By Christopher DeGroff, Gerald L. Maatman, Jr., and Lily M. Strumwasser

“Here we go again.” It is the collective groan heard from employers across the country as they braced for the annual EEOC’s fiscal-year-end filing campaign. With 48 EEOC-initiated lawsuits filed in just the last 30 days, employers were understandably concerned. But when the EEOC’s 2013 fiscal year closed yesterday with a total of 134 lawsuits filed, and the dust settled, we saw a picture emerge about how the EEOC targeted employers in its enforcement efforts this year, and gain insight into what’s to come.

A Last Minute Rush – Again

The EEOC traditionally launches large salvos of federal court complaints across the country in the waning weeks of its fiscal year (ending September 30th). In FY 2011, the EEOC filed an astonishing 175 lawsuits in the last eight weeks of its 2011 fiscal year alone. As we reported here last year, the EEOC again revved its engine in August and September of 2012 and filed 67 of its 122 lawsuits. FY 2013 was no different, with 48 of its 134 filed in the last two months of the year – 11 today alone. Consider the graph below, capturing the month-to-month filing statistics for FY 2013.

EEOC Cases Filed By Month – FY 2013


Continue Reading Time’s Up, Pencils Down: EEOC Final Fiscal Year End Filing Totals Provide Surprises and Insight

By: Clark Smith

The EEOC is now going after companies for violating the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act.  Passed in 2008, GINA bars employers from requesting, requiring, or even purchasing genetic information from a potential or present employee, and from making employment decisions based on the genetic information.

What does genetic information mean?  The EEOC reads the term broadly to include genetic testing about not only employees or applicants, but also about their families.  The term includes information about prior or present diseases as well.  Even participation in clinical research falls within the meaning.  Finally, a family member includes relatives up to the 4th degree, as well as spouses and dependents (adoptive or otherwise).  Importantly, however, genetic information does not include information about a person’s sex, age, race, or ethnicity.

In May, the EEOC filed its first ever GINA enforcement action against Tulsa’s Fabricut, Inc., a major fabrics manufacturer.  The Commission claimed that Fabricut committed genetic discrimination against a potential hire when it asked for her family medical history in its post-offer medical examination.
Continue Reading GINA: Don’t Ask About Mom!