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BT Currents - Hot Topics in Employment Law
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25 Aug 2016 Ray of Hope Peeks Through a Mound of Proposed EEOC Data Requirements: Senators Fight to Nix EEOC Plan

  The way things are going at the EEOC, the next time it requires additional information on the annual EEO-1 report, it will want to know what kind of underwear each employee wears broken down by race, sex and national origin. OK, that’s an exaggeration, but many employers probably wouldn’t be surprised.   In January, the EEOC proposed a rule requiring larger employers to report pay and hours worked data, in addition to standard demographic data. The new information is intended to give government agencies…

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19 Aug 2016 More Flu Vaccine News: EEOC Once Again Alleges Hospital’s Mandatory Flu Vaccine Policy Violates Title VII

  For years, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has been silent over whether a hospital’s mandatory flu vaccine program violates Title VII’s prohibition against religious discrimination. The courts also generally have been silent (or have not reached decision) on the issue, with the notable exception of Robinson v. Children’s Hospital Boston, issued by the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts earlier this year, which found that the hospital’s mandatory flu vaccine program did not violate Title VII, which was reported here.  …

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12 Aug 2016 Seventh Circuit Addresses EEOC’s Stance that Sexual Orientation is Protected by Title VII

  In a recent opinion, the Seventh Circuit held that a plaintiff who claimed she was discriminated against on the basis of her sexual orientation had failed to state a claim under Title VII, reaffirming the Seventh Circuit’s stance that sexual orientation is not a protected classification. However, Judge Rovner’s opinion presents a more nuanced opinion than the Court has taken on the issue in the past, acknowledging logical difficulties in the state of the law.   The plaintiff was a former community college employee…

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04 Aug 2016 Five Lessons from Fox News on Sexual Harassment

  The recent accusations of sexual harassment against Roger Ailes at Fox News, and the response of a high-profile candidate for public office about how women should respond to sexual harassment have crystallized into an opportunity to learn from the mistakes of others.   Since the mid-1980s, we’ve all read about sexual harassment and been trained on it. For the last 25 years, I’ve studied it, investigated it, seen it, taught about it, warned about it, developed policies to guard against it, and defended companies…

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20 Jul 2016 Classic Conundrum: Protecting Employees from Themselves

Last week, the EEOC filed a lawsuit against a furniture company in North Carolina for firing a pregnant employee, allegedly because her job involved using potentially dangerous chemicals.   According to the EEOC’s regional attorney in Charlotte, North Carolina, “pregnant women have the right to make their own decisions about working while pregnant, including the risks they are willing to assume. Companies must not impose paternalistic notions on pregnant women, as doing so can result in unlawful discrimination.”   In the case filed against RTG…

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11 Jul 2016 More Flu Vaccine News – EEOC Alleges Hospital’s Mandatory Flu Vaccine Policy Violates Title VII

  As summer temperatures soar, one might think the last thing to worry about is the upcoming flu season. And while that may be true in most respects, the flu is on the minds of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). A lawsuit filed by the EEOC sheds light on the issue for healthcare employers who impose mandatory flu vaccine requirements on employees as a condition of continued employment.   The EEOC alleges in EEOC v. Mission Hospital, Inc. – a lawsuit that includes class…

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24 Jun 2016 EEOC Provides Additional Guidance on Employer Wellness Program Notice

In a recent press release, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has offered supplemental resources to assist employers in complying with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) notice requirements associated with their use of employee wellness programs and collection of employee health information as part of the same. Specifically, the EEOC directs employers to its Sample Notice for Employer-Sponsored Wellness Programs and a Q&A discussion relating to such sample and required notice. These resources address how to comply with the employer’s obligations to inform employees what…

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23 Jun 2016 EEOC Critical of NLRB’s Investigation Confidentiality Concerns

An Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) task force has released a comprehensive report on its 18-month study on the issue of harassment in the workplace. The Select Task Force on the Study of Harassment in the Workplace consisted of a select group of outside experts impaneled to examine harassment in the workplace and was co-chaired by two current EEOC Commissioners, Chai Feldblum and Victoria Lipnic. They recently published the “Report of the Co-Chairs of the EEOC Select Task Force on the Study of Harassment in the Workplace.”…

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17 Jun 2016 EEOC Addresses Women’s Issues at White House’s United State of Women Summit

As a participant in the White House’s United State of Women Summit, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued three new documents addressing challenges that women face in the workplace: equal pay, pregnancy discrimination and pregnancy accommodation. The summit, which took place on June 14 and 15, aimed to bring leaders together to examine issues affecting women and girls and to consider best practices for action moving forward.   The first of the three new EEOC documents, “Equal Pay and the EEOC’s Proposal to Collect…

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08 Jun 2016 What Employers must know about the Americans with Disabilities Act

A few weeks ago, we posted a blog concerning the aggressive, suit-filing tactics by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) against employers and the expensive and public consent decrees that follow.   One of the EEOC consent decrees discussed was with Rock Tenn, a paper and packaging manufacturer with a facility located in Battle Creek, Michigan. The consent decree required Rock Tenn to pay $187,000 in settlement of the EEOC lawsuit to provide training to its employees and submit to EEOC oversight of the manufacturer’s…

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