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Discrimination / Harassment

Conservative group sues, claiming DEI programs discriminate

Predictions of an assault on employers’ diversity, equity and inclusion programs appear to be coming true. Hoping to piggyback on the argument that persuaded the U.S. Supreme Court to outlaw affirmative action at colleges and universities, a conservative group has sued two law firms for programs designed to increase diversity in the legal profession.

Beware bias claims if you use AI to screen applicants

If you use AI to screen applicants, watch out! The EEOC is primed to spot evidence of AI-caused discrimination.

Federal AI in employment legislation may be coming

The No Robot Bosses Act would prohibit employers from exclusively relying on AI when making hiring, promotion or other employment decisions. In addition, it would require periodic testing to prevent bias from influencing AI processes and built-in bias.

Stopping harassment is mandatory, warning employees maybe not

Employers are required to stop harassment when it occurs by taking reasonable actions such as disciplining the harasser. But do employers have an obligation to warn other employees about harassers in their midst?

Prepare for more lawsuits objecting to DEI

In June, the U.S. Supreme Court decided two religious-freedom and -discrimination cases. One allowed a web designer to decline to serve customers if the assignment went against her religious beliefs. The other made it harder for employers to refuse to accommodate a worker’s religious beliefs. Now, a freshly filed federal discrimination lawsuit brings the two principles together for the first time.

CROWN Act spreads among the states in effort to prevent race discrimination

Texas recently became the 21st state to add natural hairstyle protection to its laws prohibiting discrimination in employment. It’s part of a legislative trend to enact what are called CROWN Acts.

How to protect against the coming explosion of anti-DEI lawsuits

When the U.S. Supreme Court in June struck down Harvard University’s affirmative action admissions plan, it wrote that “[e]liminating racial discrimination means eliminating all of it.” Now employers with diversity, equity and inclusion programs worry that their efforts to achieve a diverse workplace will come under attack, too.

Ask these questions when challenging employee requests for religious accommodations

According to the Supreme Court, employers can’t justify turning down a request for a religious reasonable accommodation because of its impact on morale for co-workers who may have to pick up weekend or holiday shifts so their religious colleague can have the time off. However, nothing in the recent Groff v. DeJoy decision says employers can’t challenge up front whether an employee is eligible for religious accommodations.

A matter of morals … or discrimination? Expect more cases claiming ‘expressive association’

The Supreme Court ruled in June that a Colorado web designer could decline to develop sites celebrating same-sex weddings based on her First Amendment expressive freedom of association. Now a different employer—a Catholic school—is trying to argue it has the right to “expressive association” in the employment context, able to reject applicants or fire employees who don’t live up to its views on moral behavior.

EEOC finding novel ways to drive industry change

Not content just to punish discrimination, the EEOC is seeking ways to increase employment opportunities for members of protected classes.