The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has settled a lawsuit alleging that a workplace facility management company, ISS Facility Services, refused to grant reasonable accommodations to one of its employees who suffered from a disability. The EEOC’s lawsuit alleged that, for months, ISS required its employees to work remotely four days per week due to COVID. After that requirement ended, the employee in the EEOC's lawsuit asked for ISS to permit her to work from home for two days per week and to allow her additional breaks while at work. Despite permitting other employees in the same job as her to work from home, ISS refused her requested reasonable accommodations. Such alleged conduct is a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, as amended, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of an employee’s disability or requests for accommodations due to a disability. See EEOC v. ISS Facility Services, Inc., Case No. 1:21-cv-03708-SCJ-RDC (N.D. Ga.).
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission reached a settlement agreement with a company that provides insurance products, after the EEOC sued the company for retaliation. One of the employees of the company, Proctor Financial, filed a Charge of Discrimination against Proctor alleging that she was not given a promotion due to her race. Later, she amended that Charge of Discrimination and added a new claim alleging that she was paid less because of her race. Shortly after this, Proctor suspended the employee. The EEOC alleged that the suspension (the employee’s first discipline in more than eight years) was in retaliation for the EEOC Charge and Amended Charge of Discrimination. This alleged conduct is a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination and retaliation on the basis of an employee’s race. See EEOC v. Proctor Financial, Inc., Case No. 2:19-CV-11911 (E.D. Mich.).
Bonuses May Be Included in Overtime Pay
The U.S. Department of Labor recently announced that it reached an agreement with Krispy Kreme after a DOL investigation found that Krispy Kreme had denied time-and-a-half overtime wages to over 500 employees throughout the nation. The DOL's investigation began with a single store, before it expanded when the DOL determined that the overtime violations were systemic. The DOL found that Krispy Kreme had failed to include monthly bonuses in the regular rate of pay for some of its employees, which denied them certain time-and-a-half overtime wages to which they were entitled. Many employees who receive bonuses must have these bonuses included for overtime calculation purposes, and a failure to do so may be a Fair Labor Standards Act violation.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission settled a lawsuit alleging retaliation against Keystone Foods LLC, in which the EEOC alleged that Keystone retracted a job offer after it learned that the applicant had previously filed a Charge of Discrimination against it. The EEOC's lawsuit claimed that, during a job fair, Keystone offered jobs to seventeen applicants who previously worked for them. Keystone offered the employee in this lawsuit a job the same day as the job fair, and the applicant accepted the job offer on the spot. After making the offer and it being accepted, however, Keystone learned that this employee had previously complained about pregnancy discrimination at Keystone and filed an EEOC Charge of pregnancy discrimination against the company. Upon realizing this, Keystone immediately retracted the job offer. This alleged conduct is a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits retaliation for complaints of discrimination and the filing of Charges of Discrimination with the EEOC. See EEOC v. Keystone Foods LLC, Case No. 2:21-cv-00629-MHT-JTA (M.D. Ala.).
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission reached a settlement agreement with a company to resolve a charge of discrimination in which the employee had claimed that the company discriminated against him because of his sexual orientation. The employee alleged that Resource Environment Services subjected him to a hostile work environment and then refused to return him to work because of his sexual orientation. This alleged conduct is a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employers from discriminating against employees due to their sexual orientation. The U.S. Supreme Court recently recognized sexual orientation discrimination as a protected class pursuant to Title VII. The EEOC and the employer reached a settlement agreement through the EEOC's conciliation process. See https://www.eeoc.gov/newsroom/eeoc-and-resourceful-environmental-services-agree-conciliate-sexual-orientation-charge.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently sued a home health care company for terminating an employee because of her pregnancy and a disability. The EEOC's lawsuit claims that Heartfelt Home Healthcare Services, Inc. terminated one of its scheduling coordinators because she was pregnant and because she suffered from hypertension. The lawsuit further alleges that the president and vice president told her that she was a "liability to the company" on numerous occasions, and that they terminated her employment after she was treated at the hospital for early contractions. The termination occurred even though the employee did not have medical restrictions that prevented her from performing her job. This alleged conduct is a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. Discrimination against an employee because of their sex or because of their pregnancy is illegal. See U.S. EEOC v. Heartfelt Home Healthcare Services, Inc., Civil Action No. 1:22-cv-00280-CB (W.D. Pa.).
Pay Disparities Based on Race Are Illegal
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently filed a lawsuit against Sinclair Broadcast Group, alleging that the company had discriminated against an employee because of her race. The EEOC's lawsuit claimed that Sinclair had paid this employee, who is African American, less than it paid to employees who were not African American and that Sinclair also treated employees of other races more favorably than it treated this employee. The lawsuit further alleges that the employee reported the discriminatory wage practice and that Sinclair refused to do anything to address the complaint, resulting in the employee being forced to resign. This alleged conduct is a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination based on race, including pay disparities based on race. See EEOC v. Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc., Case No. 1:22-cv-02477 (D. Md.).
It Is Illegal to Pay More Based on Gender
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently sued a psychiatric care center alleging that the Center violated the Equal Pay Act by paying a male employee more than all four female employees who were in the position that he worked. The lawsuit claims that the Center hired this male employee and then gave him three promotions without any competition in a period of barely more than a year. Each time he was promoted he was given a higher rate of pay than the four female employees who worked the same job that he did. In addition, the four female employees worked at his supervisor at one point, have longer tenure than he has, and two of them had more state government tenure. This alleged conduct violates the Equal Pay Act of 1963, which prohibits employers from paying more to employees based on a protected class such as gender. See EEOC v. Thomas B. Finan Center, Maryland Department of Health, Civil Action No. 1:22-cv-2407 (D. Md.).
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a lawsuit against a national staffing agency, alleging that the agency refused to refer an applicant to a job because of the applicant’s disability. The EEOC’s lawsuit claims that the applicant, who is deaf, sought a position in a warehouse through Lyneer Staffing. At first, the applicant was referred to and then assigned a start date at a warehouse. Before she began working there, however, a manager at the staffing agency instructed a subordinate employee at Lyneer to cancel the job placement. Lyneer then informed the applicant that they could not place them in that position because the employer did not have a sign language interpreter, despite the employer being willing at all times to employ the applicant. This alleged conduct is a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which prohibits employers from discriminating against employees and prospective employee because of a disability. See EEOC v. Lyneer Staffing Solutions, LLC., Civil Action No. 1:22-cv-02454 (D. Md.).
The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a lawsuit against an airline, which it alleges subjected one of its female employees to a sexually hostile work environment and then retaliated against her after she complained. The EEOC's lawsuit claims that company created an environment in which sexually explicit conversations occurred regularly. Male employees also suggested that she perform demeaning sexual acts, and they made repeated jokes about rape. After the employee complained about this hostile work environment, the airline retaliated against her by putting her on an indefinite leave, which lasted months before she finally resigned, seeing no option to return to work. This alleged conduct is a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits sexual harassment and retaliation for complaints of sexual harassment. See Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. SkyWest Airlines, Inc., No. 3:22-cv-1807 (N.D. Tex.).
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has recently filed a lawsuit against Wal-Mart, alleging that Wal-Mart failed to provide a reasonable accommodation to one of its sales associates and then placed that employee on an indefinite unpaid leave. The EEOC’s lawsuit claimed that Wal-Mart initially allowed the employee the accommodation of using an electric cart to assist with his job duties, such as stocking shelves. The employee needed this accommodation due to his disability. Arbitrarily, after about seven months of permitting the use of the scooter, a new manager told the employee that he could no longer use it. Wal-mart told the employee that the store’s carts were only for customers, despite permitting its use for months, and informed the employee that he would need to either buy his own electric cart or transfer to the self-checkout host position. The employee was not physically capable of performing work in the self-checkout position, and he was not able to purchase an electric cart, so Wal-mart sent the employee home on an indefinite leave with no pay. This alleged conduct is a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, as amended, which requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations to disabled employees. See Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Wal-Mart Stores East, LP, Civil Action No.: 1:22-cv-02596 (D.S.C.).
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently settled a lawsuit against a headhunting company, Jivaro Professional Headhunters. The EEOC's lawsuit claims that the company discriminated against one of its employees, who worked for Jivaro as a senior technical engineer, and then later retaliated against her. The lawsuit alleged that the employee was hospitalized and fired because of that hospitalization. In addition, after she filed her EEOC charge, the company retaliated against her by giving prospective employers misleading and negative job reviews and further retaliated by filing a lawsuit against her, because she filed a Charge of Discrimination with the EEOC. Such actions are prohibited by the Americans with Disabilities Act, as amended, which prohibits discrimination against an employee due to their disability and which further prohibits retaliation for complaints, including the filing of an EEOC charge, of disability discrimination. See EEOC v. Jivaro Professional Headhunters, LLC, Case No. 1:20-cv-00461-CWD (D. Idaho).
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently settled a lawsuit that it had filed against a company doing business as Subway 701. The EEOC had alleged that Subway 701 hired an employee with autism and ADHD who requested reasonable accommodations due to his disabilities. The requested accommodations included specific instructions for tasks and for somebody to check and make sure he understood the tasks. Rather than provide these accommodations, however, the EEOC's lawsuit claimed that the company refused to grant the accommodations and then fired the employee after only four shifts because of his disabilities and his accommodation requests. These alleged actions violate the Americans with Disabilities Act, as amended, which mandates that employees provide reasonable accommodations to disabled employees. See EEOC v. RCC Partners, LLC d/b/a Subway 701, Case No. 2:21-cv-01551 (D. Ariz.).
The U.S. Department of Labor recently concluded an investigation in which it determined that a technological services company had misclassified 57 of its employees, which resulted in these 57 employees not receiving time-and-a-half overtime wages that they should have earned for work that they completed over forty hours in a workweek. The Department of Labor's investigation found that the company wrongly classified these 57 employees as "administratively exempt" employees. It also found that the company did not keep daily time records for the employees and that the company had not included a non-discretionary yearly bonus when calculating their overtime pay rates. Employees should know that many salaried employees are still owed time-and-a-half overtime wages, and it is illegal for companies to misclassify its employees as salary exempt. See https://www.dol.gov/newsroom/releases/whd/whd20220512
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently settled a lawsuit against S&C Electric Company. The EEOC's lawsuit alleged that an employee who had worked for S&C for over fifty years before he was diagnosed with cancer and broke his hip, forcing him to take a leave of absence due to his disabilities. The employee provided the company with numerous doctor's notes allowing him to return to work in his former position. Indeed, this position was primarily a sedentary position. Despite this, S&C did not allow the employee to return and instead terminated his employment. This alleged conduct is a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, as amended. EEOC et al. v. S&C Electric Company, No. 17-cv-06753 (N.D. Ill.).
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently settled a lawsuit against DLS Engineering Associates in which the EEOC had alleged that DLS discriminated against one of its prospective employees due to her pregnancy. The EEOC's lawsuit claimed that DLS had offered a pregnant prospective employee a position without knowledge that she was pregnant. Once the prospective employee informed the company that she was five months pregnant, however, the company rescinded the offer. In addition, the company explained to her that it could not hire somebody who was pregnant. This alleged conduct is a violation of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, which is an amendment to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. See EEOC v. DLS Engineering Associates, LLC, No. 3:21-cv-1214 (M.D. Fla.).
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently settled a lawsuit against senior living community. The EEOC's lawsuit claimed that the company determined that one of its Certified Nursing Assistants could no longer perform the essential functions of her job because she had a lifting restriction, which resulted from a workplace injury that she suffered. The employee asked to be placed into one of several other jobs for which she was qualified, but the company refused. This alleged conduct is a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, as amended, which requires employers to grant reasonable accommodations to its employees. See EEOC v. Heart of CarDon, LLC, No. 1:20-cv-00998-JRS-MJD (S.D. Ind.).
Pregnancy Discrimination Is Illegal
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently settled a lawsuit that it had filed against a company that leases and sells storage containers. The EEOC's lawsuit claimed that the company hired an employee in early April 2018 and gave her a positive 30-day review on May 10, 2018. At the time it hired her, it was not apparent that the employee was pregnant. On May 14, 2018, however, less than one week after the employee disclosed to the company that she was pregnant, the company terminated her employment. One day after this, the company hired a non-pregnant replacement. This alleged conduct is a violation of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, which is an amendment to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act prohibits employers from discriminating against employees because of their pregnancy. See EEOC v. Cassone Leasing, Inc., Civil Action No. 2:19-cv-3721 (E.D.N.Y.).
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently settled a lawsuit against Long John Silver's after it alleged that the restaurant subjected a teenage employee to sexual harassment and retaliation for her complaints of sexual harassment. The lawsuit claimed that two adult male managers sexually harassed a female teenage employee by making numerous sexual comments, propositioning her for sex, making unwanted physical touching with her, and sending sexually explicit and inappropriate text messages. The teenage employee complained about the sexual harassment, but Long John Silver's did not investigate and then cut her hours. This alleged conduct is a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits sexual harassment as well as retaliation against employees who make complaints about sexual harassment. See EEOC v. LJS Opco Two, LLC d/b/a Long John Silver’s Store #70250, No. 3:21-cv-00717 (C.D. Ill.).
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a lawsuit against a title loan company in which it alleged that the company had subjected an employee racial harassment and then fired her because of her disability. The lawsuit claims that from August to September 2019, the employee's manager made offensive and discriminatory comments including comments about African American customers, regularly using the n-word, saying that she "hated working with n******," and saying that African Americans "never pay their bills." The employee reported the comments to two managers and left messages with Human Resources, but nothing was ever done to stop the harassment and HR never returned the calls. In addition to the racial harassment, the company refused the employee's reasonable request to use crutches or a wheelchair at work while she recovered from a disability and mandated that she not return until she could work with no restrictions whatsoever. Eventually, instead of allowing her to return to work, the company terminated her employment. This alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Americans with Disabilities Act, as amended, which prohibit race discrimination and disability discrimination, respectively. See EEOC v. Community Loans of America and Carolina Title Loans, Inc., No.: 6:22-cv-01000-DCC-JDA (D.S.C.).