EPL Risk Mitigation Blog

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, carriers face in 2019.  Topics covered include:  Pay Equity Lawsuits, Medical Marijuana, Website Accessibility Lawsuits, Whistleblower Claims, Class Action Developments,…
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 surgeries at Northwest Community Hospital (the “Hospital”) as an attending physician. She had been granted privileges by the Hospital to…
An employer’s retention of a younger, less-qualified employee instead of the older, more experienced employee, who was terminated during the Company’s reduction in force, can give rise to liability under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (“ADEA”), according to a recent decision by the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas. Harrison v. Chipolbrok America, Inc. After a downturn in business, the Company conducted a reduction in force (“RIF”) terminating the 64-year-old…
An employee who applies for and receives Social Security disability benefits may be judicially estopped from bringing a disability discrimination claim under the Americans with Disabilities Act (the “ADA”) according to a recent Louisiana District Court case. Tanner v. BD LaPlace, LLC. Paul Tanner was separated from his employment with BD LaPlace LLC (“BD”) for job abandonment in March 2016 after he refused to submit to a mandatory fitness for duty evaluation (“FDDE”). Tanner was…
An employer’s failure to stop a false rumor that a female employee slept with her male boss in order to obtain a promotion can 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 Fourth Circuit. Parker v. Reema Consulting Services, Inc. Evangeline Parker was fired after complaining that male employees at Reema Consulting’s Virginia-based warehouse spread a false rumor…
Just when landlords and their insurers thought that their obligations couldn’t get broader, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the federal Fair Housing Act’s anti-discrimination requirement extends to every part of the housing relationship, including discrimination by another tenant (not by the landlord) that occurs after the sale or rental transaction is completed. Francis v. Kings Park Manor, Inc., 15-cv-1823 (2d Cir. Mar. 4, 2019). Plaintiff (an African-American male) was subjected to a hostile…
A U.S. District Court has immediately restored the prior directives of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Office of Management and Budget requiring use of a revised EEO-1 form where employers with at least 100 employees have to report detailed information on their employees’ wages and hours, broken down by gender, race, and ethnicity.  For further information, read the full post on our Pay Equity Advisor Blog by clicking here.…
The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals recently upheld dismissal of failure to accommodate and disability discrimination claims where, for several years, the employer provided accommodations relating to plaintiff’s mental health (including directing co-workers not to startle plaintiff). Scheidler v. State of Indiana et al. Despite that admonition, a supervisor reached toward her with a choking motion and said, “I could just strangle you” resulting in a heated argument. When investigating the incident, the employer learned…
As if the current legal environment for employers and their insurance carriers was not sufficiently challenging, state legislatures are considering bills, inter alia, to expand the definition of a hostile work environment, to expand coverage of anti-discrimination and harassment laws to independent contractors, to increase penalties for harassment and to require that employers pay for the cost of post-harassment therapy.  Expansion of legal rights and legal remedies will drive the seemingly ceaseless growth of claims,…