Lars Liebeler obtained a seven-figure judgment against a large, international defense technology firm after the firm discriminated against a client on the basis of sex. Our clients, female employees of the large defense technology firm, had all applied for international assignments. The assignments provided significant opportunity for career advancement and increased compensation. None of the women were promoted to the positions. Instead, the defense technology firm only hired and promoted men to the assignments, including men with less experience than our clients. Indeed, the firm hired individuals outside the firm that required training for the position from one of our female clients.
We quickly commenced arbitration against the company, as required in the employee handbook, alleging that the company violated Title VII of the Civil Rights of 1964 (“Title VII”). Title VII prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of sex. The arbitrator agreed with our position that the company’s actions violated Title VII, and entered a hefty judgment in our clients’ favor.
Among the federal laws that prohibit discrimination in the workplace is Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin. Title VII prohibits intentional discrimination, as well as unintentional discrimination where employment practices have a disparate impact on a protected group.
Additional federal protections include the Equal Pay Act of 1963, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) oversees the enforcement of these federal anti-discrimination statutes. Individuals must file a complaint with the EEOC, and receive notice of a “right to sue”, prior to commencing litigation against an employer.
State and local laws may provide broader protection, including prohibitions against employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.
What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies
OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES