EEOC Focuses on Genetic Discrimination Cases

By | June 19th, 2013 | General » Leave a comment

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has recently been focusing on employers’ compliance with the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA) which prohibits the use of genetic information in health insurance to deny health coverage or charge higher premiums and in employment hiring, firing, and other decisions. In May 2013, EEOC successfully settled […]

Tulsa Company Pays $82,500 to Settle Religious Discrimination Case

By | April 4th, 2013 | General » Leave a comment

A company in Tulsa, Oklahoma, will pay $82,500 to settle a claim of religious discrimination. The Lincoln, Nebraska company, Voss Electric Co., had advertised a vacancy for an “operations supervisor” position at its Tulsa location. Edward Wolfe submitted an application for the position and was granted an interview. During the interview, the incumbent supervisor asked […]

Tenth Circuit Takes Broad View of What Constitutes Harassment

By | July 2nd, 2012 | General » Leave a comment

Finding the line between the “general civility code” that the Courts have repeatedly stated was not established by Title VII and “illegal harassment” has caused many an employer headache and spawned considerable litigation. Last week, the Tenth Circuit helped shed some light on the analysis to conduct to determine if certain actions have crossed that […]

Discrimination Claims at an All-Time High

By | November 22nd, 2011 | General » Leave a comment

Last week, the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released a report revealing that the agency received 99,947 charges of employment discrimination in the last fiscal year. This is the largest number of charges filed since the agency was established in 1965. Other records hit included the largest total amount of monetary benefits collected […]

Door Closes on Big Damage Awards Against Small Oklahoma Employers

By | November 2nd, 2011 | General » Leave a comment

As of yesterday, all employers in Oklahoma, but especially small ones, breathed a collective sigh of relief. For the last two years, employers of all sizes have faced almost unlimited liability for employee discrimination claims under a public policy tort theory. In November 2009, the Oklahoma Supreme Court held in the case of Smith v. […]

Cats, Monkeys, and Workplace Investigations

By | October 25th, 2011 | General » Leave a comment

It is hard to see how cats, monkeys, and workplace investigations go together — unless of course you are characterizing your employees as animals ! But, seriously, this past week attorney Christine Cave moderated a law of the workplace seminar which addressed, among other things, workplace investigations. The issue was timely because of a U.S. […]

Oklahoma Recognizes New Theory for Individual Supervisor Liability

By | October 19th, 2010 | General » Leave a comment

In a decision by the Oklahoma Court of Appeals, the court applied the theory of Intentional Interference with a Contract to a supervisor allegedly interfering with an employee’s at-will employment for their mutual employer. In Fulton v. People Lease Corp., 2010 OK CIV APP 84, the Plaintiff complained that she had been sexually harassed by […]

Oklahoma Closes Loophole and Makes it Easier to Sue for Pregnancy Discrimination

By | June 21st, 2010 | General » Leave a comment

Earlier this legislative session, Governor Brad Henry signed a law closing a legal loophole for women who are victims of pregnancy discrimination. Under federal law, pregnancy discrimination is prohibited, but the federal law protects only employees who work for companies with 15 or more employees. Although other forms of discrimination are not prohibited under state […]

EEOC Announces Record High Job Bias Claims Based on Disability, Religion, and National Origin

By | January 8th, 2010 | General » Leave a comment

During the 2009 fiscal year, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission received 93,277 workplace discrimination charges, the second highest ever. The greatest increase in claims were those based on disability, although claims of job bias based on religion and/or national original also hit record highs. Consistent with a decade-long trend, the most frequently filed charges […]

Law Enforcement Exception to the ADEA Shields Oklahoma Municipalities From Liability

By | January 8th, 2010 | General » Leave a comment

Earlier this week, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals had the opportunity to apply a limited exception to the general rule in the Age Discrimination in Employment Act applicable to law enforcement personnel. In Kannady v. City of Kiowa, a police officer had applied for employment with two cities’ police force and been turned down […]

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