Sexual Orientation Discrimination or Stereotyping? 10:56, April 6, 2017

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Category: workplace discrimination

On March 27, 2017, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Title VII cannot protect a gay employee from sexual orientation discrimination; however, Title VII may protect the employee from sex-based stereotyping under the same set of facts. In a separate case about two weeks before that, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals reached […]

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The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) prohibits, among other things, discrimination by most employers against a qualified employee or applicant with a disability. When President George H. W. Bush signed the legislation, he acknowledged businesses’ concerns that the ADA might end up costing them money. But he reminded them of the importance of enabling people […]

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No one likes a complainer, but it certainly beats the image of a workplace torn asunder by unhealthy anger, mass demotivation, chilled speech, workplace retaliation claims, toxic culture, and employees getting hurt (literally). Recent cases, research, and studies show the importance of employees airing their feelings and concerns in the workplace.  The Complaint Dilemma and […]

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A worker’s religious practice outside of work is normally a private matter, which is also protected from employer interference by anti-discrimination laws. Sometimes, however, off-duty conduct, including a worker’s religious practice, can impact the workplace. From a compliance standpoint, it’s important to examine whether addressing any perceived impact on the workplace could lead to credible […]

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A district court found itself trying to calculate the number of times a county sheriff hugged a subordinate, so that it could determine whether to allow the subordinate to proceed with her sexual harassment claim that she was subject to a sexually hostile work environment. Victoria Zetwick was a county correctional officer who claimed that […]

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Office romances have increased, according to a recent survey. For many organizational leaders, this prompts a quandary. How should your organization’s policy address amour in the workplace in a fair and inclusive manner? Although there are many questions employers should consider when building or reviewing workplace romance (a.k.a., non-fraternization) policies, this article will focus on […]

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Despite the passing of more than 50 years since Congress banned sex discrimination in hiring under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, many organizations still struggle with maintaining a gender-inclusive workforce, let alone gender diversity. Recent examples are numerous, including: In January of 2017, mining conglomerate Foresight Energy paid $4.25 million to […]

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A former Lockheed engineer was awarded $51.5 million by a federal court jury in New Jersey after the jury found that in laying the employee off, Lockheed had engaged in age discrimination. Pursuant to the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), the employee was awarded $520,000 in back pay, which was doubled because the jury […]

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During a rare rehearing of the sexual orientation discrimination case Hively v. Ivy Tech Community College before a full-court panel of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, Judge Posner reportedly asked the lawyer defending a college’s decision to deny full-time employment to a lesbian employee: “Who will be hurt if gays and lesbians have a […]

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A federal district court judge in Pennsylvania wasn’t impressed by a manufacturer’s claims that it was a “blue collar workplace” and that in such environments, where foul language or joking among coworkers is common, it’s hard for an employee to prove that her work environment was hostile. “That a particular workplace is considered ‘blue collar’—whatever that is […]

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