Oregon Court of Appeals Clarifies Religious Preference Exemption

The Oregon Court of Appeals recently clarified the scope of Oregon’s religious preference exemption defense to an unlawful discrimination claim. King v. Warner Pacific College, 296 Or. App. 155 (2019), concerns a lawsuit filed by plaintiff Noel King against Warner Pacific College, a Christian liberal arts college in Portland. Mr. King, who is Jewish, applied… Continue reading Oregon Court of Appeals Clarifies Religious Preference Exemption

Washington’s New Harassment and Discrimination Laws

On June 7, 2018, new employment laws relating to non-disclosure agreements (NDAs), sexual harassment policies, and discrimination of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking victims take effect in Washington State. Here is a summary of the laws, and steps employers should take to ensure compliance with them. 1.  Non-Disclosure Agreements Substitute Senate Bill 5996 prohibits employers… Continue reading Washington’s New Harassment and Discrimination Laws

Harassment and PTSD

A manufacturer in Wyoming agreed to pay $75,000 to settle an EEOC suit alleging that a supervisor harassed an employee about his military service-related Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).  The suit alleged that the supervisor referred to the veteran-employee by derogatory terms and ridiculed the employee’s PTSD treatments. In addition to the settlement payment, the… Continue reading Harassment and PTSD

Washington’s Equal Pay Opportunity Act

Earlier this month the Washington State Legislature passed the Equal Opportunity Pay Act (the “Act”), the first update to Washington’s Equal Pay law since 1943.  The Act, which is expected to be signed into law by Governor Inslee, amends RCW 49.12.175 to provide that any employer in Washington who discriminates in any way in providing… Continue reading Washington’s Equal Pay Opportunity Act

Public Contractors Must Certify Anti-Harassment and Anti-Discrimination Policies

As of January 1, 2018, prospective contractors must comply with new requirements if they wish to contract with Oregon state agencies. For contracts valued at $150,000 or more, contractors must certify in writing that they have a policy and practice of preventing sexual harassment, sexual assault and discrimination against employees who are members of a… Continue reading Public Contractors Must Certify Anti-Harassment and Anti-Discrimination Policies

US DOJ Rescinds Guidance Documents Regarding Disability

On December 21, 2017, Attorney General of the US Department of Justice, Jeff Sessions, announced the rescission of 25 agency guidance documents on the basis that he considers them unnecessary, inconsistent, and improper.  Many of the newly rescinded documents relate to guidance regarding disability issues.  It is expected that the DOJ will continue to rescind… Continue reading US DOJ Rescinds Guidance Documents Regarding Disability

Washington State Enacts New Protections for Pregnant Employees

Last week Governor Inslee signed into law the “Healthy Starts Act,” which is aimed at promoting healthy outcomes for pregnant women and newborns.  The law includes new protections for pregnant workers. Starting on July 23, 2017, it is an unfair business practice for any employer with 15 or more employees to: Fail or refuse to… Continue reading Washington State Enacts New Protections for Pregnant Employees

Corporate President May Be Liable For Aiding And Abetting Discrimination

A federal court in Oregon recently held that a corporate president may be liable for aiding and abetting discrimination.  The case, Baker v. Maricle Indus., Inc., Case No. 6:16-cv-01793-AA (D. Or. Mar. 17, 2017), involves claims by an employee that the employer and its president discriminated against him on the basis of his perceived and actual… Continue reading Corporate President May Be Liable For Aiding And Abetting Discrimination

POWADA Reintroduced

This week, US Senators reintroduced legislation labeled as the Protecting Older Workers Against Discrimination Act (POWADA).  The legislation aims to reduce an employee’s burden of proving an age discrimination claim.  Currently, an employee must prove that age was essentially the sole reason for an adverse employment action.

DOL Q&A on Pregnancy Discrimination

A Q&A with the Women’s Bureau Director of the DOL about pregnancy discrimination was posted on the DOL’s Blog last week.  The post includes an interesting interactive map of laws regarding pregnancy discrimination. The Q&A is here: http://blog.dol.gov/2015/02/13/qa-with-womens-bureau-director-latifa-lyles-on-pregnancy-discrimination/ The map is here:  http://www.dol.gov/wb/maps/