We have reported previously on the emerging trends in litigation over website accessibility. Briefly, Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires accessibility for disabled persons to places of public accommodation. Increasingly, disabled persons are pursuing litigation or threats of litigation, arguing that a company’s website which provides access to goods and services must be accessible under the ADA. The law remains somewhat unsettled. Federal courts have reached varying conclusions on the question of whether websites are places of public accommodation and, if they are, what steps are required to make them accessible under the ADA. The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) takes the position that websites are places of public accommodation. DOJ has promised to issue guidance on specific steps needed to comply. Although DOJ’s ADA compliance guidelines were initially expected in April 2016, DOJ has pushed the expected ADA compliance guideline timeframe to 2018.
Continue Reading Website accessibility case shows big risks to companies

We are seeing more and more employers receive electronic notice of new EEOC charges through the EEOC’s new “digital charge” system. This system was piloted in certain EEOC districts starting last May. Starting Jan. 1, 2016, all EEOC offices will notify employers via email of new EEOC charges filed against them. However, this last month and a half we have continued to see a few new charges come in the traditional way via snail mail.

What happens when you receive a digital charge? The EEOC will send an email to the email address on file for the employer. The EEOC does not provide much guidance on how it determines which email address to use, but encourages employers to update their contact information with the EEOC by contacting their local EEOC office. Ask yourself who in your organization you want to receive first notice from EEOC that a charge has been filed, then make sure the EEOC has that person’s contact information. For employers in Columbus and points generally east and north, the appropriate local office is the EEOC Cleveland Field Office. For employers everywhere else in Ohio, your local EEOC office is the EEOC Cincinnati Area Office. Have operations outside Ohio? The EEOC’s local offices are listed here. We strongly recommend employers ensure the EEOC has the right contact information so that charges are routed appropriately within their organizations. If the EEOC local office sees that the employer has not logged into the system within ten days of the EEOC’s email notice, the local office is instructed to attempt to notify the employer again of the charge.
Continue Reading The EEOC enters the digital age with electronic notice of charges

Think for a moment about all of the employment law obligations you face as a Human Resources professional or employment legal counsel. As extensive as those are, there is actually very little that you have to report to the federal or state government on a regular basis about your employment activity. You have very few obligations to report to the government on your personnel actions, including compensation – at least as of now. In fact, about the only obligation to report information to the federal government is the annual federal EEO-1 report, which must be filed by companies with 100 or more employees and by federal contractors with 50 or more employees. As you know, the federal EEO-1 currently requires only that you report the number of employees at each covered establishment and corporate-wide, by ten broadly defined job categories and broken down by race, gender, and ethnicity. If adopted, the EEOC’s recently-announced proposed wage reporting rules will require that compensation data be added to the EEO-1 report. In addition to the administrative burden this will cause, employers have real concerns about the ways in which the EEOC promises to use the data.

Continue Reading EEOC proposed wage reporting rules: could be a major problem

Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council (FAR) has updated the jurisdictional thresholds for coverage under affirmative action laws for federal contractors and subcontractors. The regulations have not been amended, but an inflationary adjustment statute applicable to the Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 503) and the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974

2016 has arrived, marking the beginning of a year of political transition. While we cannot be certain what the upcoming Presidential election holds for 2017, we can expect to see at least seven employment law trends as we move through this year.

1. Increase in Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) initiatives and enforcement

The Department

Whether the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is taking advantage of the fact that HIV infection has been in the news lately (thanks to Charlie Sheen’s recent disclosure about his own HIV status) or the timing is pure coincidence, the EEOC earlier this month issued two publications regarding the rights afforded by the Americans with

OFCCP has said that it will issue final rules in May 2016 requiring federal contractors and subcontractors to submit electronic pay data.  This rule has been highly controversial since it was first proposed in 2011.  Currently there is no obligation for contractors to submit pay data to OFCCP except in the course of an affirmative

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) yet again delayed the anticipated rulemaking for website accessibility under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The guidelines are now expected sometime in 2018 (delayed from the most recent expected date of April 2016). But, as I will discuss below, that does not mean that businesses transacting business with