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By U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission – http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/history/40th/panel/hopkins.html, Public Domain, Link

Yesterday’s blog post highlighted the blistering dissent of Eleventh Circuit judge Hon. Robin S. Rosenbaum, as she criticized her colleagues for passing on the opportunity to reconsider whether Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protected employees from discrimination based on sexual orientation. In Judge Rosenbaum’s opinion, Title VII does afford those protections based on the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins. In that case, the Court concluded that sex stereotyping violates Title VII.  (It follows that Title VII precludes discrimination based on sexual orientation because of the failure to conform to the gender-based stereotype of loving someone of the opposite sex. Continue reading

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By Eoghanacht [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons

Here’s a little taste of Hon. Robin S. Rosenbaum giving her colleagues from the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals a piece of her mind:

The issue this case raises—whether Title VII protects gay and lesbian individuals from discrimination because their sexual preferences do not conform to their employers’ views of whom individuals of their respective genders should love—is indisputably en-banc-worthy…. I cannot explain why a majority of our Court is content to rely on the precedential equivalent of an Edsel with a missing engine, when it comes to an issue that affects so many people.

Continue reading

Human Resources in discussion

By Arunkumar Umapathy [CC BY-SA 4.0 ], from Wikimedia Commons

In yesterday’s post about an Americans with Disabilities Act case, I quipped about how the first paragraph of the Sixth Circuit’s opinion foreshadowed a bad outcome for the plaintiff.

Here were are again.

Another ADA case. Another Sixth Circuit appeal (Hostettler v. College of Wooster –  opinion here). Another request for a modified work schedule. And another unsuccessful plaintiff at the lower court.

But, this wasn’t just any plaintiff. Continue reading

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Image Credit: Pixabay.com (https://pixabay.com/en/pen-letters-leave-envelope-2912932/)

Imagine arriving at work where, waiting for you, is a letter addressed to you from the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. You know that inside that large envelope is a copy of the Sixth Circuit’s opinion in the Americans with Disabilities Act case in which you previously filed an appeal on behalf of your client.

And it’s in those seconds before you tear open the envelope that you think maybe, just maybe, the appellate court would reverse the lower court’s ruling in favor of the employer and deliver justice for your client.

Then you start reading the first paragraph of the opinion: Continue reading

3D Judges Gavel

By Chris Potter (Flickr: 3D Judges Gavel) [CC BY 2.0 ], via Wikimedia Commons

Yesterday, I blogged here about the most important employment law decision of 2018. It’s a case called Minarsky v. Susquehanna County (opinion here).

If you missed my post, well, it was long. 1,888 words long. So, here’s the super-condensed version: The Third Circuit Court of Appeals concluded that a plaintiff might not complain about sexual harassment at work for several years but still have a viable hostile work environment claim if she genuinely believed — and the record supported — that it would be pointless to do so. Continue reading

Minarsky v. Susquehanna County (opinion here) is a sexual harassment case. And there’s a lot to discuss. But the biggest takeaway is that any subsequent employer-defendant asserting a Faragher/Ellerth defense in the Third Circuit will find it very difficult to obtain summary judgment on any hostile work environment claim. Continue reading

Judge Brett Kavanaugh

By U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Respect to the employment law bloggers, reporters, and others who wasted no time trying to read the tea leaves to predict what Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s record as a jurist would foreshadow should he ascend to the U.S. Supreme Court.

*Cracks knuckles in preparation for lots of cutting and pasting*** Continue reading

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Source: https://eeotraining.eeoc.gov

Yep, it’s that time of year.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s Training Institute is hosting its Examining Conflicts in Employment Laws (EXCEL) Training Conference in Washington, DC.  Continue reading

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Image Credit: Pixabay.com (https://pixabay.com/en/mail-message-email-send-message-1454731/)

In 2014, the National Labor Relations Board ruled here in a case called Purple Communications that employees can use company email to try to form a union. Specifically, the Board held that “employee use of email for statutorily protected communication on nonworking time must presumptively be permitted by employers who have chosen to give employees access to their email systems.”

Yeah, I like my plain English better too.

Fast forward to 2018, and of all the places in the world, a federal appellate court in California — yes California — may be the one to change this. Continue reading

“Doing What’s Right – Not Just What’s Legal”