October 2015 EEOC Compliance Matters You Don’t want To Miss

compliance management systems

One challenge of compliance is when you are a thriving or growing business and the proliferation of documents and records become unwieldy. Accomplishing regulatory compliance consistency is not easy when your company departments think like individual fiefdoms. Many companies systems support this culture by relying on hard-copy filing and technology that ensures information is not shared across an organization. Productivity and accountability suffers from lost, inaccurate and incomplete records.

Modern businesses realize effective compliance is thorough and agile, accounting for every detail and adjusting quickly to changes. They understand compliance can be more than maintaining standards and enforcing policies and procedures. Modern businesses use compliance as a competitive advantage, a way to show efficiency with people and process to customers or stakeholders. Effectively managing compliance reduces their internal operating costs. Here are some current issues from Human Capital management to watch and manage:

“Although EEOC has made great strides in educating employers and the public about disability discrimination, some employers still judge employees based on a disability rather than on their proven ability to do a job,” said Lynette A. Barnes, regional attorney for EEOC’s Charlotte District. “EEOC will continue to fight for the rights of people victimized by such prejudices.”


1.) NEW HIRES: The Hoeganaes Corporation offered an applicant a maintenance mechanic position at its Gallatin, Tenn. location, but did not follow through with the offer once it learned he took prescription drugs for an anxiety disorder and high blood pressure, after a pre-employment physical examination. Now, the Hoeganaes Corporation will pay $47,500 and furnish other significant equitable relief to resolve a lawsuit for disability discrimination filed by the EEOC.

2.) ATTENDANCE: An advanced worldwide packing solutions company, Pactiv, LLC, did not allow intermittent leave or an extension of leave as a reasonable accommodation for employees with disabilities, but instead disciplined and discharged them according to its nationwide policies to issue attendance points for medical-related absences. Now, Pactiv will pay $1,700,000 to conciliate the disability discrimination charge filed with the EEOC.

3.) MEDICAL DISCHARGE: The Director of nursing at Correct Care Solutions, LLC. required Cody who suffers seizures to provide medical clearance in order to continue working for the company. Later the same day, Cody provided a note from her treating physician clearing her to return to work with certain restrictions related to her disability. Cody’s medical restrictions did not affect her ability to perform her job duties. However, Correct Care did not allow Cody to return to work. EEOC said that Correct Care placed Cody on unpaid medical leave and ultimately discharged her on Jan. 30, 2013, because of her disability. EEOC now seeks back pay, compensatory damages and punitive damages as well as injunctive relief.

4.) PREGNANCY DISCHARGE: D&S Shipley Donuts forced Brooke S. Foley to take unpaid leave after Shipley’s owner/general manager received information that Foley might be pregnant. Shipley’s would not allow Foley to continue working unless she provided a doctor’s release indicating that her pregnancy was not “high-risk.” The lawsuit further alleged that when Foley failed to provide such a release, and after she and her mother complained that Shipley’s could not require her to do so, she was fired. Now, the franchise, will pay $45,000 and furnish other relief to settle a pregnancy discrimination lawsuit filed by the EEOC.

5.) SEX DISCRIMINATION:  Workplace Staffing Solutions, L.L.C., a Louisiana company violated federal law by failing to hire at least 34 qualified women for temporary residential trashcan collector (RTCC) positions in Harrison County, Miss., because of their sex, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit. A qualified female, responding to an advertisement, contacted Workplace Staffing and attempted to apply for an open temporary position as an RTCC in Harrison County. She was told that the position was a “male only” job, and was prevented from applying. Now, the suit seeks monetary damages, including back pay, compensatory and punitive damages.

Modern businesses use compliance as a competitive advantage, a way to show efficiency with people and process to customers or stakeholders and to reduce their internal operating costs. You can avoid these compliance mistakes by conducting EEOC and ADA training at each of your nationwide locations on a quarterly schedule. More frequent, brief refreshers with a short quiz increases the likelihood of comprehension and retention of your most critical concepts. Easy affordable access to legal council with every and any question provides a safe and transparent workplace environment. Automating and tracking the training delivered and received safeguards your company from risk.


By: Kristen Goodell, M.Ed, Co-Owner
Kristen converts inefficient compliance management systems and siloed technology into a dynamic workflow with end to end client support: RFP, selection, implementation, and adoption. Through our implementation process we reveal areas of hidden risk and produce new best practices for your compliance management team.

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