As the summer drew to a close, the EEOC continued to aggressively pursue claims of pregnancy discrimination, filing a total of eight lawsuits involving pregnancy-related discrimination in the month of September alone. These cases range from New Mexico to Georgia and include a wide variety of employers from a commercial moving company to a temporary staffing agency to a home healthcare provider. Despite these differences, however, a common thread throughout the cases is the consistent “no tolerance” position of the EEOC related to pregnancy discrimination. This policy prohibits discrimination based on (a) current pregnancies, (b) past pregnancies, (c) potential or intended pregnancies, and (d) medical conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth.
On September 11, 2015, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) issued a final rule that prevents government contractors from having pay secrecy or confidentiality policies. Specifically, the rule prohibits discharging or otherwise discriminating against an employee or applicant because the employee or applicant inquired about, discussed, or disclosed the compensation of the employee or any other employee. But the rule allows contractors to require human resources personnel (who have access to employee compensation information as part of their job responsibilities) to keep such compensation information confidential.
Just in case you don’t think the U.S. Department of Labor is serious about going after misclassification of workers:
In an effort to attract and retain valuable employees, several large national companies are implementing updated leave policies to provide paid time off for employees who welcome a new child. The most recent news comes from Netflix, which announced its new policy of allowing full-time salaried employees in Netflix’s streaming division unlimited paid leave for a year following the birth or adoption of a child. Netflix’s announcement last month comes on the heels of several other companies who are providing paid time off to new parents.
On July 6, 2015, the Federal Register published extremely significant proposed changes to the rules governing overtime under the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). This is the first step in the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) changing the rules and is primarily directed toward decreasing the number of executive, administrative, and professional (EAP) employees who are exempt from the requirement that employers pay them time-and-a-half (1.5 times) their hourly rate for any time worked over 40 hours during a 7-day period. Put another way, this proposed change is likely to increase the number of people who get paid overtime by raising the threshold “salary basis” for those in traditionally white-collar positions.