Employment Discrimination Report

https://employmentdiscrimination.foxrothschild.com/

The Employment Discrimination Report blog covers all aspects of employment discrimination and harassment, including new court decisions and legislation, compliance, best practices, interesting trends in workplace relations and employment-related issues affecting employers.

Recent Blog Posts

  • Michigan Commission: Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Discrimination in Employment Prohibited The Michigan Civil Rights Commission has taken significant action to clarify that its state statute prohibiting discrimination in employment on the basis of sex (among other characteristics) extends to prohibit employment discrimination based on orientation and gender identity: The Michigan Civil Rights Commission voted 5-0 to approve a statement legally interpreting the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act’s ban on “discrimination because of . . . sex” to include discrimination against sexual orientation or gender identity . . . The idea of an interpretive statement... More
  • Minnesota Proposes Sweeping Change for Sexual Harassment Lawsuits Last week, Minnesota legislators introduced a bill to amend the definition of sexual harassment under state law.  Indeed, this legislation has already received significant attention in the media throughout Minnesota.  And although the bill adds only a single sentence to existing law, it has the potential to significantly reshape the legal landscape for employees who bring sexual harassment claims against their employers.  The substantive text of the amendment reads as follows: An intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment … does not require the harassing... More
  • NJ Prohibits Discrimination against Breastfeeding Employees In one of his final acts in office, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed legislation to prohibit discrimination against breastfeeding employees.  The bill, which was introduced by Democratic legislators and passed both houses of the Legislature unanimously, amends the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination and takes immediate effect.  New Jersey employers should expect this law to affect their workplace in at least two ways. First, the law amends the NJLAD’s enumeration of protected classes, adding the words “or breastfeeding” after “pregnancy” as... More
  • Proposed PHRC Guidance Would Protect LGBTQ Employees in Pennsylvania The Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission (“PHRC”), which enforces Pennsylvania’s state law prohibiting discrimination, has made a bit of splash in 2017.  How, you ask?  Well – that requires a bit of explanation. One of the hottest topics of debate in employment law in the past few years relates to legal protections for LGBTQ employees.  While some states and municipalities expressly prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, this isn’t the case everywhere.  Indeed, only 20 states and... More
  • 7th Circuit Holds Title VII Protects Sexual Orientation; What Does It Mean for Your Workplace? Recently, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit issued an opinion with significant employment law implications.  As you might recall, a panel of the Seventh Circuit issued a split 2-1 decision a few months ago, holding that Title VII’s prohibitions against sex discrimination in employment did not extend to protect employees on the basis of their sexual orientation.  The full Seventh Circuit then heard oral argument about whether the panel decision was correctly decided in the case, Hively v. Ivy... More
  • The Growing Trend of Wage Inquiry Prohibitions In the past year or so, we’ve noticed an increasing legislative trend around the country — governing bodies passing bills to prohibit employers from inquiring about their job applicants’ wage history.  The precise details of these efforts naturally vary from locale to locale.  Still, whether at the federal, state, or local level, the rationale for these legislative efforts is often the same: they are efforts to close the gender wage gap. This past August, Massachusetts became the first state in the nation... More
  • Legislative Update: Effective Dec. 30, New Employment Protections in Delaware Delaware’s legislature and Governor have been busy bees in 2016.  This post details three protections added to Delaware’s employment discrimination law in 2016, two of which become effective on December 30th (i.e., next Friday).  Specifically, these laws protect employees on the basis of an employee’s (1) reproductive health decisions, (2) family responsibilities, and (3) wage discussions or disclosures.  Also worth noting:  each of these three provisions applies to employers who have 4 or more employees within the state at the time... More
  • Employee Lawsuit Claims Discrimination Based on Her Husband’s Race (Or: Associational Race Discrimination 101) Bloomberg BNA is out with a news story about a recent case filed in federal court in Georgia, which poses an interesting question:  does Title VII protect an employee on the basis of his or her spouse being a member of a different race from the employee?  Among the Circuit Courts of Appeals that have tackled this question, the answer is yes.  We’ll get to the reason why momentarily, but first, let’s take a look at the new case in Georgia: Costco Wholesale... More
  • What Employers Need To Know About The EEOC’s Updated Enforcement Plan Employers take note:  the EEOC has issued an updated Strategic Enforcement Plan (“SEP”) for fiscal years 2017-2021. What’s a Strategic Enforcement Plan? The EEOC’s SEP describes the areas that will be a priority focus for its enforcement efforts over a particular period of time.  In some instances, it describes a particular component of the employment relationship (for example, the application process) that it will scrutinize more.  In other instances, it describes a particular basis of discrimination that it will focus on (for example, employees... More
  • Bills to Add Breastfeeding, Familial Status, Wage History to NJLAD Advance At a recent meeting, the New Jersey General Assembly Labor Committee advanced three bills that would expand workplace protections for employees under New Jersey’s Law Against Discrimination (“LAD”). The first bill, A-2294, seeks to amend the LAD to add protections for breastfeeding employees.  Specifically, A-2294 adds “breastfeeding” as a protected characteristics under the LAD, further seeking to amend the LAD to state that “‘pregnancy or breastfeeding’ means pregnancy, childbirth, and breast feeding or expressing milk for breastfeeding, or medical conditions related to pregnancy, [or] childbirth, or breastfeeding,... More