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Court Finds Client Remark About “Rednecks” To Be Direct Evidence Of Discrimination

I recently blogged about a case where a supervisor told an employee that she “[couldn’t] stand [his] black ass” in an altercation that culminated in the employee’s termination.  There, despite the closeness in time between the comment and the employment decision at issue, the court found insufficient evidence of unlawful discrimination, and the employer won […]

Documentation of Performance Issues Defeats Employee’s Claims of Retaliation

Employers may find it concerning when their employees with performance issues also complain of workplace discrimination.  A recent decision out of the Eastern District of Virginia illustrates how progressive discipline, documentation of employee work performance problems, and investigation of employee workplace complaints can help protect employers in the long run.  Gooding-Williams v. Fairfax County School […]

Separation Code That Raises Red Flags Can Constitute Post-Settlement Retaliation

When serious problems in the workplace arise, a settlement and release that allows the employer and employee to go their separate ways often presents as an attractive resolution.  The employee can separate neutrally to look for a more suited work environment, while the employer can move on without fear of litigation.  Unless of course the […]

Arbitrator’s Alleged Bias Against Homosexuals Is Not Grounds to Reverse Award

Recently, a California Court of Appeal rejected a plaintiff/appellant’s claim that his case against his former employer — which went to arbitration pursuant to their employment agreement — should be reversed due to the arbitrator’s alleged undisclosed bias against homosexuals.  Bogue v. Anesthesia Service Medical Group, Inc., No. D073518 (Cal. App. 4th Dist. 7/17/19) (unpublished). […]

Virginia Court Dismisses Late-Filed Discrimination Suit

The Americans With Disabilities Act, like most other federal anti-discrimination statutes, requires that an employee file suit within 90 days of their receipt of a Right to Sue Notice from the Equal Employment Opportunity  Commission.  A Virginia man recently found out that federal courts take this requirement seriously when the United States District Court for […]

Fourth Circuit Rejects Employee’s Claim of Mexican Heritage Bias

Direct, qualification, and comparator evidence, oh my!  In a recent decision, the Fourth Circuit recounted the ways in which a former utility distribution serviceman failed to prove discrimination in violation of Title VII and Section 1981.  Matias v. Elon University, No. 18-2507 (4th Cir. 7/22/19) (unpublished). Matias, who is Mexican, worked for Elon University from […]

NLRA Does Not Protect Employee’s Wrongful Access Of Confidential Data

Under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), employees have the right to discuss their wages with colleagues.  The NLRA does not give employees who surreptitiously access wage data the right to discuss that information with colleagues, however.  In an advice memorandum released July 16, the National Labor Relations Board’s Office of the General Counsel provides […]

New York Bans Race Discrimination Based on Hairstyle

New York has become the second state to include hairstyles within the definition of race for purposes of the state’s anti-discrimination law.  Last week, California became the first state to ban such discrimination. The New York State law amends the definition of “race” to mean “traits historically associated with race, including but not limited to, […]