Category Archives: Gender Discrimination

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Why the Harvey Weinstein Scandal Should Scare the Pants Off Employers

Unless you have been living in a cave for the last month, you have heard about the sexual misconduct allegations against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein. The story has all of the makings of a Hollywood blockbuster, except this time it’s not a movie. Here’s why it should also raise the curtain for employers outside of … Continue Reading

Alabama Employers Take Note – Birmingham Joins Ranks of Cities with an Anti-Discrimination Ordinance

Last month, the Birmingham City Council passed an ordinance criminalizing discrimination in education, housing, employment, and public accommodations. The ordinance not only prohibits discrimination based on the federally protected categories of race, sex, national origin, and disability, but it also recognizes familial status (i.e., having minor children), sexual orientation, and gender identity as protected categories. Additionally, … Continue Reading

Sessions Changes DOJ Course on Title VII Enforcement for Transgender Issues

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a memo to all U.S. Attorneys revising how the Department of Justice will address gender identity claims under Title VII. In 2014, the Obama Administration DOJ stated that gender identity discrimination, including that against transgender individuals, was illegal under Title VII’s prohibition against sex discrimination. AG Sessions’ memo reversed that practice, … Continue Reading

The NLRB/EEOC Landmine – When Does Offensive Speech Amount to Protected Activity?

Employers need to be on the lookout for instances of offensive employee speech, which may put them between a rock and a hard place as they navigate potential claims under either anti-discrimination laws or federal labor laws. You have probably heard that Google terminated an employee earlier this month for saying (among other things) that … Continue Reading

Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation is Sex Discrimination Under Title VII: Seventh Circuit Takes Clear Stand

On Tuesday, the Seventh Circuit jumped into the Title VII sexual orientation discussion with both feet. In Hively v. Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana, a full-court reversed an earlier three judge panel decision, finding that discrimination based solely upon the employee’s sexual orientation is sex discrimination prohibited by Title VII. As the opinion recognizes, this finding … Continue Reading

Muscle Beach Party and Theories of Sex Discrimination: Second Circuit Tries To Clarify Sexual Orientation vs. Gender-Stereotyping

Is there a difference between being discriminated against because of your sexual orientation versus being discriminated against for not conforming to a gender stereotype? In most areas of the country, there most certainly is according to the Second Circuit in Christiansen v. Omnicom Group, Inc., et al. Matthew Christiansen, an openly gay man and creative director at … Continue Reading

Power of the Subpoena: Will Nominee Gorsuch Limit Scope of EEOC Reach?

Just how broad is the EEOC’s subpoena power and are we likely to get some guidance soon? We’ve said before that the McLane v. EEOC case (which is about the EEOC’s subpoena power and is currently before the Supreme Court) is uncertain given President Trump’s election. Since then, we have had two developments: first, President … 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

Know Where to Go When You Gotta Go: OSHA Releases “Best Practices” on Restroom Access for Transgender Workers

Earlier this month, OSHA published a Guide to assist employers who may have questions about providing bathroom access to transgender employees. The brief Guide notes that studies show there are an estimated 700,000 adults in the U.S. who consider themselves to be transgendered. OSHA states that restricting those employees to use restrooms who are not … Continue Reading
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