A lawsuit filed by the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) on September 30th, in federal court, alleges that Fox News retaliated against reporter Catherine Herridge, who had previously complained of sex and age discrimination at the cable news network.
Today, Governor David Patterson signed into law, the New York Domestic Workers Bill of Rights, which reflects the first sweeping domestic workers’ rights legislation in the nation.
Among other things, the New York law provides for overtime pay to domestic workers, and protection against workplace discrimination and harassment based upon race, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, marital status and domestic victim status. The legislation specifically addresses sexual harassment, which is cited as a major problem for domestic workers in New York.
On January 6, 2010, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) released data concerning charges of discrimination filed with the agency in FY2009. The EEOC resolved a record number of charges alleging harassment and violations of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. FY2009 saw the second highest number of charge filings nationwide, 93,277 –just about 2,000 filings less than the record high set for FY2008.
Congress is considering legislation overturning a recent Supreme Court decision holding that plaintiffs asserting claims of age discrimination under the Age Discrimination and Employment Act of 1967 (“ADEA”) must prove that age was the “but for” cause of the challenged adverse employment action.
On September 10, 2009, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, which covers New York, Connecticut and Vermont, held that an employer may be held liable for age discrimination based upon the acts of others, including its independent contractors. According to the court, an employer can be held liable for the acts of independent contractors if the independent contractor is acting on behalf of the employer.
The United States Supreme Court recently ruled that a union could contract away a union member’s rights to pursue a statutory discrimination claim in court. In 14 Penn Plaza L.L.C. v. Pyett, the Supreme Court considered whether a union member with an age discrimination claim under the Age Discrimination Employment Act (“ADEA”) could be required to privately arbitrate the claim rather then pursue it in court. Surprisingly, a divided Supreme Court concluded that a union member could be mandated by a collective bargaining agreement (“CBA”) to arbitrate a statutory discrimination claim.