Ever since President Trump took office, the cannabis industry has been holding its breath to see how the new administration would handle the burgeoning field. President Trump’s previous statements about cannabis have been mixed, though he has generally recognized value in medical use and, during the campaign, stated he would leave cannabis to the states. However, with the appointment of Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions as U.S. Attorney General, the industry grew concerned, understandably, as Sessions has long opposed legalized cannabis. On February 24, the administration’s position was clarified, casting a potentially bleaker future for recreational cannabis. During a morning press conference, the administration’s press secretary, Sean Spicer, offered some details on how President Trump’s White House, and Sessions’ Department of Justice, would approach cannabis. See article here.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued its final Enforcement Guidance on Retaliation and Related Issues, to replace its 1998 Compliance Manual section on retaliation. The guidance also addresses the separate "interference" provision under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which prohibits coercion, threats, or other acts that interfere with the exercise of ADA rights. The Commission has also issued two short user-friendly resource documents to accompany the new guidance: a question-and-answer publication that summarizes the guidance document, and a shortSmall Business Fact Sheet that condenses the major points in the guidance in non-legal language. Retaliation is asserted in nearly 45 percent of all charges received by the EEOC and is the most frequently alleged basis of discrimination. The final guidance issued reflects the Commission's consideration of feedback received on the proposal from approximately 60 organizations and individuals representing a wide range of viewpoints. Topics explained in the new guidance include: the scope of employee activity protected by the law;legal analysis to be used to determine if evidence supports a claim of retaliation; remedies available for retaliation; rules against interference with the exercise of rights under the ADA; and, detailed examples of employer actions that may constitute retaliation. Read more here.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced the launch of key services that improve service to the public. EEOC's services now include: 1) providing individuals who have filed a charge of discrimination the ability to check the status of their charge online, and 2) providing a portal for businesses to receive and upload documents and communicate with EEOC."We are pleased to announce the launch of online access to charge status information," said EEOC Chair Jenny R. Yang. "This service provides immediate benefits to the public by allowing access to charge information online and on demand. Moving forward, EEOC will continue to use technology to streamline the charge system and improve the way we serve the public."
The new Online Charge Status System allows individuals who have filed charges of discrimination with EEOC to track the progress of their charge. The system provides up-to-date status on individual charges as well as an overview of the steps that charges follow from intake to resolution. Additionally, the system provides contact information for EEOC staff assigned to the charge.
With the new system, charging parties can access information about their charge at their convenience, while allowing EEOC staff to focus on investigating charges. Companies or other entities that have charges of employment discrimination filed against them also can access the system and receive the same information on the status of the charge. See press release here.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) today released detailed breakdowns of the 89,385 charges of workplace discrimination that the agency received in fiscal year 2015. Retaliation charges increased by nearly 5 percent and continue to be the leading concern raised by workers across the country. Disability charges increased by 6 percent from last year and are the third largest category of charges filed.EEOC resolved 92,641 charges in fiscal year 2015, and secured more than $525 million for victims of discrimination in private sector and state and local government workplaces through voluntary resolutions and litigation. Learn more about our 2015 agency accomplishments.
"Over the past year, EEOC removed barriers to hire and obtained relief for thousands of people facing retaliation, unfair pay, harassment, and other forms of discrimination," said EEOC Chair Jenny Yang. "At the same time, we demonstrated our strong commitment to working with employers to voluntarily resolve charges of discrimination by achieving the highest mediation and conciliation success rates in our history."
The year-end data shows that retaliation again was the most frequently filed charge of discrimination, with 39,757 charges, making up 45 percent of all private sector charges filed with EEOC. The agency is currently seeking public input on its proposed update of enforcement guidance addressing retaliation and related issues as part of its commitment to inform the public about the Commission's interpretation of the law and promote voluntary compliance. Preserving access to the legal system, which includes retaliatory actions, is a national priority for EEOC. See press release here.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued today a new simplified, one-page fact sheet designed to help small business owners better understand their responsibilities under the federal employment anti-discrimination laws.The "Preventing Discrimination is Good Business" fact sheet provides a shortened, user-friendly overview of the legal obligations of small businesses under the anti-discrimination laws. It also provides information about other EEOC resources available for small business owners. It is being made available in 30 different languages to respond to the large number of small businesses across the country started by immigrants whose first language is not English. It will be posted on EEOC's public website at http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/publications/ and also distributed by the 53 EEOC offices nationwide as part of the agency's continuing outreach efforts to small businesses across the United States. See press release here.
Known as one of the most charismatic and competent jiu jitsu coaches in the world, Aldo “Caveirinha” Januário has been the key component behind the success of many high level black belts in the past, including UFC lightweight champion Rafael dos Anos, Philipe Della Monica, Rodrigo Freitas and countless others.
The U.S. Labor Department has found the Honolulu Board of Water Supply violated federal labor law by routinely denying its investigators lunch breaks for a two-year period in a case that could have implications for government and private sector employers across the state.
The Wage and Hour Division investigation involved about 15 Water Board investigators -- the people who check the accuracy of water meters or look for leaks if a customer's water bill spikes.
"Sometimes they'll either eat and work at the same time or they'll disregard their lunch until they finish their work day," said Terence Trotter, district director of the U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour division. See article here.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) achieved record results in its enforcement efforts during fiscal year 2015, which ended Sept. 30, the agency reported in its annual Performance and Accountability Report published today.
"In this 50th anniversary year of the Commission, we recognize the progress we have made and the challenges we have ahead," said EEOC Chair Jenny R. Yang. "This is a pivotal moment to renew our national commitment to combating discrimination. There is a growing awareness-across racial and ethnic lines-that we must do more as a country to address issues of equality. As we look ahead to the challenges that remain, our country must continue to invest the resources necessary to fulfill the promise of equal employment opportunity." See the report here.
President Obama on Labor Day signed an Executive Order that will require federal contractors to provide their employees with paid sick leave. The order is effective in 2017, and will permit employees working on federal contracts to earn at least one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked. The Order's Fact Sheet can be found here.
The EEOC has filed suit against United Parcel Service, the country’s largest private package delivery service, for violating its employees religious rights. The suit alleges that the company declined to hire applicants and promote employees because their religious dress habits conflicted with its uniform policy.
The UPS uniform policy requires supervisors and employees who regularly come in contact with customers to shave their beards, according to the EEOC’s complaint filed in the Eastern District Court of New York. Male employees in the same roles are also barred from growing their hair below collar-length.
The suit seeks an injunction against UPS, which employs more than 300,000 people nationwide, and is seeking back pay and damages for impacted employees and applicants. The EEOC said it the class-action suit on behalf of Bilal Abdullah and Muhammad Farhan, Muslims who grow beards in accordance with their faith. Information on the suit can be found here.
Roman is an attorney in Honolulu, Hawaii. His law practice focuses on employment and labor law litigation, and general civil litigation.