Amidst a nation characterized by rapidly changing demographics, the EEOC today held a public meeting to discuss national origin discrimination. We attended to get a front row seat for our loyal blog readers. The bottom line – employers should pay attention to this.
Religious discrimination lawsuits are on the rise. According to the EEOC’s press releases, in its 2013 fiscal year, the Commission filed 12 religious discrimination lawsuits. That is three more religious discrimination lawsuits than filed in fiscal year 2012. The sheer number of religious discrimination charges initiated by the EEOC also should grab employers’ attention. These statistics send the message that religious discrimination is on the EEOC’s radar, and therefore, it should be on the corporate compliance radar screen too.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) usually forces employers who are subject to Title VII to play defense. The State of Texas, however, has upended that approach. On November 4, 2013, Texas filed a federal lawsuit that seeks to strike down the EEOC’s April 2012 Enforcement Guidance limiting employers’ use of criminal background checks in making employment decisions.
In a lawsuit filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas on November 4, 2013, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott seeks injunctive and declaratory relief against the EEOC on the grounds that the agency’s April 2012 Enforcement Guidance on the Consideration of Arrest and Conviction Records in Employment Decisions “purports to preempt the State’s sovereign power to enact and abide by state-law hiring practices.”
For the second time in less than six months, the EEOC finds itself on the wrong side of a lawsuit. On November 4, 2013, the State of Texas sued the EEOC in the Northern District of Texas seeking declaratory and injunctive relief against the EEOC for issuing its 2012 arrest and conviction guidance (the “2012 Guidance”).