Showing posts with label sex discrimination. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sex discrimination. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Employers, your awful stereotypes in job ads aren’t cute or clever, they’re offensive and illegal


"Meet H&N's newest assistant brewer," the Instagram post began. How nice, a brewery advertising its female-friendly work environment. 
"She always has a smile on her face and never talks back!"

Uh oh! That took quite the turn, and not for the better.

Thursday, April 28, 2022

Series of promotions dooms gay brewery employee’s sex discrimination claim


Midland Brewing Company hired Ryan Boshaw to work as a server. Over the span of nine months, it promoted him three times, to an hourly managerial position, to floor leader, and ultimately to front-of-house operations manager (the second highest ranking position in the business). 

Shortly after Boshaw's final promotion, however, Midland terminated him following a series of performance-related issues and concerns. The brewery had issue with how he handled an issue with customers who found hair in their food. He deviated from his job assignments and interfered with how others performed their jobs. He brough the wrong resume to an interview of a prospective employee. The final straw for the brewery was Boshaw missing a mandatory meeting after texting a co-worker that the meetings were "such a waste of time," and then being no-call/no-show for his shift that evening. The brewery fired him the next day because of his "absence and failure to notify management" in addition to "other issues."

Where's the claim that supports Boshaw's federal lawsuit? 

Tuesday, March 1, 2022

If you want to get yourself into discrimination hot water, stereotype your protected-class employees


To cases recently settled by the EEOC illustrate the point that stereotypes of protected-class employees are a quick path an expensive lesson.

  • Ranew's Management Company agreed to pay $250,000 to settle a disability discrimination claim after it fired an employee based on a "lack of trust" instead of permitting her to return from a leave of absence resulting from severe depression.
  • American Freight Furniture and Mattress agreed to pay $5,000,000 to settle a sex discrimination lawsuit based on allegations that managers made hiring decisions based on bias and stereotypes, including that women would not "do as great a job at selling furniture as men," could not work in the warehouse because "women can’t lift," and that female employees would be " distraction" to their male coworkers. 

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Pumping up workplace lactation rights


The U.S. Department of Labor has reached a settlement with Labcorp over allegations that it failed to provide lactating employees a space for them to express milk privately without fear of intrusion.

The investigation stemmed from an allegation of one employee in the company's Lynwood, California, location. DOL investigators determined that when the employee asked for a private place to express her breast milk, supervisors offered a common space that resulted in her being interrupted twice. As result, and per its settlement with the DOL, Labcorp has agreed, for all of its 2,000-plus locations nationwide, to "provide a private space as required with a notification on the door to guarantee an intrusion-free space."

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Employment law lessons from “Ted Lasso” – dating the boss


If you've not yet watched episode 8 (Man City) of the current second season of Apple TV+'s Ted Lasso and you don't want to be spoiled, now would be a good time to click the back button on your browser or close your email. Good? Okay. No grumbling; you've been warned.

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

ABA President fixes the victim-blaming problem the ABA Journal created for working moms


Yesterday, I was highly critical of the ABA Journal for publishing a column that victim-blamed working moms for their lack of advancement in the legal profession. Then, ABA President Patricia Lee Refo did what she could to fix the injustice created by the journal of the organization she runs.

In her own column—Women's success in legal careers: Lack of advancement is not a 'woman' problem, it’s a 'profession' problem—Refo took apart the notion that female attorneys are to blame for their lack of upward mobility. They have not failed, Refo correct argues, their employers have failed them.

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

The American Bar Association must never again victim-blame working-parent attorneys for the discrimination they suffer


The ABA Journal recently published a column by
Susan Smith Blakely, a career counselor and former law-firm partner, that does a gross injustice to every law-firm working parent. 

Her piece, titled, Are women lawyers paying enough attention to upward mobility?, argues that women lawyers are responsible for the limited opportunities their employers have fostered upon them. By focusing on family instead of firm, she argues that they have chosen their priority and should not complain when career advancement passes them by.

Thursday, February 27, 2020

PLEASE, I’m freaking begging you, DO NOT use social media to determine applicants’ race and gender


Almost as long as social media has existed, employers have searched social media to dig up dirt on prospective employees. There is nothing illegal about these searches … provided you don’t use the information unlawfully. For example, to discriminate on the basis of a protected class.

If Lisa McCarrick, a former Amazon manager, wins her lawsuit against the online retailer, Amazon is going to learn this lesson the hard way.

Monday, November 18, 2019

Gay man claims he’s the victim of intentional discrimination because of his sexual orientation … and that’s the least of his employer’s problems


Wesley Wernecke, an ex-employee of New York event planning company Eventique, claims in his recently filed lawsuit that the company intentionally alienated him, ostracized him, and shut him out of the business after its CEO learned Wernecke was gay.

NBC News shares the details of the allegations in Wernecke’s lawsuit.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

What’s really at stake when the Supreme Court decides LGBTQ rights under Title VII


Sometime next Spring the Supreme Court will announce its decision on whether Title VII’s prohibition against sex discrimination implicitly includes LGBTQ employees. It’s poised to be the biggest employment law case of the past three decades. And not just because LGBTQ discrimination is such a hot-button, high-profile issue.

One of the issues the Department of Justice has asked SCOTUS to revisit is whether Title VII’s prohibition against sex discrimination encompasses sex-based stereotypes.

That “sex stereotyping” is no different than “sex discrimination” has been the law of the land since the Supreme Court decided Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins 30 years ago.

What might the American workplace look like if SCOTUS actually reverses Price Waterhouse?

Take a look at workplace training Ernst & Young just required of its female executives (per HuffPost).


Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Poor taste does not amount to prohibited sexual harassment.


I once made the mistake of watching an episode of Orange is the New Black on an airplane. The guy sitting behind was very uncomfortably enjoying the show along with me, and I shut it down.

Which brings me to Sims v. Met Council, a case in which an employee claimed her co-workers’ choice of television shows in the break room created a hostile work environment.

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Why are so many employers discriminating against lactating moms?


Women were told to pump in their manager’s office or a meeting room without locks, where they were walked in on repeatedly. Many had to pump in view of security cameras. In two separate cases, restaurant workers were instructed to pump behind the bread racks, leaving them partly visible to colleagues and customers. 
Those who do find an appropriate space often don’t receive the time they need to fully empty their breasts. A McDonald’s worker was yelled at and ordered to return to work before she was done pumping. A Family Dollar worker asked for more time to pump and got demoted to part-time. A spa employee was required to sign a piece of paper agreeing that she wouldn’t take any more breaks. Her inability to pump caused her to leak milk from her breasts while she worked.
These are just a few of the stories of discrimination against lactating moms the Huffington Post recently shared. These employers are likely violating both Title VII (which would prohibit employers from denying breaks to these moms while granting breaks to others), and the Affordable Care Act (which specifically requires employers to provide lactation breaks).

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

It’s illegal to refuse to hire men, even if you’re a sex store


The EEOC has sued Sactacular Holdings, LLC d/b/a Adam & Eve for sex discrimination for refusing to hire male applicants. What is Adam & Eve? The EEOC’s news release describes it as a “North Carolina limited liability company.” The more accurate description? According to its (NSFW) website, it’s “the leader in the lingerie and adult boutique market.”

How did it discriminate?

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

The supposed #MeToo backlash is just discrimination by another name


A recent study suggests that there has been a backlash against the #MeToo movement.

According to  the Harvard Business Review, men have are treating their females co-workers differently because of #MeToo.

  • 19% of men said they were reluctant to hire attractive women
  • 21% said they were reluctant to hire women for jobs involving close interactions with men
  • 27% said they avoided one-on-one meetings with female colleagues

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

This is what sex discrimination will look like if the Department of Justice gets its wish to legalize sex stereotyping


Last week the Department of Justice (on behalf of its client, the EEOC), filed a brief asking the Supreme Court to conclude that “sex stereotyping by itself is not a Title VII violation.”

What might this look like if the DOJ gets its wish?

Consider the following story (as told on Reddit).

Thursday, August 22, 2019

The EEOC asks the Supreme Court to legalize sex discrimination


This fall, the Supreme Court will hear argument in three cases to decide whether Title VII’s coverage of sex discrimination also implicitly protects LGBTQ employees from discrimination. Last week, the EEOC filed its brief in the cases, making a startling argument in favor of legalizing not just LGBTQ discrimination, but all sex discrimination.

“Sex stereotyping by itself is not a Title VII violation”

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

It is an inexcusable sin for an employer NOT to have an anti-discrimination policy


There are some employment policies that you can get away with not having. An anti-discrimination policy is not one of them.

In Hubbell v. FedEx SmartPost (decided yesterday by the 6th Circuit), FedEx learned this lesson the hard way.

Monday, July 29, 2019

#MeToo hasn’t killed the office romance, just the inappropriate ones


According to the National Review, #MeToo killed the office romance.
It must be a brave soul who dares to strike up a flirtatious conversation at the workplace microwave these days. Only ten percent of Americans report having met their mate at the office, a level that is half what it was in the 1990s.

Monday, July 22, 2019

Parental discrimination claims pose big risks for employers


According to workingmother.com, More Parents Than Ever Are Suing Their Employers for Discrimination—and Winning. The article is right — parental discrimination claims (which are really just sex discrimination claims brought by working parents) are very dangerous for employers.

Monday, July 8, 2019

Why, yesterday, in France was a stadium full of people chanting “EQUAL PAY?”


Indisputable fact no. 1: Women and men should earn the same pay for the same work.

Indisputable fact no. 2: The players on the United States women’s national soccer team earn substantially less than their counterparts on the men’s team.

The Equal Pay Act requires that an employer pay its male and female employees equal pay for equal work. The jobs need not be identical, but they must be substantially equal. Substantial equality is measured by job content, not job titles.