Staying on Top of Federal Contractor Regulations

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Earlier this year, the OFCCP began enforcement of extensive amended regulations on Affirmative Action Plans (AAP) and recordkeeping requirements for both protected veterans (VEVRRA) and persons with disabilities (Section 503). These regulations require significant modification to existing AAP, including new requirements for data collection, outreach, and training, “benchmarks” and goals. Companies and entities dealing with federal contractors or subcontractors doing business with the federal government are required to comply with OFCCP regulations. While some of these obligations can be delayed until the 2015 “transition” AAP, others should already be implemented. Continue reading this entry

Approved H-1B? Get the Ball Rolling on Your Consular Application Now!

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Getting an H-1B nonimmigrant visa for new employment with a private employer in the United States has become an obstacle course that now even requires winning a lottery. The process has become so complicated that H-1B beneficiaries lucky enough to find a bona fide offer of employment, win the visa lottery, and actually have their case approved by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) still cannot start to work in H-1B status until October 1, 2014. Continue reading this entry

No Coach Necessary for Potty-Mouth Employee

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As we have recently noted, and as many employers have probably bemoaned a time or two, sometimes it feels like the legal concept of “reasonable accommodation” has little to do with real-world notions of what is reasonable, particularly when courts are telling employees they might have to allow admitted employee theft as such an accommodation. However, a recent federal court decision suggests that a “reasonable” accommodation can still contain some practical balance, but it also serves to again underscore the importance of an employer’s obligation to engage in the interactive process. Continue reading this entry

Rampant Sexual Misconduct in Indiana Prison Shows Pitfalls for Employers

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“Connie J. Orton-Bell was employed as a substance abuse counselor at a maximum security prison in Indiana. An investigator, who had been looking for security breaches, discovered that night-shift employees were having sex on Orton-Bell’s desk and informed her. That investigator told her that he was not concerned about night-shift staff having sex but suggested she should probably wash off her desk every morning.”

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Believe it or not, this is not a scene from the new season of Orange is the New Black. It’s actually the opening lines from Orton-Bell v. Indiana, No. 13-1235 (7th Cir. July 21, 2014), an opinion authored by Judge Manion, and one of the more entertaining Seventh Circuit opinions in recent memory. Continue reading this entry

EEOC Effectively Declares Pregnancy a "Disability" Requiring Reasonable Accommodation — Even When the Pregnant Employee Is Not Disabled

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The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has recently declared that pregnancy alone, even without other underlying medical conditions, may require employer accommodations according to recent guidance released July 14, 2014. In a controversial decision splitting the commissioners 3-2, the EEOC broadcast a specific focus on pregnancy-related discrimination due to a continued uptick in charges and complaints over the past several years. With this in mind, employers should consider taking a closer look at pregnancy-related requests for accommodation before deciding on a course of action. Continue reading this entry