By Ilyse Wolens Schuman
This week, the White House released its $3.9 trillion budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2015.
While such proposals are more aspirational than anything else, they do provide insight into the programs and initiatives the Administration deems priorities for the coming year. The budget for the U.S. Department of Labor is notable because it reflects the Agency’s continued emphasis on enforcement.
The proposal would grant the Labor Department $11.8 billion in discretionary funding, much of which would support the enforcement of wage and hour, worker misclassification, whistleblower, and employment safety laws. Read more…
Earlier this week, amidst all the Valentine’s Day-themed surveys and pitches, I got something interesting from XpertHR, the website that provides online compliance tools and guidance for HR professionals.
The interesting part was this: it was labeled as the “11 Scariest Issues Employers Face in 2014.”
Now, I get lots of pitches with surveys and reports that have equally ominous-sounding titles, but most don’t hold up to focused scrutiny. The difference in this report from XpertHR was that what they were touting as scary issues that employers face really DO seem pretty scary for anyone managing a business and a workforce. Read more…
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) says that the state of Texas needs to work on its timing.
The agency has filed a motion to dismiss in the lawsuit that Texas brought against the EEOC late last year, claiming that the state has no right to sue and that the timing of the claims are premature.
For those of you just tuning in, the entire State of Texas sued the EEOC last November, slamming the agency’s guidance on the use of criminal background checks. The case further ignited the firestorm of controversy that has surrounded the EEOC’s guidance since it was first issued in April of 2012. Read more…
You could say 2013 was a very good year for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Its enforcement collections for victims of workplace discrimination totaled $372.1 million for Fiscal Year 2013, an all-time high for the record books. Altogether, the agency’s FY 2013 Performance and Accountability Report makes for some fascinating reading.
Despite the fact that the total number of claims was down from the three previous years and there were fewer resolutions, agency lawyers were able to squeeze more money out of each claim that did settle. The agency also reports it has reduced its total claim processing time by 21 days, so it now takes an average of 261 days for a claim to make its way through to final resolution. Read more…
By Eric B. Meyer
I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t know much about Scientology.
Why, my Scientology acumen could fill a thimble. Basically, I know that Tom Cruise is a Scientologist and Katie Holmes was a Scientologist; but, not any more.
Yeah, so anyway, last week, I read with interest, this EEOC press release, in which the federal agency announced that it had settled with a Florida employer that had allegedly tried to force Scientology on its employees. Read more…
By Eric B. Meyer
Second verse, same as the first.
Back in March, I reported here that a bill introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives, known as the Equal Employment for All Act, would amend the Fair Credit Reporting Act to prohibit the use of consumer credit checks against prospective and current employees for the purposes of making adverse employment decisions.
This week, it was the Senate’s turn to get in on the act — the Equal Employment for All Act, that is. Read more…
By Carmon M. Harvey
Here we are again.
The dreidel has been made, dried, and played. The city sidewalks are busy and dressed in holiday style. It’s time for toys and time for cheer.
Yada, yada, yada. The holidays are here.
But not everyone may be feeling in the holiday spirit, as believers and non-believers alike are feeling less and less like their right to believe (or not believe) is respected in the workplace. And I’m not just talking about Santa Claus. Read more…
By Eric B. Meyer
You’ve got an employee with performance issues. Big time!
Initially, you put her on a series of performance improvement plans. But, that doesn’t result in — oh, what’s the word I’m looking for? — improvement.
So, you fire her.
Ah, but here’s the little wrinkle for today’s post. Read more…
Last week, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott filed a legal action challenging the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) “enforcement guidance” that limits the use of criminal records during the hiring process.
Texas is a big state, with a big reputation, so it’s fitting that this case is a big deal. The suit hits hard, claiming that EEOC guidelines unlawfully limit the ability of employers – including the State of Texas and its agencies – from excluding convicted felons from employment.
The suit is the first direct challenge to the EEOC’s controversial criminal background enforcement guidance, which went into effect in April 2012. For those who follow EmployeeScreenIQ’s blog, the EEOC guidance on criminal background checks has been a frequent topic. Read more…
By Eric B. Meyer
Today, we’re talking about religious accommodations.
In EEOC v. JBS USA, LLC, several Muslim employees at a meatpacking plant argued that their employer engaged in religious discrimination when it failed to allow them to take unscheduled prayer breaks.
Specifically, Muslim representatives told JBS that the Muslim employees “have to pray within 10 minutes of sunset and at the most 15 minutes after sunset.”
JBS responded that it could not relieve 200 employees within a 10-minute window because of safety and quality concerns created by such an accommodation. Read more…