating a district court decision granting summary judgment to Sterling Jewelers Inc. (“Sterling”) on sex discrimination claims filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”). … Continue Reading

Second Circuit Clarifies Pleading Standard for Title VII Claims

A Second Circuit panel recently revived a former employee’s racial discrimination suit against New York City, reversing in part the Southern District of New York’s dismissal of her case. In Littlejohn v. City of New York, No.14-1395-cv (2d Cir. August 3, 2015), the panel made a number of important holdings, including on how courts should … Continue Reading

Latest EEOC Discrimination Suit Targets Employment Exam

For years, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) has taken the position that certain employment tests and screening procedures can serve to discriminate against racial and ethnic minorities in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”) when not “properly validated” as “job-related” and “consistent with business necessity” under the … Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court Holds Failure to Accommodate Religion May Be Evidence of Intentional Discrimination

Today the U.S. Supreme Court held in favor of the EEOC in EEOC v. Abercrombie & Fitch Store Stores, Inc. The EEOC claimed that Abercrombie violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) by refusing to hire a Muslim applicant who wears a headscarf for religious reasons.  The decision, penned by … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Concludes That EEOC Conciliation Efforts Are Reviewable by Courts

On April 29, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously concluded that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) efforts to conciliate a matter before filing suit—a statutory requirement of Title VII—can be reviewed by the courts. Mach Mining, LLC. v. EEOC, No. 13-1019 (April 29, 2015). The Court reversed a Seventh Circuit ruling that the EEOC … Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court Announces New Standard for Pregnancy Discrimination Claims

On Wednesday the U.S. Supreme Court issued its much-anticipated decision in Young v. United Parcel Service, Inc. (UPS), which involves a claim of pregnancy discrimination under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA). Young, a UPS driver, claimed that UPS intentionally discriminated against her by refusing to accommodate her pregnancy-related lifting restriction by transferring her to a … Continue Reading

Fourth Circuit Affirms Summary Judgment against EEOC in Background Check Suit

Last week, in Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) v. Freeman, No. 13-2365 (4th Cir. Feb. 20, 2015), the Fourth Circuit affirmed the award of summary judgment against the EEOC in its suit alleging that the defendant’s use of credit and criminal background checks had a “disparate impact” on African-American job applicants in violation of Title … Continue Reading

Anti-Discrimination and Anti-Retaliation Policies Save Employer from $3.5 Million Punitive Damages Award

On January 7, 2015, the U.S. District Court for the District of Puerto Rico issued an opinion overturning a jury’s $3.5 million punitive damages award for retaliation claims brought under Title VII and Puerto Rico law, finding that the defendant employer had demonstrated that it had made good faith efforts to implement anti-discrimination and anti-retaliation … Continue Reading

Gender Pay Gap – What Are Companies Doing?

It is no secret to our readers that the EEOC and the OFCCP have prioritized compensation discrimination issues as an enforcement priority.  The general public, and hence employees, are also keenly aware of pay discrimination issues.  From Sheryl Sandberg’s and Nell Scovell’s “Lean In” book and “Lean In Circles” to the John Oliver skit on the … Continue Reading

Class Action Stretches FCRA’s Limits to Target LinkedIn

With increasing regularity, states and localities have passed laws that limit the ability of private employers to inquire into or otherwise consider the criminal or credit histories of their prospective and current employees.  At the federal level, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has continued to pursue litigation against a number of companies on the … Continue Reading

Latest Criminal Background Check Developments Affect San Francisco, Illinois, and Alabama Employers

Employers should be aware of the following developments across the country before running a criminal background check: San Francisco’s new “ban the box” ordinance is set to take effect next week, including the requirement that employers post and distribute a notice of rights; the Northern District of Illinois recently granted the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s … Continue Reading

New Guidance from EEOC on Pregnancy Discrimination

On July 14, 2014 the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued updated enforcement guidelines accompanied by a question and answer guide on pregnancy discrimination and related workplace issues (“the Guidance”).  This is the first time in over 30 years that the EEOC has provided detailed insight on this subject and its guidance did not come … Continue Reading

EEOC Sues Over Common Release Language In Northern District of Illinois

The EEOC recently filed a lawsuit challenging CVS Pharmacy’s (the “Company’s”) separation agreement, which, it asserts, was distributed to more than 650 employees in 2012.  EEOC v. CVS Pharmacy, Inc., Case No. 1:14-cv-00863 (N.D. Ill.).  The agency alleges that the separation agreement had the effect of interfering with Title VII rights by purportedly failing to … Continue Reading

Sixth Circuit Affirms Summary Judgment Against EEOC in Credit Check Suit

In Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Kaplan Higher Education Corp., the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit affirmed the award of summary judgment against the EEOC in its suit alleging that Kaplan’s use of credit checks disparately impacted African-American applicants in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Read … Continue Reading

Employers To Face More Concurrent EEOC and Tort Suits after Second Circuit Decision

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has joined the Seventh and Ninth Circuits in holding that an EEOC charge will not toll the statute of limitations on a state-law tort claim. This decision likely will lead to an increase in concurrent filings of state-law tort claims and Title VII federal administrative proceedings … Continue Reading
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