DOJ reverses course on Title VII protections for transgender persons

by Angela N. Johnson

On October 4, 2017, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a memorandum announcing the U.S. Justice Department’s (DOJ) new stance that transgender employees aren’t protected from discrimination under federal law. The announcement reflects a reversal from the Obama administration’s interpretation of the law and runs counter to federal court decisions and other federal agencies’ interpretations.  Vector modern transgender flag background

Title VII’s prohibition on sex discrimination

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What EEOC’s recent lawsuit over parental leave means for employers

by Jessica A.H. Howell

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is a federal agency that administers and enforces civil rights laws when individuals claim workplace discrimination. Recently, the EEOC filed suit against a cosmetics company for implementing and administering parental leave benefits in a discriminatory manner based on sex. The lawsuit is the first of its kind, but it likely won’t be the last. To ensure compliance with federal law and avoid legal challenges, review your parental leave policies and tread carefully when implementing new policies.  Parents want to spend time with baby

EEOC sues Estée Lauder

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Deciphering the feds’ changing position on LGBT employment protections under Title VII

by Molly DiBiancaGay pride

In a memo issued on October 4, 2017, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions formally declared that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does not prohibit discrimination based on transgender status. The memo directly conflicts with the position of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which has long argued that gender identity is protected by federal law. Here’s what employers need to know.

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EEOC alleges medical exams and questionnaires violate ADA, GINA

by Courtney Bru

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) limits employers’ ability to make disability-related inquiries or subject employees to medical exams. You may not take those actions until after you’ve offered the applicant a job. Once a conditional offer of employment has been made, you may ask about medical conditions or require a medical exam, as long as you do it for all individuals in that job category. If the inquiries or exam screens someone out because of a disability, you must demonstrate that you rejected him for a reason that is “job-related and consistent with business necessity.” Generally, you must show you had a reasonable belief, based on objective evidence, that his ability to perform the essential job functions would be impaired by his medical condition.  Health history form

EEOC: Standards, inquiries used to discriminate

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Program allows employers to support servicemembers

by Jennifer S. Frank and Danielle M. Kerr

This article focuses on the National Guard’s Employer Support for the Guard and Reserve Program (ESGRP), explaining how employers can support the employment of National Guard and reserve members and how they can manage laws governing the employment of military personnel. young man with split careers businessman and soldier

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Americans first: Preference for foreign workers can run afoul of federal laws

by Jacob M. Monty

Making good on promises from earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has begun cracking down on what it calls discrimination against U.S. workers who are being passed over in favor of temporary foreign workers. The DOJ recently announced a settlement with Carrillo Farm Labor, LLC, a New Mexico onion farm. Following an investigation into allegations by two U.S. citizens that they had been rejected in favor of workers from Mexico, Carrillo agreed to pay $5,000 in fines and comply with ongoing training and reporting requirements. In a separate but related agreement, Carrillo agreed to pay $44,000 in lost wages to five other U.S. workers.  come in we're hiring

Abuse of visa programs as discrimination

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EEOC maintains steady position on transgender employees’ rights

by JW Furman

With all the attention given to President Donald Trump’s recent removal of the Obama administration’s protection for transgender bathroom access, it’s important to remember that the action applies only to public school students. For employers, the issue remains as unsettled as ever.  EEOC-jpg

There’s no reason to believe that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) will soften its stand on any transgender issue unless it is required to by the president or the court. The EEOC is strongly committed to its enforcement of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination and harassment based on sex or gender. Its interpretation has long been that gender stereotyping and gender identity discrimination are prohibited by Title VII. With the support of President Barack Obama, the agency became more aggressive about advocating transgender issues, but its general philosophy and long-standing interpretation of Title VII didn’t change.

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A new era in immigration enforcement: what employers should know

by Lori T. Chesser

Immigration law used to be something that few people thought about unless a friend or a relative was going through the system. Now, it’s a daily feature in our news and on social media. It’s likely that few of us have missed the news of President Donald Trump’s Executive Orders addressing immigration and travel to the United States. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) release of internal implementation memos related to the president’s orders was international news, probably for the first time in the history of that agency.  immigrationreform

While any pervasive political issue can affect the workplace, employers are well-advised to pay attention as the new federal policy on immigration enforcement unfolds. Rare will be the employer that isn’t affected by the administration’s actions in some way.

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EEOC provides guidance on mental health conditions in the workplace

by Howard Fetner

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently issued a resource document explaining the rights of job applicants and employees with mental health conditions. The document explains that applicants and employees with mental health issues are protected from discrimination and harassment based on their conditions, may be entitled to reasonable accommodations, and have a right to privacy regarding their medical information.  EEOC-jpg


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EEOC issues new guidelines on national origin discrimination

by Saul Glazer

With the increase in terrorism and attention given to immigration- related complaints, there is commensurate potential for workplace conflict and harassment related to national origin. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently issued new guidelines to help employers prevent national origin discrimination in the workplace. This article discusses national origin discrimination and highlights the key examples in the EEOC’s newly issued guidelinesEEOC-jpg

National origin discrimination defined

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