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Discrimination

December 29, 2015

Iowa Supreme Court Delivers Pregnant Pause

By Frank Harty Iowa employers constantly wrestle with how to treat pregnant employees. Some desire to accord special treatment to pregnant employees – but do so at the risk of drawing reverse discrimination claims. Other employers use a “status blind” approach – attempting to strictly comply with Iowa law by...

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July 30, 2015

Wrongful Termination Plaintiffs Need Not Prove Employer Lacked Business Justification

By Michael Currie On June 30, the Iowa Supreme Court clarified the necessary elements a plaintiff must prove to succeed in a claim for wrongful discharge in violation of public policy. Specifically, the Court considered whether or not a plaintiff needs to prove that her employer lacked a legitimate business...

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June 2, 2015

Employers may violate Title VII even without knowledge of the need for a religious accommodation

By Katie Graham Yesterday, the United States Supreme Court ruled that actual knowledge of an employee’s need for religious accommodation is not required to support a Title VII discrimination claim. In EEOC v. Abercrombie & Fitch Stores, Inc., a job applicant was denied employment because her headscarf conflicted with the...

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July 25, 2014

Iowa Supreme Court Affirms Defense Verdict in Disparate-Impact Employment Discrimination Case Again

By Amanda Atherton Last week, the Iowa Supreme Court affirmed the district court’s judgment in favor of the state in Pippen v. State of Iowa et al, No. 12-0913, a class-action employment-discrimination case brought under Title VII and the Iowa Civil Rights Act. The class of over 5,000 was represented...

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July 1, 2014

Iowa Supreme Court Embraces the ADAAA

By Randy Armentrout On June 27, the Iowa Supreme Court decided in Goodpaster v. Schwan’s Home Service, Inc., that it will look to the ADA (Americans with Disabilities) Amendments Act of 2008 (“ADAAA”), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12101-12213, when interpreting the meaning “disability” under the Iowa Civil Rights Act (“ICRA”). The...

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July 1, 2014

Chiropractic School Must Provide Blind Student a "Sighted Assistant" to Interpret X-Rays

By Ryan Leemkuil Aaron Cannon has been blind since birth. He enrolled at Palmer College of Chiropractic in 2004, despite warnings from a school representative that Cannon’s blindness would make it difficult, if not impossible, for him to meet the Palmer’s technical standards, which require “sufficient use of vision ....

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August 29, 2013

Federal Court Rejects EEOC Challenge to Criminal Background Check Policy

By Ryan Leemkuil In June, we blogged about two recent lawsuits the EEOC has brought against Dollar General and BMW alleging that these companies’ use of criminal background checks causes a disparate impact on black applicants. In a ruling earlier this month, a federal district court in Maryland rejected a...

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July 12, 2013

Iowa Supreme Court Reaffirms Termination of Dental Hygienist Was Not Discriminatory

By Amanda Atherton Earlier today, the Iowa Supreme Court issued a new opinion reaffirming its decision in Nelson v. James H. Knight, DDS, P.C., with a new special concurrence written by Chief Justice Mark Cady, joined by Justices Wiggins and Hecht. This comes after the Court’s withdrawal of its prior...

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June 27, 2013

U.S. Supreme Court Defines “Supervisor” for all Title VII Harassment Claims

By Randy Armentrout Resolving a split in the circuits, the United States Supreme Court held on June 24, 2013 in Vance v. Ball State University that a “supervisor” is a person empowered by an employer to take tangible employment actions against an employee. A tangible employment action means making a...

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June 26, 2013

U.S. Supreme Court Reinforces Application of Standard Adopted in Gross v. FBL

In University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center v. Nassar, the United States Supreme Court held that a plaintiff seeking to recover for unlawful retaliation under Title VII must establish that unlawful retaliatory intent was the but-for cause of the challenged employment action. The court rejected the argument that the less...

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