Here are a few links to some interesting stories from the
last week. There are a couple of articles about interesting developments in the
world of pension funds, as well as analysis of a recent Supreme Court oral
argument and new EEOC strategy documents.
On the EEOC front, EEO Legal Solutions has a great post
about the EEOC’s new Fiscal Year 2012 Performance and Accountability Report.
The author looks at how while “cause determinations” (the number of times the
EEOC finds discrimination in the workplace) used to be the metric by which the
Commission determined success, the new PAR instead touts the amount of money collected
by the EEOC as the new measure of success. The author goes into great detail
analyzing why monetary collections may be an especially poor indicator of
success in eliminating workplace discrimination, and I won’t try to summarize
his argument here. In sum, the post is worth reading for anyone with an
interest in how the EEOC functions and how the agency may attempt to resolve
cases going forward. Stay tuned to links to the next parts in the series later
The Employer Handbook provides a summary of oral argument in
a recent Supreme Court case that centers around the definition of a “supervisor”.
In the case, the employee claiming harassment lost at the circuit court level
because he could not prove employer liability, a factor that centers around
whether the discrimination was carried out by supervisors or coworkers. In instances
of coworker harassment an employee needs to prove the employer was negligent in
discovering or remedying the harassment in order to have a viable claim. The
Seventh Circuit held that under Title VII a supervisor has to be able to do
more than direct and oversee the employee’s daily work- the supervisor must be
able to take employment action (hiring, firing etc.). The Supreme Court held
oral argument, with it looking like the conservative majority wants to adopt
the Seventh Circuit’s distinction.
Finally, here are a couple links to some interesting pension
fund developments. In the first case, the Louisiana Police Employees Retirement
System has sued Simon Property Group, arguing that the Group should have put
the issue of executive compensation to a shareholder vote. The compensation at
issue is a retention award that does not require the Group to meet any
performance standards to trigger payment (so the executive will be paid
regardless of how well he does on the job). The Retirement System is arguing that
the change to an incentive-less system is so significant that it ought to have
been put to a vote. The second looks at how debt in Puerto Rico has led state
officials to sell off the main airport in an attempt to keep the territory’s
pension fund afloat. The main fund is only 6% funded, and could run out of
money as soon as 2014. The territory is racked by tax noncompliance, among
other economic ills, and the future health of the retirement system is
currently very much in doubt.