Depending on your perspective, the Supreme Court’s decision yesterday in Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis provided much-needed certainty to employers or dealt a serious blow to employees. The vote was 5 to 4, and the Court’s newest justice, Neil Gorsuch, authored majority decision joined by the so-called conservative justices. That
On July 27, 2017, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed the Massachusetts Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (the “PWFA”) into law. Massachusetts joined twenty-one states and Washington D.C. in providing protections to pregnant workers. The PWFA supplements Massachusetts employment discrimination law, by adding pregnant employees and employees with pregnancy-related medical conditions (including breastfeeding)
Massachusetts’ Highest Court Recognizes Employment Protections for “Qualifying Patients” under the Massachusetts Medical Marijuana Act
In a case of first impression, the Supreme Judicial Court held that an employee who is a “qualifying patient” under the Massachusetts’ 2012 medical marijuana law (“An Act for the humanitarian medical use of marijuana”) (the “medical marijuana law”) may pursue a claim for handicap discrimination under the state’s anti-discrimination
Retaliation is now the most frequently alleged basis of discrimination. The number of retaliation claims has doubled since 1998. In fiscal year 2015, retaliation accounted for nearly 45% of the claims the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission received. Despite this, the Commission had not revised its guidance on retaliation since it was first issued in 1998.
Retaliation “occurs when an employer takes a materially adverse action because an individual has engaged in, or may engage in, activity in furtherance of the EEO laws the Commission enforces.” See EEOC Enforcement Guidance on Retaliation and Related Issues. These laws include Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII), the
On August 1, 2016, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed into law the Act to Establish Pay Equity (the “Act”) which becomes effective July 1, 2018. The Act makes three significant changes to existing law. First, and most importantly, it prohibits employers from inquiring about a prospective employee’s salary history. This is a groundbreaking provision –
According to a December 2015 press release, in Fiscal Year 2014 alone, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) resolved approximately 200 charges of discrimination based on HIV status, resulting in over $825,000 for job applicants and employees with HIV who were unlawfully denied employment or reasonable accommodations. See December 1, 2015 EEOC Press Release.
On January 28, 2016, the Massachusetts Senate unanimously passed S. 2107: “An Act to Establish Pay Equity” (the “Act”), which would lower the threshold for employees to litigate gender-pay inequality claims. The Act, which would replace G. L. c. 149, § 105A in its entirety, would allow employees to discuss wages with one another and
In Green v. Brennan, the Supreme Court will decide an important procedural question involving the issue of “constructive discharge”—what is the trigger that starts the clock for filing a claim? Is it the employer’s last discriminatory act or the date of the employee’s resignation? The Justices heard argument on November 30th, and a decision is