Articles

Avoiding legal hangovers

‘Tis the season … for office holiday parties. They are great for employee morale. They can also give rise to legal hangovers that can extend far beyond the holiday season. The primary legal perils of office parties are claims of sexual harassment or alcohol-related injuries by third parties. If an employee gets intoxicated and sexually…

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Oklahoma jury awards transgender employee $1.165 million

The courts, the Department of Justice, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission hold differing views on whether Title VII prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or sexual identity. Nevertheless, this Monday an Oklahoma City federal court jury awarded a transgender plaintiff $1,165,000 on her claims of discrimination and retaliation. Professor Tudor’s claims…

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Retaliation 101

A recent opinion from the U.S. Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals involving Tulsa’s American Airlines facility serves as a reminder of the kind of evidence required to establish retaliation. Worker sues after failing competency test and losing position In Pittman v. American Airlines, Inc., employee Anna Pittman filed suit after being rejected for a hazardous…

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EEOC alleges medical exams and questionnaires violate ADA, GINA

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) limits an employer’s ability to make disability-related inquiries or subject individuals to medical exams. No such inquiries or exams may be made until an offer of employment is made. Once a conditional offer of employment is made, an employer may make such inquiries or require such exams, provided it…

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IRS announces special relief to help victims of Hurricane Harvey

Last week the IRS announced that 401(k) plans and certain similar employer-sponsored retirement plans can make loans and hardship distributions to help victims of Hurricane Harvey. Under the relief, a qualified employer retirement plan will not be treated as failing to satisfy any requirement under the Internal Revenue Code merely because the plan makes a…

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Vague, open-ended medical leave denied

The Americans with Disabilities Act requires employers to consider a leave of absence for an employee due to a medical condition as a form of accommodation. However, that requirement is not without limitations. A recent appeals court decision that applies to Oklahoma employers demonstrates that an employer may not be required to provide leave to…

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