The EEOC issued a press release on July 20, 2015 announcing that the federal appeals court has dismissed Abercrombie & Fitch’s (“AF”) appeal of the EEOC’s religious discrimination case because AF made the decision to settle the case following the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling.

Below is a summary of the court proceedings.Beth-West-15_web

The case arose when Samantha Elauf, then a teenager who wore a headscarf or hijab as part of her Muslim faith, applied for a job at an AF store in her hometown of Tulsa, Okla.  She was denied hire for failing to conform to the company’s “look policy,” which AF claimed banned head coverings.  Elauf then filed a charge with the EEOC, alleging religious discrimination, and the EEOC filed suit against AF charging that the company refused to hire Elauf due to her religion, and that it failed to accommodate her religious beliefs by making an exception to its “look policy” prohibiting head coverings.  The trial court granted summary judgment on liability to EEOC after holding that the evidence established that Elauf wore the hijab as part of her Muslim faith, that AF was on notice of the religious nature of her practice, and that it refused to hire her as a result.  A jury subsequently awarded Elauf damages for the discrimination.

Continue Reading The Final Resolution of EEOC v. Abercrombie & Fitch After the U.S. Supreme Court’s Decision

In a 5-4 decision authored by Justice Kennedy and joined by Justices Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan, the United State Supreme Court issued a landmark decision in Obergefell at al. v. Hodges, Director, Ohio Department of Health, et al. on June 26, 2015.

The essence of the holding is that:

  1. The right to marry is a fundamental right inherent in the liberty of the person, and under the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution, couples of the same-sex may not be deprived of that right and that liberty;
  2. The state laws challenged by the petitioners in the consolidated cases before the Court are invalid to the extent they exclude same-sex couples from civil marriage on the same terms and conditions as opposite-sex couples.Beth-West-15_web


Continue Reading The U.S. Supreme Court Has Spoken – The 14th Amendment Requires States to Recognize Same Sex Marriage

BethWestBlogThe United States Supreme Court issued its decision in Integrity Staffing Solutions, Ins. v. Busk on December 9, 2014 and reversed the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal in a much awaited wage and hour decision concerning the issue of “compensable time” under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”).

The facts of the case are very straight forward.  Integrity Staffing Solutions, Inc. (“Integrity”) required its hourly non-exempt ware­house workers (who retrieved products from warehouse shelves and packaged them for delivery to Amazon.com customers), to undergo a security screening before leaving the warehouse each day.  A number of former employees sued Integrity alleging, in part, that they were entitled to compensation under the FLSA for the roughly 25 minutes each day that they spent waiting to undergo and undergoing those screenings. The employees also alleged that the company could have reduced that time to a de minimis amount by adding screeners or staggering shift terminations and that the screenings were conducted to prevent employee theft and, thus, for the sole benefit of the company and its customers.
Continue Reading VICTORY FOR EMPLOYERS…. The U.S. Supreme Court Holds that Employees are Not Entitled to Compensation for Time Spent Going through Employer’s Security Screening