On September 29, 2023, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued long-awaited enforcement guidance on workplace harassment. The “Proposed Enforcement Guidance on Harassment in the Workplace,” published in the Federal Register on October 2, 2023, advises employers on handling new workplace realties, including LGBTQ rights, online misconduct, abortion, and a number of different types of harassment. Continue Reading EEOC Issues Long-Awaited Guidance on Harassment in the Modern Workplace
As we previously reported, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) has had on its radar potential harms that may result from the use of artificial intelligence technology (“AI”) in the workplace. While some jurisdictions have already enacted requirements and restrictions on the use of AI decision making tools in employee selection methods, on May 18, 2023, the EEOC updated its guidance on the use of AI for employment-related decisions, issuing a technical assistance document titled “Select Issues: Assessing Adverse Impact in Software, Algorithms, and Artificial Intelligence Used in Employment Selection Procedures Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964” (“Updated Guidance”). The Updated Guidance comes almost a year after the EEOC published related guidance explaining how employers’ use of algorithmic decision-making tools may violate the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”). The Updated Guidance instead focuses on how the use of AI may implicate Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, and national origin. Particularly, the EEOC focuses on the disparate impact AI may have on “selection procedures” for hiring, firing, and promoting.Continue Reading The Use of Artificial Intelligence in Employee Selection Procedures: Updated Guidance From the EEOC
On Tuesday January 10, 2023, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) publicly released its Draft Strategic Enforcement Plan (“SEP”) for fiscal years 2023-2027. The SEP describes the EEOC’s top enforcement priorities, making it critical information for employers around the country.Continue Reading EEOC Announces Enforcement Priorities for 2023-2027
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