Labor and Employment Law

Recent Posts

EEOC Issues Balanced Interpretation of Legality of Employer Wellness Plans
Posted on 20 Apr 2015 by Jon Hyman

Several months ago, the EEOC announced its intent to issue regulations interpreting whether employer wellness plans are legal or illegal medical exams under the ADA. Thankfully, last Thursday the EEOC published its proposed regulations, and its good news... Read More

Fourth Circuit Eviscerates EEOC in Background Screening Case
Posted on 23 Feb 2015 by Jon Hyman

Nearly a year ago, the 6th Circuit sent a strong message to the EEOC in dismissing a case regarding its “expert” witness retained to challenge an employer’s use of credit checks. Last Friday, the 4th Circuit affirmed the dismissal of... Read More

EEOC’s Arguments to Supreme Court Antithesis of Transparency and Open Government
Posted on 16 Jan 2015 by Lorene Schaefer

On January 13, 2015, the United States Supreme Court heard oral arguments in which the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) made arguments that fly in the face of President Obama’s call for transparency and open government... Read More

10 Reasons for Employers to Be Jolly About the ADA (Says the EEOC)
Posted on 9 Dec 2011 by Robin Shea

The American Bar Association sponsored a webinar this week on the Americans with Disabilities Act, which was noteworthy for its inclusion of EEOC commissioners Chai Feldblum (Democrat) and Victoria Lipnic (Republican). I'm usually such a doom... Read More

EEOC Offers Guidance On ADA Application to Specific Conditions: Cancer, Diabetes, Epilepsy, and Intellectual Disabilities
Posted on 20 May 2013 by Barran Liebman LLP

The ADA Amendments Act of 2008 took effect January 1, 2009, and broadened the definition of a disability that makes a person eligible for the protections of the ADA. Taking into account this new, broadened definition of disability, on May 15, 2013... Read More

New Year’s Resolutions: The EEOC’S Focus on Workplace Harassment in 2015
Posted on 23 Jan 2015 by Steptoe & Johnson PLLC

by Mark C. Dean As the calendar rolls over into a new year, many of us are busy making resolutions, and it seems that certain government enforcement agencies are no different. On January 14, 2015, the EEOC held its first meeting of the new year, resolving... Read More

Is Your Wellness Program Discriminatory?
Posted on 3 Jun 2013 by Jon Hyman

It is no secret that health care costs for employers and their employees are out of control in this country. Many employers have attempted to hold down these rising costs by offering wellness-program incentives - insurance premium reductions to employees... Read More

Is Your Company a Target of the EEOC?
Posted on 3 May 2013 by Robin Shea

Is your company an EEOC target? I've written before about the Strategic Enforcement Plan of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which was officially adopted last December, and the Commission's priorities. Last week, EEOC Commissioner... Read More

EEOC Talks Employer Wellness Programs; Provides an ADA Q&A
Posted on 23 May 2013 by Eric Meyer

Consistent with its strategic plan to provide up-to-date guidance on the requirements of antidiscrimination laws, last week, the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued this press release in which it announced that it had revised... Read More

Supremes to Employers: No, We Won't Make EEOC Force You To Settle
Posted on 1 May 2015 by Donna Ballman

In one of the most bizarre employer appeals I've ever seen, a company called Mach Mining asked the Supreme Court to dismiss a suit by EEOC because EEOC didn't engage in sufficient conciliation efforts. Conciliation is a fancy term for trying to... Read More

The EEOC and Wellness Programs: Time for an Answer?
Posted on 3 May 2013 by John Holmquist

The EEOC has announced that it will be holding a meeting on May 8, 2013, to hear from invited panelists on the treatment of wellness programs under federal law, with an emphasis on understanding the ways that the ADA, the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination... Read More

The EEOC Asks: Is Your Corporate Wellness Program Really Voluntary?
Posted on 8 May 2015 by Steptoe & Johnson PLLC

by Marcia L. DePaula Many employers who provide health coverage to their employees have initiated wellness programs within the workplace over the years in order to reduce health care costs. These wellness programs may include initiatives to motivate... Read More

The EEOC’s New Online Charge System
Posted on 19 May 2015 by Ashley Kasarjian

Don’t be surprised if you start getting more electronic communications from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The EEOC has initiated a new online pilot program to transmit documents electronically. This move, according to the EEOC, will... Read More

The 2011 EEOC Performance and Accountability Report
Posted on 5 Dec 2011 by Ashley Kasarjian

It's that time of year again - the EEOC Performance and Accountability Report has been released. Recapping FY 2011, the Report provides a glimpse into the inner-workings of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission - where it is going and... Read More

Employers Seek to Halt EEOC’s Efforts to Drum Up Plaintiffs For Its “Onionhead” Lawsuit
Posted on 4 Feb 2015 by Jon Hyman

You may recall the lawsuit filed the EEOC claiming that a New York employer forced its employees to join a religion called “Onionhead.” Now, Employment Law 360 reports [subscription required] that the company’s counsel is trying to... Read More

  • Blog Post: Discrimination Claims in Virginia Must Be Brought Promptly

    Virginia is a "deferral state" for Title VII purposes, meaning that it has a state law prohibiting discriminatory employment practices and has a state or local agency (e.g., the Virginia Council on Human Rights ) authorized to grant relief from such practices. To allege discriminatory employment...
  • Blog Post: Employers Beware: Credit Checks May Expose You to Unwanted Discrimination Claims

    By Mona M. Stone This Emerging Issues Analysis by attorney Mona Stone explores the issue of credit checks and discrimination. “Can an employer be sued based on its use of credit checks during hiring? Yes, at least according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC),” writes...
  • Blog Post: Disability Claims Definitely on the EEOC’s Radar

    I am often asked how I come up with ideas to post 5 days a week, every week. While the answer is a closely guarded secret, I will allow a little insight-the EEOC's website is a wealth of information. Every news release by the agency announcing a new lawsuit or a settled claim presents an fresh...
  • Blog Post: Are Pregnant Employees Entitled to Reasonable Accommodation?

    Our friends at the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently scored another big win in a pregnancy discrimination case -- actually got summary judgment against the employer, which is unusual. In this case, the employer apparently knew it had messed up and failed to contest the EEOC's...
  • Blog Post: The 2011 EEOC Performance and Accountability Report

    It's that time of year again - the EEOC Performance and Accountability Report has been released. Recapping FY 2011, the Report provides a glimpse into the inner-workings of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission - where it is going and where it has been. Here are some of the highlights...
  • Blog Post: 10 Reasons for Employers to Be Jolly About the ADA (Says the EEOC)

    The American Bar Association sponsored a webinar this week on the Americans with Disabilities Act, which was noteworthy for its inclusion of EEOC commissioners Chai Feldblum (Democrat) and Victoria Lipnic (Republican). I'm usually such a doom-and-gloomer when it comes to the amended version...
  • Blog Post: The Word of the Day Is “Systemic”

    The EEOC has published its draft strategic plan for fiscal years 2012 - 2016 . A quick Ctrl-F for the word "systemic" reveals 16 different hits in this relatively short document. "Systemic" cases, according to the EEOC, are those that "address a pattern, practice or policy...
  • Blog Post: On the EEOC Radar: Pregnancy and Caregiver Discrimination

    On February 15, the EEOC held a hearing where speakers addressed the issues of pregnancy and caregiver discrimination. It was the Commission's first hearing of the year. EEOC Chair Berrien stated that discrimination based on pregnancy persists in the 21st century workplace and that the EEOC is...
  • Blog Post: EEOC's "emerging issues": LGBT rights, and accommodations for pregnant women

    The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued yesterday its draft Strategic Enforcement Plan . If you don't have time to slog through all the introductory material, you won't miss a thing if you skip right to Section III (Priorities). The agency proposes that its priorities will be *Systemic...
  • Blog Post: EEOC Holds Both Staffing Firms and Staffing Clients Responsible Under EEO Laws

    Recently, the EEOC filed a lawsuit against Hire Dynamics, a staffing firm (click here for the EEOC press release). According to the complaint , after a Hire Dynamics employee filed a charge of discrimination against one of its clients, the staffing firm retaliated by failing to give the employee...
  • Blog Post: The EEOC and Wellness Programs: Time for an Answer?

    The EEOC has announced that it will be holding a meeting on May 8, 2013, to hear from invited panelists on the treatment of wellness programs under federal law, with an emphasis on understanding the ways that the ADA, the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act as well as other statutes that the...
  • Blog Post: Is Your Company a Target of the EEOC?

    Is your company an EEOC target? I've written before about the Strategic Enforcement Plan of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which was officially adopted last December, and the Commission's priorities. Last week, EEOC Commissioner Victoria Lipnic spoke about the Plan in more...
  • Blog Post: EEOC Signals Increased Focus on Employer-Sponsored Wellness Programs

    A majority of US employers offer some sort of wellness program designed to reduce the cost of health insurance and healthcare costs, and to improve the health and well-being of employees. However, unless care is taken, even well-intentioned wellness programs may violate federal law. The EEOC held...
  • Blog Post: EEOC Offers Guidance On ADA Application to Specific Conditions: Cancer, Diabetes, Epilepsy, and Intellectual Disabilities

    The ADA Amendments Act of 2008 took effect January 1, 2009, and broadened the definition of a disability that makes a person eligible for the protections of the ADA. Taking into account this new, broadened definition of disability, on May 15, 2013, the EEOC issued four "Question and Answer"...
  • Blog Post: EEOC Talks Employer Wellness Programs; Provides an ADA Q&A

    Consistent with its strategic plan to provide up-to-date guidance on the requirements of antidiscrimination laws, last week, the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued this press release in which it announced that it had revised guidance on how the Americans with Disabilities...
  • Blog Post: Is Your Wellness Program Discriminatory?

    It is no secret that health care costs for employers and their employees are out of control in this country. Many employers have attempted to hold down these rising costs by offering wellness-program incentives - insurance premium reductions to employees who meet certain health-related incentives...
  • Blog Post: A Conversation with the EEOC

    The Labor and Employment Section of the Michigan bar held its annual spring meeting last Thursday, and the topic was A backstage pass to the EEOC. The Detroit office had over 20 representatives attend. The round-table topics were intake and investigation; mediation and conciliation; and litigation...
  • Blog Post: EEOC Charge Handling Process

    What happens when a current or former employee files a charge of discrimination with the EEOC? The EEOC has explained it in its description of the charge handling process . However, I imagine if a company has not been through the process, it can still be confusing. Therefore, in the spirit of my last...
  • Blog Post: 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...
  • Blog Post: 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...
  • Blog Post: Court Upholds Large Judgment Against EEOC For Bringing Frivolous Lawsuit

    The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in EEOC v. Peoplemark , 732 F.3d 584, No. 11-2582 (2013) recently affirmed a judgment against the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in the sum of $751,942 for attorney fees and costs sought by Peoplemark, which claimed that EEOC’s action...
  • Blog Post: 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...
  • Blog Post: 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...
  • Blog Post: 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...
  • Blog Post: 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...