Workplace Discrimination

NEW YORK CITY’S NEW FAIR CHANCE ACT

New York City’s Fair Chance Act went into effect on October 27, 2015.  It is now illegal for most NYC employers to deny employment based on an applicant’s criminal record. This law bans ads specifying things like “no felonies” or “background check required”, and further prohibits questions about criminal history on job applications and during …

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EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY COMMISSION ISSUES NEW REPORT ON DISCRIMINATION IN THE WORKPLACE

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) marked its 50th anniversary in 2015. In August, the EEOC published “American Experiences Versus American Expectations,” a report documenting changes in employee demographics since 1965 and using data through 2013. The full report, available on the EEOC’s website, details a number of changes over nine job categories for women, African …

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EMPLOYEE WINS RIGHTS TO OBTAIN SUPERVISOR’S E-MAILS

An employee has won the right to “discover” allegedly harassing e-mails her supervisor sent while they worked for a former employer. Facts Andrea Gogel sued Kia, alleging it failed to promote her because of her race and gender. She also claimed that Kia later retaliated against her for filing complaints.  Although she didn’t directly sue her supervisor, Randy Jackson, she …

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FEDERAL GOVERNMENT SETTLES MATTER ALLEGING DISCRIMINATION AGAINST MALES

In a rare case, last week the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) announced an audit settlement with federal contractor Goodwill Industries of Southern California in a matter alleging systemic discrimination against men.   In a statement, OFCCP stated “Goodwill’s hiring process favored female applicants for entry-level positions as attendants at local donation centers, in …

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NEW YORK CITY PROHIBITS HIRING DECISIONS BASED ON UNEMPLOYMENT STATUS

Overriding a veto from Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the New York City Council has passed a bill amending the New York City Human Rights law to prohibit employment decisions based on an applicant’s ”unemployment” status.  In addition, the bill also prohibits employers from posting job listings that list current employment as a prerequisite for any job.  …

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EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY COMMISSION CRACKING DOWN ON UNNECESSARILY BROAD CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECKS

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has been pursuing employers whom it believes overstep legal boundaries when conducting criminal background checks.  This is a cause for concern for employers, since an estimated ninety-two (92%) percent of organizations conduct criminal background checks on their applicants. Two recent settlements make it clear that if your company has …

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CHRONIC ILLNESSES AS DISABILITIES

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently obtained a $50,000 settlement on behalf of an employee for America’s Thrift Stores of Alabama who allegedly was refused a reasonable accommodation and fired because of her chronic illness, degenerative joint disease. The EEOC claimed that the employee had a good work record, but once she requested accommodations …

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FORMER EMPLOYEE ASSERTING SEXUAL HARASSMENT IN THE WORKPLACE ORDERED TO PRODUCE PRIVATE SOCIAL MEDIA COMMUNICATIONS AND PHOTOGRAPHS

A Brooklyn Federal Court Judge recently ordered a employee who is suing her former employer for sexual harassment to produce, as part of that litigation, certain social media communications and photographs. In Reid v. Ingerman Smith, the former employee is alleging that she was sexually harassed at her former workplace, which is a Long Island …

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EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY COMMISSION FINDS RACE BIAS AT WET SEAL STORE

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently announced that Wet Seal, a nationwide apparel retailer for young women, illegally discriminated against a former store manager after one of the company’s executives complained about too many black employees at the manager’s store in Pennsylvania. In making its determination, the EEOC stated that Wet Seal’s corporate managers …

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TITLE VII OF THE CIVIL RIGHTS ACT OF 1964 AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, SEXUAL ASSAULT AND STALKING

The United States Equal Employment Commission (EEOC) recently issued a “Question and Answer” regarding the application of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) to applicants or employees who experience domestic or dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking. Title VII prohibits discrimination based on race, color, sex, religion, or national origin. …

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