HR Minute

Showing 11 posts in Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Lactation in the Workplace

Posted In Employee Accommodation, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Fair Labor Standards Act, Pregnancy Discrimination Act

Many employers are uncertain how to handle requests by female employees for break periods and special locations for expressing breast milk. The law is clearly trending in favor of policies that permit female employees to express breast milk in the workplace.

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Tips for Claims Under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act and the American Disabilities Act

Did you know that a pregnant employee who has complications may be equivalent to an employee with a disability? Recent cases hold that pregnant employees with complications may be entitled to reasonable accommodations. The complications do not need to be severe. They may include such things as temporary Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), incompetent cervix, or high blood pressure. A physician’s restriction may be sufficient to put you on notice.

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Housing and Criminal Background Checks

Posted In Background Checks, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Fair Housing Act

HUD has issued guidance indicating it will review of the use of criminal background checks in determining qualifications for residents in housing. HUD is following the lead of the EEOC concerning criminal convictions and employment. Under the guidance, refusing to rent to someone on the basis that he or she has a prior conviction may be illegal discrimination under the Fair Housing Act.

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EEOC Investigations - New Requirements for Position Statements

Posted In Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has implemented new procedures which include electronic filing and which allow the EEOC to release an employer’s position statement to a charging party. The EEOC may release any information or documents which are not determined to be confidential.

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If Being "Proactive" is a Management Objective, This is a Good Year

At the beginning of the calendar year, many in-house counsel and human resources professionals embark on taking steps to meet their annual management objectives. If history is any guide, many human resources professionals and in-house counsel have as one of their objectives taking “proactive” steps to minimize risk to their organizations. For those who have such objectives, the changes in the legal landscape provide fertile opportunities under (1) wage and hour laws; (2) background screening; and (3) policies and procedures, including related to equal employment laws.

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EEOC Provides Transgender Compliance Wish List for Employers

On January 20, 2016, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) settled a transgender discrimination and harassment lawsuit against a national employer through a voluntary consent decree. The EEOC brought the action on behalf of Britney Austin alleging that Deluxe Financial Services, Inc. had subjected Ms. Austin to a hostile work environment and disparate treatment because of her sex. Specifically, the lawsuit claimed that Ms. Austin is a transgender woman who transitioned from male to female during her employment with Deluxe and was subjected to sex discrimination and retaliation under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII), as well as retaliation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

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Do You Need to Update Your FMLA Forms?

Posted In Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Family and Medical Leave Act

Many alerts and articles have been published about updating Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) forms due to the Department of Labor's (DOL) issuance of new forms in late May. If your FMLA leave forms already contain the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's (EEOC) endorsed Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) language, however, you probably don’t need to engage in this exercise.

As most employers know, while the DOL’s FMLA forms are not mandatory, they are practical as they follow the regulations concerning what employers may ask with respect to FMLA leave, and they may be used as a defense with respect to compliance. The new forms are not that much different than the old ones, except that they just finally contain references to the GINA. The added language, however, is not ideal to preserve an employer’s safe harbor rights under GINA. 

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U.S. Supreme Court to EEOC: Here’s a Chair, Sit Down!

Posted In Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court in the Mach Mining, LLC v. EEOC case unanimously ruled that the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) conciliation efforts are indeed subject to review by courts. Employers have long protested against the EEOC’s handling of the mandated conciliation process, arguing that the EEOC often glosses over their duty to conciliate. The nation’s highest court held that Congress imposed a mandatory duty on the EEOC to attempt conciliation and confirmed that duty as a precondition to filing a lawsuit following a cause finding. The Court found that the EEOC was not permitted to police itself and that therefore the EEOC’s conciliation obligation is subject to judicial review.

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Atlanta Fire Chief Fires-Off Lawsuit and EEOC Charge Against the City of Atlanta for Freedom of Speech Religious Discrimination

Posted In Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

binoculars iconAs many in Georgia have heard, Atlanta’s former fire chief, Kelvin Cochran, was ousted from Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed’s administration in early January for what the Mayor said was a breach in protocol in Cochran’s decision to publish a religious book about his Christian faith titled, “Who Told You That You Are Naked?” At issue are passages describing homosexuality as a “sexual perversion” akin to bestiality. Cochran filed a lawsuit in February claiming that his termination was for expressing his religious beliefs after work. Was this freedom of speech or a legitimate termination for offensive anti-gay speech?

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Caution Concerning Severance Agreements and Settlement Agreements

Posted In Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Many employers utilize standard severance and settlement agreements in order to resolve or release discrimination claims of employees. Most such agreements contain provisions designed to protect the employer against any claim filed by the employee after the date of the agreement. Recently, the EEOC has begun scrutinizing and litigating the enforceability of these agreements.

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