We are hearing a lot of buzz lately about pay equity (some call it pay equality), but regardless of the name, it is something for which companies should be concerned. Several states have added their own variations on what employers must do to ensure pay equity. Celebrities, lawmakers, politicians, and even the Pope have made statements about pay equity. So, this issue will continue to be a hot topic.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently filed a lawsuit against Consolidated Edison Company (Con Ed) asserting that applicants were required to undergo a medical examination by the company’s Occupational Health department prior to receiving a valid offer of employment. The discrimination complaint filed by a group of job applicants further alleges that Con Ed asked for genetic information as a condition of employment. The lawsuit claims applicants were not hired because of actual or perceived disabilities.
In 2016 the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released a report entitled Select Task Force on the Study of Harassment in the Workplace. The Co-chairs of the task force, Victoria Lipnic, currently Acting Chair of the EEOC, and Chi Feldblum, EEOC Commissioner, envisioned the report as a first step to rebooting workplace harassment efforts. The report included in the Executive Summary contained the following key findings: (Read the complete report here)
September 15 through October 15 is National Hispanic Heritage Month. The observation started as Hispanic Heritage Week in 1968 and was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover the 30-day period. In his proclamation that year, President Regan wrote “The accomplishments of Hispanic Americans through the years remind all of us that in America we are blessed with the freedom to live, work, and worship in peace and to build a better life for ourselves and our children. Generations of proud, hardworking, enterprising Hispanic Americans have strengthened our communities and fought for our country. They have believed in America’s miraculous promise and have helped preserve that promise for the future. This is good reason during National Hispanic Heritage Week for every citizen who loves our Nation to salute Hispanic Americans.”
The minimum required wage for certain federal contractors and subcontractors will increase on January 1, 2018, from $10.20 to $10.35 per hour. Executive Order 13658 requires employers with certain federal contracts pay employees performing work on or associated with the contracts to be paid at least the federal minimum wage for contractors.
The EEOC has filed three lawsuits alleging gender-based pay discrimination in the D.C. metro area. The defendants were George Washington (GW) University, National Association for Education of Young Children (NAEYC), and Vadar Ventures, Inc. who acted on behalf of Total Quality Building Services. The suits were filed after pre-litigation settlements failed in all three cases. The GW and NAEYC cases were filed in the U.S. District Court of Washington. The Total Quality case was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia (Alexandria Division). The EEOC is seeking back pay, compensatory, punitive, and liquidated damages, in addition to injunctive relief to discontinue the discriminatory practices.
The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) has entered a conciliation agreement with Laboratory Corporation of America (LabCorp) to settle allegations of hiring and compensation discrimination within their Lab Assistant positions located at their Raritan, NJ facility. OFCCP alleges the clinical laboratory operator discriminated against Female applicants during the period of January 1, 2012, through December 31, 2012, and that they discriminated in their compensation practices against Asians in the same job title since at least January 1, 2012. LabCorp disagrees with OFCCP’s findings in both areas but has agreed to the terms of the conciliation agreement to resolve the dispute.
Recently, Berkshire Associates announced the availability of Affirmative Action for Talent Acquisition eLearning course for federal contractors. Talent Acquisition is critical to AA/EEO compliance, and hiring activities remain a high-risk area for violating federal guidelines. Berkshire’s Affirmative Action for Talent Acquisition is the perfect solution to help educate employees with hiring responsibility on requirements, and ensure recruitment activities are approached with the law in mind. See a sneak peek demo here.