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May L&E Update from Baker Donelson

Submitted by Firm:
Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC
Firm Contacts:
Kathlyn Perez, Phyllis G. Cancienne, Robert C. Divine
Article Type:
Legal Update
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Summer is almost here and employers are already feeling the heat. Transgender complaints are rising and the Fourth Circuit continues the broad interpretation of Title VII. On the plus side, the Sixth Circuit tries to cool everyone off with some telecommuting guidance. And finally, we'll give some tips on what to do when employees are caught on the social media tape.

Even Under the ADA, Some Jobs Require Being On-Site; Court of Appeals Decision Offers Lessons, by Adam Gates

Last month, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit found that a Ford employee was not qualified for her job under the ADA because she was not able to come to work on a regular basis. In agreeing with Ford, the court explained that regular, in-person attendance is an essential function of most jobs and that a "sometimes-forgotten guide" supported this conclusion: "common sense." But don't get ahead of yourself; the decision is more complicated than that. More...

Fourth Circuit Joins Other Federal Courts in Broadly Interpreting the Scope of Title VII Retaliation Claims, by Camalla Kimbrough

On May 7, 2015, the Fourth Circuit ruled that an isolated instance of harassment, if "extremely serious," can create a hostile work environment, and that complaining about such harassment constitutes protected activity under Title VII's anti-retaliation provisions. This ruling comports with the general trend of federal courts towards broadly interpreting the scope of Title VII's anti-retaliation provisions. More...

Transgender Complaints on the Rise: What Should Employers Do?, by Nakimuli Davis-Primer

The President, the EEOC and the Justice Department have all announced that gender identity discrimination is prohibited sex discrimination under Title VII. Since these declarations, the number of lawsuits alleging gender identity discrimination continues to rise. This article discusses the current federal recognition of gender identity discrimination, notable issues employers face based on recent cases and tips for employers. More...

Ah, Social Media: Blurring the Lines Between Work Life and Personal Life, by Dena Sokolow

Andy Warhol is quoted as saying, "In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes." How prophetic you were Andy. These days a single post on social media can travel around the world faster than you can say Snap Chat. Social media is a circus where anything goes and the lines between persons/personas, private/professional lives and what is "acceptable" public content is often blurred. Employers now have to live in and address this new cyber world; especially when actions by their employees are recorded and blasted to the world.  More...

Immigration Corner, by Melanie Walker

This month: H-1B Cap FY2016 and aftermath, "doing business" for multinational managers, and my E-Verify available nationwide. More...