Category: Title VII

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9th Circuit: No Compensatory or Punitive Damages in ADA Retaliation Cases

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently limited the remedies available to employees who sue for retaliation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), ruling that the statute does not provide for punitive damages, compensatory damages or a jury trial in ADA retaliation cases.  Click here to read the decision in Alvarado v. Cajun Operating Co.  … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Lets Stand Ruling Allowing EEOC to Issue Subpoenas After Right-To-Sue

Yesterday the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision that allows the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to continue investigating allegations of employment discrimination, and even to issue subpoenas to employers, after issuing a right-to-sue letter to the employee who filed the initial complaint.  Click here to read the Ninth Circuit decision in … Continue Reading

2009 Mid-Term Federal Legislative Update

We expected many changes in federal labor and employment law in 2009 – for the first time in years, Democrats control the White House and both houses of Congress and have the political ability to make significant reforms.  However, not much has happened in 2009: we have only significant labor and employment bill signed into … Continue Reading

Employer Did Not Violate Title VII By Firing Employee For Wearing a Nose Ring

A Federal court in Florida has ruled that a Subway restaurant did not violate Title VII by firing an employee because she wore a nose ring, rejecting a claim by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) for injunctive relief and punitive damages.  Click here to read the court’s decision in EEOC v. Papin Enters. Inc.  Subway has … Continue Reading

Oregon Religious Accommodation Bill Becomes Law

Last week Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski signed Senate Bill 786, which will require employers to more extensively accommodate employees’ religious practices and observation.  The bill passed both the Oregon House and Senate by wide margins earlier this Spring.  The new law will take effect January 1, 2010. Oregon law already prohibits discrimination based on an employee’s religion.  Senate Bill … Continue Reading

Ricci v. DeStefano — Supreme Court Holds City Violated Title VII By Rejecting Racially Disparate Test Results

To end its term, the Supreme Court today issued its long awaited opinion in Ricci v. DeStefano–a case that has received extra media attention because Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor was on the Second Circuit Court of Appeals panel that decided the case below. The conservative justices on the Court  reversed the Second Circuit (and by … Continue Reading

Employment Non-Discrimination Act: Is This the Year?

Just in time for Pride Month, Representative Barney Frank (D-MA) introduced the Employment Non-Discrimination Act of 2009 (ENDA) earlier this week. If passed, ENDA would prohibit employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.  It would also prohibit employers retaliation against employees who oppose such discrimination who participate in any investigation or  proceeding under ENDA. … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Tightens Standards for Age Discrimination Plaintiffs

Yesterday the United States Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that trial courts may not use a "mixed motive" framework in federal age discrimination cases.  Rather, plaintiffs in age discrimination cases must prove that "but for" their age, they would not have been discriminated against.  Click here to read the Court’s decision in Gross v. FBL Financial Services.  Under a 1991 … Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court to Hear Six L&E Cases This Term

The U.S. Supreme Court opened its 2008-2009 term on October 6 with six labor and employment law cases on its docket.  (For docket information and questions presented, click on the name of the case).  Locke v. Karass:  may a public employee union may charge nonmembers for representational costs for litigation expenses incurred by the international union on … Continue Reading

Employer Violated Title VII by Terminating Employee for Undergoing In-Vitro Fertilization

In the first case of its kind before a federal circuit court, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals held recently that an employer violated Title VII for terminating a female employee who underwent in vitro fertilization treatments.  To read the opinion in Hall v. Nalco Company, click here.  The employer terminated the employee citing “absenteeism—infertility treatments.”  It then … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Accepts Review of AT&T Retirement Benefits Case

Earlier this week, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to consider whether employers may be liable under Title VII for not giving female employees full credit for pregnancy leaves in calculating retirement benefits.  AT&T Corp. v. Hulteen, U.S., No. 07-543. The Ninth Circuit ruled last August that AT&T violated Title VII by calculating the female plaintiffs’ retirement … Continue Reading
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