Mastodon Ohio Employer Law Blog: sex discrimination : Ohio Employment and Labor Law, by Jon Hyman
Showing posts with label sex discrimination. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sex discrimination. Show all posts

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.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

What does it mean for jobs to be "substantially equal" under the Equal Pay Act?

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.

The Act is a strict liability law, which means that intent does not matter. If a women is paid less than male for substantially similar work, then the law has been violated, regardless of the employer's intent.

This strict liability, however, does not mean that pay disparities always equal liability. The EPA has several built-in defenses, including seniority, merit, quantity or quality of production, or any other factor other than sex.

A recently filed case out of Boston delves into these issues.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Training won't fix stupid

A fast-food restaurant fired a recently hired employee after its manager learned she was pregnant.

How do we know this was the manager's reason for the termination? Because he texted it to the employee (which she later posted on Facebook).

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Temporary employees have permanent legal rights

Temporary employees do not leave their legal rights at your door. In fact, they enjoy the same rights as your permanent employees.

Consider, for example, EEOC v. Massimo Zanetti Beverage USA, in which an employer recently agreed to pay $65,000 to settle claims brought by a temporary employee that she was subjected to a sexually hostile work environment and fired after repeatedly complaining about it.

The allegations are not pretty.

LaToya Young began working as a temp at Massimo Zanetti in late January 2015. Within 10 days of starting her placement, a male co-worker began making sexually harassing comments to her:

  • Telling Young that he had "blue balls" and asking her "Why don’t you help me out with that?"
  • Telling Young that he wanted to "suck [her] bottom lip."
  • Telling Young that he wanted to have sex with her, often using lewd language.
  • Telling Young that he imagined himself engaging in sexual relations with her.
  • Telling Young that he would "ball [her] up like a pretzel" and would "have [her] screaming."
  • Grabbing his groin area while looking directly at her.
  • Blowing kisses at her.
  • Licking his lips and biting his bottom lip while looking at her.

Young complained three times to her supervisor. The harassment continued unabated after the first complaint. After the second complaint, Young alleges that her supervisor warned her that going to HR "would jeopardize her employment." After the third complaint, she was fired. 

According to EEOC Regional Attorney Kara Haden, "Employers must take appropriate action to stop harassment of all employees, including temporary workers." She adds, "We hope that this case sends a clear message that the EEOC will hold accountable employers who fail to protect all employees from workplace harassment."

Take heed of this lesson. Your temporary employees have the same civil rights as your permanent employees.

* Photo by Sunyu on Unsplash

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Dirty Harry, the worst recruiter ever

After yesterday's detective novel of a post, I thought I'd go with something light and airy today (if you consider watching Dirty Harry conduct a job interview of a female interviewee, while sharing his views on feminism and job quotas, light and airy).

My worst job interview? The interviewer forgot my appointment, and never showed up to work. It all worked out in the end. I came back a week later, and that's how I got my first job after law school.

What's you job interview horror story? Share in the comments below, and I'll pull the best (or the worst?) for a future post.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

No one should ever have to choose between their children and their job

Three female associates at Morrison & Foerster have filed an alleged $100 million class-action sex discrimination lawsuit against the firm. They claim that their employer “mommy tracks” lawyer moms working at the firm by denying them opportunities for advancement and higher pay.

Monday, April 30, 2018

Hair discrimination; not a thing

Give me a head with hair, long beautiful hair
Shining, gleaming, steaming, flaxen, waxen
Give me down to there hair, shoulder length or longer
Here, baby, there, momma, everywhere, daddy, daddy
Hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair
Flow it, show it, long as God can grow it, my hair
– “Hair”
Friday’s tongue in check post about the beauty of baldness got me thinking about hair and employment law.

Or, more to the point, can an employer run afoul of discrimination laws by making an employment decision based on one’s hairstyle?

Thursday, April 19, 2018

If you weren’t angry about the fired Saints cheerleader before, you will be now.

Remember Bailey Davis? She’s the New Orleans Saints cheerleader fired for violating the team’s social media policy.

Her offense? This photo, which she posted to her personal Instagram.

She’s already filed a civil rights complaint, and now she’s speaking out about her alleged discriminatory treatment, and discriminatory policies in professional cheerleading in general.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

The other side of diversity

Photo by Igor Ovsyannykov on Unsplash
Workplace diversity has two sides.

One side says that employers cannot discriminate against minorities. The other says that employers cannot discriminate against non-minorities in favor of minorities.

Some people call this reverse discrimination. I just call it discrimination.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Let’s all try to remember to have gender-neutral employment policies

Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash
Former New Orleans Saints cheerleader Bailey Davis has filed a complaint with the EEOC accusing her former employer of having one set of rules for its male players, and another for its female cheerleaders.

The Saints fired Davis after it claimed she violated a rule prohibiting cheerleaders from appearing in photos nude, semi-nude, or in lingerie. She had posted a photo of herself in a one-piece outfit to her private Instagram.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Tattoos at work: more acceptance, yet still some legal risk

By ABC TV [Public domain],
via Wikimedia Commons
I am not a tattoo person. Yet, a whole lot of people are. And the numbers are increasing.

In fact, according to one recent survey, 3 in 10 Americans have at least one tattoo, up 50% in just four years. And, the younger you are, the more likely you are to sport a tattoo: 47% of millennials have a tattoo, as compared to 36% of gen Xers and only 13% of baby boomers.

Monday, February 19, 2018

NLRB dismisses James Damore charge against Google—complaints about too much diversity are not protected

It is lawful for an employer to fire an employee who complains that his workplace is too diverse

According to the NLRB, the answer, at least under federal labor law, is yes, the termination is legal.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Love and work aren’t always peanut butter and chocolate

I listened with great interest to the latest episode of the Hostile Work Environment podcast, which featured as its guest my good friend, Dan Schwartz, talking about the pitfalls of Valentine’s Day at work.

Dan cited CareerBuilder’s annual V-Day survey, which offers some interesting stats about the current state of office romances:
  • 22 percent of workers have dated their boss (up 7 percent from last year)
  • 31 percent of workers who started dating at work ultimately married each other
  • Almost one in ten female workers whose work romance soured left their job
  • 41 percent of workers had to keep their romance a secret

Yet, love and work do not always go well together, especially on Valentine’s Day.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Some lessons from the employee fired for middle-fingering Trump’s motorcade

Have your heard about Juli Briskman, the biker that flipped the finger to Trump’s passing motorcade?