Jump to Navigation

July 2014 Archives

President Obama signs LGBT Nondiscrimination Executive Order

Signaling his continued support for both workers rights and LGBT individuals, President Obama recently signed an executive order that protects federal government workers, as well as workers for federal contractors, from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.  While we await a federal law that protects all LGBT workers, this significant step towards equality comes at a time where leadership on this issue is sorely needed.

Green v. Donahoe, No. 13-1096 (10th Cir. July 28, 2014)

The Tenth Circuit addresses two issues of interest to those who regularly represent employees, especially those in the federal sector. First, the panel holds - in a widening circuit split - that a claim of constructive discharge under Title VII accrues not at the time that an employee quits, but when the last act of alleged discrimination by the employer occurs. In the federal sector, this significant because of the narrow 45-day window for complaining about discrimination. Second, the panel holds that a threatened suspension without pay may, even if it does not materialize, constitute a "materially adverse action" for a Title VII claim of retaliation.

Orton-Bell v. State of Indiana, No. 13-1235 (7th Cir. July 21, 2014)

This case presents the nice question of whether an employer violated Title VII by punishing a woman more harshly than her male counterpart for the same misconduct, i.e., jointly carrying on a workplace affair. The Seventh Circuit says that there is enough of a genuine dispute of facts to reverse summary judgment and remand for further discovery. The court also remands a claim of sex harassment, which included the extraordinary complaint that the employer tolerated employees having after-hours sexual liaisons on the plaintiff's office desk (which the panel found, notably, was not a form of sex harassment).

Abrams v. Dept. of Pub. Safety, No. 13-111 (2d Cir. July 14, 2014)

The Second Circuit reaffirms the general understanding in Title VII law that an employer that tells a minority employee seeking a transfer that he won't "fit in" to a mostly non-minority workplace raises an inference of discrimination.

Carlson v. CSX Transportation, Inc., No. 13-1944 (7th Cir. July 10, 2014)

The U.S. Supreme Court in recent terms has encouraged federal courts to weed out supposedly meritless civil claims by use of the Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim. Yet the Seventh Circuit reaffirms this week that this method is often not appropriate for Title VII discrimination and retaliation claims. The panel vacates and remands dismissal of a Title VII complaint, holding that the district court was too quick to demand facts and evidence in support of the class before discovery commenced. The court also reverses a decision holding that some of the claims were allegedly preempted by the Railway Labor Act.

Booth v. Pasco County, Florida and Int'l Assoc. of Firefighters, Local 4420, No. 12-13389 (11th Cir. July 3, 2014)

A Florida federal jury holds a union and county liable for retaliation against two employees for complaining about race discrimination. The Union argues on appeal that retaliation -- in the form of exposing the plaintiffs' names, complaint and projected cost of defense -- is constitutionally-protected free speech. The Eleventh Circuit affirms the verdict, nevertheless, holding that misleading and coercive speech amounting to a "call for reprisal" is not protected under the First Amendment.

subscribe to this blog's feed subscribe to this blog's feed

tell us about your case

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

facebook twitter linked in

our office locations

Outten & Golden LLP
685 Third Avenue, 25th Floor  
New York, NY 10017  
Phone: 212-245-1000
Map and Directions

Outten & Golden LLP
161 North Clark Street
Suite 1600
Chicago, Il 60601  
Phone: 312-809-7010
Map and Directions

Outten & Golden LLP
One California Street, 12th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94111
Phone: 415-638-8800
Map and Directions

Outten & Golden LLP
601 Massachussetts Avenue NW
Second Floor West Suite 200W
Washington, DC 20001
Phone: 202-847-4400
Map and Directions