EEOC releases additional information for filing EEO-1 pay information for 2017 and 2018 — reminder, the deadline is September 30, 2019

Employers are reminded that the deadline for filing EE0-1 Component 2 information for 2017 and 2018 is September 30, 2019. As a follow-up to the EEOC’s recent information for doing so, the EEOC has released additional information and resources on its EEO-1 website and on the website of EEOC’s contractor. There, employers can find a FAQ sheet, a sample form, instructions, a fact sheet, sample notification letter and other material.

Reminder, Colorado employers, new ban-the-box law will take effect soon

Colorado employers are reminded that Colorado’s new ban-the-box law will take effect September 1, 2019 for employers with more than 10 employees (then September 1, 20121 for all other employers). Together with the crop of other new Colorado employment laws this year, Colorado employers should:

  • Review and revise their handbooks, workplace policies, and hiring documents accordingly.
  • Review and revise their hiring and promotion practices.
  • Consider undertaking an audit of pay levels as encouraged now by HB19-085.
  • Review wage compliance practices.
  • Train supervisor, manager and HR accordingly.

Want to hear my thoughts on today’s Mueller hearings?

Tune into or stream 850 K0A radio’s Colorado Morning News program tomorrow morning 6:50 AM.

Honored to be listed by Law Week Colorado as Chambers-ranked 2019

Honored to be listed in this week’s publication of Law Week Colorado (7/15/19) as Chambers-ranked again in 2019!

‪Come hear Joan Bechtold and I present our annual update‬!

twitter.com/cbalaborlaw/status/1150421907487043585

Unpaid interns may not enjoy protection under anti-discrimination laws

The Tenth Circuit held that an unpaid intern did not enjoy any protection under Title VII (the nation’s leading anti-discrimination and anti-retaliation law). Congress wrote such laws to protect “employees,” and the Court reasoned an entirely unpaid intern failed to meet a threshold test for proving he or she is an employee because such an intern receives no “remuneration” from the putative employer.

In this case, the plaintiff held an unpaid internship at a hospital as part of her school’s requirement that she complete at least 480 hours of such an internship. She was not paid. She argued that she, nonetheless, received “remuneration” because the internship helped meet her credit requirement and also because many interns found jobs later with the same companies. The Tenth Circuit rejected the idea that either constituted “remuneration.”

Ms. Sacchi has cited no cases, nor could we find any, where only a professional certification and pathway to employment satisfied the threshold-remuneration requirement.

We also decline the invitation to conclude that all interns are protected by Title VII, the ADA, and the ADEA. Aplt. Br. at 24-27. Even if a laudable goal, this is a task for Congress.

Employers are cautioned that a different law, the Fair Labor Standards Act, requires interns to be paid in many circumstances.

Source: Sacchi v. IHC Health Services, Inc., 918 F.3d 1155 (10th Cir. 2019).

Courts are limited to granting relief that will personally benefit plaintiff

The Eleventh Circuit held that courts are limited, in Title VII cases (the federal statute that governs most discrimination and retaliation cases, including related to race, color, religion and sex), to granting relief that personally benefits the plaintiff. In this case, the plaintiff a former employee proved a violation but no damages. Instead, the trial court awarded her an injunction requiring the defendant to clean her personnel file and further to implement a training program. The Eleventh Circuit held the training-program requirement went too far because training would not benefit the plaintiff, a former employee.

In a separate unpublished opinion, the Eleventh Circuit remanded the case for the trial court to determine if the plaintiff was still the “prevailing” party eligible to recover attorney fees, especially since she had apparently rejected a higher settlement offer.

Source: Furcron v. Mail Centers Plus, LLCcase no. 187-12598 (11th Cir. 6/12/19) and

Employers don’t face either-or decision when recovering for civil theft

A recent Colorado Supreme Court decision addressed what is known as the Economic Loss rule. Under the Economic Loss rule, a victim of wrongdoing who has a contract claim for the same wrongdoing is limited to recovering only the economic losses for breach of the contract.

In this case, an employee expected to be involved in a lawsuit with his employer. In order to prepare himself for the lawsuit, he emailed himself thousands of company emails to use as evidence. The problem was, the employer contends, that violated his employment agreement and constituted, among other things, theft from the company. When he eventually sued the company, the company counterclaimed for breach of the employment agreement, civil theft, and other claims. The employee cited the economic loss rule, saying that if what he did was wrong, then it constituted a violation of his employment agreement, and as such, his former employer was entitled to recover only the economic losses flowing from the breach of his employment agreement … not any of the other remedies available under its other claims, including statutory penalties and attorney fees.

The Colorado Supreme Court rejected the employee’s argument and held that the economic loss rule did not prohibit recovery especially under the Colorado civil theft statute. As the Court explained, the legislature had created the civil theft statute in order to impose enhanced penalties, which “strongly suggests that the section was intended to serve primarily a punitive, rather than a remedial purpose. ”

The case is a strong reminder to employees who are considering violating their employer’s rights by emailing themselves information. Employees cannot take it upon themselves to stockpile evidence in anticipated litigation. Likewise, the case is a reminder for employers who become the victims of such misconduct that they have strong legal rights of their own.

Source: Bermel v. BlueRadios, Inc., case no. 17SC246 (5/6/19).