Seltzer Chadwick Soefje & Ladik, PLLC

Seltzer Chadwick Soefje & Ladik, PLLC Blogs

Latest from Seltzer Chadwick Soefje & Ladik, PLLC

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…
Even before the Supreme Court ruled in Obergefell v. Hodges that the right to marry is guaranteed to same-sex couples by the U.S. Constitution, a conflict had been brewing between religious traditionalists and LGBT advocates. As more LGBT individuals opened up about their sexual preferences and identities, religious traditionalists became more vocal about their beliefs regarding gender and sexuality. Predictably, this conflict spilled into the courts with workplace disputes pitting religious freedom against LGBT rights. The following is only a sampling of some of these disputes: A funeral employee was terminated after transitioning from male to female. The funeral home owner…
Federal courts have long struggled with the “unique species of group litigation” created by the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”). 7B Charles Alan Wright, Arthur R. Miller & Mary Kay Kane, Federal Practice and Procedure § 1807 (2007). “Unlike other employment-discrimination class suits under Title VII or the Americans with Disabilities Act that are governed by Rule 23 [of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure], actions on behalf of individuals claiming that employers violated the FLSA are brought as ‘collective actions’ under the statute.” Id. The FLSA says an action may “be maintained against any employer … in any Federal or…
Introduction Healthcare workers, as well as other employees who have close contact with members of the public, may be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 to maintain a safe and healthy workplace. To date, SARS-CoV-2 (the coronavirus that causes the disease known as COVID-19) is responsible for more than 400,000 deaths in the United States. The pandemic continues to rage across the country as more cases are reported and more infectious strains identified.  Vaccines to combat the Coronavirus (the “Virus”) are taking time to distribute to Americans, and scientific evidence indicates that new strains of the Virus may be more infectious…
Today, the PLUS Blog features a guest post by Robert G. Chadwick, Jr. regarding the challenges faced by employers and professionals in presenting expert testimony and other evidence in an era where Americans increasingly value beliefs over facts. READ POST Robert G. Chadwick, Jr. frequently speaks to non-profit organizations regarding labor & employment issues. To contact him for a speaking engagement please e-mail him at rchadwick@realclearcounsel.com…