FB Employment Discrimination Blog

Latest from FB Employment Discrimination Blog

Last week, a federal judge ruled in favor of a gay former drama teacher who lost his job at Charlotte Catholic High School after he announced on social that he and his male partner were getting married. A federal court in North Carolina deemed the organization’s actions discriminatory on the basis of sex. Even though the organization is a religious one. The key to the decision—the teacher’s secular position with the school. What Happened In…
Last month, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for use by people 16 years of age and older. Yet, COVID-19 cases are still surging throughout most of the country thanks to the Delta Variant. Eager to get bodies back in office chairs, more employers are developing and implementing COVID-19 vaccine mandates as a condition of employment. After all, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) allowed employers to require that…
The interactive process, that is. Doctors writing bogus opt-out letters. An online religious exemption package for sale with “a personalized exemption letter” and “a signed attestation of faith from Pastor David,” which my partner Eric Meyer wrote about a few weeks ago. Bogus claims that a drug that treats parasitic worms in livestock as a “safe and effective treatment for COVID-19—hey, a telemedicine appointment will hook you right up. (Source) As employers increasingly…
The other day, we told you that – holy cow! – the FDA approved the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for folks 16 and up—it’s no longer for emergency use only. Anticipating a spike in employers mandating workplace COVID-19 vaccines, we discussed an employer’s top concerns and considerations. If you missed it, you can read it here. Late last month, my FisherBroyles employment partner Eric Meyer took a poll, asking, “Will your business mandate COVID-19 vaccinations…
Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for folks 16 and up. (Source). This is big news! Huge! Especially for employers. Why? The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) advised employers in May 2021 that employers could require all employees to get the COVID-19 vaccine. We delved into the EEOC’s vaccine guidance at the time here. The EEOC guidance stated: The federal EEO laws do not prevent an…
As the Delta variant surges, and “breakthrough” infections become more commonplace, employers may want to revisit the concept of providing paid sick leave. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), people infected with the Delta variant can transmit it to others, according to CDC guidance here. In fact, “[t]he greatest risk of transmission is among unvaccinated people who are much more likely to contract and, therefore, transmit the virus.” Yet two…
I had the pleasure this week of speaking with Washington Post Work Advice columnist Karla Miller about pitfalls that employers face when creating return-to-work policies. Karla was asked why parents could continue to work remotely but not workers on the same team without young children—could this be discrimination? Well, it depends. When it comes to these policies, employers must take care not to run afoul of federal and state anti-discrimination laws. Employers and employees alike…
Growing up, my mom always taught my brother and me: never judge a book by its cover. Looks may be deceiving. Give people a chance. It’s sage advice. Employers who fail to heed this common-sense advice may risk a federal discrimination lawsuit, as the City of Boise, Idaho is discovering. After a favorable determination—finding probable cause for discrimination—by the Idaho Human Rights Commission, a Boise Public Library employee and the American Civil Liberties Union filed…
The federal government, the nation’s largest employer, continues to take steps to shape its organizational culture in a way that promotes equity, diversity, and inclusivity while preventing unlawful harassment. On June 25, 2021, the White House released an executive order, which includes a strategic plan to address employment discrimination and workplace harassment, including sexual harassment, which clearly defines the term ‘harassment’; outlines policies and practices to prevent, report, respond to, and investigate harassment; promotes…
Most employers provide vacation and holiday leave. Now, employers have a new holiday to add to their roster: Juneteenth. On June 17, 2021, President Joe Biden signed a bill establishing Juneteenth, the date marking the end of slavery in the United States, as a federal holiday. (CNBC) This is a big deal. A very big deal. Employers don’t have to provide any holiday pay, by law, but they do. It’s smart. People need…