Archive for the ‘Employment Law’ Category

Age Discrimination in Employment

Wednesday, May 30th, 2012

So just what is age discrimination in employment? And how old do you have to be to be covered by federal laws on the matter?

What started as an inquisitive question recently turned into a detailed dialog about age discrimination. An acquaintance asked me about age discrimination and whether as an employment attorney if I see this happening.

Starting with the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) of 1967, the ADEA prohibits employment discrimination against persons 40 years of age or older.  Yes, 40! Sounds pretty young, huh, but age discrimination can start at ages younger than we might think.

For example, just last fall, the restaurant chain Texas Roadhouse was sued by the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) was just this type of age discrimination. (Civil Action No. 1:11-cv-11732 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts). Even here in the Houston area, I am asked about similar scenarios like this more often than I should be asked….so, if you are wondering if age is a factor at your workplace, please at least take time to consult with an employment attorney soon and get your questions answered.

Take care, Eric Gruetzner

Employers Who Demand Facebook Passwords

Friday, May 11th, 2012

As the WSJ Law Blog reports, Sens. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., and Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., took up the issue on a federal level. The Senators wrote to the EEOC and U.S. Department of Justice, asking both agencies to investigate the practice of requiring applicants to provide their social-networking-site log-in information during the hiring process.

The letter to the U.S. DOJ sought a legal opinion as to whether the practice violates the Stored Communications Act (SCA) or the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA). The letter citesPietrylo vs. Hillstone Restaurant Group, as support of the proposition that mandating Facebook log-ins violates the SCA.

Stay tuned…we haven’t seen the last of this issue yet, and if you are presently faced with this issue, please contact me today, I would like to help, Eric


EEOC Issues Guidance Regarding The Consideration Of Criminal Records In Employment Decisions

Friday, May 11th, 2012

On April 25, 2012, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued an Enforcement Guidance on employer use of arrest and conviction records in employment decisions under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII).  The Enforcement Guidance clarifies and updates the EEOC’s longstanding policy that a categorical exclusion from employment of individuals with a criminal record raises disparate impact concerns.

The EEOC’s Enforcement Guidance comes at an important time.  In the last 20 years, an increasing number of Americans, including a disproportionate number of persons from protected status groups, have had contact with the criminal justice system.  As a result, more and more job applicants now have criminal records.  Simultaneously, advances in technology have made accessing applicants’ criminal history oftentimes as easy as pressing a button.  Given these developments, it is essential for employers to maintain proper policies for criminal record screening.

Full story continued….