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The In-House Advisor Published by Shepard Davidson & Renee Inomata

Category Archives: Discrimination

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Employers Beware: New Standard Issued for Accommodating Pregnancy

Posted in Compliance, Policies & Notices, Disability, Medical Leave & Reasonable Accommodations, Discrimination

Earlier this week, the U.S. Supreme Court declared that a new test applies for pregnancy discrimination. In Young v. UPS, the Supremes decided that in pregnancy discrimination actions under the federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act (“PDA”), the long-standing McDonnell-Douglas burden shifting test does not apply. Employers should ensure their policies, especially any light duty policies, comply… Continue Reading

Hey Guys, You Get “Maternity” Leave, Too!

Posted in Compliance, Policies & Notices, Disability, Medical Leave & Reasonable Accommodations, Discrimination, Employee Benefits

For years, the Massachusetts Maternity Leave Act (“MMLA”), M.G.L. c. 149, §105D, only applied to female employees by its literal terms. The Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (“MCAD”), the agency tasked with enforcing the MMLA, has taken the position that if the MMLA was applied literally, it would be unconstitutional, as it would give female employees… Continue Reading

Holiday Tips for Employers

Posted in Disability, Medical Leave & Reasonable Accommodations, Discrimination, Harassment, Supervisor Training, Wage & Hour, Worker Classifications

Because ’tis the season to give, The In-House Advisor would like to give in-house counsel the following reminders so as to limit their companies’ holiday exposure: Tip 1:  Religious discrimination and accommodations As we all know, while the “holiday” season in December often refers to Christmas, there are many other religious holidays celebrated by workers,… Continue Reading

Employers Still Required to Provide Unpaid and Work-Free Maternity Leaves

Posted in Compliance, Policies & Notices, Disability, Medical Leave & Reasonable Accommodations, Discrimination, Employee Benefits

Yahoo!, Twitter, Facebook and every possible media outlet have been aflutter with praise and criticism since newly appointed Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer announced to Fortune magazine that she is pregnant and taking a “few weeks” of maternity leave and will be “working throughout it”.  Though this may be heartening for Yahoo! investors, the typical employer… Continue Reading

Prevent Employer Liability By Properly Investigating Sexual Harassment Claims

Posted in Compliance, Policies & Notices, Discrimination, Harassment, Supervisor Training

A recent decision by a full panel of the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD) emphasizes the need for supervisors to understand their duty to act to ensure that unlawful harassment allegations are addressed and that any such conduct ceases. Since 1998, two cases decided by the U.S. Supreme Court, Faragher v. City of Boca Raton… Continue Reading

5 Steps for Employer Use of Criminal Records: Part 3

Posted in Compliance, Policies & Notices, Confidentiality and Non-Disparagement, Discrimination, Hiring, Miscellaneous Employment, Privacy & Data Security

In Part 1 and Part 2 I discussed four steps that I recommend employers follow in using criminal records.  Here in Part 3 and the last part of this series, I address the process of the handling of the documents.  Step 5:  Handling Documents with CORI Criminal records information obtained from any source is confidential, and employers… Continue Reading

5 Steps for Employer Use of Criminal Records: Part 2

Posted in Compliance, Policies & Notices, Confidentiality and Non-Disparagement, Discrimination, Hiring, Miscellaneous Employment, Privacy & Data Security

In my prior blog post, I provided the first two steps for an employer to obtain and use CORI in Massachusetts based on the new CORI regulations issued on May 25, 2012.  This post addresses the next two steps in this process. These blog posts also address when an employer conducts its own CORI checks. … Continue Reading

5 Steps for Employer Use of Criminal Records: Part 1

Posted in Compliance, Policies & Notices, Discrimination, Hiring, Miscellaneous Employment

Massachusetts enacted broad reforms to its Criminal Offender Record Information (“CORI”) laws in August 2010.  These reforms emphasize existing non-discrimination requirements and provide new requirements for accessing records through the on-line system (“iCORI”), as well as using and maintaining criminal records.  The first part of the CORI reform laws became effective in November 2010, requiring… Continue Reading

Providing Temporary Accommodations for Employee Disability

Posted in Compliance, Policies & Notices, Disability, Medical Leave & Reasonable Accommodations, Discipline & Performance Management, Discrimination

It’s never easy to navigate the legal requirements when an employee has a medical condition or  disability.  One of the many complications is providing a “reasonable accommodation,” a process that often requires significant time and careful consideration of how and what medical information can be obtained and scrutinized.  In providing accommodations, some employers hesitate to… Continue Reading

How to Deal With the New Massachusetts Transgender Law

Posted in Compliance, Policies & Notices, Discipline & Performance Management, Discrimination, Harassment, Hiring, Supervisor Training

With the new year, Massachusetts employers must add “gender identity” to the list of classes entitled to protection from employment discrimination and retaliation.   What was touted as the “transgender rights” law in Massachusetts is, in fact, a “gender identity” law.  The Massachusetts transgender rights law defines “gender identity” as: [A] person’s gender-related identity, appearance or… Continue Reading