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Maternity Leave Is Unlawful, But All Is Not Lost

Is maternity leave really discriminatory? Is it unfair? Yes, says the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the federal watch dog for anti-discrimination employment laws. While this may sound like theater of the absurd, there is an explanation.

Physician Pay Equity Issues Are Under the Microscope

As our Healthcare Workplace Update reported on June 21, and as is the case across many industries, issues related to physician pay equity are receiving increased attention nationwide.

Abusive Patient Creates Hostile Work Environment

The customer isn’t necessarily always right. Neither is a patient. In Gardner v. CLC of Pascagoula, LLC, the Fifth Circuit Court analyzed an employer’s alleged failure to respond to a complaint of inappropriate actions of a patient in an assistant living facility.

Supreme Court Sides With Baker Who Refused To Make LGBT Cake

The United States Supreme Court recently held a cake baker in Colorado had the right to refuse to make a wedding cake for a gay couple based on his sincerely held religious beliefs. In 2012, Charlie Craig and Dave Mullins asked Jack Phillips, the owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd., to make a wedding cake for their marriage celebration. At the time, Colorado did not recognize same sex marriage. Phillips is a Christian who does not believe in same sex marriage and therefore refused to make the wedding cake. He did, however, offer to sell the couple a birthday cake, cookies, or brownies. He argued requiring him to make a wedding cake was forcing him to use his expressive talents to support a cause in which he does not believe.

Sharp Dissent Challenges Eleventh Circuit’s Recent Decision on Sexual Orientation Discrimination Under Title VII

A recent decision from the Eleventh Circuit has now caused a split in the circuit courts as to whether a claim for discrimination based upon sexual orientation can be asserted under Title VII. In a six-page dissent, Judge Robin Rosenbaum calls out her peers on their July 18, 2018, three-page decision to affirm a lower court’s ruling to dismiss a sexual orientation claim under Title VII in Bostock v. Clayton County Board of Commissioners. Bostack brought claims under Title VII against his employer alleging that he was wrongfully criticized and ultimately terminated because of his sexual orientation and identity. The lower court dismissed Bostack’s Title VII claims, and Bostock brought an appeal. On appeal, the Eleventh Circuit relied on a 39-year-old ruling to determine that Title VII’s prohibition against discrimination “because of sex” does not include discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Salary History Cannot Be Considered, Says Ninth Circuit

In Rizo v. Yovino, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently answered the question of whether an employer can justify a wage differential between male and female employees by relying on prior salary under the Equal Pay Act. The Ninth Circuit covers federal courts in Alaska, Arizona, California, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, and the Northern Mariana Islands.

States And Cities Are Taking Pay Equity Laws Into Their Own Hands. Will Your State Be Next?

Under the Obama Administration, employers saw the passage of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act legislation meant to protect against pay discrimination based on gender. The Trump Administration, however, has not yet made equal pay a focus of its Administration. Who knows if it ever will? In the meantime, what will the states do?

American Medical Association Adopts Resolution to Promote Pay Equity

The healthcare industry is following other industries with an increased focus and growing sense of alarm over the gender pay gap.

The Meaning Behind Pride Month

Pride—It’s a simple word that, for some, denotes arrogance, hubris, narcissism, or a foolishly and irrationally distorted sense of one’s personal value, importance, or achievement. However, there is a much more insightful, thoughtful, and powerful meaning behind the word that has been the impetus for worldwide commemoration. Pride can mean “the consciousness of one’s own dignity” and “a product of praise, independent self-reflection, and a fulfilled feeling of belonging.”

"Here We Go Again": Transgender Bathroom Dispute Headed Back to the Fourth Circuit

Executive Summary: The protracted case of Gavin Grimm is set to be heard once again by the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. Grimm, a transgender male, was denied use of the boys’ bathroom while a high school student in Gloucester County, Virginia. The 2015 decision by the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia dismissing Grimm’s lawsuit was appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court before being remanded back to the District Court in early 2017. On May 22, 2018, District Court Judge Arenda Wright Allen denied Gloucester County’s renewed motion to dismiss Grimm’s case. Joining a long list of other courts, Judge Allen held that discrimination based on gender identity falls within the Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins gender stereotyping theory and is, therefore, a per se violation of Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972, as well as a violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. On June 5, 2018, Judge Allen granted Gloucester County’s motion seeking immediate review by the Fourth Circuit. Grimm responded via Facebook, “[h]ere we go again.” The Fourth Circuit is the federal appeals court with jurisdiction over the federal district courts in Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina.