Week Im Review

July 27, 2015

EEOC alleges record keeping violations in use of background checks
The EEOC has filed a lawsuit alleging a facilities management company violated federal law by not maintaining records that would disclose the impact of its employee-selection procedures. According to the EEOC's complaint, the employer conducts criminal background checks and criminal history assessments, and uses its assessments of an applicant's criminal history to make hiring decisions; however, the company fails to make and keep required records that would disclose the impact that its criminal history assessments have on persons identifiable by race, sex, or ethnic group. Federal law requires employers to maintain records disclosing the impact of their selection procedures on employment opportunities for persons identifiable by race, sex, or ethnic group.

Proposal would boost federal minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2020

Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) introduced legislation that would boost the federal minimum wage to $15.00 an hour by 2020 – a considerable jump from its current $7.25 an hour. The proposed legislation, the Pay Workers a Living Wage Act, would raise the minimum wage in increments until it reaches $15.00 an hour in 2020. Under the proposed schedule, hourly minimum wage would be increased to $9.00 in 2016; $10.50 in 2017; $12.00 in 2018; $13.50 in 2019; and $15.00 in 2020. The federal minimum wage has not been raised since 2009.

New legislation adds protections for pregnant workers, new moms
Rhode Island has enacted legislation requiring employers to provide reasonable accommodations in the workplace for pregnant women and new moms. The legislation amends the state’s Fair Employment Practices law to require employers to reasonably accommodate an employee’s (or prospective employee’s) pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition, unless the employer can demonstrate that an accommodation would impose an undue hardship. The law also prohibits an employer from requiring an employee to take leave if another reasonable accommodation can be provided for the employee's pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical condition. The legislation also bars employers from denying employment based on the refusal to reasonably accommodate an employee's or prospective employee's pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical condition.

EEOC takes on UPS in appearance policy versus religious practices
The EEOC has filed a lawsuit against UPS, challenging the package delivery giant’s enforcement of a national uniform and appearance policy against applicants and employees whose religious practices conflict with the policy’s hair and beard standards. UPS prohibits male employees in customer contact or supervisory positions from wearing beards or growing their hair below collar length. According to the EEOC, UPS has purportedly failed to hire or promote individuals whose religious practices conflict with its appearance policy and has failed to provide religious accommodations to its appearance policy at facilities throughout the country. According to the EEOC, enforcement of the policy under those circumstances violates federal law.

SESCO recommends that clients review all applicable policy and practices to ensure compliance. For assistance, contact us at 423-764-4127 or by email at sesco@sescomgt.com.