Monthly Archives February 2015

What Does Arkansas’ Barring of Homosexual Protections Mean Nationally?

February 25, 2015 Discrimination

Legislation recently passed in Arkansas that bans all localities in the state from passing any anti-discrimination measure protecting gay and lesbian employees in the state.  This is becoming popular in many southern states – Texas is considering a similar ban and Tennessee already approved one in 2011.  Challenges are certainly on their way, but for now, these laws are on the books.

Employers need to be very careful about reading headlines and not articles in this area, however.  While gay and lesbian rights under state law may be limited by these bills, federal protection of gays and lesbians from discrimination are strengthening...

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Age Discrimination Caseload is Dropping – What Are the Causes?

February 17, 2015 Discrimination

Report from TIME Magazine yesterday that the number of age discrimination complaints filed with the EEOC has dropped to pre-recession levels.  The author gives his own guesses as to why the drop – which started a few years ago – is occurring.

His guess is the economy, and I agree to an extent.  One good indicator of the strength of the U.S. workforce is to see how many claims are being filed; less claims mean more satisfied workers, or at least workers who can find other jobs and therefore don’t care quite as much about their last one.  However, I would argue that the chilling effect of changing laws in this area are also playing a part...

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Decision in Minnesota Proves that Age Discrimination Claims Can be Won

February 9, 2015 Discrimination

A story out of Eveleth, MN today discusses a 52 year old police Lieutenant who was passed over for a promotion to Chief.  Instead, candidates 8 years younger than him were considered and chosen.  While this is a victory for the Plaintiff, it does show the very high standard that is required of non-selection cases: the Lieutenant occupied his position (which was second only to the Chief) since 1998, and was recommended for the job by the outgoing Chief himself.  Even then, the Lieutenant had to appeal an unfavorable decision to federal court.

It’s a high bar to pass in order to win a non-selection case, but it certainly can be done.  More info from KBJR News.

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Daimler Settles Large Discrimination Suit

February 6, 2015 Discrimination

Daimler Trucks, operating a facility in Portland, OR, recently agreed to a $2.4M settlement with some of its employees over racial and national origin discrimination.  White workers were accused of sabotaging the work of minority employees, as well as much more heinous acts, like dangling a noose in front of an African-American employee and simulating the use of a whip on him.  Daimler did not admit to any wrongdoing as part of the settlement, but its checkbook did.

I have a lot of employees ask me whether filing a claim against their large employer is worth it, and whether they truly have a shot in what they see as a “David vs. Goliath” situation.  These employees are yet another example I can use to answer this question with an emphatic yes...

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