Employment & Labor Insider

Employment & Labor Insider

Legalese is not spoken here

Tag Archives: Discrimination

Proposed merger of EEOC, OFCCP faces opposition from both sides

Posted in Affirmative Action, Discrimination, Elections, Politics
Last week, I wrote about a report in Bloomberg BNA that the Trump Administration was thinking about letting the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission “absorb” the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs. The idea had some appeal for me because both agencies enforce variants on federal prohibitions against discrimination. But I admitted that I hadn’t thought it through, and… Continue Reading

Here’s more on that Google-OFCCP donnybrook*

Posted in Affirmative Action, Discrimination, Equal Pay
*Donnybrook: Named for the Donnybrook Fair near Dublin, “a notoriously disorderly event, held annually from 1204 until the middle of the 19th century.” Meaning a “free-for-all; brawl; a usually public quarrel or dispute.” I promised earlier this month to have more detail about that decision by an Administrative Law Judge in the case filed against… Continue Reading

Weekly catch-up

Posted in Discrimination, HR, Immigration, Sexual Orientation
Attention, H-1B employers! The Trump Administration announced this week that it would take a closer look at employers who use workers with H-1B visas. Elizabeth Joiner has the details in this Immigration Dispatch. Sexual orientation discrimination does violate Title VII, appeals court says. This week’s decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit… Continue Reading

10 habits of highly effective HR professionals (April Fool’s edition)

Posted in Americans with Disabilities Act, Corporate Culture, Discrimination, Elections, Employment at Will, Equal Pay, Family and Medical Leave Act, Harassment, HR, Labor Relations, Politics, Protected Concerted Activity, Retaliation, Safety, Wage-Hour, Workers' Compensation
DEAR READERS: Before you accuse me of legal malpractice, take a look at tomorrow’s date.   Habit 1: Discriminate, retaliate, harass — have a ball! There’s a new sheriff in town, with a more employer-friendly, compliance-assistance-oriented U.S. Department of Labor (we think) and the nullification of burdensome regulations like the gone-and-not-lamented Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Rule.… Continue Reading

“HR Horribles” — collect ’em all!

Posted in HR
Remember the Garbage Pail Kids from the ’80s? I have had an inspiration that will make my fortune! I’m going to create a set of collectible “HR Horribles”™ trading cards, representing the employees who make Human Resources professionals’ lives a living heck. Here is my first set: Randy Romeo. Romeo has never met a woman he didn’t like,… Continue Reading

DOL’s new online tool may result in more OFCCP complaints

Posted in Affirmative Action, Discrimination, Labor Relations, Retaliation, Safety, Wage-Hour
The U.S. Department of Labor recently rolled out www.worker.gov, an online tool designed to help employees file various types of complaints against their employers. The White House announced that the website will assist individuals “if they have had wages stolen, been injured on the job, faced discrimination, or been retaliated against for joining together to… Continue Reading

Voluntary self-ID isn’t proof of hiring bias, Shiu’s acting replacement named

Posted in Affirmative Action, Discrimination
Federal contractors, will asking applicants to voluntarily self-identify by race — a request that the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs requires you to make — be used against you in a hiring-discrimination lawsuit? A recent decision from a federal court in New Jersey indicates that the answer is NO, as long as you handle the… Continue Reading

Tech company sued for alleged hiring bias against Asians, OFCCP’s Shiu to step down

Posted in Affirmative Action, Discrimination
Being part of the “in” crowd with the FBI apparently does not protect you from the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs. To the contrary: It was an FBI contract that subjected a California-based technology company to an OFCCP review that has resulted in an administrative complaint. Palantir Technologies is a large government contractor with more… Continue Reading

Workplace investigations and the case of the planted peanut butter

Posted in Americans with Disabilities Act, Discrimination, Harassment
I’m a week late with this follow-up. (Sorry.) Two weeks ago, I posted about an employee (fictionally named “Zoey”) who had a peanut allergy. After she asked a peanut-butter-loving co-worker (“Addison”) to be considerate, Zoey found a big glob of peanut butter smeared under her desk, which caused her to get sick. Addison denied being responsible. To… Continue Reading

Restroom use “catch 22” for transgender individuals violates Title VII, court says

Posted in Discrimination, Gender Identity Discrimination, Settlements
Roberts v. Clark County (NV) School District involved a female-to-male transgender police officer. Although the School District later changed its policy, when Bradley Roberts first told the District in 2011 that he was presenting as a male, he was told that he could not use the men’s room until he submitted proof of gender reassignment surgery.… Continue Reading

EEOC Small Business Resource Center: Two thumbs up!

Posted in Discrimination, Equal Pay, Gender Identity Discrimination, Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act, GINA, Harassment, Pregnancy, Product Review, Retaliation, Sexual Orientation
I spent some time yesterday at the new Small Business Resource Center, which went live this week on the website of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. I think it’s great. Small businesses, which may be just below or at the cusp of coverage by federal anti-discrimination laws, are often confused about (1) whether they are covered, and (2)… 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

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

The “duty to conciliate” doesn’t mean the EEOC has to be reasonable.

Posted in Discrimination, Settlements
Just how much of a duty to conciliate does the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission have after the Supreme Court’s decision last year in Mach Mining? Hardly any, it appears. In Mach Mining, the Supreme Court decided that courts did have the authority to review the agency’s conciliation efforts (which caused employers to claim it as an… Continue Reading

25 quick takes (no kidding!) on the EEOC’s proposed national origin guidance

Posted in Discrimination, Harassment, Retaliation
These will be really quick takes, since there are so many of them, on the proposed Enforcement Guidance on National Origin Discrimination issued this week by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. (The actual document is 57 pages long, not counting the table of contents.) I’ll try to focus on the less obvious/more interesting points. Take No.… Continue Reading

Ignore the hype: Here’s what employers need to know about North Carolina’s HB 2

Posted in Discrimination, Employment at Will
Argh! I was hoping not to have to talk about HB 2 again (North Carolina’s notorious “bathroom bill”), but there has been so much misinformation about what it did to wrongful discharge claims that I’ve just gotta. UPDATE (6:20 p.m. Friday, 4/8/16): I had a good conversation this evening with Greg Lacour of Charlotte Magazine… Continue Reading

N.C. “bathroom bill” has a bomb for wrongful discharge plaintiffs

Posted in Discrimination, Employment at Will, Gender Identity Discrimination
Big news for employees and employers in North Carolina — the General Assembly enacted a bill on Wednesday (signed by Gov. Pat McCrory (R) within hours) that was primarily intended to preempt a certain high-profile municipal “bathroom” ordinance. (More on that in a sec.) But included in the bill is a provision that eliminates the wrongful discharge/public policy cause… Continue Reading