Category Archives: HR Law

Supreme Court Seems Prepared to End Affirmative Action in College Admissions

For decades, universities have had the ability to consider a student’s race, along with a wide range of other factors (i.e., academic merit, athletics, extracurricular activities, etc.) when it comes to deciding whether to admit a student. But now, the Supreme Court could change this. Last month (October 2022) the Supreme Court heard oral arguments related to affirmative action policies at Harvard University and the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. If the court strikes down the policies — also Read the rest

NLRB General Counsel Issues Memo on Unlawful Electronic Surveillance and Automated Management Practices

In a new memo issued last month (October 2022), National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) General Counsel Jennifer Abruzzo announced her intention to protect employees, to the greatest extent possible, from intrusive or abusive electronic monitoring and automated management practices through vigorously enforcing current law and by urging the Board to apply settled labor-law principles in a new framework.  

The memo describes various technologies that are increasingly being used to closely monitor and manage employees. For instance, some employers record workers’ Read the rest

EEOC Warns: Employers Cannot Favor ‘Early Career’ Hires Over Older Candidates

Fresh; digital native; tech-savvy; flexible; vibrant, energetic, and active person sought; 3 to 5 years of experience. 

Have you seen any of these words in a job ad? If so, what went through your mind? How old do you think a person who might respond to this job posting would be? Do you think a more senior person (say 53) would feel encouraged to apply for the position? Probably not. Why? Because these words usually signal age bias. Even if Read the rest

CDC Updates COVID-19 Guidance

On August 11, 2022, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated its COVID-19 guidance as the risk of severe illness, hospitalization, and death from COVID exposure has significantly declined compared to earlier in the pandemic. The CDC acknowledges that the pandemic is not over and that COVID-19 continues to circulate globally. However, the CDC streamlined its COVID-19 guidance to help people better understand their risk, how to protect themselves and others, what actions to take if exposed Read the rest

Updated COVID-19 Workplace Policies Under EEOC Guidance

Earlier this month, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) updated several Q&As related to COVID-19 workplace policies concerning the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). At the outset of the pandemic, the EEOC assessed that the ADA standard for conducting medical examinations was, at that time, always met for employers to perform worksite COVID-19 viral screening testing. With the revision of section A.6 of What You Should Know About COVID-19 and the ADA, EEOC makes clear that in the Read the rest

New Guidance Issued by DOL Regarding Mental Health and the FMLA

At a time when more people appear to be struggling with mental health concerns, the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Wage and Hour Division (WHD) has taken steps to clarify applicable laws that would enable employees to take time off work to address either their own or a family member’s mental health conditions. Near the end of last month (May 2022) —Mental Health Awareness Month— the DOL-WHD issued Fact Sheet #28O and a related Frequently Asked Questions. The documentsRead the rest

The CROWN Act

On March 18, 2022, in a vote of 235-189, the U.S. House of Representatives passed with bipartisan support H.R. 2116, the Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair (CROWN) Act of 2022. This bill prohibits discrimination based on a person’s hair texture or hairstyle if that style or texture is commonly associated with a particular race or national origin. Specifically, the bill prohibits discrimination against those participating in federally assisted programs, housing programs, public accommodations, and employment. Read the rest

NLRB General Counsel Issues Memo on Ensuring Access for Immigrant Workers to NLRB Processes

Earlier this month, National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) General Counsel Jennifer Abruzzo released a new protocol to advance immigrant worker protections to freely exercise rights under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) and safely participate in NLRB investigations. In a memo issued to all field offices, the NLRB’s Division of Operations Management advised Regions to distribute information (available in English and Spanish) to all witnesses, advising them that immigration status is not relevant to whether there has been Read the rest

EEOC Warns Against Caregiving Discrimination

During the pandemic, employees who are caregivers have adjusted to quarantine requirements, abrupt closures, or schedule changes at schools, care facilities, childcare centers, or businesses. Charlotte A. Burrows, Chair of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) commented, “As the pandemic evolves, and the country moves to a new normal, we cannot assume caregiving obligations have ended.”

To ensure that caregivers know their rights and employers understand their responsibilities, the EEOC released (March 2022) a technical assistance document, “The Read the rest

Mandatory Arbitration Agreements No Longer Enforceable in Sexual Harassment or Assault Cases

Last week (March 3, 2022), President Biden signed into law the Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Act of 2021, making it illegal to compel an employee to arbitrate a claim of sexual assault or sexual harassment. This article explains that “the Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Act of 2021 amends the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) by banning mandatory arbitration of sexual assault or harassment cases, and claims of retaliation resulting from Read the rest