Category: Title VII

LGBT Discrimination is Unlawful

LGBT-Discrimination-Unlawful-Supreme-Court

U.S. Supreme Court Holds LGBT Discrimination in the Workplace is Unlawful.

Firing Gay, Lesbian, or Trans Employees Based on Their Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity is Unlawful Under Title VII!

On June 15, 2020, the United States Supreme Court published its decision in Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia, a landmark case for LGBTQ employees. The Court held that employment discrimination based upon an employee’s sexual orientation or gender identity is unlawful under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This decision is a major victory that will extend protection against employment discrimination to millions of LGBT workers throughout the United States.

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Wrongful Termination Damages and Settlements

Wrongful Termination Settlements Ohio

What are the damages and employee can recover or settlement can an employee get if you sue your employer in Ohio for an employment law violation?    

The answer to this question will depend on the type of legal claim you bring.  For example, discrimination lawsuits have different damages available if it involves a hostile work environment or a wrongful termination. Also, discrimination under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) has different damages than discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

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“Sleeping Her Way to the Top”: How Female Employees May Have a Claim for Sex Discrimination Under Title VII Based on False Rumors About Sleeping With a Supervisor

Successful women, especially in male-dominated professions, are well-acquainted with this accusation. It’s humiliating on numerous levels, but perhaps most damaging is the suggestion that the woman didn’t actually earn the position she achieved. Continue reading ““Sleeping Her Way to the Top”: How Female Employees May Have a Claim for Sex Discrimination Under Title VII Based on False Rumors About Sleeping With a Supervisor”

What is a wrongful termination in violation of public policy claim in Ohio?

wrongful termination attorney columbus ohio

I think I’ve been wrongfully terminated. What do I need to prove in order to bring a wrongful termination in violation of public policy claim under Ohio law?

Ohio is an at-will employment state. Unfortunately, this means that for the vast majority of employees, their employer may terminate them for any reason or even no reason at all. However, there are exceptions to this general rule. A claim for wrongful termination in violation of public policy arises where the employee is fired under circumstances that violate certain laws put in place to protect public health and safety.

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Cat’s Paw Theory: Can a Company be held liable if the discriminating supervisor and the individual(s) who made the decision to terminate are different?

Traditional discrimination or retaliation claims involves the employer taking the discriminatory or retaliatory action. Often times companies will try to create an independent process for terminating an employee to avoid liability. For example: an employee receives several disciplinary write-ups. After a certain amount of write-ups, Human Resources becomes involved. At large companies, the HR Representative may have never met the individual. After review the write-ups, HR determines to terminate the individual. Companies then argue, how could the termination be discriminatory or retaliatory if the individual making the decision has never even met the employee being terminated? Clever. But so are Judges.
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Is there protection under the law for discrimination/retaliation based on Sexual Orientation (Gay, Lesbian, Bi-Sexual, Transgender)?

As a plaintiff’s side employment lawyer (employee side) I have an unmatched sense of fulfillment when I am able to provide advice or assistance to an individual or group of individuals that are standing up to their employer for what they know is right and for what the law says is wrong. Conversely, I often consult with employees in awful employment situations that have no legal redress. It pains me to tell an individual that, although his/her situation is clearly wrong, the law does not recognize it as unlawful. The two most commons situations that arise are (1) workplace bullying and (2) discrimination based on sexual orientation (discriminating against an employee because he/she is gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, or transgender). Courts, however, are beginning to signal a trend that hopefully Congress will recognize. The future will provide full protection against this conduct but we aren’t there yet. This article focuses on the current protections under the law.
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Pregnant Workers Fairness Act: Proposed Bill Extends Protection for Pregnant Women

Currently, pregnant women are a protected class under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, an Amendment to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The new bill would extend protection to female employees with pregnancy-related work limitations, forcing employers to make reasonable accommodations and preventing them from terminating pregnant women due to inhibited performance. For more information related to Pregnancy Discrimination and the proposed law visit these links:
Pregnancy Discrimination Act (Current Law)
Facts on the Pregnancy Discrimination Act
Pregnant Workers Fairness Act: Proposed Language
New York Times Article on Pregnant Workers Fairness Act

When is Third Party Retaliation an Actionable Claim?

The Supreme Court has held that an employer can be found liable for terminating an employee when that employee’s fiance has engaged in a protected activity (Opposing discrimination, complaining about harassment, etc.) under Title VII (Discrimination). So what relationship needs to exist between the Third Party and the individual engaging in the protective activity to have an actionable claim? The Supreme Court has provided a factor test: Justice Scalia suggests that there are two factors that determine whether third-party retaliation is unlawful under Title VII: 1. The nature of the relationship; and 2. The severity of the employer’s action. Thus, he states: “We expect that firing a close family member will almost always meet the Burlington standard, and inflicting a milder reprisal on a mere acquaintance will almost never do so.” Read more on Unlawful Third Party Retaliation.