Employment Law Alert

Employment Law Alert

News and Updates on Employment Law

Tag Archives: Sex

EEOC to Collect Wage and Hour Data Based on Race, Ethnicity, and Gender in Effort to Aid Enforcement of Laws Requiring Pay Equity

Posted in Wage & Hour
The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") has proposed a change to the EEO-1 Report, the standard form used to collect workforce profiles from certain private industry employers and federal contractors. In its current iteration, the form annually requires employers to categorize their workforces based on gender, race, ethnicity, and job category, using data collected from one pay period occurring in July, August, or September of the reporting year. The amended form would require further categorization of employees based on W-2 earnings and hours worked.… Continue Reading

DOL Extends FMLA Spousal Care Leave Rights to Same-Sex Spouses

Posted in Family Leave
The U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) recently issued a Final Rule revising the definition of “spouse” under the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) to include same-sex spouses for purposes of FMLA leave, regardless of the couple’s state of residence. Under the prior FMLA regulations, whether or not an employee had a “spouse” was determined by the law of the state where the employee resided. Notably, however, the Final Rule does not expand the definition of “spouse” to include domestic partners. Rather, only employees who are legally married are covered under the new regulations. The Final Rule takes effect on March 27, 2015.… Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court Ruling in Windsor Striking Down DOMA Will Expand Workplace Protections for Employees in Legally Recognized Same-Sex Marriages

Posted in Employee Benefits
The U.S. Supreme Court issued a critical decision on June 26, 2013, striking down a provision of the Defense of Marriage Act ("DOMA") that limited the definition of marriage for federal purposes to unions of opposite-sex couples. The Court's ruling in United States v. Windsor will have far-reaching implications for employers, at least in those states that recognize same-sex marriages, in terms of leave administration, benefits eligibility and workplace protections. In another case decided the same day, Hollingsworth v. Perry, the Court let stand a Federal District Court ruling in California that an amendment to the California Constitution limiting marriage to opposite sex couples was unconstitutional. In neither case did the Court require all states to recognize same-sex marriages.… Continue Reading

What to Expect from the EEOC in 2013

Posted in Discrimination
At the Gibbons Second Annual Employment & Labor Law Conference last month, one panel discussion focused on the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's ("EEOC") recent activity and enforcement priorities. Among the panelists were Corrado Gigante, Director of the Newark Area Office of the EEOC, and Gibbons Directors, Christine Amalfe, Kelly Ann Bird and Susan Nardone.… Continue Reading

Fourth Circuit Says Preferential Treatment for Pregnant Employees Not Required

Posted in Disability
Pregnant employees who seek accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) or the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) need not be offered special treatment, the Fourth Circuit ruled on January 9, 2013. The ADA prohibits discrimination against qualified individuals "on the basis of disability." The PDA, enacted in 1978, amended Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to specifically prohibit discrimination in employment "because of or on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions."… Continue Reading

New Requirements for NJ Employers and for Employers Conducting Business in Newark, NJ

Posted in Discrimination
Beginning November 12, 2012, the State of New Jersey will require employers to post a new "equal pay" notice in the work place, to provide the notice to employees and to obtain an acknowledgment of receipt. Effective November 18, 2012, the City of Newark will impose restrictions on employers conducting hiring in the City with regard to the use of criminal background checks for job applicants.… Continue Reading

The EEOC Holds that Title VII Protects Transgender Employees

Posted in Discrimination
In a decision reversing nearly three decades of prior rulings, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") has ruled that a "complaint of discrimination based on gender identity, change of sex, and/or transgender status is cognizable under Title VII." In doing so, the EEOC - the agency of the United States Government charged with the enforcement of federal anti-discrimination laws - has expanded upon the definition of discrimination "because of sex" expressly bringing transgender individuals within its purview.… Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court Backs Wal-Mart and Halts One of the Most Expansive Class Actions in History

Posted in Discrimination
On June 20, 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its much-anticipated decision in Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes, 564 U.S. __ (2011). The decision reversed the Ninth Circuit's 2010 en banc decision and effectively halted what would have been the largest employment discrimination class action in history against the nation's largest private employer. The Court's 5-4 opinion is a decisive victory for businesses that reshapes the landscape for employment-related class action litigation and class action litigation in general.… Continue Reading

The Importance of a Workplace Romance Policy

Posted in Policies/Handbooks
The adoption and enforcement of a policy regarding consensual workplace relationships is essential for all employers. With the American workforce spending at least one-third of their lives at work, it is inevitable that some employees will engage in romantic and sexual relationships with one another. A recent case in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Lucchesi v. Day & Zimmerman Group, reinforces that such relationships may have business and legal costs. While employers cannot prevent these relationships from forming or ending, they can take steps to manage their effect on the workplace and to reduce the potential liability stemming from them. A well-drafted policy is a critical first step.… Continue Reading

New Jersey Appellate Division Holds That Absence of Emotional Distress Damages Award Does Not Preclude Consideration of Punitive Damages

Posted in Discrimination
The New Jersey Appellate Division recently held in Rusak v. Ryan Automotive, LLC that a plaintiff was entitled to further proceedings on her punitive damages claim following a jury verdict in her favor on her hostile work environment and retaliation claims even though the jury did not award her emotional distress damages and rejected her separate intentional infliction of emotional distress claim. Although the case involved unique circumstances that are unlikely to be present in future matters, the decision serves as a reminder that the absence of an emotional distress award does not preclude further proceedings on punitive damages.… Continue Reading