On April 29, 2024, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued its long-promised Enforcement Guidance on Harassment in the Workplace. The document updates and replaces existing EEOC resources on workplace harassment and unsurprisingly (under this pro-worker administration) takes a very broad approach to the topic. Of particular interest to employers, the EEOC also provides specific direction on what it would consider to be best practices for employers in preventing and addressing workplace harassment, including as to policies, training and investigations.Continue Reading The EEOC’s New Harassment Guidance: What Employers Need to Know

On April 15, 2024, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued a Final Rule and Interpretive Guidance to implement the relatively new Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA), which was enacted by Congress in December of 2022 and which already took effect on June 27, 2023. The Final Rule and Interpretive Guidance provide guidance, with many illustrative examples, on how the EEOC plans to interpret employers’ obligations under the PWFA – and in some cases, expands the obligations beyond even the heightened standards under the Americans with Disabilities Act.Continue Reading The EEOC Releases Onerous Final Rule Implementing the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act

According to some courts, no. According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and other courts, yes. And the EEOC is being the squeaky wheel regarding its position, as evidenced by a recent settlement announcement. Continue Reading Are Reasonable Accommodations Required for an Employee’s Commute?

In the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s decision rejecting affirmative action in college admissions, there have been well-publicized attacks on corporate diversity initiatives. And now the conservative advocacy group, America First Legal Foundation, is tackling the NFL and its Rooney Rule – a development of concern to employers who use diverse candidate slates in their hiring process. Continue Reading Wiping the (Diverse Candidate) Slate Clean?

And employers should take heed, because making assumptions about employees when making employment decisions can certainly make you look like an ass (and by that, I do mean the donkey-like animal and not the body part. Honestly, keep your mind out of the gutter!). That was the lesson learned by Walmart, according to a recent EEOC press release.Continue Reading Employers, “When you assume, you make an ass out of u and me.” – Oscar Wilde (or not?*)

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission just announced a resolution of its investigation into Groupon’s recruitment and hiring practices, with a rather unusual term that specifically benefits Black individuals – an issue of heightened sensitivity as employers have struggled with the employment implications of the Supreme Court’s recent decision banning affirmative action in college admissions. Continue Reading An Interesting Resolution to an EEOC Race Discrimination Investigation…

This week, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced a $6.875 million settlement (ouch!) with Scripps Clinical Medical Group over its mandatory retirement age policy. Which reminded me that the EEOC has also sued Yale New Haven Hospital for its “Late Career Practitioner Policy,” requiring certain doctors age 70+ to undergo certain medical testing. Since my husband is a doctor (of a certain age), I am particularly interested in these developments – but I note that these principles apply across all employers.Continue Reading Mandatory Retirement or Medical Exams Based on Age?

As most employers (hopefully) know, the Americans with Disabilities Act sets forth strict guidelines for when employers can require employees or applicants to undergo medical examinations or when they can ask questions that might reveal a disability. And the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act restricts what employers can ask about the applicant/employee’s family medical conditions. Getting this wrong can cost the employer, as a recent Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (the federal agency that enforces the ADA and other federal anti-discrimination laws) press release made clear. The EEOC gleefully announced that Dollar General agreed to settle an ADA and GINA lawsuit for $1,000,000 (!!!), based in part on illegal post-offer/pre-employment questions that were asked of applicants.Continue Reading An Applicant’s Family Medical History? Apparently, That’s the Million Dollar Question!

Once upon a time, employees in all states but Montana (always bucking the establishment!) were presumed to be employed at-will, absent some sort of employment agreement (e.g. individual contract for a term, a collective bargaining agreement, policies that contemplate termination for cause, etc.). That means that either the employer or the employee may terminate the employment relationship at any time, for any or even no reason (as long as it’s not illegal – like, say, discrimination or retaliation). And so our well-meaning but foolish Employer is terribly excited by that principle because they want to get rid of an Employee. But … as with all good fairy tales, there is a dark side.Continue Reading At-Will Employment Is a Fairy Tale…

Well I think we all recognize that Artificial Intelligence (AI) has created some seismic shifts in the way things can be done, including in the workplace (and I covered many of the risks and concerns of generative AI for employers in our June 2023 E-Update). Governments at all levels are taking action to try to put guardrails on the use of AI. And now, President Biden has signed an Executive Order on “Safe, Secure and Trustworthy Artificial Intelligence,” as summarized in a Fact Sheet. This is a wide-ranging EO, but one of the areas it specifically addresses is the impact on workers. Continue Reading What Impact Will President Biden’s AI Executive Order Have in the Workplace?