Can a social media firestorm be the basis for an employment decision? Although it may seem like a lifetime ago, in the spring of 2020, the internet’s attention turned to a viral video of a white woman in Central Park who called 911 about a black man who she said was threatening her life. Enter

Mississippi recently passed House Bill 1509 (the “act”) codifying employees’ right to choose whether to be vaccinated against COVID-19, which some commentators believe would limit employers’ ability to impose mandatory vaccine requirements. But private employers with vaccine mandates can breathe easy. The act does not create a basis for a wrongful termination claim against a

Plaintiff’s “Paramour Preference” Plan Panned: 9th Circuit Finds Romantic Relationship Not Enough to Show Discrimination Against Non-Romantic Co-WorkerIn another chapter in litigation alliteration, in Maner v. Dignity Health, f/k/a Catholic Healthcare West, the Ninth Circuit held that a male employee’s theory that his supervisor’s long-term romantic relationship with a co-worker could not be the basis for his own Title VII claim that he was discriminated due to his sex. The Court

Administering the Ministerial Exception: The Supreme Court Expands the Defense in Employment Cases

Although the issue of whether someone can sue a church for employment discrimination doesn’t come up often, in Our Lady Of Guadalupe School v. Morrissey-­Berru, the Supreme Court expanded the ministerial exception that precludes certain employment claims. This is big news for religious employers.

Just like every other employer, churches and religious institutions sometimes

Same Name, Different Blame: Sixth Circuit Finds Distinction Between Troopers in RaceOne of the essential factors for plaintiffs in discrimination cases can be showing that they were treated differently than a similarly situated co-worker — the inference being that they were treated differently because of their age, sex or race (or other legally protected status). In defending those allegations, companies often present facts as to how

Sunday May Still Be Sacred: Texas Jury Sides with Employee Who Chose Church Service Over WorkIf an employee misses work to attend church on Sunday morning and the company subsequently fires her, is that religious discrimination? A jury in Texas recently said yes and awarded the plaintiff close to $350,000. The verdict is a reminder to employers to remember your religious accommodation obligations.

Trouble with supervisor and work scheduled for

Good Reasons Sometimes Win:  5th Circuit Cites “Unprofessional Behavior” of Plaintiff in Dismissing ADEA ClaimAdd this case to your “Be Sure to Document Your Non-Discriminatory Reasons” file. An employee doing bad things lost on summary judgment in an employment discrimination action, even though she alleged that the company did not properly investigate the reasons for her termination. The Fifth Circuit affirmed a summary judgment on an age claim because

Stick to Your Story: Employer’s Shifting Termination Justifications Can Cause Employer to Have to Explain Its Discharge Decision to a JuryIf you want to avoid potential liability from a former employee, remember a key maxim: Stick to your story about why you made the employment decision. If an employer shifts rationales for its decision or tries to pile on by adding new reasons after the fact, it will likely have to explain itself to a

Exit EEOC? Supreme Court Rules that Charge-Filing Process Is Not Jurisdictional, But It’s Still ImportantIn a case that garnered big headlines, the Supreme Court weighed in yesterday on whether a claimant’s failure to amend her EEOC charge divests the federal court from hearing part of her Title VII claim. While the decision makes some strong statements about the purpose of an EEOC charge in Title VII litigation, it is