Obama signs order prohibiting LGBT bias at fed contractors

President Obama made good on his June 16 promise that he would ban federal contractors from discriminating against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender workers and job applicants. An executive order signed July 21 applies to companies with contracts worth $10,000 or more.

EEOC eyes personal training company for legal workout

Custom Built Personal Training in Modesto, Ca. will have to whip its pregnancy-leave policy into shape after the EEOC threw its weight behind a fired employee’s lawsuit.

Be prepared to justify military employee's discharge


USERRA provides job protection for military-connected employees once they re­­turn from extended military service. Employers shouldn’t fire covered workers without good cause and solid reasons. Be prepared to show you would have taken the same action whether the employee served or not.

Suspect employee didn't file on time? Raise that issue early in litigation process

Here’s a warning for employers facing litigation: Don’t wait to check whether the employee filed EEOC or other administrative claims on time. Raise the issue early.

Supreme Court to hear PDA accommodation case

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to decide a case that will determine if the Pregnancy Discrimination Act requires employers to grant light-duty accommodations to pregnant workers.

Harassment: How to stop it before--and after--it starts

Protect your organization from harassment lawsuits by focusing your attention on both preventive and corrective measures.

New EEOC guidelines expand legal protections for pregnant employees

Employers can now be required to provide accommodations to this class of workers.

Dakota County, Minn. workforce center settles disability case

The Dakota County Burnsville Work­­force Center has agreed to settle federal charges that it discriminated against a client by perceiving her to have a disability.

New medical marijuana law may be strongest in nation

On May 29, Gov. Mark Dayton signed Minnesota’s new medical mari­­juana bill into law. Unlike similar laws in other states, this law specifically amends a state law—the Minne­­sota Con­­trolled Substance Act—to carve out exemptions for those permitted to use medical marijuana.

Just reporting wrongdoing isn't enough to trigger protection

Minnesota law presumes at-will employment—that workers can be fired for any reason or no reason as long as no law makes the firing illegal. However, employees can’t be fired for refusing to engage in illegal activity.

Litany of gripes won't prove hostile environment

Hostility isn’t the same as discrimination. Proving it requires an affected employee to show both subjectively and objectively that she endured ridicule or worse—not just that her supervisor was unfair or even discriminated.

Audit discipline cases for hidden racial bias

Supervisors sometimes enforce rules in a biased way or discipline members of a protected class more severely than others. But HR can stop this discrimination dead in its tracks with an internal informal audit. Regular monitoring (and fixing any problems you find) may be the best lawsuit-prevention tool around.

Hey boss! National origins comments never OK

Remind supervisors that they must never make jokes (or assumptions) about employees based on where they were born, their origins or other national or ethnic characteristics.

'Do As I Say' Department: Disability nonprofit sued for disability bias

A Detroit nonprofit formed to assist people with disabilities faces EEOC charges that it violated the ADA by discriminating against a deaf worker.

Long Island cop wins $1.35M in reverse discrimination case

A federal jury has awarded $1.35 million to a police lieutenant in the Long Island town of Freeport after finding that the town’s black mayor turned him down for a promotion to chief of police because he is white. A Hispanic fire department official got the job.
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