Archives: Title VII

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Employee Complaints Of Pay Inequity Can Trigger Protected Activity Even With No Mention Of “Sex Discrimination”

In Mumm v. Charter Township of Superior, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit held that Plaintiff is entitled to a trial where her employer began the termination process on the same day she threatened suit over a difference in pay between her and a male counterpart even though she did not … Continue Reading

Jury May Find Pregnancy Discrimination Where Employer Refused To Assign Work To Avoid Injury To Pregnant Worker

Pregnancy discrimination can arise from an employer’s effort to “protect” a pregnant worker from harm, just as it can from other adverse actions.  In Cameron v. NYC Dept. of Educ., 15-cv-9900 (S.D.N.Y), it was alleged that plaintiff no longer received teaching assignments after her pregnancy became visible and known.  According to plaintiff, the principal told … Continue Reading

That’s What Friends Are For: Federal Court Extends Retaliation Protection to Employee’s Friend

Picture this scenario: Employee A brings a sexual harassment claim against Company. Employee B, who is friendly with Employee A believes the Company has taken adverse actions against her because of her friendship with Employee A, such as transferring her to a different location where she was denied her own office for six months and … Continue Reading

Workstation Relocation Creates Viable Claim for Retaliation

The United States District Court for the District of Columbia recently permitted a Title VII retaliation claim to proceed to trial based on allegations of retaliatory relocation of a worker’s workstation.  In Massaquoi v. District of Columbia, the plaintiff was relocated to a new workstation one month after he complained to his supervisor about disparate … Continue Reading

Refusal By Employer to Remove Letter of Reprimand from Employee’s Personnel File Creates Viable Claim for Retaliation

In Munive v. Fairfax County School Board, the Fourth Circuit recently ruled that an employer’s refusal to rescind a disciplinary notice issued after claimant filed a discrimination charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and the consequent loss of a promotion, could constitute an adverse action sufficient to create a bona fide retaliation claim.  As such, … Continue Reading

Rescinding Termination May Not Defeat Retaliation Claim

Proving that non-economic damages and perhaps attorney’s fees are driving forces in litigation, constructive discharge clams were asserted and survived summary judgment in a federal district court action in Oregon. The Court’s ruling permitted a plaintiff’s retaliation claim to survive summary judgment even though the employer rescinded the termination and rehired plaintiff within 24 hours … Continue Reading

The Weinstein Effect: Importance of Anti-Harassment and Anti-Discrimination Training

It seems as if a report of workplace sexual harassment or sexual battery is published nearly daily. While the media focuses upon notable public figures, workplace harassment can occur at any company.  In many of those reports, it seems that the environment was not conducive to reporting the alleged misconduct or to obtaining an internal … Continue Reading

11th Circuit: Rights of Breastfeeding Employees Protected by Federal Law

On September 7, 2017, the Eleventh Circuit in Hicks v. City of Tuscaloosa, 16-13003 held that breastfeeding is covered under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (“PDA”).  In Hicks, the plaintiff was a police officer with the Tuscaloosa Police Department.  Hicks’ doctor recommended that the Plaintiff be considered for alternative duties because the ballistic vest could cause … Continue Reading

Top 5 Things to Know About Workplace Language Rules

The EEOC filed suit recently in the United Stated District Court for the Southern District of Texas alleging that an employer discriminated against non-Hispanic applicants by requiring that they be Spanish-speaking.  See EEOC v. Champion Fiberglass, Inc., Civil Action No. 4:17-cv-2226.  A copy of the Complaint can be viewed here. The EEOC alleges that this … Continue Reading

When Are Law Firm Partners Not Partners?

The issue of who is a “partner” and thus not an employee continues to vex professional firms.   Layers, doctors, dentists and other professionals often consider themselves non-employees, at least until they suffer an adverse workplace decision.  Then, they may choose to describe their situation as employees, not non-employee owners.  The distinction between employee and “partner” … Continue Reading

Timing Is Everything: Federal Judge Permits Suit to Continue Despite Time-Barred Allegations

A federal magistrate in New York has recommended that an employment discrimination case survive a dismissal motion even though some of the claims relied on facts that occurred outside the statute of limitation. Grimes-Jenkins v. Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc., 16-cv-4897.  In Grimes, the Plaintiff alleged claims of discrimination and retaliation under various … Continue Reading

Evidence That Similarly Situated Employees Included Those of the Same Race Dooms Race Discrimination Claim

A federal district court granted an employer’s summary judgment motion in light of evidence that employees allegedly not disciplined for similar infractions as the plaintiff included those of the same race and color as the plaintiff..  The Court ruled that the purported inconsistency in enforcement, if any, was not because of the plaintiff’s race or … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Confirms Prior Salary Can Be a Legitimate Factor Other Than Sex Under Federal Law

Relying on salary history to justify differences in employee pay can be a valid defense under the Equal Pay Act, according to a recent decision by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.  Rizo v. Yovino, 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 7427 (9th Cit. Apr. 27, 2017).  According to the Ninth Circuit, prior … Continue Reading

Former Employee Advances Retaliation Claim Despite Execution of Settlement Agreement

An Ohio federal district court recently denied a former employer’s motion for judgment on the pleadings, holding that the plaintiff could proceed with her retaliation claim even though she signed a settlement agreement and general release. Bryant v. Central Community Health Board (Case no. 16cv00620 March 29, 2017).  This case focuses upon what is (and … Continue Reading

Second Circuit Finds Allegations of Gender Stereotyping Sufficient to Permit Claim to Move Forward

In Christiansen v Omnicom Grp., Inc. (Docket No. 16-748), Plaintiff alleged that his supervisor drew a picture of him in tights and a low-cut shirt “prancing around,” and made a poster depicting plaintiff’s head attached to a female body clad in a bikini, which resulted in one co-worker referring to plaintiff as a “submissive sissy.”  … Continue Reading

11th Circuit: Sexual Orientation Discrimination is Not Actionable Under Title VII

On March 10, 2017, the Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit in Evans v. Georgia Regional Hospital held that sexual orientation discrimination is not actionable under Title VII. In Evans, the plaintiff was a security officer at Georgia Regional Hospital.  During her employment, the plaintiff claimed she was discriminated on the basis of her … Continue Reading

Employer Granted Summary Judgment on Claims of Hostile Work Environment by Equal Opportunity Harasser

A federal district court in Alabama granted an employer’s motion for summary judgment regarding a former general manager’s hostile work environment claims.  Thrower v. Yedla Management Co. Plaintiff, a Caucasian female, alleged that during her employment, the Purchasing Manager mistreated her on the basis of gender and race, creating a hostile work environment by excessively … Continue Reading

Federal Discrimination Claim Tossed Where Plaintiff Unable to Establish Prima Facie Case

A Louisiana federal district court granted a company’s motion for summary judgment regarding a former employee’s Title VII race discrimination, harassment, and retaliation claims.  Cassimere v. Fastorq LLC. Plaintiff, an African-American male, alleged that during his employment, he was, among other things, issued disciplinary write-ups while non-African American employees were not and that the company … Continue Reading

Direct Evidence of Racist Remarks Dooms Employer Motion for Summary Judgment

A federal court in Tennessee denied an employer’s motion for summary judgment on an African-American employee’s race discrimination and hostile work environment claims under Title VII and state law.  The decision was based in large part on the sheer volume of several supervisors’ alleged use of offensive, intimidating remarks.  The record included evidence of frequent … Continue Reading

Employee’s Retaliation and Hostile Work Environment Claims Based on a Rumor Spread in the Workplace Survives Motion for Summary Judgment

In Baez v. Anne Fontaine USA, Inc., the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York denied an employer’s motion for summary judgment to dismiss a terminated employee’s retaliation claims under Title VII, New York State Human Rights Law and the New York City Human Rights Law, and hostile work environment claim … Continue Reading

Federal Court Dismisses Muslim Employee’s Failure to Accommodate Suit

In Bob v. Madison Security Group, Inc., the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York dismissed a failure to accommodate claim brought by a former employee under Title VII and New York State and City employment statutes.  Plaintiff alleged that his former employer scheduled him to work on Fridays, despite Plaintiff’s … Continue Reading

EEOC Issues Updated Guidance on National Origin Discrimination

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently issued updated guidance regarding national origin discrimination for the first time since 2002.  The new guidance defines national origin discrimination as “discrimination because an individual (or his or her ancestors) is from a certain place or has the physical, cultural, or linguistic characteristics of a particular national origin group.”  … Continue Reading

Dismissal of Claims of Discrimination in Pay Highlights Importance of Conducting Proactive and Privileged Pay Equity Analyses

In Catalina v. Moniz, the United States District Court for the District of New Mexico dismissed Equal Pay Act and Title VII pay discrimination claims brought against the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).  Although Plaintiff raised a question of fact regarding whether she performed “substantially equal work” as a male coworker, the employer presented evidence … Continue Reading
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