Big Tobacco

A class action in Orange County Court, Calif., claims R.J. Reynolds Tobacco discriminates against Black and homosexual employees by, among other things, “advising employees, such as the plaintiff, that they work for a ‘conservative company’ based in North Carolina and that the gay lifestyle is ‘offensive’ not only to plaintiff’s teammates but also management and those in leadership position.”

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Genetic Mutation

Diagnosis of the BRCA1 mutation — a gene that substantially limits normal cell growth and increases the risk of breast cancer — could be considered a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Sixth Circuit ruled. The court revived disability discrimination claims against a day care brought by a former employee who was fired after having a double mastectomy. 

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Sexual Misconduct

In answers to two certified questions from a federal court, the Washington Supreme Court held that a school district can be subject to strict liability for discrimination in places of public accommodation by its employees and, under the meaning of state law protecting people from certain discriminatory practices, intentional sexual misconduct can amount to discrimination. 

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