As reported on the Hunton Employment & Labor Perspectives blog, the ongoing opioid epidemic is causing employers to consider the best ways to ensure a safe workplace, but companies should be careful when addressing employees’ prescription drug use. Recent court filings and settlements by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) illustrate the potential pitfalls employers face when attempting to implement a drug-free workplace. Continue Reading Employers’ Prescription Drug Use Policies Coming Under Scrutiny

Employers in the retail sector are constantly faced with the balancing act of relying on their workforce to operate a profitable business while also managing employees who are unable to work at full capacity due to an illness or disability. The patchwork of laws and regulations requiring employers to provide leave or accommodation can overlap with one another, creating uncertainty as to when employers can terminate sick or disabled employees. For example, it is a common scenario for an employee to exhaust his/her 12-week medical leave under the Family Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) and then request additional leave as an accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”).    Continue Reading Seventh Circuit Rejects Extended Leave as Reasonable Accommodation Under ADA

On January 25, 2017, Victoria Lipnic was appointed acting chair of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”), and members of the legal community believe that her appointment could move the EEOC in a more management-friendly direction. Lipnic has served as a Commissioner of the EEOC since 2010, having been nominated by Barack Obama to two consecutive terms, the second of which is set to expire in 2020. Immediately prior to joining the EEOC, Lipnic was a management-side labor and employment attorney for an international law firm and also served as the U.S. Assistant Secretary of Labor for Employment Standards from 2002 until 2009 under President George W. Bush. In that position, she oversaw the Wage and Hour Division, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, the Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs and the Office of Labor Management Standards. Continue Reading What Effect Will Trump’s Appointed Acting EEOC Chair Have on Retailers?

On January 22, 2017, the City of Los Angeles will ‘ban the box’ when the Los Angeles Fair Chance Initiative for Hiring (Ban the Box) (the “Initiative”) goes into effect, prohibiting private employers in Los Angeles “from inquiring into or seeking a job applicant’s criminal history unless and until a conditional offer of employment” is made to the individual. In doing so, Los Angeles will become the fourth California city to ‘ban the box’ with greater protections than the state statute, and the second to do so with respect to private employers. If an employer makes a conditional offer of employment and then receives information about an applicant’s criminal history, the employer cannot take an adverse employment action against the applicant based on that history until (1) a written assessment has taken place and (2) a Fair Chance Process has occurred. Continue Reading LA’s Law Banning the Box for Private Employers Effective This Month

Recently, the EEOC has announced the approval of a revised EEO-1 report (“Revised Report”), applying to the 2017 calendar year with the first report due by March 31, 2018. In addition to the disclosures required by the current EEO-1 report, the Revised Report will require employers with 100 or more employees to provide compensation data and the number of hours worked by employees across 12 separate pay bands, categorized by gender, race and ethnicity. The current EEO-1 report only collects data regarding the number of employees categorized by gender, race and ethnicity in 10 different job groupings. Continue Reading EEOC Requires Disclosure of Pay Data in Revised EEO-1 Report

The issue of religious background has generated substantial discussion during the current election cycle. Recently, the federal government highlighted the issue of religious discrimination and accommodation in the workplace.  Continue Reading Government Raising Awareness Regarding Religious Discrimination in the Workplace

As reported on the Hunton Employment and Labor Law Blog, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) has implemented nationwide procedures which require all EEOC offices to release copies of an employer’s entire position statement, together with all non-confidential documents submitted in support of the position statement, to an employee who has filed a discrimination charge, or his or her representative (including attorneys). These procedures apply to all position statements requested after January 1, 2016. Previously, such disclosures were made in the discretion of the particular field offices or investigators, and practices were inconsistent. As often as not, EEOC investigators might summarize the employer’s evidence and arguments for the employee, in order to solicit the latter’s response.

Continue Reading EEOC’s New Policy – Employer’s Position Statement Shown to Employee

As reported in the Hunton Employment and Labor Law Blog, on March 1, 2016, the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) sued employers for the first time for sexual orientation discrimination. The EEOC filed lawsuits in federal courts in Pittsburgh and Baltimore against manufacturing and health care employers for unlawful sex discrimination on behalf of employees alleging they were harassed and discriminated against based on their sexual orientation.

Continue Reading EEOC Brings First Sexual Orientation Discrimination Lawsuits