Category Archives: Civil Rights

Seventh Circuit Breaks New Ground: Sexual Orientation Discrimination Prohibited by Title VII

In a landmark decision reflecting a potential turning of the tide for the LGBT community, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has become the first federal appeals court in the nation to hold that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is a form of sex discrimination prohibited by Title VII. Hively …

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Wal-Mart to Pay $75,000 to Settle EEOC Disability Lawsuit

CHICAGO – Wal-Mart Stores Inc. will pay a former employee $75,000 to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency announced yesterday. EEOC’s lawsuit charged Wal-Mart with violating federal discrimination law when the giant retailer failed to accommodate Nancy Stack, a cancer survivor with physical limitations, …

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EEOC Issues Guidance on National Origin Discrimination that Applies to Foreign National Employees

This week the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) released guidance regarding national origin discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII).  The guidance replaces Section 13 of the EEOC’s compliance manual, with a view toward further defining “national origin” and helping employers and employees understand their legal rights and responsibilities. The guidance …

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Seventh Circuit: Title VII Offers No Protection Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination

In the midst of a legal, political and cultural landscape expanding the rights of LGBT individuals, the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals has held to prior precedent in reaffirming that Title VII does not prohibit sexual orientation discrimination. Kimberly Hively v. Ivy Tech Community College, __ S.Ct. __, No. 15-720 (July 28, 2016).  According …

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Update Company Policies for Transgendered Employees

Although no federal statute explicitly prohibits employment discrimination based on gender identity, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has actively sought out opportunities to ensure coverage for transgender individuals under Title VII’s sex discrimination provisions under its Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2012-2016. After the EEOC issued its groundbreaking administrative ruling in Macy v. Bureau of …

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Key Implications of Fourth Circuit’s Denial of En Banc Review of Pro-Transgender Ruling

On May 31, 2016, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals denied en banc review of an April decision permitting transgender students to use sex-segregated facilities that are consistent with their gender identity.  The Fourth Circuit encompasses North Carolina; thus, the case G.G. v. Gloucester County Public School Board (“Gloucester County”), although it arose in Virginia, creates …

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Termination For Conduct Caused By Side Effects of Prescription Medication Was Not Disability Discrimination

A federal court in Florida has upheld an employee’s termination due to her “inebriated” conduct that was caused by her use of prescription medications, holding that her discharge did not constitute disability discrimination. Caporicci v. Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc., Case No. 8-14-cv-2131-T-36EAJ (M.D. Fla. May 27, 2016). Lisa Caporicci worked for Chipotle as a crew member and …

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Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act: New Pregnancy Provision Taking Effect in August

On August 10, 2016, a new pregnancy provision of the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act (“CADA”) will take effect. While the CADA had previously been interpreted as prohibiting pregnancy discrimination and requiring accommodations for pregnancy, the new provision strengthens and clarifies those protections. Indeed, the amendment will require more of employers and will make it easier for plaintiffs …

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North Carolina Retailers Navigate Conflicting Laws Regarding Transgender Protections

On March 23, 2016, the North Carolina Legislature passed House Bill 2, the “Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act” (“HB2”), that overturned a Charlotte ordinance extending anti-discrimination protections to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (“LGBT”) individuals and allowing transgender persons to use the bathroom of their choice. Instead, HB2 requires individuals to use public bathrooms …

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Oxford, Alabama, City Council Repeals Bathroom Ordinance Targeting Transgender Individuals

The Oxford, Alabama, City Council has repealed on May 4, 2016, an ordinance it passed a week previously that barred transgender people from using a bathroom that corresponds with their gender identity. (See our article, Oxford, Alabama, City Council Adopts Ordinance Restricting Access to Bathroom Facilities Based on Biological Sex.) The ordinance made it unlawful for …

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