Where is the impact of alleged employment discrimination? That is the question when evaluating whether a remote worker can assert claims under the New York State Human Rights Law (“NYSHRL”) and New York City Human Rights Law (“NYCHRL”), according to a recent decision by U.S. District Judge Edgardo Ramos. Relying on state law, Judge Ramos concluded that the basis for subject matter jurisdiction has not changed during the COVID-19 pandemic and remains grounded in New York’s “Impact Test,” meaning courts will look to where the impact of alleged discriminatory conduct was felt. Thus, regardless of whether an employer is located in New York, the anti-discrimination laws are intended to protect employees who live or work in New York.
On March 4, 2021, Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont signed House Bill 6515, an “Act Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair,” also known as the CROWN Act (the “Act”). This legislation bans natural hair discrimination in the workplace by amending Connecticut’s anti-discrimination statute to define “race” as being “inclusive of ethnic traits historically associated with race, including, but not limited to, hair texture and protective hairstyles.” (Conn. Gen. Stat. 46a-51(23)-(24)). “Protective hairstyles” is defined to include, but not be ...
In this installment of Epstein Becker Green’s “Class Action Avoidance” webinar series, attorneys Lauri F. Rasnick and Frank C. Morris, Jr. address potential discrimination class actions related to office reopenings, the changing way in which we work, and the impact that the pandemic has had on individuals in protected classes.
As many employers think about reopening their offices and other workspaces, they should consider how they do so very carefully in order to avoid decisions that may adversely impact certain protected groups or lead to disparate decision making.
In January, a New York federal district court denied a retailer’s bid to dismiss a former regional manager’s lawsuit alleging that workplace rumors spread by three female co-workers that she showed her breasts to the company’s CEO by wearing a revealing blouse without a bra and that her subsequent termination shortly after she complained about the gossip constituted hostile work environment sex discrimination and retaliatory discharge. Baez v. Anne Fontaine USA, Inc., No. 14-cv-56621 (KBF), 2017 U.S. LEXIS 1630 (S.D.N.Y. Jan . 5, 2017).
Baez, who normally ...
Technology media and telecommunications (“TMT”) industry employers should begin taking steps to mitigate a new litigation risk—reverse discrimination claims. This past year there were a number of news stories regarding the lack of diversity in the technology industry (see, for example, articles in Inc., The Cut, Fusion, The New York Times, and Wired). Numerous advocacy groups pressured TMT employers to focus on increasing workplace diversity in order to eliminate this disparity. As TMT employers continue to defend themselves against these allegations, the ...
We recently blogged about recent gender discrimination lawsuits filed against technology industry employers. Following in the wake of these lawsuits have been news stories regarding the lack of diversity in the technology industry. The scale of the statistical disparity, (for example, 90% of Twitter’s technical employees are male), creates major litigation risks for companies seeking to remedy this disparity. Technology companies eager to accept social responsibility for correcting these discrepancies must be careful not to inadvertently invite legal liability for ...
Recent discrimination lawsuits filed by former employees against Facebook and Twitter, serve as a reminder of the importance of having robust sexual harassment and equal employment opportunity policies in place. In Chia Hong v. Facebook, Inc., et al., which was filed on March 16, 2015 in the Superior Court of California in and for San Mateo County, former Facebook employee Chia Hong, who is Taiwanese, alleges that during her employment at Facebook she was discriminated against and harassed on the basis of her gender, race and nationality in violation of the California Fair ...
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