Click here to see the recent update from Wilson Worley PC on the EEOC case involving the extent of an employer’s ability to set dress codes or “physical appearance” policies. The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to rule this summer.
Specifically, descriptions are important under the ADA as well. They provide a framework to review whether an applicant with a disability is otherwise qualified to perform the job. They, then, allow the employer to consider what accommodations would be necessary for the applicant to handle the essential functions of the job. That, in turn, leads to clarity on whether accommodation would be reasonable.
The ADA has no express requirement to adopt job descriptions; however, the law requires that applicants and employees be capable of performing the essential functions of the position, with or without reasonable accommodation. When defining essential job functions, the EEOC reviews job descriptions written before an employer advertises a job opening. Thus, employers should be accurate in reflecting those essential functions, and generic wording does not provide sufficient detail when questions arise. Describing the specific tasks that a position requires allows for compliance with ADA and EEOC guidelines and a basis to defend your actions if you are questioned.
In 1954, the United States Supreme Court released its unanimous opinion that found laws in several states requiring separate but equal educational institutions for African-Americans and whites violated the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause. Chief Justice Earl Warren framed the question as “the constitutionality of segregation in public education,” saying, “[w]e have now announced that such segregation is a denial of the equal protection of the laws.” The Court ruled on cases from four states but the practice occurred in many more.
While the opinion did not have an immediate impact on the workplace, it was a precursor to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, and national origin.
The EEOC has released its Performance and Accountability Report summarizing its fiscal year 2012. The EEOC reports a record level of recovery in discrimination matters for the year. The organization filed 122 lawsuits throughout the country with 20 percent of agency cases involving systemic allegations against the defendant. Administrative enforcement (mediation, settlements, conciliation) in the private sector amounted to $365,400,000. Through litigation, the agency recovered $44,200,000.
The EEOC requests information from individuals, employers, advocacy groups, agency stakeholders, and other interested parties. Input must be provided by March 1, 2013. The Agency will review the input and make appropriate portions available for meetings used to develop the QCP. Some submitters may be invited to testify before the Commission. The Agency’s February 12 press release is available by clicking here.
Wilson Worley attorney George Samuel asks, “Is Requesting Psychological Counseling the Same as Requesting a Medical Exam?” For his discussion of the recent Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals opinion in Kroll v. White Lake Ambulance Authority, click here.
Wilson Worley employment attorney Sam Booher discusses two recent employment law developments: (1) A recent EEOC release states that transgender individuals are protected from discrimination under Title VII; (2) A recent federal circuit court decision finds that making a job offer contingent on withdrawal of an EEOC charge of discrimination is unlawful retaliation. For the complete discussion in the newsletter, follow this link to the Wilson Worley website.