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Fifth Circuit Finds EEOC Did Not Have Authority to Issue 2012 Criminal History Guidance

On August 6, 2019, in State of Texas v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) overstepped its limited rulemaking and enforcement power when it issued its 2012 Enforcement Guidance on the Consideration of Arrest and Conviction Records in Employment Decisions Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. While this ruling and its related injunction are limited on their face to the State of Texas, the decision opens the door to future challenges to the validity of the EEOC Guidance by other employers, in and outside the Fifth Circuit (Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas).

Facebook Settles Claims Alleging Discriminatory Ad Targeting

On March 19, 2019, Facebook settled several lawsuits brought by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the Communications Workers of America, and various housing groups related to the placement of employment advertisements on Facebook’s website aimed at selected users based on their age or gender.

6 Takeaways for Employers from the Starbucks Incident

The recent incident at a Philadelphia Starbucks holds valuable lessons for employers when it comes to managing and training a workforce. What was a bad situation quickly became a terrible one as the shop’s manager called the cops and had two black men arrested for trespassing when they were arguably waiting for a friend at the store.

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).
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