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Is Pregnancy Alone a Disability Under the ADA?

When an employee is pregnant, employers are understandably concerned about discrimination. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 (PDA) prohibits employers with 15 employees or more from discriminating on the basis of “pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions.” Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) guidance on the act explains an employer’s responsibility under the PDA, including examples [...]

Preparing for Immigration Agents at the Workplace

As the administration’s crusade to tighten immigration enforcement continues, employers may wonder how to handle government visits to the workplace. Although we’ve seen no directives regarding worksite enforcement from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) or Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), immigration authorities have arrested hundreds of unauthorized immigrants in recent raids of areas with [...]

EEOC Stands By Position That Title VII Protects Transgender Employees—So Far

Gender identity issues are still in the news, and based on activity in the Trump administration and the Texas legislature, discrimination against transgender individuals is alive and well. The EEOC, however, is holding strong to the position that Title VII forbids employment discrimination based on gender identity, a stance affirmed during the Obama administration. A [...]

An Employer’s Guide to the EEOC Guide for Employees with Mental Health Conditions

In 2016, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) noted a rise in claims of discrimination based on mental health conditions. Almost 5,000 such charges resulted in some $20 million for claimants unlawfully denied employment and reasonable accommodations. Even though the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has not changed protections for such employees, the EEOC issued [...]

Freedom of Religion in the Workplace: Finding Accommodations That Work

Religious accommodation can be a minefield, but the law is clear. According to Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, employers must provide reasonable accommodation of their employees’ religious beliefs. At a recent American Bar Association (ABA) Labor and Employment Law Conference, panelists discussed the issue, with these suggestions for how to assure that [...]

A Trump Administration Means Changes Ahead for Labor and Employment

Regardless of whether we find the presidential election results delightful or deplorable, we know that a Trump administration represents a major policy shift. Donald Trump is a businessman first, so we might expect appointments and decisions that align with the interests of big business. During his campaign, however, Trump directed much of his rhetoric toward [...]

Ban The Box Laws Expose Discrimination, But Don’t Fix It

One of the biggest challenges for individuals who have served time in prison is finding employment. Some employers have disqualified applicants with a criminal history across the board. That type of blanket policy violates Title VII because it disproportionately impacts racial minorities. In an effort to curb that trend, lawmakers have enacted “ban the box” [...]

Are misclassified independent contractors putting your company at risk?

The Department of Labor (DOL) has long eschewed the employer practice of classifying workers as independent contractors in order to sidestep compliance with government regulations. From the employer’s perspective, the use of independent contractors allows them to hire highly skilled professionals for specialized work without the expense of benefits and payroll taxes. But misclassification can [...]