DOJ reverses course on Title VII protections for transgender persons

Diversity Insight - Sun, 01/14/2018 - 06:54

by Angela N. Johnson On October 4, 2017, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a memorandum announcing the U.S. Justice Department’s (DOJ) new stance that transgender employees aren’t protected from discrimination under federal law. The announcement reflects a reversal from the Obama administration’s interpretation of the law...

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Discrimination against breastfeeding employee leads to jury verdict

Diversity Insight - Sun, 01/14/2018 - 06:48

by Rozlyn Fulgoni-Britton With the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), federal law required employers with more than 50 employees to provide breastfeeding employees a private location, other than a toilet stall, where they can express breastmilk in privacya. And, of course, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) has prohibited discrimination...

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HR’s work not over when harassment investigation ends

Diversity Insight - Sun, 12/17/2017 - 05:41

As more and more people are coming forward with claims of sexual harassment in the workplace, employers have rightly focused on making internal investigations thorough and effective. But the work doesn’t end when the investigation is wrapped up. In fact, it may be just beginning, according to an attorney and a human resources expert who urge...

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Cure and punishment

Diversity Insight - Sun, 12/17/2017 - 05:40

by Mark I. Schickman In all of the attention recently given to Harvey Weinstein and his ilk, the focus has been on personalities and far too little of it on the systemic problem of ubiquitous sexual harassment. The discussion has been centered on punishment, with far too little said about the cure.  Weinstein himself presents a plain and...

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Language, inclusion, and diversity in the workplace

Diversity Insight - Sun, 12/17/2017 - 05:40

by Lauren E.M. Russell Employees’ use of a language other than English in the workplace presents many considerations in the employment law context. An individual’s language is tightly tied with race and national origin, which are protected categories under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and many states’...

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What EEOC’s recent lawsuit over parental leave means for employers

Diversity Insight - Sun, 12/17/2017 - 05:29

by Jessica A.H. Howell The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is a federal agency that administers and enforces civil rights laws when individuals claim workplace discrimination. Recently, the EEOC filed suit against a cosmetics company for implementing and administering parental leave benefits in a discriminatory manner based on sex....

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Oklahoma jury awards transgender worker $1.165 million in bias suit

Diversity Insight - Sun, 12/17/2017 - 05:20

by Charlie Plumb The courts, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) hold differing views on whether Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employment discrimination based on sexual orientation or sexual identity. Nevertheless, on November 20, an Oklahoma City federal court jury...

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New research urges a rethinking of 4-year degree requirements

Diversity Insight - Sun, 11/19/2017 - 06:00

When designing a recruiting and hiring process, few employers would intentionally build a system that automatically excludes qualified candidates. But new research indicates that’s what sometimes happens with employers seeking middle-skills workers. Such a system hurts not just the jobseeker but also the employer hoping to attract and retain...

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Unconscious bias training helps fuel diversity efforts at industrial gas company

Diversity Insight - Sun, 11/19/2017 - 05:55

Despite a strategy to promote an inclusive culture in your organization, unconscious bias could be undermining your efforts. That is why some companies proactively address unconscious bias through training.  Take Praxair, Inc. This global industrial gas company worked with a third-party training vendor in Fall 2014 to create content for...

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Adventures in extreme workplace team building

Diversity Insight - Sun, 11/19/2017 - 05:53

by Michael P. Stafford Does your company have a workplace morale problem? Do you want to foster improved collaboration and cooperation among employees as they work together to solve a problem? Have you ever considered addressing those concerns by simulating life-threatening crisis situations? And no, I don’t mean the annual company fire...

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Deciphering the feds’ changing position on LGBT employment protections under Title VII

Diversity Insight - Sun, 11/19/2017 - 05:53

by Molly DiBianca In a memo issued on October 4, 2017, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions formally declared that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does not prohibit discrimination based on transgender status. The memo directly conflicts with the position of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which has long argued that...

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EEOC alleges medical exams and questionnaires violate ADA, GINA

Diversity Insight - Sun, 11/19/2017 - 05:50

by Courtney Bru The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) limits employers’ ability to make disability-related inquiries or subject employees to medical exams. You may not take those actions until after you’ve offered the applicant a job. Once a conditional offer of employment has been made, you may ask about medical conditions or require a...

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Rooting out bullying a necessary step in promoting diversity

Diversity Insight - Sun, 10/15/2017 - 05:05

Employers looking to advance diversity in the workplace often focus on recruiting diverse groups of potential employees, but recruiting is just one part of the process. Those recruiting efforts won’t be effective if management is blind to a culture that condones workplace bullying.  October is a time when attention turns to bullying in a...

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Office politics: preventing disruptive discourse

Diversity Insight - Sun, 10/15/2017 - 05:04

by David L. Johnson Recently, a Pennsylvania YMCA stopped showing cable news shows on the TVs in its gym because they were prompting political squabbles among its members. When filtered into the diverse workplace, passionate opposing political viewpoints can harm productivity and morale and even create liability issues for employers. Sometimes...

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5 tips for accommodating depression, PTSD, and other mental illnesses

Diversity Insight - Sun, 10/15/2017 - 05:03

by Mark Wiletsky An estimated 16.1 million adults in the United States had at least one major depressive episode in 2015, according to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). That number represents 6.7 percent of all American adults who are 18 or older. Seven or eight out of every 100 people will have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)...

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How non-Hispanic supervisors can lead Hispanic employees

Diversity Insight - Sun, 10/15/2017 - 05:02

by Jim Davis Between potential language barriers, cultural differences, and a political and social landscape rife with discrimination, it’s important that any employee be able to navigate whatever challenges may arise while leading a diverse workforce. Glenn Llopis, a best-selling author, columnist, and senior advisor to Fortune 500 seeks to show...

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Employers, beware: Facility issues may result in violations of Title VII

Diversity Insight - Sun, 10/15/2017 - 05:00

by Jacob M. Monty Many employers are aware of the serious problems that can arise if workers and supervisors engage in racially or sexually motivated taunts and speech. However, few employers realize that they may need to worry about the design and condition of their facilities. The facilities of a now-closed Sara Lee factory in Paris, Texas,...

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