Discrimination

Indiana clerk who refused same-sex marriage license loses lawsuit

December 19, 2016
Dave Stafford
A southern Indiana deputy clerk who was fired after she refused to issue a marriage license to a same-sex couple lost her civil-rights lawsuit against the county clerk. Her suit claimed religious discrimination on the basis of her avowed Christian belief that same-sex marriage is “against God’s law,” which is “above legal law.”
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Disney IT workers allege discrimination in lawsuit

December 15, 2016
 Associated Press
A group of information technology workers laid off by Walt Disney World says they're the victims of national origin discrimination because they were fired and replaced by contractors from India.
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4 Indiana cities seek dismissal of LGBT protections suit

December 8, 2016
 Associated Press, IL Staff
Four Indiana cities have asked the Indiana Court of Appeals to overrule a judge’s ruling allowing conservative groups to go ahead with a lawsuit challenging anti-discrimination ordinances.
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Judge: Disabled housing discrimination suit may proceed

December 2, 2016
IL Staff
An Indianapolis subsidized senior-citizens housing facility must face a lawsuit from disabled tenants who claim the three-story apartment building failed to repair its only elevator for weeks, leaving them unable to get to apartments on the top two stories and leaving some disabled tenants stranded upstairs.
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Full 7th Circuit hears LGBT-workplace bias appeal

November 30, 2016
 Associated Press
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has heard arguments en banc on whether the 1964 Civil Rights Act covers workplace discrimination against LGBT workers.
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7th Circuit to rehear Ivy Tech discrimination case Wednesday

November 29, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals will again consider whether the protections offered by Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act extend to sexual orientation.
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Judge denies summary judgment on claim of sex discrimination by state police

November 28, 2016
Olivia Covington
A federal judge has denied summary judgment in favor of Indiana State Police in a sex discrimination case, finding that a former officer’s evidence in the case creates a factual dispute about her claim that the department decline to hire her for a civilian position after her retirement because she is a woman.
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Fired manager files discrimination suit against Eskenazi Health

November 10, 2016
Indianapolis Business Journal, John Russell
A former manager at Eskenazi Health in Indianapolis claims she was fired after complaining that her boss was pressuring her to hire more minorities.
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Suit claims Jeffersonville landlord discriminated against kids

November 3, 2016
IL Staff
A federal lawsuit filed Wednesday claims a Jeffersonville landlord discriminated against families with young children and denied them the opportunity to rent apartments in violation of the Fair Housing Act.
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Supreme Court won’t hear challenge to FBI fitness test

October 31, 2016
 Associated Press
The U.S. Supreme Court won’t hear a dispute over whether a physical fitness test for FBI special agents is biased against men.
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Pence mum on continuing anti-Syrian refugee fight gubernatorial candidates reject

October 19, 2016
Dave Stafford
Gov. Mike Pence’s fight to keep Syrian refugees out of Indiana may continue — as his term is expiring, he hasn’t said whether he will appeal federal court rulings that his position is discriminatory. Nevertheless, the candidates vying to succeed him as governor oppose the stance he’s unsuccessfully fought for.
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Full 7th Circuit to hear Ivy Tech sexual orientation discrimination case

October 11, 2016
IL Staff
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday granted an ex-Ivy Tech employee’s request for the full court to hear her sexual orientation discrimination case against the school.
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Supreme Court rejects appeal under NC racial bias law

October 3, 2016
 Associated Press
The Supreme Court of the United States will not hear an appeal from four former death row inmates in North Carolina who claimed systemic racial bias contributed to their death sentences.
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Fired Elkhart city attorney files federal suit against mayor

September 7, 2016
Dave Stafford
A female Elkhart city attorney who claims the newly elected mayor fired her because he “wanted my own guy” has filed a federal lawsuit alleging her First Amendment rights were violated. She also claims age discrimination and violation of the Equal Pay Act.
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Ex-hospital security guard loses race discrimination appeal

August 29, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
A security guard at a Noblesville hospital was unable to prove to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals his termination after slapping an autistic patient was based on his race.
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7th Circuit asked to rehear Title VII sexual orientation case

August 26, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
The former math instructor at Ivy Tech Community College in South Bend who claims that the school violated her Title VII rights by repeatedly denying her promotions and eventually terminating her employment because she is a lesbian has petitioned the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals for rehearing.
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ABA takes stronger stance on harassment, discrimination

August 24, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
While the new model rule addresses bias and prejudice, Indiana’s conduct rule is much stricter.
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Workplace harassment endures, evolves

August 24, 2016
Dave Stafford
Despite decades of on-the-job training for workers and numerous high-profile lawsuits, harassment by managers and co-workers persists. Though the number of sexual harassment claims has declined in recent years, companies still get hit with thousands of lawsuits alleging harassment of some kind each year.
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7th Circuit opinion highlights confusion over LGBT discrimination protection

August 24, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
Within the first nine pages of its opinion, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a district court’s ruling that sexual orientation is not protected by Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. And there, the panel could have ended its discussion. But the court spotlighted the growing confusion in the courts of when, exactly, sexual orientation crosses the line into gender nonconformity.
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Former Ivy Tech prof may ask 7th Circuit to rehear sexual orientation discrimination suit

August 10, 2016
Marilyn Odendahl
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has granted a former Ivy Tech Community College adjunct professor, who claims she was passed over for promotions based on her sexual orientation, an extension of time to file a petition for rehearing and rehearing en banc.
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7th Circuit takes detailed look at Title VII, sexual orientation claims

July 29, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
Noting the writing may be on the wall that people who bring sexual orientation discrimination claims under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 should be protected, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals was bound by precedent to deny a woman’s claim against Ivy Tech Community college in South Bend.
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Elkhart teacher loses age-discrimination appeal

July 25, 2016
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday rejected an appeal of an Elkhart teacher who claimed the school system discriminated against her on the basis of her race and age in denying her 12 different promotions over a span of eight years.
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Indy property management group accused of discriminating against families

July 13, 2016
Hayleigh Colombo, Indianapolis Business Journal
Fair housing advocates have filed a complaint with the federal government against Indianapolis-based property management group AMP Residential, alleging the group has “engaged in systemic discrimination against families with children.”
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Judge: US women's soccer team bound by no-strike clause

June 3, 2016
 Associated Press
A federal judge says the world champion U.S. women's soccer team currently does not have the right to strike to seek improved conditions and wages before the Summer Olympics.
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Federal jury rejects ex-prosecutor's pay bias claims

June 3, 2016
 Associated Press
A federal jury in Massachusetts has rejected the claims of a former prosecutor in the Suffolk District Attorney's office who alleged she was paid less than male colleagues because of her gender.
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  4. Mr. Levin says that the BMV engaged in misconduct--that the BMV (or, rather, someone in the BMV) knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged fees but did nothing to correct the situation. Such misconduct, whether engaged in by one individual or by a group, is called theft (defined as knowingly or intentionally exerting unauthorized control over the property of another person with the intent to deprive the other person of the property's value or use). Theft is a crime in Indiana (as it still is in most of the civilized world). One wonders, then, why there have been no criminal prosecutions of BMV officials for this theft? Government misconduct doesn't occur in a vacuum. An individual who works for or oversees a government agency is responsible for the misconduct. In this instance, somebody (or somebodies) with the BMV, at some time, knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged. What's more, this person (or these people), even after having the error of their ways pointed out to them, did nothing to fix the problem. Instead, the overcharges continued. Thus, the taxpayers of Indiana are also on the hook for the millions of dollars in attorneys fees (for both sides; the BMV didn't see fit to avail itself of the services of a lawyer employed by the state government) that had to be spent in order to finally convince the BMV that stealing money from Indiana motorists was a bad thing. Given that the BMV official(s) responsible for this crime continued their misconduct, covered it up, and never did anything until the agency reached an agreeable settlement, it seems the statute of limitations for prosecuting these folks has not yet run. I hope our Attorney General is paying attention to this fiasco and is seriously considering prosecution. Indiana, the state that works . . . for thieves.

  5. I'm glad that attorney Carl Hayes, who represented the BMV in this case, is able to say that his client "is pleased to have resolved the issue". Everyone makes mistakes, even bureaucratic behemoths like Indiana's BMV. So to some extent we need to be forgiving of such mistakes. But when those mistakes are going to cost Indiana taxpayers millions of dollars to rectify (because neither plaintiff's counsel nor Mr. Hayes gave freely of their services, and the BMV, being a state-funded agency, relies on taxpayer dollars to pay these attorneys their fees), the agency doesn't have a right to feel "pleased to have resolved the issue". One is left wondering why the BMV feels so pleased with this resolution? The magnitude of the agency's overcharges might suggest to some that, perhaps, these errors were more than mere oversight. Could this be why the agency is so "pleased" with this resolution? Will Indiana motorists ever be assured that the culture of incompetence (if not worse) that the BMV seems to have fostered is no longer the status quo? Or will even more "overcharges" and lawsuits result? It's fairly obvious who is really "pleased to have resolved the issue", and it's not Indiana's taxpayers who are on the hook for the legal fees generated in these cases.

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