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Weekend Roundup: Ford’s Harassment Lawsuit, Visa Vetting, and the EEOC

The past week in HR has been a busy one. Across the Gulf Coast, HR managers are preparing their company plans for Hurricane Harvey. The storm is set to make landfall on Saturday, closing down many businesses for the weekend. The week also brought news on Ford’s racial and sexual harassment lawsuit, an update on President Trump’s visa vetting, and a review of the EEOC’s wellness rules.


Ford Settles Race and Sexual Harassment Lawsuit for $10 Million

$10 million might be pocket change for Ford Motor Company, but a recent settlement highlights the need for employers to reevaluate their anti-harassment policies. The settlement was a result of a suit brought on by the EEOC. The terms included more than the hefty fine: Ford must continue to disseminate its anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policies, report to the EEOC about formal employee complaints on the matter, and monitor its workforce for issues of alleged sexual or racial harassment.


‘Extreme Vetting’ Visa Questions May Become Permanent for Some

The Trump administration released a proposal that would make “extreme vetting” a permanent fixture in the questionnaires that certain visa applicants, including those seeking employment-based visas, must complete. The questions pertain to travel history, social media account information, and biographical information. The form was previously approved on a temporary basis, and the State Department is accepting comments from the public until October 2, 2017.


Federal Judge Orders Review of EEOC Wellness Rules

A federal court told the EEOC to revisit their rules regarding the 30-percent cap on wellness-related incentives for employees. The suit, brought by AARP, challenged the law by stating that it allows employers to access private employee health information and use the data to discriminate. Previously, a wellness program was considered voluntary by the EEOC if the cost of the incentive (or penalty) was not higher than 30 percent of the employee’s health plan. The rule was not dissolved entirely, so stay on the lookout for further updates.


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