Understanding Sexual vs. Non-Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is illegal when it occurs in the workplace. You might be unclear about what constitutes sexual harassment vs. when the harassment is non-sexual in nature. Sexual harassment at work is considered to be a type of unlawful discrimination, and it includes unwelcome sexual comments, behavior, or conduct about gender, sex, or sexual orientation.

Complaints of Sexual Orientation Discrimination by Federal Employees now Cognizable Under Title VII

On July 15, 2015, the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”), in its role as an appellate tribunal reviewing the disposition by a federal agency of a claim of discrimination, issued a decision in which it held that “allegations of discrimination on the basis of [a complainant’s] sexual orientation state a claim of discrimination

Employer must reasonably accommodate religious practices under Title VII regardless of actual knowledge of belief

On June 1st, The Supreme Court issued an opinion in the case Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Abrecrombie & Fitch Stores, Inc; an employment discrimination lawsuit in which Abercrombie refused to hire Samantha Elauf, a practicing Muslim, because the headscarf that she wore pursuant to her religious obligations conflicted with Abercrombie’s employee dress policy. The

Sexual Harassment and Discrimination in New Jersey

Sexual harassment is a specific type of workplace discrimination based on sex . It includes: unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature in which submission to or rejection of such conduct explicitly or implicitly affects and individual’s work or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) reaches settlement with Toys “R” Us in Employment Discrimination Lawsuit

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has reached a settlement with Toys “R” Us in an employment discrimination lawsuit. Toys “R” Us is one of the world’s largest retailers of toys and children’s products in the world, and has multiple retail locations in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and all around the United States. The disability discrimination lawsuit filed at the Philadelphia EEOC district office against Toys “R” Us, Inc. has resulted in a $35,000 settlement and payment of significant equitable relief for employment discrimination. The settlement is one in a number of rising employment discrimination lawsuits settling in the EEOC district offices of New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Reports of Religious Discrimination Rising in New Jersey

Religious discrimination in the workplace continues to rise in New Jersey and around the country.  As the Wall Street Journal recently reported,  reports of employment-based religious-discrimination are sky rocketing.  The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has reported a surge of wide-ranging employee claims of religious discrimination as expressions of faith have grown more diverse. The EEOC defines religious-discrimination as “treating a person (applicant or employee) unfavorably because of his or her religious beliefs. The law protects not only people who belong to traditional, organized religious … but also others who have sincerely held religious, ethical or moral beliefs. Religious discrimination can also involve treating someone differently because that person is married to (or associated with) an individual of a particular religion or because of his or her connection with a religious organization or group.”

New Jersey Supreme Court rules against Discrimination as New Jersey becomes 14th State to Legalize Same Sex Marriage

TRENTON, NEW JERSEY (NJ): On October 18, 2013, the Supreme Court of New Jersey (NJ) unanimously ruled to enforce the Mercer County Superior Court Judge’s decision declaring the state’s marriage law banning same-sex marriage to constitute unlawful discrimination and accordingly, unconstitutional. Judge Mary Jacobson of Mercer County Superior Court ruled on September 27, 2013 in favor of same-sex couples who challenged the law regarding civil unions, arguing the law restricted federal benefits given to heterosexual married couples. For example, under federal and New Jersey (NJ) employment laws, legally married couples may take leave to provide care to a spouse with a serious medical condition (under the Family Medical Leave Act, “FMLA”, and the New Jersey Family Leave Act, “NJ FLA”). However, couples not legally married are not entitled to such protections.

Swartz Swidler files Sexual Harasment and Wrongful Termination Employment Lawsuit in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

On May 6, 2013, New Jersey (NJ) and Pennsylvania (PA) employment attorneys Swartz Swidler, LLC, on behalf of a former female employee of Tosoh Bioscience, LLC filed a federal lawsuit in Philadelphia asserting that the employee was subjected to severe sexual harasment and fired for complaining of same, in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act. (“PHRA”).