Since the last time the EEOC updated its guidance on workplace harassment (oh say, in 1990), a lot has happened. A generation was born, graduated high school and joined American culture. There have been a couple court cases. The EEOC now thinks it’s time for some spring cleaning – proposing a new guidance document found here.
Silicon Valley has faced a recent spate of wage gap lawsuits, but will that trend make it to the Petro Metro? The US Department of Labor has launched lawsuits against Google, Oracle and Palantir – to name a few. Check out the latest courtroom drama from the Google lawsuit here.
It happened. The first federal appellate court just ruled that Title VII prohibits discrimination because of an employee’s sexual orientation. Check out the opinion from the 7th Circuit, which covers Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin, here. That paves the way for SCOTUS to take up the issue.
It’s a bigger deal than you may think.
Late in the last Presidential Administration, the EEOC issued an “Enforcement Guidance” on retaliation. Out of all the potential workplace fouls that an EEOC charge can allege, retaliation is by far the most common. The sheer volume of retaliation claims has doubled since 1998. EEOC enforcers will look to the Guidance when they dig into a retaliation charge. And, I bet, so will plaintiff’s counsel – and sometimes even courts.
Should employers care? Probably so.