Hot Alerts – August 1, 2016
NEW HOT ALERTS
Updated August 1, 2016
FREQUENTLY UPDATED – CHECK BACK OFTEN
The ADA enforcing agencies and other ADA professional members of the faculty at our next ADA National Conference will be discussing these hot alerts, trending ADA issues as well as and your questions.
Fall 2016 National ADA Conference in San Diego, CA
“With You, From the Start”
Celebrating the Association’s 25th Anniversary of Its First ADA Conference
Co-sponsored by the City of San Diego for the Eleventh Year
Conference Early Bird Registration ends Friday, August 12, 2016
Conference Registration ends Tuesday, September 30, 2016
The Fall 2016 National Conference Scheduled Faculty includes:
10 ADA attorneys, 3 ADA architects, 9 ADA Coordinators and
Section 504 Compliance Officers, ADA Web Designer, and ADA Medical Professionals
Settlements and other litigation are on the rise.
Harassment and retaliation issues are taking center stage. Settlements from EEOC and DOJ are stressing the requirement that jurisdictions need, by regulation, an “ADA Coordinator” and ADA training.
How will you fare in any type of ADA investigation?
Complete Program, Faculty, and Registration Information Available on our Web Site.
NEW HOT ALERTS – August 1, 2016
DOJ ADA SETTLEMENT WITH UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE HEALTH SCIENCES CENTER (UTHSC)
This matter is based upon a complaint filed with the Educational Opportunities Section of the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice that alleged that UTHSC discriminated against an individual with a disability in violation of Title II of the ADA. Specifically, the Complainant alleged that UTHSC failed to make necessary reasonable modifications to its policies, practices, and procedures when it suddenly placed her on a mandatory medical leave of absence from UTHSC because of her mental health condition without first considering options for her continued enrollment. The Complainant further alleged that certain faculty members and administrators retaliated against her for complaining about being discriminated against on the basis of disability.
ADA CASE FILINGS WAY UP
The number of lawsuits filed in federal court is already at 3,435, up 63% from last year’s mid-year number of 2,114. If the pace continues, the 2016 total may top 7,000. To put the numbers into perspective, more lawsuits were filed in the past six months than were filed in all of 2013 when there were a mere 2,722 lawsuits. The three states with most lawsuits continue to be California, Florida, and New York, but there is a shake-up in the fourth position – Arizona.
WEBSITES AND THE DOJ
DOJ announced 7/28/2016 an extension to October 7, 2016 for the public to submit comments on the SANPRM for state and local government websites.
In May the DOJ issued a SANPRM (Supplemental Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking), rather than the proposed regulation for state and local government websites under Title II of the ADA.
In the SANPRM the DOJ seeks public input on well over 100 of tentative positions that it may take in a proposed regulation, including input on the costs and benefits of such a proposed rule. The SANPRM imposed an August 8, 2016 deadline for submission of public comments.
The DOJ extended the comment period by 60 days to October 7, 2016 after receiving three comments requesting extensions.
Important Prior Hot Alerts
EEOC RELEASES FISCAL YEAR 2015 ENFORCEMENT AND LITIGATION DATA
Retaliation, Harassment, and Disability Charges Increase
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released detailed breakdowns of the 89,385 charges of workplace discrimination that the agency received in fiscal year 2015. Retaliation charges increased by nearly 5 percent and continue to be the leading concern raised by workers across the country. Disability charges increased by 6 percent from last year.
EEOC resolved 92,641 (includes open charges filed in prior FYs) charges in fiscal year 2015, and secured more than $525 million for victims of discrimination voluntary resolutions and litigation. (Average not litigated case $21,206 plus associated entities internal expenses prior to settlement).
The year-end data shows that retaliation again was the most frequently filed charge. The agency is currently seeking public input on its proposed update of enforcement guidance addressing retaliation (SEE HOT ALERT BELOW) and related issues as part of its commitment to inform the public about the Commission’s interpretation of the law and promote voluntary compliance. Preserving access to the legal system, which includes retaliatory actions, is a national priority for EEOC.
The charge numbers show the following breakdowns by bases alleged: Retaliation: 44.5%; Disability: (30.2%); and GINA Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act: 0.3%.
EEOC PROPOSES NEW GUIDANCE ON RETALIATION
(To be covered in more detail by EEOC at the Association’s Fall 2016 National Conference)
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced recently that it seeking public input on proposed enforcement guidance addressing retaliation and related issues under federal employment discrimination laws. The Commission’s enforcement guidance documents inform the public about the Commission’s interpretation of the law and promote voluntary compliance. The Commission’s last guidance update on the subject of retaliation was issued in 1998. Since that time the Supreme Court and lower courts have issued numerous significant rulings regarding retaliation under employment discrimination laws.
All of the laws EEOC enforces make it illegal to fire, demote, harass, or otherwise “retaliate” against applicants or employees because they complained to their employer about discrimination on the job, filed a charge of discrimination with EEOC, participated in an employment discrimination proceeding (such as an investigation or lawsuit), or engaged in any other “protected activity” under employment discrimination laws.
The percentage of retaliation charges has roughly doubled since 1998, making retaliation the most frequently alleged type of violation raised with EEOC. Nearly 43 percent of all private sector charges filed in fiscal year 2014 included retaliation claims. In the federal sector, retaliation has been the most frequently alleged basis since 2008, and retaliation violations comprised 53 percent of all violations found in public sector in fiscal year 2015.