Monday, January 23, 2017

That is SO last week

Last week, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals was asked to overturn its own precedent in a case involving discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. The case was brought by an advertising executive who alleged that his supervisor discriminated against him because he is gay. The EEOC has recently taken the position that, although sexual orientation is not specifically protected in Title VII, the prohibition against discrimination “because of . . . sex” should extend to discrimination because of sexual orientation. After oral argument, it was unclear what the Second Circuit will do, although there was speculation that the case might be remanded to the lower court to clear up some procedural issues. As we await the outcome of this case, we are also watching for the Seventh Circuit’s opinion in a similar case that could signal an expansion of the protections of Title VII.
  • The Department of Labor sued Oracle for allegedly paying white men more than other employees and discriminating against non-Asian job applicants when hiring for technical roles.
  • The EEOC released detailed reporting of its 2016 enforcement and litigation data including statistics detailing LGBT charges.
  • The EEOC sued Walmart, alleging the retail giant discriminated against an employee with Down syndrome.
In Other News
  • Effective January 22, employers must use the revised Form I-9 to verify the identity and work eligibility of every new employee hired.
  • The number of wage and hour class action suits dipped in 2016, but employers should anticipate more suits in 2017.
  • Uber agreed to pay $20 million to resolve Federal Trade Commission charges that it recruited prospective drivers with exaggerated earnings and financing claims.
  • Starbucks is expanding parental leave benefits for both baristas and non-store employees, now including fully paid leave for birth mothers and unpaid leave for fathers and non-birth parents.