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Welcome to the Knowledge Center!

Take a few minutes to explore one of the featured topics below, or check out one of our many HR toolkits, designed with the higher ed workplace in mind. We will continue to add and expand toolkits, so stop by often to see what’s new. And if you have an idea for a toolkit or a resource to recommend, send us an e-mail at

The Knowledge Center is for CUPA-HR members only. If you’re not a member, stop by the Membership section of our website to learn more about the many benefits of membership.


EEOC’s Pregnancy Discrimination Guidelines

On July 14, the EEOC issued new guidelines on pregnancy discrimination, clarifying that pregnant workers should be provided the same protections and benefits, such as reasonable accommodations, as would other workers with a disability under the ADA. The new guidelines specify that a pregnant worker is entitled to receive reasonable accommodations like light-duty work (even if she hasn’t been injured on the job) and state that employers that provide health insurance that excludes coverage for prescription contraceptives are in violation of Title VII.

Additionally, the guidance calls for mothers and fathers to have equal parental leaves, although the guidelines do suggest giving mothers additional “childbirth” leave to recover physically. Both mothers and fathers qualify for unpaid leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act if they’ve worked full-time for at least one year for a large company. Learn more about the new guidelines in the following resources:

EEOC Issues Guidelines on Pregnancy Discrimination

A Cheat Sheet on EEOC’s Extensive Pregnancy Guidelines

EEOC Issues Demanding New Pregnancy Discrimination Guidance

$185M Award Based on Pregnancy Discrimination

Don’t Be Tripped Up by Light Duty Obligations Under FMLA and ADA

Pregnancy Discrimination Guidance From EEOC


Redefining Employer (Joint Employment)

On July 29, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB)’s general counsel made it clear that he plans to change the joint employer standard by prosecuting complaints against corporate franchise entities before administrative law judges related to employment decisions made by those entities’ franchisees. This is a significant reversal of long-established NLRA precedent, and it has major implications for franchisees and franchisors. In addition, other joint employment relationships outside of franchise model operations may be impacted, such as those between contractor and subcontractor and business and vendor. It started with multiple complaints filed against McDonald’s USA and we expect to see more. We also expect the cases will eventually be brought before the NLRB itself.


The McDonald’s Complaint

Congress Scrutinizes NLRB Expansion of the Joint Employer Standard

U.S. Chamber’s Letter to Congress Regarding Joint Employer Standard

Littler Mendelson Brief

Multiple/Joint Employment Toolkit

CUPA-HR Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Journey

It is especially critical in today’s global society to create an environment that leverages diversity and people’s unique talents. This is particularly important on college campuses, where innovation, creativity and flexibility are drivers of student success. With DEI as one of CUPA-HR’s strategic priorities, the association’s diversity, equity and inclusion committee has been working with association staff to provide ongoing DEI resources, services and professional development to those working in higher ed.

The recently published DEI booklet Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: Making a Difference reports on our progress to date in diversifying the CUPA-HR membership, ensuring leadership pathways to tap this diverse membership, and offering professional development in DEI practices. The booklet contains the CUPA-HR roadmap for building DEI competency, a snapshot of the findings from the association’s 2014 climate survey on diversity in the higher ed workplace, and highlights from the many resources and tools that have been vetted and evaluated by higher ed professionals.


Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Toolkit

CUPA-HR Articles and Case Studies

Workplace Ethics in 2015

As we start a new year with a fresh look at expectations and opportunities, now is also a good time to reflect on mistakes of the past year and how we can help our institutions “get it right” in 2015. Collectively, higher ed saw scandals in athletics programs, reports of academic and research dishonesty, resignations due to financial malfeasance and resume padding, and shortcomings in federal guidelines compliance. Some of these situations resulted from lack of due diligence on the part of the institution and some resulted from personal missteps. But an underlying issue is ethics — both institutional and personal.

As a genre in which the highest standards for quality, learning and conduct should be foundational, a renewed emphasis on your institution’s ethics policy and expectations for professional and ethical behavior on campus may be in order. If your school does not have a formal ethics policy, now is the time to elevate the conversation; or, if you do have a policy, seize the beginning of the new year to reaffirm ethical standards to your employees.


Ethics Toolkit

CUPA-HR’s Code of Professional Ethics

What Is Good and What Is Right: Ethics Training for Higher Education Institutions – On-Demand CUPA-HR Webinar

CUPA-HR Workplace Blog on Ethics