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Tag: Title VII

September 15, 2016

EEOC loses its hairstyle discrimination case

Earlier today, the Eleventh Circuit affirmed the district court’s dismissal of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s lawsuit against Catastrophe Management Solutions. This an important decision concerning the proper scope of Title VII. At issue was whether a business’s policy requiring professional-looking haircuts — ...

April 18, 2016

Certiorari denied in Shea v. Kerry

The Supreme Court denied certiorari this morning in Shea v. Kerry, PLF’s case challenging the Department of State’s race-based hiring practice. This is a disappointing end to a very important case. ...

January 19, 2016

Why hairstyle requirements don't violate Title VII in one sentence

In EEOC v. Catastrophe Management Solutions, Inc., the federal government is claiming that a business’s decision to ban dreadlocks in the workplace violates Title VII’s requirement that the workplace be free of racial discrimination. Briefing was completed long ago, and PLF filed an amicus brief in the case arguing that requiring profe ...

April 29, 2015

EEOC suffers minor setback

Today's Supreme Court decision in Mach Mining, LLC v Equal Employment Opportunity Commission appears to be another minor setback for the EEOC. The EEOC has a statutory duty under Title VII to attempt to eliminate a violation by informal means before it resorts to a lawsuit.  The question in this case was whether a court may review ...

April 28, 2015

Requiring professional-looking haircuts is not racial discrimination

Think about the following scenario.  A job seeker sees an ad for a sales job.  She has all the correct qualifications.  Her interview goes great.  The business says they want to hire her, but because she will be selling the business to the public, she must get a professional-looking haircut.  The job seeker refuses.  Instead, ...

January 23, 2015

Oral argument held in Shea v. Kerry

On Tuesday of this week I was in Washington, D.C. arguing Shea v. Kerry before the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.  This case involves a challenge to the State Department’s discriminatory affirmative action program for Foreign Service officers.  The facts of the case are, unfortunately, fairly common.  The Foreign Service was giving prefer ...

August 08, 2014

Bringing sanity back to Title VII

This morning PLF filed this Reply Brief in Shea v. Kerry, a case where we are representing Foreign Service officer William Shea in his fight against the US Department of State.  When William Shea was hired by the State Department in the early 1990s, they had a program that placed minority individuals in advanced  positions by virtue of their ...

April 10, 2014

EEOC: disparate impact for thee, but not for me

Yesterday the Sixth Circuit shut down the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s suit against Kaplan University in EEOC v. Kaplan.  EEOC had alleged that Kaplan’s policy of conducting credit checks on job applicants had a disparate impact on minorities.  Perhaps EEOC is unaware of the saying, "when you point one finger at others, y ...

March 11, 2014

Fighting to restore Title VII — Shea v. Kerry

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was an historic piece of legislation.  The statute  prohibits racial discrimination in employment:  The text of Title VII is explicit: It shall be unlawful to fail or refuse to hire or to discharge any individual, or otherwise to discriminate against any individual with respect to his ...

January 02, 2014

Study shows EEOC’s disparate impact cure is worse than the disease

A group of congressmen have introduced a bill that would ban employers from considering job applicants' credit histories.  As we've noted before, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has proscesuted companies' for using credit and background checks due to the practices' purported disparate impact on minority applicants, even though such s ...