Tuesday, May 30, 2017

That is SO last week

Last week, all the judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit agreed to review a suit that raises claims of sexual orientation discrimination under Title VII. The case involves a New York skydiving instructor who claims that he was fired because a customer complained about his sexual orientation. In April, a three-judge panel of the Second Circuit affirmed a lower court’s dismissal of the skydiver’s Title VII claims based on the Second Circuit’s prior decision that sexual orientation discrimination is not covered by Title VII. Only the full Second Circuit can overrule such a precedent. The Circuit’s decision to review the case may signal that the court is considering overturning its precedent.

The EEOC interprets Title VII’s prohibition on sex discrimination to forbid employment discrimination based on sexual orientation, and a growing but still small number of federal courts have agreed with that position. Earlier this year, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit became the first U.S. Court of Appeals to hold that Title VII prohibits sexual orientation discrimination. In March, a three- judge panel of the Eleventh Circuit held that Title VII does not prohibit sexual orientation discrimination, but the plaintiff has petitioned for a rehearing by the full Eleventh Circuit court, with the support of several members of Congress.

Discrimination

The EEOC asked the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to reconsider a ruling that pay discrepancies based exclusively on prior salary are not discriminatory.

The EEOC sued a California educational technology company for allegedly firing a transgender worker who accused the company of discriminatory practices on Glassdoor.com.

In the EEOC’s investigation of a gender discrimination charge against a Texas food distributor, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals allowed the EEOC to subpoena a Texas food distributor’s  personally identifiable “pedigree” information on individuals required to take a physical strength test.

Technology

Tech journalist Walt Mossberg wrote about ambient computing, predicting that computers will be so integrated in our environment within 20 years that we will be unaware that they are there.

Quartz examined working conditions for the tech industry’s non-tech workforce.

Tesla’s head of human resources is leaving the company in the midst of allegations of unsafe working conditions, discrimination and harassment, and mishandling of a union drive at a California plant.

The SHRM Blog offered advice for evaluating benefits technology.

In Other News

The administration’s new budget proposal  includes six weeks of paid family leave.

The Atlantic traced the development—and predicted the demise—of business casual dress in the American workplace.

CNBC reported on new research revealing that 71 percent of employees don’t negotiate their salaries, and that 84 percent of those who ask for more money get it.

Uber admitted that it miscalculated its commissions, shorting drivers in New York tens of millions of dollars.

Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta announced that the fiduciary rule will go into partial effect on June 9 and will be fully implemented January 1, 2018.

A Chinese company is retraining Wyoming coal miners to become wind farmers.