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Employment Law

EEOC issues guidance on coronavirus & ADA

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has already issued extensive guidance for employers on how to handle the coronavirus outbreak. The EEOC has issued its own guidance for employers grappling with how to deal with a potential pandemic while also complying with the ADA.

Snapshot: Litigation generates just 10% of EEOC penalties

90% of the $386 million paid last year to private-sector victims of discrimination and harassment resulted from the EEOC’s settlement, conciliation and mediation efforts.

Consider all qualified disabled applicants

Remind hiring managers that someone applying for a part-time, minimum-wage, low-skill job enjoys the same workplace rights as a professional applying for an executive position. That goes for disabled applicants, too.

Have manager who hired also do the firing

Courts have long assumed that if the same manager hires an applicant and then fires that employee later, chances are he or she didn’t do so for discriminatory reasons. It simply doesn’t make sense—especially when the applicant’s protected status was obvious at the time she was hired.

Snapshot: States where EEOC retaliation charges are most likely

Employees who filed EEOC complaints in 2019 were most likely to include a retaliation claim if they worked in these five states.

Sugar Land, Texas manufacturer settles sex harassment suit

Element Plastics, a manufacturer based in Sugar Land, has settled charges it sexually harassed and retaliated against a female employee.

Multiple FLSA violations cost employer $100,000

Tostada Regia restaurants in Houston will pay 438 employees at its eight locations a total of $100,126 after it found multiple ways to violate the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Signed arbitration agreements are valid in Texas

A solid arbitration agreement likely will be enforced under Texas contracting law.

Never tolerate harassment on the basis of disability—especially by supervisors

Disabled applicants are not just entitled to reasonable accommodations for their disabilities. Employers also owe them a work environment free of disability-related harassment. You must warn supervisors against tolerating that kind of harassment—or worse, participating in it.

Warn supervisors: Never harass or retaliate against workers who take FMLA leave

Train your supervisors on all forms of harassment, including harassment against employees who exercise their FMLA rights. Making life difficult for those who have taken or may take protected FMLA leave can backfire badly.