The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, the federal appellate court with jurisdiction over much of the western United States (including Washington, Oregon, California and Idaho), ruled last week that an employee’s temporary impairment can qualify as a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”). The Ninth Circuit’s decision resolves an important
EUA Status Does Not Prohibit Employers from Requiring the COVID Vaccine; Seven Factors for Employers to Consider When Considering a Mandatory Vaccination Policy
While many employers initially were hesitant to institute mandatory COVID vaccinations, the recent surge driven by the Delta variant and announcements from large organizations—including the U.S. military, United Airlines, and major health care systems across the country—have caused many employers to revisit mandatory vaccination policies.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and U.S. Department of Justice…
Headline: EEOC Releases Updated COVID-19 Vaccine Guidance
Just before we headed off for the holiday weekend, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) released updated guidance related to the COVID-19 vaccine. The guidance largely tracks earlier guidance and practices that many employers had already adopted. Here are the highlights:
- The EEOC explicitly confirmed that federal anti-discrimination laws “do not prevent an employer
EEOC Guidance: Employers Cannot Test Employees for COVID-19 Antibodies
The legal landscape continues to shift rapidly during the COVID-19 pandemic. As we reported here and here, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) guidance allows employers to require employee temperature checks, as well as worker testing aimed at detecting COVID-19, even though such testing by an employer would ordinarily raise issues under the Americans with…
Employers Need Not Disclose Pay Data on EEO-1 Reports; September Deadline Moved to 2018
Employers can breathe a sigh of relief. The Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”) announced this week that it was removing a requirement that EEO-1 reports contain employee pay data. The now-defunct Obama-era requirement announced in 2016 would have required employers to disclose compensation information to the EEOC regarding all employees, including executives – which many employers consider to be highly confidential. The OMB also announced that it extended the EEO-1 reporting deadline from September 30 of this year to March 31, 2018.
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Labor & Employment Law Under President-Elect Trump
In the wake of the election results, the question on everyone’s mind now is: What impact will President-Elect Trump have on employers? Trump has thus far given few details on his thoughts on labor and employment. But with Republicans maintaining control of Congress, employers could see a lot of changes in the next couple of years. Our experts weighed in with their thoughts on how different areas of labor and employment law may be affected.
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EEOC Promotes Gender Equality by Imposing Another Burden on Employers
Employers with 100 or more employees take note: a major new reporting requirement may be coming your way next year.
On January 29, 2016, President Obama announced that beginning in September 2017, employers with 100 or more employees must report the earnings and hours worked for all of their employees. That’s right. Employers must disclose compensation information for all employees, including executives – which many employers consider to be highly confidential – to the EEOC.
Employers will be required to disclose this compensation data as a new category on the EEO-1 report, which employers already provide to the federal government and which contains workforce data sorted by race, ethnicity, gender, and job category. Specifically, the “revised EEO-1 will collect aggregate W-2 data in 12 pay bands for the 10 EEO-1 job categories” already used. The EEOC noted that it does not intend to require employers to track hours worked by salaried employees, but that it is seeking input on the issue.…
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Developments in Employee Benefits Law: Same-Sex Marriage and Title VII’s Protection for LGBT Employees
A number of recent legal changes will have a notable impact on employee benefits law both now and in the future. Some of the most significant of those changes are the U.S. Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, and the expansion of Title VII’s discrimination protections to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (“LGBT”) individuals by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) and some federal courts.
Same-Sex Marriage: Windsor and Obergefell v. Hodges
In the 2013 Windsor decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the federal government must recognize same-sex marriages for purposes of federal law. After Windsor, the federal government issued guidance that it would look to the law of the state where the same-sex couple was married (state of celebration), rather than to the state law where the couple lived (state of residence), in most instances under federal law to determine if the same-sex couple was validly married. On June 26, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court held, in a 5-4 decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, that state laws banning same-sex marriage are unconstitutional, and mandated that states both permit same-sex couples to marry and recognize same-sex marriages lawfully performed in other states. As a result of Obergefell, the “state of celebration” test for determining whether to recognize a same-sex couple’s marriage is no longer relevant under federal law.
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EEOC Rules That Title VII Prohibits Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation
In a 3-2 decision published on Thursday, July 16, 2015, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) concluded that intentional discrimination against an employee based on their sexual orientation is sex discrimination- an act strictly prohibited under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. “Discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is premised…
U.S. Supreme Court’s Decision in EEOC v. Abercrombie & Fitch: It’s All About the Motive
Stoel Rives Summer Associate Dexter Pearce co-authored this post.
In a case Justice Antonin Scalia described as “really easy,” the Supreme Court held that an employer can be liable for failing to accommodate a religious practice even if the employer lacks actual knowledge of a need for an accommodation. Writing for the 8-to-1 majority (Justice Thomas dissented), Scalia stressed that Title VII is concerned with motive, not knowledge. Thus, even if an employer has no more than an “unsubstantiated suspicion” of an applicant’s religious beliefs/practices, the employer violates Title VII if it’s action is motivated by a desire to avoid a potential accommodation.
Abercrombie employs a “Look Policy” that prohibits “caps.” Samantha Elauf, a practicing Muslim, applied for a retail sales position. Elauf wore a headscarf to her interview, but neither the headscarf nor religion were discussed. Heather Cooke, the assistant store manager and interviewer, identified Elauf as qualified for the position, but asked her store manager and the district manager about Elauf’s headscarf, noting that she believed Elauf wore her headscarf because of her faith. The district manager told Cooke that the headscarf would violate the Look Policy and instructed her not to hire Elauf.
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