Posts About Title VII 

Supreme Court Issues Important Decision in Discrimination Case

Posted on Mar 3, 2011 in Labor and Employment

In Staub v. Proctor Hospital, the US Supreme Court just issued an important unanimous decision in this military-service-based discrimination case.  This case concerns the so-called “cat’s paw” theory of liability, under which one supervisor acts with discriminatory intent against the plaintiff, but the plaintiff is actually fired by another supervisor.  The case arose under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), which protects members of the military from workplace discrimination based on their military position or service.  The Court held...

Read More

Summary Judgment Denied in Sexual Harassment Case

Posted on Feb 28, 2011 in News of the Firm

In the case of Pascoe v. Furniture Brands International, Judge Frank Whitney in the Western District of North Carolina denied the defendants’ motion for summary judgment on plaintiff’s claims of sexual harassment today.  The case will now proceed to trial, which is scheduled for later this month.  Ann Groninger and co-counsel Joshua Van Kampen represent the plaintiffs, Pam Pascoe and Margaret Tambling, against their former employers in this case. Judge Whitney did not issue a written decision, but plaintiff’s memorandum in opposition to summary judgment well describes this...

Read More

Supreme Court Endorses Associational Retaliation Claim

Posted on Feb 8, 2011 in Labor and Employment

Late last month, in Thompson v. North American Stainless, the Supreme Court  unanimously concluded that firing a worker’s fiancé in retaliation for a sex discrimination claim filed by the worker is itself unlawful retaliation under Title VII.  The anti-retaliation provision of Title VII prohibits any employer action that “well might have dissuaded a reasonable worker from making or supporting a charge of discrimination.”  The Court had little trouble concluding that “a reasonable worker might be dissuaded from engaging in protected activity if she knew that her fiancé would...

Read More

EEOC Sees Increase in Discrimination Claims

Posted on Jan 29, 2011 in Labor and Employment

In the past year, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has seen 7.2 % in discrimination claims being filed with agency.  Coverage here.  The EEOC handles charges under Title VII, the ADA, the ADEA, the Equal Pay Act, and GINA.  EEOC Chair Jacqueline A. Berrien stated, “Discrimination continues to be a substantial problem for too many job seekers and workers, and we must continue to build our capacity to enforce the laws that ensure that workplaces are free of unlawful bias.”  Detailed statistics on the charges filed with the EEOC are available on its...

Read More

Recent Fourth Circuit Employment Decisions

Posted on Jan 13, 2011 in Labor and Employment

The Fourth Circuit has published a couple of opinions on employment law cases in recent weeks.  The first case, Bonds v. Leavitt, concerned a federal employee’s suit against the Department of Health and Human Services, which alleged Title VII claims, retaliation claims under the Whistleblower Protection Act (WPA), and unlawful termination in violation of the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978 (CSRA).  The plaintiff is a research doctor who claims she was retaliated against for opposing discrimination against African-American donors of blood lines. The Court held that, because...

Read More