Employment & Labor Insider

Employment & Labor Insider

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Category Archives: Discrimination

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Hillary, or The Donald: A voting guide for employers

Posted in Benefits, Class actions, Discrimination, Equal Pay, Family and Medical Leave Act, Independent Contractor, Labor Relations, Lactation, Pregnancy, Sexual Orientation, Wage-Hour
As our regular readers know, Employment & Labor Insider is a non-partisan blog. But with the first Presidential debate coming on Monday night, I thought it would be helpful to look at the two major presidential candidates and their positions on issues of interest to employers. The following comes from each of the candidates’ websites, supplemented… Continue Reading

Contractor settles with OFCCP for more than $250K

Posted in Affirmative Action, Discrimination, Equal Pay, Settlements
Louise Davies is an Affirmative Action Paralegal in Constangy’s Winston-Salem, North Carolina, office. For more than 15 years, she has helped employers develop affirmative action plans and respond to audits and on-site investigations by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs. She also conducts diversity training for employers. Louise is a graduate of Wesleyan College… Continue Reading

Will “ban the box” backfire?

Posted in Affirmative Action, Background Checks, Discrimination
Ever since the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission updated its Enforcement Guidance on the Consideration of Arrest and Conviction Records in Employment Decisions in 2012, many state and local jurisdictions have adopted laws limiting employers’ ability to inquire about applicants’ criminal histories. And many employers not covered by those laws are voluntarily adopting policies against considering criminal information… Continue Reading

About that new “cat’s paw” decision . . .

Posted in Discrimination, Harassment, Misconduct, Retaliation, USERRA
Employers should beware of being too quick to believe an employee who accuses a co-worker of wrongdoing. If the accuser has an illegal motive (such as discrimination or retaliation), and if the employer is “negligent” in investigating before taking action against the co-worker, then the employer could be legally responsible. So says the U.S. Court of Appeals… Continue Reading

The EEOC’s defeat in Detroit: Pants, skirts, gender identity, and religion

Posted in Discrimination, Gender Identity Discrimination
Last week, I reported that summary judgment was granted against the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in its transgender discrimination lawsuit against R.G. and G.R. Harris Funeral Homes, linked to the decision (but here it is again), and then said I’d be back in touch after I’d had a chance to really read it. I’ve finally… Continue Reading

Weekly catch-up

Posted in Affirmative Action, Discrimination, ENDA, Gender Identity Discrimination, Sexual Orientation
*The Summer 2016 edition of Preventive Medicine, our health care industry publication, is out, featuring an article by Susan Bassford Wilson on the ever-changing law on LGBT discrimination. We also have the EEOC’s latest LGBT charge-filing statistics, and all the latest employment law news of interest to health care employers since our Spring 2016 edition.… Continue Reading

BREAKING: Detroit-area funeral home wins in EEOC transgender case

Posted in Discrimination, Gender Identity Discrimination
Remember EEOC v. R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes? This was the transgender discrimination case brought by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against a suburban Detroit funeral home chain for allegedly discriminating against an employee after she began presenting as a female. It’s one of the few cases where the employer actually fought back, with the… Continue Reading

OFCCP takes contractors back to school on pre-employment testing

Posted in Affirmative Action, Discrimination, Settlements
Federal contractors, be warned: If you have not properly reviewed (and validated!) any testing used as part of your hiring process, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs may take issue . . . and seek to collect big dollars. In May, the OFCCP announced that it reached a $1.85 million settlement with Gordon Food… Continue Reading

Massachusetts expands protections to transgender individuals

Posted in Discrimination, Gender Identity Discrimination
As of October 1, “places of public accommodation” in Massachusetts will be prohibited from discriminating based on gender identity. That is, persons accessing a “place of public accommodation” must be permitted to use gender-segregated locations (such as restrooms and locker rooms) consistent with their gender identity. Any place that is open to and accepts or solicits… Continue Reading

Notes from the Industry Liaison Group National Conference

Posted in Affirmative Action, Discrimination, Equal Pay, Gender Identity Discrimination, Harassment, Sexual Orientation
The 2016 Industry Liaison Group National Conference was held last week in Charlotte, North Carolina. Sylvia Smith, an Affirmative Action Specialist from our firm’s Atlanta Office, and I had the pleasure and privilege of attending and presenting this year. The headliners, as usual, were Patricia Shiu, Director of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, and… Continue Reading

Huh? Title VII and sexual orientation bias, revisited

Posted in Discrimination, ENDA, Gender Identity Discrimination, Same-sex marriage, Sexual Orientation
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit decided last week in Hively v. Ivy Tech Community College that sexual orientation discrimination is not prohibited by Title VII, consistent with a long line of appellate court decisions. The Hively decision is a big deal because it appears to be the first such decision from a federal appeals court since… Continue Reading

Weekly catch-up

Posted in Americans with Disabilities Act, Discrimination, Equal Pay, Franchise, Wage-Hour
Massachusetts has had a “comparable worth” law forever, but Gov. Charlie Baker just signed some amendments that will make it easier for women (and men) to assert pay equity claims. In addition to making it easier for plaintiffs to prove that two jobs are “substantially similar,” the law prohibits asking for salary history before a conditional offer of… Continue Reading

3, 2, 1, blastoff! OFCCP Final Rule on sex discrimination is about to take effect

Posted in Affirmative Action, Discrimination, Gender Identity Discrimination, Harassment, Pregnancy
The OFCCP’s Final Rule on sex discrimination will take effect August 15. Are you ready? On June 14, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs issued its Final Rule on sex discrimination. These new substantive regulations align with the latest legal developments and interpretations by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Cara Crotty, the head of… Continue Reading

Hallelujah! 5 things about religion in the workplace that you may not have known

Posted in Discrimination, Harassment
Our friends at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission have issued a Fact Sheet for young workers on religious discrimination in the workplace, which brought me back to the EEOC’s older Q&A and Best Practices on religious discrimination, harassment, and accommodation. The EEOC’s guidance is solid, reasonable, and consistent with most (if not all) of the… Continue Reading

EEOC amends its “pay survey” proposal a teensy bit. I still don’t like it.

Posted in Discrimination, Equal Pay
On February 1, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued a proposal that would require employers with 100 or more employees to begin submitting compensation data with their annual EEO-1 reports. I wasn’t crazy about the idea. After receiving comments on its February proposal, the EEOC issued today a new proposal, which has tweaks to the… Continue Reading

When New Jersey says marital status discrimination is illegal, it’s serious.

Posted in Discrimination
The Millville, New Jersey, Rescue Squad is apparently quite the Peyton Place, but it’s now a legal legend, too, because it was the impetus for the New Jersey Supreme Court to decide that “marital status discrimination” prohibited by the state Law Against Discrimination also includes separation and divorce. If you’re an employer with operations in… Continue Reading

Norfolk Southern unit agrees to pay OFCCP $492K for alleged race bias in hiring

Posted in Affirmative Action, Discrimination, Settlements
Do you need a reason to monitor your hiring and keep good records? Here’s one. Alleging race discrimination in the hiring process, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs has settled with a unit of Norfolk Southern for $492,000. The OFCCP claimed that there were statistically significant differences in the hiring rates of whites and African-Americans into laborer… Continue Reading

“EEO” wrongful discharge may soon return to North Carolina

Posted in Discrimination, Employment at Will
I don’t plan to post much more about North Carolina’s HB 2 “bathroom bill” until we start getting court decisions, but this is newsworthy. As I’ve previously noted, HB 2 had a provision that eliminated the cause of action for wrongful discharge in violation of public policy based on violations of the N.C. Equal Employment Practices… Continue Reading

Applicant tracking and the EEOC: “You can SUE us for that?”

Posted in Affirmative Action, Background Checks, Discrimination
Did you realize that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission can sue you just for (allegedly) lousy recordkeeping? No discrimination, no harassment, no retaliation — just (alleged) failure to keep adequate records. Well, it’s true. Back in 2010, the agency was investigating whether Crothall Services Group’s use of criminal background checks and criminal history in making… Continue Reading

Light reading for your Fourth of July weekend

Posted in Constangy News, Discrimination, Drug Testing, FOCUS, Gender Identity Discrimination, Labor Relations, Lawyers!, Retaliation, Safety
Well, maybe not light reading, but good reading about good news that you won’t want to miss! Here are our bulletins and other publications from the last week, in case you missed them: *Heather Owen is already shooting off Fourth of July fireworks at the FOCUS women’s leadership blog because our firm was named this week by the National… Continue Reading

EEOC sexual orientation lawsuit settles for $200K plus

Posted in Discrimination, Harassment, Sexual Orientation
As I’ve previously reported, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has filed two lawsuits alleging that employers discriminated against employees based on sexual orientation, which the Commission says is prohibited by Title VII. One of the lawsuits, filed against Pallet Companies/IFCO Systems, settled this week for $202,200. The former employee will receive $182,200, and the remainder… Continue Reading

School’s out! So what’s with this summer employment law quiz?

Posted in Americans with Disabilities Act, Discrimination, Gender Identity Discrimination
No more pencils, no more books, no more teacher’s dirty looks . . . except for one little quiz on employment law issues that come up during the summer. Don’t worry about your score – I’m told that Teacher already has her flip-flops packed and is on her way to Cancun. No. 1. You are the office… Continue Reading

Your summer labor and employment reading list — for this week, anyway

Posted in Affirmative Action, Discrimination, FOCUS, Gender Identity Discrimination, Labor Relations, Pregnancy
I was on vacation last week, and so we have a lot of catching up to do. Here’s what’s been going on, from most to least recent: *David Phippen has been keeping us up to date on the U.S. Department of Labor’s Persuader Rule and what that will mean for employers. On Wednesday, a federal judge in… Continue Reading