Religion has been a hot topic in the American media in recent weeks. Thus, this is a good time to review the sections of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that prohibit religious discrimination. According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”), the number of religion-based charges filed under Title VII has increased significantly in recent years. During the last twelve years, that number has nearly doubled; the number of charges filed in fiscal year 2009 was 3,386. The monetary benefits received as a result of those charges has also grown exponentially.
Most employers out there are probably familiar with the reality program “Survivor.” And many of them probably feel as if that’s all they can do in today’s challenging labor and employment climate. In fact, ask a personnel manager what they do and you’re just as likely to hear him or her say “Outwit, Outplay, Outlast” than you are “hiring, firing and benefits.”
While the United States Supreme Court already has issued a host of employment-related decisions this year – some of which we discussed here, here, here and here – the Nation’s Highest Court will soon issue another, and this time, hopefully settle a deep conflict among the Federal Circuits with respect to an issue that has long divided the employment law community: the so-called “Cat’s Paw” theory of liability.