The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) has approved its Strategic Enforcement Plan (“Plan”), which grew out of the EEOC's Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2012-2016. In essence, the Plan affirms the Administration’s enforcement objectives for the next four years. According to the Plan, the EEOC’s enforcement will focus on six key areas: eliminating barriers in recruitment and hiring; protecting immigrant, migrant and other vulnerable workers; addressing emerging and developing employment discrimination issues; enforcing equal pay laws; preserving access to the legal system and preventing harassment through systemic enforcement and targeted outreach. The EEOC added equal pay as a priority enforcement area; the original Plan draft did not contain this goal. This change signifies the Administration’s concerted efforts to continue and possibly intensify compensation enforcement actions. The Plan also directs the EEOC to pursue its efforts through an integrated approach throughout the private, public (state and local) and federal sectors.
Nancy Leppink, the Deputy Wage and Hour Administrator at the Department of Labor since 2009, and the Acting Wage and Hour Administrator since January 2011, left DOL on December 12, 2012. Mary Beth Maxwell, formerly the Deputy Chief of Staff in the Wage and Hour Division, is serving as Acting Deputy Administrator of the Division and, in that capacity, will be running the agency until a new Administrator is in place.
In a recent testing case, the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona precluded the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) from obtaining personally identifiable information from the employer when the subpoena request was based on a “blanket assertion” of discrimination and not supported by facts. According to the court, allowing the EEOC to investigate the charging party’s generalized charge under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) would “invite the oft-cited ‘fishing expedition’ to become a full-blown harvest operation.” The court recognized that the EEOC has broad powers to investigate allegations of Title VII and ADA violations but “if anyone could file a charge” which asserts that a policy discriminates on “any number of bases, the EEOC would have close to unlimited jurisdiction,” which would make investigations limitless in scope.
The OFCCP offices in the Mid-Atlantic region have received new lists of contractors to schedule for desk audits. Contractors should alert HR and executive personnel to watch for compliance review letters during the busy holiday season. Additionally, contractors receiving notices from the Baltimore District Office should look for a new return address included with the compliance review notice.
The Supreme Court’s docket for the 2012-2013 term does not include many labor and employment cases, but there are some that do bear watching. In addition, Fisher v. University of Texas, which presents the issue of the legality of the school’s affirmative action program in admission, will likely have a significant impact on labor and employment law.
Written by: Cynthia Ozger-Pascu; Edited by: David Fortney
The EEOC revealed that it will not seek the U.S. Supreme Court’s review of the Eighth Circuit’s decision, EEOC v. CRST Van Expedited Inc., in which the court disposed of most of the EEOC’s claims against the employer.
The Veterans Employment & Training Services (VETS) department of the Department of Labor announced that the filing deadline for VETS-100 and 100A reports in the 2012 cycle has been extended to October 31, 2012.
For those of you who have not yet heard, Congress is again considering moving all veterans programs now administered through the Department of Labor (DOL) Veterans and Employment Training Service (VETS) to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). H.R. 4072, entitled the Consolidating Veteran Employment Services for Improved Performance Act of 2012, made it through the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs on April 27. The transfer would be effective for the fiscal year beginning on October 1, 2013
Will this work to improve the government’s ability to service our veterans?
On June 25, 2012, the Supreme Court issued its much-anticipated decision in Arizona v. United States, on the constitutionality of Arizona’s immigration law. In an opinion written by Justice Anthony Kennedy, in which Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Ginsburg, Breyer, and Sotomayor joined, the Court struck down three provisions of the state law:
In a memorandum addressing social media policies, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or “Board”) Acting General Counsel Lafe Solomon provided a model social media policy that he deems lawful under the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA” or “Act”). The memorandum provides numerous examples of social media policy provisions and analyzes which are unlawful (in the opinion of the Acting General Counsel alone) and why.