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Total Articles: 10

The “People of Color” Label: Is It Time To Move The Needle (Again)?

Cindy-Ann Thomas and her guests Littler Shareholder Allan King, and author and historian Carroll “C.R.” Gibbs provide a multi-faceted examination of the label “People of Color.” In this podcast, Cindy-Ann, Allan, and C.R. address the following, head-on:

Single Racial Slur Enough for Hostile Work Environment, Says 3rd Circuit

A supervisor's single use of the "n-word" is sufficiently severe to support a hostile work environment, racial harassment lawsuit, a federal appellate court has ruled. In Castlebury v. STI Group, the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals explained that the proper standard to apply in hostile environment cases is whether discrimination is severe or pervasive, rather than pervasive and regular.

Can a single use of a racial slur constitute illegal discrimination? One court says . . . maybe.

After being sued for race discrimination, an employer/company filed a motion to dismiss the claims against it, arguing that a single use of the n-word was not sufficient to state a claim for hostile work environment.

First Circuit Refuses to Recognize a Section 1981 Private Right of Action for Damages Against State Actors

In a recent decision, Buntin v. City of Boston, the First Circuit Court of Appeals held that there is no implied private right of action for damages against state actors under 42 U.S.C. Section 1981. In reaching that conclusion, the court of appeals determined that Congress, when it amended the statute in 1991, did not overrule the Supreme Court of the United States’ 1989 holding in Jett v. Dallas Independent School District, 491 U.S. 701 (1989), that Section 1981 affords no such right of action and that 42 U.S.C. Section 1983 is the exclusive source for federal damages actions against state actors alleged to have violated Section 1981. The First Circuit’s ruling in Buntin is consistent with that of eight other federal appellate courts, and the Ninth Circuit remains the only federal appeals court to have held that Congress overruled Jett by amending the statute.

Isolated Racial Slur Triggers Hostile Work Environment Claim

One strike, you’re out?

Case Alleging That Hair Follicle Drug Testing Has Disparate Impact on African-Americans Allowed To Proceed

A municipal employer that conducted hair follicle drug testing on police officers was not entitled to summary judgment on a Title VII disparate impact claim, because a reasonable jury could conclude that an alternative to hair follicle drug testing would have met the employer’s legitimate needs, according to the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.

EEOC Clarifies 'Don't Tread on Me' Gadsden Flag Ruling

Employers should prepare for the possibility that the Gadsden Flag, which shows the words "Don't Tread on Me" below a coiled rattlesnake, could be considered a racist symbol by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

Lack of Policy and Training May Lead to Employers’ Liability for Nonemployees’ Racial Bias

Most—if not all—employers are aware that federal and state laws preclude employment discrimination based upon the race or national origin of an employee, and they know that illegal activity can include both discriminatory actions and biased statements. Most employers, however, are unaware that certain of these laws also preclude discrimination by a customer, client, or patient of an employer against an employee.

Non-employee’s racial bias may lead to liability for employer.

Most – if not all – employers are aware that both federal and state laws preclude employment discrimination based upon the race or national origin of an employee, and know that illegal activity can include both discriminatory actions and biased statements. Most employers, however, are unaware that certain of those laws also preclude discrimination by a customer, client, or patient of an employer against an employee.

Broadway's 'Hamilton' Teaches Lessons To Employers

A recent controversy over the hit Broadway show “Hamilton” can teach employers a valuable lesson about hiring and making other employment decisions. The producers of the show were accused of discriminatory hiring practices when a casting call sought “nonwhite” performers to appear for auditions. Although no legal action was initiated, the situation can offer guidance to employers regarding when (if ever) you can take protected categories such as race, national origin, age, religion, or gender into account when making personnel decisions.