Recent laws in North Carolina and Mississippi and the subsequent backlash are all over the news.  The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Ogberfell v. Hodges making gay marriage legal across the country is not even a year old.  The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals very recently rule in favor of the right of transgender high school students to use bathrooms for the gender with which they associate.  LGBTQ rights are at the forefront like never before.  Employment discrimination is no exception.  The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) has recently filed two separate suits in Pennsylvania and Maryland district courts challenging the long-held belief that Title VII does not protect against discrimination based on sexual orientation.
Continue Reading Does Title VII Protect Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination? The Answer May Be Changing

As HR professionals, we often think about how to prevent domestic violence from spilling over into workplace violence, through the use of workplace violence policies, domestic violence response teams, and “no guns in the workplace” policies.

You may not, however, have given much thought as to how to prevent discrimination and retaliation against victims of domestic violence who are employed by your company, or who have sought employment with your company.  This issue is crucially important to victims of domestic violence; when they lose their jobs, or fail to obtain employment, they lose the ability to be economically independent, and oftentimes then remain controlled by their abuser.  This issue is also critically important to employers, who may inadvertently subject themselves to liability if they are not aware of the federal, state, and local laws that protect the victims of domestic violence from discrimination and retaliation.
Continue Reading How To Prevent Discrimination And Retaliation Against Domestic Violence Victims–Part I

You may have seen a recent news item about a woman who claims her supervisor told her to “change your bra, or you don’t have a job.”  No, this is not one more episode of sexual harassment in the workplace.  Instead, it is a somewhat awkward, perhaps amusing (at least for those not involved), definitely unique workplace situation – another example of why being an HR professional is never boring. 
Continue Reading “Lose Your Bra or Lose Your Job”