Discrimination Law

Nursing Mother Fired After Dispute About Where She Could Pump—Discrimination?

Posted on December 20, 2017

The Situation: An employer decides to implement a new policy permitting lactating mothers to express breastmilk only in certain designated lactation rooms. An employee who has been pumping in her office objects to this new policy, claiming that it will inhibit her ability to do her job properly. Following a number of heated exchanges about the issue, the employee is later terminated, purportedly for something totally unrelated. Can she bring a claim of discrimination?…

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But It Was For Her Own Good—Is This a Defense to a Discrimination Claim?

Posted on December 6, 2017

The Situation: An employer finds out that a pregnant employee is considered high risk and so takes her off the schedule based on some concerns about her safety in the workplace. Is this discrimination?…

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Over One Million Dollars in Damages for Discrimination Based on Transgender Status?

Posted on November 29, 2017

The Situation: A professor claims that she was denied tenure only after she began transitioning from male to female-will this support a claim of discrimination based upon gender in violation of Title VII?…

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Does a Mandatory Retirement Age Equal Discrimination?

Posted on November 1, 2017

The Situation: An employer has a policy that states that all employees must retire at the age of 65.  Is this age discrimination?…

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“But I Was Just Kidding!” Is That a Defense to a Discrimination Claim?

Posted on October 4, 2017

The Situation: During an industry-wide conference related to success strategies, a company executive is taking notes.  The notes include a page with the header “Attracting and Retaining employees,” and underneath, writes “Fire all the old people.”  The owner claims he was only kidding when he wrote this and was referring to a similar statement made in a joking manner by another company’s president.  Eight months later, a 77-year old employee is terminated. Can he bring a claim of age discrimination based upon these notes?…

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Does Employee’s Falsification of Employment Application Automatically Defeat Retaliation Claim?

Posted on August 30, 2017

The Situation: An employee complains that he is being harassed based on his sexual orientation and the fact that his partner is African American. Not long after he lodges this complaint, the employer discovers that although the employee stated on his job application that he graduated from community college, he had not actually graduated, but only took a number of classes. After the employee is terminated, he brings a claim of retaliation under Title VII. Can the employer get the claim thrown out on the grounds that the employee falsified his employment application?…

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Can You Cut a Pregnant Employee’s Shifts to Avoid Unpredictability?

Posted on August 23, 2017

The Situation: A restaurant has an automatic scheduling system which allows employees to input their availability and then generates a schedule accordingly a few weeks in advance.  One of the restaurant’s servers is pregnant and quickly approaching her due date, although has stated her intention to work until she has the baby. In fear of ending up short-staffed, a manager tells the pregnant employee he is going to take her out of the automatic scheduling system, but will still give her shifts manually.  Is this discrimination?…

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Is a Claim that an Applicant is Overqualified a Defense to an ADEA Claim?

Posted on July 19, 2017

The Situation: You are trying to fill an unskilled laborer position. One applicant for the position is a former employee with decades of experience in a position that involves more skill and higher pay. You end up deciding to hire another younger applicant, concluding that the former employee is overqualified and will not be satisfied in the position.  Can the older applicant bring a claim of age discrimination?…

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What if You Don’t Agree with a Religious Objection?

Posted on July 5, 2017

The Situation: You decide to implement a new time tracking system which involves the use of biometric hand scanners by employees to scan their right hands to clock in or out for a shift.  One of your long time employees claims that he cannot use this kind of hand scanner because its use would conflict with his religious beliefs. Can you require him to use it anyway?…

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My Employee Badmouthed me on Glassdoor—Can I Fire Him?

Posted on June 21, 2017

The Situation: One of your employees says some negative things about your company on Glassdoor.com. You end up firing him shortly after his bad comments.  Does this give him a basis for a retaliation claim?…

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