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Finally, a Study that Clearly Shows Pay Gap Between Male and Female Doctors

After years of study and training to become highly educated health professionals, female doctors often find they don't earn the same as their male colleagues. Unfortunately, that's not a new revelation, but data spotlighting the pay disparity has been difficult to collect and routinely challenged as flawed by critics and defense lawyers. Until now.

A new study published by JAMA Internal Medicine may be the first to overcome those hurdles and withstand such attacks, providing long-overdue support in the fight for pay equity for women physicians.

Ortiz v. Werner Enterprises, Inc., No. 15-2574 (7th Cir. Aug. 19, 2016)

In a bid to restore common sense to the adjudication of Title VII and other employment cases, a panel of the Seventh Circuit (with the acquiescence of the full court) decisively overrules both the "convincing mosaic" and "direct vs. indirect" methods of proof. It urges instead the straight-forward application of the anti-discrimination standard: whether the plaintiff "would have kept his job if he [or she] had a different ethnicity, and everything else had remained the same."

Dodd-Frank Act Gives Corporate Whistleblowers a Sword, a Shield, and a Cloak

Stories of corporate greed, cover-ups, and corruption make headlines nearly every day. Scandals at Enron, AIG, Madoff Securities, and elsewhere rocked the investment world to the point that we almost take such violations in stride. What we shouldn't take for granted, however, is the critical role of the courageous whistleblower who exposes the wrongdoing, often at great personal risk.

But just who can be a whistleblower and how do U.S. laws encourage people to come forward while protecting them from retaliation?

ABA Adopts Ethics Rule to Prohibit Discrimination and Harassment... and It's About Time

In a Monday session during the American Bar Association's annual meeting in San Francisco this past weekend, the ABA House of Delegates voted to approve a change to the Model Rules of Professional Conduct that will make it an ethical violation for attorneys to harass or discriminate in the course of their practices.

Heinsohn v. Carabin & Shaw, P.C., No. 15-50300 (5th Cir. Aug. 9, 2016)

The Fifth Circuit reverses summary judgment in a pregnancy discrimination case, decided under the Texas Commission on Human Rights Act ("TCHRA"). The panel holds that the plaintiff presented a genuine dispute of material fact about each of two reasons that the employer - a law firm - gave for her termination. The opinion reminds employers that simply keeping records of an employee's supposed violations is not enough to avoid a trial, and that the plaintiff's own testimony about the records deserves equal dignity.

Trump to Sexual Harassment Victim, "You're Fired!"

Donald Trump makes us cringe, but like a stopped clock, he's right once in a while.  He says a woman who experiences workplace sexual harassment should find another job, or even another career. All too often, that is exactly what happens.   Allow us to explain.

We practice employment law on the side of the employee.  While every person's situation is different, we see disturbing patterns, many of them present in the recent Gretchen Carlson/Roger Ailes lawsuit, which showcase an American work culture we hoped we had left behind decades ago. 

Concreteness and Spokeo - The Supreme Court's Decision Really Doesn't Do What Employers Say It Does

When the U.S. Supreme Court delivered its opinion in Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins last May, employers, as well as the companies that provide employers with job applicants' background information, argued that the ruling was a significant change to the law of standing. Despite the smokescreen they've attempted to raise, however, Spokeo hasn't changed standing at all, and consumers (including jobseekers) are just as empowered to seek redress for Fair Credit Reporting Act violations today as they were before.

Despite Increasing Driver Demand, Women Suffer Persistent Harassment and Discrimination in the Trucking Industry

The U.S. trucking industry is a paradox. With a growing shortage of drivers, trucking companies desperately need to put more people behind the wheel. At the same time, an increasing number of women are looking to enter the industry, eager for the opportunity. Instead of being welcomed, however, many encounter a hostile work environment, including egregious sexual harassment.

Hively v. Ivy Tech Community College, No. 15‐1720 (7th Cir. July 28, 2016); Ortiz-Diaz v. United States Dep't of Housing and Urban Dev., No. 15-5008 (D.C. Cir. Aug. 2, 2016)

The dubitante judicial opinion affirms a result, but casts suspicion on the underlying law or basic fairness of the decision. Two recent, split Title VII opinions fall into this category. The Seventh Circuit declined to overrule its decades' old precedent holding that Title VII does not cover sexual-orientation discrimination, and the D.C. Circuit applied its case law that denials of lateral transfers are generally not "adverse employment actions." Yet both opinions sow the seeds for future challenges to these questionable and unfair outcomes.

Job Protection Must Be Part of Any Family Leave Laws

For the first time in national politics, paid family leave has become an election issue.  The issue has also gained some traction at the state level.  Four states - California, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and most recently, New York - have enacted their own legislation. Large employers, particularly those in Silicon Valley, are now offering generous paid parental leave policies.

While this progress should be applauded, there is much still to be done to protect new parents in the United States, the only industrial nation in the world that does not guarantee its workers paid family leave.

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