30 March 2021
The Biden administration is taking a hard look at the discriminatory aspects of artificial intelligence or AI. In the past few years, AI bias has been in the news. For example, Amazon dropped an AI recruitment program because it found that it was biased towards white males. Other cases reported bias against African Americans in healthcare algorithms. Facial recognition software has an underwhelming library of faces and has been identified as a leading cause of...
23 March 2021
Today, March 24, 2021 is Equal Pay Day. Equal Pay Day denotes how far into the new year women must work to be paid what men were paid the previous year. Started by the National Committee on Pay Equity (NCPE) in 1996, the goal was to raise awareness about the gender wage gap. Although there are various analyses of what the gap is, all agree there is a gap.
20 October 2020
In a recent survey by Time’s Up and the National Women’s Law Center, seven in 10 people (72%) who report sexual harassment faced some form of retaliation, including termination, lawsuits for defamation, and denied promotions. The report is based on 3,317 requests for legal help submitted to Time's Up between January 1, 2018, and April 30, 2020. In addition, one-third of workers (36%) said they experienced physical harassment, sexual assault, or rape. About 1 in 5 (18%)...
6 October 2020
In 2014 the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) initiated an audit of Oracle headquarters. As the audit progressed, OFCCP contended that Oracle violated Executive Order 11246 by having discriminatory pay practices. On March 11, 2016 OFCCP issued a Notice of Violation against Oracle which led a Show Cause Order on June 8, 2016. OFCCP filed a lawsuit with the Office of Administrative Law Judges on January 17, 2017 after conciliation efforts broke...
29 September 2020
On September 22, 2020, President Trump issued an Executive Order (EO) titled “Executive Order on Combating Race and Sex Stereotyping.” The EO arose because various federal agencies had a private diversity-consulting firm conduct a training session last June titled “Difficult Conversations About Race in Troubling Times.”
22 September 2020
Given all the events in the past few months, diversity has been a focus for many organizations. More specifically, there have been a number of pledges to have greater diversity. Jaime Dimon, the CEO of JPMorgan Chase, took a knee with employees to protest racial injustice in law enforcement. There have also been a number of marketing changes by organizations to promote the diversity theme.
8 September 2020
The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a lower court’s decision determining that an auto parts supplier in Caro, MI, had not committed age discrimination under Michigan’s Elliot-Larsen Civil Right Act. Walbro LLC fired the plaintiff, a department manager and 41-year veteran, allegedly based upon his age. He was 60 years old at the time. Lowe v. Walbro LLC (Case 19-2386)
8 September 2020
The Bostock decision on LGBTQ rights under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act was a civil rights victory long coming. From the American perception of same sex marriage to LGBTQ rights, the country took a mighty swing to a new direction since the 1990s when the Defense of Marriage Act was enacted by Congress under the Clinton Administration. The decision itself was groundbreaking in that it was a 6-3 decision with two of the “conservative” justices voting with the...
4 August 2020
It is generally thought of that HR is on the side of management, although at times they will mediate between management and employees. However, what are the rights of an employer when an HR employee assists an employee with the filing of an EEOC charge against the employer?
16 June 2020
In a surprising six-three decision written by Justice Neil Gorsuch, the Supreme Court ruled on Monday that Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act protects LGBTQ rights (Bostock v. Clayton County Georgia, No. 17-1618 (June 15, 2020)). Before the decision, 21 states had their own laws prohibiting job discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, and seven more provided that protection only to public employees. Michigan does not provide any...
12 May 2020
Employers have had to make difficult decisions in the past couple months, and older workers seem to be a primary target for reduction in workforce. Before the economic shutdowns, the unemployment rate for those 55 and older was around 3.5%. Now it is 13.6%. Women over 55 are higher at 15.5%.
10 March 2020
As of March 11, it is reported that the global death toll from the virus is now around 4,300. COVID-19 has infected over 119,500 people across the world and spread to more than 80 countries and territories so far. There have been 30 reported deaths in the United States with over 1,000 reported cases. Two cases are now being reported in Michigan (Wayne County – domestic travel identified and currently in isolation; Oakland County – international travel identified and...
21 January 2020
For years, if not decades, the debate over whether Michigan’s Elliot Larsen Civil Rights Act (ELCRA) covers LGBT has raged. Court challenges have been the preferred method to change the law, but the courts have been split over whether the characteristic of Sex enumerated in the law was intended to also cover sexual orientation.
7 January 2020
In early December, fast-food chain Chipotle Mexican Grill settled a lawsuit in which a male employee alleged he was sexually harassed by his female supervisor. He also alleged that he was later subjected to retaliation by his supervisor after he reported her behavior. Chipotle has agreed to pay $95,000 to the employee and make substantial changes to their sexual harassment policies and training in order to settle the sexual harassment and retaliation lawsuit filed by the U.S....
10 December 2019
Last month the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) concluded six years of litigation against a national retailer by settling for a $6 million dollar judgement and requiring the employer to change some of its pre-employment screening practices.