Archives: Discrimination

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Unanimous Supreme Court Holds EEOC Must Conciliate

. . .  just not very much. Title VII was passed with a strong bias toward voluntary, non-litigation methods of dispute resolution. Indeed, the statute requires that even when the EEOC has found probable cause, the Commission “shall endeavor to eliminate [the] alleged unlawful employment practice by informal methods of conference, conciliation, and persuasion.” 42 U.S.C. … Continue Reading

Fourth Circuit Rejects EEOC Expert Report Riddled With Errors

We’ve written before on the questionable statistics used by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in other cases, and a recent court of appeals case involving background checks suggests that the EEOC is continuing to use such methods despite scathing criticism from courts. On February 20, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the … Continue Reading

Sixth Circuit Remands Memphis Title VII Disparate Impact Case, Yet Again

It’s hard not to feel sorry for the residents of Memphis, Tennessee.  Depending on which source you consult, its violent crime rate hovers between three and four times the national average, and various publications describe it as one of the top 10 most violent cities in the United States.  As we’ve commented previously, its fire department has … Continue Reading

District Judge Allows Rail Union to Side Step Rule 23 with Pattern-Or-Practice Claim

A federal district judge in Hammond, Indiana, has permitted a rail union to pursue injunctive remedies in a Title VII pattern-or-practice discrimination claim on behalf of its black members without compliance with Rule 23.  In Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees v. Ind. Harbor Belt R.R. Co., (Case No. 2:13-cv-00018, 2014 WL 4987972,October 7, 2014), … Continue Reading

Multiple Courts Criticize EEOC Behavior In Class Cases

Over the last 5 years, the EEOC has become increasingly aggressive in the bringing and pursuit of broad initiatives and, in particular, class litigation.  Cynics can debate whether this springs from a desire to make a difference or one to bully employers through litigation costs into abandoning lawful practices that are not to its liking, … Continue Reading

Michigan District Court Dismisses Disability Disparate Impact Class Claim

Plaintiffs cannot use a disparate impact theory unless challenging a facially neutral policy. Class action lawsuits alleging disability discrimination are uncommon, and those involving disparate impact claims are less common still.  This is due, in part, to the fact that unlike other types of discrimination claims, a claim of disability discrimination typically raises questions about … Continue Reading

Sixth Circuit Affirms Injunction In Strange Failure To Promote Case

Here’s a weird one. Employers originally began using standardized tests to try to find a more objective and hopefully accurate way to select the best candidates for promotion and hire.  Over time, however, such tests have also been used to avoid disputes, contractual, statutory, or otherwise, over whether they have selected the right candidate.  Put … Continue Reading

Tenth Circuit Affirms Refusal To Certify Sex Discrimination Class

Hilti, Inc. sells power equipment for use in construction sites.  A quick trip through its website (http://www.us.hilti.com) reveals tools most people wouldn’t have in their home workshops, such as 1100-watt demolition hammers, gas-powered fasteners, and cordless drywall screwers.  Given this product mix, as one might expect, an important part of its sales consists of direct … Continue Reading

Seventh Circuit Reverses Certification of Construction Workers’ Race Discrimination Classes 
Based Upon Wal-Mart

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, in an opinion written by Chief Judge Frank Easterbrook, reversed an Order certifying two multi-site classes of black construction workers alleging race discrimination based upon the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Wal-Mart Stores v. Dukes, 131 S. Ct. 2541 (2011).  In Bolden v Walsh Construction.pdf, (No. … Continue Reading

Court Dismisses Class Race Claims for Failure to Raise in Charge

Illinois District Court Refuses to “Supersize” Race Discrimination Claims Against McDonald’s In this day and age when discrimination lawsuits are commonplace, it is all too easy to forget that Title VII was passed in the hopes that discrimination claims could and would be resolved outside of court.  When Congress enacted Title VII, it expressly included … Continue Reading

Pattern-or-Practice Claim Doesn’t Trump Arbitration Agreement – Karp v. CIGNA Healthcare Inc.

Once again a court has been required to consider whether a federal statutory claim might limit the reach of the Federal Arbitration Act, 9 U.S.C. § 1 et. seq. (“FAA”), and prevent arbitration of an individual discrimination claim.  This twenty-two-page decision reflects the on-going struggle by plaintiffs to discover potential exceptions to the U.S. Supreme … Continue Reading

Court Dismisses EEOC ADA Class Action Complaint Under Twombly

A recent decision from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois contains three important lessons for employment class action litigation. The first is that disability cases, such as those under the Americans with Disabilities Act, are particularly hard to prosecute as a class. The second is a reminder that the parties, even if the … Continue Reading
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