Texas Employment Law Update

Texas Employment Law Update

A Resource for Texas Employers

Tag Archives: EEOC

Court Rejects EEOC Argument that Employer Must Provide Disabled Employee Competition-Free Reassignment to Vacant Position as Reasonable Accommodation

Posted in Uncategorized
Since Congress amended the Americans with Disabilities Act revising the definition of “disability” and greatly expanding the number of individuals who are “disabled” and therefore entitled to reasonable accommodation, employers spend large amounts of time engaging in the interactive process to determine whether there are reasonable accommodations that will enable otherwise qualified individuals to perform the essential functions of the job.… Continue Reading

EEOC to Target Companies Using Non-traditional Working Relationships

Posted in Discrimination, News & Commentary, Wage & Hour
Yesterday, the EEOC published its four-year Strategic Enforcement Plan for fiscal years 2017 through 2021.  The Plan is the Commission’s list of areas of priority where it intends to focus its resources in the next four years.  The purpose of the Plan is to identify those areas the Commission believes are likely to have a… Continue Reading

EEOC Publishes Resource on Employer-Provided Leave and the Americans with Disabilities Act

Posted in Disability, Leave of Absence, News & Commentary
This week the EEOC published a resource document intended to provide guidance on providing disabled employees with leave of absence as a reasonable accommodation. According to the Commission, [It] continues to receive charges indicating that some employers may be unaware of Commission positions about leave and the ADA.  For example, some employers may not know… Continue Reading

Adrian Peterson Situation Spotlights Dilemma Employers Face Frequently.

Posted in Human Resources, News & Commentary
Our family has a fantasy football league and my 13 year old son Benjamin drafted Adrian Peterson in the pre-season draft. Earlier this week when the Minnesota Vikings activated Peterson to play this weekend, Benjamin was faced with a decision many employers have to make; whether to allow an employee who has been charged, but not… Continue Reading

EEOC Issues New Enforcement Guidance on Reasonable Accommodation of Pregnant Employees

Posted in Discrimination, News & Commentary
Several weeks ago, I wrote that the Supreme Court’s decision to grant certiorari in Young v. UPS (the case about an employer’s reasonable accommodation obligation to pregnant employees under the PDA) might end up signaling the end of light duty policies that limited  light duty availability to employees with worker’s compensation injuries or illnesses.  (post here).  Today, the EEOC issued new… Continue Reading

EEOC Charge Filings Hit Record Number for FY 2010

Posted in News & Commentary
If you have not experienced it already, the EEOC is very active under the Obama administration.  Proof of this heightened activity is evident in the most recent statistics released by the EEOC for the fiscal year ending September 20, 2011. Here is a summary of some of the highlights from the EEOC FY 2010 statistics (the Commission’s fiscal… Continue Reading

Federal EEO-1 Survey Due Next Week: Are You Ready?

Posted in Human Resources
Next week is the deadline for all covered employers (i.e., those subject to Title VII and with 100 or more employees; or first tier or prime federal contractors with 50 or more employees or more than $50,000 in federal contracts) to file their federal EEO-1 surveys.  The EEOC has a FAQ page if you are new to or unfamiliar with the… Continue Reading

The EEOC Wants You to Consider Hiring this Guy.

Posted in Human Resources, News & Commentary
The EEOC is reviewing whether the use of arrest and criminal conviction information acts as a hiring barrier and whether employers should be precluded from asking about criminal convictions.  The EEOC publicized the meeting in a press release titled  Striking a Balance Between Workplace Fairness and Workplace Safety.  Particularly troubling about this hearing is the fact that the… Continue Reading

Transitioning HR Professionals –Look to Verizon for Employment

Posted in Disability, Discrimination, Human Resources
Verizon agreed to pay $20 million dollars and ceasing using its no-fault attendance policy for  absences caused by impairments qualifying as disabilities under the ADAAA.  Whatever the size of Verizon’s Human Resources Department, it looks like its going to need to be a lot larger. As part of the settlement with the EEOC, Verizon agreed that… Continue Reading

EEOC Takes Hog-Like Approach on Attendance as Essential Job Function

Posted in Disability, Discrimination, Human Resources, Reasonable Accommodation
There’s an old saying in rural America that "pigs get fat and hogs get slaughtered."  We used the phrase to describe someone who, instead of being satisfied with what he has, gets greedy.  In the litigation context it can be used to describe a party that takes overly aggressive, unreasonable and untenable positions.  My fellow bloggers, Work Blawg… Continue Reading

EEOC Holds Hearing on Leave of Absence as Reasonable Accommodation

Posted in Disability, Leave of Absence, Reasonable Accommodation
This week the EEOC held a hearing on whether new or updated regulations and enforcement guidance was needed with respect to providing leave of absence as a reasonable accommodation for disabled employees.  The EEOC has recently been very aggressive in bringing suit against employers that use maximum leave policies or "inflexible" policies that provide no exception for reasonable accommodation.  For… Continue Reading

Could the EEOC Sue on Behalf of an Employee Who Wanted the Right to Masturbate at Work?

Posted in Disability, Discrimination
There has been a lot of ink spilled and kilobytes written about how the ADA Amendments Act has substantially expanded the rights of individuals with disabilities to seek and obtain reasonable workplace accommodations.  (See post, post, post, and post).  The increase in the number of applicants and employees who qualify for reasonable accommodations and the types of impairments… Continue Reading

El Paso EEOC Sues Starbucks over Height Challenged Barista

Posted in Disability, Discrimination
In a suit you don’t see filed everyday, the El Paso District Office of the EEOC recently filed a disability discrimination lawsuit against Starbucks over the termination of an employee suffering from dwarfism.  According to the EEOC’s Complaint: Charging Part has a physical impairment, dwarfism. . . [and] is substantially limited in the major life… Continue Reading

New ADA Regulations Take Effect Next Week –Are you ready?

Posted in Disability, Human Resources
The EEOC published its final regulations interpreting the ADA Amendments Act on March 25, 2011.  Consequently, those regulations become effective on March 24, 2011.  The effect of the Act and these regulations is that large numbers of employees will qualify as disabled under the law thereby triggering an increased number of applicants and employees who… Continue Reading

Is the EEOC Getting Interested in Disparate Impact Claims?

Posted in Discrimination, Human Resources
Last week the EEOC issued two Informal Discussion Letters addressing employment practices or policies that might create liability under a disparate impact theory of discrimination.  Since the discussion letters do not constitute official opinions or interpretations of the Commission, the significance of back-to-back letters on the same topic is not the content (the letters do not break any new legal ground or make any surprising pronouncements),… Continue Reading

EEOC and Law Firm go Toe-to-Toe over Administrative Subpoena for Law Firm Documents in Sexual Harassment Investigation

Posted in Harassment, Human Resources
When investigating a charge of discrimination, the EEOC has the authority to issue administrative subpoenas requiring employers to produce relevant information.  This power, however, is rarely used because most employers voluntarily comply with the EEOC’s reasonable requests for information.  In San Antonio, a law firm respondent is testing the EEOC’s powers to require information be produced… Continue Reading

EEOC Publishes Proposed Rule on Employer’s Defense of “Reasonable Factors Other than Age”

Posted in Age, Discrimination
On February 18, 2010, the EEOC published a proposed rule defining the employer’s "reasonable factors other than age" (RFOA) defense to a claim of disparate impact age discrimination.  A disparate impact theory of age discrimination argues that while the policy or practice challenged does not directly discriminate on the basis of age; it affects older workers in greater numbers. … Continue Reading

Last Rites for Neutral Absence Control and Maximum Duration of Leave Policies?

Posted in Retaliation, Workers' Compensation
For more than 15 years Texas employers have used the application of uniformly enforced neutral absence control policies setting a maximum duration an employee can be away from work as a defense to workers’ compensation retaliation claims.  The defense was first solidified by the Supreme Court of Texas in in its 1996 Continental Coffee Prod. v. Casarez case.  See 944… Continue Reading

EEOC Changes Tactics in Enforcing “Pregnancy” Discrimination Laws

Posted in Disability, Discrimination, Workers' Compensation
The EEOC recently brought suit against the country’s largest home builder on behalf of a pregnant employee who was denied a period of unpaid leave in addition to the maximum permitted under the employer’s policies.  What is unique about this suit is that the EEOC brought the suit under the Americans with Disabilities Act rather than the Pregnancy… Continue Reading

EEOC Releases Poster Incorporating GINA

Posted in Genetic Information, Human Resources
The EEOC issued a new poster that incorporates provisions of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA).  The new poster also includes updates from the Department of Labor.  A copy of the poster can be printed here.  Covered entities are required to post GINA notices not later than November 21, 2009.   Covered entities include, among others, employers with 15 or… Continue Reading

EEOC Publishes Proposed Regulations Designed to Implement Amendments to the Americans with Disabilities Act

Posted in Disability
The EEOC recently published proposed regulations designed to implement provisions of the ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA). The proposed regulations incorporate significant changes to the law and provide numerous illustrative examples. A full copy of the proposed regulations can be accessed here.  The following sections summarize some of the significant points. Presumptively Disabling Impairments The proposed regulations provide… Continue Reading

Being Chronically Tired May Qualify as a Disability in Texas

Posted in Disability, Discrimination, Reasonable Accommodation
A federal appellate court with jurisdiction over Texas held that chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) may qualify as a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act. According to the Centers for Disease Control, CFS is characterized by symptoms including weakness, muscle pain, impaired memory and/or mental concentration, insomnia, and post-exertional fatigue lasting more than 24 hours.  There is no known diagnostic… Continue Reading