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Wal-Mart's 7.5M Settlement Approved in Same-Sex Health Benefits Case

A federal court in Massachusetts has approved a $7.5 million settlement in a case that accused Wal-Mart of discriminating against employees by denying health benefits to their same-sex spouses. The settlement involves the claims of current and former Wal-Mart employees in the US and Puerto Rico who said they were unable to obtain the benefits. In approving the agreement, US District Judge William G. Young called it, "Fair, reasonable, and in the public interest."

Gender Wage Gap Persists: What Employers and HR Can Do to Address It

There is glaring evidence that the gender wage gap persists, and that women still lag behind their male counterparts when it comes to workplace compensation.

Full Second Circuit Asked to Revisit Prior Precedent that Title VII Does Not Protect Sexual Orientation

Executive Summary: On April 3, 2017, in Christiansen v. Omnicom Group, Inc., the Second Circuit held that it was bound by prior precedent in ruling that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does not prohibit sexual orientation discrimination. On the tails of the Seventh Circuit’s en banc decision in Hively v. Ivy Tech Community College overruling prior Seventh Circuit precedent and holding that Title VII does, in fact, prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation (as reported on April 25, 2017), Christiansen has now filed a petition for rehearing en banc, encouraging the Second Circuit to do the same.

Employer May Use Salary History to Set Pay, 9th Circuit Rules

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that an employer may use an applicant's salary history to determine the individual's pay in certain circumstances, even if it results in a female employee earning less than male employees for doing the same work.

Title IX Update - May 2017

Candice Jackson has been named Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Office for Civil Rights. Jackson will also serve as Acting Assistant Secretary until that position is filled.

Ninth Circuit Clarifies Employer Burden Under EPA to Justify Pay Differential

On April 27, 2017, a panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals vacated and remanded a district court’s ruling denying an employer’s motion for summary judgment on an Equal Pay Act (EPA) claim. In so doing, the court reaffirmed precedent and reinforced how an employer can use prior pay to account for a pay differential between male and female employees. Rizo v. Yovino, No. 16-15372 (April 27, 2017).

"Common Sense Reality": Seventh Circuit Holds That Sexual Orientation Discrimination Violates Title VII

Executive Summary: In a landmark decision overruling decades of precedent, the Seventh Circuit en banc declared that sexual orientation discrimination violates Title VII in Hively v. Ivy Tech Community College. This comes as the first decision of its kind. The Seventh Circuit’s decision was followed by a Second Circuit panel decision days later in Zarda v. Altitude Express reaffirming its recent holding in Christiansen v. Omnicom that the long-held view that sexual orientation is not considered to be a protected class under Title VII remains good law. It is now unquestionable that the Circuits have split on the matter.

Title VII Covers Sexual Orientation Discrimination, Landmark Ruling Finds

n a first-of-its-kind ruling by a federal appellate court, the Chicago-based 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has found that discrimination based on sexual orientation is covered by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

HR Challenge: Managing and Accommodating Pregnant Employees

Managing a pregnant employee can be one of the most challenging aspects of employee management for employers and HR. While it is generally well known that it is unlawful to discriminate against a worker based on pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, an employer and/or supervisor often finds himself or herself in a tricky position when it comes to providing the same workers with reasonable accommodations.

In a Landmark Ruling, the Seventh Circuit Becomes First Court of Appeals to Ban Sexual Orientation Discrimination

Setting the stage for the U.S. Supreme Court to tackle the issue, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals (which covers Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin) yesterday overturned decades of precedent and held that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employment discrimination based on sexual orientation.