The Supreme Court unanimously holds that a lawsuit commenced by the EEOC cannot be dismissed simply based on an employer's argument that the agency did not try hard enough to conciliate the claim before filing under 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-5(b). The Court spells out the limited proof permitted on a defense of non-exhaustion, and concludes that the remedy is not dismissal, but instead remand to the agency for further settlement efforts. This decision ends a longstanding split among federal courts on this issue, deciding mostly in favor of the EEOC.
The Sixth Circuit chalks up a big win for the EEOC, affirming a jury verdict for four employees awarding compensatory and punitive damages totaling over $1.5 million. The court upholds the rule that telling a sexually-harassing supervisor to cut-it-out is protected "opposition" activity under Title VII, and will support a claim for retaliation. The opinion also highlights the kind of trouble employers can get into when they fail to treat temporary employees as a full-fledged part of the workforce.
On April 1st, the EEOC issued a groundbreaking ruling that found that the Army discriminated against a transgender civilian employee by denying her access to the women's restroom and created a hostile work environment by allowing a supervisor to intentionally misuse her former name and male pronouns.
Since July 2014, the price of oil has dropped by half. That's good for consumers' pocketbooks, but one segment of the population is facing hard times: U. S. oil industry workers. In the past few years, the boom in oil production meant that companies needed to quickly expand hiring to meet the demand for workers. The rush to hire meant that some companies did not follow wage and hour laws.
The Fifth Circuit issues yet another reminder, in today's Title VII decision, that an employer who stoutly refuses to offer any explanation for a decision to deny a promotion takes a strong chance of having to justify its actions at a jury trial.