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its employees and then used the infor- mation to take adverse actions against them. Dura Automotive was ordered to pay $750,000 to 27 employees and was precluded from conducting ran- dom screens for prescribed drugs and taking action against employees who take prescribed medications without an individualized assessment. According to Cole, systemic

Criminal checks is a hot-button issue for EEOC systemic charges.

• Whether a similar fraud hap- pened before with no changes in business policy. For small and midsize metalcast-

ers, investing in top-tier cybersecurity software or contracting with a cyberse- curity company may be too expensive. But according to Nagle, metalcasting businesses can go a long way to protect themselves from becoming the victims of fraudulent activity simply through awareness, good policies and practices, and training. “First, you need to understand the

terms of the relationship with your bank,” he said. “And if that bank has additional training on the issue, take advantage of it. It’s good for your employees to be aware of various tactics, and if a problem arises, you can show you made reasonable steps to protect yourself.” Nagle also recommended having a

policy for how you handle your online accounts. And if your bank offers an upgrade for additional account moni- toring, consider it. “Many times, the expectation of

your bank is that you are a business and you should have some level of financial sophistication,” Nagle said. “You have some burden or duty to train your people.”

Equal Employment Opportunity Cases

Unlike social media and cyber-

security, metalcasters have been addressing issues regarding equal employment opportunities since the

32 | MODERN CASTING April 2013

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) was formed in 1964. However, law can be fluid, and John Cole, attorney for Nexsen/Pruet, discussed the legal climate regarding EEOC and offered several recent cases at the AFS Labor Relations & Human Resources Conference in February. According to Cole, EEOC charges

increased in fiscal year 2012; around 100,000 charges were filed. Te top five issues from these charges are discharge, terms and conditions of employment, harassment, discipline and reasonable accommodation. Cole said the EEOC began a task force in 2006 on systemic charges, referring to the investigation of issues that are spread throughout a company, and these lawsuits are on the rise. Twelve new systemic lawsuits (i.e., class actions) were filed in fiscal year 2012, and 62 cases were on the active docket at the end of the year. Cole expects that the large volume of systemic charges currently in inves- tigation means systemic lawsuits can be expected to continually increase. EEOC has increased its resources to handle systemic investigations and law- suits, for example, creating a systemic portal, watchlist tool, advanced systemic training and litigation advisory teams. Metalcasters who have a policy of

conducting drug screenings or other medical examinations for various rea- sons will want to pay attention to the details of EEOC v. Dura Automotive. Te commission alleged the manufac- turer of driver control systems con- ducted illegal medical examinations of

investigations start with an individual charge that includes class-like allega- tions or a commissioner’s charge that is requested from the district office and may stem from community pressure. Case history has shown that during systemic investigations, businesses do not have an opportunity for media- tion before the investigation and the EEOC will refuse to drop the investi- gation, even after the employer settles with the charging party. Businesses under investigation can expect broad information requests and subpoenas with little time to oppose them. If your business is charged with an individual allegation, Cole identified a few red flags that your company might soon be facing systemic charges: • The individual charge contains a class-like allegation.

• Multiple charges with similar alle- gations have been filed in a short period of time.

• The individual charge is filed by a former HR employee.

• EEOC refuses to mediate. To avoid systemic charges, met-

alcasting businesses should identify any potential areas of litigation. For instance, if your casting facility has heard several complaints or charges regarding the class of individual who is hired in the grinding room or who is given criminal or credit checks in the pre-employment process, those areas should be examined closely and addressed immediately if necessary. Audits of hiring, pay practices, evalu- ations and glass wall issues also can bring to light potential issues. Cole said hot-button issues for sys-

temic charges include criminal checks, compensation/promotion decisions, policies affecting disabled employ- ees and applicants, policies affecting religious practices, tests, pregnancy and child care.

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