Category Archives: EEOC

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The More You Know…Or Others Think You Know: Fifth Circuit Finds Decision-maker Had Knowledge to Constitute Retaliation

The Fifth Circuit has issued another opinion in the continuing saga of Jackson State University and its past athletic director, Dr. Vivian Fuller—this one about retaliation against a witness. To refresh everyone’s memory: A secretary at JSU filed an EEOC charge claiming that AD Fuller sexually harassed her and then fired her. During its investigation, JSU’s … Continue Reading

Happy Thanksgiving and the Many Things for Which We Are Thankful

Before everyone gets out of the office to their various homes and families to celebrate the holiday, we wanted to review the year and count our blessings. Not only are we thankful that our families and colleagues in our Houston and Tampa offices weathered the storms safely, we are also thankful for the following legal … Continue Reading

Trick or Treat? Employee Claims Discrimination After Attending Office Halloween Party

Before you send out that next office-wide invite to a “holiday” party, think twice. Carmelite Lofton has sued her employer, BSN Sports, LLC—a Texas uniform and equipment retailer—when things turned sour after she was forced to attend an office Halloween party. Lofton—an African American and a Christian, says the party was contrary to her religious … Continue Reading

Honesty Is the Best Policy . . . Until It Isn’t – Employer Denied Summary Judgment After Distributing Letter About Former Employee’s Charge of Disability Discrimination

How much should you tell your employees about a pending charge of discrimination from a former employee? Should you let them know that the EEOC might contact them? Is complete honesty really the best policy? Maybe not, according to a federal district court in Connecticut that found an employer’s oversharing about a charge precluded summary … Continue Reading

Well, Well, Wellness: DC Court Strikes Down EEOC Rules on Corporate Wellness Programs

When is a financial incentive in an employee-sponsored wellness program so high that employees can’t afford not to participate—rendering the program no longer voluntary? Well (pun intended), the District Court for the District of Columbia believes that the EEOC doesn’t know (yet). In the last 15 years or so, many employers started wellness programs to promote … Continue Reading

“I Got the Power!” – EEOC’s Investigatory Power Trumps Dismissal of Discrimination Claim in Federal Court

Can the EEOC keep investigating a claim after it has issued a right to sue letter? What about after the charging party has already filed a lawsuit and lost at the summary judgment stage? The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit says it can. Adding to the circuit split already created by the … Continue Reading

You Might Feel a Small Stick: EEOC Sues on Failure to Accommodate Phlebotomist

If an employer provides a temporary reassignment to accommodate an employee’s disability/pregnancy restrictions, does it have to return her to that assignment after her maternity leave? The EEOC seems to think so. In Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Dependable Health Services, the EEOC alleged that Dependable Health Services (DHS) discriminated against Sheena Berry, who has … Continue Reading

Sad Dad Wants Paid Leave to Care for Newborn Lad; Employer’s Leave Policy Is Not So Rad; ACLU Gets Mad

Can an employer distinguish between moms and dads when granting paid parental leave for care for a newborn? Bank JP Morgan appears to believe so. Derek Rotondo requested parental leave when his wife was expecting their second child. Under JP Morgan’s policies, mothers are by default considered primary caregivers and are automatically entitled to 16 weeks of paid … Continue Reading

The Devil is in the……..Biometric Scanner? Fourth Circuit Finds Employer Failed to Accommodate Employee’s Religious Belief

Just how far do you have to go to accommodate an employee’s off-the-beaten-path religious belief? The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled that you at least have to give the same accommodations you give to disabled employees. In U.S. EEOC v Consol Energy, Inc., Mr. Beverly Butcher’s evangelical Christian beliefs put him in conflict … Continue Reading

EEOC Pulls the Hood Off of Employer’s Attempt to Retaliate against Its Employee

Can an employer force an employee to agree that his complaints have been adequately addressed? On April 26, the EEOC announced that Downhole Technology LLC will pay a former employee $120,000 and provide other relief after it terminated an employee who refused to do just that. In Equal Opportunity Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Downhole … Continue Reading

You Don’t Look Like You Are From Around Here: EEOC Guidance on National Origin Discrimination

If you weren’t sure what it meant to discriminate against someone because of their national origin, the EEOC wants to help. The newly revised Section 13 of the EEOC Field Manual provides guidance on how the EEOC defines national origin (which is more than just what nation in which you originated) and gives examples of … Continue Reading

Call Me Rachael: New York City Issues New Guidance on Gender Identity Rules

New York City’s Commission on Human Rights issued a document entitled “Legal Enforcement Guidance on the Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity or Expression: Local Law No. 3” on December 21. The Commission enforces the City’s ban on discrimination in public accommodations, housing and employment based on gender. Gender is defined as a person’s … Continue Reading
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