EEOC Releases Fiscal Year 2018 Enforcement and Litigation Data

On April 10, 2019, the U.S. Equal Employ­ment Oppor­tu­ni­ty Com­mis­sion (EEOC) released detailed break­downs for the 76,418 charges of work­place dis­crim­i­na­tion the agency received in fis­cal year 2018. The com­pre­hen­sive enforce­ment and lit­i­ga­tion sta­tis­tics for FY 2018, which end­ed Sep­tem­ber 30, 2018, are post­ed on the agency’s web­site, which also includes detailed break­down of charges by state.

The EEOC resolved 90,558 charges of dis­crim­i­na­tion and secured $505 mil­lion dol­lars for vic­tims in pri­vate sec­tor, state and local gov­ern­ment, and fed­er­al work­places. The agency han­dled over 519,000 calls to its toll-free num­ber, 34,600 emails, and more than 200,000 inquiries in field offices.

The FY 2018 data show that retal­i­a­tion con­tin­ued to be the most fre­quent­ly filed charge filed with the agency, fol­lowed by sex, dis­abil­i­ty, and race. The agency also received 7,609 sex­u­al harass­ment charges — a 13.6 per­cent increase from FY 2017 — and obtained $56.6 mil­lion dol­lars in mon­e­tary ben­e­fits for vic­tims of sex­u­al harass­ment. Specif­i­cal­ly, the charge num­bers show the fol­low­ing break­downs by alle­ga­tions, in descend­ing order:

  • Retal­i­a­tion: 39,469 (51.6 per­cent of all charges filed)
  • Sex: 24,655 (32.3 percent)
  • Dis­abil­i­ty: 24,605 (32.2 percent)
  • Race: 24,600 (32.2 percent)
  • Age: 16,911 (22.1 percent)
  • Nation­al Ori­gin: 7,106 (9.3 percent)
  • Col­or: 3,166 (4.1 percent)
  • Reli­gion: 2,859 (3.7 percent)
  • Equal Pay Act: 1,066 (1.4 percent)
  • Genet­ic Infor­ma­tion: 220 (.3 percent)

These per­cent­ages add up to more than 100 because some charges allege mul­ti­ple bases.

EEOC legal staff filed 199 mer­its law­suits alleg­ing dis­crim­i­na­tion in fis­cal year 2018. The law­suits filed by the EEOC includ­ed 117 indi­vid­ual suits and 45 suits involv­ing mul­ti­ple vic­tims or discrimin­atory poli­cies and 37 sys­temic dis­crim­i­na­tion cas­es. At the end of the fis­cal year, the EEOC had 302 cas­es on its active dock­et. The EEOC achieved a suc­cess­ful out­come in 95.7 per­cent of all dis­trict court resolutions.

The EEOC enforces fed­er­al laws pro­hibit­ing employ­ment discrimination.

Read the press release

EEOC Proposes September 2019 for Submission of EEO‑1 Component Two data

On March 3, 2019, the fed­er­al Equal Employ­ment Oppor­tu­ni­ty Com­mis­sion (EEOC) filed a sub­mis­sion (in response to the court’s ques­tions raised dur­ing the March 19, 2019 sta­tus con­fer­ence) and dec­la­ra­tion (from its Chief Data Offi­cer and Direc­tor of the Office of Enter­prise Data) propos­ing that employ­ers be required to sub­mit their EEO‑1 Com­po­nent 2 pay data for 2018 by Sep­tem­ber 30, 2019. The EEOC also pro­posed that employ­ers not be required to sub­mit 2017 data.

There­fore, the fol­low­ing are the dead­lines for cov­ered employers:

  • Set dead­line: Sub­mit Cat­e­go­ry 1 EEO‑1 data for year 2018 by May 31, 2019.
  • Pro­posed dead­line: Sub­mit Cat­e­go­ry 2 EEO‑1 data for year 2018 by Sep­tem­ber 30, 2019. Cat­e­go­ry 2 infor­ma­tion con­sists of 12 pay bands for each of the 10 EEO‑1 cat­e­gories (race, eth­nic­i­ty, and sex).

The Sep­tem­ber date is uncon­firmed and, at this time, is only a proposal.

Read the sub­mis­sion and dec­la­ra­tion

DOL Issues Three New FLSA Opinion Letters

On April 2, 2019, the U.S. Depart­ment of Labor’s Wage and Hour Divi­sion (WHD) announced that it issued three new opin­ion let­ters address­ing the fol­low­ing com­pli­ance issues under the Fair Labor Stan­dards Act (FLSA):

  • FLSA2019‑3, address­es whether a youth res­i­den­tial care facil­i­ty may imple­ment an “8 and 80” over­time pay system;
  • FLSA2019‑4, address­es the appli­ca­tion of the teacher exemp­tion to Nutri­tion­al Out­reach Instruc­tors employed by a pub­lic uni­ver­si­ty; and
  • FLSA2019‑5, address­es the appli­ca­tion of the agri­cul­tur­al exemp­tion to the freez­ing, cut­ting, pack­ing, stor­ing, and/or trans­porta­tion of a farm’s own fruit, veg­etable, or meat products.

An opin­ion let­ter is an offi­cial, writ­ten opin­ion by WHD on how a par­tic­u­lar law applies in spe­cif­ic cir­cum­stances pre­sent­ed by the per­son or enti­ty request­ing the letter.

See the gen­er­al FLSA opin­ion let­ter index page

Joint Employer Status Under the FLSA

On April 1, 2019, the U.S. Depart­ment of Labor (DOL) announced a pro­posed rule to revise and clar­i­fy the respon­si­bil­i­ties of employ­ers and joint employ­ers to employ­ees in joint employ­er arrange­ments. The Fair Labor Stan­dards Act allows joint employ­er sit­u­a­tions where an employ­er and a joint employ­er are joint­ly respon­si­ble for the employee’s wages. This pro­pos­al would ensure that employ­ers and joint employ­ers clear­ly under­stand their respon­si­bil­i­ties to pay at least the fed­er­al min­i­mum wage for all hours worked and over­time for all hours worked over 40 in a workweek.

The DOL pro­pos­es a four-fac­tor test that would con­sid­er whether the poten­tial joint employ­er actu­al­ly exer­cis­es the pow­er to:

  • Hire or fire the employee;
  • Super­vise and con­trol the employee’s work sched­ules or con­di­tions of employment;
  • Deter­mine the employee’s rate and method of pay­ment; and
  • Main­tain the employee’s employ­ment records.

The pro­pos­al also includes a set of exam­ples for com­ment that fur­ther clar­i­fy joint employ­er status.

The pro­posed rule was sub­mit­ted to the Office of the Fed­er­al Reg­is­ter (OFR) for pub­li­ca­tion, and is cur­rent­ly pend­ing place­ment on pub­lic inspec­tion at the OFR and pub­li­ca­tion in the Fed­er­al Reg­is­ter. The pro­posed reg­u­la­tions may vary slight­ly from the pub­lished doc­u­ment if minor tech­ni­cal or for­mat­ting changes are made dur­ing the OFR review process. Only the ver­sion pub­lished in the Fed­er­al Reg­is­ter is the offi­cial pro­posed reg­u­la­tion. The DOL encour­ages any inter­est­ed mem­bers of the pub­lic to sub­mit com­ments about the pro­posed rule elec­tron­i­cal­ly at www.regulations.gov, in the rule­mak­ing dock­et RIN 1235-AA26. The pub­lic will have 60 days to com­ment on the pro­posed reg­u­la­tion; the com­ment peri­od will begin on the date of pub­li­ca­tion in the Fed­er­al Reg­is­ter.

Read the pro­posed rule and more

Notice of Proposed Rule Regarding Employee’s Regular Rate

On March 28, 2019, the U.S. Depart­ment of Labor (DOL) announced a pro­posed rule to amend 29 C.F.R § 778 to clar­i­fy and update reg­u­lar rate require­ments under § 7(e) of the Fair Labor Stan­dards Act (FLSA). The FLSA gen­er­al­ly requires over­time pay of at least one and one-half times the reg­u­lar rate of pay for hours worked in excess of 40 hours per work­week. Reg­u­lar rate require­ments are the forms of pay­ment employ­ers include and exclude in the “time and one-half” cal­cu­la­tion when deter­min­ing work­ers’ over­time rates.

Under cur­rent rules, employ­ers are dis­cour­aged from offer­ing more perks to their employ­ees as it may be unclear whether those perks must be includ­ed in the cal­cu­la­tion of an employ­ees’ reg­u­lar rate of pay. The pro­posed rule focus­es pri­mar­i­ly on clar­i­fy­ing whether cer­tain kinds of perks, ben­e­fits, or oth­er mis­cel­la­neous items must be includ­ed in the reg­u­lar rate. Because these reg­u­la­tions have not been updat­ed in decades, the pro­pos­al would bet­ter define the reg­u­lar rate for today’s work­place practices.

The DOL pro­pos­es clar­i­fi­ca­tions to the reg­u­la­tions to con­firm that employ­ers may exclude the fol­low­ing from an employee’s reg­u­lar rate of pay:

  • The cost of pro­vid­ing well­ness pro­grams, onsite spe­cial­ist treat­ment, gym access and fit­ness class­es, and employ­ee dis­counts on retail goods and services;
  • Pay­ments for unused paid leave, includ­ing paid sick leave;
  • Reim­bursed expens­es, even if not incurred “sole­ly” for the employer’s benefit;
  • Reim­bursed trav­el expens­es that do not exceed the max­i­mum trav­el reim­burse­ment under the Fed­er­al Trav­el Reg­u­la­tion Sys­tem and that sat­is­fy oth­er reg­u­la­to­ry requirements;
  • Dis­cre­tionary bonus­es, by pro­vid­ing addi­tion­al exam­ples and clar­i­fy­ing that the label giv­en a bonus does not deter­mine whether it is discretionary;
  • Ben­e­fit plans, includ­ing acci­dent, unem­ploy­ment, and legal ser­vices; and
  • Tuition pro­grams, such as reim­burse­ment pro­grams or repay­ment of edu­ca­tion­al debt.

The pro­posed rule also includes addi­tion­al clar­i­fi­ca­tion about oth­er forms of com­pen­sa­tion, includ­ing pay­ment for meal peri­ods, “call back” pay, and others.

The DOL encour­ages the pub­lic to sub­mit com­ments about the pro­posed rule elec­tron­i­cal­ly at www.regulations.gov, in the rule­mak­ing dock­et RIN 1235-AA24. Com­ments must be sub­mit­ted by 11:59 p.m. on May 28, 2019 to be considered.

Read the announce­ment and pro­posed rule

Penalty Increase for Posting Violations

On March 21, 2019, the fed­er­al Equal Employ­ment Oppor­tu­ni­ty Com­mis­sion (EEOC) pub­lished a final rule in the Fed­er­al Reg­is­ter increas­ing the civ­il mon­e­tary penal­ty from $545 to $559 for vio­la­tions of the notice-post­ing require­ments in all of the fol­low­ing fed­er­al laws:

  • Title VII of the Civ­il Rights Act of 1964.
  • The Amer­i­cans with Dis­abil­i­ties Act.
  • The Genet­ic Infor­ma­tion Non-Dis­crim­i­na­tion Act.

The final rule is effec­tive April 22, 2019.

Read the final rule

 

Orig­i­nal­ly post­ed on ThinkHR.com