Employee Benefits News examines legal developments that impact the employee benefits and executive compensation employers provide, including federal and state legislation, rules from federal...
This week in Know Your Judge we feature Judge Sean Francis Cox of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.
Cox was appointed by former President George W. Bush and has been serving since 2006.
Cox held in 2016 that a Michigan funeral home didn’t violate federal employment discrimination law by firing a transgender employee who was transitioning from male to female and intended to wear a woman’s attire at work. Last week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit issued an opinion reversing Cox’s ruling.
The Sixth Circuit decision is notable for allowing transgender workers in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee to sue their employers for sex discrimination without having to provide additional evidence that the bias they allegedly faced was also based on illegal sex stereotyping. It’s also the first appeals court ruling to address the ability of nonreligious employers to use the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act as a defense to discrimination claims brought by the government.
Cox’s recent rulings also include a 2016 decision against a worker who couldn’t show that Prudential Insurance Co. of America didn’t provide him a full and fair review of his long-term disability benefit claim. In 2015, Cox held that a retired gas company employee who received $17,776 in erroneous overpayments didn’t have to repay the amount to his pension plan.
In cases involving employment law issues, such as age and sex discrimination, Cox is more likely to grant employers’ motions to dismiss. In contrast, Cox hasn’t granted any dismissals in employee benefit cases. As to labor law disputes, the data shows that the odds of Cox granting a motion to dismiss are evenly split.
Cox’s opinions are overwhelmingly affirmed by the Sixth Circuit—the appeals court that reviews decisions of federal district courts in Michigan. In the past 12 years on the bench, only three of his opinions—two over employment law issues and one in an employee benefit case—have been fully reversed. Only one of his 16 opinions involving employment law issues has been partially reversed.
Cox usually resolves employment, labor, and benefits cases within a year of their filing. He took an average of
Looking for more analytics on judges? Check back each Wednesday for our Know Your Judge feature, or try Bloomberg Law’s Litigation Analytics. And contact us if there’s a judge you want us to feature.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)