Discrimination Law

What Can you Ask about an Employee’s Medications?

Posted on June 14, 2017

The Situation: One of your supervisors finds out that an employee is under psychiatric care and asks him about the medication that he takes for his condition. The supervisor then tells the employee he cannot take that medication on the job. Is there anything wrong with his conduct?…

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Is Gender Dysphoria a Disability Under ADA?

Posted on May 31, 2017

The Situation: An employee who has been diagnosed with gender dysphoria requests that she be permitted to use the female bathroom, dress in a female uniform, and wear a nametag with a female name.  Management refuses to accommodate these requests until her name and gender marker are legally changed from male to female.  The employee’s co workers taunt her regarding issues related to her gender and she complains about the degrading treatment, yet no action is taken by management.  Could she have a claim for discrimination under the ADA?…

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Is Telling Someone You Want to Maximize Longevity a Bad Idea?

Posted on May 24, 2017

The Situation: A 60 year old man applies to be a General Manager of a restaurant after spending over twenty years in the restaurant industry, a number of which were served in a managerial capacity. After interviewing the applicant over the phone, the hiring manager decides to bring him in for a face-to-face interview with the owner. The restaurant also asked him for some information for a background check and receives information about the applicant’s age. After a very brief face-to-face interview with the owner, the hiring manager informs the applicant that he isn’t going to get the job because the restaurant is really trying to maximize longevity. Is the restaurant looking at potential liability for an age discrimination claim?…

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Can You Tell a Pregnant Applicant That You Really Need Someone Long Term ?

Posted on May 11, 2017

The Situation: A job applicant makes it through several rounds of interviews successfully and receives a job offer. However, before she accepts it, she lets the prospective employer know that she is pregnant and asks about maternity benefits. The employer rescinds the job offer, explaining that they really need someone who can be in the position for the long haul. Is this pregnancy discrimination?…

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Employee Wellness Program—Potential Risks Under ADA?

Posted on April 12, 2017

The Situation: You implement a voluntary employee wellness program which requires employees to undergo health risk assessments and complete a health history questionnaire.  One of the incentives is that employees who complete the health risk assessment are not required to pay their monthly premiums for single coverage health insurance.  An employee raises concerns about the confidentiality of her health information if she participates and the voluntariness of the program and ultimately decides not to. If that employee ends up being fired, could she make a claim under the ADA?…

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Twelve Million Dollars to be Paid out by Restaurant Chain for Age Discrimination

Posted on April 5, 2017

The Situation: The EEOC took aim at Texas Roadhouse in 2011, claiming that the restaurant chain engaged in a pattern or practice of age discrimination by refusing to hire applicants over the age of 40. According to a press release issued by the EEOC, Texas Roadhouse has now agreed to pay a total of $12 million to an as-yet unidentified group of prospective employees, along with agreeing to take a number of corrective actions to ensure no further discrimination.…

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Discrimination Based on Perceived Sexual Orientation??

Posted on March 29, 2017

The Situation: An employee claims that she was repeatedly harassed by her supervisor in ways seemingly related to her sexual orientation—frequently saying that she dressed like a lesbian and similar remarks. The employee is actually heterosexual and married to a man. But based on the supervisor’s conduct, other employees begin to actually think that the employee is gay and she begins to feel compelled to explain her sexual orientation. If the employee quits because of the alleged harassment, can she bring a claim under Title VII?…

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Has Filing an EEOC Charge Just Gotten Easier?

Posted on March 15, 2017

The Situation: In recent years, the EEOC has begun the implementation of a digital charge system—the idea being that allowing employers and employees to utilize a digital system would both make it easier on them and also on the agency itself. The first phase was implemented in 2015 and allowed employers against whom a charge of employment discrimination had been filed, to interact with the EEOC online through an employer portal (so could upload and download documents, submit a position statement, verify information, etc.). Earlier this week, the EEOC announced another step in its plan to go digital, launching a new Online Inquiry and Appointment System in five of its offices.…

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Firing Six Weeks After Charge Enough to Show Retaliation?

Posted on March 8, 2017

The Situation: An employee files an EEOC charge, claiming she was discriminated against based on her race. Because of some ongoing performance issues, you put her on a performance improvement plan three weeks later. Following the issuance of another written warning, you decide to terminate her, about six weeks after her charge was filed. Can she bring a retaliation claim based on the timing alone?…

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But He Said it Too! Does Employee’s Use of Racial Epithet Negate Discrimination Claim?

Posted on January 11, 2017

The Situation: An employee asserts that he has been subjected to a hostile work environment, partially based on claims that other employees and supervisors regularly used racial epithets in his presence.  But, you are aware that the complaining employee had been known to use those very same terms at times. Does that affect his claim of discrimination?…

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