EverythingPeople This Week!

27

Nov

2018

Defending Equal Pay Claims Has Become More Complicated

Author: Anthony Kaylin

For employers defending an equal pay act (EPA) discrimination claim, the “factor other than sex” affirmative defense generally prevails, except when it doesn’t.  And lately, courts have been more reluctant to accept the affirmative defense. 

6

Nov

2018

When Employee Rights Collide in the Workplace

Author: Anthony Kaylin

Terry Bonnette, Partner, Nemeth Law PC presented on this topic at our Annual HR Conference last March.  It is an important issue today as a number of factors have risen, making HR shake their heads in confusion.  As seen in the news, the most vexing issue for employers today is how gender identity and sexual orientation rights are competing with religious beliefs and rights.  With these issues spilling into the workplace, it is important for HR to have a game plan when these...

16

Oct

2018

What is the Difference Between an Offer Letter and an Employment Contract?

Author: Anthony Kaylin

Although an offer letter and an employment contract have similarities, they are very different.  An offer letter has very basic terms and conditions of employment, generally subject to completion of a successful background check and/or medical exam, and states that employment is at-will.  In other words, the employee can walk anytime, although notice requirement is requested, and the employer can terminate for any reason at any time. This term will likely prevent, in a dispute...

2

Oct

2018

Should an HR Rep be Fired for Allegedly Helping an Employee Sue the Company?

Author: Anthony Kaylin

Andrea Gogel was hired in 2008 to be the manager of the Team Relations Department of Kia Motors Manufacturing of Georgia, Inc.  During her time at Kia, Gogel heard many complaints about how women and Americans were treated at the Korean owned company. She believed she experienced similar treatment herself, and in her view, had been denied a promotion because she is a woman and an American.  She investigated these complaints and followed Kia’s procedure.   In 2009 Kia...

11

Sep

2018

Does an Employee Need to File and Resolve an EEOC Charge Before Filing a Discrimination Suit?

Author: Anthony Kaylin

The answer is no, according to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals (which covers Oklahoma, Kansas, New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, and Utah, plus those portions of the Yellowstone National Park extending into Montana and Idaho).  This decision brings it in line with other circuit courts of appeals. 

16

Jul

2018

Religious Accommodation Does Not Have to be Employee’s Preferred Request

Author: Michael Burns

Addressing whether or not a request for religious accommodation is reasonable can be a challenge. Employers often believe that the accommodation requested must be met exactly. But it is only the religious practice that requires accommodation. Any non-religious “losses” that occur as a result are not the employer's responsibility.

19

Jun

2018

Multimedia and Bot Recruitment can Lead to EEOC Charges

Author: Anthony Kaylin

Employers have to be mindful of their recruitment activities, especially when utilizing social media platforms or bots.  With respect to multimedia litigation, it may become the new bane to recruitment, said Ifeoma Ajunwa, a lawyer and sociologist who teaches at Cornell University’s Industrial and Labor Relations School.   “The same types of discrimination issues that you would see in traditional hiring are now just being transferred over to the platforms,”...

22

May

2018

Be Careful How Job Qualifications are Written: ADEA Protects Applicants

Author: Anthony Kaylin

A question that has been pending for many years has been whether applicants, and not just employees, can avail themselves to the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) disparate impact provisions. 

20

Mar

2018

The Job Market is Heating Up for Those Over 55

Author: Heather Nezich

While the recent EEOC case against Diverse Lynx, revealed that age discrimination still exists when they told an applicant born in 1945 that they were no longer interested and “age does matter,” many employers are now embracing an older work generation.

13

Mar

2018

6th Circuit Recognizes Gender Identity Discrimination

Author: Anthony Kaylin

Following the leads of the U.S. 2nd Circuit and 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals (which includes Michigan) continues the expansion of the definition of “sex” under Title VII and recognizes that discrimination on the basis of transgender and transitioning status or gender identity is discrimination on the basis of sex. 

6

Mar

2018

Be Aware of Salary Increase Caps When Promoting Employees

Author: Anthony Kaylin

When promoting an employee to a new position, what pay should be established?  Many employers have policies such as “up to 14% from previous base when promoting, including merit.”  A policy like that becomes especially problematic when the employee being promoted from one position to another is not even close to the pay range of other employees in the same title.  

2

Jan

2018

Using Facebook Job Ads May Enable Age Discrimination

Author: Kristen Cifolelli

Employers who use Facebook job ads to help with their recruiting practices need to be cautious in how they use this approach to reach applicants.  A recent federal court lawsuit filed in San Francisco charges 13 companies including Amazon, T-Mobile, and Cox Communications, Inc. with using Facebook’s ad targeting tools to exclude older Americans from job opportunities.  

21

Nov

2017

HR Perceived as Enabling a Sexual Harassment Environment

Author: Anthony Kaylin

Many pundits accuse human resources of enabling a sexual harassment environment.  HR is “as bad as FEMA after Katrina,” said Gary Namie, a social psychologist and director of the Workplace Bullying Institute.  “HR is a management support function,” Namie said. “They’re all about liability protection, and they’re worried about protecting the organization.”  

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.

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