Nondiscrimination Law Updates

Nondiscrimination Law Updates

Here’s Looking At You, Kid” – The EEOC Looks For Beauty Bias
By James J. McDonald
The EEOC is currently investigating Marylou’s Coffee, a chain of Massachusetts coffee shops, for its practice for hiring young attractive women to serve coffee. The EEOC’s investigation was not triggered from a complaint by a rejected applicant or fired employee. Rather, it is a “Commission-initiated investigation” conducted, according to the director of the EEOC’s Boston office, because “it’s possible that applicants or employees might not know that they have been discriminated against.” Read full article from Fisher & Phillips »

10th Circuit Slaps Down EEOC Subpoena
By Gregory D. Ballew
In 2007, two persons in Colorado applied for employment with Burlington Northern Santa Fe R.R. Co. (BNSF). The company extended each applicant a conditional offer of employment, but rescinded each applicant’s conditional offer following a medical screening. Each applicant then filed a separate charge of discrimination with the EEOC alleging that he was perceived as disabled in violation of the Americans With Disabilities Act. Read full article from Fisher & Phillips

“If They Hate You, They Must Hate Me Too”
By Gregory D. Ballew
On February 9, 2012, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit addressed the issue of whether alleged harassment toward African-American employees could support the claim that there was a hostile work environment for two Hispanic employees. The court concluded it could not in the particular case before it, stating that “if the evidence of the workplace environment for the employees of plaintiff’s race does not show frequent, severe and pervasive hostility, then evidence of hostility towards a different racial group is not much support for the plaintiff’s claim.”
Read full labor article from Fisher & Phillips

Supreme Court Holds That Company May Be Liable For The Discriminatory Motives Of Non-Decision Makers
Today the U.S. Supreme Court held that an employer may be liable for the discriminatory motives of a supervisor who influences but does not make the ultimate employment decision. The Court’s ruling will impact employment discrimination claims where multiple individuals are claimed to have made, caused, or influenced the ultimate employment decision. Staub v. Proctor Hospital. Read full alert from Fisher & Phillips

The Latest On GINA
By C. R. Wright
The new regulations issued by the EEOC under the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA) became effective on January 10, 2011. The regulations make clear that the law protects applicants, current and former employees, trainees, and apprentices. The EEOC has already received hundreds of charges alleging violations of GINA. Employers must now post new information and take other steps to comply, including the use of “safe harbor” language when requesting health-related information from an employee or healthcare provider. Read full benefits update article from Fisher & Phillips

OFCCP Gets Tough
By Celia M. Joseph
“We are going to be extremely proactive and aggressive. The message is it’s a new day at the Department of Labor and it’s a new day at the OFCCP,” Patricia A. Shiu, Director of the OFCCP, Feb. 16, 2010.
The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) certainly remained true to these words during the course of 2010. The OFCCP has promised to aggressively enforce its regulatory agenda – and is delivering on its promise. While the federal contractor community awaits revised OFCCP regulations, the following cases, settlements, and program changes announced by the OFCCP since mid-October 2010 are certainly enough to make federal contractors want to ensure that they take all steps to understand and comply with their affirmative action and non-discrimination obligations. Read full labor letter article from Fisher & Phillips