EEOC Sees #MeToo Uptick, Regulatory Agenda Released

By Robin Shea

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently released preliminary figures on sexual harassment activity for Fiscal Year 2018, which ended September 30. The EEOC’s figures indicate an increase in sexual harassment charges and EEOC lawsuits, and a dramatic increase in the amount paid to settle sexual harassment charges. Then, last week, the Trump Administration issued its regulatory agenda for Fall 2018, which contains a number of labor and employment-related matters.

EEOC #MeToo uptick

The following are highlights of the EEOC’s recently released preliminary numbers on sexual harassment for Fiscal Year 2018:

Read more

Eighth Circuit: Heavy-Set Truck Drivers Can Be Forced To Undergo Sleep Exam

henson-andrewBy Andrew J. Henson

A recent Eighth Circuit opinion found that a trucking company could force heavy-set truck drivers to submit to a sleep apnea exam as a “business necessity,” avoiding liability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), possibly paving the way for future class-wide medical examination requirements that comply with the ADA.

In Parker v. Crete Carrier Corp., 2016 WL 5929210 (8th Cir. October 12, 2016), a trucking company required its drivers who had a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 35 or greater to get medical examinations to determine if they had Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). Parker, a driver for the company, objected to the sleep apnea investigation requirement and gave his employer a note from his doctor, which stated that he did not believe the examination was necessary. When the trucking company refused to allow Parker to conduct any further driving without the examination, Parker sued under the ADA, alleging he was discriminated against for being “regarded as” having a disability. The court assumed without deciding that requiring a medical examination for people with a BMI in excess of 35 was sufficient to show an employer regarded an employee as having a disability and proceeded to whether the employer had an affirmative defense.

Read more

EEOC Publishes Guidance On Accommodations For Mental Health Conditions And Finalizes New EEO-1 Reporting Form

mcknightmichaelBy Michael D. McKnight

The EEOC published two items last week of interest to employment counsel:

First, in the September volume of its Digest of Equal Employment Opportunity Law, the EEOC provided some rare insight into the way it views discrimination on the basis of mental health conditions under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Rehabilitation Act.  Although the publication is aimed at government agencies, the guidance details the types of accommodations the EEOC expects of employers for employees or applicants with mental health conditions.

Read more