Employment Discrimination

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Supreme Court to Decide Whether Federal Employment Laws Protect LGBT Employees

Does federal law prohibit workplace discrimination based on an employee’s sexual orientation?

Recently, the U.S. Supreme Court announced that it will take up the important issue of whether federal employment laws protect LGBT employees.  The court will consider three different cases, two focused on discrimination based on sexual orientation and the third involving discrimination against a transgender employee. Already, the result of these cases is highly anticipated as it could have significant implications for the thousands of federal employees that identify as LGBT.
Read more . . .

Friday, May 17, 2019

Older Workers Benefit Protection Act (OWBPA)

The Older Workers Benefit Protection Act (OWPA) is an an amendment to the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). Its purpose is to protect employees from discrimination on the basis of age. This usually means preventing an employer from doing things like firing only older staff members when making cuts or discriminating based on age in regards to employee benefits.

What is the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act (OWBPA)?

The OWBPA provides several key protections for employees potentially facing discrimination based on age. The OWBPA prevents an employer from:

  • Discriminating in benefits based on an employees age
  • Firing only older employees when making reductions in staff
  • Forcing older workers to waive legal rights without proper safeguards in place

    Employee benefits include things like:

  • Health insurance
  • Life insurance
  • Retirement accounts
  • Pensions
  • Disability benefits

Under the OWBPA, employers, under most circumstances, are obligated to give equal benefits to both older and younger employees.
Read more . . .

Thursday, December 27, 2018

TV Star Receives Massive Settlement from CBS for Sexual Harassment

What constitutes a hostile work environment?

Television actress Eliza Dushku, best known for her performance in “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” recently received a $9.5-million-dollar settlement from CBS after filing claims of sexual harassment and wrongful termination.  Dushku had signed on to play a role in the new CBS series “Bull.” She starred in three episodes and the show planned to make her a full time cast member. Shortly after, Dushku claims that her co-star, Michael Weatherly, began to make her feel uncomfortable.
Read more . . .

Monday, November 12, 2018

Takeaways From the Dallas Mavericks’ Sexual Harassment Scandal

Why might sexual harassment occur in a workplace despite clear company policies forbidding it?

This past February, an article came out in Sports Illustrated revealing disturbing instances of sexual harassment and workplace misconduct in the office of the NBA team the Dallas Mavericks.  Following release of the article, several serious investigations were launched. Allegations regarding a hostile workplace and unwanted sexual advances by staff swirled, all despite a company policy in place banning such practices.  Our Read more . . .

Monday, September 10, 2018

Workplace Confidentiality Agreements Criticized During #MeToo Movement

Can Private Employers in New York Require Sexual Harassment Victims Sign an NDA?

The #MeToo movement has changed the way that our nation views sexual harassment. Women who were once afraid to come forward are now empowered to call out their harassers, and laws that have long favored protecting the harasser are being reexamined. Confidentiality agreements, which often required employees agree not to disclose instances of sexual harassment in order to get or keep their job, have come under close scrutiny. Several states, including New York, are reforming confidentiality laws to better protect the victims of..

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Friday, July 6, 2018

Employment Discrimination and Freelancers

What protections do gig workers have from discrimination?

The number of independent contractors, also referred to as gig workers or freelancers, has risen sharply in the past decade. Independent contractors are contracted to perform work or services for another entity. Employers often consider hiring independent contractors advantageous because these workers come with tax benefits and typically are not required to receive health insurance and other benefits. As more of the workforce becomes gig workers, it is important that freelancers understand their

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Sunday, January 28, 2018

Facebook Job Ads and Age Discrimination

Is it unlawful for Facebook to target certain age groups with job ads?

Facebook is known as a relatively youthful company.  Facebook and many other companies routinely place job ads on social media that target younger employees.  As the internet era makes it easier for companies to attract employees of a certain age, it raises some interesting issues as to whether targeted ads constitute employment discrimination.

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Saturday, November 11, 2017

Accommodations for Pregnant Employees

What accommodations does my employer need to make for my pregnancy?

Pregnancy is a wonderful period of time in your life, but it is not without its challenges.  Pregnancy can impact your ability to perform work duties.  The good news for pregnant employees is that you are entitled to some protections under federal and state law.  Even with these protections in place, however, many pregnant employees find themselves being treated differently due to their medical condition.  Our

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Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Religious Accommodations and Employee Dress Codes

Is my employer required to make exceptions to the dress code due to my religion?

A Mississippi restaurant chain is facing a lawsuit from a server who alleges the chain failed to accommodate her religious requests.  Georgia Blue LLC hired Kaetoya Watkins, a devout Apostolic Pentecostal Christian, to work as a waitress in 2015.  After receiving the job, Watkins learned that the restaurant required servers to wear blue jeans.  Watkins is only permitted to wear skirts or dresses per her religion.  When informed of this fact, the restaurant refused to accommodate her religious needs and rescinded its job offer.

Read more . . .

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Employment Discrimination and the “After-Acquired Evidence” Defense

What is the after-acquired evidence defense?

Employees in New York and across the country are protected from discrimination or unfavorable treatment based on certain attributes, such as their race, religion, disability, gender, and sexual orientation.  Employees who believe they have been discriminated against may be able to file an employment discrimination case.  Anyone considering filing such an action should be aware of the after-acquired evidence defense, which their employer may assert.
Read more . . .

Monday, March 20, 2017

Major Jewelry Conglomerate Faces Sexual Harassment Lawsuit

What should I do if I am being sexually harassed at work?

Hundreds of former employees have filed claims of sexual harassment and gender discrimination against Sterling Jewelers, the owner of Jared the Galleria of Jewelry and Kay Jewelers.  Female employees claim the work environment in these mega jewelry stores encouraged sexual misconduct, such as groping and sexual favors in exchange for promotions.  The class action lawsuit was first filed in 2008, but the case remains unresolved.
Read more . . .

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