Seventh Circuit Decision Affirms Walmart’s Win in Pregnancy Bias Lawsuit

The United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit recently delivered a win to employers under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (the “PDA”) in Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Walmart Stores East, L.P., Case No. 21-1690. Case Background The EEOC accused Walmart of engaging in sex discrimination under the PDA (an amendment to the Title…

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Preventing Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

In August, Lone Star Ambulance, a critical-care transportation company in San Antonio, settled a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) for alleged sexual harassment and retaliation. The company will pay $90,000 in damages and provide additional relief. “The EEOC is committed to vigorously enforcing anti-discrimination laws on behalf of all workers,”…

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Unlimited Time Off Presents Hidden Challenges for Employers

We have increasingly been fielding inquiries from organizations that are looking to implement some version of unlimited time off for their employees. They saw that employees continued to be productive while working remotely during the pandemic, and they want to give them the flexibility to take time off as/when needed – provided the work still…

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Workplace Investigations: When Should You Consider Retaining an Outside Investigator

Increasingly, organizations are conducting workplace investigations in response to employee concerns – both those raised formally to human resources or through a written complaint or attorney demand letter, and those raised informally in a conversation with a supervisor that is brought to human resources’ or an equivalent function’s attention. Matters that, in the past, might…

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Ex-SHRM Worker Alleges Organization Let Bias Fester Behind ‘Principled Public Facade’

A self-described “brown-skinned Egyptian Arab woman” who worked for the Society for Human Resources Management filed a lawsuit against the organization June 30 alleging discrimination and retaliation, in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Mohamed v. Society for Human Resource Management, No. 1:22-cv-01625 (D. Colo. June 30, 2022)). According to…

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EEOC Issues New Guidance on Disability Bias and Algorithmic Employment Assessments

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently released guidance to help private sector employers avoid disability discrimination when using algorithms to assess employees and applicants.  The guidance explains the ways in which software that relies on algorithmic decision-making can run afoul of Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements. The guidance also includes “promising practices” to…

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Sands Shift for Background Screening for Manufacturers

Manufacturers have other reasons to want to know about their workers. Manufacturing employees often operate equipment or control processes that require vigilant attention and where, for example, drug impairment might have severe consequences. In addition, other manufacturing employees have access to large quantities of valuable supplies, making potential theft a costly risk. Background checks are…

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Jury Awards $450,000 for Employer’s Termination of Employee After Receiving Notice About Anxiety Disorder

On March 31, 2022, a Kentucky jury unanimously awarded $450,000 to an employee, who was terminated following two panic attacks the employee suffered at work. The jury concluded the employee’s anxiety disorder was a disability and that the employee suffered an adverse action because of his disability. Brief Background In Berling v. Gravity Diagnostics, LLC,…

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