On May 1, 2023, President Biden issued a statement announcing the end of the federal COVID-19 vaccine mandates, including those impacting federal contractors and CMS-covered healthcare employers, among others. But what impact does this have on employer vaccine mandates?Continue Reading Biden Administration Ends Federal Vaccine Mandates – What This Means for Employers
As I’ve mentioned before, in my spare time (a lot more, now that the kids are out of the house) I sometimes review the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s federal sector Digest of EEO Law (which they used to issue quarterly, but now seems to be a little more sporadic). Sometimes, in addition to the recitation of federal sector cases, the EEOC will include an in-depth article on a particular topic of interest. Although these digests (and the articles they contain) are geared towards the federal government, the EEOC’s approach to certain employment issues can also be helpful for private employers. And that’s what we have here, with the EEOC’s article, “Moving Towards Equality in the Workplace for LGBTQI+ Employees.” Continue Reading The EEOC’s “Best Practices” for LGBTQI+ Employment Equity
So many EEOC lawsuits – so many lessons… Some recent announcements from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (which is the federal agency that enforces federal anti-discrimination laws) provide some lessons for employers on possible reasonable accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act – specifically, when such accommodations already exist for the employee in question or their co-workers.Continue Reading Don’t Deny a Reasonable Accommodation that Exists – Really!
Maybe it’s because I’m getting older (and crossed over that 40-year old cutoff for protection under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) a number of years ago), but a couple of recent lawsuit announcements from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission caught my eye – and they provide some lessons for employers who are facing an aging workforce.Continue Reading Code Words for Age Discrimination?
Many moons ago, when the ink was barely dry on my law school degree, I assisted a company with a compliance review by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs. (In case you’re not familiar with the OFCCP, they enforce the affirmative action requirements for companies with federal contract and subcontracts). The company had engaged in some conversations with the OFCCP before they decided to call counsel (NEVER a good idea in a government investigation). And one of the warehouse managers made *that* comment to the OFCCP investigator. (Yikes!) Continue Reading “I just didn’t see women working in the warehouse…”
Well, Super Bowl Sunday is almost here. Unlike March Madness or the World Cup, which extends over weeks, it’s a single event. However, there’s a high level of interest in the game – last year, the NFL estimated that approximately two-thirds (!!!) of the U.S. population watched the Rams defeat the Bengals in Super Bowl LVI. (And those of us on the East Coast stayed up late to do so). So, we can still expect the Super Bowl to have an impact in the workplace. And as we did for March Madness and the World Cup, we offer employers a little guidance on the Super Bowl at work. Continue Reading An Employer’s Guide to the Super Bowl
As a follow up to Fiona Ong’s blog post detailing the highly disturbing (but sadly not surprising) treatment of an associate who interviewed for and accepted a new position while on parental leave, this blog post focuses on how employers can best support their employees who have taken parental leave—both those who have given birth and those who take caregiving leave and are adjusting to new responsibilities as a parent. As an employment lawyer and mom who returned to full-time work after having three children, here are some tips to support your new parents in the workplace.Continue Reading Maternity Leave ≠ Sitting on Your Ass: Part II
I’ve previously written about an employer’s obligation to accommodate service or emotional support animals in the workplace, as well as guidelines the employer should consider if it finds itself on the receiving end of such a request. At the time of that blog post, the EEOC had filed suit in the Northern District of Iowa alleging that a national trucking conglomerate failed to accommodate, refused to hire, and then retaliated against a veteran truck driver because he used a service dog, in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”). (The ADA both prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities and requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations to such employees to enable them to perform their essential job functions or enjoy the privileges and benefits of employment.) That case ultimately resulted in a negotiated settlement and consent decree in March 2019. More recently, in July 2022, the EEOC filed suit against arts-and-crafts retailer Hobby Lobby alleging that it violated the ADA by refusing to provide reasonable accommodations and by terminating a cashier who relied upon a service dog to assist her with symptoms caused by post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, and depression. Continue Reading Support/Service Animals in the Workplace – What Should Employers Do?
So some of you may have seen the recent uproar over a senior (labor and employment) attorney’s text message to an associate who found another job while she was on maternity leave. Many, including me, found the text to be wildly offensive and inappropriate. And because I’m a nerd, I also found a lot of lessons for employers.Continue Reading Maternity Leave ≠ Sitting on Your Ass
So I know that many companies are (appropriately!) focused on Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) efforts. Some may be frustrated at the slow pace of change, and may wish to pursue those goals more aggressively – but that (ironically) can result in violations of anti-discrimination laws, as I discussed in a prior blog post, Hey CEOs – Be Careful About Diversity Hiring Quotas. A recent case provides another example of when trying too hard to fix one problem can create new ones.Continue Reading Firing Employees to Increase Diversity Is Perhaps Not the Best Plan…