Samuel J. Cordes & Associates
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May 2012 Archives

Pittsburgh teacher sues district for sex discrimination

Although most people associate sex or gender discrimination with discrimination against women, men also experience sex discrimination in the workplace. Men may not consider that sex discrimination is a factor when they are denied promotional opportunities or department resources, but it can happen and is not allowed in Pennsylvania. 

Four-star hotel fires pregnant employee

We've covered pregnancy discrimination many times before on this blog, in part because the frequency of these cases is shocking. Not only is pregnancy discrimination prohibited by several state and federal laws, but it is also a terrible way to treat employees. Yet, pregnancy discrimination is still happening in Pennsylvania and all over the country, and many women lose their jobs each year after their employers find out that they are expecting.

How political should teachers be?

A charter school teacher was recently fired for helping her students organize a fundraiser. Participating in student activities and encouraging engaged citizenship is something that many teachers do and can be the mark of a great educator. But many schools, especially public schools, require that teachers stay neutral on political issues.

Religious school not immune from pregnancy discrimination suit

Religious institutions occupy their own special space in employment law. Amidst arguments about freedom of religion and morality clauses in employment contracts, the debate continues over their ability to discriminate against otherwise protected employees. A new lawsuit will be allowed to go forward in challenging a religious school's ability to fire a teacher for various reasons related to her pregnancy.

Woman accuses newspaper of gender discrimination

It's not uncommon for reporters or columnists at newspapers to have secondary sources of income. In an industry not known for its high-paying positions, many choose to write books, engage in speaking appearances, or pursue a different line of work to supplement their income. Many writers even complete freelance assignments for other publications while under contract with a newspaper or magazine.

Woman fired after donating kidney to boss

A lot of employees relish the opportunity to do a special favor for their boss, hoping that the goodwill translate to consideration for advancement down the road. Few people expect that doing a favor for their boss will lead to being fired, especially if the favor saves their life.

Employers cannot use FMLA applications to justify discrimination

The Family Medical Leave Act was passed to help protect employees who need to take time off to care for a loved one or seek medical treatment themselves. Employees have a right to keep their job when they take advantage of leave under FMLA and are protected from discrimination after they return.

EEOC says criminal background checks can lead to discrimination

Criminal background checks are often a fact of life for job applicants these days. The accessibility of online records means that any employer, big or small, can do a relatively low cost background check on a job candidate. Many employers say that they do this as a way to protect customers and other employees, but the EEOC says that the practice has an unintended consequence of racial discrimination.