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UPS Hit With $5.3 Million Dollar Verdict In Hostile Work Environment Case

Jon Allison

Jon Allison’s Monday Blog

Last Thursday a Fayette County, Kentucky jury awarded eight African-American men $5.3 million dollars in a hostile work environment case against UPS. The plaintiffs worked for UPS in Lexington, Kentucky. At trial, evidence was presented that the plaintiffs were routinely subjected to racist comments, including the n-word, jungle bunny and porch monkey. Evidence was presented that an effigy of an African-American UPS driver was hung from the ceiling for four days. The men went to Human Resources several times to complain but things did not improve. Instead, for some, things got worse. The jury found that UPS retaliated against 2 drivers who complained by having managers conduct extended “ride alongs” as a subtle form of intimidation. The lawsuit was filed in 2014. Trial began April 4, 2016. The jury deliberated about 8 hours before rendering the verdict against UPS.

Kentucky jury awards $5.3M in UPS discrimination lawsuit …

Lexington UPS Employees Awarded $5.3 Million In Damages

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Mississippi Makes Discrimination Against LGBT Persons The Law In The Hospitality State

Jon Allison

Jon Allison’s Monday Blog

Last Tuesday Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant signed into law a bill permitting businesses, individuals and religious organizations to deny goods and services to LGBT persons if providing such goods and services would offend “sincerely held religious beliefs.” The law takes effect July 1, 2016. This move by the state prevents cities and towns from putting in place anti-discrimination protections for LGBT persons. There has been widespread criticism of the law. The Mississippi Economic Council, the ACLU and numerous other organizations have announced their opposition to the law. Elected officials in various parts of the country have banned non-essential state travel to Mississippi. Bryan Adams cancelled a concert. Some of the state’s largest employers, including MGM Resorts, Toyota, Nissan, and Tyson Foods have denounced the law. More than a dozen corporations, including Coca-Cola, GE and Whole Foods have joined with the Human Rights Campaign in calling for repeal of the law. Similar bills have been proposed and discussed in a number of states and localities, but the threat of losing business has often shut discussions down. We’ll see how this plays out.

Mississippi OKs religious freedom bill decried as anti-LGBT …

Mississippi governor signs law allowing businesses to …

States, Cities Limit Official Travel To Mississippi Over … – NPR

Why Mississippi’s New Anti-LGBT Law Is the Most …

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First Lawsuits Asserting Sexual Orientation Discrimination Filed By EEOC

Jon Allison

Jon Allison’s Monday Blog
Earlier this month, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed the first two lawsuits it has ever filed taking the position that sexual orientation discrimination is covered under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The suits were filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania and the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, Baltimore Division.
In EEOC v. Scott Medical Health Center, the EEOC is alleging that a gay male employee was subjected to harassment because of his sexual orientation when his manager repeatedly referred to him using a number of anti-gay epithets and made offensive comments about his sexuality and sex life. When the employee complained to a supervisor the supervisor said the harasser was just doing his job. The supervisor refused to take any action to stop the harassment. After weeks of harassment, the employee resigned.
In EEOC v IFCO systems, the EEOC is alleging that a lesbian employee was harassed by her boss because of her sexual orientation. The employee’s boss made numerous offensive comments and sexually suggestive gestures. The employee complained to management and called the employee hotline. Days later she was fired.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination because of sex. As the federal law enforcement agency charged with interpreting Title VII, the EEOC has concluded that harassment and other discrimination because of sexual orientation is prohibited sex discrimination. We’ll see how these lawsuits play out.
EEOC Files First Suits Challenging Sexual Orientation …

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Judges Face Age Discrimination Too

Jon Allison

Jon Allison’s Monday Blog

Judge Peter O’Connell (67 years of age) filed a lawsuit last week in Michigan challenging a Michigan rule that prevents judges 70 years of age or over from running for re-election. The age restriction was put in place in 1955. In 2014, the age restriction prevented 24 Michigan judges from seeking re-election (4% of sitting judges were 70 or older at the time). Currently, judges are the only state employees with an age restriction in Michigan. Last year two joint resolutions were introduced in the State Legislature (one in the House and one in the Senate) that would allow voters to either raise the age restriction to 75 or remove it completely. The Michigan Judges Association supports the removal of the age restriction entirely. The reality is people are living longer and are able to be productive later in life. Age restrictions like this just don’t make sense.  Find out more here.

 

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A New Rule To Address The Pay Gap

Jon Allison

Jon Allison’s Monday Blog

Last week President Obama proposed a new rule which would require companies with more than 100 employees to provide salary data by race, gender and ethnicity.  Despite efforts to address the problem, a substantial pay gap between men and women (minority women in particular) remains.  The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission already collects data from larger employers about the racial, ethnic and gender makeup of their workforces.  Collecting pay data will assist in the enforcement of equal pay laws.

 To Shine A Light On Salary Gaps, Obama Wants Companies To Disclose Pay Data

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