New York Labor And Employment Law Report

New York Labor And Employment Law Report

Category Archives: Employment Discrimination

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Division of Human Rights Adopts Regulation Prohibiting Discrimination Based on Relationship or Association

Posted in Employment Discrimination, New York Law
On May 18, the New York State Division of Human Rights adopted a new regulation prohibiting employment discrimination based on an individual’s relationship or association with a member of a protected category covered by the New York Human Rights Law.  The proposed rule was published in the State Register on March 9.  The agency did not receive… Continue Reading

EEOC Files First Lawsuits Alleging Sexual Orientation Discrimination Under Title VII

Posted in Employment Discrimination
As we have reported in earlier posts, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) has previously taken the position that discrimination on the basis of “sexual orientation” is prohibited under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  Although not explicitly listed as a protected category under Title VII, the EEOC views sexual orientation… Continue Reading

EEOC Publishes New Nationwide Procedures for Employer Position Statements

Posted in Employment Discrimination
When an employee or former employee files a discrimination charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”), the first step in the investigation is generally the EEOC’s request for a position statement from the employer in response to the charge.  Although many employers depend on their labor and employment counsel to gather the necessary information… Continue Reading

New York State Division of Human Rights Adopts Regulations Prohibiting Discrimination Against Transgender Individuals

Posted in Employment Discrimination, Harassment, New York Law
As we reported in a blog post last month, although neither the federal nor state law expressly prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender identity or expression, Governor Cuomo bypassed the legislative process and urged the New York State Division of Human Rights to issue regulations that will interpret the state’s anti-discrimination prohibitions to cover… Continue Reading

The Division of Human Rights Proposes Regulations to Expand Anti-Discrimination Protections to Transgender Individuals

Posted in Employment Discrimination, Harassment, New York Law
After several unsuccessful attempts to pass the Gender Expression Nondiscrimination Act, which would have extended the nondiscrimination protections in the New York Human Rights Law to transgender individuals, Governor Cuomo took the unprecedented step of directing the New York State Division of Human Rights to issue regulations that would protect transgender applicants and employees in… Continue Reading

Stronger New York Pay Equity Law to Take Effect in January 2016

Posted in Employment Discrimination, New York Law, Wage and Hour
New York employers take notice:  an amendment to New York’s equal pay law (S.1/A.6075) was signed by Governor Cuomo on October 21, 2015.  The law amends Labor Law Section 194, which prohibits pay differentials based on gender in jobs requiring “equal skill, effort and responsibility” which are “performed under similar working conditions.”  The bill was… Continue Reading

Employee’s “Trick” Results in a Halloween Bag of Rocks From the Jury

Posted in Employment Discrimination
In prior blog articles, we’ve sought wisdom from Sun Tzu, an audit of Santa’s Workshop, a theoretical application of the faithless servant doctrine to A-Rod, and Pooh Corner for some Zen advice on day-to-day employment matters.  Our next stop on the Employment Law Express is a seasonal walk through the Pumpkin Patch with the Peanuts… Continue Reading

According to the EEOC, Sexual Orientation Discrimination is Prohibited By Title VII

Posted in Employment Discrimination
There are many protected categories under the federal employment discrimination laws, but none of those laws mentions “sexual orientation” as a protected category.  Versions of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (“ENDA”), which would explicitly prohibit employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, have been introduced in almost every session of Congress since about 1994.  However, the legislation… Continue Reading

The Supreme Court’s Decision in EEOC v. Abercrombie: What Can Employers Do to Reduce the Risk of Religious Discrimination Claims in the Hiring Process?

Posted in Employment Discrimination
On June 1, the Supreme Court issued an 8-1 decision in EEOC v. Abercrombie & Fitch Stores, Inc., holding that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act prohibits a prospective employer from refusing to hire an applicant in order to avoid accommodating a religious practice that it could accommodate without undue hardship, even if the… Continue Reading

The Supreme Court Addresses Pregnancy Accommodations Under Title VII

Posted in Employment Discrimination
On March 25, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its much anticipated decision in Young v. United Parcel Service, Inc., which centered on whether UPS unlawfully discriminated against a pregnant employee by denying her a light-duty accommodation for her lifting restriction.  The Court vacated a Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals decision, which granted summary judgment in favor of… Continue Reading

OFCCP Issues Final Rule Protecting Workers From Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

Posted in Employment Discrimination, Federal Contractors
In early December, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (“OFCCP”) announced the issuance of its final rule implementing Executive Order 13672, which amends Executive Order 11246 by prohibiting Federal contractors from discriminating against employees or applicants based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.  The final rule was published in the… Continue Reading

Transgender Employees: The New Protected Category?

Posted in Employment Discrimination
By now, most employers are familiar with the list of categories protected from employment discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act:  race, color, religion, national origin and sex.  Additional categories are protected by other federal anti-discrimination laws:  disability (Americans with Disabilities Act), age (Age Discrimination in Employment Act), pregnancy (Pregnancy Discrimination Act), and… Continue Reading

A Labor and Employment Audit of Santa’s Workshop

Posted in Employment Discrimination, Harassment, Occupational Safety and Health, OSHA, Wage and Hour
With that first real chill in the air, the holiday season is suddenly upon us.  For parents, it is a time to relive our childhood, watching with our children all of those holiday specials ranging from It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown to Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town.  Unfortunately, for members of our misfit profession,… Continue Reading

Understanding an Employer’s Obligations When Domestic Violence Affects the Workplace

Posted in Americans with Disabilities Act, Discharge and Discipline, Employment Discrimination, Family and Medical Leave Act, Occupational Safety and Health, OSHA
Over the past few months, the media has reported extensively about several incidents of domestic violence involving professional athletes.  While these high-profile cases generate huge attention, it is important to remember that domestic violence is a problem of epidemic proportion.  The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 1 in 4 women and 1… Continue Reading

A Hiring Supervisor’s Subjective Judgment That the Selected Employee Would “Fit in Better” Could Create an Inference of Discrimination

Posted in Employment Discrimination
A recent Second Circuit case highlights the potential perils of basing employment decisions upon subjective judgments which are susceptible to multiple interpretations.  In Abrams v. Department of Public Safety, the court reversed a summary judgment decision granted to an employer based upon the hiring supervisor’s assessment that a non-minority applicant for a detective position in… Continue Reading

New York Amends Human Rights Law to Protect Unpaid Interns

Posted in Employment Discrimination, Harassment, New York Law, Retaliation
On July 22, 2014, Governor Cuomo signed a bill that amends the New York Human Rights Law by adding a new Section 296-c entitled, “Unlawful discriminatory practices relating to interns.”  The amendment prohibits employers from discriminating against unpaid interns and prospective interns on the basis of age, race, creed, color, national origin, sexual orientation, military status, sex,… Continue Reading

EEOC Issues New Guidance on Pregnancy Discrimination

Posted in Americans with Disabilities Act, Employment Discrimination
On July 14, 2014, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) issued its Enforcement Guidance on Pregnancy Discrimination and Related Issues.  The purpose of the Enforcement Guidance is to explain the EEOC’s current interpretations of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 (“PDA”) and the interplay between the PDA and the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”).  This… Continue Reading

President Obama Signs Executive Order Prohibiting Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Discrimination By Federal Contractors

Posted in Employment Discrimination, Federal Contractors
As expected, President Obama signed an Executive Order today which amends Executive Order 11246 to prohibit federal contractors from discriminating against employees or applicants based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.  The prohibition against discrimination based on sexual orientation is not new to federal contractors who operate in New York State, because the New York Human… Continue Reading

Court of Appeals Holds That Employer’s Failure to Engage in Interactive Process Regarding Employee’s Accommodation Request Precludes Summary Judgment in State and City Disability Discrimination Claims

Posted in Employment Discrimination
Discrimination claims are expensive to defend and if they reach a jury, the results are often unpredictable.  The summary judgment motion, when utilized properly, is an effective risk and cost containment tool available to employers attempting to fend off such claims before they reach a jury.  Therefore, employers need to make sure that they do everything… Continue Reading

EEOC Settles GINA Discrimination Lawsuit with New York Employer

Posted in Employment Discrimination
On January 13, 2014, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) announced it had reached a settlement with Founders Pavilion, Inc. (“Founders”), a former nursing and rehabilitation center located in Corning, New York.  In the lawsuit, the EEOC alleged that Founders violated the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (“GINA”).  The lawsuit represented only the third time since GINA… Continue Reading

Federal District Court Scolds EEOC for Meritless Background Check Lawsuit

Posted in Background Checks, Employment Discrimination, Race Discrimination
As previously reported, the elimination of barriers in recruitment and hiring was identified as one of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s six priorities in its 2013-2016 Strategic Enforcement Plan (“SEP”).  Accordingly, the EEOC is focusing its enforcement efforts and resources on eradicating both class-based intentional discrimination, as well as facially-neutral recruitment and hiring practices that… Continue Reading