Informed Employer: Say Yes to the Dress and Grooming Requests? EEOC Issues New Guidance Regarding Re Informed Employer: Say Yes to the Dress and Grooming Requests? EEOC Issues New Guidance Regarding Re

Informed Employer: Say Yes to the Dress and Grooming Requests? EEOC Issues New Guidance Regarding Religious Accommodations

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eBay to Pay $3.75M to Settle Federal No-Poaching Antitrust Case
The auction site eBay has settled a federal antitrust case that accused it of having a secret deal with Intuit not to try to hire each other's employees. The deal, announced by the Justice Department, follows the pattern of the department's 2010 settlement against Google, Apple, Intuit and other Silicon Valley companies over similar accusations.
(Source: The New York Times, 2014-05-01) Read the full article
Disability Accommodation Policies and Forms May Violate ADA, EEOC Says
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission released an informal discussion letter that may prompt some employers to reexamine their own policies and forms related to reasonable accommodation requests to ensure the documents comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. The EEOC explains why particular statements and questions in the sample disability accommodation policy and related forms may violate the ADAAA.
(Source: BNA, 2014-05-05) Read the full article
Court Draws the Line Between Attendance and Physical Presence
Attendance at work is an essential part of many jobs, but it can't be assumed to mean an actual presence at a physical site, the Cincinnati-based 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals recently found in an Americans with Disabilities Act reasonable accommodation case. The action was brought by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, on behalf of a Ford Motors resale buyer who was diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
(Source: ABA Journal, 2014-04-24) Read the full article
As Congress Considers Minimum Wage Hike, States Move Ahead
Odds remain low that Congress will raise the $7.25 federal minimum wage anytime soon, but the issue will be revisited in the coming days as the Senate takes up a bill to increase it to $10.10 an hour. In the meantime, many states have made moves to raise their own minimum wages over the next year.
(Source:, 2014-04-28) Read the full article
Tech Firms' Support For Comprehensive Immigration May Be Slipping
High-tech companies' support for a bill that would increase visas for skilled foreign workers has sparked fear among immigration activists that the powerful industry wants to cut its own deal and abandon the larger cause of a comprehensive immigration overhaul. That fear spurred Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill. -- one of the original architects of the immigration bill that passed the Senate last year -- to send industry leaders a letter urging them not to break their commitment to the broader changes.
(Source: USA Today, 2014-04-29) Read the full article
Despite Skills Gap, Few Companies Interested in Apprenticeships
Ask CEOs and corporate recruiters whether they're finding the workers they need, and they'll lament about a skills gap that threatens productivity and growth -- not just in their companies but in the economy at large. Yet employers and state legislators have been decidedly lukewarm about a proven solution to the problem: apprenticeships.
(Source: The Wall Street Journal, 2014-04-27) Read the full article
Big Employers May Shift 90% of Workforce to Health Marketplace
A new investor report predicts that Standard & Poor's 500 companies could shift 90 percent of their workforce from job-based health coverage to individual insurance sold on the nation's marketplaces by 2020. If all U.S. companies with 50 or more employees followed suit, they could collectively save $3.25 trillion through 2025, according to the report by S&P Capital IQ, a division of McGraw Hill Financial.
(Source: McClatchy, 2014-05-01) Read the full article
Multivariate Personality Assessment Could Minimize Hiring Bias
Cangrade announced research findings that could potentially drive human resources professionals and hiring managers to automate the first steps in the employee-screening process. Multivariate personality assessment -- a method gaining popularity in the selection community -- can not only help hiring professionals find better employees, but actually help companies build the diversity of their teams.
(Source: The Herald, 2014-04-28) Read the full article
Businesses Expecting More from Managers, But Give No Training
Businesses are putting managers in a tough spot: They're forcing bosses to take on many new responsibilities -- but they're not training them to get those jobs done. With competition fierce and the business climate changing rapidly, companies are telling their leaders that it's no longer enough to deliver results in their individual departments, or over the short term.
(Source: The Wall Street Journal, 2014-04-27) Read the full article
Say Yes to the Dress and Grooming Requests? EEOC Issues New Guidance Regarding Religious Accommodations


Courtney King

In light of a steady rise in religious discrimination charges, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently issued guidelines regarding the application of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to religious dress and grooming practices. Title VII prohibits discrimination, harassment and retaliation based on religion and several other protected characteristics. The EEOC's new guidance serves as a reminder that under certain circumstances, Title VII requires employers to accommodate an applicant's and an employee's sincerely held religious beliefs, including reasonable requests for exceptions to appearance polices. Below are some highlights from the EEOC's recently issued guidance.

Read full article here.



On March 31, 2014, Governor Mike Pence signed into law significant changes to Indiana's Service Letter Statute. Under the existing version of the statute, employers must, upon written request from a former employee, provide a letter setting forth "the nature and character of service rendered," the duration of service, and "truly stating for what cause, if any, such employee has quit or been discharged from such service." The revised statue eliminates the employer's obligation to include a detailed explanation. Specifically, effective July 1, 2014, employers will only be required to provide a separated employee with a letter setting forth whether the employee quit or was involuntarily discharged. This development will allow employers to avoid the potential negative legal repercussions that may arise from drafting a more detailed, but inadvertently incomplete or inaccurate, service letter.


Keeping Young Workers Safe

Young workers are not as prepared or experienced as older adults which places them at a higher risk for injury. If you will be employing teen workers this summer or taking on some recent high school graduates full-time, it’s important to make sure they stay safe on the job.

• Review and comply with federal, state, and local laws governing minors.
• Train young workers how to perform their job safely and prevent accidents. Training should help young workers to develop good safety habits and judgment.
• Use a mentor or buddy system for new young workers.
• Supervisors should closely monitor teenage workers to ensure they follow proper procedures and perform their duties safely.
• Make sure that equipment operated by young workers is both legal (state and federal laws restrict work for employees under 18 years of age) and safe for them to use. Be sure to provide required personal protective equipment (PPE) and to assure proper training on the use of PPE.
• Encourage young employees to ask questions and communicate in a manner that is commensurate with their maturity level and experience.

To learn more, please contact Jennifer McDaniel or any attorney in Ice Miller’s Workers Compensation Group.



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