America’s political divisions seem to be deepening. And, what’s troubling for employers is that our polarized political climate appears to be affecting employee productivity significantly, according to research by Gartner. According to a nationwide survey in February, 47% of employees reported that debate surrounding the 2020 elections is impacting their ability to get work done.
On June 11 and June 17, 2020, the EEOC updated “What You Should Know About COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and Other EEO Laws,” its Q&A technical assistance guidance for COVID-19 related issues. The new guidance expands its previous guidance, answering additional questions on several topics, including COVID-19 antibody tests, “high risk” employees (which we blogged about here), accommodations for employee screenings, how to handle national origin discrimination, and whether an employer’s safety concerns permit the exclusion of pregnant or older people from the workplace. We have summarized the new Q&A below.
Disability-Related Inquiries and Medical Exams
A.7. CDC said in its Interim Guidelines that antibody test results “should not be used to make decisions about returning persons to the workplace.” In light of this CDC guidance, under the ADA may an employer require antibody testing before permitting employees to re-enter the workplace?
No. An antibody test constitutes a medical examination under the ADA. In light of CDC’s Interim Guidelines that antibody test results “should not be used to make decisions about returning persons to the workplace,” an antibody test at this time does not meet the ADA’s “job related and consistent with business necessity” standard for medical examinations or inquiries for current employees. Therefore, requiring antibody testing before allowing employees to re-enter the workplace is not allowed under the ADA. Please note that an antibody test is different from a test to determine if someone has an active case of COVID-19 (i.e., a viral test). The EEOC has already stated that COVID-19 viral tests are permissible under the ADA.
The EEOC will continue to closely monitor CDC’s recommendations, and could update this discussion in response to changes in CDC’s recommendations.
Last week, the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released a comprehensive breakdown of the workplace discrimination charges received in 2019. The report shows that fiscal year 2019 continued the trend of declining numbers of pending charges. Interestingly, the number of charges filed in 2019 is the lowest intake in any fiscal year since at least 1997. While there may be any number of explanations for the decrease, one possibility is that employees are turning to expanding state anti-discrimination laws and more active state administrative agencies rather than the EEOC.
Continue Reading While EEOC Report Shows Overall Decrease In Charges, Retaliation Continues To Be Top Charge
In May, we gathered nearly 100 inspiring leaders and thinkers from the business and academic world to predict and plan for the future of work. We are delighted to share key messages and insights from our fourth Global Employer Forum in the link below.
However, in case you’re short on time, here’s the tldr:
We are in a period of unprecedented transformation, driven by technological development, globalization and significant demographic changes. Our world is hyper-connected, and the pace of change is rapid, bringing social and political transformation and creating profound global shifts in expectations. Global employers must evolve at speed to meet these disruptive forces head-on and to thrive in this future of work.
In inspirational news, the UN’s work and labor agency, the International Labor Organization or ILO, adopted a “Violence and Harassment Convention” and “Violence and Harassment Recommendation” at the Centenary International Labor Conference in Geneva last month.
California is known as one of the most progressive, pro-employee states in the country. But if the last several months are any indication, Illinois is quickly catching up.
Here’s a quick overview of what’s happening in the prairie state:
Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act
What’s New? As of January 1, 2019, employers must reimburse employees for all “necessary” expenses. So what’s a necessary expense? Anything required of the employee in the discharge of his/her employment duties that “inure to the primary benefit of the employer.” Computers, cell phones, uniforms, etc. may all constitute “necessary” expenses that the employer is required to reimburse.
Takeaway: Employers should review their policies, job descriptions, and third party contracts to determine which positions/roles may result in necessary expenditures.
In June, a federal district court in New York ruled that the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) preempts a recent state law prohibiting mandatory arbitration agreements in sexual harassment cases. Latif v. Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC marks the first time that a federal court has ruled on this issue.
Continue Reading NY Ban On Mandatory Arbitration Of Sexual Harassment Claims Overturned
We were delighted to hear from Vernā Myers, Vice President of Inclusion Strategy at Netflix, at our Global Employer Forum in New York last month.
Vernā is a Harvard-trained lawyer, author, TED speaker and diversity advocate. She revolutionizes corporate culture. Her keynote address at the Forum challenged leaders to critically examine their own unconscious biases…
A new employment law is coming into force on August 28, 2019 in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) in Dubai, UAE.*
Are you ready?
Some significant changes include:
- New provisions for secondment to a DIFC-based employer.
- Expanded anti-discrimination provisions, including anti-retaliation provisions, new penalties and a defense requiring the employer to take reasonably practicable
On April 10, the EEOC released its charge filing statistics for Fiscal Year 2018, which ran from October 1, 2017 to September 30, 2018. These annually disclosed statistics reveal continued trends in the employment litigation space and provide an opportunity for employers to ensure their policies and practices address issues arising in the ever-changing modern workplace.
Continue Reading EEOC FY 2018 Enforcement & Litigation Data Reveal Trends In Employment Litigation