Blog Archives

U.S. Supreme Court to Hear Oral Argument This Week in Abercrombie Discrimination Case

Another year has begun and it seems like the debate over Abercrombie and Fitch’s employee dress code policy shows no indication of stopping. Only this time – the U.S. Supreme Court is getting involved. By way of brief background, the case began in 2008, when Samantha Elauf applied for a sales associate position with Abercrombie […]

New Jersey Set to “Ban the Box” Beginning on March 1, 2015

On March 1, 2015, New Jersey will become the latest state to “ban the box” by prohibiting employers from inquiring into a job applicant’s criminal background during the initial stages of the hiring process. The law, titled the Opportunity to Compete Act (the “Act”), was signed by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie on August 11, […]

Facebook Post Lands Teacher in Hot Water

On January 18, 2015, two South Hills High School teachers were arrested for allegedly having sexual relations with students at the beach. According to the Orange County Sherriff’s Department, one of the teachers, Melody Lippert, met a group of male students at the beach, gave them alcohol and “engaged in a sexual relationship with one […]

RUMORS OF JOINT EMPLOYER LIABILITY FOR FRANCHISORS ARE GREATLY EXAGGERATED

Despite the hand wringing and pontifications that franchisors will now be deemed employers or joint employers of the employees of their franchisees, that is simply not the case. The long held protections enjoyed by franchisors in this regard are very much alive and well. Rumors of the demise of these protections began with a rather […]

Deflategate: Will the NFL Fumble Another Internal Investigation?

Conducting a proper in-house investigation into allegations of misconduct is no simple task – especially at the NFL. Last year, the NFL was reprimanded in the public arena for allegedly mishandling the investigation into Ray Rice’s February 2014 assault on his then-fiancée, Janay Palmer. Rice readily admitted to the incident and was suspended for two […]

Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow: What Employers Should Remember When Bad Weather Hits

In addition to bringing nearly two-feet of snow, Winter Storm Juno has also brought a gust of wage and hour issues for employers. Unfortunately, it is likely not the last time this winter that employers will have to consider whether employees who do not attend work due to inclement weather must be paid. By way […]

U.S. Supreme Court Addresses Disparate Impact Liability Under the Fair Housing Act

On January 21, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral argument in Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. The Inclusive Communities Project, Docket No. 13-1371, a case that focuses on whether claims based on policies and decisions that are not facially discriminatory, but have a disparate impact on a particular race, can be […]

Can Public Schools Ban “I Can’t Breathe” T-Shirts?

Citing safety concerns, Fort Bragg High School, a public high school located in Mendocino County CA, decided on December 26, 2014 to ban athletes from wearing t-shirts with the slogan “I Can’t Breathe” – the words uttered by Eric Garner, who died while being arrested in Staten Island. The decision was made in advance of […]

Can Saks Fifth Avenue Legally Discriminate Against Transgender Employees?

Saks Fifth Avenue’s latest fashion trend is receiving mixed reviews from critics across the nation. According to a discrimination and retaliation complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas by Leyth O. Jamal, case number 4:14-cv-02782, employees of the corporation allegedly harassed Jamal due to her transgender status, refused to […]

Department of Justice Switches Sides: Title VII Now Prohibits Transgender Discrimination

On December 18, 2014, Attorney General Eric Holder, in an unanticipated move, revised the Department of Justice’s (“DOJ”) interpretation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq. (“Title VII”), which makes it unlawful for employers to “discriminate against any individual…because of…sex….” Specifically, in a memo to all United States […]