New guidance on pregnancy discrimination released

July 15, 2014 1 COMMENTS

For the first time since 1983, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has issued enforcement guidance on pregnancy discrimination. The new guidance incorporates significant developments in the law during the past 30 years, including how the 2008 amendments to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) may apply to employees with pregnancy-related disabilities.

The EEOC issued Enforcement Guidance: Pregnancy Discrimination and Related Issues on July 14. Besides the guidance, the agency released questions and answers about the guidance and a fact sheet for small businesses.

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New ADAAA Regulations Effective Immediately

May 24, 2011 4 COMMENTS

Today is the day! Although many thought the day might never come, the final regulations under the ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA) are finally effective. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released these long-awaited regulations earlier this spring, and employers have been scrambling to become familiar with the intricacies of the new final rules, which are significantly different from the proposed regulations the EEOC issued in September 2009.

The final regulations aren’t very employer-friendly. In fact, the EEOC makes clear that the ADAAA’s primary purpose is to make it easier for individuals with disabilities to be protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and that employers need to focus on whether they have complied with their obligations under the ADA and whether discrimination has occurred, instead of whether an employee’s impairment meets the definition of disability.

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Wait Is Finally Over! EEOC Finalizes Regulations Interpreting ADAAA

March 24, 2011 0 COMMENTS

More than two years after the ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA) went into effect, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has finalized regulations interpreting the law’s requirements. For the most part, the final regulations provide exactly the type of comprehensive guidance employers were hoping for. In any event, they are a dramatic departure from (and an improvement over) the proposed regulations the EEOC issued in September 2009.

Let’s look at the regulations’ key provisions and what they mean for employers.

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5 Lessons from Lost on Hiring, Safety, and Other Workplace Issues

May 19, 2010 5 COMMENTS

By Alan King and Tony Kessler

At first glance, you might think a TV show featuring plane crash survivors on a remote Pacific island — with time travel and an evil smoke monster thrown in to boot — would yield few if any insights into how to run a great workplace. But as the six-year run of the hit series Lost comes to a climactic conclusion this weekend, we’d be remiss if we didn’t point out some important HR and employment lessons we’ve noticed along the way.

Some lessons have been obvious. For example, when hiring-agent Rose Nadler earlier this season looked askance at John Locke’s application to tackle a construction foreman position, apparently because he was sitting in a wheelchair and wasn’t “being realistic” about his job abilities, she appeared to be violating the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). As much as we have loved Rose both on the island and off (in the parallel universe that sprang up after Juliette apparently detonated the atomic bomb in the final episode of Season 5), she didn’t appear to take the time to consider whether Locke could perform the foreman job duties with a reasonable accommodation.

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Final ADAAA Regulations Expected Mid-2010

December 09, 2009 0 COMMENTS

Update: New Final ADAAA Regs published by EEOC

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has now begun reviewing the more than 600 comments that were received in response to its proposed ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA) regulations. According to the latest regulatory agenda, the EEOC anticipates the review will be complete — and final ADAAA regulations will be implemented — in July 2010.

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Health Plan Developments: Mental Health Parity, GINA, and Health Risk Assessments

October 23, 2009 0 COMMENTS

By Michelle Sullivan, Holland & Hart LLP

Kathleen Sebelius, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) secretary, issued a statement on October 2 indicating that employers awaiting guidance before implementing changes to medical plans required by the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 should not expect regulations to be issued until January 2010 — after the law goes into effect for calendar-year plans. In the absence of regulations, plan sponsors should make a reasonable “good-faith” effort to adhere to the law’s intent.

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Sears Settlement with EEOC Raises New Concerns on ADA Enforcement

September 30, 2009 0 COMMENTS

by Burton J. Fishman

Sears recently reached a $6.2 million settlement with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) regarding Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) violations stemming from the company’s alleged refusal to return injured workers to the job. This is the largest ADA settlement in a single lawsuit in EEOC history. More aggressive enforcement has been promised by the Obama administration across the civil rights/employment discrimination front; this appears to be a product of that new policy.

At the root of the EEOC’s allegations was an “inflexible” workers’ compensation leave policy that had the effect of terminating employees rather than seeking and/or arriving at a reasonable accommodation that would yield a return to work. Although only one employee filed a charge, the EEOC claims that pretrial discovery revealed that hundreds of other employees who had taken workers’ comp leave were also terminated without regard for a return to work or an extended leave under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

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EEOC’s Proposed ADA Regulations Now Available

September 22, 2009 0 COMMENTS

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) — which would revise its Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulations to comply with the ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA) — is now available at

The NPRM interprets the requirements of the ADAAA, which Congress passed in late 2008 to make it easier for employees and applicants who allege disability discrimination to establish that they are disabled as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act. The NPRM will be published in the Federal Register this week, after which the EEOC will accept the public’s comments on the proposal for a period of 60 days. It’s unclear at this time when final regulations will be issued, but they are unlikely to come before the end of the year.

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EEOC Moves Forward with ADAAA Regs

September 18, 2009 0 COMMENTS

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has voted to approve a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that would revise its Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulations to comply with the ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA), which was passed late last year and went into effect January 1, 2009. The ADAAA and the proposed rule make it easier for employees and applicants who allege disability discrimination to establish that they are disabled and therefore entitled to the ADA’s protections.

In a huge departure from the approach taken in the old regulations, the NPRM lists specific types of physical and mental impairments that will “consistently” qualify as disabilities under the ADA, such as deafness, blindness, missing limbs, cancer, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, HIV/AIDS, and severe mental disorders such as bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. In addition, the EEOC emphasizes that: read more…

EEOC Seeking Comment on Proposed GINA Regulations

February 26, 2009 0 COMMENTS

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is in the process of finalizing regulations implementing the employment provisions of the Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act of 2008 (GINA).

The Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act, signed into law in May 2008, prohibits discrimination by health insurers and employers based on people’s genetic information. The EEOC is to issue regulations by May 21, 2009, implementing Title II of GINA, the part that prohibits the use of genetic information in employment, prohibits the intentional acquisition of genetic information about applicants and employees, and imposes strict confidentiality requirements.

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