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EEOC Doubles Fines for Posting Violations

Effective April 18, 2014, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is nearly doubling the fines it can levy against employers who do not adhere to its posting requirements. Employers now face a fine of $210 per posting violation, an increase of 91 percent over the previous fine of $110.

The EEOC is required by the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990 to adjust fine levels for inflation as determined by fluctuations in the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

The EEOC reported that in the last ten years, 2010 saw the highest level of EEOC notice posting violations with 114 charges being leveled against employers.

EEOC Posting Requirements

The EEOC requires every employer, employment agency, labor organization, and joint labor-management committee controlling an apprenticeship or other training program covered by Title VII, the ADA, or GINA to post the EEO is the Law notice “in prominent and accessible places where notices to employees, applicants, and members are customarily maintained.”

The notice outlines which employee classifications are protected against job discrimination, including race, color, sex, national origin, religion, age, equal pay, disability and genetic information.

About the EEOC

The EEOC enforces Federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Employers are required to post notices describing the Federal laws prohibiting job discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information. The EEOC enforces:


GovDocs Unlimited Guarantee for Bulletproof Posting Compliance

Employers enrolled in the GovDocs Update Program can rest easy. GovDocs protects our customers’ locations from posting violation fines with the first-in-the-industry Unlimited Compliance Guarantee.

As long as the location is enrolled in one of GovDocs’ qualifying subscription-based posting compliance programs and have displayed the postings automatically provided by GovDocs, the employer is covered for all notice posting violations, with no monetary limit.

Since 1999, no GovDocs customer enrolled in our Update Program has been fined for posting violations.


 

Learn more about worry-free posting coverage from GovDocs.

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3 Lessons for Employers after Double-Whammy ADA and GINA Court Case

In the first settled case of its kind, a U.S. employer was found in violation of both the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Fabricut, Inc., a distributor of decorative fabrics, will pay $50,000 to settle a disability and genetic information discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibit

ing employment discrimination. This is the first lawsuit ever filed by the EEOC alleging genetic discrimination.

Here are three key lessons employers should remain mindful in terms of hiring, promotion, and termination policies.

­1. Employers: Ask No Family Medical History Questions.

Employers should be sure they are not requesting information regarding family medical history at any time during hiring process or employment.

When Rhonda Jones’ temporary position at Fabricut was coming to an end, she applied for a permanent job. She received a preliminary offer from the company for permanent employment, contingent on pre-employment screening. The court ruled that Fabricut violated GINA by asking Jones questions about her family medical history during a post-offer, pre-employment medical examination.

“Employers need to be aware that GINA prohibits requesting family medical history,” said David Lopez, General Counsel of the EEOC.

GINA restricts employers from requesting, requiring or purchasing such information. GINA was signed into law in 2008, and took effect in 2009. Title II of GINA makes it illegal for employers to discriminate against employees or applicants based on their genetic information. GINA also restricts employers from requesting or obtaining genetic information, which includes any information about an employee or applicant’s family medical history.

2. No Loopholes for Third Party Medical Providers.

Requesting family medical history through a third-party medical provider or examiner violates GINA.

After making Jones an offer of permanent employment, Fabricut sent her to its contract medical examiner, Knox Laboratory, for a pre-employment drug test and physical. As part of the physical, Jones was required to disclose disorders in her family medical history.

EEOC Regional Attorney Barbara Seely. “Although GINA has been law since 2009, many employers still do not understand that requesting family medical history, even through a contract medical examiner, violates this law.”

Note: GINA does not prohibit health insurers or health plan administrators from obtaining and using genetic test results in making health insurance payment determinations.

3. Increased Enforcement Puts Employers’ Policies in Spotlight.

The EEOC is launching a coordinated investigation and enforcement effort as part of its Strategic Enforcement Plan across the spectrum of equal employment law, which includes genetic discrimination. Although this case is considered the first one settled under GINA, it also brought to light violation of the ADA.

As part of a physical examination on Jones, Knox Laboratory concluded she suffered from carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). Jones’ personal physician countered that Jones did not have CTS, but Fabricut rescinded its job offer based on the findings of Knox Laboratory.

In addition to the GINA violation, the EEOC alleged that Fabricut violated the ADA’s prohibition against discriminating against qualified individuals with disabilities (or perceived to have disabilities) when it rescinded Jones’ employment offer based on the belief that Jones had CTS.

In addition to the $50,000 settlement, Fabricut will post an anti-discrimination notice to employees, dissemination of anti-discrimination policies to employees and providing anti-discrimination training to employees with hiring responsibilities.

Has it been a while since you’ve updated your labor law postings? Now would be a great time to make sure your employees have access to the most current workplace postings ­and save 20%. Order our convenient Federal-on-One poster that contains all postings required for U.S. employers. It includes the EEOC It’s the Law anti-discrimination posting.