In a recent letter to The Wall Street Journal, EEOC Chair Jacqueline Berrien took exception to their characterization (Banning Background Checks) that the commission believed that criminal background checks were racist.
WSJ: Are criminal background checks racist? That’s the startling new legal theory that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission unveiled this week in lawsuits against employers.
Commissioner Berrien: “Your editorial Banning Background Checks‘(June 15) suggests that the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) believes that criminal background checks are ‘racist.’ This claim is wrong.” Read more…
Yesterday, we chronicled the U.S. Supreme Court’s major employment law rulings so far this year.
Today, we’ll focus on all the other significant developments in as few words as humanly possible.
According to our most recent survey, the absolute No. 1 workplace legal issue at the moment is how to prevent and manage litigation.
That’s not surprising. EEOC claims are at an all-time high. Class actions continue to rise. Employers now win less than 50 percent of the time in court.
We’re here to help. Based on input from the world’s leading employment law experts with a combined approximately 8,493,527,624 hours of employment counseling and litigation experience, here are our official:
Top 11 Litigation Tips in the History of the Universe Read more…
By Eric B. Meyer
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) limits when an employer can require an employee to take a medical examination.
Specifically, the ADA forbids employers from requiring medical exams (and cannot otherwise inquire into the nature or severity of a disability) unless the exam or inquiry is shown to be “job-related and consistent with business necessity.”
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) advises (here) that an exam is permissible where the employer “has a reasonable belief based on objective evidence, that: (1) an employee’s ability to perform essential job functions will be impaired by a medical condition; or (2) an employee will pose a direct threat due to a medical condition.” Read more…
By Eric B. Meyer
Last week, the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans ruled that discharging a female employee because she is lactating or expressing breast milk is sex discrimination and, therefore, violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
In EEOC v. Houston Funding II, Ltd., Dominica Venters, who was recovering from a C-Section, alleged that she requested that her supervisor ask the boss if it would be possible for her to use a breast pump at work. The supervisor stated that when he posed this question to the boss, the boss “responded with a strong ‘NO. Maybe she needs to stay home longer.’ ”
Ms. Venters alleged that she was later told that her spot had been filled. Houston Funding alleged that Ms. Venters had abandoned her job. So, Ms. Venters alleged sex discrimination, and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission took up the case on her behalf. Read more…
This week, Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval signed into law Senate Bill 127, which prohibits employers from using information found on credit reports to make a hiring decision.
This is not an all-out ban for employers
The law which will go into effect on October 1, 2013 includes exemptions under which credit can be used in the employment background screening process: Read more…
I’ve attended quite a few HR and talent management-related conferences this spring, but the one that really got my brain going came wrapped up in the wonderfully warm, dry Arizona desert right before the heat of the summer kicks in.
Yes, it was in that marvelously pleasant environment that Littler Mendelson, the largest U.S. labor and employment law firm, had their annual Executive Employer Conference.
It was two days of panels, presentations, and discussions that were forthright and fascinating, and although the subjects might be different, the underlying message from all of them was basically the same:
There’s a lot of regulation and legislation coming out of Washington right now, and more to come, so you better be on your toes and ready to deal with it before it deals with you. Read more…
Employer liability for violating the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) is no longer theoretical.
The EEOC has announced its first-ever GINA settlement. A large fabric distributor agreed to pay $50,000 and provide other relief to resolve alleged violations of GINA and the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act).
What did the employer do wrong?
According to the EEOC, it erred when it asked an employee for her family medical history as part of its post-offer medical exam. The claimant was required to fill out a questionnaire that inquired whether she had any family history of heart disease, cancer, diabetes and other conditions. Read more…
By Howard Mavity
When Jordan Barab famously admitted that OSHA was utilizing large penalties accompanied by harsh press releases to “motivate” employers to comply, I had mixed feelings.
Fear is a great motivator. Aggressive publication of legitimate noteworthy OSHA citations has a role in the “carrot and stick” process of safety enforcement. Moreover, I understand that the former OSHA Region IV Administrator first used the phrase, and frankly, I doubt that she misused the approach. Read more…
By Eric B. Meyer
An EEOC complaint is not your free pass to goof off at work.
Or sexually harass your co-workers.
Gary Vaughn found out the hard way.
After he filed a Charge of Discrimination with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, he spent the next two years sexually harassing a female co-worker — to the point whether she took out a restraining order against him and filed her own Charge of Discrimination in which she alleged that Mr. Vaughn had sexually harassed her. Read more…