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The Legal Stuff
BT Currents - Hot Topics in Employment Law

06 Jun Sixth Circuit Looks to Seventh and Ninth Circuits in Reviving Firefighters Title VII Suit against Union

On June 1, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit joined the Seventh and Ninth Circuits in holding that the standards governing a duty of fair representation claim (i.e., a duty held by unions to represent all employees in good faith, and without discrimination) do not govern Title VII discrimination claims against a union.    In Peeples v. City of Detroit, a group of Detroit firefighters brought suit against their union alleging disparate-treatment race and national origin discrimination in violation of Title VII. …

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01 Jun In a Culture of Inclusiveness, Don’t Overlook Age

Age is the one protected class where everyone – eventually – is included. Yet as the #MeToo movement stays in the spotlight and implicit (and explicit) racial bias continues to capture headlines, it’s easy for age discrimination issues to fly under the radar.   But if you think age discrimination isn’t a big concern in today’s workplace, think again. The following examples illustrate how hiring is becoming the new battleground for age discrimination claims:   The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and a major restaurant…

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31 May Simple Reminders For Developing Healthy Workplace Culture

All work environments develop their own workplace cultures, regardless of company size or industry. The role of culture, when consciously shaped and reinforced, is to bring consistency to the work environment through clear expectations.  Workplace cultures shape, reflect, and sustain business values and ethics, and condemn harassment and discrimination.  This is often accomplished through the physical environment of the office (i.e. open door policy); strong workplace policies prohibiting sexual harassment and discrimination; workplace training; and a complaints process that protects employees from retaliation.   Despite…

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29 May Workplace Culture 2.0: More Leadership, Less Management

Title VII is not a “civility code.”   Although the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964 outlaws discrimination in the workplace, it does not outlaw bad behavior. It does not require us to each to treat coworkers respectfully. It does not compel us to be inclusive, or tolerant, or kind.   When the U.S. Supreme Court cautioned in a 1998 sexual harassment case that Title VII is not a “civility code,” it underscored the constraints of our country’s seminal anti-discrimination law. The law has its…

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24 May Letter C: Co-Workers With Criminal Records? Your Workforce May Be More Open-Minded Than You Think

Letter C is coming at you with a double-punch: Are employees comfortable with their Co-workers having Criminal records?  At least one survey indicates that the answer is yes.   A recent survey commissioned in part by the Society for Human Resource Management finds that a majority of workers say they are willing to work with individuals with criminal records.  The survey aptly notes that, as unemployment continues to decrease, individuals with criminal records might serve as a previously overlooked labor pool.  The survey also found…

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