Wide-Ranging Decision from the Grave Scrapped by SCOTUS

By John Alan Doran This morning the Supreme Court sent a blockbuster case back to the Ninth Circuit to be reconsidered because the judge who actually wrote the Ninth Circuit’s majority decision had passed away before it issued. The plaintiff brought an Equal Pay Act (“EPA”) claim against the School District when she learned that […]

Supervisor’s Racial Epithets are “Hellish” Enough

By Chance Hill A defendant-employer won summary judgment on a racially hostile environment claim. The district court reached back to old cases and said the employee-plaintiff had to show the work environment was “hellish” to be actionable. On February 20, 2019, the Seventh Circuit disagreed. The Seventh Circuit rejected the “hellish” standard, stating that a […]

EEO-1 Reprieve

By John Alan Doran Good news from the EEOC for a change!  The EEOC announced that it is delaying the deadline to submit EEO-1 data until May 31, 2019. The agency blames “a partial lapse in appropriations” for its need to extend the deadline, but fails to explain why the lapse necessitates the extension. For […]

No Love for Scabby the Rat from the Seventh Circuit

By Lindsay Hesketh In early 2014, a union protest began in a small town.  On its second day, a town code enforcement officer took issue with one notorious protester—Scabby the Rat, an inflatable 6- to 25-foot rat balloon symbolizing union protests—which was staked into the ground on a public right-of-way.  The officer instructed the union […]

Moonlighting Police Officers Are Not Independent Contractors

By James Korte Even the courts have noticed that U.S. workers often hold more than one job. Yesterday the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals held that police officers who worked second jobs as security guards or directing traffic were not independent contractors, but actual employees of the security company.  The police officers typically worked full-time […]

Fifth Circuit Judge Diagnoses Transgender Discrimination Divide Under Title VII

By Lindsay H.S. Hesketh, Beth Ann Lennon & Bill Wright U.S. Courts of Appeals are split over whether Title VII prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and/or transgender status. See: https://shermanhoward.com/second-circuit-rules-title-vii-protects-sexual-orientation/; https://shermanhoward.com/transgender-claim-meets-dress-code/; https://shermanhoward.com/update-faragher-ellerth-policies/.  A judge on the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals recently offered his explanation for the divide and a justification for the “traditional,” […]

Employee’s Preference to Work from Home Is Not Enough

By Joe Hunt Courts are becoming more receptive to the idea of working from home as a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”). A few principles remain static, however, as reflected by the Eight Circuit decision affirming summary judgment for the employer in Brunckhorst v. City of Oak Park Heights, No. 17-3238 […]

Drafting Yourself into a Lawsuit

By Beth Ann Lennon Many employment-related statutes require employers to provide “clear and conspicuous” communications to employees.  The Ninth Circuit’s decision last week in Gilbert v. Cal. Check Cashing Stores (“CCCS”), No. 17-16262, reminds us of the need to proofread employment documents to satisfy that requirement.  As the Ninth Circuit was forced to explain again, […]