Flow it, Show it, Grow it! My Hair!

By Joseph Hunt Race under Title VII is often framed as an “immutable characteristic.” Yet courts struggle with the notion that expressions of identity and culture can be extensions of race. Hair is a good example. One’s hair may be part of one’s racial identity, and it can serve as a proxy for race. Courts, […]

NLRB Benchslap: Enabling Racism/Sexism

By John Alan Doran One highly-respected federal appeals court judge recently called the NLRB out for its history of condoning strike behavior that is racist and sexist. In Consolidated Communications, Inc. v. NLRB, No. 14-1135 (D.C. Cir. September 13, 2016), the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals enforced part of an NLRB order on an employer’s […]

General Contractor, Not Employer

By Emily Keimig JP Cullen was the general contractor on a public renovation project. A subcontractor, EMI, hired its own subcontractors, including UCI. JP Cullen gave UCI work orders, and UCI passed those orders on to its employee, Walter Love. Love had a fight with another subcontractor’s employee. Both participants are African-American. JP Cullen’s superintendent […]

EEOC Benchslaps Just Keep Coming

By John Alan Doran Yesterday we reported on an entertaining “man bites dog” case initiated by a former EEOC Phoenix Regional Office investigator who sued the EEOC for race discrimination, retaliation, and violation of her civil rights. “Another Approaching Benchslap for EEOC.” Well, today we report on her co-worker, Quarracy Smith, who is a current […]

Another Approaching Benchslap for EEOC?

By John Alan Doran In a positively delightful “man bites dog” story, a former EEOC investigator just filed suit against the EEOC alleging race discrimination, racially hostile work environment, and retaliation in violation of Title VII and the Civil Rights Act. Richardson v. Barrien et al., No. 2:14-cv-01882-MEA (D. Az., filed  August 22, 2014). Jae Richardson worked […]

Cat’s Paws and Other Shadow Puppets

By Bill Wright We’re familiar with cat’s paw theories of liability: a plaintiff might prove he or she has been subjected to discriminatory treatment (even though the decision maker obviously lacked any animus) by showing that a co-worker had a discriminatory animus and caused the plaintiff to get fired. One recent plaintiff took it a […]

One Exclusionary Comment Is All It Takes

By: Karla E. Sanchez Title VII applies both to employers and to unions. Unions may not discriminate in making job referrals, for example. In a recent case, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals reversed summary judgment for a union on the strength of just one comment from a union business agent. Butt v. United Brotherhood […]