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Equal Pay Data, HIV-Positive Employees, DOL’s Fiduciary Rule, NJ Harassment Defense - Episode 14: Week of February 8, 2016

We look at the latest trends, important court decisions, and new developments that could impact your work. Join us every Monday for a new five-minute episode! 

This week’s stories include ...

(1) EEOC Asks for Equal Pay Data from Employers
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) wants your pay data. The EEOC has proposed changing its EEO-1 forms. The forms currently require employers to provide information about the gender, race, and ethnicity of their workers across 10 different job categories. The proposed change would add a requirement that employers submit information pertaining to employees’ hours worked and report W-2 earnings across 12 different pay bands. If the proposal is implemented, employers will use the new forms beginning in September 2017.

(2) EEOC Addresses Rights of HIV-Positive Employees
More from the EEOC this week—the agency recently released two different guides on the rights of HIV-positive employees. The first guide outlines employees’ rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act. The second guide is intended for health care providers with HIV-positive patients and encourages these providers to advocate for their patients' rights in the workplace. These documents are also valuable resources for employers. Among other takeaways, the guides break down the process involved in a request for reasonable accommodation from an HIV-positive employee.

(3) DOL’s Fiduciary Rule Takes Final Step
The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) sent its proposed fiduciary rule to the White House. The new rule would impose stricter conflict-of-interest rules and fiduciary requirements on advisors working with retirement plans and investors. Critics of the DOL proposal have charged that it would prevent workers who cannot afford highly individualized advice from receiving basic retirement planning services. As with the EEOC, the DOL is making a big regulatory push in President Obama's last year. Next on the horizon is the DOL’s contentious overtime rule, which will most likely go into effect in July.

(4) NJ Supreme Court Clarifies Harassment Defense
The New Jersey Supreme Court confirms that anti-harassment policies are critical to a defense against vicarious liability. In New Jersey, an employer may avoid liability for workplace harassment by showing that it exercised reasonable care to prevent and promptly correct any harassment and that the employee unreasonably failed to complain about the harassment. In declining to hear a recent case, the Court reemphasized that only an employer that has instituted effective anti-harassment policies and procedures can use the defense, and after-the-fact remedial action alone is not sufficient.

(5) In-House Counsel Tip of the Week
Richard Nohe, General Counsel for BT, describes the legal landscape for employees’ use of personal devices at work.

©2020 Epstein Becker & Green, P.C. All rights reserved.


About this Author

George Carroll Whipple III, Epstein Becker Green, Workforce Management Lawyer, Hiring Matters Attorney

GEORGE CARROLL WHIPPLE, III, is a Member of the Firm in the Employment, Labor, and Workforce Management practice, in the New York office of Epstein Becker Green. He hosts the firm's innovative weekly video program, Employment Law This Week.

Mr. Whipple:

  • Counsels employers on workplace issues, including hiring and promotion, firing and discipline, wage and hour, and the implementation of employment policies, to ensure compliance with federal and state laws

  • ...
Peter M. Stein, Epstein Becker Green, National Employer Representation,

PETER M. STEIN is a Member of the Firm in the Labor and Employment practice of Epstein Becker Green. Based in the firm's Stamford office, where he serves as the Managing Shareholder, he represents both national and regional employers in all aspects of labor and employment law.