EverythingPeople This Week!

16

Jun

2020

Supreme Court Rules That Title VII Covers LGBTQ Employees

Author: Anthony Kaylin

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

Do Older Workers Have Targets on Their Backs During This Pandemic Time?

Author: Anthony Kaylin

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

Mar

2020

FAQ’s for Potential HR Issues Arising from the Coronavirus

Author: Anthony Kaylin

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

Jan

2020

Proposed Michigan Ballot Initiative Will Amend Civil Rights Act to Extend to LGBT Community

Author: Michael Burns

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

Jan

2020

Chipotle Settles Sexual Harassment Suit – Female Supervisor Propositioned Male Subordinate

Author: Kristen Cifolelli

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

Dec

2019

EEOC Continues Its Punitive Policies on Employer Use of Pre-employment Criminal History Checks

Author: Michael Burns

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.

3

Dec

2019

Yo Boomer! Ach, those Millennials!

Author: Anthony Kaylin

Is discrimination on the rise at the workplace?  It appears so.  According to a survey from Glassdoor and the Harris Poll of 1,100 U.S. employees across age groups, three out of every five workers have either witnessed or been a target of some form of discrimination at work, based on their age, race, sexual orientation, or gender identity.  Yet EEOC filings have steadily decreased over the years.

26

Nov

2019

EEOC vs. NLRB. What Law to Follow When Workers Use “Off Color” Language Toward Others During a Labor Dispute

Author: Michael Burns

During some labor conflicts, workers have shouted, or in today’s technological world, made statements on social media that are clearly racially or other protected class motivated involving the use “off-color” language toward management and co-workers. When called out on this behavior, offending workers (and their union mentors) have tried to hide behind the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) arguing that verbal assaults and such behavior is protected concerted activity...

19

Nov

2019

I‘m Not Hiring You Due to a Disability

Author: Anthony Kaylin

At first blush, it would seem taking any action on a potential disability would violate the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  Many employers will do pre-employment medical exams specifically to spot potential workers’ compensation possibilities.   Wouldn’t not hiring based on a potential issue of disability be discrimination per se?

12

Nov

2019

Sleeping to the Top Rumors: Can’t Women Ever Get a Break?

Author: Anthony Kaylin

Given that we are living in the 21st Century, women have achieved much in terms of equality in the workplace, but women are still being held back because of ignorance, economics, and the fact that societal norms are slow to change.  Yet “sleeping to the top” still persists as an attack on women who have made achievements based on competency and hard work. 

5

Nov

2019

Clear Job Titles and Descriptions Can Reduce Gender Bias in the Workplace

Author: Heather Nezich

Men are more likely than women to say they have more responsibility than their colleagues with the same job title, according to a new survey report by Clutch, a leading B2B ratings and reviews firm. More than one-quarter of men (26%) say they have more responsibility than colleagues with the same job title, compared to 18% of workers who are women. 

15

Oct

2019

Inclusion Efforts Missing the Mark, Survey Says

Author: Kevin Marrs

According to a recently released survey by Deloitte, employers appear to have made important strides related to workplace inclusion, although perhaps not having the effect they are striving for.  Nearly 80% believed their company fostered an inclusive workplace and more than 80% agreed that their organizations provided opportunities to connect with others from different backgrounds.  However, despite these improvements, nearly two-thirds (64%) felt that they have either experienced...

20

Aug

2019

Ageism in Today’s Workplace

Author: Heather Nezich

The 2019 Hiscox Ageism in the Workplace Study™, revealed that 21% of U.S. workers age 40 and older have experienced discrimination in the workplace due to their age, and respondents believe they're most likely to experience it at age 51. The study also found that 62% of all workers did not receive any form of age discrimination training in the previous 12 months.

20

Aug

2019

Employee Memo Goes Viral - “I'm Not Returning to Google After Maternity Leave, and Here is Why”

Author: Kristen Cifolelli

In late July, a woman who worked in the Seattle/Kirkland branch of Google posted a memo titled “I’m Not Returning to Google After Maternity Leave, and Here is Why,” to an internal message board for expecting and new mothers.  After the initial posting, it was also posted to other internal message boards within the organization and from there went viral.  It has been viewed by over 10,000 employees, and it alleges that Google has discriminated and retaliated against...

2

Jul

2019

Are the Equal Pay Initiatives What They Seem to Be?

Author: Anthony Kaylin

When the Equal Pay Act (EPA) was passed in 1963, it made it illegal for employers to pay women lower wages than men for equal work on jobs requiring the same skill, effort, and responsibility.  Over the years, these cases were far and few between and difficult to win.  As a result, the previous administration as well as a growing number of blue (Democratic controlled) states have passed more rigorous pay discrimination laws, pushing for pay transparency as a solution for the wage...

25

Jun

2019

Employers – Ensure Your Grooming Policies Aren’t Discriminatory

Author: Kristen Cifolelli

Most employers have policies that outline requirements regarding dress and appearance.  These can range from business vs. casual dress, if body piercings or visible tattoos are allowed, and some outline grooming standards.  Some employer grooming standards not only require a neat appearance but may also detail whether certain hairstyles or certain hair colors are prohibited or whether male employees must be clean shaven or have short hair.  As employers define their dress code...

18

Jun

2019

Severance Agreement Term Does Not Circumvent Discrimination and Equal Pay Actions

Author: Michael Burns

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, whose jurisdiction includes Michigan, ruled against a machine parts manufacturer last August when it overturned a lower court decision that held an employee’s severance agreement barred her lawsuit alleging Title VII discrimination and violation of the Equal Pay Act.

11

Jun

2019

JP Morgan Chase Settles for $5 Million in Largest Paternity Leave Lawsuit

Author: Kristen Cifolelli

In May 2019, JP Morgan Chase reached a tentative settlement of $5 million dollars to resolve a class action lawsuit alleging the bank’s parental leave policy was biased against dads.  It is the largest recorded settlement in a U.S. parental leave discrimination complaint. 

11

Jun

2019

Understanding Test/Assessment Validation

Author: Michael Burns

ASE receives many calls regarding assessment tools to evaluate employment candidates. There are many testing instruments in the market that test for job skills, intellectual acumen, and candidate-to-job personality fit.

21

May

2019

“No-Label” Explosion Versus Diversity in the Workforce

Author: Anthony Kaylin

It seems we are living in an age where 1960’s racial and gender reporting requirements are archaic.  More workers are not identifying themselves by race/ethnicity and/or gender when applying for positions or when onboarding. 

14

May

2019

“I Get by With a Little Help From My Friends…”

Author: Michael Burns

Did you know friendship as a hiring factor can beat off a discrimination allegation? A recent Michigan Court of Appeals ruling affirms other court decisions holding the same.

7

May

2019

EEOC to Collect 2017 and 2018 Pay Data by September 30th

Author: Anthony Kaylin

Last Friday, May 3, the Federal Register published the EEOC’s notice for pay collection for the 2019 EEO-1 cycle.  The surprising turn of events began when The National Women's Law Center and the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement challenged OMB’s decision to rescind the Obama Era change to the EEO-1 reporting to add pay reporting as unfair and poorly reasoned in November 2017.  In March 2019 the judge granted summary judgement to the two groups requiring the...

30

Apr

2019

Employee Request for Less Stressful Boss Does Not Qualify for ADA

Author: Kristen Cifolelli

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), an employee must show that they have a physical or mental impairment and that the impairment “substantially limits one or more major life activities” in order to qualify as a disability.   The recent ruling in  Tinsley v. Caterpillar Fin. Servs., Corp., No. 18-5303 (6th Cir. Mar. 20, 2019) by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals (which covers Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee), sends a good reminder to employers...

9

Apr

2019

Does a Pay Disparity Finding Mean That Pay Discrimination Occurred?

Author: Anthony Kaylin

The hottest issue in the EEO area is pay discrimination.  In the news it is often written that women earn approximately 20 cents or more less than a male counterpart.  When it is broken down by race, the disparity grows even larger.  However, does disparity mean discrimination?

19

Mar

2019

Failure to Stop Workplace Rumor About Employee “Sleeping Way to Top” Can Create Sex Discrimination Liability

Author: Kristen Cifolelli

Gossip is a natural part of human behavior and an inevitable temptation in every workplace.  Evolutionary scientists believe that gossip among early humans was a way to communicate social norms and keep bad behavior in check.  A 2012 study conducted at the University of Amsterdam and later published in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology found that 90% of office chit-chat is made up of gossip.  But employers should be aware that they have responsibility to investigate and...
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