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Legal Update: EEOC Trends: When the Commission Sues, They tip their Hand


It’s interesting to watch the EEOC litigate cases.  While a case’s facts may not directly relate to your company, the Commission’s arguments reveal their opinions about the law, and those opinions may impact the cost of resolving your complaints.


Take EEOC v. United Airlines, for example, a recent case from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.  (Seyfarth Shaw summary)  Here, the EEOC challenged United’s handling of job transferring as a reasonable accommodation.  In short, United allowed for job transferring as an accommodation, but said that the transferee would compete against other applicants for the open position.  The EEOC argued that the person seeking an accommodation should be given preferential treatment as long as they were minimally qualified for the position.  Interestingly, the EEOC made this argument in the face of a previous Seventh Circuit ruling that directly contradicted their position.  Said another way- the Commission had an uphill legal battle, but chose to continue the fight. While United carried the day, we can only assume that the EEOC will continue to make their preferential treatment argument (they do have a couple of favorable opinions out there). 

So what does this mean for your flexible workforce?  If we read the United opinion with the EEOC’s guidance about the ADA and staffing, we can project that the Commission will continue to scrutinize a company’s ADA accommodation efforts regardless of whether the request comes from their worker or a vendor’s employee.

If you want to dig further into managing this liability, join us for a lunchtime webinar on April 12, 2012.   

Adam Hatcher


Webinar: You, Your Contract Workforce and the ADA

Date: April 12th, 2012

Time: 11:00AM-11:30AM

About the Speaker: Adam Hatcher is the General Counsel of MAU Workforce Solutions. Hatcher graduated from University of Virginia and the Wake Forest School of Law, working as a prosecutor and in private practice before joining MAU.  He is a member of the Association of Corporate Council and the Society for Human Resource Management, and MAU is a member of the American Staffing Association.  Speaker: Adam Hatcher, MAU General Counsel






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