The EEOC Supports its 2017 Performance Report with Enforcement and Litigation Data

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) just followed up its performance report for the 2017 fiscal year with the release of enforcement and litigation data. The data shows retaliation as the number one charge filed by employees, with nearly 50% of all charges in the nation including a retaliation component. Retaliation was followed by race (33.9%), disability (31.9%), and sex discrimination (30.4%) charges. California had the privilege of being the third most charged state in 2017, carrying 6.4% of the nation’s charges, falling behind Florida (8.1%) and Texas (10.5%). Interestingly, California had higher rates of age and national origin discrimination charges compared to the national average. With the high volume of charges being filed in California, it is best to be proactive. If you have questions about what steps you can take before the EEOC comes a-knockin’ or after notice of a charge feel free to contact our friendly employment law attorneys.

Cash or Course Credit? Department of Labor Updates Guidelines for Unpaid Internships

The designation between “employee” and “intern” can be a tricky one for employers. Depending on which you’re hiring, you may need to dole out wages and overtime pay. But new changes rolled out by the Department of Labor (DOL) this January could help clarify the dividing line and give employers more flexibility in crafting new positions. Since 2010, the DOL has touted a six-factor test to determine if workers could be considered employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). However, this month the DOL updated their policies to reflect a more commonly accepted methodology: a “primary beneficiary” test, which, as one might guess, focuses on whether the intern or the employer is the “primary beneficiary” of that relationship. The former six-factor test was a strict one which required that all factors be met for a position to qualify as an internship; if not, these interns would be considered employees, and therefore entitled to minimum wage and overtime pay. This was widely considered to be a hard standard to meet, and it became a problem for many employers as a result. Several courts adopted the primary beneficiary test as an alternative method, with the Second Circuit leading the way in Glatt v. Fox Searchlight Pictures, Inc., 811 F.3d 528 (2d Cir. 2016). The Second Circuit…