The SCOTUS handed down a definitive 9-0 decision on a case centered on issues surrounding appellate courts, district courts and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission subpoena requests. How will the decision impact employers?
Regis Corporation, dba SmartStyle, has agreed to pay $60,000 in damages and back pay to a former employee to settle a lawsuit that was brought by the EEOC in the Western District of Texas. Regis’ employee worked as a hair stylist. Due to her claustrophobia, she could not work at a salon station if it was in a confined space located between others. The EEOC claimed in the lawsuit that Regis violated the ADA when it refused to accommodate the stylist’s claustrophobia and then fired her.
The September 30, 2016, due date for employers to file their annual EEO-1 reports with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is on the near horizon. Private employers with 100 or more employees, and federal government contractors or first-tier subcontractors with 50 or more employees and a contract/subcontract of $50,000 or more, should take the appropriate measures to file their reports on time.
On July 28, 2016, the Seventh Circuit issued its decision in Hively v. Ivy Tech Community College holding Title VII does not prohibit employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. The Seventh Circuit’s opinion is the first to address this issue since the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission held in July 2015 sexual orientation is sex discrimination and therefore violates Title VII.
Before suing an employer, the EEOC must first endeavor to eliminate the alleged unlawful employment practice by informal methods of conference, conciliation and persuasion. 42 U.S.C. 2000e-5. The MaEEOC may only file suit after determining that attempts to conciliate have failed.
The Supreme Court recently ruled in E.E.O.C. v. Abercrombie & Fitch Stores, that a job applicant only had to show that the need for a religious accommodation was a motivating factor in the prospective employer’s decision to not hire the applicant in order to prove a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, and not that the employer had actual knowledge of the applicants need for an accommodation based upon one’s religious practice. Title VII prohibits a prospective employer from refusing to hire a applicant because of the applicant’s religious practice when the practice could be accommodated without undue hardship.
Is it enough that an employee who is being harassed complains only to the harasser? The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals says yes, it is enough.
The U.S. Supreme Court recently established a new standard for analyzing claims under the Federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act. In Young v. United Parcel Service, Inc., the divided court held that a pregnant worker can show that the employer’s legitimate, non-discriminatory justifications are pretextual under the McDonnell Douglas burden-shifting framework if its accommodation policies impose a “significant burden” on pregnant workers and its reasons are not “sufficiently strong.” Over Justice Scalia scathing dissent, the Court vacated the Fourth Circuit’s decision granting summary judgment to UPS, and remanded the case for further consideration in light of the Court’s new standard and interpretation of the statute.
As we have previously reported, the EEOC has taken an adversarial stance towards employers that impose negative consequences on employees who do not take advantage of wellness program initiatives. While the Affordable Care Act specifically authorized employers to utilize and implement wellness program initiatives in order to encourage healthy lifestyle choices by its employees, the EEOC has reacted by suing employers contending that such initiatives violate the ADA prohibitions on medical inquiries or discrimination against individuals because of their disabilities.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act prohibits covered employers from making employment decisions based on an individual’s sex/gender. This year, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), Department of Labor (DOL) and President Obama continued the ongoing efforts to expand employment protection to transgender workers.