Recent Court Action Over Sexual Discrimination in the Workplace Points to Urgent Need to Review Hiring Policy Opines

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Recent legal action highlights an immediate and urgent need for employers to work with a well-qualified, third-party, pre-employment background screening agency in order to remain compliant with all existing laws, as well as potential changes to laws. Adam Almeida, President and CEO of opines, “Laws regarding Sex Discrimination, as defined by Title VII legislation, continue to evolve and recent aggressive action by the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) should immediately push all hiring entities to review hiring policies to ensure compliance with current law and avoid lawsuit and potential damages."

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The fast evolving legal landscape regarding the legal definition of sexual discrimination will continue to challenge hiring managers. This is an obvious time that pre-employment background screening policies should be scrutinized.

Recent legal action concerning Sex Discrimination and/Orientation, as related to Title VII, in the workplace has increased substantially. Adam Almeida, President and CEO of opines, “Federal courts are hearing Sex Discrimination cases and finding for plaintiffs, and this action should push employers to review policy in order to maintain compliance with laws governing hiring.”

In Texas, the EEOC has filed a lawsuit against Morrison Management Specialists regarding an unlawful denial of promotion to an employee (Civil Action No. 3:18-cv-00057). The Sixth Circuit ruled on a transgender discrimination case (EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY COMMISSION, Plaintiff-Appellant, AIMEE STEPHENS, Intervenor, v. R.G. &. G.R. HARRIS FUNERAL HOMES, INC., Defendant-Appellee. No. 16-2424) and, finally, the Second Court has ruled on a case regarding sexual orientation (Zarda v. Altitude Express, No. 15-3775 2d Cir. 2018).

Adam Almeida, President and CEO of opines, “The legal landscape in the country continues to evolve at a heightened pace. These recent legal cases should push hiring managers to immediately review all hiring practices, as well as pre-employment background screening policies.”

In Texas, a woman was denied promotion due to her gender. She was informed that the kitchen she worked in should be the exclusive domain of men.

From (Mar 09, 18):

"Federal officials say Morrison Management Specialists Inc., a division of Compass Group USA Inc., unlawfully denied a promotion to a female employee to an open sous chef position because of her gender.

…allegedly informed Joyce that he believed that the professional kitchen is a “man’s world” and he wanted to get it back to being that way. When Joyce objected, Inman told her she needed to transfer to another of the company’s locations because she was no longer a good fit at the Galveston location.” (1)

Almeida states: “When the EEOC gets involved via lawsuit the cost can be very high, especially should the case not resolve in favor of the employer.”

The case is pending.

In Cincinnati the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals decisively ruled on a case regarding a transgender employee.

From the National Review website (Mar 09, 18):

"The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on Wednesday that transgender individuals are protected by Title VII’s prohibition of sex discrimination. In effect, the court held that employers violate the federal anti-discrimination statute when they refuse to affirm the sexual identity claimed by a transgender employee, even if their refusal is based on sincerely held religious beliefs. (2)"

Almeida states, “The decision by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals could radically alter employer hiring policies. It is certainly worth paying attention too and as time goes on, the interpretation of Title VII will surely continue to evolve.”

And, finally, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld Title VII of the Civil Rights Acts protects sexual orientation from discrimination in the workplace.

From (Mar 06, 18):

"However, the Second Circuit’s decision will certainly serve as an important case for other Circuit Courts of Appeals that have not decided whether Title VII prohibits sexual orientation discrimination, and if and when the Supreme Court decides the existing circuit split. The Second Circuit not only affirmed that sex discrimination protects gay and lesbian employees, but it also explained why critics, including the Department of Justice, are operating on a mistaken framework." (3)

Almeida states: “The fast evolving legal landscape regarding the legal definition of sexual discrimination will continue to challenge hiring managers. This is an obvious time that pre-employment background screening policies should be scrutinized for legal compliance, thereby reducing the potential of legal action. A best practice remains to work with a professional employment screening agency.” is a third-party background screening company with highly trained operators well versed in the needs and requirements of companies and organizations large and small utilizing public records, such as criminal background records, as part of a hiring process. Assisting companies in maintaining full compliance under the law is a central tenet of all client relationships with


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