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Today, the PLUS Blog, published by the Professional Liability Underwriting Society, features a guest post by Robert G. Chadwick, Jr. regarding the four-year legal legacy of the #MeToo movement. Robert G. Chadwick, Jr. frequently speaks to employers and non-profit organizations regarding labor & employment issues. To contact him for a speaking engagement please e-mail him at rchadwick@realclearcounsel.com.   READ POST
On Sept. 1, 2021, the legal landscape surrounding sexual harassment in the workplace will shift dramatically for employers in Texas. New laws (S.B. 45 and H.B. 21) effective that date will provide sexual harassment victims more options than currently exist under federal or Texas law. How is Sexual Harassment Addressed Under Federal Law? Title VII of of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”) covers any employer (1) who has 15 or more employees for each working day in each of twenty or more calendar weeks in the current or preceding calendar year; and (2) any agent…
Benjamin Franklin once said: “It takes many good deeds to build a good reputation, and only one bad one to lose it.” In the age of social media, wokeness, and cancel culture, the ease and speed with which a business’ good will can be compromised is demonstrated by two recent events involving off-duty conduct by employees. Christian Cooper/Facebook Amy Cooper In May 2020, Amy Cooper, who is white, dialed 911 during a verbal confrontation in New York City’s Central Park with Christian Cooper, who is black. Mr. Cooper recorded and posted the encounter on Facebook. The video quickly went viral…
The Summer 2021 Edition of Professional Liability Defense Quarterly, published by the Professional Liability Defense Federation, features an article by Robert G. Chadwick, Jr. entitled “LGBT V. Religion: Tough Questions Ahead for The Supreme Court.” READ ARTICLE Robert G. Chadwick, Jr. frequently speaks to employers and non-profit organizations regarding labor & employment issues. To contact him for a speaking engagement please e-mail him at rchadwick@realclearcounsel.com.…
I. Introduction: Late last week, 117 hospital workers sued Houston Methodist Hospital in a Montgomery County, Texas court, challenging the hospital’s requirement that they get the COVID-19 vaccine as a condition of continued employment, unless they had a medical or religious excuse. The lead plaintiff, Jennifer Bridges, was a registered nurse at the hospital and objected to being vaccinated on the grounds that the vaccine is still experimental and that workers were being used as human guinea pigs to test an unproven vaccine. One issue, is that COVID-19 vaccines have been approved for Emergency Use Authorization (“EUA”) only, but are…
Currently, there is no federal law banning hair style discrimination in the workplace. Federal jurisprudence is otherwise split on the issue of whether employment policies banning certain African-American hairstyles violate Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”). EEOC v. Catastrophic Management Solutions This split was evident in the December 2017 en banc decision of the Eleventh Circuit in EEOC v. Catastrophic Management Solutions. The employer had a policy of refusing employment to anyone, black or white, who used an “excessive hairstyle”, a category that included dreadlocks. Suit was brought by an African American female who had…
Discrimination Based on Sex Includes Sexual Orientation: As noted in a previous post on this blog, Texas has recently recognized sexual orientation as a protected class of individuals under federal and state law. These individuals will now enjoy protection from discrimination and harassment in the workplace based on sexual orientation under both Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”) and the Texas Commission on Human Rights Act (“TCHRA”). In Tarrant County College v. Sims, No. 05-20-00351-CV, 2021 WL 911928 (Tex. App. – Dallas March 10, 2021), for the first time, a Texas Court concluded that the…
Workplace injuries necessitating time-off from work can implicate multiple laws: the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”); the Family & Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”); any applicable state or local disability discrimination law, any applicable state or local workplace leave law, and a state worker’s compensation law. Some of the most common and costly mistakes by employers occur while attempting to navigate the intersections of these overlapping laws. In Ramji v. Hospital Housekeeping Systems LLC, the employer’s mistake was treating an employee’s workplace knee injury solely as a worker’s compensation claim, and not advising the employee of her rights under the…
On March 16, 2021, a gunman in Atlanta shot and killed 6 Asian-American women. The shooter’s motive is still under investigation, but Asian-American hate in the wake of COVID-19 was nevertheless thrust to the forefront of the public consciousness. Historical Review As many Asian-American and Pacific Islanders (“AAPIs”) already know, bias was a fact of life long before COVID-19. Over the years, surveys have confirmed that, amongst ethnic groups, AAPIs rank at or near the highest rate of perceived race discrimination at work. According to a 2005 Gallup survey, for instance, 30% of AAPIs said they perceived discrimination on-the-job.…
The Texas Commission on Human Rights Act (“TCHRA”) is the state counterpart of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”). Both the TCHRA and Title VII prohibit discrimination in employment “because of … sex.” Last year, in Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia, the U.S. Supreme Court held Title VII’s prohibition on discrimination “because of sex” prohibits an employer from failing or refusing to hire or from firing an individual for being homosexual or being a transgendered person. On March 10, 2021, in Tarrant County College District v. Sims, Texas’ Fifth Court of Appeals similarly…