EverythingPeople This Week!

14

Nov

2017

Family Responsibility Discrimination on the Rise and Employees are Winning

Author: Kristen Cifolelli

Employers take notice, according to a recent 2016 study released by the University of California, Hastings’ Center for WorkLife Law, employee lawsuits alleging family responsibility discrimination (FRD) are on a dramatic rise.  More importantly, employees are winning these cases.  Over the past decade, the study detailed that FRD increased by 269% resulting in nearly $500 million paid out in verdicts and settlements.  If the case goes to trial, employees win 67% of the...

31

Oct

2017

An Ounce of Prevention

Author: Susan Chance

Why should I run background checks on my applicants? What do other employers check on backgrounds? These are questions that I get quite often from our customers. “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” ― Benjamin Franklin.

24

Oct

2017

Study Uses Sensors to See if Men and Women are Treated Differently at Work

Author: Heather Nezich

It has been proven that women are promoted less, underrepresented in the C-suite, and receive lower wages then men.  A recent study set out to discover why and see if women’s behavior is responsible.  The study, published by Harvard Business Review, revealed that biological differences between men and women do not affect the way they act at work and are not responsible for gender bias.  

3

Oct

2017

Ways to Remove Unconscious Bias from the Hiring Process

Author: Kristen Cifolelli

Most employers understand the importance of having a diverse workforce and take positive steps to implement diversity initiatives in their training and recruitment programs.  Despite these efforts, unconscious bias can still come into play when it comes to both hiring and employment related decisions.

19

Sep

2017

EEOC and DOJ Oppose Each Other in Court

Author: Anthony Kaylin

The Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) are opposing each other in a lawsuit over the meaning of the term “sex” in Title VII.  The DOJ argues that the Title VII definition of sex does not include sexual orientation. The EEOC argues that it does.  

5

Sep

2017

EEO-1 Report Due March 31, 2018 – No Pay Reporting Required

Author: Anthony Kaylin

Good news for employers!  On August 29, 2017, the Office of Management Budget’s (OMB) Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) announced that the pay reporting requirement of the EEO-1 will be delayed and not required in the March 31, 2018 EEO-1 reporting cycle.  This news was greeted as a sign of relief by the employer community.  The standard EEO-1 report, though, will still be required for filing on March 31, 2018.

25

Jul

2017

Common Mistakes Employers Make On Their Employment Applications

Author: Kristen Cifolelli

Smart employers use employment applications to gather consistent data in a uniform format about their applicants.  This allows for easier comparison of their backgrounds and skill sets in order to help make better hiring decisions.  Some of the other benefits of using applications include gathering information that an applicant wouldn’t typically include on their resume such as reasons for leaving a prior employer and gaining a signoff regarding the accuracy of the information...

13

Jun

2017

Do Ban-the-Box Laws Work as Intended?

Author: Susan Chance

Ban-the-Box laws were instituted with the idea that by delaying the point in the hiring process in which an employer can ask an applicant about conviction history, the applicants would have a fair chance at gaining employment, but do the laws work? 

30

May

2017

Should OFCCP and EEOC Merge?

Author: Anthony Kaylin

The Trump administration issued its first line item budget on May 23rd.  Among the items in the budget include the merger of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) by the end of Fiscal Year 2018.  These agencies have two separate roles and separate laws they enforce, but overlap when it comes to discrimination enforcement. The EEOC investigates worker-reported violations of federal nondiscrimination statutes...

23

May

2017

The Impact of Motherhood on Pay

Author: Michael Burns

Gender pay disparity and the many reasons for it, continues to be studied by researchers.  A new study by researchers at Wellesley, Harvard, Boston College and the Institute for Social Research in Oslo, Sweden identifies motherhood as a big impediment to equal pay as women’s careers progress. 

16

May

2017

Why Aren't More Women in the Workforce?

Author: Anthony Kaylin

According to US Census statistics, 57% of women work outside the home, compared with 69.2% of men. Fed Chairperson Janet Yellen stated that “[o]ne recent study estimates that increasing the female participation rate to that of men would raise our gross domestic product by 5%.”  So why aren’t more women in the workforce?

9

May

2017

Defending Equal Pay Act Claims Becoming More Difficult

Author: Anthony Kaylin

Under the Equal Pay Act (EPA), courts have generally allowed employers to prove that some “factor other than sex” justified the pay differentials.  However, a recent Federal 8th Circuit of Appeals case narrowed the parameters that employers can use to defend EPA lawsuits and allowed broadening of testimony to show the employer is committing systemic discrimination.

9

May

2017

Sixth Circuit Recognizes “Cat’s Paw” Theory Application in FMLA Retaliation Suit

Author: Michael Burns

The intriguingly named “cat’s paw” theory of discrimination looks at whether an adverse employment action, in this case a retaliatory discharge, that was initiated by “ultimate decision makers” was in fact being influenced by lower level supervisors with discriminatory intent. This theory is relatively new but has been successfully used by plaintiffs in a broad range of other equal employment opportunity cases. The case at hand, Gloria Marshall v. The Rawlings...

2

May

2017

Is it Legal to Pay a Woman Less if Based on Salary History?

Author: Heather Nezich

Solely based on Federal law…yes.  A federal court ruled last week that it is legal to pay female employees less than men if it is based on past salary history.  This decision by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals overturns a previous ruling that stated that pay differences solely on past salary history were discriminatory, based on the Equal Pay Act.

25

Apr

2017

Hiring Program Targeting Young Employees May Result in an Age Discrimination Case

Author: Michael Burns

An employer’s “branding” of their hiring campaign as the “place to work for millennials” resulted in a class action age discrimination lawsuit. Pricewaterhouse Coopers hires thousands of college graduates each year. To do so successfully, it has put programs in place designed to attract the younger workforce. 

18

Apr

2017

Pay Equity Plays Important Role in Employee Engagement and Retention

Author: Jason Rowe

Do you worry about hiring the right people? Do you worry about retaining and engaging your current workforce? All in an effort to drive business performance?  Maybe it is time to look at your organization’s pay equity.

14

Mar

2017

A Rise in Pay Equity Claims Will Hit Employers Hard in the Future

Author: Anthony Kaylin

Although Equal Pay Act (EPA) EEOC charges are small in number, the trend is growing.  Over the past three years, the number of charges filed rose from 938 to 1,075 or 15%.  These type of cases tend to have large victim classes.  Acting Chair Victoria Lipnic, in a webinar hosted by Seyfarth Shaw on February 9, 2017, identified that the EEOC has not brought many equal pay cases, but stated, "I am very interested in equal pay issues. It's something I would consider a priority."

7

Mar

2017

Has OFCCP’s Mission Run Its Course?

Author: Anthony Kaylin

A current question before the Trump Administration is whether the OFCCP has outlived its usefulness.  The Heritage Foundation rightly asks whether there is a need for the OFCCP given that many of its current initiatives are the purview of other agencies. Moreover, there is a real question of the effectiveness and ROI of the agency. 

28

Feb

2017

Trouble Caused by Post-it® Notes for Texas Roadhouse Restaurant Chain

Author: Kristen Cifolelli

Employers have long known about being careful when it comes to appropriate non-discriminatory hiring practices and the legal risks involved when they are not.  Interview notes can become problematic when they contain inappropriate comments or evidence that potentially discriminatory hiring practices may have been used.  The restaurant chain Texas Roadhouse has found out the hard way how something as simple as a Post-it® could become key evidence in an age discrimination lawsuit.

24

Jan

2017

Over/Under 40 ADEA Analysis May be Too Limiting for Discrimination Review

Author: Anthony Kaylin

Under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), the law protects those employees who are at least 40 years of age.   The law has been interpreted that it protects these employees when, for example, they are replaced by employees who are less than 40 years old.  The U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, which includes Michigan, agrees with this interpretation.  However, a new case from the U.S. 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals takes a different approach, and the case may...

13

Dec

2016

New Tales from “Portlandia” - Portland, OR Attempts Pay Control to Address Income Inequality

Author: Michael Burns

Portland, Oregon has further demonstrated its left-wing progressive quirkiness that is often lampooned in the cable network show Portlandia.  Recently, the Portland City Council passed an ordinance imposing a surcharge on companies whose CEOs earn more than 100 times the median pay of their rank and file workers.  If a company that resides in Portland pays its CEO above the 100 times threshold, the company will be subject to an additional 10% tax.  And if they pay the CEO above...

27

Sep

2016

Banning Inquiries into Applicant Salary Histories

Author: Dan Van Slambrook

There is a growing line of thought that salary history of applicants is not relevant when negotiating salaries of new hires.  In fact, the pundits believe that applicant salaries should be set based on market value determined by others with similar experience in the job being hired into regardless of previous salary.  In addition, these pundits believe that women in particular are hurt by these inquiries as studies have shown that coming out of college their salaries are in general...

27

Sep

2016

GAO Issues Report on OFCCP Activities

Author: Anthony Kaylin

Upon a request by Congress, the General Accounting Office (GAO) conducted an audit on the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) activities for the past six years.  OFCCP is charged with ensuring that about 200,000 federal contractor establishments take affirmative action to provide equal employment opportunities for certain protected classes of workers. A number of complaints arose from the federal contractor community that reached...

16

Aug

2016

Sixth Circuit Reaffirms Equal Pay Act Principals

Author: Michael Burns

Last week everythingpeople.™ This Week! reported on a new comparable worth statute adopted by the state of Massachusetts. The new state law changes equal pay for equal work, a long standing pay equity principal and creates a new measurement that attempts to equate the “value” of one job as equal to the value of a different job. However, a recent case in Michigan still supports equal pay for equal work.

9

Aug

2016

Massachusetts Passes Law That Intrudes on Employer Compensation Practices

Author: Michael Burns

Last week Massachusetts passed a comprehensive pay “equity” law (S. 2119 also called “An Act to Establish Pay Equity). This law moved the state from the free market “equal pay for equal work” side of the ledger to the subjective and controversial “comparable worth” side (called “comparable work” in the MA law). Among other requirements, it prohibits employers from asking a basic question of its employment candidates—“What was...
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