Total Articles: 18
Ogletree Deakins • March 29, 2019
On March 21, 2019, finding in favor of an employer seeking summary judgment, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, in Lewis v. City of Union City, clarified the definition of “similarly situated” comparators for claims of intentional discrimination, jettisoning the commonly cited “nearly identical” and “same or similar” standards in favor of a test asking whether comparators are “similarly situated in all material respects.” Although the appellate court—which covers Florida, Georgia, and Alabama—acknowledged that this new test still requires an inquiry into the specific facts of each case, it offered some guideposts that may help inform employers’ business decisions regarding employees.
FordHarrison LLP • March 28, 2019
Executive Summary: On March 21, 2019, in Lewis v. Union City, No. 15-11362, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit (1) clarified the proper standard for the comparator analysis in intentional discrimination cases under the McDonnell Douglas burden-shifting framework and (2) held that a qualitative comparator analysis remains part of the initial prima facie stage of the McDonnell Douglas framework.
Goldberg Segalla LLP • January 15, 2019
What is an “adverse action”? In the workplace some may think that it is only when someone is fired. However, much more falls under the “adverse action” umbrella. What about denying an employee a training opportunity
Goldberg Segalla LLP • January 02, 2019
A federal district court in New York analyzed what constitutes an adverse action in an employment context.
Goldberg Segalla LLP • August 20, 2017
Last week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit clarified its standard relating to rescinding terminations, and more specifically, how they interpret “adverse consequences.” The issue came before the court in a matter where an employee returned from her honeymoon, visibly pregnant, and was told that her position was going to be eliminated within a few weeks. Shortly thereafter, the employee retained an attorney and notified her employer of the same. Several days later, the employer rescinded her termination and reinstated her position. When analyzing rescinding termination claims under Title VII, the standard is to determine if the reinstatement had any lasting “adverse consequences.” Various circuit courts and lower courts have historically considered whether the employee was restored to the same salary, benefits, and title when reinstated in order to determine if there were adverse consequences to the employee. If the same material conditions were reinstated, courts would not recognize adverse consequences. Here, the employee did not claim any difference in salary, title, or benefits and therefore, the lower court ruled that the employee incurred no adverse consequences.
Ogletree Deakins • September 15, 2015
The Second Circuit Court of Appeals recently remanded a former employee’s racial discrimination lawsuit brought under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In Littlejohn v. City of New York, No. 14-1395 (August 3, 2015), the court held that the “plausibility” standard for pleadings espoused in Twombly and Iqbal applies to Title VII claims, insofar as the plaintiff need only provide “plausible support to a minimal inference of discriminatory motivation.”
Jackson Lewis P.C. • August 19, 2015
A paid suspension “typically” does not constitute an “adverse employment action” under the substantive provision of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act (Section 703), the federal appeals court in Philadelphia has held in a case of first impression for the circuit, joining other courts that have ruled on the issue. Jones v. SEPTA, No. 14-3814, 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 14094 (3d Cir. Aug. 12, 2015). The Court, however, declined to address whether a paid suspension could constitute an adverse employment action in the retaliation context under Title VII (Section 704). The Third Circuit has jurisdiction over Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Goldberg Segalla LLP • July 24, 2015
In Tolbert v. Smith, No. 14-1012-cv, 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 10656 (2d Cir. June 24, 2015), the Second Circuit issued a decision holding that extending a probationary term instead of granting a teacher tenure constitutes an adverse employment action sufficient to support a claim for race discrimination — the fact that the teacher is provided with another year of probationary employment notwithstanding. The court noted that offering a fourth year of probation is intertwined with a denial of tenure, which amounts to the “denial of a material improvement in the conditions of the plaintiff’s employment” — since the benefits of having received tenure are denied, including benefits such as termination only for cause. Accordingly, such a refusal of a material employment benefit for a discriminatory reason is violative of the civil rights statutes.
Ogletree Deakins • March 12, 2015
When presented with an employment discrimination claim, one of the early questions any agency or court must answer is whether the claimant has suffered an “adverse employment action.” Simply stated, even if a discriminatory motive can be shown, is the harm suffered by the claimant significant enough to support a viable discrimination claim? This question arises regardless of whether the complaint is made under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), or other state or federal employment law. Not every slight, indignity, or inconvenience experienced in the workplace is sufficient to meet this standard, but where does one draw the line?
Ogletree Deakins • October 02, 2014
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 makes it unlawful for an employer to fail to hire or to discharge an individual or otherwise discriminate against such individual “with respect to his [or her] compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment” because of a protected characteristic, including race.
Ogletree Deakins • September 22, 2014
Title VII makes it unlawful for an employer to fail to hire or to discharge an individual or otherwise to discriminate against such individual “with respect to his compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment” because of a protected characteristic, including race.
Ogletree Deakins • January 20, 2014
Can transferring an employee into a position for which he had applied nine months earlier be viewed as an “adverse employment action” sufficient to support a claim of discrimination? (HINT: Don’t bet your paycheck on this one.)
Ogletree Deakins • March 20, 2012
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act makes it an unlawful employment practice for an employer to discriminate against â€œany individual" on the basis of membership in a protected class. In a reminder to employers, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has reiterated the generally accepted interpretation that in this language, Title VII explicitly allows former employees, as well as current ones, to bring an action under that statute.
Ogletree Deakins • August 09, 2011
In order to support a claim of employment discrimination, an individual typically must show that an â€œadverse employment actionâ€ was taken, and that such action was based upon a protected characteristic. To constitute an adverse employment action for purposes for federal anti-discrimination laws, such action must create a significant change in an employeeâ€™s status, and includes firing, failure to promote, reassignment with significantly changed job responsibilities, or a significant change in other employee benefits.
Ogletree Deakins • January 10, 2011
The 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reminds us that while Congress’ antidiscrimination laws are designed to protect workers’ rights, they are “not intended to function as a collective panacea for every work-related experience that is in some respect unjust, unfair, or unpleasant.” Consistent with this statement, the court dismissed the claims of four female radiology technicians who complained that their supervisor’s abrasive behavior and its resulting “nerve-wracking” work environment caused each of them to leave her employment at a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) hospital
Ogletree Deakins • June 01, 2010
Unless an individual can prove that she is meeting the expectations of her employer, that individual cannot set forth the prima facie case necessary to support a claim of workplace discrimination. The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has found that an employee who was fired for insubordination was not meeting an employer’s legitimate business expectations after she engaged in arguments with her co-workers, the general manager, and the owner of the business. The Court further found that the insubordination was a non-discriminatory reason that overcame the employee’s claim that her termination for insubordination was a “pretext” for discrimination.
Ogletree Deakins • January 31, 2007
Court finds former supervisor's statements were not "adverse".
Ogletree Deakins • January 31, 2007
Third Circuit also rejects retaliation claim.