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EEOC issues domestic violence guidance

Commission reminds employers not to overlook vulnerable employees

Last month, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued a series of questions and answers to employers in an effort to reiterate its commitment to justice for vulnerable individuals.

The Q&As, titled “The Application of Title VII and the ADA to Applicants or Employees Who Experience Domestic or Dating Violence, Sexual Assault, or Stalking,” asks employers to review their anti-harassment and anti-discrimination policies, as well as compliance training, in light of the most recent developments in equal employment opportunity law.

In its Q&As, the commission says, “Because these federal EEO laws do not prohibit discrimination against applicants or employees who experience domestic or dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking as such, potential employment discrimination and retaliation against these individuals may be overlooked. The examples provided … illustrate how Title VII and the [Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)] may apply to employment situations involving applicants and employees who experience domestic or dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking.” 

The Q&As also reminds employers that:

  • The ADA prohibits different treatment or harassment at work based on an actual or perceived impairment, which could result from domestic or dating violence, sexual assault or stalking.
  • The ADA may require employers to provide reasonable accommodations for a disability or record of disability including, among other things, anxiety or depression stemming from a traumatic incident. 
  • The ADA prohibits disclosure of confidential medical information. 

Read Jackson Lewis’ legal update about the Q&As for more insight.

For more InsideCounsel stories about the EEOC, see:

NLRB, EEOC challenge confidential internal investigations

6th Circuit rules that counseling recommendation violated the ADA

Labor: EEOC educates teen workers about workplace laws

Avoiding ADA liability when dealing with obese workers

Cheat Sheet: What in-house counsel need to know about “beauty bias”

Labor: 6 tips for complying with EEOC guidance when using arrest and conviction records

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Cathleen Flahardy

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