Monday, April 13, 2015

That is SO last week

Last week, the EEOC announced its finding in a charge brought by a federal transgender employee.  The employee alleged that the U.S. Department of the Army discriminated against her by denying her access to the women’s restroom and regularly referring to her by her former, male name, male pronouns, and “sir.”  In its decision, the EEOC found that denying the employee access to the women’s restroom was an adverse employment action that triggered Title VII’s protections.  The agency also found that the use of her former name, referring to her as “sir,” and the use of male pronouns amounted to unlawful harassment.
  • Following an en banc rehearing, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed its recent decision holding that telecommuting could be a reasonable accommodation. The new decision holds that when a job requires regular and predictable on-site attendance, telecommuting is not a required reasonable accommodation.
  • Even though the EEOC has not identified the victims of alleged race discrimination, a federal judge denied a motion to dismiss claims brought by the agency against a restaurant chain.
  • President Obama’s Executive Order on LGBT Workplace Discrimination went into effect on April 8, 2015.
  • An African American former Hooters waitress was awarded $250,000 in damages following trial of her race discrimination claims, which included the allegation that she was terminated for having blonde highlights.
  • Popular teen retailer Forever 21 was sued for sex discrimination for the termination of a transgender employee who was allegedly told by her supervisor that “In my eyes and in the company’s eyes, you’re still a male.”
  • Three HR influencers offered their take on Starbucks’ #RaceTogether campaign, which was intended to promote a dialogue on race relations.
  • Forbes hypothesized that machines could take over for middle managers.
  • As the Apple Watch became available for pre-order late last week, a study by Pricewaterhouse Cooper revealed that 72% of the American workforce would use a smartwatch if the employer purchased the device and in spite of privacy concerns.
  • Mike Haberman asserted that texting should be a new tool for human resources, while Heather Huhman argued that texting should replace email in recruiting.
  • Entrepreneur says that human resources must embrace big data.
  • Vox offered its opinion that data can be used to fight systemic discrimination.
Other Developments
  • In response to a federal district court order, The U.S. Department of Labor announced that it will not enforce its new Family and Medical Leave Act regulations regarding same sex spouses in Texas, Arkansas, Nebraska, or Louisiana.
  • In a presentation to the American Bar Association, Wage and Hour Administrator Weil announced that his division would not resume the issuance of opinion letters.
Posted by Kate Bischoff
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