Published: October 5, 2017

On October 2, 2017, Massachusetts Governor, Charlie Barker, signed into law an amendment to the Massachusetts Fair Employment Practices Act that reinforces what federal and Massachusetts state judges have long held – that pregnancy discrimination is “discrimination because of sex” and is prohibited under both Title VII and Massachusetts law. However, the law goes farther, specifically with regard to notice requirements, and significantly expands the scope of disability accommodations related to pregnancy.

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Published: April 6, 2017

For the first time, a United States Court of Appeals ruled that Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act (“Title VII”) prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation. After agreeing to rehear the issue, the Seventh Circuit reversed the District Court’s decision dismissing the plaintiff’s case finding that it is impossible to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation without also discriminating on the basis of sex.
 

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Published: March 31, 2017

On Monday, March 27, President Trump issued an Executive Order revoking President Obama’s Executive Order 13673, Fair Pay & Safe Workplaces, a/k/a “Blacklisting” Rule.  The bulk of the Rule had already been enjoined by a Texas federal district court on October 24, 2016, just hours before it was slated to go into effect; however, the injunction did not affect the “paycheck transparency” requirements that went into effect January 1, 2017.  President Trump also took care of that issue by instructing federal agencies to rescind any rules, regulations, or guidance implementing or e

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Published: March 27, 2017

On March 23, Judge Stengel in the Eastern District of PA denied an employer’s motion to dismiss a Title VII case filed by an employee claiming discrimination and harassment based on her appearance and perceived sexual orientation. Ellingsworth v. Hartford Fire Insurance Co., No. 16-3187 (E.D.P.A. Mar. 23, 2017).

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Published: March 9, 2017

In a published decision issued March 6, 2017, the New Jersey Appellate Division held that a trial judge erred by reducing an employee-plaintiff’s back pay award in light of his receipt of unemployment compensation benefits. Fornaro v. Flightsafety International, Inc., No. A-1295-14T2. The plaintiff in Fornaro was a flight instructor who was discharged, he claimed, based on disability in violation of the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJ LAD).

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Published: November 7, 2016

Last week, on November 4, 2016, a District Judge in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania held that discrimination based on sexual orientation constitutes sex stereotyping and is prohibited by Title VII. EEOC v. Scott Medical Health Center, 2:16-cv-00225 (E.D. Pa. Nov. 4, 2016).  The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) filed a lawsuit on behalf of Dale Baxley, a gay male employee who worked for Scott Medical Health Center PC. Mr. Baxley alleges that he was constructively discharged due to an alleged sexually hostile work environment.

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Published: September 30, 2016

On September 16, 2016, in Christiansen v. Omnicom Group Inc. et al., 16-cv-748 (2d Cir 2016), ad agency DDB Worldwide (“DDB”) argued before the Second Circuit that Title VII does not support discrimination claims based on sexual orientation. 

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Published: September 19, 2016

Last week, the Eleventh Circuit affirmed a decision dismissing a case filed by the EEOC on behalf of a black applicant whose employment offer was rescinded pursuant to the company’s grooming policy when she refused to cut off her dreadlocks.  See Equal Employment Opportunity Comm'n v. Catastrophe Mgmt. Sols., No. 14-13482, 2016 WL 4916851 (11th Cir. Sept. 15, 2016).

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