It’s Official, The EEOC Doesn’t Want Your Employees To Be Healthy

Wellness programs are great—in theory.  Employees all meet in the conference room to eat fresh fruit, granola and yogurt while a representative tells them about a plan designed to make them healthier, happier and, coincidentally, less likely to need services covered by the company’s health insurance plan. What’s not to like?

Continue reading “It’s Official, The EEOC Doesn’t Want Your Employees To Be Healthy”

Contrary to Public Opinion, You Can Still Conduct Criminal Background Checks – With Caution

Criminal-Background-CheckIn April of 2012, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued an Enforcement Guidance addressing an employer’s ability to consider an applicant/employee’s arrest and/or conviction records in employment-related decisions.

It is important to note that such Guidance does not have the force and effect of law. It is, rather, the EEOC’s opinion of how it will construe certain statuses over which it has enforcement power. As a general rule, this means that employers ignore such Guidance at the peril of protracted and expensive litigation, either with the EEOC or with a Plaintiff armed with the EEOC’s Guidance. Continue reading “Contrary to Public Opinion, You Can Still Conduct Criminal Background Checks – With Caution”

EEOC Holds That Transgender Workers Are Protected by Title VII

On April 23, the EEOC held that transgender workers are protected by Title VII. The decision came in the case of Mia Macey, a transgender woman who alleges that she was denied a job with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) after she disclosed that she was in the process of transitioning from male to female. The opinion is the first from the EEOC to specifically address whether or not transgender persons are protected. The EEOC is responsible for interpreting and enforcing Title VII on a nationwide basis. Employers in every state, including those that do not have statutory protections for transgender employees, can now face federal claims of discrimination by transgendered persons. Continue reading “EEOC Holds That Transgender Workers Are Protected by Title VII”

Final ADAAA Regulations

ADA-SignThe Equal Employment Opportunity Commission final rule implementing the equal employment provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA) went into effect May 24. As most HR professionals are aware, the ADAAA significantly expands the definition of “disability”, enabling far more individuals to be covered by the ADA. As discussed in the final rule, the ADAAA retains the basic definition of disability contained in the ADA, which considers an individual disabled if he or she (a) has an impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities; (b) has a record of such an impairment; or (c) is regarded as having such an impairment. The ADAAA, however, expands the interpretation of these elements making it “much easier for individuals seeking the law’s protection to demonstrate that they meet the definition of ‘disability.’” To that end, the final rule revises the prior ADA regulations, and includes new interpretive guidance as an appendix to the rule. Continue reading “Final ADAAA Regulations”