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8th Circuit: Obesity Not an ADA-Protected Disability

In previous posts, we’ve contemplated whether obesity might qualify as an ADA-covered disability under the more relaxed standards ushered in by the 2009 amendments to the Act.  Courts are answering that question mostly in the negative.  In Morriss v. BNSF Railway Co. (April 5, 2016), the Eight Circuit joined the Second and Sixth Circuits in […]
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A Whirlwind Month for Sexual Orientation Discrimination Claims

Since Congress enacted Title VII in 1964, federal courts have almost uniformly declined to recognize a statutory claim based on sexual orientation discrimination.  The prevailing opinion has been that sex discrimination is different than sexual orientation discrimination and—while Title VII is clearly meant to prohibit the former—there is no indication that Congress also meant to […]
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EEOC: Employers Must Individually Assess Prospective Employees’ Disability Status

Cessna recently paid six figures to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit brought by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) alleging that Cessna maintained a company-wide, illegal hiring practice. The practice in question: Cessna disqualified from consideration prospective employees who had a history of temporary disability or workers’ compensation restrictions.  In the case at issue, a […]
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In Workplace Injury Cases, Workers’ Comp’s “Exclusive Remedy” Provision Does Not Preclude Apportionment of Fault to Employer

The Supreme Court of Georgia recently held that, in cases involving workplace injuries, a defendant may seek to apportion fault to the plaintiff’s employer, even though Georgia’s Workers’ Compensation Act immunizes employers from tort liability. Walker v. Tensor Machinery, Ltd., Walker v. Tensor Machinery, Ltd.__ S.E.2d __, 2015 WL 7135149 (2015). Georgia’s apportionment statute, O.C.G.A. […]
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Workers’ Compensation Act Bars Rape Victim’s Claim

By Joseph A. White The Georgia Court of Appeals recently issued a decision that illustrates how difficult it is for personal injury victims to avoid the Workers’ Compensation Act’s exclusive remedy provision. In Dawson v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., the court considered whether workers’ compensation was a store manager’s exclusive remedy for injuries she suffered when […]
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Vegas Vacation: Is It FMLA Protected?

By David S. Fried In Ballard v. Chicago Park District, No. 13-1445 (7th Cir. January 28, 2014), the Seventh Circuit said yes. Beverly Ballard cared for her terminally ill mother, Sarah, on a daily basis. Sarah received a grant to take a family vacation to Vegas. Ballard requested, but was denied, FMLA leave to travel […]
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U.S. Senate Passes Historic Gay Rights Bill

On Thursday, November 7, 2013, the United States Senate passed a bill that aims to prevent discrimination against gay and transgender employees in the workplace. The bill, which passed 64-32, now goes to the House of Representatives. Its future there, at this point, is unclear. The Employment Non-Discrimination Act, or “ENDA,” would outlaw workplace discrimination […]
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Title VII Covers Male Employee Harassed for Being “Unmanly”

In a 10-6 en banc decision, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit recently upheld a jury verdict in favor of a male construction worker who was sexually harassed by his male supervisor for “not being manly enough.” EEOC v. Boh Brothers, — WL — (5th Cir. September 27, 2013). The decision […]
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The Defensive Use of Social Media

E-mail, texts, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Flickr, Instagram, Pinterest, blogs and other social media sites are no longer fringe modes of social networking. They are mainstream methods of communication. Facebook claims it has over 800 million users. Twitter claims its users post over 150 million tweets per day. YouTube claims it up loads more video […]
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