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

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, 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.

Monday, June 3, 2019

Thorough internal investigation saves employer from discrimination claim

A bank fires two female employees for violating its vault-access policy. They claim sex discrimination, pointing their fingers squarely at three male employees who they say violated the same policy, but only received performance counseling.

Open and shut discrimination case? Not quite.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Abortion discrimination = pregnancy discrimination

Thanks to, among other states, Alabama, Georgia, and Ohio (sorry about that last one), the debate over abortion is raging. Suppose you are staunchly anti-abortion, and you learn that one of your employees is considering, or has had, an abortion. Can you fire her?

Thus far, three courts have looked at this issue, and all three courts have all reached the same conclusion.


Thursday, February 14, 2019

When the rumor mill creates a sexually hostile work environment

Just in time for Valentine's Day, I bring you the story of a employee rumored to be sleeping with her boss to get a promotion. She wasn't, but the workplace rumor mill sure thought she was.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Gillette's toxic masculinity ad isn't the problem; toxic masculinity is the problem

Gillette is facing a lot of praise, and a lot of backlash, over its recent ad slamming toxic masculinity culture.