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McBrayer Blogs

Showing 6 posts from May 2014.

The EEOC in 2014

Last year was a record-breaking year for the Equal Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”), which obtained approximately $372 million for workers alleging workplace discrimination. In the EEOC’s annual report, the agency asked for $75 million to support their litigation efforts in 2014…thus, they show no sign of slowing down. According to EEOC Commissioner Constance Barker, “Since we’ve got so much authority delegated to the agency’s general counsel, 2013 really became the year of litigation, and I think 2014 will continue that trend…I think private companies ought to expect to see more aggressive use of the litigation process, more aggressive pursuit of systemic discrimination cases and more cases bypassing the commission’s review and vote.” More >

A Review of the EEOC in 2013

One of the best ways that employers can know what liability risks they are most likely to encounter in any given year is to review what an agency was targeting in the previous year and to review the agency’s work plan. I recently reviewed some 2013 statistics from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) that are worth sharing: More >

Cloud Concerns for Employers: Part 2

Earlier this week, I discussed the possibility of increased wage and hour claims that go along with the increased use of cloud platforms. Today, let’s explore another potential problem that clouds can cause in the workplace. More >

Cloud Concerns for Employers: Part 1

Most employers are relying on cloud computing these days. While it may sound like a complex term, cloud computing is really just a way to store and access data and programs over the Internet instead of a computer's hard drive. If you are using Google Docs, DropBox, or Skype at your office, then you have been in the cloud. More >

The Use of Background Checks in Hiring Procedures

The Sixth Circuit (encompassing Kentucky, Michigan, Tennessee and Ohio) recently sent a strong message that baseless suits against employers will not survive summary judgment. The case, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Kaplan Higher Education Corp. et al., No. 13-3408 (6th Cir., Apr. 9, 2014), involved the use of credit checks in hiring decisions. More >

The Sixth Circuit Broadens Telecommuting as a Reasonable Accommodation For Disabled Employees

In a new decision involving the Ford Motor Company handed down by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, the Court has expanded the instances in which a telecommuting arrangement would be considered a reasonable accommodation for disabled employees in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”).[1] In Ford Motor Company, Jane Harris, who worked in a supply purchasing position, was terminated from her position after she asked to perform her job primarily via telecommunication in an attempt to control her unfortunate symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. There was no dispute that she possessed a disability affecting a major life activity. So the discussion revolved around whether she could do her job via telecommuting and whether Ford’s proposed alternative accommodations were acceptable. Ford denied the request for telecommuting even though it did allow those in positions such as Harris to work from home on a limited basis. According to Ford, Jane’s physical presence at the workplace was critical to the group dynamic of the resale-buyer team and thus her request was unreasonable. The district court sided with Ford, granting the employer summary judgment as to claims of failure-to-accommodate under the ADA and retaliation. The question on appeal was whether Harris created sufficient questions of fact for her case to be allowed to proceed. The Sixth Circuit agreed that Harris did present sufficient questions of fact for her claim to be considered and in so doing appeared to send a message to employers that they need to be more flexible in considering telecommunication as a reasonable accommodation. More >

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