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2020 Employment Law Highlights

2020 was defined by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Black Lives Matter Movement, and political upheaval surrounding the 2020 elections. It's difficult to imagine a more tumultuous and uncertain time for employers and employees. At EPS, we were moved by the killing of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and other Black Americans to examine our priorities in creating more just organizations and communities and determined that in moving forward we would continue our work with clients around issues of diversity, equity, inclusion, and bias; deepen our content offerings to reflect these priorities; and use our platform to advocate for systemic change.   

In the fall, the Trump administration issued an Executive Order on Combating Race and Sex Stereotyping. While a clarification of the order indicated that "it does not prohibit workplace training about non-discrimination and equal opportunity," we reiterated our commitment to providing training and coaching that includes space for conversation and reflection on combating racism and systemic disadvantage, and to build respectful, diverse, equitable, and inclusive organizations. 

Our consultants provided essential guidance on Navigating the Politicization of Black Lives Matter in the Workplace and Avoiding Leadership Traps During a Global Pandemic. We also continued our on-going dialogue with respect to inclusion, managing bias, the balancing act of diversity hiring, and how organizational culture creates compliance.  

As we approach our 25th year in working with organizations to build cultures of respect, we continue to grow our core investigation, training, and consulting/expert services. We delivered guidance on navigating both privilege during an investigation and the interactive process when accommodating employees with disabilities.  

Lastly, our work in higher education continued with certifications for several members of our Title IX investigations team. While the U.S. Department of Education released its Final Title IX Rule, we provided guidance on impartial investigations and in selecting an outside investigator for Title IX investigations.    

We welcome your input on issues you'd like to see addressed in an EPS white paper or podcast in 2021. Please email us your ideas and feedback, we love to hear from you.