Data demonstrates that certain minority populations—principally, Black and Hispanic males—are arrested and convicted at higher rates than their representation in society. In Target removed questions about applicant criminal history from all of its employment applications. The complaint alleged that after Target extends a conditional offer of employment to an applicant a third-party vendor conducts a criminal background check on the applicant.
Under the settlement agreement, Target will provide class members with hourly, entry level jobs at Target stores through Pre employment inquiries eeoc sexual harassment priority hiring process. Class members not eligible for priority hiring may be eligible to receive a monetary award in lieu of employment.
Finally, Target also agreed to make a financial contribution to nonprofits that provide re-entry support to individuals with criminal history records. Although the EEOC does not prohibit consideration of criminal history, employers who have a policy that excludes applicants based on criminal history should evaluate whether the exclusion is appropriate for all job positions. A simple evaluation of job positions can ensure compliance with Title VII and EEOC guidance and keep the focus on hiring good employees, not fighting unnecessary litigation.
On March 7,the U. The Sixth Circuit also determined that private employers cannot use their religious beliefs to justify discrimination against transgender individuals.
Aimee filed a complaint with the U. The EEOC sued the company, and a district court in Michigan ruled that the company had engaged in sex discrimination against Aimee because the termination was based on unlawful sex stereotypes. The district court further ruled that the company nonetheless legally terminated Aimee because a federal law called the Religious Freedom Restoration Act RFRA permits private employers to discriminate against Pre employment inquiries eeoc sexual harassment when their personal religious beliefs compel them to do so.
The case went to the Sixth Circuit on appeal, where the Court held unequivocally that Title VII does protect transgender individuals from employment discrimination.
The court explained that discrimination based on transgender status improperly punishes an employee based on sex stereotyping, or failing to confirm to gender norms. This was significant because the Sixth Circuit was the first federal court of appeals to address the religious defense in a case of this nature. These issues are sure to spark further debate and litigation, especially in light
Pre employment inquiries eeoc sexual harassment statements made by Attorney General Jeff Sessions and others in the administration and the legislature.
We will continue to monitor the developments. Yes, federal law prohibits employers from discriminating against employees and applicants based on their sexual orientation.
Yes, employers who allow discrimination or harassment based on sexual orientation can be forced to pay a full range of damages, including punitive damages.
Employment and civil rights lawyers have struggled to find clear answers to these questions for years, and until last week, no federal court of appeals had ever answered them in the affirmative.
That all changed, however, when the U. Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana. Although the Hively decision is 69 pages long and discusses a number of important legal issues, the key holding is a simple one — Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of prohibits employment discrimination based on sexual orientation. Regardless of which side is correct, the underlying issue will almost certainly end up before the U. S Supreme Court sometime in the foreseeable future due to the fact that two other federal appeals courts have ruled against Title VII coverage for sexual orientation discrimination.
The Hively decision technically only applies to Pre employment inquiries eeoc sexual harassment within the Seventh Circuit, which covers Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin. Employers in many jurisdictions are also covered by state and local laws that already prohibit sexual orientation discrimination. The Hively decision provides a good reminder to employers that they should review and update their anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policies with the employment counsel on a regular basis.
Before the expiration of the "Pre employment inquiries eeoc sexual harassment" deadline last week, the U. Sex-based harassment includes harassment based on gender identity.
Sex-based harassment includes harassment because an individual is lesbian, gay, bisexual, or heterosexual. Each of these definitions is accompanied in the Proposed Guidance by a footnote. Earlier in EEOC released resource documents addressing the rights of employees with HIV infection and employees who are pregnant.
Through the document, the EEOC aims to educate employers, job applicants, and employees that mental health conditions are no different from physical health conditions under the ADA. Moreover, EEOC charge data shows that claims of workplace discrimination based on mental health conditions are on the rise, with preliminary data estimating 5, mental health discrimination charges within the fiscal year.
Individuals suffering from depression, PTSD, and other mental health conditions are Pre employment inquiries eeoc sexual harassment from workplace discrimination based on their mental health condition. Thus, employers must be prudent not to rely on stereotypes or jump to conclusions regarding mental health. The document explains that generally employees with a mental health condition are able to keep their condition private in the workplace. Employers are permitted to ask questions about mental health in only four situations:.
Moreover, employees with mental health conditions have a right to reasonable accommodations at work. The document provides some examples of acceptable reasonable accommodations for employees with mental health conditions:.
Employers are not required to provide a reasonable accommodation unless an employee requests one. However, if a reasonable accommodation will enable the employee to fulfill his or her job responsibilities, employers are advised by the EEOC to provide one, unless the accommodation involves significant difficulty or expense. Employers may also choose between reasonable accommodations if more than one accommodation is feasible.
Given the complex issues with mental health issues and accommodations for individuals suffering with them, employers should act prudently and engage in the interactive process with affected employees. Experienced employment lawyers can be of great help in this effort. The case of Gloucester County School Board v. The EEOC has aggressively enforced its new position. Recently, the EEOC announced that it had entered into a settlement with a West Virginia hospital requiring the hospital to make same-sex spouses eligible for employer-sponsored benefits.
Similarly, both the EEOC and OSHA have issued guidance indicating that all employees, including transgender employees, should have access to restrooms that correspond to their gender identity. Opposition activity is broadly defined as any activity by an individual in opposition to discrimination.
Unlike the participate clause, however, the opposition clause is narrowly applied to those having a good faith belief that there has been a violation of the law and those who act reasonably in opposition. The Guidance lists a number of activities that are considered to be protected under the opposition clause:.
In addition, while the employee must have a good faith belief that discrimination has occurred, the new regulations make clear that the employee does not have to prove the underlying claim of wrongdoing to be successful in his or her retaliation claim. Employers should continue to update employee handbooks and provide training to ensure that employees, especially those in supervisory roles, are aware of what may constitute workplace retaliation.
In BlueLinx, the SEC found a provision in a severance agreement that restricted employees from providing information to the SEC without company approval. This finding had a chilling effect on employees reporting suspected fraudulent activity. While the severance agreement in issue did allow severed employees to file a charge with the SEC, it did not allow them to provide information to the SEC without company approval.
The SEC did not stop there, however, as it also stated that BlueLinx must advise employees they were not limited in their ability to file a charge or complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the National Labor Relations Board, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or any other federal, state or local agency or commission.
Additionally, the SEC stated that the severance agreements must inform employees that they were not limited in their ability to communicate with any governmental agency, nor from participating in an investigation or action by such agencies, or from receiving any monies for providing information i. This last provision is particularly troubling, as the nature of the release is that the employee gives up a claim for potential future monetary recovery in exchange for a current payment.
Almost every current, well-drafted release informs an employee that, although he or she may provide information for and assist in government investigations, there is no longer any right to share in monetary recoveries. This decision parallels some recent decisions and guidance from the U. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the National Labor Relations Board wherein the agencies have scrutinized severance agreements and found certain language to have a chilling effect on the exercise of statutory rights, and it highlights the need for employers to review carefully the language that is included in severance and separation agreements.
Although the Republican National Convention is now behind us in Cleveland, we still have several months of campaigning to endure prior to the presidential election. During this time of year, the issue of expressing political beliefs in the workplace is especially poignant. In the midst of all of this political activity, employers may ask—how much political activity must I allow or tolerate in the workplace? Contrary to popular belief, the First Amendment does not permit free speech everywhere.
In fact, it protects only against attempts by the government to limit speech and expression. Although private-sector employers cannot violate the First Amendment by restricting political speech or expression in the workplace, they can run afoul of other laws.
National Labor Relations Act: Sometimes, discussions on these topics can spill over into political speech. For example, employers generally must permit employees to wear and display buttons or other insignia that may be political in nature but also include union messages. Also, employers cannot penalize employees for advocating for political issue campaigns e.
Equal Employment Opportunity Laws: Some workplace political discussions will necessarily touch on sensitive subjects related to certain protected characteristics, such as gender, ethnicity, national origin, race, and religion. If employers permit political speech or expression in the workplace, then they must be careful that these activities do not imply that they condone or sponsor discrimination or harassment.
In a future posting, we will address legal issues surrounding political activity in the workplace that is initiated by employers as compared to employee-initiated activity, which is addressed here. An example of the proposed EEO-1 can be found here. Employers will now have to include employee hours worked and employee compensation information by pay band, utilizing the same twelve bands used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the Occupation
Pre employment inquiries eeoc sexual harassment Statistics survey:.
Hours for salaried employees will have to be reported, either by using actual hours worked, if tracked, or by assuming a hour work week. The Proposed Revision comes after an initial comment period from February 1,to April 1, In drafting the Proposed Revision, the EEOC considered oral and written comments from employers, individuals, trade groups, civil rights organizations, and labor unions.
The Proposed Revision will only become final after another day comment period. Individuals have until August 15,to submit written comments to the United States Office of Management and Budget for consideration. Written comments may be submitted to: More information can be found in the Federal eRulemaking Portal here.
Employers are permitted to ask questions about mental health in only four situations: When an employee with a mental health condition asks for a reasonable accommodation. After the employer has made Pre employment inquiries eeoc sexual harassment job Pre employment inquiries eeoc sexual harassment, but before employment begins, if everyone entering the same job category is asked the same questions, and the questions are job-related in some way.
When the employer is engaging in affirmative action for people with disabilities, in which case the employee may choose whether to respond. On the job, when there is objective evidence that the employee may be unable to perform the job or that an employee may pose a safety risk because of his or her condition.
The document provides some examples of acceptable reasonable accommodations for employees with mental health conditions: Altered break and work schedules to work around therapy appointments. Quiet office space or devices that create a less stressful work environment. Changes in supervisory methods, such as written instructions instead of oral. Permission to work from home. The Guidance lists a number of activities that are considered to be protected under the opposition clause: The U.S.
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is responsible for enforcing EEOC's Disability-Related Inquiries and Medical Examinations, Pre employment inquiries eeoc sexual harassment Preemployment · EEOC's Domestic or Dating Violence, Sexual Assault.
However, it seems that simply removing criminal history inquiries from its job certain crimes involving violence, theft, or controlled substances in the seven years prior to Sexual Orientation Discrimination Deemed Illegal Under Federal Law. In a workplace, sexual harassment can occur between one colleague and another Administrative guidelines promulgated by the EEOC offer employers specific preemployment inquiries Prohibited inquiries generally include questions.