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No Longer Giving Your Employee a “Warm Welcome” or saying “Good Morning”? Court Rules that Could be Evidence of Retaliation

A recent decision from a federal court in New York serves as a reminder to employers in South Carolina and North Carolina of just how difficult an employee’s allegations of retaliation can be to challenge, and how employers successfully can defend themselves against a discrimination claim—only to lose on the retaliation claim based on the same facts.

Dodging Disparate Impact Claims

There has been significant buzz lately regarding the risk of discrimination in the sharing economy. Not only has the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) published its intent to prioritize protections in the on-demand economy in its recently published Strategic Enforcement Plan, but sharing economy businesses have faced additional scrutiny surrounding response times to customers of different races.

An Employer’s Horror Story For Friday The 13th: Retaliation Claim Survives 13-Year Gap

January 2017 is one of those rare months including a Friday the 13th, which might bring to mind a horror movie where a seemingly vanquished killer somehow rises to his feet – once again! – to wreak havoc on his stunned victims. Just like an undead specter rising from the grave long after you think it’s been killed off, an employer recently faced a retaliation claim despite the fact that a 13-year gap existed between the alleged protected activity and the adverse action.

EEO-1 Pay Data Reporting – Will It Stay or Will It Go?

Predicting what any new presidential administration will or won’t do based on campaign statements is risky. Nonetheless, we may glean some insights. For instance, of the equal employment opportunity priorities mentioned during the campaign, the President-elect and his daughter, Ivanka, spent time talking about wage equality and childcare. For example, on the news program, 60 Minutes, Ms. Trump stated, “I’ve said throughout the campaign that I am very passionate about certain issues. And that I want to fight for them… Wage equality, childcare. These are things that are very important for me… Really promoting more opportunities for women.”

Employers Be Careful Who You Believe When it is a Case of “He Said She Said”

In Vasquez v. Empress Ambulance Service, Inc., the federal Second Circuit Court of Appeals, held that an employee’s retaliatory intent may be imputed to an employer when the employer’s negligence gives effect to the employee’s retaliatory animus and adversely effects the victim. In essence, the Second Circuit extended the “cat’s paw theory” to cover discriminatory animus of a rank and file employee to the employer’s negligent actions.

Grooming Policies in the Workplace: 11th Circuit Upholds Employer’s Dreadlock Ban

The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled that an employer’s policy banning dreadlocks did not constitute racial discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In doing so, the court rejected the argument that hairstyle can be a determinant of racial identity for purposes of Title VII. The court reasoned that Title VII protection extends to immutable characteristics but not cultural practices and that hairstyles are not immutable characteristics.

HR Intel: Dark Joint Employer Clouds Forming for Franchises

A series of sexual harassment complaints against McDonald’s in the past month has laid the groundwork for a potential new joint employer battle for the purveyor of patties.

EEOC Unveils New EEO-1 Report To Capture 2017 Pay Data

In furtherance of its commitment to combating pay discrimination, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently finalized its proposed changes to the Employer Information Report, commonly known as the EEO-1 Report. While the EEOC annually collects information about the number of employees by job category and by sex, race, and ethnicity, employers will also be required to provide summary pay data about their employees as of March 31, 2018.

Beware the Cat’s Paw: Employer Liability for Harassment Expanded

The Second Circuit has expanded a theory of liability that can be asserted against employers. Previously, the Second Circuit had not ruled on whether an employer can be held liable for the actions of a lower-level employee with a discriminatory motive who manipulates an unwitting manager or employer into engaging in an adverse employment action. In Vazquez v. Empress Ambulance Service, Ms. Vazquez accused a co-worker of sexual harassment and outlined in detail obscene and blatant actions taken by the co-worker that constituted sexual harassment.

EEOC Publishes Final Pay Data Changes to EEO-1 Report

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has issued revisions requiring employers with at least 100 employees to submit annual EEO-1 reports that include W-2 pay and hours worked data for their entire workforces, nationwide.