Monday, July 20, 2015

That is SO last week

There’s just no rest for employment lawyers this summer. We had another exciting week. The biggest news was the EEOC’s ruling that Title VII prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.  The agency found that an air traffic controller could maintain a claim alleging that he was passed over for a promotion because he was gay.  Basing its decision in part on Justice Scalia’s opinion in Oncale v. Sundowner, the agency wrote, “Sexual orientation discrimination also is sex discrimination because it necessarily involved discrimination based on gender stereotypes.”
The EEOC’s ruling did not surprise agency-watchers.  Commissioner Chai Feldblum has previously made statements  about her desire to address sexual orientation discrimination, saying “I think it would benefit everyone, the agency, the development of the law if we got a case that presented the sexual orientation issue as clearly as the transgender issue.”
It remains unclear whether or not courts will adopt the EEOC’s view and extend Title VII’s protections to individuals claiming discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.
  • The EEOC sued UPS for religious discrimination, alleging that the package carrier’s strict uniform policy prohibits reasonable accommodations based on religion.
  • Casey Sipe addressed the workplace impact of the Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage decision.
  • Fortune covered one woman’s gender transition at work.
  • Corporate Counsel reminded readers that gender diversity goals can breed lawsuits.
  • After his termination for posting a homophobic rant on an internal social network, a former Ford employee sued the auto maker for religious discrimination.
  • The Wharton School of Business asked if cultural fit is a hiring qualification or a disguise for bias.
  • Uber is using games to find savvy drivers in another example of gamification in the workplace.
  • The company hired to monitor credit on behalf of the millions of federal employees affected by the OPM data breach is overwhelmed.
  • SHRM asked about the potential for insider risks of a cybersecurity incident.
  • A new study by ADP showed that employees are ready to embrace wearable technology.
  • HR Cloud asked if HR technology can change a company’s culture.
  • The National Law Review covered the Federal Trade Commission’s growing influence in the workplace, including when employees use social media.
Wage and Hour
  • The U.S. Department of Labor outlined a new “economic dependence” test for the classification of workers. 
  • covered the growing concern within the sharing economy about worker status.
  • The lawsuit brought against Apple by retail employees  over the unpaid time spent going through bag checks received class action status.
Posted by Kate Bischoff