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EEOC to focus on hiring barriers, pregnancy bias, ADA and wellness in 2015: Report

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Hiring barriers, pregnancy discrimination, required accommodations to the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the question of voluntary participation in wellness programs will be among significant developments related to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in 2015, a law firm analysis says.

In its “Annual Report on EEOC Developments — Fiscal Year 2014,” San Francisco-based Littler Mendelson P.C. says the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Mach Mining L.L.C. v. EEOC, in which it will decide on whether and to what extent a court may enforce the EEOC’s duty to resolve discrimination claims before filing suit, also will be important.

The report also states the EEOC “fell dramatically short” in its systemic investigations initiative in fiscal year 2014 compared with 2013, completing 260 investigations in 2014 compared with 300 in 2013.

But the risks of a “reasonable cause” finding of discrimination against employers increased when they were faced with a systemic investigation, according to the report.

The agency issued reasonable cause determinations in 118 of the 260 systemic investigations in fiscal year 2014, or 45% of the time, compared with 106 reasonable cause determinations based on 300 systemic investigators in fiscal year 2013, or 35% of the time, the report says.