For the first time in 46 years, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), which oversees the affirmative action and equal employment opportunity obligations of federal contractors, has updated its sex discrimination guidelines.
The United States Supreme Court recently resolved a split among the federal circuits about when the limitations period begins on a constructive discharge claim (as opposed to a claim by an employee that he or she was terminated by an employer).
The EEOC has issued a Fact Sheet on “Bathroom Access Rights for Transgender Employees Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.” It notes that “a person does not need to undergo any medical procedure to be considered a transgender man or a transgender woman.”
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently announced that it will now release employers’ position statements and non-confidential exhibits to charging parties as a matter of course during its investigations.
Jackie Ford, a partner in the Vorys Houston office and a member of the labor and employment group, authored an article for Texas Lawyer titled “Houston HERO Defeat Doesn't Mean End of Discrimination Protections for LGBT.”
Mike Griffaton, of counsel in the Vorys Columbus office and a member of the labor and employment group, authored an article for Recruiting Trends Bulletin titled “Screening Candidates Through Social Media.”
On April 29, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously held that courts may review the EEOC’s conciliation efforts that are a prerequisite to the EEOC’s filing suit against an employer under Title VII. The Court recognized that the EEOC has “expansive” and “abundant” discretion in how to conduct conciliation efforts and when to end them. Consequently, while courts may evaluate whether the EEOC has attempted conciliation, the scope of that judicial review is limited and “relatively barebones.”
Last year, the Sixth Circuit opened the floodgates on telecommuting as a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). In EEOC v. Ford Motor, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) sued Ford under the ADA for failing to accommodate Jane Harris’ (a former employee) irritable bowel syndrome by refusing her request to telecommute as-needed up to four days a week.
On March 25, 2015, the Supreme Court announced its long-awaited decision in Young v. United Parcel Service regarding the scope of required accommodations under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA). The case involves a former driver for UPS who claimed that UPS violated the PDA by not offering her light duty when she was pregnant and subject to a 20-pound lifting restriction, despite accommodating nonpregnant drivers with the same lifting restriction.
President Obama delivered his sixth State of the Union address on Tuesday, and labor and employment matters took center stage. While the president’s address does not have the force of law, it highlights for employers what issues the White House plans on pursuing in the coming year.
Eighteen states and the District of Columbia currently protect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees (LGBT). In July 2014, President Obama issued Executive Order 13672, which extended this protection by prohibiting discrimination on the bases of sexual orientation and gender identity in federal contracts.
Led by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), federal agencies are beginning to focus on sexual orientation, gender identity and transgender discrimination. While the proposed federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which has been introduced in every Congress since 1994, is unlikely to gain traction in the new Republican-controlled Congress, the EEOC and Department of Labor (DOL) have made lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) issues an enforcement priority.
One of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) enforcement priorities is to target policies that discourage or prohibit individuals from exercising their rights under employment discrimination statutes or that impede the EEOC's investigative or enforcement efforts. Recently, the EEOC has targeted settlement provisions that appear to prohibit filing EEOC charges or that appear to restrict the ability of an employee to provide the EEOC with information to assist in investigating and prosecuting discrimination claims.
President Obama has signed yet another executive order changing the rules of the road for government contractors. Following on the heels of executive orders regarding minimum wage, compensation discrimination, and discussion of wages, the most recent executive action prohibits government contractors from discriminating against individuals on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. The president signed this executive order on July 21, 2014. It amends Executive Order 11246, the law setting forth affirmative action requirements for covered federal contractors and subcontractors.
Jackie Ford, a partner in the Vorys Houston and Columbus offices, authored an article for the Houston Business Journal about new law in Texas that attempts to balance employers’ liability concerns with society’s interest in getting criminals out of crime and into legitimate employment.