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EEOC’s Arguments to Supreme Court Antithesis of Transparency and Open Government

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. In the case, Mach Mining v. Equal Employment...

New Year’s Resolutions: The EEOC’S Focus on Workplace Harassment in 2015

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 to renew its focus on the issue of workplace...

Employers Seek to Halt EEOC’s Efforts to Drum Up Plaintiffs For Its “Onionhead” Lawsuit

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 block the EEOC from reaching out to the company’s...

Odds of Getting EEOC to File Suit For You? Not Much Better Than Odds of Getting Struck by Lightning

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 "merit" suits, that is, suits where they...

Federal Appeals Court Rejects “Retaliatory Rehiring” Claim

As part of massive reorganization, Allstate severed the employment of approximately 6,200 employee agent. In connection with the layoff, Allstate offered all of the employee agents the opportunity to convert their employment status into that of an independent contractor selling Allstate insurance products...

Fourth Circuit Eviscerates EEOC in Background Screening Case

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 a similar case in which the EEOC used the same expert...

Hang Tight, Employers — EEOC’s Proposed Wellness Rule Is at the OMB

The EEOC’s much-awaited proposed rule on employer wellness programs, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act may finally be on its way. According to Law360 , a proposed rule has been approved 4-1 by the Commission, and is being reviewed by the Office...

Are Settlement Attempts Still Required for EEOC Charges?

by Faith Alejandro Should attempts to settle discrimination lawsuits with the EEOC be made in good faith? Employers in Illinois, Wisconsin, and Indiana think so and hope the Supreme Court of the United States will agree. Last month, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in an appeal from a case...

One of EEOC’s First Transgender Lawsuits Has Settled

Last September, I posted that the EEOC had filed its first two lawsuits against private employers alleging discrimination based on gender identity . The EEOC announced this week that one of the lawsuits — against Lakeland Eye Clinic of Florida — has settled. The Clinic has agreed to make...

EEOC Issues Balanced Interpretation of Legality of Employer Wellness Plans

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 for employers who use these programs to keep down...

Hey – That EEOC Wellness Rule Isn’t Half Bad

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 a lot more than I do about the Health Insurance...

U.S. Supreme Court: EEOC’s Conciliation Efforts May Be Reviewed

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 this morning in a unanimous opinion that vacated...

Employment Attorneys React to Supreme Court Decision in Mach Mining v. EEOC

On Wednesday, the United States Supreme Court settled the question of whether the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s statutory duty to conciliate a remedy to a Title VII violation prior to filing a lawsuit is subject to some level of judicial review. The decision was unanimous and the answer...

Supremes to Employers: No, We Won't Make EEOC Force You To Settle

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 settle a case. It's done after EEOC makes one...

The EEOC Asks: Is Your Corporate Wellness Program Really Voluntary?

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 an employee to become healthier through exercise...

The Supreme Court Decides Mach Mining LLC vs. EEOC: A “Win” For Employers?

by Terese Connolly and Mikela Sutrina Last week, in Mach Mining, LLC v. EEOC , the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that Title VII authorizes judicial review of the EEOC’s efforts to satisfy its statutory duty to conciliate before filing suit against an employer [lexis.com subscribers may access...

The EEOC’s New Online Charge System

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 streamline the submission of documents, notices...

Get in the Zone … the No-Blacks Zone

Does Title VII permit an employer to staff its stores based on the racial composition of its customers? That’s the question at the heart of EEOC v. AutoZone , currently pending in federal court in Chicago. In the lawsuit, the EEOC alleges that the auto-parts retailer transferred African-American...

EEOC Updates Pregnancy Discrimination Guidance to Embrace Accommodations

In the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision in Young v. UPS , the EEOC has updated its administrative guidance on pregnancy discrimination [subscribers can access an enhanced version of this opinion: lexis.com | Lexis Advance ]. The updated guidance includes Enforcement Guidance on Pregnancy Discrimination...

EEOC’s Revised Pregnancy Guidance: Now, Just Barely More Flexible!

(Channeling David Spade today.): Hey, EEOC, there’s this newfangled technique known as “track changes.” Look into it! Last Thursday, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued its amended guidance on pregnancy discrimination and accommodation in light of the U.S. Supreme...

BMW Settles EEOC Background-Check Lawsuit For a Cool $1.6 Mil

Last month, a South Carolina federal judge denied BMW’s attempt to dismiss an EEOC lawsuit which alleged that the company’s criminal background checks for job applicants had a discriminatory disparate impact on African Americans ( opinion here ) [subscribers can access an enhanced version...

EEOC Wins Most of Discovery Dispute in Transgender Case

In July, I posted about a discovery dispute in the transgender lawsuit going on in the Detroit area. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has sued a funeral home for discriminating against Aimee Stephens, a transgender woman. The Defendants, represented by the Alliance Defending Freedom , had...

Second Circuit Finds EEOC Investigation Not Subject to Review

by Sean Kirby Recently, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit held in the matter of Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) v. Sterling Jewelers Inc. (“Sterling Jewelers”) , that the District Court erred by considering the sufficiency of the EEOC’s...

Straight From the Source: EEOC’s 10 Hottest Litigation Trends

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 a house afire, so I knew you would want to hear...

Four Ways to Prevent Systemic Discrimination in Your Workplace, Before an EEOC Charge

A week or so ago, Robin Shea had a great post at the Employment and Labor Insider in which she listed ten of the hottest litigation trends at the EEOC. You’ll find some obvious ones (ADA accommodations, retaliation), and maybe one or two that may not be on your radar (immigrant/migrant/”vulnerable”...