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Trends in discrimination claims

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A quick update on trends in discrimination claims for NJ small business owners

A quick update on trends in discrimination claims for NJ small business owners

Published in: Career

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  • 1. Trends In EEO and Discrimination
  • 2. Employment Discrimination
    • Governed by
    • Federal laws, regulations
    • State laws, regulations
    • Local and municipal ordinances/codes
  • 3. Federal Government
    • The number of discrimination charges continues to be large. In 2011, 99,947 cases were filed with the EEOC in the following major categories:
    Source: www.eeoc.gov
    • Age
    23,465
    • Religion
    4,151
    • Disability
    25,742
    • Sex
    28,534
    • Nat’l Origin
    11,833
    • Equal Pay
    919
    • Race
    35,395
    • Retaliation
    37,334
  • 4. Other Protected Groups
    • Federal law prohibits discrimination on the basis of veteran status or liability for service in the United States Armed Forces
    • Whistleblowers are also a federally protected group
    • Federal law also prohibits discrimination based on genetic information
  • 5. Increasing Costs
    • The cost of settling the top 10 class action discrimination suits in 2010 was over $346 million, more than four times more than in 2009.
    • Recent settlements
      • 3M (8/2011) - $3 million (age discrimination)
      • Wells Fargo (6/11) - $32 million (sex discrimination)
      • Roadway Express (9/2010) - $10 million (racial harassment)
      • Eastman Kodak (9/2010) - $21 million (race discrimination)
  • 6. ADAAA
    • The ADA Amendments Act passed in 2008 went into effect in 2009
    • The ADAAA broadened the definition of the term “disability”
    • Rejected court interpretations and a portion of the EEOC regulations that interpret the employment section of ADA
  • 7. GINA
    • The Genetic Information Non-discrimination Act (GINA) signed into law in 2008 went into effect in November, 2009.
      • Final regulations in effect in January, 2011
      • Prohibits discrimination on the basis of genetic information in health insurance and employment
      • Over 200 EEOC complaints in 2011
      • Requires posting
      • Employers advised to discontinue requests to applicants and employees for family medical history except in the limited circumstances permitted in connection with a wellness or disease management program
  • 8. Other Laws and Requirements
    • States and local governments may have their own laws against employment discrimination. They differ from Federal law in
    • Protected classes
    • Court procedures
    • Court interpretations
  • 9. New Jersey
    • Very employee-friendly
    • Additional protected classes: marital status, sexual orientation, certain genetic conditions, domestic partnership status, transgender identity
    • Different approaches to discrimination based on age
    • Different approaches to whistleblower protection
    • Longer time limit for filing charges
    • Different Court interpretations (e.g., Gaines v. Bellino)
  • 10. Have you covered …
    • Sexual and other workplace harassment prevention training for all staff members
    • Requirements for CEPA poster and notification
    • Requirements for USERRA poster
    • Addition of domestic partnerships to your EEO policy
    • Addition of GINA
    • ADAAA impact on your procedures

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