EEOC Enforcement Updates

As more employees return to the workplace after the Labor Day holiday, employers should be aware of the U.S. Equal Opportunity Commission’s updated COVID-19 Guidance, “What You Should Know About COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and other EEO Laws.” The updated guidance follows its Vaccination Policy Update and primarily addresses workplace safety questions, including when employees and applicants may be required to undergo viral and antibody testing and other types of screening.

Continue Reading EEOC Updates Guidance Concerning COVID-19 Testing

A recent decision from the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals highlights some of the pitfalls of entering into commercial transactions without conducting thorough employment diligence – even in the asset purchase context.

Continue Reading Buyer Beware: Tenth Circuit Issues Decision Emphasizing Critical Need for Employment Diligence

On May 12, 2022, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) issued guidance addressing the application of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) to employers utilizing software, algorithms, and artificial intelligence in hiring and employment decisions.  Produced in connection with the EEOC’s launch of its Initiative on Artificial Intelligence and Algorithmic Fairness in October 2021, the EEOC’s latest guidance reflects its goal of ensuring that employers utilizing technology in hiring and employment decisions are complying with federal civil rights laws.  Notably, the guidance was issued a few days after the EEOC filed a complaint against a software company alleging age discrimination, potentially signaling similar actions related to the use of artificial intelligence in the employment context.  Below are some key takeaways on the new guidance.

Continue Reading EEOC Issues Guidance Regarding How Employer Software and Artificial Intelligence May Discriminate Against Individuals With Disabilities

On October 25, 2021, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) expanded its prior guidance “What You Should Know About COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and Other EEO Laws” to include recommendations for employers who receive religious objections from employees in response to the employer’s mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy.  Specifically, the EEOC added section L to its prior guidance, which addresses specific questions relating to religious objections.  The newly added questions are set forth below.  All employers should review and familiarize themselves with this guidance as they continue to face objections and accommodation requests from employees with respect to COVID-19 vaccine mandates.

Continue Reading EEOC Publishes New Guidance Regarding Objections to COVID-19 Vaccines Based Upon Employee Religious Beliefs

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”)—the agency tasked with enforcing federal labor laws—was deputized by Congress in 1972 with authority to bring lawsuits against employers for violating anti-discrimination laws and retaliating against employees.  Since then, the agency has made a concerted and aggressive effort to challenge, among other things, standard clauses in separation agreements that have the potential to chill former employees’ participation in legal actions against their former employers, including non-cooperation and covenant not to sue clauses.  This concern is especially salient in the age of COVID-19, where many employers are using separation agreements at a breakneck pace due to the unprecedented rate of employee layoffs, and EEOC enforcement actions may be just around the corner.
Continue Reading Employee Separation Agreements Likely to Face Increased EEOC Scrutiny

On January 1, 2021, various new and amended employment laws will go into effect in California. Below is a summary of some of these laws that employers should make themselves aware of heading into the new year.  All laws discussed in this post go into effect on January 1, 2021, unless otherwise noted.
Continue Reading New Employment Laws to Look Out for in 2021

On June 17, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC” or “Commission”) issued new guidance to employers forbidding the administration of COVID-19 antibody tests under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”). EEOC COVID-19 Technical Assistance A.7. Though the ADA mainly protects disabled individuals from workplace and public discrimination, some parts of the Act apply universally. One such section prohibits employers from compelling workers to submit to medical examinations that are not “job-related and consistent with business necessity.” 29 CFR § 1630.14(c).
Continue Reading Not Today Corona: EEOC Bans Employer Antibody Screenings

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) updated its guidance concerning COVID-19, affirming an employer’s ability to medically test its employees for COVID-19 before allowing employees to enter the workplace.  The new guidance expands employers’ options to include medical tests that detect the presence of the COVID-19 virus – not just temperature checks.  The EEOC considers COVID-19 tests to be permissible because an individual with the virus poses a direct threat to the health of others.
Continue Reading As America Prepares to Return to Work, EEOC Approves Testing Employees for COVID-19

On March 27, 2020, the EEOC released a webinar addressing frequently asked employer questions regarding federal antidiscrimination laws, such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”), the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (“ADEA”), and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (“GINA”), during the COVID-19 pandemic (the “Webinar”).  The Webinar reviewed a number of important issues for employers to understand to avoid running afoul of the above-listed statutes during the pandemic.  Key takeaways from the Webinar, organized by topic, are summarized below.
Continue Reading EEOC Issues New COVID-19 Guidance For Employers

Resolving a circuit split regarding the jurisdictional nature of Title VII’s charge-filing requirement—the statutory requirement that an employee who alleges that he or she has been subjected to unlawful treatment is required to file a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”), or an equivalent state or local agency, prior to bringing suit in court—the United States Supreme Court issued a unanimous opinion on June 3, 2019, penned by Justice Ginsburg, holding that “a rule may be mandatory without being jurisdictional, and Title VII’s charge-filing requirement fits that bill.” This decision—which affirms a recent Fifth Circuit decision, is consistent with rulings from the First, Second, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, and D.C. Circuits, but overrules Fourth and Tenth Circuit precedent—has potentially significant implications for unwary employers when defending themselves in a Title VII lawsuit.
Continue Reading Supreme Court Rules That Employers Can Be Forced To Defend Against Actions Under Title VII Not Properly Brought Before the EEOC

In connection with last month’s ruling from a Washington, D.C. district court reinstating the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (“EEOC”) collection of employer pay data previously stayed by the Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”) (Component 2 of the revised EEO-1 form), as previously reported here, the EEOC announced on May 2, 2019 that it has opted to collect Component 2 data for 2017 in addition to 2018. On April 25, 2019, the district court ordered the EEOC to collect a second year of pay data from select employers, giving the EEOC until May 3, 2019 to advise whether it would collect 2017 or 2019 data.
Continue Reading EEOC Announces Decision to Collect 2017 Employee Pay Data, in Addition to 2018 Pay Data, by September 30, 2019