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National Coming Out Day: The Legal Pipeline Continues to Flow for LGBTQ Employees

An estimated 9 million adults in the United States are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. Eighty-seven percent of U.S. residents report knowing someone who is lesbian or gay, and half report having a close lesbian or gay friend.

Employers: Keep Your Head In The Game! Are Some Employees Treated Better Than Others Because They Bring In The Big Bucks? Are Those Employees All Men?

A former NFL cheerleader for the New Orleans Saints recently filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal watch dog for employment discrimination statutes. She alleged the team treats its cheerleaders differently because they are women. While there is no outcome yet, it is a cautionary tale whose time has come.

Accommodating Pregnant Employees in the Workplace

Two new lawsuits cast light on employers’ obligations to provide job accommodations to pregnant employees.

Equal Pay Act Claim Requires Show of Pay Disparity “Based on Sex” as Part of Prima Facie Case, Court Holds

Departing from other federal appeals courts, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has held that Equal Pay Act plaintiffs must establish that the pay differential between similarly situated employees is “historically or presently based on sex” to make out a prima facie case.

Department of Education has Drafted Long-Awaited Title IX Regulations on Sexual Misconduct

The Department of Education (DOE) reportedly has drafted proposed Title IX regulations on sexual misconduct on college and university campuses. Although the Department has yet to officially publish the proposed regulations, on August 29, 2018, The New York Times reported on the unofficial draft. The draft, which subsequently began to circulate on the internet, provides a preview of what the official proposed regulations may include.

Sixth Circuit Provides Expansive Due Process Rights in Title IX Cases

In a recent ruling, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit held that in conducting Title IX investigations, colleges and universities are required to provide parties an opportunity to cross-examine witnesses in the presence of a neutral fact-finder in cases hinging on the credibility of such witnesses. Doe v. Baum, et al., Case No. 17-2213 (6th Cir. Sept. 7, 2018). By affirming that these rights apply in Title IX cases, the Doe decision calls into question the single-investigator model used by many educational institutions and suggests that institutions subject to Title IX in the Sixth Circuit may need to reconsider their Title IX policies and procedures in light of this ruling.

Crossing the Pay Gap: Tips for Employers Considering Pay Adjustments to Achieve Pay Equity

With the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements re-energizing the focus on #EqualPay, employers increasingly may find themselves facing questions about how they are paying employees and what they are doing to help close the pay gap. A growing number of companies are adjusting their compensation programs to address pay equity concerns. In recent months, several large companies announced broad overhauls of pay and bonus plans in an effort to eliminate potential discrimination and achieve pay parity.

Seventh Circuit Holding in Sexual Orientation Fair Housing Lawsuit May Foreshadow Similar Claims Brought Against Health Care Providers

On August 27, 2018, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals reversed an Illinois District Court in holding that a seventy-year-old homosexual woman could maintain her Fair Housing Act (FHA) claims against retirement community, Glen St. Andrew Living Community, for failing to take reasonable steps to prevent the “torrent of physical and verbal abuse from other residents” allegedly suffered by the plaintiff because she is openly lesbian.

Protest Challenges Pay Discrimination Behind the Lens

Since the start of the “Times Up” and “Me Too” movements, the spotlight has remained on the gender-based wage disparities existing between female and male actors that work on the same cinematic productions, yet receive unequal pay. However, many in Hollywood feel that women who work behind the scenes in film production or as part of the “below the line” crew, such as in script production, make-up and costume creation, pre- or post-production film editing, and graphics and art design, should not be overlooked.

Gender Pay Disparity in the Gig Economy

It is well-known that female employees in the United States earn less than their male counterparts, with most studies finding that females earn somewhere between 80 and 90 percent of what males earn. Various factors are cited to explain the differential in earnings, including prior employment and earnings history, differences in industry and occupation, time spent in the workforce, and biases against working mothers (among other factors). The gap in earnings does, however, diminish substantially when salary data is controlled for individual job functions at the same level and among employees of the employer.