EEOC Wraps up Fiscal Year 2016: How did They do?

Posted by Michiko Clark, Associate HR Consultant on December 7 2016

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released its 2016 Fiscal Year (FY) Performance Report. In this report, the EEOC talks about its FY 2016 accomplishments, which ended on September 30. As an overview, the EEOC secured more than $482.1 million for discrimination victims in the private sector, state, and local governments. This number included $337.9 million that was secured through mediations, conciliations, and settlements; $52.2 million secured through agency litigations; and $84 million secured for federal employees and applicants. The agency also secured significant changes to alleged discriminatory practices to prevent future discriminatory conduct.

Government’s New Online Complaint Filing Tool and What it Means for Employers

Posted by Michiko Clark, Associate HR Consultant on December 5 2016

The White House recently rolled out a new online tool ( that allows employees to file various types of complaints against their employer. This site also was designed to inform individuals of their employment rights. According to the White House, the website was created to assist individuals “who have had wages stolen, have been injured on the job, faced discrimination, or were retaliated against for seeking better wages or work condition,” file complaints against their employers.

EEOC Updates Strategic Enforcement Plan

Posted by Kelly Andrews, PHR, SHRM-CP, on December 2 2016

In mid-October, the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) approved an updated Strategic Enforcement Plan (also known as SEP) for Fiscal Year 2017 through 2021. The update reinforces the agency’s commitment to its efforts to advance equal opportunity in the workplace by announcing various enforcement priority areas. Employers should review the new SEP carefully to identify potential areas of compliance risk on a proactive basis.

Will the Government Soon Collect More Race Data?

Posted by Sonia Chapin, SPHR, SHRM-SCP on November 29 2016

In keeping with the evolving population of the United States, the White House recently put forth a proposal to include a new race on the 2020 Census form. This new race would be Middle East and North African (MENA). This subgroup has been reported as part of the ‘White’ race since its designation in 1944. This was initially considered positive for this subgroup, as they were eligible for citizenship under laws in effect at that time. Now, many members of the community feel as though they do not fit in with White, Black, or Asian designations and support the new designation.

EEOC Issues New Guidance on National Origin Discrimination

Posted by Charu Avasthy, PHR, Senior HR Consultant on November 28 2016

On November 21, 2016, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued enforcement guidance on national origin discrimination. The guidance, which is a sub-regulatory enforcement document, replaces the Commission’s 2002 Compliance Manual section on the same topic.  

Pennsylvania Court Says Title VII Protects Against Discrimination On the Basis of Sexual Orientation

Posted by Misty Glorioso, PHR, SHRM-CP on November 22 2016

On November 4, 2016, the Western District of Pennsylvania issued a landmark ruling that a gay person can bring a sex discrimination claim under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) for discrimination due to one’s sexual orientation. The case, EEOC v. Scott Medical Health Center, is one of the first two such lawsuits filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) after it announced in 2015 that it believed Title VII’s prohibition against sex discrimination included claims based on one’s sexual orientation.

Five Tips for Effectively Tracking Outreach Efforts

Posted by Lauren Buerger on November 18 2016

The regulations requiring federal contractors to track good faith efforts of outreach to targeted groups have been in effect for over two years. However, federal contractors and subcontractors are still facing challenges with meeting the requirements—especially when it comes to tracking their efforts. With that in mind, here are five tips for effectively tracking your good faith outreach efforts:

Recruitment in the Competitive Holiday Hiring Landscape

Posted by Lauren Collinson, Senior Communications Specialist on November 15 2016

With the holidays quickly approaching, hiring managers everywhere are reassessing their recruitment strategies. For most organizations, this can be the busiest time of the year. To meet the spike in consumer demand,
employers often turn to seasonal hiring.

Employers Can Help Veterans Convert Their Skills for Workplace

Posted by Courtesy of Bloomberg BNA on November 10 2016

Military Veterans continue to face difficulty translating their skills and experience into civilian terms, but employers can help them, consultants say.

‘‘One of the top concerns I hear from both Veterans and employers is the difficulty with properly translating military skills and experience into the required skill sets for civilian jobs,’’ Beth Ronnenburg, president of Columbia, Md.-based HR consultancy Berkshire Associates Inc., told Bloomberg BNA in an Oct. 27 email. ‘‘Military personnel find it overwhelming when they have to read through hundreds of job descriptions to find jobs for which they are qualified; some also find it challenging to determine which civilian jobs match the skillset they developed in the military.’’

Minimum Wage Increases for 2017

Posted by Erin Kwiatkowski, SPHR, SHRM-SCP on November 7 2016

Pay equality and “living wages” continue to be an important issue in the United States. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) the federal minimum wage has remained the same since 2009 at $7.25 per hour. Although federal rates have yet to increase, many states have started raising minimum wage rates on their own. If a state has a minimum wage higher than the federal rate, employers are obligated to pay the higher state rate. By January 1, 2017, 29 states plus Washington, D.C. will have higher minimum wages than the federal requirement.