Religious Discrimination Lawsuit Filed Against Dunkin Doughnuts

September 14, 2014

Legal news reports that a federal religious discrimination lawsuit has just been filed against Dunkin Doughnuts. According to the lawsuit, a franchise refused to hire a North Carolina man who could not work Saturdays due to his religious beliefs. The man is a Seventh Day Adventist.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits religious discrimination. This means that your employer may not discriminate against you based on your religious beliefs and may not harass you because of your beliefs. Your employer is also prohibited from retaliating against you for participating in someone else’s discrimination case.

In practical terms, this means that if your religion requires you to take certain days off to attend services or otherwise practice your faith, or wear certain clothing while in the workplace, your employer must take steps to reasonably accommodate you. This may include allowing you to take those days off or modifying dress code requirements as long as it doesn’t place an undue burden on your employer.

If you have questions about religious discrimination or believe that you may have been discriminated against based on your religious beliefs or practices, consulting with an experienced Atlanta religious discrimination lawyer is important to determine your next steps.

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Sex Discimination Case Filed Against Costco

September 8, 2014

This past week, the EEOC filed a sex discrimination case against retail giant Costco. The Title VII lawsuit alleges that Costco violated federal sex discrimination laws when it failed to protect a female employee from unwanted sexual advances made by a customer. According to the lawsuit although the woman repeatedly complained to her managers about the stalker, Costco failed to take steps to protect her.

If you have questions about sexual harassment or discrimination, or if you believe that you have been the victim of illegal conduct, consulting with a compassionate and knowledgeable Atlanta sexual harassment lawyer is important to protect you and determine your next steps.

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Policies That Have Disparate Impacts On Protected Individuals May Be Discriminatory

August 31, 2014

Workplace discrimination can occur in a variety of manners. Although employment discrimination cases often focus on intentional acts of discrimination – such as not hiring someone or firing someone because of their race or gender – policies or actions that negatively impact a protected group may also constitute discrimination. Called “disparate impact” discrimination, this type of discrimination is also prohibited.

If you believe that you have suffered any form of employment discrimination, consulting with an experienced Atlanta employment discrimination law firm is important to provide you critical legal guidance and determine your next steps.

Several recent employment discrimination cases have evaluated policies that appeared neutral but really had a disproportionately negative impact on blacks and women. These cases provide good examples of policies that appear "neutral" but may in fact constitute disparate impact discrimination.

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Religious Discrimination Lawsuit Filed Against Grocery Store

August 25, 2014

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination “because of” your religious beliefs. It also protects you from harassment based on your beliefs or religious affiliation, or retaliation if you complain abut discrimination. In addition, religious discrimination laws require that your employer make reasonable efforts to accommodate your beliefs and that your employer not impose its religious views on you or allow your co-employees to impose their values on you.

If you have questions about religious discrimination or believe that you may have been discriminated against as the result of your religious beliefs, consulting with an experienced Georgia religious discrimination lawyer is important to determine your rights and your next steps.

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Teacher Wins Reverse Race Discrimination Jury Trial

August 14, 2014

Despite significant progress in race relations, race discrimination continues to affect many work places – whether its discrimination in hiring or promoting, or having to endure offensive comments or slurs. Fortunately, Title VII prohibits employers from discriminating against their employees "because of" their race or color. That means that employers may not take your race or color, or your perceived race or color, into consideration in making employment decisions.

While Title VII was initially thought to be limited to blacks and other racial minorities, it applies to everyone and forbids employers from taking race into consideration in any employment decision. When a non-minority brings a claim, it is referred to as a “reverse discrimination” lawsuit. If you have questions about race discrimination or believe that you have suffered race discrimination at work, consulting with an experienced Atlanta race discrimination lawyer is critical to determine your next steps.

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Requiring Extra Documentation May Constitute Immigration Discrimination

August 8, 2014

A recent case out of New York highlighted an issue that is prevalent throughout the country – immigration discrimination. Immigration discrimination encompasses those situations where an employer engages in a pattern or practice of discrimination based on your immigration status.

The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), anti-discrimination provisions explicitly prohibits employers from requiring work-authorized employees (who may not yet be citizens) from requiring additional documents and proof of their employment eligibility.

If you have questions about immigration discrimination, or believe that your employer may have violated anti-employment discrimination laws, consulting with an experienced Georgia employee’s rights attorney is important to ensure your rights.

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Sexual Harassment Claims May Arise As The Result Of Workplace Affairs

July 30, 2014

Inter office affairs have several serious consequences and may result in claims of harassment or discrimination. For example, sexual harassment claims may arise where one party feels pressure to become involved in a relationship in order to maintain his or her job. A recent case evaluated the situation where a female prison employee was engaged in an affair with a male companion and she alleged that she was treated more harshly when the affair was discovered than the male.

If you have questions about sexual harassment or sex discrimination, or believe that you have been subjected to any form of workplace harassment, consulting with an Atlanta sexual harassment lawyer is critical to determine your next steps.

In the recent case, Orton-Bell v. Indiana, a woman alleged sexual discrimination after she was fired for having an affair with a co-worker. Here although the female employee was fired, the male retained his work privileges. In fact, as the result of being fired she was no longer eligible for employment with the Department of Corrections in any capacity. However the male was permitted to resign, retain his pension and continue working for the prison as a contractor.

The Department of Corrections asserted that even though the male was treated more leniently, this could be explained by the fact that he had worked there for 25 years, however, it also meant that he “should know better” than to carry on an affair.

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President Obama Signs Executive Order Prohibiting LGBT Discrimination

July 23, 2014

President Obama has just signed an executive order making it illegal to discriminate against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees of federal contractors. The executive order contains two different parts. First, it provides that it is illegal to fire or harass employees of federal contractors based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. The order also explicitly bans discrimination against transgender employees of the federal government. While the executive order only applies to transgender employees of the federal governments, this affects 24,000 companies employing nearly one-fifth of the country’s work force.

In a statement, President Obama noted, “America's federal contracts should not subsidize discrimination against the American people. I'm going to do what I can with the authority I have to act.”

If you have suffered any form of employment discrimination, including gender discrimination, consulting with an experienced Atlanta employment attorney is crucial to determine your next steps. While the executive order only applies to federal workers, other avenues of redress may exist. Further, 18 states have state laws making it illegal to fire or harass someone at work for being LGBT.

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New Pregnancy Discrimination Guidelines Issued

July 16, 2014

The federal government has just issued new, expanded, guidelines concerning pregnant workers and workplace discrimination. The new rules provide that any workplace discrimination or harassment against pregnant workers constitutes illegal sex discrimination.

The guidelines were issued in response to what the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission described as persistent “overt pregnancy discrimination as well as the emergence of more subtle discriminatory practices.”

To learn about the new guidelines or if you believe you have been subjected to any form of pregnancy discrimination it’s important to consult with a knowledgeable Atlanta pregnancy discrimination lawyer.

The new guidelines detail how the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) applies to pregnant works and makes it illegal to discriminate against based on past or prospective future pregnancies.

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Supreme Court to Hear Pregnancy Discrimination Case

July 7, 2014

The Supreme Court has just decided to hear argument concerning an significant question affecting many women across the nation: under what circumstances should an employer be required to provide “reasonable accommodations” to a pregnant employee?

Generally, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA) set forth that employers must provide reasonable accommodations for qualified individuals with disabilities. A qualified individual with a disability is an individual with any medical, physiological, or psychiatric condition that substantially limits a major life activity.

In the case going before the Supreme Court, Young v. UPS, a pregnant United Parcel Service worker, Peggy Young, requested an accommodation that she not be required to lift heavy packages. Rather than providing the accommodation, her boss told her to take unpaid leave. She has asserted that pregnant women should be treated the same as others with short-term disabilities, and that UPS should have found alternative work for her.

If you have questions about the ADA/ADAAA or require that your employer provide a reasonable accommodation, consulting with a knowledgeable Atlanta employment discrimination attorney is a good idea to provide you with skilled guidance concerning your next steps.

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Firing Employee Day After Complaining Of Sexual Harassment May Be Grounds For Retaliation

June 30, 2014

Often, workers fear complaining about work place harassment because they think they may be fired or face retaliatory conduct. The good news is that federal and state anti-discrimination laws have been written to protect employees from just that type of conduct. In fact – retaliation claims may be easier to prove than the underlying discrimination claims. Retaliation includes not only conduct such as hiring and firing, but also any negative workplace actions such as moving you to less desirable work shifts or location, or denying you deserved promotions.

If you have any questions concerning retaliation, or believe that you have been retaliated against for complaining about workplace harassment, it’s a good idea to consult with an experienced Atlanta employment retaliation attorney right away.

A recent 6th Circuit Court of Appeals case, Montell v. Diversified Clinical Services, looked at whether a female program director who was told to “resign or be fired” the day after she filed a sexual harassment claim could bring a claim for harassment.

In this instance, the court considered a few factors in determining that she could bring her claim. First, she was told to resign a day after she complained about the harassing behavior. The Sixth Circuit has previously found that temporal proximity alone can be sufficient evidence of causation, especially when adverse employment action occurs “very close in time” to protected activity. Further, where temporal proximity alone is not enough to establish causation, combining temporal proximity with other evidence of retaliatory conduct can show a causal connection. Here, not only did the alleged retaliatory action occur close in time to the protected activity, but several other actions existed support her claim. For example, her supervisor telling others that the woman had resigned from her job before she had, undermining the woman’s ability to stay employed should she wish to do so.

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President Obama Prepares To Issue Executive Order Barring Sexual Orientation Discrimination

June 26, 2014

Earlier this week President Obama issued a statement that he plans to issue an executive order barring federal contractors from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Such an order would be a significant step in granting necessary protections to lesbian, gay and transgender employee.

Last year the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), a federal law banning discrimination based on gender identity passed the Senate. However, it appears to be dead in the House. As a result, President Obama is taking steps to protect the LGBT community via executive order.

If you believe you or someone you love has been discriminated against because they are lesbian, gay or transgender, it is critical you speak to an experienced Georgia employment discrimination lawyer immediately to determine your next steps.

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