Working for Justice

Employment Discrimination

Seeking COVID-19-Related Accommodations for At-Risk Household Members

Since the pandemic disrupted U.S. life in March 2020, the number of Americans who have worked remotely, at least in part, has more than doubled.[1] After over a year of proof that telework is possible, workers have gained fodder for legal arguments that remote work is a reasonable accommodation for their disabilities without undue burdens […]

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The Reach of Our Lady of Guadalupe: Are You Covered by the Ministerial Exception?

One year ago this week the Supreme Court decided Our Lady of Guadalupe School v. Morrissey-Berru,[1] a case in which the Court determined that two Catholic elementary school teachers were “ministers” and therefore not covered by federal anti-discrimination statutes.[2] The Court based its decision on the “ministerial exception.” A First Amendment doctrine, the ministerial exception […]

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Congress Must Open the Courthouse Doors to Uphold Military Members’ Civil Rights

Workers and students who experience civil rights violations have a plethora of legal tools at their disposal to seek accountability and relief—ranging from constitutional, to statutory, to tort claims. But the courthouse doors have long been closed to one group, whose exclusion from remedies by the government which they defend is particularly jarring: members of […]

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What’s in a Name? A Starting Point for Building a More Inclusive Workplace

Posted May 11th, 2021 by in Employment Discrimination.

May is Asian American and Pacific Islander (“AAPI”) Heritage Month, which celebrates the contributions of the AAPI community to the history and culture of the United States. With the rise of anti-Asian violence since the start of the pandemic, many have been wondering how they can be better allies to the AAPI community. One simple […]

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Don’t Hesitate: Statute of Limitations in Discrimination and Harassment Cases

Posted January 14th, 2021 by in Employment Discrimination.

Are you considering contacting a lawyer about discrimination, harassment, or mistreatment at work?  It may be tempting to wait.  You think: “Let’s see how this plays out.  Learn if the company will do the right thing.  Maybe they will promote you, or transfer you, and maybe things will get better.  You have a lot on […]

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New York’s Salary History Ban: Still Waiting to be Enforced

Posted January 5th, 2021 by in Employment Discrimination.

Effective January 6, 2020, New York banned employers from asking job seekers and employees about their compensation history. The same law, Labor Law § 194-a, prohibits employers from relying on salary history in deciding whether to offer employment to an applicant as well as in determining salaries for applicants and employees. The law also prohibits […]

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Walking the Talk: Company Disclosure of EEO-1 Data is Key to Demonstrating a Commitment to Race and Gender Equity

Posted December 30th, 2020 by in Employment Discrimination.

The EEO-1 survey is an incomparable source of data on employee diversity at U.S. corporations. The survey is conducted by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and requires private employers with over 100 employees to collect race and gender data on their employees on an annual basis. The data collection includes, among other data points, a […]

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You Can Still Bring a Coronavirus-Related Lawsuit Against Your Employer—At Least for Now

Posted December 28th, 2020 by in Employment Discrimination.

In the wee hours of December 21, 2020, Congress passed a COVID-19 stimulus package following months of wrangling and stalemates. After nearly a week and much criticism, President Trump signed the bill into law. Despite its massive length—almost 5,600 pages—the bill falls far short of fully meeting the urgent needs of American workers. Congress last […]

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Does Title VII Provide Any Protections If Your Employer Fires You for Advocating for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion?

Posted December 28th, 2020 by in Employment Discrimination.

As long as there has been discrimination in the workplace, courageous employees have spoken up about it. In the past year, employees have pushed hard for workplace equity, as examples from the Audubon Society, Google, Pinterest, and elsewhere show. Unfortunately, many employers have reacted with retaliatory firings. The story of AI Ethicist Timnit Gebru at […]

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Executive Order 13950 Threatens Workplace Diversity and Inclusion Trainings

Posted November 23rd, 2020 by in Employment Discrimination.

On September 22, 2020, President Donald Trump signed Executive Order 13950, “Combating Race and Sex Stereotyping,” which, contrary to its title, seeks to undercut workplace equity and inclusion. The Executive Order—ostensibly targeting the anti-racism trainings that proliferated in the wake of the murder of George Floyd and the subsequent national reckoning with systemic racism—prohibits federal […]

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Is Caste Discrimination Illegal in the United States?

Posted October 14th, 2020 by in Employment Discrimination.

A ground-breaking lawsuit against Cisco tests this novel question. On June 30, the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (“DFEH”) filed a lawsuit in federal court on behalf of a Dalit Indian (“untouchable” caste) engineer who alleges that he was discriminated against by high-caste Indian supervisors and coworkers.[1] The suit alleges that Cisco management […]

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EEOC: Employees Recovering From Opioid Addiction Are Protected From Discrimination

Posted October 7th, 2020 by in Employment Discrimination.

Sanford Heisler Sharp is at the forefront of the movement holding the opioid industry accountable for the ruinous effects its drugs have had on people and governments throughout our country. This opioid work pits us against the companies that profited off the addictive potential of the drugs they peddled. New EEOC guidance indicates that our […]

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More than a Reasonable Accommodation: The New York City Human Rights Law’s Protections for Workers with Disabilities

Posted October 7th, 2020 by in Employment Discrimination.

Many Americans are familiar with the formulation “reasonable accommodation,” which the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires employers to make on for employees who have a disability. The ADA is a federal law. Less well known is that New York City has its own counterpart law that protects employees with disabilities. The New York City […]

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New Maryland Law Prohibits Employers from Asking Job Applicants for Wage History

Posted September 29th, 2020 by in Employment Discrimination.

For job applicants, disclosing their current or prior salary can be one of the most anxiety-inducing parts of interviewing for a new job. Beginning on October 1, 2020, however, a new Maryland law will go into effect, prohibiting employers from asking job applicants for their wage history or relying on wage history in making hiring […]

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Victims of Race Discrimination: Don’t Forget About § 1981!

Posted August 31st, 2020 by in Employment Discrimination.

As the recent murders of innocent African American civilians like George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and countless others remind us, the United States has a long way to go in its struggle for racial justice.  While current efforts against racial inequality are rightfully focused on police brutality, race discrimination in employment has a long […]

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