Warn Your Managers – EEOC is Now Sending Notice of Charges via Email

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces Federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. exclamation-311742_1280 These laws protect employees and job applicants against employment discrimination when it involves:

  • Unfair treatment because of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information.
  • Harassment by managers, co-workers, or others in the workplace, because of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information.
  • Denial of a reasonable workplace accommodation that the employee needs because of religious beliefs or disability.
  • Retaliation because the employee complained about job discrimination, or assisted with a job discrimination investigation or lawsuit.

The EEOC reports receiving about 90,000 new complaints each year.  To handle these complaints, the EEOC created the Action Council for Transformation to a Digital Charge System (ACT Digital) to develop a set of online applications for use by the public.

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Must Employers Accommodate Disabilities?

handicapQuestion from an employer: We have an employee who is receiving treatment for an injured rotator cuff. She has seen an orthopedic specialist and has had physical therapy. On her second visit to the orthopedic specialist, he determined that her therapy helped. The employee didn’t need surgery but did require more time to heal the tear. Her work duties required limited lifting.

This employee works in a very physically demanding department and we have been able to keep her in the department by having her assume the lightest job duty. Prior to her injury, all employees in the department rotated so they were able to experience the lightest and heaviest jobs throughout each day. The injured employee’s situation has put a strain on the others pulling her slack. We have not transferred her to a totally different department because she would have to take a cut in pay and we thought there would be consequences to us for doing that.

Can we require her to move to another department to accommodate her need for light duties even though she would receive a cut in pay?

Answer: This is one of those employer situations where there is no simple, black and white response.

Start with the employer’s obligations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): A private employer with 15 or more employees must reasonably accommodate disabled applicants and employees who are covered by the ADA. Your state law may require similar obligations on employers in your state.

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Banning Wage Talk is Dangerous

Question: Recently some of my employees were given a pay raise.  It was not an across-the-board increase. One of my employees, who tends to be a troublemaker anyway, started discyes-238372_1280ussing his wage increase with other staff members and causing them to be dissatisfied with their raises. We have a policy prohibiting employees from discussing their pay with each other. Can we fire this troublemaker for violating our policy?

Answer: Sorry, but a “go-ahead” to terminate this employee could get your business into serious trouble.

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