From Anita Hill’s allegations in the 1990s to the recent flood of allegations in the news headlines, sexual harassment has been a persistent and pervasive problem. It occurs at all levels, across all occupations. While many companies have policies addressing inappropriate and unwelcome sexual behavior in the workplace, those policies may not be enough. Continue Reading Tips on How to Proactively Address Workplace Harassment

In a landmark decision reflecting a potential turning of the tide for the LGBT community, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has become the first federal appeals court in the nation to hold that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is a form of sex discrimination prohibited by Title VII. Hively v. Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana, No. 3:14-cv-1791 (7th Cir. April 4, 2017). Continue Reading Seventh Circuit Breaks New Ground: Sexual Orientation Discrimination Prohibited by Title VII

Joining nearly all other federal circuit courts, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit has held that Title VII does not cover discrimination based on sexual orientation. Evans v. Georgia Regional Hospital, 2017 WL 943925 (11th Cir. March 10, 2017). While closing the door on Title VII sexual orientation discrimination claims, the court re-affirmed that other theories of sex discrimination, such as gender non-conformity and same-sex discrimination, remain actionable. Continue Reading 11th Circuit Joins Others in Holding Sexual Orientation Discrimination Not Covered by Title VII

In the midst of a legal, political and cultural landscape expanding the rights of LGBT individuals, the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals has held to prior precedent in reaffirming that Title VII does not prohibit sexual orientation discrimination. Kimberly Hively v. Ivy Tech Community College, __ S.Ct. __, No. 15-720 (July 28, 2016).  According to the court, though “the writing is on the wall” that sexual orientation discrimination should not be tolerated, because the writing is not in a Supreme Court opinion or Title VII, the court’s hands are tied. Continue Reading Seventh Circuit: Title VII Offers No Protection Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination

Schiff Hardin partner Tracey R. Wallace will present “LGBTQ: What Every Employer Should Know,” a webinar examining the changing landscape of federal, state, and local laws. She will prepare employers to address complaints of discrimination, issues related to the work environment, and best practices for LGBTQ employees. Continue Reading Webinar – LGBTQ: What Every Employer Should Know

California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”) prohibits discrimination, retaliation, and harassment in the workplace. Recent amendments to FEHA’s implementing regulations issued by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing include significant new obligations for employers, and clarify a range of important issues.

The amendments take effect on April 1, 2016. The full text of the amended regulations can be found here. We summarize below some of the more significant provisions. Continue Reading New Regulations Implementing California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act Go Into Effect April 1, 2016

To help employers prepare for the new year, this Alert addresses certain legislative developments in 2015 that are likely to affect employers this year under federal law as well as in Illinois, California, Florida, New Jersey, New York, Washington D.C., Georgia, Michigan and Texas. Continue Reading 2015 Legislative Developments

In a victory for franchisors, the California Supreme Court has ruled that Domino’s Pizza (Domino’s) was not liable as an employer or as a principal in a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by an employee of a Domino’s franchisee. Patterson v. Domino’s Pizza LLC, No. S204543, 2014 WL 4236175 (Cal. Aug. 28, 2014). The plaintiff worked in a Domino’s Pizza franchise store operated by Sui Juris, LLC. She claimed that shortly after she began working, her supervisor sexually harassed her whenever they worked the same shift. She complained to the franchisee, who suspended the supervisor pending an investigation. Despite the supervisor never returning to work, the plaintiff resigned and filed a lawsuit, bringing multiple claims under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) for sexual harassment, failure to prevent discrimination, retaliation, and constructive discharge, among others. Continue Reading California Supreme Court Rules Franchisor Not Liable in Sexual Harassment Claim Against Franchisee

This Alert highlights certain federal law developments as well as those occurring in Illinois, California, New York and Georgia that will affect employers in 2014. No significant employment-related statutory developments are to take effect in 2014 in Michigan or Washington, DC. Continue Reading 2014 Legislative Developments

In the second of two recent Title VII harassment cases, the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals decided that a supervisor need not have hiring or firing authority in order to create liability for failing to respond properly to a harassment complaint. Lambert v. Peri Formworks Sys., Inc., Case No. 12-2502 (7th Cir., 7/24/13). The decision comes on the heels of last month’s U.S. Supreme Court decision that clarified that a supervisor must have authority to make tangible employment decisions, such as hiring, firing and discipline, in order for that supervisor to create strict liability for the employer for his or her own harassing conduct. See [U.S. Supreme Court Defines “Supervisor” Status for Purposes of Assessing Harassment Liability Under Title VII] Continue Reading Seventh Circuit Sexual Harassment Decision Highlights Importance of Employee Training