Articles Posted in Discrimination and Unlawful Harassment


On May 11, 2023, the federal Public Health Emergency for COVID-19 ended. However, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced yesterday that “the end of the declaration does not change the requirements of the federal equal employment opportunity laws discussed in this publication.”

So, the EEOC took the opportunity to update its COVID-19 Technical Assistance.

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There will come a time in your HR or employment law career when you must respond to a Charge of Discrimination filed with the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission by filing a position statement.

The EEOC has a great resource on effective position statements and stresses that the position statement should clearly explain the employer’s version of the facts. But here’s a bonus tip. Stick with whatever legitimate business decision the Charging Party mistook for an act of discrimination.

You’ll see what I mean in a second. Continue reading


A few weeks ago, I blogged here about how a federal appellate court concluded that firing someone who isn’t a ‘good fit’ isn’t necessarily a coded phrase for discrimination. Still, I generally recommend to clients that they be more direct when terminating someone’s employment by explaining the legitimate business reason(s) for the decision.

Similar issues may arise when companies make hiring decisions. Code words used to describe protected classes that reflect a company’s hiring preferences generally aren’t hard to crack. And then they become costly. Continue reading


When a plaintiff sues, alleging a supervisor subjected them to a hostile work environment, the defendant may avoid liability — even if the harassment actually occurred — if it took prompt remedial action to protect the plaintiff. Also, if a plaintiff fails to take advantage of corrective opportunities the defendant provides, the defendant wins.

But not always. Continue reading


Last night, I read a decision from a federal court in New York involving a plaintiff, who is Jewish, who claimed that her employer and her supervisor discriminated against her based on her religion.

The plaintiff identified many incidents that, in her view, demonstrate bias against her as a Jewish person, either in the form of overtly anti-Semitic comments or what she refers to as microaggressions. Among them, the plaintiff claimed that her supervisor told her that she “does not want an old Jewish woman running a multicultural department.”

But here’s the thing.

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