Second Circuit to Rehear Case Considering Whether Title VII Includes Sexual Orientation as a Protected Class

The Second Circuit,* (serving six districts within the states of Connecticut, New York, and Vermont) will reconsider its position, currently aligned with the vast majority of federal Circuits, that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does not include sexual orientation as a protected class.  Title VII prohibits discrimination in the employment context…

Just What is “Just Cause?”

On March 21, 2017, the North Carolina Court of Appeals issued an unpublished opinion affirming a decision of the Office of Administrative Hearings that the Department of Social Services (“DSS”) lacked “just cause” under the North Carolina Human Resources Act for dismissal of an employee for unacceptable conduct. A DSS employee was terminated for making…

Three Tips for Businesses Using Non-Competes and Non-Solicitation Agreements

In the information economy, managing employee knowledge is critical. Recent labor trends of decreasing employee tenure only heightens the importance for businesses and employers to take pro-active steps in protecting sensitive information and relationships developed in the course of business from frequent employee turnover. Regardless of industry, employment agreements such as non-competes and non-solicitation agreements…

Department of Education Sides with Transgender Student’s Allegations of Sex-Based Discrimination

On November 2, 2015, the Department of Education (the “DoE”) issued a potentially landmark decision regarding the rights of transgender students.  This decision was issued following months of investigation into allegations that Palatine High School District 211 (the “District”) discriminated against a transgender female (“Student”) on the basis of her sex.  The DoE determined that…

Are Your Independent Contractors Really Employees?

According to the Department of Labor’s (“DOL”) most recent guidance on the difference between an “employee” and an “independent contractor,” the answer to this question is likely: “Yes.” On July 15, 2015, the DOL issued an Administrator’s Interpretation on the application of the Fair Labor Standards Act’s (“FLSA”) standard used to identify employees who are…

Case Summary – EEOC v. Abercrombie & Fitch

On June 1, 2015, the United States Supreme Court issued an opinion in EEOC v. Abercrombie & Fitch Stores, Inc.  The majority opinion, authored by Justice Antonin Scalia, analyzed whether an employer must have actual knowledge of an applicant or employee’s religious belief before the protections of Title VII attach to him or her. In…

Employee Misclassification

The North Carolina Senate recently unanimously passed Senate Bill 694, entitled “Employee Misclassification Reform.”  The bill provides additional sanctions for employers that repeatedly misclassify employees as independent contractors.  Repeat offenders can be assessed a fine of up to $1,000.00 per misclassified employee.  In addition to providing sanctions, the bill will create a new division within…