Polish Jokes Not That Funny

A recent EEOC lawsuit is a reminder that teasing an employee about their ancestry may constitute national origin discrimination. In the EEOC’s complaint against Rhino Eastern, a mining company, the EEOC alleged that supervisors and other employees subjected a Polish employee to degrading and humiliating comments, taunts and slurs based on his Polish ancestry. When… Continue reading Polish Jokes Not That Funny

Does Your Job Application Ask about Family Health History?

If it does, you are violating the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (“GINA”). GINA prohibits employers from requesting or using genetic information in the hiring process.  Practically, that means an employer cannot ask an employee or applicant if anyone in their family suffers from a disease or illness, and cannot require disclosure of this information as… Continue reading Does Your Job Application Ask about Family Health History?

EEOC Continues to Target Pregnancy Discrimination

Three of the last eight news releases from the EEOC detail lawsuits or settlements arising from pregnancy discrimination. While the facts of each case differ, the cases are a reminder that employers should not: make negative comments about a pregnant employee’s condition; second guess a doctor’s release that permits a pregnant employee to work without… Continue reading EEOC Continues to Target Pregnancy Discrimination

Employer Medical Release Too Broad

Earlier this week, the EEOC sued an employer for firing an employee who refused to complete an over broad medical release and because the release requested information about the employee’s family medical history. The employee was asked to complete the release in connection with a “fitness for duty” examination.  According to the EEOC’s lawsuit, the release required that… Continue reading Employer Medical Release Too Broad

Fred Meyer Pays $487,500 for Ignoring Customer Harassment of Employees

An employer can be liable for third-party harassment of its employees if the employer has knowledge of the harassment and fails to take action to prevent the illegal behavior.  According to the EEOC, Fred Meyer knew a customer repeatedly made lewd comments to female employees at its store in Oak Grove, and was aware of multiple incidents… Continue reading Fred Meyer Pays $487,500 for Ignoring Customer Harassment of Employees

Men Can Sell Beauty Products Too

Yesterday, the EEOC announced a $354,250 settlement with Ventura Corporation, an employer who was alleged to have engaged in a pattern and practice of refusing to hire men as managers for its wholesale makeup, beauty products and jewelry sales business. Part of the settlement was paid to a male employee who was promoted after complaining about the… Continue reading Men Can Sell Beauty Products Too

EEOC Issues Digest of Equal Employment Opportunity Law

On March 27, 2014, the EEOC issued a Digest that includes selected EEOC decisions on various topics including, but not limited to, damages, attorney’s fees, remedies, and sanctions. The digest also includes an article titled: Retaliation: An Evolving Area of the Law, which examines the reasons behind an increased number of findings of discrimination based… Continue reading EEOC Issues Digest of Equal Employment Opportunity Law

Social Media and the Laws Enforced by the EEOC

A summary of today’s Social Media Commission meeting at the EEOC can be found here: http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/3-12-14.cfm Among the issues discussed: the use of social media for recruiting and risks of considering information about an applicant’s race, gender, age and ethnicity learned via social media during the hiring process; the role of social media in workplace… Continue reading Social Media and the Laws Enforced by the EEOC

Tips for Employers on Criminal Background Checks

Yesterday, the EEOC and Federal Trade Commission issued a joint publication on the use of employment background checks. Tips for employers, including Fair Credit Reporting Act requirements, can be found here:  http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/publications/background_checks_employers.cfm Tips for employees and applicants are here: http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/publications/background_checks_employees.cfm