Topic: Discrimination

Department of Justice To Assert Title VII Protects Transgender Status

In a memorandum dated December 15, 2014,  the United States Attorney General has changed the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) position with respect to the protection of transgender status under Title VII. While the DOJ had previously maintained that Title VII’s prohibition on sex-based discrimination did not encompass gender identity per se, the DOJ will now…

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A Strange Case of Sexual Harassment

In a lawsuit currently pending in the Superior Court, an employee is accusing her supervisor of:  Urging her to go to the beach and wear a bikini, Calling her into his office to view images of naked women on his computer, Discussing “sex toys” with her, Relentlessly urging her to go to a “sex shop”…

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Should Employers Sue to Recover Attorney’s Fees After Winning a Lawsuit?

Unfortunately, the usual answer is no. After being sued by an employee for discrimination without a scintilla of evidence to support the claim, clients often ask “Can we countersue the employee for attorney’s fees?” The majority of the time, the answer is “No.” That said, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does…

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Employee Theft of Employer Documents—Protected Conduct in Opposition to Discrimination or Criminal Activity?

What happens to board of education employees who steal board documents to support a lawsuit against their employer?  In New Jersey, at least, they are criminally prosecuted.  In State V. Saavedra, Docket No. A-1449-12T4 (Dec. 24, 2013)(link), the New Jersey Appellate Division upheld the indictment of a North Bergen Board of Education [“Board”] employee who…

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Investigating Employee Complaints – An Employer’s Double Bind

An employee, having been notified of his impending termination, complains to his employer of discrimination.  A human resources professional retained by the employer to investigate the complaint concludes that the employee was treated fairly with respect to the termination of his employment.  At trial in the employee’s subsequent lawsuit, may the employer introduce evidence of…

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Should Biological Fathers Receive the Same Leave Benefits as Adoptive Parents?

Maybe you saw this article “Standing Up for the Rights of New Fathers,” in the New York Times a few weeks ago about the new dad, a reporter for CNN, who filed a discrimination claim with the EEOC against Time Warner (CNN’s parent) challenging its paid parental leave policy.  The policy gives 10 weeks of…

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How Do You Win a Discrimination Case?

Obviously, the simple answer is to not discriminate.  But it also is important to have well-documented facts that support a business-related justification for the employer’s action and to demonstrate the plaintiff’s lack of proof of discrimination.  A discrimination lawsuit begins as little more than an accusation, and the court process moves slowly, but eventually a…

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