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Pregnancy discrimination remains part of EEOC’s focus

As the summer drew to a close, the EEOC continued to aggressively pursue claims of pregnancy discrimination, filing a total of eight lawsuits involving pregnancy-related discrimination in the month of September alone. These cases range from New Mexico to Georgia and include a wide variety of employers from a commercial moving company to a temporary staffing agency to a home healthcare provider. Despite these differences, however, a common thread throughout the cases is the consistent “no tolerance” position of the EEOC related to pregnancy discrimination. This policy prohibits discrimination based on (a) current pregnancies, (b) past pregnancies, (c) potential or intended pregnancies, and (d) medical conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth.

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Large corporations leading the way in paid parental leave

In an effort to attract and retain valuable employees, several large national companies are implementing updated leave policies to provide paid time off for employees who welcome a new child. The most recent news comes from Netflix, which announced its new policy of allowing full-time salaried employees in Netflix’s streaming division unlimited paid leave for a year following the birth or adoption of a child. Netflix’s announcement last month comes on the heels of several other companies who are providing paid time off to new parents.

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EEOC brings sexual orientation claims under umbrella of Title VII

In a recent decision about an appeal from the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) left no question it views sexual orientation discrimination as falling within the protections of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC stated its intent to treat all sexual orientation discrimination as sex discrimination, actionable under Title VII.

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OSHA issues guidelines about transgender bathroom accesss

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced new guidelines on June 1, 2015, for restroom access for transgender workers. The guidelines, which are not official standards or regulations, set out OSHA’s best practices for employers with transgender employees. These best practices include having written policies to ensure that all employees—regardless of gender—have prompt access to appropriate sanitary facilities that correspond with the employee’s gender identity.

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EEOC decision orders Army to allow transgendered employee to use common restroom

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) continued its proactive stance towards transgender employees in a ruling released early last month. In its April 1, 2015, decision, the EEOC determined that a transgender civilian employee at Redstone Arsenal had experienced discrimination when she was restricted from using a common women’s restroom. This case highlights the EEOC’s aggressive policy of eliminating discrimination on the basis of sex and gender identity under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

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