United Parcel Service (UPS) has agreed to settle a nationwide lawsuit filed in 2009 by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The settlement agreement will pay $2 million to approximately 70 current and former UPS employees who were alleged victims of disability discrimination. Read the EEOC Press Release issued August 8, 2017.
In the last two years, federal contractors started tracking and reporting the workforce percentage that self-identified as being an Individual with a Disability (IWD). Time and time again, we hear from employers that applicants and current employees are unlikely or uncomfortable providing their disability status as part of the employment process. Employers are consistently reporting low numbers of employees who self-identified as an IWD.
The Office of Management Budget (OMB) has renewed the voluntary self-identification form federal contractors must use to solicit disability status information from applicants and employees. The new form was approved without change and is valid until January 31, 2020. Federal contractors are required to either download the renewed form(s) or update their electronic version(s) of the form to reflect the new OMB approval expiration date.
On December 19, 2016, the Department of Labor (DOL) published a final rule updating the guidelines that dictate how employers ensure equal employment opportunity in apprenticeship programs. These updated regulations are intended to help businesses reach larger and more diverse groups of workers, and expand protected bases beyond race, color, religion, national origin, and sex to include disability, age, sexual orientation, and genetic information.
Recently, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) published a user-friendly resource document aimed at advising employees and job applicants with mental health conditions of their rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). During the fiscal year 2016, the EEOC saw a large uptick in the number of discrimination charges based on mental health conditions. EEOC resolved almost 5,000 charges and obtained approximately $20 million for individuals with mental health conditions who were denied employment or reasonable accommodation.
It is time to wrap up 2016 and put a bow around it. This has been an eventful year for many reasons—one of which was the impact of increased pressure on federal contractors and sub-contractors from OFCCP. Many of you have Affirmative Action Programs (AAP) that are effective January 1, 2017. As you wrap up 2016 here are some issues to keep in mind:
According to the American with Disability Act, an Individual with a Disability is defined as a person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, a person who has a history or record of such an impairment, or a person who is perceived by others as having such an impairment. Taking this definition into account, it is no surprise Individuals with Disabilities (IWD) make up the largest minority group in the country.
Companies who are required to file EEO-1s must file their reports by September 30, 2016. The desired method for filing EEO-1s is by entering the data into the EEO-1 website or generating an electronic upload file. For companies who have been filing by an electronic upload file, there is an exciting new development.