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Rent-A-Center sued for transgender bias

The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed a lawsuit on Thursday, July 21 in the United States District Court in Urbana. They are fighting on behalf of a former employee against a branch of the furniture company Rent-A-Center. Both the employee and EEOC allege that the 1404 E. Grove Avenue location in Rantoul, Illinois treated the former worker unfairly because she is transgender.

EEOC’s Chicago director Julianne Bowman said a pre-suit administrative investigation was able to uncover evidence that the company’s managers took the gender transition of the former employer in a negative light. Rent-A-Center thus found a pretext to fire her, an action that violates provisions set forth in Title VII of the Civil Rights Acts of 1964.

The provision establishes penalties for people who discriminate based on sexual orientation in the workplace. Bowman said the EEOC first tried to secure a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process but was not successful on that end.

Our attorneys at The Melton Law Firm represent individuals in Austin and other areas of Texas who are experiencing employment concerns. If you suffered unfair treatment at the hands of your employer, or if you are subjected to unscrupulous or unlawful business practices, call our offices at (512) 330-0017.


Supreme Court may side with plaintiff in case versus Abercrombie

Although the United States Supreme Court has yet to give its final ruling over a workplace discrimination case disputing religious freedoms, the group so far appears to be agreeing with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission during the oral arguments that took place on February 25, the Hill reported.

The plaintiff is Samantha Elauf, a practicing Muslim who claims she was denied employment as a worker at an Abercrombie & Fitch Kids store in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 2008 because at the time of her application, she had donned a black headscarf called a “hijab,” which Abercrombie says is not in accordance with their “look policy.”

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said the prospective employer should ask the potential employee if he or she has a problem with the look policy – not immediately dismiss them or refuse them the opportunity for employment.

The EEOC argued that Abercrombie’s refusal to accommodate Elauf’s religious beliefs was in violation of the Civil Rights Act, specifically Title VII.

New Albany, Ohio-based Abercrombie, on the other hand, was of the opinion that Elauf failed to inform the hiring managers of the conflicting interest and that letting her stay in the company would saddle the company with an undue burden.

The case was lifted to the Supreme Court after the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals sided with Abercrombie. Prior to that, a federal district court sided with the EEOC.

Contact our attorneys today at The Melton Law Firm by calling (512) 330-0017 if you have an employment issue in Austin or other areas in Texas that you need our legal help with.


Austin firefighters, city agree on resolution to change hiring process

After the firefighters’ union in Austin seemed to have won an impasse with the city over new terms for a hiring process and cadet training standards, a Department of Justice (DOJ) attorney issued a letter threatening that the resolution may send the DOJ back to court. Subsequently, the union issued an amended resolution, KXAN reported on February 5.

The DOJ cited concerns about the delay of priority hiring of minorities in the letter to the union. After the amended resolution was passed by Austin City Council members, the council urged the city staff to hire an outside agency to test cadets within the timeline outlined in the DOJ Consent Decree, but only after the Austin Firefighters’ Association and the city reach a new employment deal.

The city of Austin and the firefighter’s association had yet to establish a new employment deal since the old agreement’s terms lapsed in 2009. According to the resolution, Austin’s capacity for diversity and fair treatment in the fire department depends on ongoing, collective bargaining.

If an employer has willfully or unintentionally violated your rights as employees and you live in the Austin area, seek the legal assistance of our attorneys at the The Melton Law Firm, who may advocate for your rights, by dialing (512) 330-0017 today.

The Melton Law Firm
2705 Bee Caves Rd #220
Austin, TX 78746
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