New challenge for Texas employers: Transgender employees' restroom rights


Time was when an employer’s only preoccupation with restrooms was whether the cleaning crew was keeping them stocked with soap, towels and toilet paper. Enter the new reality: Federal agencies and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights groups are contending that transgender employees should be given the right to choose between restrooms having an “M” or a “W” on the door.

Confidentiality conundrum: Can you reveal complaint in order to stop sexual harassment?

What should you do when a male employee claims his co-workers are sexually harassing him? You can’t just ignore the complaint simply because it came from a man. But should you discuss the complaint with the co-workers and ask them to stop if they are engaging in harassment? Wouldn’t that make matters worse?

Kung Fu Saloon taps out following bias slap-down

The Kung Fu Saloon chain, with locations in Austin, Dallas and Houston, has agreed to settle U.S. Department of Justice charges that it has repeatedly refused service to Asian and black customers.

Repeat after me: Never fire anyone for wearing a religious headscarf!

Rotten Ralph’s, a popular Philadelphia restaurant, has been sued by the EEOC, which alleges that the eatery violated federal law when it refused to allow a Muslim server to wear a religious headscarf as a reasonable accommodation of her religious beliefs and instead fired her.

Manager using slurs? Quick discipline limits your damage

What should you do if you receive reports that a manager has uttered offensive slurs?

New boss is tougher on employees? That's not bias without other evidence

Does the arrival of a tougher scoring supervisor also mean extra liablity? Not necessarily, as a recent case shows.

Hijab case dismissed after 7 years, Supreme Court ruling

A federal appeals court on June 20 dismissed Abercrombie & Fitch’s appeal of an EEOC religious discrimination lawsuit that the Supreme Court addressed in June.

Is co-worker resentment a reason to turn down ill worker's telecommuting request?

Q. One of our employees requested that we accommodate his health condition by allowing him to occasionally work from home. We are concerned that this arrangement will cause his colleagues to become disgruntled. May we deny the request for this reason? If not, what information may we share with the employee’s colleagues so that they are more understanding of the situation?

Finance firm faces EEOC suit alleging transgender bias

The EEOC has sued Shoreview-based Deluxe Financial Services Corp. for sex discrimination because of the way it treated a transgender employee. According to the complaint, an employee at a company office in Arizona performed her job satisfactorily for many years, but was insulted and criticized once she began presenting as a woman.

Capacity, not actual pregnancy, is heart of PDA

A federal appeals court has overturned a case that had been dismissed because an employee couldn’t prove that her employer knew she was pregnant. The court clarified that the capacity to become pregnant is at the heart of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act.

EEOC: Bias based on sexual orientation is illegal

The EEOC, for the first time on the federal level, has ruled that discriminating against an employee based on sexual orientation counts as unlawful sex discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.

Out-of-line! Take action when customers harass employees

If an employee complains about harassment, take the complaint seriously, even if the harasser is a customer. Ban the customer to make sure the harassment stops—and call the police if the harassment involves touching or invasion of privacy.

Coach wins $4M verdict after being fired for reporting hazing

When the high school football coach at St. Patrick-St. Vincent High School in Vallejo, California learned that some of his players were hazing underclassmen, he reported it to his superiors. The high school investigated and expelled five students. It also fired the coach who reported the hazing. He sued the Catholic Diocese of Sacramento for retaliation.

Public employee fails to raise bias claim in civil service hearing? He loses right to sue

Some public employees in civil service positions may challenge their discharge through the civil service system. But doing so does have its dangers.

Judgment Day for ministry on pregnancy bias

A federal judge has ordered the Houston-based United Bible Fellowship Ministries to pay a former employee nearly $75,000 in back pay and damages because of the nonprofit’s policy prohibiting pregnant employees from working and barring the hiring of pregnant women.
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