The EEOC recently disclosed that it secured more than $365.4 million dollars from private employers the past year. The amount is a record in monetary benefits collected, and represents a $700,000 increase over last year. About 10 percent of the total monetary benefits, $36.2 million, resulted from settlements or conciliation agreements in connection with alleged systemic employment violations (a primary focus of the EEOC). That figure is four times the amount recovered during the 2011 fiscal year. Further, the EEOC does not appear to be backing away from its aggressive investigative practices and broad interpretations of the federal anti-discrimination laws, nor can employers expect such a change with the re-election of President Obama. Continue reading this entry
The EEOC has recently highlighted the significant legal risks that arise from an employer’s inflexible, one-size-fits-all application of certain employment policies. The EEOC has singled out two types of employment policies that are likely to draw its attention: (1) uniform job qualification requirements that permit no exceptions for applicants “regarded as” disabled, and (2) leave policies containing inflexible cut-off dates.
Your employment application is obviously an important screening tool in your hiring process, and you should take the time to review it to ensure it complies with any applicable laws, collects the information you need, and provides information applicants need to know when completing the application.
As reported on Foley’s Labor and Employment Perspectives Blog in November 2010, the EEOC filed nearly 100,000 charges in fiscal year 2010. This number amounted to the most charges ever in the EEOC’s 45-year history and represented a 7.2-percent increase over the number of charges filed in 2009.
On November 15, 2010, the EEOC published its Performance and Accountability Report for Fiscal Year 2010 (ending September 30, 2010). The Report confirmed what many suspected — namely, that there were a huge number of charges filed with the EEOC in its FY 2010. In fact, nearly 100,000 charges were filed with the EEOC in 2010 — the most ever in its 45-year history and a 7.2-percent increase over the number of charges filed in 2009. The EEOC attributed this record-breaking year to its expanded statutory authorities related to the ADA Amendment Act, the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act, and the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. The EEOC also claimed that the rise in charge filings is attributable to its easier filing procedures and better customer service, including by telephone and e-mail. Many predicted this surge in filings during the slow economy in which employers have had to make hard termination and layoff decisions, often more quickly than usual, and discharged employees faced difficulty finding alternative employment. Without ready options for alternative employment, individuals seem more likely to challenge actions by former employers by filing charges.