Discrimination & Retaliation

In inspirational news, the UN’s work and labor agency, the International Labor Organization or ILO, adopted a “Violence and Harassment Convention” and “Violence and Harassment Recommendation” at the Centenary International Labor Conference in Geneva last month.


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This article was originally published on Law360.com

Developed countries across the globe are increasingly adopting and augmenting paid family leave laws, seeing such laws as a “win-win” for both employers and employees. For employees, paid family leave laws allow new parents to bond with and care for their children in the stressful and crucial initial

As previewed in our prior blog post, earlier this month Governor Gavin Newsom signed the “CROWN Act” (Create a Respectful and Open Workplace for Natural Hair) into law, making California the first state to ban discrimination against natural hairstyles associated with race. The CROWN Act takes effect on January 1, 2020.

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[With special thanks to our summer associate Lennox Mark for his contribution to this post.]

Since 2000, June has been LGBTQ Pride Month in the United States. “Pride” as it has come to be known started as a way to commemorate the Stonewall riots that occurred at the end of June in 1969. It has since morphed into a month-long celebration of inclusiveness and remembrance of the struggles faced by members of this community. Many other countries and cities around the world honor and celebrate the LGBTQ community at different times throughout the year.

As we look back at the events of the last month and in honor of continuing the conversation around US Pride, we review some of the recent strides made for equality and other potentially impactful legal developments for the LGBTQ community, including those that US and OUS employers should know about.


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Beginning in 2020, Nevada and New York City will restrict an employer’s ability to screen job applicants for marijuana use. As marijuana legalization spreads across the country, other jurisdictions will likely follow suit. Employers, especially those that recruit in Nevada and NYC, should review their drug testing and hiring practices now to stay compliant.

What it means for you

Marijuana use by employees is for the first time protected in some jurisdictions, increasing the risk of discrimination claims by applicants and employees. Employers that hire in Nevada and NYC should consider whether their current recruitment and hiring practices may unlawfully discriminate by screening out applicants who have used marijuana. Here is an overview of the new laws:


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A new employment law is coming into force on August 28, 2019 in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) in Dubai, UAE.*

Are you ready?

Some significant changes include:

  1. New provisions for secondment to a DIFC-based employer.
  2. Expanded anti-discrimination provisions, including anti-retaliation provisions, new penalties and a defense requiring the employer to take reasonably practicable

[With special thanks to our summer associate Lennox Mark for his contribution to this post.]

From coast to coast, state and local governments are debating and enacting legislation to broaden workplace protections for employee dress and grooming practices. And not surprisingly, employee complaints regarding employer grooming policies — that such policies contribute to discrimination by unduly burdening certain racial characteristics, religious beliefs or health conditions — are on the rise.

In February 2019, the New York City Commission on Human Rights issued a statement of legal enforcement guidance expanding the definition of prohibited race discrimination to include discrimination based on hairstyle. The Commission explained that workplace “grooming or appearance policies that ban, limit, or otherwise restrict natural hairstyles or hairstyles associated with Black people generally violate [local law].” By expressly including hairstyle as a protected characteristic, the Commission effectively created a new legal claim for Black employees who suffer adverse employment actions because their natural hairstyles fail to comport with previously accepted workplace rules.


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On April 10, the EEOC released its charge filing statistics for Fiscal Year 2018, which ran from October 1, 2017 to September 30, 2018. These annually disclosed statistics reveal continued trends in the employment litigation space and provide an opportunity for employers to ensure their policies and practices address issues arising in the ever-changing modern workplace.

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Less than two weeks ago we reported that all employers with 100 or more workers in the US would have until September 30 to provide the EEOC with pay data (read more here).

Then, just days later, on May 3rd, the Justice Department appealed the two rulings resurrecting the Obama-era mandate. Ironically, the appeal

All employers with 100 or more workers in the US have until September 30 to provide the EEOC with pay data as part of the annual workforce data report known as the EEO-1.

On April 25, US District Judge Tanya Chutkan accepted the EEOC’s proposal (more here) to make employers submit their 2018 pay data this fall. She also ordered the EEOC to collect a second year of pay data, giving it a choice between collecting employers’ 2017 data or making it collect 2019 data down the road. Her ruling is expected to impact more than 60,000 employers.


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