Last month, on Labor Day, President Obama signed an Executive Order establishing paid sick leave for federal contractors. The Executive Order will apply to employees working on federal government contracts that are solicited or awarded on or after January 1, 2017.
On April 8, 2014, President Obama signed Executive Order 13665, amending section 202 of Executive Order 11246 which had previously prohibited employment discrimination by federal contractors based on race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, and national origin. Executive Order 13665 added further protection for an employee’s or applicant’s inquiries, discussions, or disclosures regarding his or her own compensation or the compensation of another applicant or employee. This protection typically applies when the applicant or employee obtains this information through ordinary means such as a discussion or conversation with a co-worker.
As we transition from summer picnic season to fall/winter party season, you may be inclined to hold a gathering for your employees. After all, you appreciate them and want to show your thanks by showing them a generous, good time. However, too much of a good time at these functions can cause put employers in a sticky legal situation, so it’s a good idea to keep a few tips in mind as you consider having such a function.
According to a 2011 publication of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Mental illnesses account for a larger proportion of disability in developed countries than any other group of illnesses, including cancer and heart disease.” The study noted that an estimated 25% of adults self-reported a mental illness at a projected economic cost of $300 billion as of that date.
Most employers are familiar with the protected classes under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. While these classes include race, color, sex, religion, and national origin, “sexual orientation” is not mentioned as a protected category. Accordingly, federal courts have traditionally declined to extend Title VII protection to plaintiffs asserting claims of discrimination based upon sexual orientation. However, with the EEOC’s recent decision of Complainant v. Foxx, the landscape may be shifting with regard to LGBT rights under federal anti-discrimination statutes.