The United States Supreme Court holds that in most cases, it would not be a reasonable Accommodation to trump the rules of a seniority system. However, there may be exceptions, such as when the employer previously made changes to the seniority system.

If an employee is disabled by a disease transmittable by food, and the risk can not be eliminated by a reasonable accommodation, the employee should not be working. For the EEOC guidance on this, visit

A depressed employee did not have a protected disability since he obtained subsequent employment. His continued employment evidenced that the disability was short-lived and did not prevent him from working.

An employee at Goodyear suffered seizures in 1988 and 1989 that resulted in a job transfer. Since there had been no seizures since 1996, there is no evidence that epilepsy substantially limited the employee’s major life activities at the time of his discharge.

The New York State Department of Corrections requires a doctor’s “brief general diagnosis” after a four day absence. Since the employer could not prove that the policy falls under the ADA’s “business necessity” exception, the policy triggered an ADA violation. (Conroy v. New York State Dep’t of Corr. Servs. (2d Cir.))

An EPA suit alleging disparate pay based on gender must be supported by more than conclusory allegations. “This analysis does not depend on job titles or classifications but on the actual requirements and performance of the job.” Factors to be analyzed when determining if men and women are performing equal work include: physical or mental exertion necessary to perform, amount of responsibility and degree of accountability.

The employer learned that one of its employees was pregnant and included her in a two employee layoff. The Eighth Circuit found that she could not rebut the employer’s assertion that she was the least valuable employee in her department based on seniority, productivity, project load and flexibility. Case dismissed.

A sexual harassment class-action suit against TWA brought by the EEOC ( and three plaintiff-intervenors represented by Lipman & Plesur, LLP ( settled for $2.6 million, the largest settlement obtained by the New York District Office of the EEOC. “The ‘stick your head in the sand’ approach to dealing with sexual harassment in the workplace proved very costly in this case” said Lipman. “Even after settlement papers were signed, a supervisor told one of our clients still employed by TWA, that he doesn’t like women with long hair, especially when they are ‘on top.'” Lipman said.

Such crude comments have been rampant at TWA for years and the company has not taken action to stop it, according to the Complaints filed by Lipman & Plesur, LLP and the EEOC. Robert Lipman, who is also President of Interactive Employment Training, Inc.( and Editor of EEO News (, observes that “it is unbelievable that a company would choose to let sexual harassment fester in the workplace, inviting huge morale and other work-related problems as well as a class-action lawsuit, when such conduct can be easily prevented through appropriate discriminatory harassment prevention training.” “A relatively small investment in a discriminatory harassment prevention training course could have prevented this whole case” Lipman said.

Interactive Employment Training, Inc’s recently launched online discriminatory harassment prevention program developed in conjunction with AIG, is currently in use at many organizations, including AIG, Guiness UDV and the United States Department of Justice. Such a course sensitizes workers about respect and creates a culture that does not tolerate discriminatory harassment. “As illustrated by the TWA case, organizations that fail to take appropriate steps to stop sexual and discriminatory harassment in the workplace pay the price. More organizations will take the cost effective route to discriminatory harassment prevention that is now provided by engaging, interactive training over the Internet. Companies have a choice: ignore the problem, which will lead to poor morale and increased turnover as well as costly lawsuits, or take measures to prevent discriminatory harassment in the workplace. This choice is a no brainer and the Internet provides the best forum to sensitize employees to the issue of discriminatory harassment,” Lipman said.

Human Resource Executive editors select this year’s top 10 training products.    [read the article]

The Criminal Division of the U.S. Department of Justice has incorporated IET’s online harassment prevention program as part of its management training program.

“AIG and IET worked together to develop this course. Both the content and the administrative tool can be tailored to meet an employer’s needs. I believe this course will increase awareness about workplace harassment and help maximize affirmative defenses.”

Steve Gorman, Senior Director
Human Resources Management, AIG

“IET was a pleasure to work with. We rolled out IET’s discriminatory harassment prevention course without a hitch. Online training has finally arrived.”

Ryta Ringrose, Vice President
HR Employee Service Center, Guinness UDV

“Charter Communications provides all of our employees with customized online discriminatory harassment training produced by Interactive Employment Training, Inc. IET was great to work with and the course has been very well received.”

Laura Mainville Guenther , Director, Employment and Development
Charter Communications

An employee suffering from pancreatitis told his insurance company that he could not return to work. The Fifth Circuit holds that when an employee can’t work, he can’t claim retaliation under the ADEA.