The EEOC Has Been Busy . . . .

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Just days before its proposed rule on changes to its EEO-1 form and reporting requirements, on January 21, 2016, the EEOC released proposed changes to its Retaliation Enforcement Guidance.  While this document does not carry the force or weight of regulations or statutes, it can guide a court’s reasoning.  This 76-page document purports to summarize the law of retaliation and provide its investigators with information to help them conduct and complete their investigations.

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Obama Administration Taking Actions to “Advance Equal Pay for all Workers”

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On the 7th anniversary of President Obama’s signing into law his first piece of legislation as President, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, he announced “several additional actions that his administration is taking to advance equal pay for all workers and further empower working families.”

The most interesting additional action would affect employers with 100 or more employees.  These companies would be required, on an annual basis, to report details of what they pay their employees categorized by race,

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EEOC Sues FedEx for Disability Discrimination

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In a press release, today, the EEOC announced that it has sued shipping giant FedEx for discriminating against deaf and hearing-impaired employees.  The charges accuse FedEx of:

  • Failing to provide needed accommodations such as American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation and closed-captioned training videos during the mandatory initial tour of the facilities and new-hire orientation for deaf and hard-of-hearing applicants;
  • Failing to provide such accommodations during staff, performance, and safety meetings; and
  • Refusing to provide needed equipment substitutions and modifications for deaf and hard-of-hearing package handlers,

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EEOC Updates Pregnancy Discrimination Act Guidance

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On July 14, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission updated its guidance for the enforcement of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (“PDA”).  The PDA is an amendment to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which prohibits discrimination because of pregnancy in any aspect of employment, including hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, layoff, training, fringe benefits, such as leave and health insurance, and any other term or condition of employment.  The new guidance reflects the liberal approach the EEOC is taking with regard to gender discrimination and also its enforcement of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”).

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Idaho Supreme Court Upholds Denial of Unemployment for Facebook Posts

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Talbot v. Desert View Care Center (June 20, 2014)

Joseph Talbot worked at Desert View Care Center as a nurse and was discharged due to a Facebook post that Desert View found violated its Social and Electronic Media Conduct Policy. Talbot applied for unemployment benefits, and the Idaho Industrial Commission concluded that Talbot engaged in employment-related misconduct, denying him benefits. Talbot appealed to the Idaho Supreme Court, arguing that Desert View never communicated its Social Media Policy to him.

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BLS Releases Statistics Amid Push to Increase the Minimum Wage

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As the current administration continues its efforts to increase the federal minimum wage rate, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released its 2012 minimum wage statistics, which are excerpted below:

In 2012, 75.3 million workers in the United States age 16 and over were paid at hourly rates, representing 59.0 percent of all wage and salary workers. 1 Among those paid by the hour, 1.6 million earned exactly the prevailing federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.

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Court Finds that Random Alcohol Tests Don’t Always Violate the ADA

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Last week the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania made a surprising ruling:  a company can show that random alcohol test are “job related and consistent with business necessity.”  In the first case of its kind, the federal judge rejected the EEOC’s Enforcement Guidelines.  Before this ruling, the traditional wisdom, garnered from the guidelines was:

  • You can test a person for alcohol only if you have reasonable cause or suspicion,

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Governor Signs House Bill 22

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On February 20, 2013, Governor Otter signed House Bill 22 into law.

Under current law, large employers must remit income tax withheld on a pay period schedule that overlaps two calendar months. This split monthly filing results in a fiscal reporting year of January 16 in one year to January 15 of the next year. Because employee W-2 reporting is done on a calendar year basis, these employers must file a more complex annual form to reconcile calendar year W-2 information with the fiscal year withholding reporting period.

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ABA Releases 2012 FMLA Case Report

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The American Bar Association, in association with the Bureau of National Affairs, released its 2013 Midwinter Meeting Report of 2012 FMLA Cases.  This report reviews a comprehensive list of FMLA cases from 2012 and categorizes them into subparts of the FMLA to which they pertain.

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Illness-related work absences in January 2013 highest since February 2008

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Today, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released a report highlighting the nearly 2.9 million workers who took time off for illness or injury some time during January 2013.  The report goes on to reference another 1.2 million workers who did not work at all during January due to illness or injury.  These numbers are the highest on record since February 2008.

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