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Total Articles: 10

eLABORate: Supreme Court Declines to Decide if Title VII Protects Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination

This morning the United States Supreme Court declined to review a case that would have resolved a circuit split over whether Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”) prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. As written, Title VII protects against sexual discrimination in employment, but courts across the country have taken different positions as to whether that protection extends to sexual orientation or sexual identity.

Beyond Base-Pay: EEOC Settlement Targets Sales Representative Commissions

For some workers, the bulk of their income is commissions or other incentive-based pay, not their salary or base wage. For years, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, sales employees, and class action plaintiff attorneys have been interested in fair pay for sales workers and, in particular, pay discrimination involving female sales workers. A recent EEOC settlement demonstrates the need for employers to separately analyze all components of incentive-based workers’ pay.

Title VII Coverage of Sexual Orientation Left Unresolved by Supreme Court

The US Supreme Court has declined to hear a case that could have settled the question of whether Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects employees from discrimination based on sexual orientation.

It’s the Most Wonderful Time . . . For a Pay Equity Update

‘Tis the season . . . for state legislatures to close for the year. While we’re seeing legislative activity at the state level slow down, the past few months brought a flurry of activity in the area of pay equity and bans on salary history inquiries. Here is a recap of recent activity and noteworthy developments.

EEOC Earns First-Ever Title VII Court Win In LGBT Discrimination Case

The federal watchdog agency that oversees federal antidiscrimination law just scored a milestone victory when a judge awarded $55,500 to a telemarketer who alleged to have been forced off the job because of sexual orientation discrimination. The November 16 decision brings to an end one of the first cases brought by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) on the theory that Title VII – the federal law prohibiting job discrimination based on “sex” and other protected classes – also prohibits LGBT bias. It also marks the first time that a lawsuit brought by the EEOC on this theory has led to a successful judgment, and should serve as an eye-opener for employers across the country.

D.C. District Court Issues Injunction Against Transgender Military Ban

Executive Summary: As previously reported by these authors, on July 26, 2017, President Trump announced via Twitter that transgender individuals will no longer be permitted to serve in the military. President Trump issued an official memorandum (“the memorandum”) on August 25, 2017, reasserting the ban and setting out a number of directives. In response, several transgender service members filed suit in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia alleging that the memorandum and the transgender military ban violate the guarantees of the Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution. On October 30, 2017, United States District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly issued an injunction, finding that the plaintiffs are likely to succeed on the merits of their claims. This order established a status quo by which President Obama’s prior policy, announced on June 30, 2016, remains in effect and permits transgender individuals to serve in all divisions of the United States Armed Forces.

WPI State of the States: Lawmakers Keep Their Focus on Equal Pay Measures

As the holiday season approaches, legislative activity at the state level is starting to slow down. The California General Assembly closed out its term, for example, giving employers a breather until January. Illinois’ regular session has also concluded, although its ongoing veto override session may yet bring about new labor and employment regulations. Municipal legislators are keeping employers on their toes, no matter the season.

Does the PDA Protect Nursing Mothers From Workplace Bias? 11th Circuit Says Yes

Does Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964’s Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) protect nursing mothers against post-pregnancy workplace discrimination? One federal court—the Eleventh Circuit Courts of Appeals—recently gave a resounding “yes” to that question. With its decision, the Eleventh Circuit became the second federal appellate court to answer that question in the affirmative, with the Fifth Circuit having done so in 2013. Hicks v. City of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, No. 16-13003 (September 7, 2017).

U.S. Department of Justice Rescinds Policy Protecting Transgender Employees

On October 4, 2017, the United States Department of Justice, through Attorney General Jeff Sessions, issued a memorandum rescinding an Obama-era policy protecting transgender employees from employment discrimination pursuant to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Feds Say Title VII Doesn't Cover Transgender Workers

Attorney General Jeff Sessions formally reversed the federal government’s position on whether transgender workers are covered by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, informing all U.S. Attorneys and heads of all federal agencies that the Department of Justice (DOJ) no longer believes that the antidiscrimination statute provides such coverage. The October 4 memo indicates that, according to the DOJ, “Title VII’s prohibition on sex discrimination encompasses discrimination between men and women but does not encompass discrimination based on gender identity per se, including transgender status.”