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Developments at the EEOC: Title VII Covers Sexual Orientation in Federal Sector

Developments at the EEOC:  In a landmark decision, Complainant v. Fox, Sec., Department of Transportation, Appeal No 0120133080 (July 15, 2015), the EEOC has held that a federal employee who brings a complaint of discrimination on account of sexual orientation states a claim under Title VII for discrimination on account of sex. This decision, issued by the EEOC's Office of Federal Operations (OFO), was issued over the signature of the EEOC's Executive Secretariat, which means that this decision was actually voted on by the Commissioners, not just issued by the OFO's Director.

Developments at OPM: Final Rule on National Security Positions

Developments at OPM:  On June 5, 2015, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) jointly published a Final Rule in the Federal Register (80 Fed.Reg. 32,244-32,265).  The Final Rule implemented updated regulations for agencies to designate positions as "national security positions"--and potentially excluding  affected positions from Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) appeal rights.  The Final Rule is effective July 6, 2015.

Developments at OPM: Guide on Protections for LGBT Federal Employees

Developments at OPM:  On June 3, 2015, the U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC), the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM), the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) jointly issued a new report, "Addressing Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Discrimination in Federal Civilian Employment  A Guide to Employment Rights, Protections and Responsibilities."  This Guide summarizes the great extent to which the EEOC and OSC have expanded to cover sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination claims during the past 10 years.

News from the Supreme Court: EEOC Wins Religious Accommodation Case

News from the Supreme Court:  On June 1, 2015, the Supreme Court issued its decision in Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Abercrombie & Fitch Stores, Inc., ___ U.S. ___, No. 14-86.  The Supreme Court vindicated Title VII's requirements that employers provide reasonable accommodation for religion in the hiring process.

Developments at the MSPB: MSPB Releases FY 2014 Annual Report

Developments at the MSPB: On May 29, 2015, the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) issued its annual report for FY 2014. The report discussed the current status of the MSPB's caseload of furlough appeals, as well as its overall case processing in FY 2014.

Developments at the MSPB: New Report on Due Process Issues

Developments at the MSPB:  On May 11, 2015, the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) issued a new reportWhat is Due Process in Federal Civil Service Employment?    This report appeared to target certain alleged mischaracterizations regarding civil service due process rights of federal employees which, according to recent press accounts, have been driving proposals in Congress to truncate those due process protections.

News from the Supreme Court: Court to Hear Complaint Deadline Case

News from the Supreme Court:  On April 27, 2015, the Supreme Court agreed to hear the appeal in Green v. Donahoe.  The appeal seeks to resolve a split in the courts regarding how to calculate deadlines for federal sector EEO complaints.

Developments at the EEOC: Passman & Kaplan Wins Default Judgment

Developments at the EEOC: On April 6, 2015, the General Services Administration (GSA) decided not to appeal the default judgment order imposed against it in EEOC No. 5702-2012-00608X. GSA was sanctioned for its failure to timely investigate an EEO complaint, in a case where the Complainant did not receive the report of investigation from GSA until 506 days after the formal complaint, and 350 days after the last amendment.

News from the Supreme Court: Pregnancy Discrimination Act Interpreted

News from the Supreme Court: In a 6-3 split decision, the Supreme Court declined to follow the EEOC's guidance in accommodating pregnant employees seeking light-duty accommodations. Young v. United Parcel Service, ___ U.S. ____, No. 12-1226 (3/25/15). The Supreme Court held that the UPS did not have to offer pregnant employees light-duty assignments although it later changed its policy to do so. However, pregnant employees can still allege discrimination but will have to have to prove that the employer's alleged legitimate business reason was a pretext for discrimination.

Developments at the EEOC: Class Certification Upheld

Developments at the EEOC:  On February 19, 2015, the EEOC's Office of Federal Operations (OFO) issued its decision in Meyer et al. v. Department of State, EEOC Request No. 0520140506.  OFO upheld class certification for a claim against the State Department (Agency) of alleged disability discrimination in hiring for Foreign Service positions.

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