Lack of Consideration Could Lead to Lack of Protection

Author: Brynn Stylinski, Contributing Member, University of Cincinnati Law Review

Discrimination and equal pay have been brought back into the public eye through recent celebrity revelations of huge disparities between the salaries of actors and actresses and the boycott of the Oscars by several stars. These issues have long been a part of our society, however, and courts have attempted to navigate protective legislation such as Title VII in many different ways over the years. Earlier this year, the Seventh Circuit addressed the case of a Mexican-American woman who believed Continue reading “Lack of Consideration Could Lead to Lack of Protection”

When is it legal for an employer to discriminate in their hiring practices based on a Bona Fide Occupation Qualification?

Author: Stephanie Scott, Associate Member, University of Cincinnati Law Review

Although it is illegal for an employer to discriminate against an employee based on the individual’s sex, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 allows employers an exception when employment discrimination is based on a “bona fide occupational qualification” (BFOQ). Courts have upheld discrimination on the basis of sex for some BFOQ that impact employee safety, but even then exceptions apply. Continue reading “When is it legal for an employer to discriminate in their hiring practices based on a Bona Fide Occupation Qualification?”

Look Policies: Can employers discriminate based on their physical attractiveness?

Author: Stephanie Scott, Associate Member, University of Cincinnati Law Review

Companies with mandatory grooming or appearance standards for their employees have been under fire from society, celebrities, and the law for many years. One of the companies most known for discriminating against unattractive or overweight applicants is Abercrombie & Fitch. Consumers have been outraged that the company only hires conventionally attractive people, requires those employees to follow a strict “look policy” Continue reading “Look Policies: Can employers discriminate based on their physical attractiveness?”

Green v. Brennan: Choosing the Appropriate Standard for Limitation Periods

Author: Chris Gant, Contributing Member, University of Cincinnati Law Review

 You have probably heard the old saying that “timing is everything.” This statement is true in many aspects of life. For example, a well-timed joke can be the difference between laughter and awkward silence. In law, the time at which a cause of action begins to accrue can be vital to a plaintiff’s case. If a plaintiff’s timing is off, the claim may never reach adjudication on the merits. In an upcoming decision, Green v. Brennan, the Supreme Court will resolve a federal circuit split Continue reading “Green v. Brennan: Choosing the Appropriate Standard for Limitation Periods”

Constructive Discharge: Drawing the Line

Author: Matt Huffman, Associate Member, University of Cincinnati Law Review

In Green v. Donahoe,[1] the Tenth Circuit considered when the limitations period starts for a constructive discharge claim under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. The court held that the forty-five day clock starts ticking on the date of the employer’s alleged discriminatory act that causes the employee to resign. In so holding, the Tenth Circuit agreed with similar holdings by the Seventh Circuit and the District of Columbia.[2] The Second, Fourth, and Ninth Circuits, however, have all considered the same issue and concluded that the limitations period for Title VII constructive discharge claims starts to run on the date the employee resigns. In its decision in Green, the Tenth Circuit fell on the wrong side of an already blurred line, ensuring an increase in the premature filing of constructive discharge claims by employees eager to preserve their right to bring a claim.

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Religious Discrimination? No Actual Knowledge, No Problem

Author: Brynn Stylinski, Associate Member, University of Cincinnati Law Review

Title VII has prohibited religious discrimination and required accommodation of religious needs in the workplace since 1964. Last year, in EEOC v. Abercrombie and Fitch Stores, Inc., the Tenth Circuit ruled that an employer that denied a Muslim woman employment on the basis of her religious appearance was not liable for religious discrimination under Title VII.[1] However, this ruling is incongruous with Title VII’s purpose as a part of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Tenth Circuit actually misapplied the law at issue. The Tenth Circuit’s ruling encourages employers to act with willful blindness and allows employers to discriminate on the basis of religion. The Supreme Court has granted certiorari in the case, and in order to preserve the integrity of Title VII, should overturn the Tenth Circuit’s ruling and clarify the standard of review to be applied in religious discrimination cases.

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