EEOC’s Conciliation Efforts Shortchanges 5,000+ Employee Claims Annually

After the EEOC investigates claims of civil rights violations in the workplace, it either finds “reasonable cause” that illegal conduct has occurred or not. For those reasonable cause findings, the EEOC is legally required to engage in efforts to conciliate the charge – essentially...

Court Rejects EEOC’s Argument that Its Conciliation Efforts Not Subject to Review

I remember being surprised at the intensity of the objections by some of the EEOC panelists to my suggestion at an EEOC public meeting earlier this year that the EEOC implement a pilot ADR program as a part of its conciliation process. One of those objections was made by an EEOC Regional Attorney out...

Arkansas: Claimant May Pursue Comp Benefits in Spite of Claim During EEOC Dispute That She Was Capable of Working

A divided Arkansas appellate court recently held that a former employer that paid $60,000 to a former employee to settle the latter’s EEOC & ADA charges might be entitled to at least a partial credit under Ark. Code Ann. § 11-9-807 against future workers’ compensation disability...

Williams Mullen: ‘Ban the Box’ Ascendant: States Increasingly Restricting Applicant Criminal Record Inquiries

By D. Earl Baggett and J. Nelson Wilkinson On January 1, 2014, it became illegal for Rhode Island employers to ask about criminal convictions on job applications. Employers in that state now face civil rights charges, monetary damages, and even liability for attorney’s fees if they attempt to...

More on the EEOC’s Position on Retaliation in Severance Agreements: A Proposed Solution

In an earlier post , on a lawsuit the EEOC has filed, claiming that some fairly generic terms in an employee severance agreement constitute illegal retaliation. In EEOC v. CVS , the agency claims that an agreement that attempts to limit an employee’s communication with the EEOC unlawfully attempts...

EEOC Holds Public Meeting on Social Media in the Workplace #socialEEO

Yesterday, the EEOC held a public meeting on the use of social media in the workplace, and its impact on the enforcement of equal employment opportunity laws. The commission heard testimony that addressed issues such as recruitment and hiring, harassment, and discovery. According to EEOC Chair Jacqueline...

10 Easy Rules for Background Checks in Hiring

The EEOC -- can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em. As irritated as I sometimes become with the agency's lawsuits, I have to hand it to them. The guidance they have recently published jointly with the Federal Trade Commission on background checks is great -- written in plain...

GINA Strikes Again

by Mark Jeffries A few months ago, we told you about the EEOC’s first lawsuit alleging a violation of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (“GINA”). A week after settling that case, which was brought on behalf of an individual, the EEOC filed another complaint. In...

Do as I Say: The EEOC and Credit Checks

On October 10, 2010, the EEOC held a public hearing on the impact that the use of credit history has on employee selection and potential discrimination. The press release summarizing the hearing carried the by-line that some witnesses said the practice can have a disparate impact on minorities and is...

Sixth Circuit Sends Strong Signal to EEOC in Affirming Dismissal of Systemic Lawsuit

Last January, a Cleveland federal-court judge dismissed a race discrimination lawsuit brought by the EEOC against Kaplan Higher Learning. In that case, the EEOC challenged Kaplan’s use of credit reports in its hiring process as having a systemic disparate impact based on race. To support its claim...

U.S. Chamber of Commerce Challenges EEOC Over Its “Unreasonable” Enforcement Tactics

I’ve written before about federal courts taking the EEOC to task for its overly aggressive litigation tactics (for example, here , here , here , here , and here ). Earlier this week, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce published a 25-page report [pdf] (h/t Wall Street Journal ), in which it challenged...

EEOC and Wellness Programs: A Preview of Things to Come?

Employers have been waiting for the EEOC to provide direction with respect to its position on wellness programs and the impact of the ADA on them. Last May, the EEOC held a hearing where it heard from a broad spectrum of interested groups on the topic. In the press release issued after the meeting, the...

New House Bills Seek to Slow the EEOC's Roll

Halftime of the Eagles-Colts game. So, I only have 15 minutes to crank this one out. Here we go... Two new bills in the House to watch. 1. The Litigation Oversight Act of 2014 : This bill would amend Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to require the EEOC Commissions to decide by "majority...

Federal Judge Dismisses EEOC Severance Agreement Lawsuit Against CVS

The Chicago Tribune is reporting that U.S. District Judge John Darrah has granted CVS’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit filed by EEOC, which challenged the company’s severance agreements as overly broad and retaliatory. Recall that the lawsuit challenged several garden-variety terms in standard...

The EEOC Has Been a Busy Bee This Week. (It Stings!)

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has been on a tear this week, suing employers right and left, and getting some “wins” including a couple of big settlements . . . Train-wreck boss. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit (Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas) vacated a...

EEOC Should Do As It Does, Not As It Says

Last June, the EEOC sued BMW , claiming that the company’s policy of automatically disqualifying from employment anyone with certain felony convictions disparately impacted African-Americans. Unfortunately for the EEOC, like BMW, it also uses criminal background checks to screen applicants. BMW...

Is It Legal for the EEOC to Send 1,330 Emails to Your Employees at Work?

Back in 2013, the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission began investigating Case New Holland, Inc. for age discrimination, or so a complaint that Case New Holland recently filed in federal court alleges. So, how is this news? Let alone blog news, which is hardly news at all. I should...

EEOC Places Employee Wellness Programs Under Scrutiny

by Mark Jeffries and Lindsay Bouffard Wellness programs are surging in popularity as employers seek to reduce steadily rising healthcare costs. But could a well-intentioned wellness program end up costing you? With open enrollment for medical plans right around the corner for most employers, now is...

UPDATED: EEOC Seeks Court Order to Halt Honeywell’s Biometric Testing

Thanks to Kate Bischoff of The Employment Law Navigator for bringing this to our attention. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a petition yesterday in federal court in Minnesota to stop Honeywell International, Inc., from requiring that employees (and spouses, if the employees have...

Check Out the EEOC's Playbook for Combatting LGBT Discrimination

Even without a federal law that specifically bans discrimination in the workplace based on sexual orientation or gender identify, it's no secret that one of the EEOC's top priorities is to protect LGBT workers from discrimination. And the EEOC is being quite transparent about it, with a new...

LGBT Legislation in Michigan

A bill was introduced in the Michigan House last week which would amend the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation. The legislature is in its post-election lame duck session, and the bill was introduced by a representative who lost in the primary election...

What the EEOC Plans to Tell Employers About Wellness Programs

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is obsessed with wellness programs. Or, as the EEOC likes to describe them "'so-called' wellness programs." And not in a "yay, so-called wellness programs are super" kinda way. No, in recent months, the EEOC has initiated...

Federal Court Permits Discrimination Against Transgender Employee

Under federal law ( Title VII ), employers cannot discriminate because of one's sex. While Title VII does not explicitly coverage transgender employees (i.e., someone born female who presents male, and vice-versa; also known as gender identity), the EEOC's position is that transgender employees...

The EEOC and Wellness Programs: Coming Home to Roost?

On May 8, 2013, the EEOC conducted a meeting and received testimony from a broad spectrum of advocates on the topic of the interplay between the wellness programs and federal anti-discrimination laws. The headline of the press release concerning the meeting stated Employer Wellness Programs Need Guidance...

Role Reversal! EEOC Must Disclose Its Own Background Check Policy to the Employer It's Suing

Monday kinda sucked for the EEOC. The agency that made scrutiny of employee background checks a top priority under its current Strategic Enforcement Plan has been ordered by a federal court to turn over its own background check policy to an employer whom it is suing for a criminal background check...