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Tabura v. Kellogg USA, No. 16-4135 (10th Cir. Jan. 17, 2018)

The Tenth Circuit reverses summary judgment in a Title VII religious accommodation case, holding that a jury must decide both (1) whether the employer offered a reasonable accommodation to two Seventh Day Adventist employees who could not work Friday nights or Saturdays, by allowing them to swap shifts with willing co-workers; and (2) whether further accommodating their Sabbath observance would cause undue hardship.

EEOC v. Md. Ins. Admin., No. 16-2408 (4th Cir. Jan. 5, 2018)

The panel majority reverses and remands judgment for the state in an Equal Pay Act case. It agrees with the Third and Tenth Circuits that the employer's burden on its affirmative defense is to show not only that a "factor other than sex" could have motivated a pay differential, but actually did motivate it. The dissenting judge would impose a higher burden of proof on the EEOC when it enforces the EPA against a state agency, citing the Tenth Amendment.

Boswell v. Panera Bread Co., No. 16-3230 (8th Cir. Jan. 5, 2018)

Here's a nice case for the New Year: a win for a class of Panera Bread store managers who claimed that the operation cheated them out of part of their bonus, by imposing a cap on the amount that could be earned only after the program commenced. The panel majority holds that once the managers performed any service under the terms of the bonus plan, it formed a unilateral contract that the employer could not modify without consent.

Nevertheless, We Must Persist: What Roy Moore's Loss Means for Women in the Workplace

Although Doug Jones' victory over Roy Moore in Alabama last week was by the smallest of margins (Jones won by just 0.5 percent), we can view this as part of a turning tide for American working women, for women professionals, political leaders, social leaders and the great mass of female American employees who turn the cogs of our economy.

The Jones victory makes clear that women are paying acute attention and are able to use their political and social capital to change the status quo. The American public is slowly but surely beginning to understand how severe and rampant sexual assault, harassment, and discrimination is in the workplace.

Lewis v. City of Union City, Ga., No. 15-11362 (11th Cir. Dec. 15, 2017)

In the ceaseless struggle over what is meant by "similarly situated," an Eleventh Circuit splits over wheThere the plaintiff - a Black woman detective with a heart condition - presented enough evidence that two white male officers who failed a physical-fitness requirement were treated better. The case also considers, forr an ADA claim, wheThere receiving a Taser shock or pepper spraying in training was an "essential function" of the job.

Fallon v. Mercy Catholic Med. Ctr., No. 16-3573 (3d Cir. Dec. 14, 2017)

In a rare federal court of appeals opinion in this area, the Third Circuit has occasion to decide wheThere a hospital employee manifested a religious (versus an ethical) objection to getting a flu shot that would be protected by Title VII's religious-accommodation provision, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e(j).

The Double-Edged Sword of Taking Company Documents

Erhart v. Botfl Holding, Inc, No. 15 Civ. 02287, 2017 WL. 588390 (SD. Cal. Feb. 14, 2017)

Whistleblowers, like Charles Erhart, often find themselves in a tough spot when it comes to taking documents from their employer. Often these documents are confidential, proprietary, and, clearly, the employer's property. But they can also be critical to demonstrating the employer's wrongdoing. A recent decision from Califorrnia-Erhart v. Bofl Holding, Inc.- addresses thissue.

Clemens v. Qwest Corp., No. 15-35160 (9th Cir Nov. 3, 2017)

The Ninth Circuit becomes the forurth court of appeals to recognize tax gross-up awards to successful Title VII plaintiffs, which recognize (and compensate forr) the tax penalty that plaintiffs suffer when they receive lump sums of back pay in a single tax year. 

The Financial Services Sector's Not-So-Secret Gender Discrimination and Harassment Problem

Given recent headlines about Uber and Google, it might be tempting to assume that tech is the only sector still facing stubborn problems with gender discrimination, hostile work environments, and sexual harassment. That certainly isn't the case, and one only has to look at the financial services industry to see that the issue is very prevalent in many oThererr workplaces.

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