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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Disability bias verdict provides 4.5M reasons to check your policies

by Jeffrey D. Slanker

A recent case from Central Florida highlights the importance of maintaining and properly implementing updated and compliant equal employment opportunity and antidiscrimination policies. The case involved disability discrimination claims, and a jury ultimately found in favor of the employee and rendered a $4.5 million verdict. The case is a reminder of the importance of complying with employment discrimination laws and the need to take extra caution when determining whether a termination is justified. Manager Giving Performance Review

Facts

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Exploring answers to ‘mommy track’ dilemma

May 14, 2017 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

It’s May, the month with a special day set aside to honor mothers. Those sweet but sloppy gifts made by little hands delight moms on their special day, but then the workweek begins again, bringing with it the stresses of mixing work and family responsibilities. And if the workload at home and at work isn’t enough to deal with, many women struggle with another nagging worrythe realization that no matter how skilled they are at juggling all their tasks, they may find their career progress at risk.  Mother holding baby daughter while talking on phone in kitchen

So what’s the answer? Many tout employer flexibility as an important stepnot just in keeping women in the workforce but also keeping them on track for advancement. A recent Forbes blog entry carried an interview with Anna Auerbach and Annie Dean, founders of Werk, a company promoting flexible jobs. They go so far as to claim “flexibility is the future of feminism.”

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Service animal or pet? When Rover comes to work

by Erica E. Flores

For decades, service animals were used almost exclusively to assist the blind and, in that role, were aptly known simply as guide dogs or seeing-eye dogs. But times have changed. Today, dogs and other service animals—including monkeys, parrots, and miniature horses—are being trained to provide a remarkable variety of services to individuals with disabilities. They can alert the hearing impaired to household and environmental sounds, warn epileptics of oncoming seizures, calm children and adults with autism, signal diabetics of changes in their insulin levels, and, increasingly, provide comfort and companionship to people with a wide range of mental and emotional disabilities, including depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and post- traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). What does that mean for employers?   Pit Bull Wearing Service Dog Vest

Emotional support animals?

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Rural counties must reverse Millennial labor drain

by Dinita L. James

Hillbilly Elegy: Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis is the nonfiction best seller by J.D. Vance, 31, of Middletown, Ohio, with roots in the hills of Kentucky. He has gained renown since the November 2016 presidential election as a Donald Trump “voter-splainer,” a tribune of the white working poor.  Work and lifestyle crossroads concept

One thing that stood out was his report that the six groomsmen from his wedding all grew up in Ohio small towns, attended college at Ohio State University, found careers outside their hometowns, and had no interest in ever going back. Just as their parents had left their rural homes for jobs in cities and towns, Vance and his friends abandoned their hometowns for metropolises. Vance, a Yale-educated lawyer, lives in San Francisco and is a principal in a Silicon Valley investment firm. He writes that he has all he ever wanted—going to work each day, taking his dogs to the park, buying groceries with his wife, and making a nice dinner.

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Distracted worker may be entitled to ‘disability’ accommodation

by Robert P. Tinnin, Jr.

Q One of our workers has been with the company for about three years. From the outset, he has been an outstanding performer. About four months ago, however, he went through a divorce, which appears to have had a major impact on him, and he seems distracted. Both the quantity and the quality of his work have suffered demonstrably. I have given him two written warnings that he must improve both the quantity and quality of his work or face discharge. The last warning was about a month ago, and I have seen no improvement. Can I terminate him now for poor performance?  Group of multi-tasking creative people working in the office.

A Before doing so, make every effort to determine whether he might be “disabled” within the meaning of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and explore accommodations for his condition.

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VA student’s transgender bathroom case will not pass ‘Go’ . . . yet

by Rachael L. Loughlin

Transgender issues continue to be one of the hottest areas of the law today. Recent actions by the Trump administration backing away from the Obama administration’s forceful advocacy of transgender rights may have come as no surprise. Nonetheless, they certainly didn’t help clarify the law. In fact, if anything, the Trump administration’s backtracking has made things even more uncertain by pitting the interpretation of federal law banning sex discrimination in schools (Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972) against federal law prohibiting sex discrimination in employment (Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964) and by delaying critical guidance from the U.S. Supreme Court in a Virginia transgender student’s case.  All Gender Restroom

Issue in Grimm’s lawsuit

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Step 1 to promoting diversity: Avoid the ‘lying, crying, and denying’

April 16, 2017 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

The human resources team plays a key role in promoting diversity within an organization. After all, it’s HR that works to recruit and retain people from diverse backgrounds. And it’s up to HR to communicatenot just to executives but to the rank and file as welljust why diversity is important. But how does HR sometimes end up being the problem rather than the solution? And when that happens, how can it be overcome?  Business people finding solution together at office

Nicole Price, CEO of leadership-development consulting firm Lively Paradox, says it starts with recognizing that dealing with differences is tough.

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You say gorilla, I say guerilla

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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