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EEOC Issues New Enforcement Guidance On National Origin Discrimination

On Nov. 21, 2016, the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued updated enforcement guidance on national origin discrimination for the first time in 14 years. Some may speculate whether this has anything to do with increased ethnic tensions in the wake of the presidential campaign and election results. Some also recognize that in … Continue Reading

Drawing the Line on Leave Policies for Employees With Disabilities

Within the past three months, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has secured nearly $9 million from companies that have committed violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by discriminating against and firing employees with disabilities who requested medical leave or exhausted their allotted medical leave to address those disabilities. For example, on … Continue Reading

New EEOC Equal Pay Reporting Proposal

On January 29, 2016, the seventh anniversary of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced its proposed addition of pay data to currently required EEO-1 reports. The announcement has been the subject of much speculation for employers and attorneys, with many dreading an additional layer of administrative expenses for … Continue Reading

Has the Fifth Circuit Opened the Door for Potential Liability of Staffing Companies?

In Burton v. Freescale Semiconductor Inc. and Manpower of Texas, LP, No. 14-50944, — F.3d —-, 2015 WL 4742174 (5th Cir. Aug. 10, 2015), the Fifth Circuit reversed the district court’s grant of summary judgment for two employers in a staff-leasing/joint-employer relationship. The Fifth Circuit’s New Test for Staffing Company Liability. In Burton, the Fifth … Continue Reading

Court Dismisses EEOC’s Attack on Severance Agreements, But Not on the Merits

The EEOC’s lawsuit against CVS, which alleged that the company’s severance agreements were impermissibly restrictive, has been dismissed, but not for the reasons employers would have hoped. EEOC v. CVS Pharmacy, Inc., No. 1:14-cv-863 (N.D. Ill. Oct. 7, 2014). On October 7, 2014, Judge Darrah released the Court’s written opinion granting summary judgment to CVS, … Continue Reading

Thirty Years of Law in Thirty-Some Pages: The EEOC’s New Guidance on Pregnancy Discrimination

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently issued its “Enforcement Guidance on Pregnancy Discrimination and Related Issues.” It was no minor undertaking. According to the EEOC’s Questions and Answers about the Guidance, it “updates prior guidance on this subject in light of legal developments over the past thirty years.” This Guidance comes as little surprise. … Continue Reading

EEOC’s Battle Against Employee Releases Heats Up

In February, we commented on the EEOC v. CVS Pharmacy, Inc. case, where the EEOC filed a “pattern or practice” lawsuit against CVS in Illinois federal court, claiming that CVS’ employee releases discourage the filing of EEOC charges and cooperation with the EEOC in investigations.  As we previously noted, the EEOC is challenging several release … Continue Reading

The EEOC Amplifies its Focus on Religious Discrimination

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) received 3,721 charges alleging religious discrimination in fiscal year 2013.  In partial response to these charges, earlier this month, the EEOC issued new technical assistance publications addressing religious dress and grooming in the workplace under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”).  Given the … Continue Reading

Another Reminder That Inflexible Employment Policies and the ADA Don’t Play Well Together – Court Refuses to Dismiss EEOC Action Based on “100% Healed” Policy

One theme that resonates throughout court decisions and EEOC filings over the last few years is that application of inflexible employment policies to disabled employees often runs afoul of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  Such is the case with “100% healed” policies, which require employees returning from leaves of absence to do so without … Continue Reading

Pregnant Employees Become the Subject of Heightened Attention and New Legislation

Over the past decade, the number of claims pregnant workers have filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) has risen by almost 50 percent, according to the National Women’s Law Center (“NWLC”).  Most of these workers assert that their employers denied them reasonable accommodations, such as bathroom breaks, periodic rest breaks, breaks to facilitate … Continue Reading

Not Settling for Less: The EEOC’s Latest Challenge to Employee Releases

        The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) recently filed a “pattern or practice” lawsuit against CVS Pharmacy, Inc., alleging that CVS uses an “overbroad, misleading and unenforceable Separation Agreement” that deters its employees from filing EEOC charges and interferes with employees’ ability to communicate with the EEOC and state fair employment practice … Continue Reading

Texas Files Suit to Strike Down EEOC Background Check Guidance

bigstock-Criminal-background-check-11618633-320x2131-160x106  Don’t mess with Texas. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) usually forces employers who are subject to Title VII to play defense.  The State of Texas, however, has upended that approach.  On November 4, 2013, Texas filed a federal lawsuit that seeks to strike down the EEOC’s April 2012 Enforcement Guidance limiting employers’ use … Continue Reading

Criminal Background Checks: The Saga Continues

bigstock-Criminal-background-check-11618633-320x2131-160x106In the past few weeks there have several noteworthy decisions regarding employers’ use of criminal background information to make hiring decisions.  In one case, EEOC v. Peoplemark (6th Cir., Oct. 7, 2013), the Sixth Circuit handed the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) a significant bill for attorneys’ and expert fees exceeding $750,000, when the court found … Continue Reading

Court Slams EEOC on Background Check Lawsuit

bigstock-Criminal-background-check-11618633-320x213[1]Last week, a district court in Maryland granted summary judgment in favor of Freeman, Inc. (“Freeman”), a service provider for corporate events, with respect to a nationwide pattern and practice lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”).  EEOC v. Freeman, No. 09-CV-2573 (D. Md. Aug. 9, 2013).  In its lawsuit, the EEOC … Continue Reading

Employers Must Abide By GINA Regulations When Providing Health Screenings

Doctor_bigstock-Female-doctor-examining-a-pati-15700910Workplace health and wellness programs are becoming increasingly popular throughout the country, and this is not surprising at all, given how beneficial such programs can be for both employers and employees.  After all, healthy employees tend to be happier and more productive employees, which in turn makes employers happy and keeps healthcare costs down.  Everyone wins. … Continue Reading

State Attorney Generals Challenge EEOC Criminal Background Check Lawsuits

Blog_bigstock-Young-handsome-businessman-in--45198436As we reported in our July 15, 2013 blog post, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently filed class action lawsuits against Dollar General and BMW  challenging those employers’ use of criminal background checks.   Specifically, the EEOC alleged that Dollar General’s and BMW’s application of background check policies had a racially discriminatory impact on applicants … Continue Reading

EEOC Files Two Race-Based Class Action Lawsuits on Criminal Background Checks

bigstock-Criminal-background-check-11618633On June 11, 2013, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed separate class action lawsuits against two employers – Dollar General Stores and BMW – alleging that these employers engaged in racial discrimination by using criminal background checks to disqualify applicants from employment.  The BMW case filed in South Carolina has a 69-person class, and is location specific.  … Continue Reading

Employees Must Prove Retaliation Was “But-For” Cause of Employment Action

dictionary proveEmployers are well aware that poorly performing employees may lodge baseless retaliation claims as a smokescreen to interfere with legitimate discipline.  In fact, the number of employee retaliation claims filed with the EEOC has nearly doubled in the past 15 years, and the law continues to create new opportunities for these kinds of claims.  But … Continue Reading
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