State & Local Employment Law Developments: Q3 2020

State and local governments are increasingly regulating the workplace. Although it is not possible to discuss all state and local laws, this update provides an overview of recent and upcoming legislative developments to help you and your organization stay in compliance. (Please note that developments specifically related to COVID-19 are not included.) This quarter, state and local legislatures were particularly active in passing laws addressing employee classification, sexual harassment training, lactation accommodation, criminal background inquiries and a variety of unpaid and paid leaves.

For the full alert, visit the Faegre Drinker website.

As Hair Discrimination Bans Grow, New York City Seeks Public Comment on Proposed Rule

July 3, 2020, marked the one-year anniversary of California becoming the first jurisdiction in the country to pass the Create a Respectful and Open Workplace for Natural Hair (CROWN) Act, prohibiting discrimination based on natural hairstyles and textures. One year later, many more jurisdictions have followed suit.

The CROWN Act is now law in seven states – California, New York, New Jersey, Virginia, Colorado, Washington and Maryland – and eight additional states have either pre-filed, filed or formally stated an intent to introduce their own bills outlawing hair discrimination, including Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and South Carolina. On August 11, Nebraska also passed a bill but was promptly vetoed by the governor. A further 15 states introduced bills that failed to move through the legislature before the end of the legislative session. Companion bills were also introduced in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives in late 2019.

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No Reprieve: New Title IX Regulations Take Effect as Scheduled

Educational institutions hoping for a last-minute reprieve from the new Title IX regulations scheduled to go into effect August 14 are out of luck. Earlier this week, the Southern District of New York denied a nationwide preliminary injunction sought by the state of New York to delay implementation of the new regulations (State of New York, et al. v. United States Department of Education, et al.).

And, just days later, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) defeated another preliminary injunction motion filed by 17 states and the District of Columbia in federal court in Washington, D.C. (Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, et al. v. Elisabeth DeVos, et al.). A third preliminary injunction motion is pending in the District of Massachusetts — however, earlier this month, the court there denied a motion to expedite a hearing, stating that “a prompt September hearing is fully appropriate.”

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Tenth Circuit Ruling Shows Bostock’s Impact on Title VII Employment Litigation

In the wake of the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling in Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia, which extended federal statutory protections to the LGBT community, many have wondered how that decision might impact other employment litigation under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The Tenth Circuit’s recent decision in Frappied v. Affinity Gaming Black Hawk, LLC, No. 19-1063 (10th Cir. 2020), suggests that, following Bostock, courts may begin to recognize new claims or even reconsider prior limitations on Title VII’s scope.

For the full alert, visit the Faegre Drinker website.

State & Local Employment Law Developments: Q1/Q2 2020

State and local governments are increasingly regulating the workplace. In the first and second quarters of 2020 alone, legislatures were particularly active in passing laws addressing sexual harassment training, discrimination including hair discrimination, criminal background inquiries, salary history, and a variety of unpaid and paid leaves. Although it is not possible to discuss all state and local laws, this update provides an overview of recent and upcoming legislative developments to help you and your organization stay in compliance. (Please note that developments specifically related to COVID-19 are not included in this update.)

Continue reading “State & Local Employment Law Developments: Q1/Q2 2020”

Supreme Court Decides Bostock v. Clayton County, Altitude Express, Inc. v. Zarda, and R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes, Inc. v. EEOC

On June 15, 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court decided three cases, holding that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-2, bars discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and transgender identity.

In each of the three cases, an employee was fired shortly after revealing that he or she was homosexual or transgender. Each plaintiff brought suit under Title VII, alleging unlawful discrimination on the basis of sex. The Eleventh Circuit held that Title VII does not protect against discrimination in employment on the basis of sexual orientation, while the Second Circuit held that it did. The Sixth Circuit held that Title VII protects against discrimination on the basis of transgender identity.

For the full alert, visit the Faegre Drinker website.