Is there harm in asking? Questioning employees about their plans to retire

January 14, 2018 0 COMMENTS

Language, inclusion, and diversity in the workplace

December 17, 2017 0 COMMENTS

by Lauren E.M. Russell

Employees’ use of a language other than English in the workplace presents many considerations in the employment law context. An individual’s language is tightly tied with race and national origin, which are protected categories under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and many states’ anti-discrimination laws. On the other hand, customers and other employees may feel unwelcome when they are excluded from conversations. And even worse, they may overhear unprofessional comments when your employees wrongly assume that customers don’t understand the language being spoken.  Hello speech bubbles.

Balancing these considerations can be difficult, but when discussions in a language other than English are legitimately disruptive to the workplace, they should be addressed.

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

December 17, 2017 0 COMMENTS

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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Oklahoma jury awards transgender worker $1.165 million in bias suit

December 17, 2017 0 COMMENTS

by Charlie Plumb

The courts, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) hold differing views on whether Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employment discrimination based on sexual orientation or sexual identity. Nevertheless, on November 20, an Oklahoma City federal court jury awarded a transgender employee $1,165,000 on her discrimination and retaliation claims.    Vector modern transgender flag background

Professor Tudor’s claims

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

November 19, 2017 0 COMMENTS

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

November 19, 2017 0 COMMENTS

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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Employers, beware: Facility issues may result in violations of Title VII

October 15, 2017 0 COMMENTS

by Jacob M. Monty

Many employers are aware of the serious problems that can arise if workers and supervisors engage in racially or sexually motivated taunts and speech. However, few employers realize that they may need to worry about the design and condition of their facilities. The facilities of a now-closed Sara Lee factory in Paris, Texas, reportedly cost the company $4 million in a settlement with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)Bathroom sign

Don’t do it like Sara Lee

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Employers look to ‘culture of inclusiveness’ in era of expanding LGBT rights

September 17, 2017 1 COMMENTS

Inclusiveness, civility, respectful treatment: Those are all concepts getting a lot of attention as employers struggle to cope with what seems like an increasingly divisive culture often threatening to bleed over into the workplace.  Diversity Team Community Group of People Concept

A changing legal landscape also must be considered as employers strive for productive and nondiscriminatory working environments. For example, a landmark ruling from the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals recently concluded that sexual orientation is a protected category under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) also sees Title VII as encompassing sexual orientation and gender identity. Also, many state legislatures have passed laws prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

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Stage is set for SCOTUS to rule on Title VII and sexual orientation

September 17, 2017 0 COMMENTS

by Ryan B. Frazier

Since the civil rights movement of the 1960s, state and federal laws have been enacted to prohibit employment discrimination against individuals on the basis of their race, ethnicity, age, disability, religion, and gender. Until recently, virtually none of those antidiscrimination laws covered employment discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Over the last decade, as issues related to sexual orientation and gender identity have moved to the forefront of social consciousness, several states and certain federal agencies, including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), have started to recognize and address employment discrimination in that context.  Supreme Court

Recognition of discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity has not been universal. Federal law is not resolved on the issue, and recent federal circuit court rulings have further complicated things. This article focuses on the recent appellate court rulings and how they are changing the employment discrimination landscape under federal law.

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

August 20, 2017 0 COMMENTS

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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