Articles tagged 'EEOC'

HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

EEOC Sues Employer Who Tried to Push Scientology on Workers

Tom Cruise scientology

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…

HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

Bill Banning Credit Checks on Job Applicants Reintroduced in Senate

credit-report

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…

HR Management, Legal Issues

‘Tis the Season For Many Things — Including Religious Discrimination

As HR knows, Christmas at work can be difficult for workers who don't celebrate Christmas.

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…

HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

Must an Employer Ask If a Disability is Causing Poor Performance?

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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…

HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

Texas Takes on the EEOC Over Limits to Background Checks

© leekris - Fotolia.com

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…

HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

Court: Company Doesn’t Have to Allow Mass Unscheduled Prayer Breaks

Photo by istockphoto.com

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…

HR Basics, Legal Issues

Going to the Dogs: When Do You Have to Allow Animals at Work?

ServiceDog7

By Carmon M. Harvey

These days, dogs are everywhere.  They are carried, pushed, toted, and even sometimes walked into almost every building imaginable – office buildings, shopping malls, classrooms, residential buildings, you name it.

That’s fine if  business owners and employers want to welcome Lassie with open arms, but what if the rule is “NO DOGS ALLOWED?” Do employers ever have to make an exception to that rule?

Of course. (Apparently the law only allows my mother to say “no” all of the time.) Read more…

HR News & Trends

Federal Agencies Make Adjustments as Government Shutdown Drags On

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By Michael J. Lotito and Ilyse Wolens Schuman

Now that all indications point to a more prolonged government shutdown than originally anticipated, federal agencies have issued additional information about their limited functions during this period.

As previously discussed, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), and National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) released their contingency plans ahead of the government closing on Monday Oct. 1. Given that a solution to the budgetary wrangling does not appear imminent, agencies have supplemented their initial plans as follows: Read more…

HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

Contingency Plans For Labor-Related Agencies During Govt. Shutdown

123RF Stock Photo

By Michael J. Lotito and Ilyse Wolens Schuman

With the federal government shutdown becoming a reality, several agencies have issued their contingency plans, explaining which operations would continue, and which functions would come to a halt during the shutdown period.

According to these plans, most non-essential tasks carried out by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), and National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) will cease. The following outlines how a government shutdown will affect these agencies and their operations: Read more…

HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

EEOC Its Increasing Focus on Obesity as a Workplace Disability

© Amy Walters - Fotolia.com

By Eric B. Meyer

About two years ago, the EEOC sued a Texas company, alleging that the company engaged in disability discrimination, in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, when it fired a 680-pound worker because he was morbidly obese.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleged that the employee’s immense weight interfered with his ability to walk, stand, kneel, stoop, lift and breathe. Consequently, he was disabled, as defined under the ADA.

Since then, at least one court has recognized that morbid obesity may be a disability, while another court held that, under state law, morbid obesity is not a disability. It was right around this time that the American Medical Association adopted a new policy that officially labels obesity — not morbid obesity, but obesity — as a disease. Read more…