Discrimination and harassment in the workplace remains a top concern for employers and is a dominating issue in employment law. As a result, employers must be vigilant of their duties under anti-discrimination and harassment laws, such as Title VII, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Age Discrimination Act (ADEA), Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA), Equal Pay Act (EPA), and Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), as well as related state and local laws. Not only must employers be concerned with exposure to discrimination and harassment claims under these laws, but they must also refrain from retaliating against employees who make discrimination or harassment complaints, or otherwise oppose workplace discrimination or harassment. When making employment decisions, employers must carefully consider ramifications of employment decisions and be alert to circumstances that may give rise to the appearance of discrimination, harassment, or retaliation.
The firm works with clients to understand their specific discrimination and harassment issues and helps develop anti-discrimination and harassment policies and procedures to proactively mitigate the risk of discrimination, harassment, and subsequent retaliation. The most common forms of discrimination and harassment include issues relating to age, race, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, disability status, and immigration status.
Anti-discrimination and harassment laws vary across jurisdictions. With its national expertise, the firm anticipates the wide variety of laws and regulations that may govern an employer’s duty to maintain a diverse and inclusive work environment. Our firm keeps clients informed of changes in the law and how these changes may affect clients’ legal responsibilities and working policies. In addition, the firm reviews current policies and practices for compliance and works with clients to implement measures, such as grievance procedures and audits, to address discrimination and proactively prevent it. This process also includes assisting clients in developing diversity and training programs to ensure that every employee understands that discrimination and harassment is prohibited in the workplace.
In an unpublished decision, the California Court of Appeal in the Second Appellate District affirmed the summary judgment and dismissal the firm obtained on behalf of its client in a lawsuit filed in the Los Angeles Superior Court. The former employee alleged discrimination, harassment, and wrongful termination on the basis of his race and religion.
The firm obtained a favorable settlement for a client in a lawsuit filed by a former long term employee in Fresno, California. The employee alleged, among other claims, that he was discriminated against on the basis of his age, ethnicity, and religion, and was retaliated against for complaining about his perceived discrimination.
The firm represented and obtained a favorable settlement for a national mortgage company in a lawsuit filed in Santa Barbara, California. The lawsuit alleged, among other claims, that the client discriminated against the former employee due to her mental illness and anxiety disorder.
The firm obtained summary judgment for our client in an age discrimination reduction in force matter. Rosenblatt v. 7-Eleven, Inc. [PDF – 148 KB], 2007 WL 2187252 (N.D. Tex. 2009).
In a case alleging national origin, race, and sex discrimination, the firm was granted its motion for sanctions and the action against our client was dismissed. Gohe v. Seven Eleven [PDF – 77 KB], 2006 WL 1154778 (N.D.Tex. 2006), approving Gohe v. Seven Eleven, 2006 WL 1152682 (N.D.Tex. 2006).
The firm obtained summary judgment for a retail client in a Title VII case alleging national origin discrimination and harassment. The summary judgment was affirmed on appeal by the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. Getachew v. 7-Eleven [PDF – 76 KB], 151 Fed.Appx. 626 (10th Cir. Sept. 27, 2005).
The firm obtained summary judgment for the client in a case alleging Title VII race discrimination, retaliation, hostile work environment, and constructive discharge. Summary judgment was affirmed on appeal by the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. Sheikh v. 7-Eleven [PDF – 122 KB], 2004 WL 3584088 (D.Md. 2004), aff’d 142 Fed.Appx. 785, 2005 WL 2211662 (4th Cir. 2005), cert. denied 126 S.Ct. 1587 (2006).
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In a case alleging discrimination and retaliation under Title VII, negligence, discrimination and retaliation under the Texas Commission on Human Rights Act, assault, and intentional infliction of emotional distress, the firm obtained summary judgment for our client, and four claims were dismissed. Polk v. 7-Eleven, Inc. [PDF – 88 KB], 2002 WL 122519 (N.D.Tex. 2002).