The EEOC Issues Guidance on Avoiding Retaliation Claims

Late last week, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued its final Enforcement Guidance on Retaliation and Related Issues, an accompanying Q&A, and a Small Business Fact Sheet. If you have not read all three, you should. They will provide you with a number of steps that you can take to minimize your risk of facing a retaliation claim. Continue reading “The EEOC Issues Guidance on Avoiding Retaliation Claims”

The EEOC Takes Sexual Orientation Discrimination Seriously

employmentThe EEOC has recently filed several lawsuits alleging that employers discriminated against employees based upon their sexual orientation. (This is a link to the EEOC’s press release about these suits. https://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/3-1-16.cfm)

This week Pallet Companies/IFCO Systems agreed to settle their suit by paying $202,200.00. The former employee will be paid $182,000.00 and the remainder of the settlement proceeds will be donated to the Workplace Equality Program of the Human Rights Campaign, an LGBT advocacy group. Pallet Companies has also agreed to provide training to its employees developed by an LGBT expert and it will be under a consent decree for two years. Continue reading “The EEOC Takes Sexual Orientation Discrimination Seriously”

The EEOC, DOL and OFCCP Announce Deadlines for Final Rules

I – The EEOC says that it will issue its final “wellness” rules by February, 2016

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) indicated in its November regulatory agenda that it plans to finalize two rules governing employer wellness programs under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act (GINA) by February 2016.

As you may recall, one of these proposed rules will amend the EEOC’s ADA regulations to address the interaction between Title I of the ADA and the financial inducements that are commonly contained in wellness programs offered through employer health plans. This will have the effect of limiting how much of a financial benefit employers can offer to their employees to join such wellness programs. Continue reading “The EEOC, DOL and OFCCP Announce Deadlines for Final Rules”

EEOC Issues Another NPR Regarding Employee Wellness Programs

Recently, the EEOC issued a Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) to amend Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) regarding employee wellness programs that are part of group health plans. (Title II of GINA generally protects job applicants, employees and others from employment discrimination based on their genetic information. It also restricts employers from obtaining and using genetic information in making decisions about employment, including information about an employee’s spouse.)  An exception to the limitations on an employer’s use of genetic information applies when an employee voluntarily accepts health services offered by an employer, including services as part of a wellness program. Continue reading “EEOC Issues Another NPR Regarding Employee Wellness Programs”

US Department of Labor Releases New FMLA Forms

Those of you who have been losing sleep because the previously issued US Department of Labor FMLA forms had expired can rest easy. (You did know that they had expired, right?) The DOL has finally issued shiny new FMLA forms.

The new forms (WH-380-E, WH-380-F, WH-381, WH-382, WH-384, WH-385 and WH385V) can be located and downloaded from the DOL’s website here. For those of you who geek out on this kind of stuff, you should note May 31, 2018 on your calendars. That is the expiration date of the new forms. By then our federal government will have probably amended the FMLA again to further protect employee’s rights or intrusively over-burden employers, depending upon your point of view. Continue reading “US Department of Labor Releases New FMLA Forms”

EEOC Initiates Paperless Online Charge System

On May 6, 2015, the EEOC announced that a dozen of its field offices will initiate a beta test of an online system for the filing of Charges. Under the new program employers will only receive an email notifying them that a Charge has been filed. They will not receive a paper copy of the Charge or Notice of Charge. The electronic notice will provide a link to an online site containing information about the Charge. Continue reading “EEOC Initiates Paperless Online Charge System”

EEOC Finally Issues Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Regarding Application of ADA to Employer Wellness Plans

On April 16, 2015 the EEOC finally issued its long-promised Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NPRM”). The NPRM may be viewed at: https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2015/04/20/2015-08827/amendments-to-regulations-under-the-americans-with-disabilities-act#h-13. Members of the public have 60 days to submit comments. After this time, the rule may become final.

The NPRM offers guidance regarding how wellness programs offered as part of an employer’s group health plan can comply with the ADA and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), as amended by the Affordable Care Act. Continue reading “EEOC Finally Issues Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Regarding Application of ADA to Employer Wellness Plans”