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Hmmm: New EEOC Task Force Aims To Help Small Businesses.

The EEOC has established a small business task force to improve its outreach to small businesses that may not have access to expert legal advice or a staff of experienced HR professionals. The goal: Ensure small-business owners know how to comply with federal anti-discrimination laws.

The new task force has been directed to examine ways to:

•    Use new technology to expand outreach to small businesses

•    Develop technical assistance and training initiatives for small businesses

•    Identify particular approaches that will assist small women- and minority-owned businesses

•    Identify specialized approaches to reach businesses with 50 or fewer employees

•    Enhance the EEOC web site (www.eeoc.gov) to provide better training for small businesses.

The task force seeks public comments on ways the EEOC can better work with small businesses. To weigh in, contact the task force via email atsmallbusiness@eeoc.gov. The mailing address is:

EEOC Small Business Task Force

131 M Street, N.E.

Washington, DC 20507

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Great. EEOC To Launch Small Business Task Force.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the agency charged with enforcing the federal laws that prohibit employment discrimination, recently announced that it has launched an internal task force that will focus on expanding and improving its outreach efforts and technical assistance to small businesses. The task force will strive to find ways in which the EEOC can better collaborate with small business owners to ensure compliance with federal anti-discrimination laws.

Specifically, the task force will develop recommendations on how to:

• Utilize new technology to expand outreach;
• Develop technical assistance and training initiatives;
• Identify specialized approaches to aid small businesses owned by women and minorities;
• Identify specialized approaches for businesses with fewer than 50 employees; and
• Enhance small business information and training on the EEOC’s website.

Many small business owners struggle to find the time and resources to ensure compliance with anti-discrimination laws. They may also mistakenly believe these laws do not apply to their businesses. But, for example, the Equal Pay Act applies to virtually all employers and both Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Americans with Disabilities Act apply to employers who have at least 15 employees.

EEOC to Hold Public Meeting on Pregnancy Discrimination and Caregiver Issues.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has announced that it will hold a public meeting on the subject of pregnancy discrimination and caregiver issues on Wednesday, February 15, 2012 at the Agency’s headquarters, 131 M Street, N.E., Washington, D.C. The meeting is open for public observation.

The meeting will include three panel discussions: 1) Understanding Pregnancy and Caregiver Discrimination in Today’s Workforce; 2) Statutory Framework and Enforcement Efforts; and 3) The Way Forward: Implications for the Future.

This is not the first time the agency has focused on issues relating to caregivers. Although Title VII does not specifically prohibit discrimination against “caregivers” as a protected category, the EEOC has taken the position that, in some circumstances, discrimination against workers with caregiving responsibilities may constitute discrimination based on sex, disability or other characteristics protected by federal discrimination laws. In 2007, the agency issued an enforcement guidance and a related set of questions and answers addressing discrimination against workers with caregiving responsibilities.

Please go here for more information provided by JD Supra.

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