In a recent decision, the United States Supreme Court ruled that a lateral job transfer can – in certain circumstances – be an illegal adverse action and support a claim for a lawsuit for unlawful discrimination. This decision will increase the type of job actions for which employers can be sued and will lead to greater risk for employers in making challenging employment decisions.Continue Reading Supreme Court Holds That Employees Need Not Show “Significant” Harm to Support a Title VII Discrimination Claim Based on a Job Transfer

The Supreme Court recently ruled that the burden an employer must meet in denying a requested religious accommodation is “substantial” and not merely “de minimis.”  Employers will now have a harder time denying religious accommodations. Continue Reading Supreme Court Increases Employer’s Obligation in Religious Accommodation Requests

Can an employer be held liable for sexual misconduct at a private party that takes place after an employer-sponsored holiday party?  A recent Tennessee Court of Appeals case appears to say “yes” and thereby presents a new concern for employers considering employer-sponsored events.

In Phelps v. State, an employee sued her employer, the State of Tennessee, for sexual harassment and retaliation claims under the Tennessee Human Rights Act (THRA).  The instances of alleged sexual harassment included serious sexual misconduct (including a sexual assault) at an after-party following a State-sponsored Halloween party.  The court ruled that the State could be liable for these “after-party” events, even though they took place after hours and away from the place of employment.

Background

Continue Reading Halloween Party Turns Scary for State in New Court Decision: Appellate Court Says Employer May Be Held Liable for Off-Duty, Off-Premises Sexual Harassment Claims

The U.S. Supreme Court issued a landmark decision on Monday, June 15, in the case of Bostock v. Clayton County, ruling that the prohibitions against discrimination “because of sex” contained in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) extend to protect gay and transgender employees against workplace discrimination. Justice Neil Gorsuch delivered the opinion of the Court with Justices Alito and Kavanaugh each issuing dissenting opinions. In each of the three consolidated cases upon which this opinion was rendered, an employee had been terminated from employment for being gay or transgender.

The three employees brought suit in three different jurisdictions. In one case, the Eleventh Circuit ruled that Title VII’s protections did not prohibit employers from firing employees for being gay, and dismissed the lawsuit. In the other two cases, the Second Circuit and Sixth Circuit ruled that Title VII did provide the alleged protections and had permitted the cases involving those two employees to proceed. These inconsistent rulings, therefore, set the following question before the Court:

Is it legally permissible under Title VII’s language prohibiting discrimination “because of sex” for an employer to take an adverse action against an employee merely because the employee is gay or transgender? Continue Reading Supreme Court Rules that Title VII Protects LGBTQ Employees

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued new guidance regarding an employer’s obligation to record all COVID-19 illnesses among workers if the illness is “work-related.” This new obligation went into effect on May 26, 2020, and supersedes guidance issued in April.

Recordkeeping Obligations

Employers are responsible for recording cases of COVID-19 if all of the following requirements are met:

When is a COVID-19 Illness Work-Related?Continue Reading Employer’s Obligation on Reporting COVID-19 as a Work-Related Illness – Updated OSHA Guidance

Join us for a complimentary seminar where we will review a broad range of topics pertaining to significant legislative and regulatory actions and court decisions that occurred in the area of employment law over the past year.

7:00 a.m. – 7:30 a.m. Registration and Breakfast
7:30 a.m. – 8:30 a.m. Program

Topics will include:

  • FLSA

Join us for a complimentary seminar where we will review a broad range of topics pertaining to accommodation issues under the ADA and provide guidance for employers managing these issues.

7:30 a.m. – 8:00 a.m. Registration and Breakfast
8:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. Program

Our panels will cover a broad range of topics, including:

  • How

I’m excited to be speaking next week at the 2019 MidSouth Employment Law Conference. My session entitled, “Anatomy of an Employment Lawsuit,” will provide attendees with an informative, step-by-step breakdown of the employment lawsuit process, practical guidance for managing litigation, and best practices to foster a company culture which limits the occurrence of such suits

The Supreme Court ruled on April 24, 2019 that an arbitration agreement which is ambiguous as to whether the parties had agreed to class arbitration was insufficient to require a party to participate in class arbitration.

In the 2011 case Stolt-Nielsen S.A. v. Animal Feeds Int’l Corp., 559 U.S. 662 (2011) the Supreme Court decided that “silence” in an arbitration agreement regarding the issue of class arbitration meant that a party could not be compelled to engage in class arbitration.  In the more recent case of Lamps Plus, Inc. v. Varela, an employee had sought to compel his employer to arbitrate on a class basis claims arising out of the release of personal data belonging to its employees.Continue Reading Supreme Court Rules on Enforcement of Class Arbitration