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Legal Concerns Regarding Mandatory Flu Vaccination Programs

Recently, many health care employers and other large corporations have implemented programs requiring their employees to get a flu vaccination. Some legal experts have suggested that these mandates may be problematic for employers.  Specifically, employers may face religious based objections under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, or disability based objections under the Americans with Disabilities Act.  According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, it has filed lawsuits in recent years against employers under Title VII where employees were fired for objecting to a vaccination for sincere religious beliefs.  The EEOC has also stated that a company would likely violate the ADA, if it were to take adverse action against an employee who refused to get a flu vaccination for a disability related reason, such as an allergic reaction to the vaccine.

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DOJ Reverses Title VII Interpretation Regarding Transgender Workers

In a memo issued last Wednesday, October 4, 2017, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the Department of Justice will no longer take the position that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 encompasses discrimination based on gender identity per se, including transgender status.  This reverses the position of the DOJ that was announced by then-Attorney General Eric Holder in 2014 under the Obama Administration. 

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Supreme Court Expands Employees’ Religious Accommodation Rights

When I think of Abercrombie & Fitch, which is an infrequent occurrence, I think of soft core porn catalogues and over-priced t-shirts; now, I can add religious discrimination to the list.  The Supreme Court ruled this week against Abercrombie & Fitch for refusing to hire a young Muslim because she wore a hijab, which violated the store’s “look policy” for salespersons. 

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CASE TO WATCH: YOUNG V. UPS

This Wednesday, December 3, 2014, the United States Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the case of Young v. UPS, No. 12-1226, on appeal from the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal.  The Young case has received significant attention because it asks the Court to directly address the question of what, if any, accommodation is required for a pregnant worker with work limitations under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, incorporated into Title VII of the Civil Rights Act in 1978, where the employer provides work accommodations to non-pregnant employees with work limitations, such as those affected by on-the-job injuries or a disability as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act.   

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