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Discrimination

Employers, Can You Fire An Employee For Being Gay or Transgender?

We will soon see—at least under federal law. What am I talking about? This past week, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) heard oral arguments on three cases in order to decide whether discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or transgender status constitutes discrimination “on the basis of sex.” Let’s…

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Verify, Re-Verify, But Don’t Over-Verify: I-9 Compliance During an Era of Increased Enforcement

There has been a surge in workplace enforcement actions by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), according to statistics published by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the division of ICE tasked with using civil investigations and criminal prosecutions to deter companies from hiring unauthorized workers. This surge in HSI investigations and penalties against employers signals a…

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Your Employee Filed An EEOC Charge. Now What?

Charges of discrimination filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) (and similar charges with state and local human relations agencies) are a critical first step in an employee’s discrimination claim. For employers, the importance of responding strategically to such charges cannot be understated. This article will cover what to expect, and will provide a few key strategic…

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Ten Ways Employers Get Themselves Sued (Part One)

Take care of yourself! In medicine, sometimes the practices that get people in trouble are pretty simple. Too many nachos, and not enough leafy greens. You’d rather binge-watch Seasons 1-3 of Stranger Things than go for a walk. You hate needles, so you haven’t been to the doctor in 20 years. The same principle often applies…

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Heterosexual HR Manager Loses Discrimination Claim

A heterosexual HR manager fired after writing an angry Facebook post against Target’s policy of allowing transgender individuals to use restrooms according to gender identity could not state a discrimination or retaliation claim, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled. The plaintiff began working in the Louisiana office of Plant-N-Power Services Inc. (PNP) in…

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Employers Take Heed: The EEOC Is Cracking Down On Pay Discrimination

Equal pay for equal work is a hot topic for employers. In the last few years, several states have passed equal pay laws, while the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is paying more attention to equal pay issues on the federal level as reflected in recent enforcement actions. Just last month, the EEOC filed two…

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Supreme Court to Address Sexual Orientation Discrimination

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to consider a trio of cases addressing sexual orientation discrimination next term, answering two contested questions that have split the courts. Specifically, the justices will consider whether Title VII’s ban on sex-based discrimination prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation and whether the statute prohibits discrimination against transgender plaintiffs based…

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First Circuit: Age May Be Just a Number

Discriminatory animus cannot be inferred simply because a 62-year-old employee was replaced by a 36-year-old worker for a new position that was inferior to the plaintiff’s previous job, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, with appellate jurisdiction over the district courts in the District of Maine, District of Massachusetts, District of New…

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The Rumor Mill Is Now Your Problem? Yes, According to the Fourth Circuit

In a decision that could have wide-ranging implications for all employers, the Fourth Circuit Court, located in Richmond, Virginia, with appellate jurisdiction over the district courts in the District of Maryland, Eastern District of North Carolina, Middle District of North Carolina, Western District of North Carolina, District of South Carolina, Eastern District of Virginia, Western District of Virginia, Northern District…

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