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Posts in Discrimination in the Workplace.
By Lauren Daming on September 7, 2017 at 11:34 AM

White turnaround arrow on a brick wall, showing a reversal in a decision.Over the summer, the Missouri legislature took action to invalidate or cut back two ordinances passed by the city of St. Louis, causing the city’s minimum wage to revert to the statewide minimum of $7.70 per hour and making it unlawful for cities to adopt laws that would interfere with the free-speech rights of any “alternative to abortion agency” (e.g., a pregnancy resource center) or employees with objections to abortion.

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By Camille Toney on April 5, 2017 at 12:53 PM

Two arrows facing the left and one arrow facing the left.In a landmark decision released April 4, 2017, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Title VII protection extends to sexual orientation. The Seventh Circuit has become the first appeals court to rule in such a manner, directly contradicting the recent decisions of the Eleventh and Second Circuits.

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By Audrie Howard on March 16, 2017 at 3:15 PM

Sexual orientation discrimination representation, choosing one person out of a crowdThe 11th Circuit Court of Appeals created a likely split in federal courts of appeals this week when it upheld a district court’s dismissal of a complaint alleging harassment on the basis of sexual orientation.

The 11th Circuit’s decision in Jameka Evans v. Georgia Regional Hospital rested on the ground that discrimination on the basis of an employee’s sexual orientation is not prohibited under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act (Case No. 15-15234). The plaintiff in this case, a former hospital security guard, alleged that she was harassed because she is a lesbian and because she did not conform to gender norms. As precedent for its decision, the 11th Circuit cited to a 1979 case out of the 5th Circuit (Blum v. Gulf Oil Corp., 597 F.2d 926).

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By Lauren Harris on February 24, 2017 at 3:22 PM

Male and female bathroom sign. With a new year and a new presidential administration, the restroom access debate is a hot topic again.

On Feb. 22, 2017, the Trump administration withdrew the Obama-era directive to public schools that instructed schools to permit transgender students access to restrooms and locker rooms that correspond with their expressed gender identity or risk violating Title IX’s prohibition on sex discrimination. The Trump administration clarified that its action in rescinding President Obama’s guidance was not an attack on the LGBTQ community, but an action taken on the premise that this is a state’s rights issue. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos explained in a statement: “We have a responsibility to protect every student in America and ensure that they have the freedom to learn and thrive in a safe and trusted environment…This is an issue best solved at the state and local level. Schools, communities, and families can find — and in many cases have found — solutions that protect all students.”

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By Lauren Daming on February 21, 2017 at 1:25 PM

Image of St. Louis, Missouri City HallA St. Louis city ordinance took effect Feb. 13 protecting employees against discrimination on the basis of their “reproductive health decisions.” Ordinance 70459 prohibits employers from taking any adverse employment action — such as termination or demotion — against an employee due to the employee’s decision to use drugs, devices or medical services related to reproductive health that the employer does not agree with, including contraceptives, fertility treatments or abortion.

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By Katherine Fechte on August 8, 2016 at 1:25 PM

“Married on Saturday … fired on Monday”: Seventh Circuit holds Title VII doesn’t protect against sexual orientation biasOn July 28, 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit ruled in a precedential decision that existing civil rights laws do not protect against sexual orientation discrimination. Although it was a unanimous decision, the court expressed great displeasure and conflict with the “illogical” legal structure in which “a person can be married on Saturday and then fired on Monday for just that act.”

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By Employment & Labor Practice Group on December 16, 2015 at 6:00 PM

A team of Greensfelder, Hemker & Gale attorneys obtained a unanimous jury verdict in favor of client Edward Jones and one of its supervisors on all counts in defending the investment company against a former employee’s discrimination and whistleblower claims.

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By Katherine Fechte, Kevin McLaughlin on October 30, 2015 at 4:23 PM

On Oct. 28, 2015, the Missouri Court of Appeals for the Western District held that discrimination based on sexual orientation is not prohibited under the Missouri Human Rights Act (MHRA).

James Pittman worked as a controller at Cook Paper Recycling Corp. and alleged he was harassed and eventually terminated because of his sexual orientation. Among other things, Pittman alleged that the president of Cook Paper called him derogatory names because of his sexual orientation. The trial circuit court dismissed Pittman’s claims last February, and he appealed.

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By Molly Batsch on September 23, 2015 at 6:00 PM

In a groundbreaking ruling released recently, Unknown v. Anthony Foxx, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission confirmed that allegations of sexual orientation discrimination necessarily state a claim of sex discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII).

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By Lauren Daming on June 3, 2015 at 8:53 AM

Discrimination and LawIn a concise, seven-page decision, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of a Muslim woman, Samantha Elauf, denied employment by clothing retailer Abercrombie & Fitch (“Abercrombie”) after wearing a headscarf to her interview. The plaintiff was denied employment because her headscarf violated Abercrombie’s “Look Policy” which described the image Abercrombie sought to project within its stores.

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