Articles Posted in Discrimination and Unlawful Harassment

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Execution Sling Hanging Hangman Knot Penalty Rope

Many years ago, a man called me asking if I would represent him in a discrimination action against a company.

Now, you know me. I’m a management-side lawyer. I write a blog called The Employer Handbook. But, then he mentioned that someone had hung a hangman’s noose at his job site. He had pictures.

And he had my full attention. Continue reading

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Image Credit: Pixabay.com (https://pixabay.com/en/yada-yada-board-insignificance-1432923/)

Let’s imagine that one of your female co-workers gets promoted. Shortly afterward, some of your male co-workers spread false rumors about how their recently-promoted colleague must have slept her way to the top.

Do you think that: (a) these rumors are gender-based, or (b) based upon false allegations of conduct?

The former could be the lynchpin to a viable sex-based hostile work environment claim. If it’s the latter, i.e., the rumors could have just as quickly been spread about a man, then the hostile work environment claim gets dismissed. Continue reading

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Image Credit: https://pixabay.com/en/pride-gay-nyc-new-york-city-flag-2444813/

A few weeks ago, a Pennsylvania federal judge reluctantly ruled in this case that discrimination based on sexual orientation is not unlawful (or you, could say, permissible) under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Continue reading

My Boss Is A J-E-R-K! (cropped)

Nyttend [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons

There’s this defense to discrimination claims to which, sadly, we on the defense side must resort occasionally.

That is, if a manager or supervisor is mean to everyone, then it is unlikely that he or she has singled out a particular person based on that individual’s race, religion, national origin, etc.

It’s called the “equal opportunity jerk” defense. Continue reading

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We don’t talk much about the EEO-1 Report on this blog.

The EEO-1 is the federally-mandated survey of company employment data categorized by race/ethnicity, gender and job category Companies with 100 or more employees must file it each year. Certain federal contractors with 50 or more employees must file the EEO-1 too.

Now, some of you may be thinking, “Wait, what?” “Eric, did the recent government shutdown impact when our company needs to file the EEO-1?”

Indeed it did. Continue reading

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Image Credit: PXhere.com (https://pxhere.com/en/photo/1291014)

Last April, I was talking to an employee-rights attorney about the Diane B. Allen Equal Pay Act, legislation in New Jersey that Governor Murphy had just signed. That’s the law requiring pay equality across all protected classes. Continue reading

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Image Credit: Pxhere.com (https://pxhere.com/en/photo/1445849)

Last week, the full Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals issued this decision in which it held that an outside job applicant cannot pursue a disparate impact claim under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act.

What does this mean in plain English?

Continue reading

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Won’t you help little Ivy Meyer achieve her Girl Scout Cookies sales goal?

It’s that time of year again.

Coworkers have begun bombarding you with requests to purchase Girl Scout Cookies. So, in that spirit, let’s tackle:

  • Whether unions will start organizing your workplace if you relax your no-solicitation policy to allow employees to sell Girl Scout Cookies;
  • Can employees use your email system to proselytize if co-workers use it to sell Girl Scout Cookies; and
  • A bonus discrimination case involving the sale of Girl Scout Cookies gone terribly wrong.

Continue reading

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By xrmap flag collection – Based on image from xrmap flag collection 2.7, colors from image at World Flag Database, Public Domain, Link

In the United States, medical marijuana use is legal in 33 states and the District of Columbia. However, the laws governing the use of medical marijuana vary from state to state. Continue reading

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