BFOQ Defense against Claims of Discrimination in the Workplace

BFOQ Defense against Claims of Discrimination in the Workplace

Bona Fide Occupational Qualification (BFOQ) defense is provided under section 703(e) of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. According to it, it is not against the law to hire employees based on national origin, religion, or sex when such a differentiation is reasonably necessary to the normal operation of a particular business. Employers can use this defense against claims of discrimination in the workplace . However, this defense is of a limited character. For instance, when during hiring process an employer differentiates candidates based on sex, it should follow the guidelines established by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The guidelines provide a list of exceptions, which do not […]

Disparate Impact and How to Avoid It

Disparate Impact and How to Avoid It

In Griggs v. Duke Power Co., 401 U.S. 424 (1971) the US Supreme Court dealt with a specific situation when seemingly neutral employment policies led to discrimination in the workplace . The Court ruled that the employer violated the law when the company required that all applicants in order to qualify for a job or transfer should have a high school diploma or to pass a standardized general intelligence test. As a result of that employment practice, Afro-American candidates were disqualified in much higher numbers than Caucasian candidates, i.e. it had a disparate impact. The problem was that the hiring practice was not “significantly related” to a successful job performance. […]

Discriminated Against by Ex’s Boyfriend at Work?

There are a lot of ways how an employee can be discriminated against at work. But can you be discriminated against by your ex’s boyfriend? Well, if he is your boss, then probably “yes.” And it’s not just a hypothetical question. That’s what allegedly happened in Stanford Business School. In 2014 former professor of Stanford University Graduate School of Business Mr. Phills filed a wrongful termination lawsuit against dean of the School Mr. Saloner and Stanford University (as co-defendants). According to Mr. Phills, he was the subject of harassment and wrongful termination by the dean, because the dean had an affair with Mr. Phills’s ex-wife. According to Mr. Phills, he […]

Pregnancy Discrimination

Pregnancy should be one of the most exciting periods of a woman’s life. Unfortunately, too often women are treated unfavorably at their workplace, because of their pregnancy or medical condition related to the pregnancy. Аs numerous sociological studies show, pregnant women are still at a severe disadvantage in the job market. They are often viewed as less committed or even less competent than other females. When hired (if hired) they are offered lower salaries than their competitors, and at their workplace they could be held to higher standard of performance than other employees. Until the late 1970-s women did not have many remedies to fight against pregnancy discrimination. For instance, […]

What is discrimination in the workplace threshold?

What is discrimination in the workplace threshold?

We know that federal laws prohibit employers from discriminating against their employees. But what is discrimination in the workplace threshold, i.e. when a certain kind of treatment actually becomes discrimination? When one would know that he or she was treated illegally and could seek legal protection against discrimination? Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 made it illegal for employers to discriminate against their employees on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin, and religion. This rule applies to “compensation terms, conditions, or privileges of employment,” i.e. basically to everything related to hiring and firing, compensation and benefits, retirement plans, disability leave, classification of employees, transfer and […]