Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Outten & Golden LLP Teams Up with Jillian T. Weiss to Collaborate on Prosecuting LGBTQ Workplace Discrimination Cases

National employment law firm Outten & Golden LLP is joining forces with distinguished LGBTQ rights attorney Jillian T. Weiss to assist workers who face discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression.

Weiss will serve as "Of Counsel" to Outten & Golden's LGBTQ Practice Group.

See this link:

Monday, January 7, 2019

Lesbian EEOC appointment dies in Senate

EEOC Commission member Chai Feldblum is out. She had been reappointed by President Trump to another term on the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the federal agency that oversees the nation's antidiscrimination laws. She had served on the Commission since 2010.

Representative Mike Lee of Utah unfairly blocked her reappointment, arguing that her discussion of religious freedom suggested that it sometimes might have to yield to nondiscrimination laws, an uncontroversial idea that has been approved by conservative members of the Supreme Court.

In 2012, she was part of the EEOC’s unanimous ruling, in Macy v ATF, that employment discrimination against transgender people because of their sex violates federal sex discrimination laws. This, too, had been approved by many judicial opinions by conservative judges.

She was also a primary architect of the Americans With Disabilities Act, a groundbreaking law that greatly broadened and solidified the principle that discrimination based on any kind of disability should not prevent a qualified worker from holding a job.

She will be greatly missed in her official role of advancing civil rights in this country.

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Saturday, January 5, 2019

Phillips 66 Won’t Wade Into LGBT Debate in Defense of Bias Claim

The very high price of corporate anti-equality positions: 40 years later Price Waterhouse is still taking it on the chin for telling Ann Hopkins to curl her hair in order to get an accounting firm promotion.

This Bloomberg story is about Nicole Wittmer's case against Phillips66 for anti-trans discrimination, now before the US Circuit Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, which covers cases in Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi. It explains the reluctance of the corporation to take an anti-equality stance despite its rescission of her hire offer after she disclosed her trans status. (Phillips66 says the decision makers didn't know, and based their rescission on its assumption that she was still employed, though she was not.)

But the most interesting part is Pricewaterhousecoopers' response to the reporter's inquiry, based on the insightful comment by the amazing Greg Nevins of Lambda Legal about Price Waterhouse not realizing it would be the face of discrimination. In Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins, 490 U.S. 228 (1989), SCOTUS established the principle that sex discrimination prohibitions include gender discrimination. In other words, it's not biology that triggers legal protections, but employer's stereotypical perceptions of what men and women should be like. This has been the basis for nearly all of the many federal decisions finding that trans people are protected from sex discrimination under federal law.

Pricewaterhousecoopers is on the diversity bandwagon today. They have a 100% score on the HRC LGBTQ Corporate Equality Index. But their name will live in infamy.

There is another story to be told about the court-appointed amicus brief arguing that trans people shouldn't be protected from sex discrimination. It is poorly written and nonsensical, though still potentially dangerous. Watch this space for Part II. The story is here:

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What to Do When You Think You’re About to Get Fired

Some good tips by the NY Times on what to do when you think you're about to get fired. Especially good: think about requesting a neutral reference (dates of employment and salary only) and get all the personal stuff off your work computer (if any, why is it on there?). Also, take good notes with names and dates about potentially discriminatory acts, and call your lawyer.

See this link:

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Outten & Golden LLP

"A reminder from the Fifth Circuit: a shift transfer can be a materially adverse action for retaliation purposes. '[A] retaliatory shift change that places a substantial burden on the plaintiff, such as significant interference with outside responsibilities or drastically and objectively less desirable hours, can dissuade an employee from reporting discrimination.'"

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Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Andraya Yearwood Knows She Has the Right to Compete

This young woman is a hero at a time in life when one shouldn't have to be expected to be a hero in order to survive. She has a legal right to be herself and a legal right to compete in sports.

"According to an NCAA handbook...the fear [of] transgender 'a new iteration of the old stereotypes that kept women & girls out of sports prior to Title IX.'"

"'If she can't play, we are denying her all of the other benefits of participating in team sports, the things that have nothing to do with winning and losing,' McHaelen says. 'It has to do with developing teamwork, relationships, feeling like you belong, developing discipline.'"

 "'A level playing field is a fallacy,' says Dr. Myron Genel, Yale professor emeritus of pediatric endocrinology. He is a member of the International Olympic Committee's Medical Commission on issues regarding gender identity in athletics. 'There's so many other factors that may provide a competitive advantage,' Genel says. 'It's very hard to single out sex as the only one.'"

It isn't just the right of trans athletes that is debated. People feel free to debate our very existence, our right to participate in life, in employment, in the world. There are a million reasons people come up with why we are lesser, wrong, invalid, weird, and subject to their 'right' to be prejudiced. In Connecticut, there is a young woman who says no to all that.

See this link: