Is This HR Page-Turner on Your Summer Reading List? Should It Be?
Are you tired of vampire stories? Steamy romances? Memoirs penned by famous celebrities and public figures? Memoirs by famous people who had steamy romances with vampires? Maybe you should try reading something educational and good for business. A real page-turner with a tinge of horror story built in, perhaps like this:
What’s that you say? This might not be your cup of tea? Well, be that as it may, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) developed this current strategic enforcement plan at the end of last year, which points out that the commission will focus enforcement efforts on hiring, pay and harassment. The plan also identifies other enforcement priorities including:
- Protecting immigrant, migrant and other vulnerable workers
- Addressing emerging and developing issues
- Preserving access to the legal system
Since we all know that regulatory violations and expensive litigation aren’t really any business owner or executives cup of tea either, we thought we’d take this summer blog post to remind everyone not to overlook these compliance issues.
Whether or not you end up reading the official EEOC document, we also recommend this informative article from the Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM). First posted at the very end of 1012, it is a must-read primer for current EEOC enforcement and compliance issues. It includes a section that will definitely make you think about your company safeguards against harassment issues:
The last priority mentioned by the commission isn’t exactly new: preventing harassment through systemic enforcement and targeted outreach. In the last four years, a third of the agency’s systemic discrimination suits challenged workplace harassment.
But settlements of harassment suits of all stripes continue to pile up, Hartstein noted, highlighting the following EEOC settlements of sexual and race harassment:
$8 million—Alleged sexual harassment claims involved 82 female workers with payments ranging from $30,000 to $70,000 (EEOC v. International Profit Associates, No. 01-CV-4427 (N.D. Ill. 2011)).
$2 million—Alleged sexual harassment by a fast food restaurant, including teenagers, involving comments, innuendo and touching (EEOC v. Sonic Drive-In, No. 09-CV-953 (D. N.M. 2011)).
$1 million—Compensatory damages awarded to 10 former McDonald’s employees, plus outside monitor and hotline (EEOC v. Missoula Mac Inc., No. 3:10-cv-00267-bbc (W.D. Wis. 2012)).
$11 million—Alleged hangman’s nooses, racial graffiti, comments, harsher discipline and discriminatory work assignments involving black workers by a freight hauling company (Brown v. Yellow Transportation Inc., No. 08 CV 5908, and EEOC v. Yellow Transportation Inc., No. 09 CV 7693 (N.D. Ill. 2012)).
Harassment is being targeted partly because it is “one of the most frequent complaints raised in the workplace,” the strategic enforcement plan noted. “Harassment claims based on race, ethnicity, religion, age and disability combined significantly outnumber even sexual harassment claims in the private and public sectors.”
See what we mean about horror stories?
Is it time to rethink the link between paperwork and progress?
Our team of human resources professionals help keep you in compliance with EEOC and other government requirements, as well as help you manage other HR processes so you can focus on what you do best: running your business.