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Log In / Register | Oct 20, 2017

EEOC: New Religious Observance by Employee Counts

Should an employer be liable under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 if they do not have actual knowledge of the need to accommodate a religious practice? Under a heightened standard imposed on employers by the United States Supreme Court in EEOC v. Abercrombie & Fitch Stores, Inc., the answer is "yes."

Supreme Court to Employers: Ignorance of Religious Practice Is No Excuse

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 ("Title VII") prohibits employment discrimination based on religion, and imposes on employers a proactive duty to accommodate religious practice that may conflict with workplace practices, as long as the religious practice does not impose an undue hardship on the employer.

EEOC Guidelines for Accommodating Religious Practices

On March 6, 2014, the EEOC issued a new technical assistance publication for employers that addressed workplace rights and responsibilities with respect to religious dress and grooming under Title VII. The question-and-answer guide, entitled "Religious Garb and Grooming in the Workplace: Rights and Responsibilities," and an accompanying fact sheet, is intended to offer practical advice for employers and employees, and presents numerous case examples based on the EEOC's litigation.

NLRB Launches New Focus on Employee Handbook Provisions

The National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) has taken an aggressive “bigfoot” approach against many commonly utilized employee handbook policies.  The NLRB’s justification for filing complaints against employers was that overbroad language in employee handbooks purportedly violated the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”). 

Settlement in HIV Termination Lawsuit Highlights Employer Confusion over ADA

A nationwide manufacturer and distributor of fruit juice will pay $125,000 to settle a lawsuit brought by the EEOC on behalf of an employee who was terminated after the company learned he was HIV-positive. [See EEOC v. Gregory Packaging, Inc. (N.D. Ga.)]

EEOC Blasted for “Slipshod” Work of “Expert Witness” in Background Check Lawsuit

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") last week suffered a major defeat in its aggressive litigation offensive against employers using criminal and credit background checks. In an excoriating opinion affirming a lower court decision in EEOC v. Freeman, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit held that the expert witness on which the EEOC entirely bases its theory of liability conducted "slipshod work" and is "utterly unreliable".

Sandwich “Secrets” and Noncompete Agreements of Jimmy John's

The sandwich chain Jimmy John’s is getting some unwanted attention from the federal government amid reports that it requires its low-level employees to sign noncompete agreements as a condition of employment.

EEOC Says "Do As I Tell You Not What I Do" in Background Check Battle

In its litigation offensive against employers over the use of criminal/credit background checks in making employment decisions, the federal agency is getting put on the spot over its own employment

EEOC Targets Mandatory Arbitration Agreements in Lawsuit against Restaurant Franchisee

A Florida company that owns franchise restaurants, such as Applebee’s and Panera Bread, has been sued by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) for making its employees sign mandatory arbitration agreements. 

Fifth Circuit Blocks Franchisee Employee's Effort to Treat Franchisor as His "Employer" under the FLSA

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeal recently held in Orozco v. Plackis that a franchisor was not liable to a franchisee employee for alleged minimum wage and overtime violations because the franchisor was not an "employer" under the Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA").