In 2016, the EEOC issued regulations to make sure employer wellness programs were also in harmony with the American With Disabilities Act and (ADA), and with Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA). These new regulations are primarily aimed at making sure any employer wellness program is voluntary, reasonably designed to be inclusive of all employees, and keeps all employee medical information confidential.
While the new administration has announced its intentions to cut regulations back as much as possible, one area where it seems likely to encourage more regulation and scrutiny is immigration. President Trump’s exact immigration agenda is still taking shape. However, it seems likely that efforts will be made to tighten H1-B regulations and spend more time on I-9 compliance enforcement.
In November 2016 the EEOC issued its new Enforcement Guidance on National Origin discrimination. This updated the organization’s last enforcement guidance on this topic issued in 2002. Over the past 15 years national origin discrimination complaints have increased by more than 17%. The purpose of the enforcement guidance is to allow the public to understand the EEOC’s interpretation of the law and to give employers tips to avoid engaging in discrimination.
How to Avoid Blind Spots and Protect Your Business and Employees
Caring, common sense and simply following the “Golden Rule” can go a long way towards creating a business environment that ensures equal treatment for all and an absence of discrimination and harassment. But business owners, like all of us, have blind spots that must be recognized and looked for to determine whether exposures that could unknowingly lead to EEOC inquiry or investigation are present in their workplace.
As you may have heard, on Friday January 20, 2017, President Trump signed an executive order which was essentially a broad policy statement on his intent to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA). While the order directs agencies with authority over the law to grant waivers, exemptions, and implement delays to relieve states and individuals impacted by the law, the order did not address businesses, so there seems to be no immediate impact on employers’ current obligations under the law.