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California 2020 Mid-Year Legal Update This Wednesday July 29

The legal landscape has changed radically since the start of 2020. While COVID-19 has profoundly impacted the Golden State, and the world, new employment laws are still driving change for California employers. Join Jackson Lewis P.C. on Wednesday July 29 at 10:00 a.m. PST for a mid-year employment law webinar, where we will share critical … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Rules Title VII Protects LGTBQ+ Employees From Employment Discrimination

In a landmark ruling, the United States Supreme Court ruled that LGTBQ+ employees are protected from workplace discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  An article by our colleagues discussing the case and its implications can be read here.  A copy of The Court’s decision can be accessed here.    … Continue Reading

Second Circuit: Migraines Insufficient to Support a Disability Under the ADA

The Second Circuit recently held that an employer did not violate the Americans with Disabilities Act when it refused to transfer, and then terminated, an employee because of his inability to perform his job due to migraines caused by the stress of his job.  Woolf v. Strada. In this case, Plaintiff began to suffer migraines … Continue Reading

Employee’s Electronic Acknowledgement of Arbitration Agreement Sufficient

Although the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”) places arbitration agreements on the same footing as any other contract and generally precludes state laws banning mandatory arbitration, employers must ensure that their arbitration agreement are enforceable contracts – an issue governed by state law. In Taylor v. Dolgencorp, LLC, an employer sought to compel arbitration of claims … Continue Reading

The ADA Does Not Cover the Possibility of Future Disabilities

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled that the American with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) does not protect an applicant who later may become impaired. In this instance, a worker applied for a position that would have required him to perform “safety-sensitive” tasks. After he was extended a conditional offer of employment, Plaintiff was required … Continue Reading

The Supreme Court Asks DOJ for Input on the Scope of Title VII

Recently, the United States Supreme Court invited the U.S. Solicitor General of the Department of Justice to weigh in on a petition to revive the discrimination case of Peterson v. Linear Controls Inc. David Peterson, a former Linear Controls electrician, asked the Supreme Court to overturn the Fifth Circuit decision that held more difficult working … Continue Reading

Second Circuit Issues Another Arbitration-Friendly Decision

On September 19, 2019, the Second Circuit issued a key pro-arbitration decision, which also decided issues of first impression about the Dodd-Frank Act (“DFA”) and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (“SOX”). Daly v. Citigroup Inc. et al. Plaintiff brought claims for gender discrimination and whistleblowing under multiple federal, state and local statutes, including Title VII, the Equal … Continue Reading

New York’s Highest Court Finds College Abused Its Discretion By Failing To Grant Adjournment of Administrative Hearing

In a recent ruling, New York’s highest court recognized the right to counsel when a student is accused of serious misconduct. Matter of Bursch v. Purchase Coll. of the State Univ. of N.Y. In this instance, a college student was accused of multiple violations of the College’s code of conduct, including sexual assault. At the … Continue Reading

EEOC Subpoena of Pattern-Or-Practice Information Based On Individual Charges Upheld

Contrary to the U.S. Supreme Court’s restriction of class actions in Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes, 564 U.S. 338 (2011), courts have granted the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) broad power to issue nationwide pattern-or-practice subpoenas even though only individual charges were filed against the employer. For example, eleven current and former employees, working among … Continue Reading

Federal Court: Federal Arbitration Act Preempts New York Law Banning Arbitration of Sexual Harassment Claims

According to the Southern District of New York, the Federal Arbitration Act preempts the recently enacted New York State law that bars arbitration agreements of sexual harassment cases.   To read a complete analysis of one of the first decisions to rule on this issue, click here.… Continue Reading

Second Circuit: ADA Allows Hostile Work Environment Claims

The Second Circuit recently held that the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) encompasses claims for hostile work environment harassment (“HWE”). Fox v. Costco Wholesale Corporation. While this plaintiff-friendly ruling may be disappointing to employers, the decision also contains some helpful analysis for defense of those claims. In Fox, Plaintiff brought ADA claims alleging discrimination, failure … Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court: Employee May Proceed with Title VII Claim Despite Not Fulfilling EEOC Filing Obligation

The general rule is that a federal discrimination claim should be dismissed unless a timely charge was filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Whether that statutory requirement was jurisdictional (and could not be waived) or procedural (and must be presented to the Court in a timely manner or the defense is waived) was … Continue Reading

Second Circuit: Application of Neutral Policy Does Not Interfere with FMLA Rights

As recently reaffirmed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, neutral application of a policy to prorate incentive compensation contributions during leaves of absence does not unlawfully interfere with an employee’s rights under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).  In Clemens v. Moody’s Analytics, Inc., Plaintiff contended that he was denied … Continue Reading

2019 EPLI Trends Report Published

Workplace law changes constantly. Employers and EPL carriers need to keep up with expanding risks, changing legal obligations, reason-defying jury verdicts, the #MeToo movement, and a record number of threatened and asserted claims associated with these changes. Our 2019 EPLI Trends Report gives an overview of the related risks and exposures employers and, by extension, … Continue Reading

Hospital Privileges Do Not Confer Employment Status For Purposes of Title VII Liability, Seventh Circuit Holds

Having the power to grant, deny, or revoke hospital privileges does not give rise to liability under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, according to a recent decision by the Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Yelena Levitin, M.D. v. Northwest Community Hospital. For almost thirteen years, Dr. Yelena Levitin had performed … Continue Reading

Court Confirms Employer Can Be Liable For Harassment By Non-Employee

Faced with a question not yet addressed by the Third Circuit, a federal judge in Pennsylvania found an employer, as well as individual managers, may be held liable for an employee’s claim of a hostile work environment based on conduct by a non-employee who had regular contact with the employee. Hewitt v. BS Transp. of … Continue Reading

Court Grants Summary Judgment Where Decision-Maker Was Unaware of Plaintiff’s Medical History

Employers often are reluctant to take adverse actions against poorly performing employees with a history of medical conditions due to the cost and risk involved in litigation (even though no federal, state or local law is intended to protect deficient job performance).   In an instance where an employer decided to discharge a worker whose job … Continue Reading

Another Circuit Prompts the Supreme Court to Resolve Title VII Sexual Orientation Claims

As the Circuits become further divided on issues of civil rights, the scope of legally protected characteristics under Title VII become harder to predict. After a recent loss in the 11th Circuit, a claimant petitioned the Supreme Court to review the 11th Circuit’s decision that “discharge for homosexuality is not prohibited by Title VII.” Bostock … Continue Reading

“Regarded As” Disability Claim Does Not Require Proof of an Employer’s Subjective Belief

Under the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (“ADAAA”), an individual meets the requirement of being “regarded as” having a disability, and thus is protected from discrimination, where his or her employer believes that he or she is substantially limited in a major life activity regardless of whether he or she actually is disabled.  Prior to … Continue Reading

Inconsistent Explanations for Adverse Action Lead to Denial of Summary Judgment

A federal district court in Pennsylvania denied the Pittston Area School District’s motion for summary judgment, finding Plaintiff offered sufficient evidence to show the District’s stated reasons for denying Plaintiff a promotional opportunity were pretextual.  Kupetz v. Pittston Area School District.  Specifically, Plaintiff claimed that the District posted one position, then during a Board meeting … Continue Reading

Seventh Circuit Affirms Grocery Store Employee’s Same-Sex Harassment Title VII Victory

A male employee working in the meat department of his local grocery store prevailed in his Title VII sex discrimination claim alleging an unlawful hostile environment harassment created by his male coworkers and male supervisor. Following a verdict in plaintiff’s favor at the trial court level, the employer appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals … Continue Reading

Ensuring Enforceability of Separation and Release Agreements

The Sixth Circuit recently allowed an Equal Pay Act and Title VII pregnancy discrimination suit to proceed despite the fact that plaintiff signed an agreement releasing all claims and, did not turn back the severance payment given in consideration for the release. In McClellan v. Midwest Machining, Inc., the Court relied upon the United States … Continue Reading

Failure to Hire Due to “Jewish Blood” May Constitute Race Discrimination Under Title VII

A federal magistrate in the Western District of Louisiana has issued what appears to be the first ruling under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that someone who is Jewish may be protected from race discrimination under the statute. In Bonadona v. Louisiana College, the Court ruled that an individual who was … Continue Reading
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