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Archives for July 2016

Randy Freking Invited to Roundtable Discussion with Secretary of Labor, Tom Perez

Freking Myers & Reul

UPDATE:  Live feed of the roundtable discussion will begin at 11:30 a.m.  Follow this link:

https://www.facebook.com/InnovationOhio/

On Wednesday, July 20, United States Secretary of Labor, Tom Perez, will hold an open press round table discussion concerning local and national efforts to advance paid family leave. Secretary Perez will be joined by Ohio lawmakers, business owners, workers that are impacted by paid leave, and Randy Freking of Freking Myers & Reul.

The event will take place at Union Hall in Cincinnati (1311 Vine Street) from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

As a participant in the roundtable discussion, Randy will share his belief that paid family leave is good for business by recruiting and retaining outstanding employees. “The shame of the Family and Medical Leave Act is that it only provides 12 weeks of job protection and, worse, does not require that employees be paid during their medical leave. At our firm, we provide for paid leave of at least 90 days and it has resulted in an outstanding record of employee retention. It’s the right thing to do.”

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The EEOC’s Landmark Sexual Orientation Discrimination Settlement

Elizabeth Newman Law Clerk at Freking Myers & Reul

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission interprets sex discrimination to include discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Although this position has not always found support in court, the EEOC filed two lawsuits this spring to enforce its interpretation. Jon Allison blogged about it here.

Late last month, the EEOC settled one of these landmark cases. In EEOC v. Pallet Companies d/b/a IFCO Systems, the EEOC alleged that an employee was harassed by her supervisor because of her sexual orientation and that she was fired in retaliation for complaining to her employer. The settlement agreement requires the employer to pay $182,200 in damages to the employee, as well as $20,000 to the Human Rights Campaign.

According to EEOC General Counsel David Lopez, this settlement was the first resolution of a lawsuit challenging sexual orientation discrimination under Title VII. Even though a court did not weigh in on the matter, this historic settlement could indicate that the EEOC’s interpretation is gaining ground. The EEOC received 1,181 complaints of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation last year—a number almost certain to grow. The other lawsuit filed by the EEOC asserting sexual orientation discrimination is still pending in Pennsylvania.

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