Working for Justice

Employment Discrimination

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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Extending the “Ministerial Exception”: What Does It Mean to Employees?

The past few weeks brought mixed results for plaintiffs at the Supreme Court. Although the Court surprisingly extended Title VII’s protections based on gender identity and sexual orientation in Bostock v. Clayton County, the Court wrapped up its term by extending the so-called “ministerial exception”—which exempts certain employees of religious institutions from employment protections—to a […]

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Supreme Court Focuses on Job Duties, Contracts in Applying “Ministerial Exception” to Teachers at Religious Schools

Posted July 13th, 2020 by in Employment Discrimination.

The Supreme Court recently decided two cases, Our Lady of Guadalupe v. Morrissey-Berru and St. James School v. Biel, both on appeal from the Ninth Circuit, that clarified the scope of the so-called “ministerial exception” to anti-discrimination laws. According to the Court, under that exception, “courts are bound to stay out of employment disputes involving […]

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LGBTQ Rights in the Balance: Equality Act Still Needed in the Wake of Bostock

Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia has rightly been heralded as a true milestone for LGBTQ rights, including by my colleague Alok Nadig, who describes the decision here. Bostock brings LGBT Americans into the fold of Title VII’s protections against discrimination “because of sex” and has important ramifications with regard to other federal laws adopting similarly-worded […]

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Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia: Four Other Takeaways for Discrimination Victims

Posted June 17th, 2020 by in Employment Discrimination.

The Supreme Court’s opinion released earlier this week in Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia represents an outstanding milestone in the LGBTQ civil rights movement, and numerous posts and articles rightly celebrate this, including this one by my colleague Alok Nadig. The opinion also reminds us of several concepts that can benefit all victims of unlawful […]

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Supreme Court Rules Employment Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Illegal in All Fifty States

Posted June 16th, 2020 by in Employment Discrimination.

Yesterday, in its long-anticipated decision in Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia, the U.S. Supreme Court squarely held that discrimination against gay and transgender employees in the workplace is illegal under federal law.  The case arose from the terminations of three brave plaintiffs from their places of employment: Gerald Bostock, who was fired from his job […]

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Five Reasons to Celebrate the Virginia Values Act

Posted May 14th, 2020 by in Employment Discrimination.

A new Virginia law expands anti-discrimination protections for employees in the state and gives employees and civil rights advocates many reasons to celebrate.  Here are five. 1. Virginia employees are explicitly protected from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and sexual identity. When the law goes into effect on July 1, 2020, there will […]

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The Equal Pay Act: Equal Total Compensation Is No Defense If Rate of Pay Is Unequal

Imagine this scenario: a corporation runs health spas, each of which is divided into a men’s division and a women’s division that operate on alternate days.  Male managers run the men’s division, while female managers run the women’s division.  Because there are far more female customers interested in spa services, the corporation decides to compensate […]

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COVID-19: Mask for Discrimination?

Posted May 2nd, 2020 by in Employment Discrimination.

The unprecedented challenge of the global COVID-19 pandemic has caused uncertainty in every aspect of society. Certainly, the economy has been no exception, and employers are taking a variety of approaches and tactics in an attempt to weather the storm. Many employers are asking their employees to take pay cuts, with percentages often varying by […]

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After-Acquired Evidence and Self-Help Discovery: What Employees Need to Know

Posted April 28th, 2020 by in Employment Discrimination.

Evidence-gathering is one of the most critical parts of any employment discrimination lawsuit. In the normal course of litigation, wrongfully terminated employees may use discovery tools to obtain evidence to prove their case. However, sometimes—due to mistrust in an employer, lack of knowledge about the legal system, or uncertainty that they even want to file […]

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Prior Pay Cannot Be Used To Justify Paying Women Less In Ninth Circuit

“In 1963, Congress enacted the Equal Pay Act with a mandate as simple as it was profound: equal pay for equal work.” So begins the opinion in Rizo v. Yovino, a recent Ninth Circuit case holding that prior pay may not be used to justify a pay discrepancy between men and women—even if it is […]

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Amendments to New York Laws Provide Increased Protections to Workers

Posted April 14th, 2020 by in Employment Discrimination.

Because anti-discrimination laws vary state-to-state, your rights in the workplace depend on the state in which you live or work. New York was the first state to enact a law prohibiting employment discrimination, which has recently been amended to include stronger protections for workers. Last summer, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law amendments to the […]

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Coronavirus and the Americans with Disabilities Act: Unpacking Recent EEOC Guidance

Posted April 1st, 2020 by in Employment Discrimination.

As the coronavirus pandemic unfolds, working people are faced with a number of significant challenges, from navigating extended periods of working remotely to experiencing mass layoffs. Because the current situation is in many ways unprecedented, it can be unclear what an employer may legally require of an employee during this time. In March, the EEOC, […]

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Working Women in the United States Face Gender Discrimination, According to World Bank Study

Where in the world are working women equal to men? According to an international report released by the World Bank earlier this month, the nations that make this esteemed list are Belgium, Denmark, France, Iceland, Latvia, Luxembourg, Sweden, and Canada. These nations had a perfect “100” score according to the World Bank’s Women, Business and […]

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Dos and Don’ts of Severance Agreements

Posted July 19th, 2019 by in Employment Discrimination.

Fired?  Laid off?  I’m sure you have so many things running through your mind right now.  Here are a few things to consider when reviewing your severance agreement. DON’T be pressured to respond or sign immediately. Your employer must give you time to review the agreement.  I frequently hear of employers trying to pressure or […]

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