(This post was written by Allen Smith for SHRM. It has been edited for ease of understanding).
In its first major update of Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) guidance on pregnancy discrimination since 1983, the agency on July 14, 2014, added provisions explaining when the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) might require reasonable accommodations for workers with pregnancy-related disabilities or work restrictions.
Under the current guidance, Scott Fanning, an attorney with Fisher & Phillips in Chicago, said employers should be “cautious with pregnant employees. Treat them as you would anyone else.” He noted that under the guidance in terms of accommodations, pregnant employees with disabilities (which arguably might even include morning sickness or high blood pressure) have the same accommodation rights that any other individuals with disabilities would have.
The guidance listed reasonable accommodations a pregnant worker with disabilities might need, such as: Continue reading
(Post by Rick Dacri, June 16, 2014)
Maine is one of three states nationally that mandates sexual harassment training for all their employees (California and Connecticut are the other two). Many other states, like Massachusetts, strongly encourage it.
Under Maine law, employers with at least 15 employees must conduct training for all its new employees within one year of their start date. Additional training for supervisors and managers is required within one year of becoming a supervisor or manager.
Training for all employees must include:
- notice that sexual harassment is illegal
- a definition of sexual harassment
- a description of sexual harassment utilizing examples
- a description of any internal compliant process available
- a description of the Maine Human Rights Commission complaint process
- a statement that any complainant will be protected against retaliation
Supervisory training must include everything that is included in the employee training plus clarification of the supervisor’s responsibilities and methods for prevention and correcting sexual harassment.
While Maine only requires that initial training, I have found that those organizations that regularly (usually annually) train and educate their managers and employees rarely have harassment claims and enjoy a respectful and productive workforce.
Call me if you would like to learn more about training and your responsibilities under the law and if you would like to schedule training for your company. For a description of my online supervisory training program, click Training.
Incidentally, the Maine Human Rights Commission has included Rick Dacri on their “Sexual Harassment Trainers Referral List.”
Other posts you may want to read:
(Posted by Rick Dacri on July 31, 2013)
Private Sector Employers Must Provide Workforce Data to EEOC by Sept. 30
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced today that it has completed its mailing of the 2013 EEO-1 survey Notification Letters. The EEO-1 is an annual survey that requires all private employers with 100 or more employees, and federal government contractors or first-tier subcontractors with 50 or more employees and a contract or subcontract of $50,000 or more, to file the EEO-1report. The filing of the EEO-1 report is not voluntary, but is required by federal law. The filing deadline this year is Sept. 30, 2013.
The EEO-1 report provides employment data by race/ethnicity, gender and job categories, and is used by researchers, private attorneys and human resource staff as well as in the EEOC’s enforcement of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.
Employers who meet the criteria listed above and have not received the 2013 EEO-1 Notification Letter by the end of July 2013 should immediately contact the EEO-1 Joint Reporting Committee at 866-286-6440 (toll-free) or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. They may also contact the EEO-1 Joint Reporting Committee if the company filed the EEO-1 report in 2012 and they did not receive the 2013 EEO-1 Notification Letter. If anyone has any questions about the EEO-1 survey, they should contact the EEO-1 Joint Reporting Committee at 866-286-6440 (toll-free) or by e-mail at email@example.com.
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination in the public and private sectors. Further information, contact the EEOC at eeoc.gov.
If you want to know more about how I can help you, click Dacri & Associates, LLC.
Posted by Rick Dacri, July 10, 2013
Mistakes by supervisors often result in lawsuits. In the course of their regular job functions, such as hiring, firing, disciplining, evaluating, or administering leave (FMLA and workers’ comp), they can expose employers to claims of discrimination, harassment and retaliation. And often times, they do or say things that they did not even know were improper.
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) claims against employers have been increasing each year, along with big-ticket dollar settlements. To protect your organization, companies should invest in training their supervisors and managers. When supervisors know what they can and cannot do, you reduce the chance of them exposing the company to an expensive lawsuit.
Managing people is hard. Simple mistakes can be costly—but with knowledge, they can easily be avoided.
If you would like to learn more about how I can help you, click Dacri & Associates.
Since you’ve read this far, you may want to sign up for our free electronic newsletter. Click The Dacri Report.
Other post you may want to read:
Harassment Training: What Must be Included
Harassment Prevention Training: Recent Cases Remind Us of Importance
Compliance: 6 Problem Areas for Employers
Posted by Rick Dacri on May 30, 2013
The last thing an employer needs is a lawsuit. Yet, when it comes to employment law, it is easy to find yourself in a difficult situation, which has trouble written all over it. Here are 6 areas where mistakes are often made by unprepared managers resulting in a messy and costly suit:
- Hiring Process: it all begins here. Asking inappropriate interview questions, making a badly chosen, but seemingly “harmless” comment that discriminates, giving an insensitive reason for rejecting a candidate, or simply making bad hire will land you in big trouble. Train all interviewers in proper interviewing techniques and hiring procedures.
- Negligent hiring and retention: when you know things about a candidate or employee, such as their having violent behavior or a dangerous driving record and you still hire or retain them and then they commit a similar infraction (ex. strike an employee or get into an accident driving a company car), you may be facing a lawsuit. Check references before making a hire decision. Address performance problems immediately.
- Discrimination in employment: Intentional or even unintentional acts of discrimination will get you into trouble. Audit your polices, procedures, pay policies, hiring, promotion and training practices to make sure all your management systems compliant. Train you managers.
- Discipline process: There’s nothing that will motivate an employee to call an attorney faster than a supervisor botching a disciplinary meeting. Be consistent in applying your policies, train your managers in having difficult conversations, and review all situations with upper management before meeting with the employee.
- Evaluation process: Giving a positive evaluation to a poor performer may help you avoid an uncomfortable appraisal interview, but rest assured, it is a recipe for disaster if you ever have to terminate that employee for performance. Give honest appraisals and train your manager on how to give appraisals.
- Firing process: There is no easy way to fire someone. When not done respectfully, employees nearly always want to strike back and a lawsuit is a great way to get even. Again, review all cases before approving a termination. Make sure the manager understands what needs to be done and how to do it. Include a second manager in the process to serve as a witness and to lend support.
Minimize the risks of employee lawsuits by implementing the recommendations outlined about. Managing is hard enough without adding a lawsuit. If you need assistance, give me a call for help.
You may also like to read:
EEOC Reports Nearly 100,000 job Discrimination Charges
Reference Checking: 5 Tips to Get Great References
2012 Checklist for People Management
Are there other areas to avoid beyond these 6? Let us know in the comment section.
Employers must comply with the various federal labor laws. Which law generally depends on the organization’s employee population. I have listed below the most common federal labor laws. Employers are also required to comply with their respective state labor laws (not listed here).
- Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (for employment agencies and labor organizations). See 15-19 for other employers.
- Consumer Credit Protection Act of 1968
• Employee Polygraph Protection Act of 1988
- Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) of 1974 (if company offers benefits)
- Equal Pay Act of 1963
- Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003 (FACT)
- Fair Credit Reporting Act of 1969
- Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938
- Federal Insurance Contributions Act of 1935 (FICA) (Social Security)
- Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996 (if company offers benefits)
- Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment Act of 2010 (HIRE)
- Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986
- Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2007
- National Labor Relations Act of 1947
- Newborns’ and Mothers’ Health Protection Act of 1996
- Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970
- Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002
• Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures of 1978
- Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994
- OSHA Recordkeeping (maintain record of job related injuries and illnesses)
- Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
- Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990
- Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) of 2008
- Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967
- Consolidated Omnibus Benefits Reconciliation Act (COBRA) of 1986
50 or more, add
- Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993
- EEO-1 Report filed annually w/EEOC if organization is a federal contractor
- Mental Health Parity Act of 1996 (for employers who offer mental health benefits)
- Mental Health and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 (for employers who offer mental health benefits)
- Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (for employers who offer health care benefits)
100 or more, add
- Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act of 1988
- EEO-1 Report filed annually w/EEOC if organization is not a federal contractor
Federal Contractors, add
- Executive Order 11246 of 1965
- Vocational Rehabilitation Act of 1973
- Drug Free Workplace Act of 1988
- Vietnam-Era Veterans Readjustment Act of 1974
- Davis Bacon Act of 1931
- Copeland Act of 1934
- Walsh-Healy Act of 1936
- Service Contract Act (1965)
- Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Act (CWHSSA)
If you have questions about the laws or how you must comply, feel free to contact me at Dacri & Associates for assistance.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission reported that it received nearly 100,000 workplace discrimination claims during its 2012 fiscal year. These claims do not include those filed through state agencies. Retaliation, race and sex discrimination which includes allegations of sexual harassment and pregnancy were, respectively, the most frequently filed charges. The Commission further reported that it obtained $365 million for those who brought forth these claims.
To prevent discrimination from occurring in your company, you should do the following: Continue reading