Audit, Compliance and Risk Blog

EEOC Issues Rule to Make Federal Government a Model Employer for People With Disabilities

Posted by Jon Elliott on Thu, Jan 12, 2017

Federal laws prohibit employers from basing employment decisions on a variety of factors, including “disability.” Private employers are subject to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), while public agencies are subject to the Rehabilitation Act. Both laws are administered and enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), with states generally cooperating with EEOC or imposing similar requirements on state and local agencies. EEOC generally provides the same requirements and guidelines to both sets of employers, but there are differences.

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Tags: Employer Best Practices, Employee Rights, EEOC

EEOC Issues New Enforcement Guidance on Retaliation

Posted by Jon Elliott on Tue, Oct 04, 2016

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) administers and enforces most national anti-discrimination laws. As part of these responsibilities, EEOC issues formal regulations, and a host of less formal guidance documents – some directed to employers, some to employees, and/or some to the agency’s own personnel. In August 2016, EEOC reissued EEOC Enforcement Guidance on Retaliation and Related Issues (“the Guidance”), describing its approach to situations where employees claim they’ve suffered retaliation for asserting rights against discrimination under the laws EEOC administers, or even just for questioning workplace rules and situations.

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Tags: Employer Best Practices, Employee Rights, EEOC, directors, directors & officers

New Rules For Labor Law Compliance By Federal Contractors

Posted by Jon Elliott on Thu, Sep 22, 2016

In July 2014, President Obama issued Executive Order (EO) Number 13673, establishing a series of reporting and procedural requirements for federal contractors, inducing them to provide “Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces” to their employees. Some requirements are specific in the EO, while others were left for clarification by revisions to the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), for contracts subject to these requirements. (I blogged about the EO here). None became effective in 2014, but instead they have awaited the FAR revisions. The revised FAR has been issued effective October 25, 2016, for appropriate contracts issued by the Department of Defense (DoD), General Services Administration (GSA) and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The new requirements will be phased in, covering contracts and subcontracts for goods and services greater than $50 million immediately, and those greater than $500,000 effective April 25, 2017.

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Tags: Employer Best Practices, OSHA, Employee Rights, EEOC, directors & officers

EEOC’s Latest Word On “Sex” Discrimination

Posted by Jon Elliott on Tue, Aug 25, 2015

Federal laws prohibit employers from basing employment decisions on a variety of factors, including “sex.” This term is not defined, leaving its interpretation to change and expand with social changes and court decisions. The central entity creating and applying these interpretations is the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which administers and enforces Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and a variety of subsequent laws. On July 15, EEOC reaffirmed its present interpretation, in an enforcement decision in which the plaintiff claimed he was denied access to a promotion because he’s gay (Baldwin v. Foxx). The EEOC’s order includes a clear summary of the agency’s approach to sex discrimination cases:

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Tags: Corporate Governance, Business & Legal, Employer Best Practices, Employee Rights, Workplace violence, EEOC, NLRB

Supreme Court Expands Employers’ Duty To Avoid Religious Discrimination

Posted by Jon Elliott on Thu, Jul 09, 2015

Federal laws protect individuals against job discrimination based on a variety of “protected classes” of characteristics. Most represent physical characteristics, such as race, sex, and disability. In addition, however, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits a prospective employer from refusing to hire an applicant in order to avoid accommodating a religious practice that it could accommodate without undue hardship.

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Tags: Corporate Governance, Business & Legal, Employer Best Practices, Employee Rights, EEOC, NLRB

Department of Labor Proposes More Anti-Discrimination Rules For Federal Contractors

Posted by Jon Elliott on Thu, Feb 12, 2015

On January 30, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) published a proposal to revise its requirements for covered Federal Government contractors and subcontractors, including federally assisted construction contractors and subcontractors. This proposal would implement provisions in Executive Order (EO) Number 13672, which President Obama issued on July 21, 2014 (I blogged about the E.O. here). These revisions expand anti-discrimination responsibilities of federal contractors and federal grant recipients, to cover “sexual orientation” and “gender identity.” Once implemented, employment practices in these workplaces will match private employers’ responsibilities under a growing number of state laws, and under some federal court cases interpreting Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII).

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Tags: Corporate Governance, Business & Legal, Employer Best Practices, Employee Rights, EEOC, NLRB, Disability benefits

New Executive Order Pursues Labor Law Compliance By Federal Contractors

Posted by Jon Elliott on Tue, Aug 19, 2014

On July 31, President Obama issued Executive Order (EO) Number 13673, establishing a series of reporting and procedural requirements for federal contractors, inducing them to provide “Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces” to their employees. Beginning in 2016, these new requirements will apply to contracts and subcontracts to provide more than $500,000 in services and/or non-standard goods to federal agencies. Some requirements are specific in the EO, while others will become clearer after revisions to the contracting standards codified as the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR).

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Tags: Corporate Governance, Business & Legal, Employer Best Practices, Health & Safety, Employee Rights, Training, Environmental risks, EHS, EEOC, Disability benefits

EEOC Issues New Enforcement Guidance on Pregnancy Discrimination

Posted by Jon Elliott on Wed, Jul 23, 2014

One of the many national anti-discrimination laws administered by the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 (PDA). PDA prohibits discrimination against women on the basis of “pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions.” EEOC receives about 6,000 complaints alleging this form of sex discrimination each year, which amounts to 6-7% of all complaints it receives. Last month EEOC issued its first stand-alone Enforcement Guidance for its staff to address PDA and related issues under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), superseding discussions in the agency’s general Compliance Manual.

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Tags: Corporate Governance, Business & Legal, Employer Best Practices, Employee Rights, EEOC

"Supervisors” Whose Discrimination Automatically Involves Employers

Posted by Jon Elliott on Wed, Jul 10, 2013

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 provides a wide range of anti-discrimination measures, including prohibitions against employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex (or “gender”), and national origin.  Title VII is administered by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), and enforced when EEOC or aggrieved employees file lawsuits in federal court.

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Tags: Corporate Governance, Business & Legal, Employer Best Practices, Employee Rights, Workplace violence, EEOC, NLRB

Employment Law: Age Discrimination Costs Employer $2 Million

Posted by Jon Elliott on Thu, Jun 13, 2013

Persons over 40 years old form a protected class under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) of 1967. Although separate from Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, ADEA provides protections similar to those preventing discrimination based on sex, race and religion. It applies to each employer “engaged in commerce who has twenty or more employees for each working day in each of twenty or more calendar weeks in the current or preceding calendar year.” It is administered by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which promulgates regulations and guidelines similar to those for Title VII and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

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Tags: Corporate Governance, Business & Legal, Employer Best Practices, Employee Rights, EEOC, NLRB