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L&E Evolution Part II: Discrimination

October 25th, 2018  |  Lorene Park

In the second of a series of Special Briefings by Employment Law Daily, Senior Employment Law Analyst Lorene D. Park examines the evolution of federal labor and employment laws addressing discrimination and harassment based on sex (including pregnancy), age, race, religion, national origin, immigration status, LGBTQ status, military service, and more.

Highlights of this Special Briefing include:

• Changes in the definition of “sex,” with cases on same-sex harassment and stereotypes, and a Circuit split on whether Title VII prohibits sexual orientation discrimination

• Key Supreme Court decisions, including those establishing causation standards under the ADEA and Title VII, and those clarifying basic definitions (“sex” and “supervisor,” for example)

• Hot topics, such as: drug tests and medical marijuana; social media; appearance policies and race or religion; telecommuting, service animals, and other accommodations; wellness programs; caregiver discrimination; and implicit bias, among others

• Social movements and political activities impacting perceptions of discrimination and harassment, including the #MeToo movement and Trump’s policies on immigration and transgender members of the military

• Issues involving discrimination based on “perceived” race, religion, or disability

• Difficulties employers face if employees have conflicting legal rights (the tension between accommodating an employee’s sincerely held religious belief and avoiding bias against LGBTQ employees, for example)

As with the first briefing in this series, which covered changes in the employment relationship and who can be liable as an “employer,” this Special Briefing also provides practical advice for minimizing liability under Title VII, USERRA, the ADA, the ADEA, and other federal laws, given the changing realities of the workplace.