Labor and Employment Law

Recent Posts

EEOC's "emerging issues": LGBT rights, and accommodations for pregnant women
Posted on 11 Sep 2012 by Robin Shea

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... Read More

On the EEOC Radar: Pregnancy and Caregiver Discrimination
Posted on 28 Feb 2012 by John Holmquist

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... Read More

Employers Beware: Credit Checks May Expose You to Unwanted Discrimination Claims
Posted on 7 Feb 2011 by LexisNexis Labor & Employment Law Community St

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... Read More

Straight From the Source: EEOC’s 10 Hottest Litigation Trends
Posted on 30 Oct 2015 by Robin Shea

Last week I heard David Lopez, General Counsel of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, speak about EEOC litigation developments at the annual North Carolina/South Carolina Labor and Employment Law conference. The EEOC has been litigating like... Read More

EEOC Holds Both Staffing Firms and Staffing Clients Responsible Under EEO Laws
Posted on 25 Apr 2013 by Martha J. Zackin

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... Read More

U.S. Supreme Court: EEOC’s Conciliation Efforts May Be Reviewed
Posted on 29 Apr 2015 by Bajeerah LaCava

WASHINGTON, D.C. — (Mealey’s) Courts have a limited authority to review whether the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has met its duty under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to attempt conciliation, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled... Read More

Discrimination Claims in Virginia Must Be Brought Promptly
Posted on 12 Oct 2010 by Lee Berlik

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... Read More

Disability Claims Definitely on the EEOC’s Radar
Posted on 13 Sep 2011 by Jon Hyman

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... Read More

Are Pregnant Employees Entitled to Reasonable Accommodation?
Posted on 21 Sep 2011 by Robin Shea

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... Read More

Hey – That EEOC Wellness Rule Isn’t Half Bad
Posted on 24 Apr 2015 by Robin Shea

NOTE: As I breathlessly reported last week , the EEOC has issued its long-awaited proposed rule on employer wellness programs and the Americans with Disabilities Act. ( Here is a nicer copy than the one that was available then.) Brian Magargle , who knows... Read More

EEOC’s Conciliation Efforts Shortchanges 5,000+ Employee Claims Annually
Posted on 4 Oct 2013 by Lorene Schaefer

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... Read More

The EEOC Has Been a Busy Bee This Week. (It Stings!)
Posted on 22 Sep 2014 by Robin Shea

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... Read More

U.S. Chamber of Commerce Challenges EEOC Over Its “Unreasonable” Enforcement Tactics
Posted on 12 Jun 2014 by Jon Hyman

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]... Read More

Federal Judge Dismisses EEOC Severance Agreement Lawsuit Against CVS
Posted on 22 Sep 2014 by Jon Hyman

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... Read More

Odds of Getting EEOC to File Suit For You? Not Much Better Than Odds of Getting Struck by Lightning
Posted on 9 Feb 2015 by Donna Ballman

EEOC has issued its 2014 Performance Report and the big news everyone announced was that the number of charges dropped. What I found disturbing when I read the summary was that there were 88,778 charges filed nationwide, and of those EEOC only filed 133... 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...