Trends in workplace bias law keep employers on their toes

Posted on 02-11-2015 by
Tags: Labor Law , Trending News & Topics , Employment Law

This past year push race issues to boiling point after controversial events took place in Ferguson, MO. In an article by Lexis Nexis ® Corporate Counsel Advisory, here are some different types of bias companies should be tracking this year.

Implicit Bias

According to Peter Murphy of Shipman & Goodwin, an argument that a workplace discrimination claim can be established through evidence of implicit bias has been seeping into discrimination cases around the country.

An example of this can be seen in the case Wells-Griffin v. St. Xavier University (No. 11 C 8213 [N.D. Ill.; March 13, 2014]). In the case, the plaintiff argued that she was terminated after her supervisors repeatedly were dismissive of her concerns about her hours and other subjects. The University closed her department for budget reasons and terminated her. She argued that these instances, taken together, indicated that her supervisors adhered to “stereotypical notions that [she] was lazy, incompetent, insubordinate, uneducated, and ungrateful.”

Pregnancy Discrimination

This isn’t a new problem, but has been in the spotlight again recently thanks to the case Young v. United Parcel Service. In the case, Peggy Young ,a delivery driver at UPS, was forced to take an extended, unpaid leave of absence when she became pregnant. Why? As she was pregnant her doctor advised her not to lift more than 20 pounds, but UPS requires employees to be able to lift up to 70 pounds. Since she had no family/medical leave remaining she was forced to take the unpaid leave. She would eventually lose her medical coverage. She returned to work after the birth of her child. She then claimed discrimination based on her gender and disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA). The district court granted UPS summary judgment, and the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed.

LGBT Discrimination

With recent changes in same-sex marriages, this shouldn’t be much of a surprise. The EEOC has said that employers can’t discriminate on the basis that an employee is transgendered, or based on sexual stereotypes.

Keep Anti-Bias Policies Fluid

To avoid problems, experts advise monitoring theories that might impact your company .Regularly review policies, training and benefits so you can ensure you are keeping up with the latest laws.

To hear about other cases, read more here.

Your comment has been posted.   Close
Thank you, your comment requires moderation so it may take a while to appear.   Close