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BT Currents - Hot Topics in Employment Law

04 Jun A Complete Overview of the NLRB’s Memorandum Regarding Social Media Policies in the Workplace

A.      Executive Summary. On May 30, 2012, the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) Acting General Counsel Lafe Solomon issued a memorandum regarding social media policies in the workplace, the third such memorandum in recent months. The memorandum provides numerous examples of employer policies that ran afoul of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), and a few examples where employers “got it right.” While it remains to be seen whether the NLRB’s interpretations are supported by the courts, employers should recognize that these policies are a…

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04 Jun EEOC Finds that Transgender Workers Are Protected by Title VII

In a landmark decision, the EEOC recently found that discrimination against transgender individuals constitutes sex discrimination in violation of Title VII. The administrative decision stems from a case where Mia Macy, a transgender individual, was denied a job as a ballistics technician by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The facts are straightforward: Macy previously was a police detective in Phoenix, Arizona. In December 2010, she decided to relocate to San Francisco. During this time frame, Macy was informed that the Bureau was…

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25 May American Bar Foundation Study Measures Fairness Perceptions in Employment Discrimination Cases

By the time an employment dispute becomes a lawsuit it may be hard for the opposing parties to see a “win-win” situation ahead, judging by a recent study that the American Bar Foundation funded. Based on research that included a sample of 1,788 employment discrimination cases and 100 interviews with plaintiff/employees and defendant/employers and their counsel, employment litigation is viewed as disruptive, disappointing, and unfair to all. For employees, the process is frustrating due to unfamiliar procedural obstacles and the substantial personal and financial toll…

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24 May Illegal Immigration Status Is Not Protected By Title VII

On May 21, 2012, the Seventh Circuit issued a decision in Cortezano v. Salin Bank & Trust Co., No. 11-1631, holding that an individual’s immigration status, by itself, was insufficient to support a national origin discrimination claim under Title VII. The case involved a bank manager whose spouse had come into the United States illegally from Mexico.  The spouse used a tax identification number (which he obtained under what the court described as murky circumstances) to open joint accounts with at the bank.  After the…

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22 May Indiana Ranks 13th In EEOC Charges Received by State

For the first time ever, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently released a state-by-state analysis of charges received.  The statistics cover 2009-2011 and the link can found here.  The top five states receiving the most charges were, in order, Texas (9952), Florida (8088), California (7166), Illinois (6098), and Georgia (5599). Commentators have noted these states’ large populations generally, as well as high numbers of individuals most vulnerable to discrimination, as contributing to the charge numbers.  Indiana ranked 13th in the number of charges filed…

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