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By: Amy Epstein Gluck As we’ve seen, especially in the past year or so, New York City and State have some of the most employee-friendly laws in the country. Well, a new one may be on the horizon for NYC workers that will be particularly life-changing for the City’s workaholics and the employers that help create them: the Right to Disconnect bill. They don’t call New York the city that never sleeps for nothing, right? This bill,…
Obama: “You All’s President” It’s not only the EEOC which is litigating cases of racial harassment which hit the news – today’s post is about a recent case arising out of the Iowa Civil Rights Commission. Iowa?  A beacon of civil rights? Who knew? Apparently, a business owner in West Des Moines was hit with a $14,700 judgment (lost wages and damages) by the Iowa Civil Rights Commission on behalf of a 62-year-old black part-time employee. …
Well, I was wrong – my post last week was not the last one of the year, as I had promised, dealing with the EEOC’s targeting of “low hanging fruit.” These cases are coming fast and furious. The EEOC just reached a “voluntary conciliation agreement” with Metropolitan Jewish Health System (MJHS) “to resolve allegations of disability discrimination raised by a former employee who filed a charge with the EEOC alleging she was denied a reasonable…
An enormous new settlement of a religious discrimination case brought by the EEOC presents a perfect opportunity to reprise an old post with a new addition. Can an employer fire someone for wearing a veil or hijab? Or a turban? Having dreadlocks? Does a corporate policy on employee appearance trump religious dress or grooming requirements? The bottom line is:  Unless it creates an undue burden, an employee’s religious practices and beliefs must be accommodated by…
For anyone just coming upon this blog, I like to highlight a few important trends or repeated fact patterns, such as code words for “old” in age discrimination cases, or the seeming increase in the use of the “N-word” in workplaces. And one of my favorites is posting about EEOC developments involving disability or pregnancy discrimination claims against health care providers. It has become crystal clear to me that the EEOC targets these folks in…
It’s that wonderful time of the year when we remind everyone about the concept of retaliation in discrimination law. It’s pretty important: in 2016, then-EEOC Chair Jenny R. Yang said that “Retaliation is asserted in nearly 45 percent of all charges we receive and is the most frequently alleged basis of discrimination.”  That half of all charges of discrimination involve retaliation is a staggering statistic — what does it say about employers’ understanding of the various anti-retaliation provisions…
By: Amy Epstein Gluck Here’s an interesting decision for employers that caught my eye this morning, which illustrates a significant aspect of employment discrimination litigation—there must be a nexus, a link, nay a causal link between the alleged discrimination and the adverse decision. Facts of One Case Discussing this Causal Link An employer, a battery manufacturing plant, terminated a maintenance mechanic for allegedly damaging a company laptop. Remember, in all states but one (hello, Montana),…
By: Amy Epstein Gluck Of the types of sexual harassment, the one we see far less of is quid pro quo harassment. Why? Because it’s SO OBVIOUSLY wrong that most perpetrators (predators?) know it is unlawful. Case in point: One franchisee just settled a 2015 sexual harassment lawsuit for $80,000 after a former general manager (GM) solicited sex from two teenage girls applying for jobs. As the lawsuit alleged, this GM sent text messages to…
By: Amy Epstein Gluck Fear of potential sexual harassment lawsuits could lead to different problems. Here’s what I’m talking about: “I don’t even know what I’m allowed to say to women anymore.” “Don’t sit next to her on a plane during that work trip.” “I’m afraid to invite a female colleague to an event without the invitation looking like an unwanted advance.” Sound familiar? It should. We talked about this earlier this year (here
By:  Amy Epstein Gluck What’s not a good idea? Terminating an employee who requests a reasonable accommodation. Or failing to even discuss said accommodation. One employer found this out the hard way. Yesterday, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency that enforces the federal anti-discrimination laws including the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), announced a $125,000 settlement with Merritt Hospitality and HEI Hotels and Resorts after filing a federal…