January 17, 2017 – Before starting a new job, many employees wonder whether to disclose a mental health condition, such as depression, anxiety or PTSD, particularly if they are in need of a workplace accommodation. Similarly, existing employees ask about their rights when it comes to mental health discrimination, harassment and privacy. With charges of discrimination based on mental health on the rise, employees and job applicants should know their rights.
December 12, 2016 - Lawyers, managing partners, and law firm HR departments are well aware of the potentially expensive costs related to discrimination and sexual harassment. Even knowing the legal implications of such misconduct, sexual harassment is not uncommon in law firms throughout the United States.
December 2, 2016 - In a historic ruling, a federal court has denied a motion to dismiss a sex discrimination lawsuit filed by the EEOC, finding that sexual orientation discrimination is a form of sex discrimination prohibited by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The groundbreaking decision will have a ripple effect nationwide, where lawsuits related to sexual orientation have fallen outside the classification of sexual discrimination under Title VII.
November 18, 2016 - This week, a Minnesota court declared that transgender patients could not be denied medical assistance or Minnesota Care benefits for medically necessary treatment, including transition-related services. This is an important victory for transgender Minnesotans who have been denied benefits and necessary medical treatment and recognizes their right to these benefits, as well as fair and equal treatment under the law. Further, this decision is significant for its recognition of transgender persons as a suspect classification deserving of strict scrutiny in constitutional analysis.
On November 7, 2016, Flowers Foods distributors in New England and New York won conditional class certification in their wage and hour case against the company. The decision means that any distributor of Flowers Foods and its subsidiaries, LePage Bakeries and CK Sales, who worked for the company in five New England states and portions of New York in the past three years will have an opportunity to join the lawsuit. This is the latest in a series of victories for distributors who, earlier this year, scored similar wins in North Carolina and Arizona.
Employees at medical device, biotech and pharmaceutical companies are often in the best position to report problems related to medical technology, especially when the products are known to cause harm. Unfortunately, many employees are afraid to come forward for fear of retaliation.
The Wells Fargo fraud case is now a widespread national scandal, as several employees allege they were fired for reporting company misconduct and systemic and deceitful sales tactics. High-pressure environments drove many employees to create fraudulent accounts to meet sales targets, leading to nearly 5,300 employees being fired for ethics violations. If evidence supports these allegations, then the case for retaliation is clear amidst one of the largest bank fraud schemes in history.
Reporting misconduct, filing a claim related to harassment or discrimination, or making a complaint against your employer can often result in an act of retaliation. This could mean demotion or job loss, but there are also more subtle acts of retaliation that can negatively impact your experience in the workplace. The EEOC recently issued new guidelines that help to outline and clarify how the agency enforces retaliation statutes.
Facebook and other social media accounts are routinely screened by human resources departments making hiring decisions or to check up on employees. Despite privacy concerns, recruiters and employers see Facebook as fair game when screening job candidates. For many employers the process of accessing social media accounts can be a slippery slope, but a new start-up called The Social Index has built a tool that helps employers streamline the search and screen process to stalk your accounts.
Religious freedom has recently been claimed to justify acts of discrimination in both the public and private spheres—from refusing service to legislative acts in the name of religion that deny the rights of individuals. Unfortunately, unfounded fears, stereotypes, and prejudices have led to harassment and discrimination in the workplace. The EEOC has recognized the underlying tensions and the very real impact in the workplace and has issued a fact sheet to help employees understand their rights and prevent religious discrimination.