Tag Archives: EEOC

Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell? When It Comes to Religious Accommodation, the Supreme Court Offers Guidance (Well, Sort Of… )

What if it looks like someone may need a religious accommodation, but the individual never asks? Does the company still have a duty to accommodate? In a much awaited opinion, the Supreme Court, in an 8-1 decision, determined that “they never asked” does not necessarily let an employer off the hook. Employers subject to Title VII … Continue reading this entry

Sometimes You Just Cannot Make This Stuff Up

Warning: The following is true. Some readers may find the content disturbing. Reader discretion is advised. We have previously stated, although in somewhat tongue-in-cheek fashion, that labor and employment is the “TMZ” of the legal world. While that metaphoric comparison may be open for debate, many human resources professionals and employment law practitioners know that … Continue reading this entry

Employer Wellness Programs: Finally (or at Least Potentially) Some Clarity

Late last week, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued its long-anticipated proposed regulations regarding the application of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to employer-sponsored wellness programs for employees, and the news for employers is not all bad. In fact, while the guidance only comes in the form of proposed rules (meaning there is … Continue reading this entry

U.S. Army Loses Battle to Regulate Bathroom Selection of Transgender (Civilian) Employee

On April 1, 2015, the EEOC ordered the Army to pay damages for discriminating against a transgender employee when it prevented her from using the common women’s bathroom and routinely demeaned her by calling her “sir” and other names meant to deprive her of equal status, respect, and dignity in the workplace. The complainant is a … Continue reading this entry

Supreme Court Delivers New Life to Pregnancy Discrimination Act Claim

In an eagerly awaited ruling expected to provide greater guidance on an employer’s obligation to accommodate pregnant employees, last week the U.S. Supreme Court established the standard an employee must meet to state a discrimination claim under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) when an employer provides accommodations to non-pregnant employees, but does not provide the same … Continue reading this entry

What Is a “Direct Threat” to Health or Safety Under the ADA?

Most employers understand that the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability. However, an employer may legally decide not to hire an individual with a disability if he or she poses a “direct threat to the health and safety” to themselves or others. So, what is a “direct threat?” The … Continue reading this entry

Seek “Recent Graduates” for a Job Opening, Risk a Lawsuit

Employer job advertisements are, once again, coming under scrutiny. A few weeks ago, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) made headlines when it filed a lawsuit against a restaurant chain over its job posting in which “only females would be considered” for summer positions in a Utah resort town. Last year, Facebook settled a lawsuit with … Continue reading this entry

Employers Beware: Increased Attention to Workplace Harassment and Wellness Programs by the EEOC Coming in the New Year

Newly appointed U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Chair Jenny Yang recently offered some insight into the EEOC’s areas of focus for 2015, providing employers with a preview of some of the key regulatory and enforcement actions on the horizon. Two primary issues have emerged: workplace harassment and wellness programs.… Continue reading this entry

Watch Your Back: The Growing Threat of FCRA Background Check Class Actions

Class action suits against employers alleging a violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act when using background checks performed by a credit reporting agency have more than tripled in 2014, with new cases continuing to be filed this month. There have also been numerous settlements during the year, with some ranging from $2 million to … Continue reading this entry

Mental Health and the Workplace — Accommodations

Depression. Anxiety. Bipolar Disorder. These and similar mental health diagnoses may affect your boss, the CEO of your company, the head of HR, your assistant, two of your peer workers, or maybe even you. And their symptoms may also affect how well employees perform their jobs. Just as with physical disorders, mental disorders that rise … Continue reading this entry

EEOC Signals Intent to Process and Litigate Claims of Sexual Orientation Discrimination Under Title VII

Signaling its intent to pursue its viewpoint that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation (including transgender identity), the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has taken several recent steps to advance its theory that Title VII’s statutory term “sex” has broad application within the meaning of … Continue reading this entry

Contemporary Clothing’s “Look” Collides With Title VII

There is more than a little bit of irony when a clothing company with a target market of teens and young adults has a fashion dilemma. However, a national retailer has just such a dilemma arising from a potential religious accommodation dispute that has just taken a front and center position in the national legal … Continue reading this entry

Hurry Up and Wait: Court Decision Gives No Substantive Guidance on the EEOC’s Challenges to Standard Separation Agreement Provisions

As we noted last month, a federal district court in Illinois announced it was dismissing a controversial lawsuit brought by the EEOC against a nationwide pharmacy chain challenging that employer’s separation agreement containing standard provisions used by many employers. However, at that time, the court had not yet issued its written decision explaining the dismissal. … Continue reading this entry

Ban the Ban-the-Box? Proposed Law May Clarify Background Check Dilemma in Regulated Industries

On the heels of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) increased scrutiny regarding criminal history questions during the hiring process and the wave of new state ban-the-box laws, Congress has proposed legislation that actually protects certain employers when they seek to comply with the laws that regulate their industries. The “Certainty in Enforcement Act of … Continue reading this entry

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

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 … Continue reading this entry

Record Enforcement Year for EEOC

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 … Continue reading this entry

EEOC Highlights Legal Risks Posed by Inflexible Job Requirement and Leave Policies

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 … Continue reading this entry

Have You Reviewed Your Employment Application Lately?

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.… Continue reading this entry

EEOC Provides Insight Into Its Increase in Charges Filed

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.… Continue reading this entry

EEOC Reports Record Number of Charges Filed

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 … Continue reading this entry