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We are continuing to monitor key trends and significant updates that affect employers across a wide variety of industries. We want to make sure we touch upon issues that are of concern to you. We invite you to take a moment and let us know what you would like to hear more about in this newsletter. Click below to email our team of attorneys.
Attention Employers: Are Your EEOC Posters Up to Date?
On October 19, 2022, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released the "Know Your Rights" poster, which officially supersedes the previous "EEO is the Law" poster. Numerous federal laws enforced by the EEOC require covered employers to post notices describing different forms of prohibited workplace discrimination. The new poster summarizes these laws and informs employees about how they can file a charge of discrimination.
First Verdict Under Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act a Sign of Things to Come
A jury in the matter of Rogers v. BNSF Railway Co, Case No. 1:19-CV-03083 (N.D. Ill.) recently rendered the first verdict under Illinois' Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA). This class action matter involved the collection of biometric fingerprint data on each truck driver who entered the railyard without first obtaining the drivers' informed, written consent. Because the breaches were found to be intentional and/or reckless, the court awarded the plaintiff class $5,000 per alleged breach, resulting in a judgment of $228 million.
What Could the Supreme Court's Rulings on Affirmative Action in Higher Education Admissions Mean for Employers' Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Initiatives?
The possible fate of affirmative action is at the forefront of U.S. Supreme Court watchers' attention this term. The general consensus among legal scholars and academics ranges from "concern" that the Court may be primed to strike down affirmative action in higher education admissions to "virtual certainty" that the Court's impending decisions in the two cases before it, Students for Fair Admissions v. President & Fellows of Harvard and Students for Fair Admissions v. University of North Carolina et al., will outlaw race-conscious admissions practices.
Pay Audits: Factors Employers Should Consider to Maintain and Protect Privileges
Companies conduct pay audits for a variety of reasons—whether it's to ensure the company is meeting certain benchmarks, to comply with audit requirements under state or federal laws, to promote or improve workplace diversity initiatives, to investigate and remedy disparities, etc. And while pay audits have numerous benefits, they are not risk free. However, with the right steps, companies can reduce and protect against some of those risks. This article discusses some of the pros and cons of pay audits and steps companies can take in conducting them to ensure that the processes and results remain protected under the rules of privilege and minimize potential risks.
Education Roundup: 'Tis the Season for Institutions of Higher Education to Review Their Employee Handbooks
With the holiday season fast approaching, employers must plan and prepare for the general revelry that accompanies this time of year. Holiday parties, which often involve the consumption of alcohol and frequently occur outside of the physical workplace, present distinct risks for employers. Institutions of higher education (IHEs) may face unique challenges surrounding these events given the close relationships that faculty regularly develop as a result of working and living on or near campus. To maintain a safe, respectful, and healthy work environment, IHEs should consider reviewing a variety of policies and practices contained in their employee handbooks as well as employee policies that may be implicated by holiday-related events. Reviewing the policies and employment practices outlined below may help IHEs keep their workplaces holly and jolly through the new year.
We are pleased to announce the addition of a first-year law clerk to the Venable Labor and Employment team.
Law School: American University Washington College of Law
Venable Office: Washington, DC
Sienna Heard graduated from American University Washington College of Law in May 2022 and is now a law clerk in Venable's DC office. Sienna first discovered her passion for employment law while working as an intern for a solo law practice in Washington state when she was in high school. Being a K-JD student, Sienna worked as an on-campus resident assistant at Western Washington University before law school. In her free time, she enjoys cheerleading with Cheer DC, talking about philosophy, and spending time with her two parrots.
About the Labor and Employment Group
The bicoastal, 40-person Labor and Employment team at Venable provides guidance and support across the full spectrum of workplace dynamics – helping employers control costs, avoid disputes, and defend themselves when litigation arises. As co-editors of this newsletter, Michael Volpe and Doreen Martin invite you to share the content with your colleagues and reach out with any questions.