This & That Tuesday 14.7.15

by hr4u.
Jul 17 14

Here is the latest issue of “This & That” Tuesday. I hope you find it to be informative and useful.  



You can always check out my website for upcoming speaking engagements that are guaranteed to be of value to business owners or for a list of topics that I can speak on at Chambers, Clubs, Business Associations, etc. More details about the events, topics and Human Resources 4U, in general, can be found on my website.

Upcoming Talks  

July 17, West Covina, "Critical Human Resources Issues for Business Owners" Click here for more information.  


August 6, Sierra Madre, “The Big Seven Employment Trouble Spots” Click here for more information.  


Creative Networks Pays $57,500 to Settle Disability Discrimination Suit

Creative Networks, LLC, will pay $57,500 and furnish other relief to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit filed by the EEOC. Creative Networks provides services to disabled clients and is a Phoenix-based subsidiary of ResCare, Inc.  


In its suit, the EEOC charged that Creative Networks violated federal law by adhering to a rigid policy of denying deaf and hearing-impaired applicants' requests for American Sign Language (ASL) interpreting services costing more than $200 to complete its pre-employment orientation and training. The EEOC accused Creative Networks of discriminating against Rochelle Duran, a deaf applicant, by denying her request for ASL interpreting services necessary to complete the company's mandatory 24-hour pre-employment orientation and training program.  


Instead, the EEOC said, Creative Networks offered Duran a mere $200 towards the cost of 24 hours of ASL interpreting services, even though the company knew that the actual cost would far exceed this arbitrary limit. Creative Networks admitted it had sufficient resources to afford the interpretation services. When Duran was unable to attend the training due to Creative Networks' refusal to provide her with a reasonable accommodation, the company then declined to hire her.  


Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits employers from discriminating against qualified individuals in job application procedures, hiring, and job training because of disabilities, and also mandates that employers provide reasonable accommodations to people with disabilities absent undue hardship.  


For over 20 years, it has been a violation of federal law for employers to refuse reasonable accommodations to qualified applicants and employees with disabilities. One size does not fit all – any policy that imposes an absolute limit on an accommodation risks violating the ADA. Employers must take the time to individually assess the accommodations that qualified applicants and employees with disabilities need and to engage them in a dialogue aimed at enabling them to do the job.  


U-Haul Pays $750,000 to Settle Racial Harassment & Retaliation Suit

U-Haul has agreed to pay $750,000 to eight African-American current and former employees and to provide other relief to settle a race and retaliation discrimination lawsuit filed by the EEOC.  


According to the EEOC's suit against U-Haul International Inc., and U-Haul Company of Tennessee, black employees were subjected to racial slurs and other racially offensive comments by their white supervisor, Shop Manager Patrick Chapman, at U-Haul's Lamar Avenue facility in Memphis. The EEOC's complaint charged that Shop Manager Chapman regularly referred to black employees with the "N" word and other derogatory slurs. The suit further alleged that the company engaged in retaliation by firing one employee when complaints of racial harassment were made to Chapman and Marketing Company President Carol George.  


Besides the $750,000 in monetary relief, the two-year consent decree resolving the case enjoins U-Haul from discriminating against its employees because of their race and from retaliating against workers who assert their rights under Title VII in the future. The decree requires U-Haul Company of Tennessee to maintain an anti-discrimination policy prohibiting race discrimination, racial harassment, and retaliation, and to provide mandatory training to all employees regarding the policy. Under the decree, current Marketing Company President Carol George will receive additional training on race discrimination and on obligations to report race discrimination, racial harassment, and retaliation. Finally, the company will provide written reports to the EEOC regarding any race discrimination or racial harassment complaints by employees.  


Abercrombie & Fitch Settles Two Pending EEOC Religious Discrimination Suits

Clothing retailer Abercrombie & Fitch has agreed to pay $71,000 and to change its policies to settle two separate religious discrimination lawsuits on behalf of Muslim teens wearing hijabs (religious headscarves), the EEOC announced.  This settlement follows last week's ruling finding Abercrombie liable for religious discrimination in one case, and an April 2013 ruling dismissing its undue hardship claims in the other suit.    


In an order issued Sept. 3, the District Judge found Abercrombie liable for religious discrimination when it fired a Muslim teenager from her "impact associate" (stockroom employee) position solely for refusing to remove her hijab.  Abercrombie had claimed that the hijab violated its "Look Policy" and permitting employees to wear it would harm the Abercrombie brand.  Observing that Umme-Hani Khan had been interviewed and hired while wearing the hijab and had worked without incident at Abercrombie's Hollister store at the Hillsdale Shopping Center in San Mateo, Calif., for four months, the court dismissed Abercrombie's argument as "not linked to any credible evidence."   


Similarly, in an April 2013 ruling on the EEOC's lawsuit on behalf of Halla Banafa,  the Judge  also dismissed Abercrombie's undue-hardship claims on summary judgment, citing the "dearth of proof" linking store performance or the Abercrombie brand image to "Look Policy" compliance.  The EEOC lawsuit alleged that the 18-year old Muslim applicant was asked about her headscarf and religion during her interview, then denied a job as an "impact associate" in Abercrombie's Great Mall outlet in Milpitas, Calif., for discriminatory reasons.   


In a third lawsuit not part of this settlement, a district court in Tulsa, Okla., ruled that it was religious discrimination for Abercrombie not to hire a Muslim applicant for a sales position due to her hijab.  


Under the settlement, Abercrombie will create an appeals process for denials of religious accommodation requests, inform applicants during interviews that accommodations to the "Look Policy" may be available, and incorporate headscarf scenarios into all manager training.  The company will be required to make regular reviews of religious accommodation decisions to ensure consistency and provide biannual reports to the EEOC and Khan.  Khan and Banafa will also receive $71,000 under the terms of the settlement.  


According to company information, Abercrombie & Fitch Co. operates retail stores under the brands Abercrombie & Fitch, for men and women over the age of 18; Abercrombie Kids targeting preteens between ages seven and 14; and Hollister Co. for teenagers aged 14 through 18, with more than 1,000 stores in North America.   



  • Small and medium-sized companies — who typically have between 10 to 500 employees and represent 99.7 percent of all employer firms (SBA)
  • Only 23 percent of small businesses provide employment discrimination and/or sexual harassment training (Chubb Group).
  • A company’s legal costs in a wrongful termination lawsuit can run up to $85,000, and that winning plaintiffs receive judgments averaging $500,000. (Tri-Net)



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~Bill Nye, The Science Guy~