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.
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.
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.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently announced a pilot program for online submissions in response to a Notice of Charge. The online system will allow employers (or their legal representatives) to elect mediation, request extensions of time, and file position statements. Select regions will begin the pilot program on May 4, 2015, and the agency plans on rolling out the program nationally by October 2015. The agency is beginning the rollout next month in the Charlotte, North Carolina and San Francisco, California District Offices. As of May 4, all Notices of Charges in those two regions will be sent via U.S. mail in a new form, which looks very different from the usual Notice of Charge. The Notice will inform the employer that the Field Office is part of a pilot project to make investigations and communications more efficient. It will also provide a login URL, an EEOC charge number, and a password. At that point, the employer or its legal representative can access the charge.
Roman is an attorney in Honolulu, Hawaii. His law practice focuses on employment and labor law litigation, and general civil litigation.