The Department of Labor’s Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (VETS) announced a new program to recognize employers leading the way in Veteran employment. The Honoring Investments in Recruiting and Employing (HIRE) American Military Veterans Act was signed into law in May, and the rule implementing the program was announced as part of 2017 Veterans Day ceremonies. The HIRE Vets Medallion Program will highlight organizations with successful programs to recruit and retain Veterans.
New Program to Encourage Veteran Recruitment Efforts
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 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 Senate Appropriations Committee rejected the proposed merger of the Department of Labor’s, Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Business and civil rights groups opposed the merger and without Senate support the merger will not happen. The Senate appropriations bill urges OFCCP to find efficiencies since the funding is being reduced. Recommendations include reorganizing the OFCCP’s infrastructure and establishing “skilled regional centers.” The Senate funding bill will eventually need to be reconciled with the House bill that would fund OFCCP at a much lower rate than proposed by the Senate.