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Total Articles: 10

NY Federal Court Significantly Limits Scope of Equal Pay Case

For years, employment lawyers on both sides have disagreed on what is required to obtain class treatment in a Title VII discrimination case. On November 30, 2018, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York issued an opinion in Kassman v. KPMG LLP decidedly in favor of the employer, and laid out a structure for analyzing commonality in putative class actions involving manager discretion over pay and promotions.

Fired For Having An Abortion: Is That Sex Discrimination?

Early last month, a federal district court in Florida held employment discrimination based on having or not having an abortion might lead to a recognizable claim of sex discrimination under Title VII. While the law is certainly not settled on this issue, we can see a certain trend emerging.

The Department Of Justice Claims Transgender Workers Are Not Protected By Civil Rights Laws

The Department of Justice (“DOJ”) recently filed a brief in a case which may soon make its way to the Supreme Court of the United States, claiming Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does not protect transgender people. The case is EEOC v. R&G and G&R Harris Funeral Homes, Inc.

Federal Circuit Urged to Reconsider Prima Facie Showing Required for Equal Pay Act Claim

As previously reported here, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit held in September that Equal Pay Act (EPA) plaintiffs must show not only that they are receiving less pay than similarly situated male colleagues, but that the pay differential is “historically or presently based on sex.” This holding departed from the decisions of other federal courts of appeals and prompted a request for en banc review by the full court to overturn the panel decision. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and dozens of other advocacy groups have filed friend-of-the-court briefs supporting the plaintiffs’ request.

U.S. Department of Education Issues Proposed Rules on Title IX

On November 16, 2018, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) published proposed rules, which “clarify and modify Title IX regulatory requirements” for colleges and universities that receive federal funding. This alert, written by HRW's Higher Education Team, describes the key terms and requirements of the proposed rules.

Sex Discrimination Claim Arising from No Severance

A severance package is pay and/or benefits employers pay employees following a termination or layoff. Often, the employee’s acceptance of the severance will include a release of any potential claims against the employer. Of course, severance packages are not required. In a recent decision, a court considered what happens when every departing employee is not offered a severance package.

Making Workplaces More Colorful: 8 Ways to Support LGBT Workers

The 2018 midterm election was historic for individuals identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT). With significant victories on the state and local level, LGBT individuals are making inroads as shown by Colorado electing Jared Polis as the nation’s first openly gay governor and Kyrsten Sinema making history not only as Arizona’s first female senator, but the first-ever bisexual member of the US Senate.

Department of Education Unveils Proposed Title IX Regulations

On Friday, November 16, 2018, the Department of Education (DOE) released proposed Title IX regulations dictating the process by which colleges and universities must handle allegations of sexual misconduct.

Grade/Step Pay-Setting System Insufficient to Defeat Pay Discrimination Claim, Fourth Circuit Holds

The courts are making it increasingly difficult for employers to prevail on equal pay discrimination claims based on the “factor other than sex” affirmative defense. One recent example is the decision in EEOC v. Maryland Ins. Admin., 879 F.3d 114 (4th Cir. 2018), from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. There, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed suit against the Maryland Insurance Administration (MIA) on behalf of three female fraud investigators alleging pay discrimination in violation of the Equal Pay Act, 29 U.S.C. 206(d).

Knocking on Pay Equity’s Door: Commercial Real Estate Women Network Seeks Answers to Gender Wage Gap

The Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) Network recently evaluated the pay gap by gender in the commercial real estate industry and published a white paper entitled “Achieving Pay Parity in Commercial Real Estate” (Linked here). The white paper reports that the gender pay gap “persists and is strongest for [women] earning less than $100,000 and above $250,000.” The greatest gap was found with commercial real estate brokers, with a pay differential of 33.8% between women and men.