Articles tagged 'EEOC'

HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

Court Takes EEOC to the Woodshed For Overreach on Background Checks

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You might recall last August’s stinging comments from celebrated Judge Roger Titus of the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland that were directed at the EEOC when he dismissed their case against Freeman Companies for what the commission alleged as discriminatory hiring practices related to Freeman’s use of criminal background checks and credit reports.

Judge Titus used words like “laughable,” “unreliable,” and “mind boggling.”

Instead of heeding the judge’s remarks and conceding their overreach, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission appealed his ruling to the Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, based in Richmond, VA. At issue was the testimony of the EEOC’s expert witness, Dr. Kevin R. Murphy, which was excluded by the lower court. Read more…

HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

Yes, Your Independent Contractors SHOULD Release Employment Claims

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Editor’s Note: Weekly Wrap is taking the week off. It will return next Friday.

By Eric B. Meyer

Here’s a thought: Consider requiring your new independent contractors to release employment claims.

What the hell are you talking about, Eric? Why would we make an independent contractor sign a release of employment claims before starting work for our company?

I’m so glad you asked.   Read more…

HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

A Lesson in Why You Can Never Tolerate a Supervisor’s Racial Slurs

ENDA discrimination

By Eric B. Meyer

Even a few stray remarks can land your business in hot water…as one employer recently learned.

A cashier at a store in Mississippi was promoted to lead associate just a few months after her employment began. A few years later, the lead associate expressed interest in becoming an assistant manager. That promotion never happened. Read more…

Benefits, HR News & Trends

Senate Committee Told EEOC Must Provide Guidance on Wellness Plans

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Editor’s note: Weekly Wrap is taking the week off. It will return next Friday.

By Ilyse Wolens Schuman

Recent actions by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission were under scrutiny this week during a Senate hearing on wellness programs.

The EEOC bore the brunt of the criticism unleashed during the hearing for acting at odds with provisions the Affordable Care Act to promote the use of such programs. Both Democratic and Republican members of the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions advocated employer-provided wellness programs, and asked witnesses to explain the difficulties they have faced in implementing such programs. Read more…

HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

Four New Ban-the Box Laws Became Effective This Year

Ban thebox

By Philip L. Gordon and Zoe M. Argento

With the start of 2015, new ban the box laws became effective in Illinois, the City of Chicago, and Montgomery and Prince George’s counties in Maryland.

Ban the box laws prohibit questions about an applicant’s criminal background on employment applications and often include additional restrictions on inquiries by employers into criminal history. Read more…

HR Basics, HR Management

HR 101: To Background Check or NOT to Background Check

Illustration by istockphoto.com

When it comes to making hiring decisions, the more information you have about a candidate, the better.

More information makes it easier to decide if the candidate will work out, but could too much information be a bad thing?

Many companies conduct some type of background checks, but may wonder if it is legal to delve into an applicant’s personal information. How extensive should these inquiries be? And at what point in the hiring process should they be done? These are very important questions to ask before embarking on background checks. Read more…

HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

An Interactive Process Can Help Resolve ADA Accommodation Claims

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By Eric B. Meyer

So just how did an employer snatch victory from the jaws of defeat after botching a diabetic employee’s request to work a modified schedule?

Back in 2011, the EEOC announced that it had sued Kohl’s Department Stores for disability discrimination. The EEOC claimed that Kohl’s “refused to accommodate a diabetic employee’s request for a regular schedule and forced her to quit.”

Allegedly, when the employee told Kohl’s “that the scheduled hours could kill her, its store manager laughed and told her that she would not accommodate her.” So, the employee had no choice but to resign her employment to protect her health. Read more…

Benefits, Legal Issues

Biggest Loser Contests at Work? Only If They Pass Muster With the EEOC

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By Howard Mavity

We are again running a Biggest Loser Contest among our 31 offices and will award prizes, beginning at $1,000, to individuals who lose the most weight.

I do not watch reality shows and am generally cynical about such programs. However, I am happily eating my own words. Employees are having fun with the contest and the competition has generated a lot of camaraderie and playful competition.

When I visit one office, someone will only half-jokingly ask me to leave donuts on the desk of one of their “weight loss foes” in the next office I visit. Folks have regaled me with their elaborate preparation and routine for winning the contest. Their approach reminded me of my pre-race and pre-fight preparation of a few years ago. Read more…

Benefits, Legal Issues

EEOC to Offer Employers Guidance on Wellness Programs

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By Eric B. Meyer

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is obsessed with wellness programs.

Or, as the EEOC likes to describe them “‘so-called’ wellness programs.” And not in a “yay, so-called wellness programs are super” kinda way.

No, in recent months, the EEOC has initiated litigation against companies (example, example, example) claiming that they violate the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Genetic Information Non-Disclosure Act (GINA) by both requiring medical examination and penalizing employees who decline to participate. Read more…

HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

EEOC Guidebook Cranks Up the Push to Combat LGBT Discrimination

ENDA discrimination

By Eric B. Meyer

Even without a federal law that specifically bans discrimination in the workplace based on sexual orientation or gender identify, it’s no secret that one of the EEOC’s top priorities is to protect LGBT workers from discrimination.

And the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is being quite transparent about it, with a new guide for employers and employees.

The EEOC recently published What You Should Know about EEOC and the Enforcement Protections for LGBT Workers. Read more…