In advance of an expected floor vote, the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions held a hearing this week to discuss the merits of the Paycheck Fairness Act (S. 84).
Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski,D-MD, chief sponsor of the legislation, said the Senate needs to “finish the job started by the Lily Ledbetter” Fair Pay Act.
The bill, which has been introduced several times in the last few years but has failed to advance, would make the following changes to current wage law: Read more…
By Ashley Kaplan
We’re only a few months into 2014 and we’re already seeing a swell of labor law activity. What are the most significant developments this quarter – and what should you be watching for the rest of year?
Let’s start with the biggest federal-level legal changes to hit the workplace thus far:
Increase in federal contractor minimum wage
Shortly after delivering his 2014 State of the Union address, President Obama signed an executive order to raise the minimum wage for federal contract workers from $7.25 an hour to $10.10. Read more…
By Chastity C. Bruno
In recent years, the number of complaints filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission regarding religious discrimination has dramatically increased.
According to the EEOC, there were 1,709 complaints of religious discrimination in 1997 and 3,721 complaints in 2013.
Employers with 15 or more employees need to be cognizant that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects employees’ and job applicants’ rights to observe their religion through dress and grooming. Read more…
By Jane Ann Himsel
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has released two new technical assistance documents governing religious dress and grooming and Title VII compliance.
The first document, Religious Garb and Grooming in the Workplace: Rights and Responsibilities, discusses the interplay between employment discrimination law and religious dress and grooming practices, and outlines steps employers can take to avoid Title VII violations. The second document is a fact sheet that distils the information in the first document to a one-page guide. Read more…
By David N. Goldman
Last month, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently updated its charge statistics (the total number of discrimination claims filed with the agency) for 2013.
This information comes at the heels of an updated enforcement plan released late last year. With the benefit of a little time, a deeper look at these numbers reveals some important messages for organizations looking to focus their compliance efforts.
For math geeks, the EEOC’s annual update is a gift. Here are some statistics that seem particularly relevant to employers: Read more…
By Howard Mavity
Leadership lessons from the military do not necessarily translate to the private sector.
I am uncomfortable with business books which continually analogize the workplace to the battlefield. It’s not the same thing. However, there is an enormous amount of wisdom to be gleaned from those who have served.
As an example, Forbes recently ran a piece by Kevin Kruse discussing the need to be open and authentic with employees, How One former Navy SEAL Modulates Authentic Leadership. Read more…
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…