On February 15, 2024, California lawmakers introduced the bill AB 2930. AB 2930 seeks to regulate use of artificial intelligence (“AI”) in various industries to combat “algorithmic discrimination.” The proposed bill defines “algorithmic discrimination” as a “condition in which an automated decision tool contributes to unjustified differential treatment or impacts disfavoring people” based on various protected characteristics including actual or perceived race, color, ethnicity, sex, national origin, disability, and veteran status.
Continue Reading California Seeks to Regulate Employer Use of AI

On December 6, 2023, the US Supreme Court heard arguments for Muldrow v. City of St. Louis, which may have significant implications for discrimination cases under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. Specifically, the Supreme Court in this case could clarify whether Title VII of the Civil Rights Act requires a clear showing of significant disadvantage or tangible harm to have an actionable claim.
Continue Reading The Potential Impacts of Muldrow v. City of St. Louis On The Limits of Workplace Discrimination Allegations

Tyson Foods, Inc. (“Tyson”) is no stranger to religious accommodation lawsuits over the impact of its COVID-19 vaccine mandate given its continued efforts to operate through the height of the pandemic in 2021—but the battle just heated up with a proposed class action complaint filed in the Eastern District of Arkansas.
Continue Reading COVID Vaccine Class Action Reminds Employers to Individually Consider Accommodations

The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) recently published a final rule titled “Pre-enforcement Notice and Conciliation Procedures.” This rule rescinds the evidentiary standards from the 2020 rule titled “Nondiscrimination Obligations of Federal Contractors and Subcontractors: Procedures to Resolve Potential Employment Discrimination,” which required specific pre-determination notice requirements and certain evidentiary standards. In a blog post, the OFCCP explains that the “new final rule restores flexibility to OFCCP’s pre-enforcement and conciliation procedures, promotes efficiency in resolving cases, strengthens enforcement and promotes alignment of the standards of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.”
Continue Reading OFCCP Publishes Final Rule on Pre-Determination Requirements and Conciliation

On June 30, 2023, the U.S. Supreme Court in 303 Creative, LLC v. Elenis held that the First Amendment prohibits Colorado from compelling a website designer to engage in expressive conduct that conflicts with her beliefs.
Continue Reading Supreme Court Says First Amendment Permits Wedding Website Designer to Deny Services to Same-Sex Couples Despite State Antidiscrimination Law

As discussed in prior blog posts, here, here, and here, pay equity is a hot topic for employee retention and compliance. This principle of equal pay for equal work has been mandated since the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and reiterated in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. More recently, legislators at the federal, state, and local level have increased their focus on pay equity and pay transparency initiatives.
Continue Reading Pay Equity Claims Are on the Rise – How Are Courts Interpreting the Differences in State and Federal Laws?

Virginia joined the list of states limiting employers’ ability to include confidentiality and non-disparagement provisions in employment agreements for matters related to sexual harassment. But the law’s scope seems limited, and does not appear to apply to post-employment severance agreements.
Continue Reading Virginia, Too – Increased Restrictions on Employee Confidentiality Provisions Related to Sexual Harassment Claims

In Hamilton v. Dallas County, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 223831, 2020 WL 7047055, at *2 (N.D. Tex. Dec. 1, 2020), a federal district court judge dismissed a lawsuit by female Dallas County detention officers alleging that a gender-based decision related to weekend work schedules violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. At the root of that case was the fact that, although male and female officers received the same number of days off during a workweek, only male officers were permitted to take both weekend days off. The female officers complained about the scheduling policy, but the County maintained the policy, citing safety concerns.
Continue Reading The Fifth Circuit Mulls “Ultimate Employment Decision” Rule Under Title VII

Lost in the weeds of recent COVID-19 news is the increasing number of states and localities that have legalized medicinal and recreational use of marijuana.  Such legalization brings with it varying degrees of worker protections and employer obligations.  Philadelphia, PA and the state of Montana are two of the latest jurisdictions to add their names to the sprouting list of jurisdictions that protect not only medical use, but also recreational use of marijuana.  These protections will undoubtedly usher in a new wave of test cases and compliance questions, particularly as many workplaces shift to remote models.
Continue Reading Philadelphia and Montana Join List of Jurisdictions That Provide Protections for Recreational Marijuana Use