Legal

Apparently Labor Rights of Strikers Top Non-harassment Rights of Workers

It's hands off when the comments are made by striking workers and are directed at a group of replacements crossing said picket line.

There exists only one workplace environment in which a white employee can keep his job after yelling the following at a group of African-American employees. “Hey, did you bring enough KFC for everyone?” “Go back to Africa, you bunch of f***ing losers.” “Hey anybody smell that? I smell fried chicken and watermelon.” A gold star for you if you answered…

Would You Let Your Employer Microchip You?

Microchips are for pets, not employees. Let’s keep it that way.

Our family dog, Loula, is microchipped. Our vet offered it to us as a service when Loula first joined our family. It provides some peace of mind in the sad event that Loula goes missing and ends up in a shelter or vet office. They would be able to read the rice-grain-sized RFID chip embedded in her leg, discover that…

Employee Wrongfully Terminated for Online Rant

While an employee’s social media post might be offensive to a manager or the employer that does not mean it is unprotected.

Hernan Perez was a server for Pier Sixty LLC, a catering company, for 13 years. During a tense union organizing drive and following what Perez viewed as disrespectful treatment, Perez posted a message on his personal Facebook page calling his supervisor a “NASTY MOTHER F—ER” and “a LOSER,” saying “f— his mother and his entire f—ing family,” and then concluding…

Is Joint Employment the Issue That Unites Our Divided Government?

It's an issue that could build a peace bridge over the streets and through the halls of Washington, D.C.

I cannot recall a time when our government has been more divided across ideological and party lines. (I don’t count the early 1860s, because that’s not a time a can remember.) Thankfully, an issue has come along to build a peace bridge over the streets and through the halls of Washington, D.C. This issue — joint employment, via the Save Local…

The Line Blurs: Discrimination and Stereotyping

Employers are best advised to maintain a zero-tolerance policy regarding discrimination based on gender stereotyping or sexual orientation.

In Christiansen v. Omnicom Group Inc., the Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit reaffirmed its decisions holding that Title VII’s prohibition on sex discrimination does not reach discrimination or harassment based on sexual orientation. The 2nd Circuit, however, reversed the decision of the trial court granting the employer’s motion to dismiss with regard to Christiansen’s claim for gender stereotyping….

Treat Harassment by Non-employees no Differently Than Harassment by Employees

An employer’s obligations to an employee harassed by a non-employee are exactly the same as if the alleged perpetrator was an employee

Consider the following lawsuit the EEOC filed against a California senior-care provider: The civil rights agency found that Rashon Sturdivant, an experienced care provider, faced daily harassment, including racially offensive remarks about “brown sugar” and “black butts,” requests to perform sexual acts, and lewd comments about her body. The client also masturbated in front of her and groped her when she performed…

Court: Religious Accommodation Request Isn’t Protected Activity

Still, employers should not view this lone district court case as a mandate empowering them to deny accommodation requests free from risk.

A Minnesota federal court has ruled that an employee’s request for a religious accommodation did not qualify as protected activity to support the employee’s retaliation claim. EEOC v. North Memorial Health Care (D. Minn. 7/6/17) involves a hospital that withdrew a conditional job offer to a nurse after she disclosed that she was a Seventh-day Adventist and could not work Friday nights because…

Medical Pot, Disability Bias and the Massachusetts Supreme Court

What does the Barbuto case mean from a practical standpoint? It exhibits the first crack in the hard line against employees’ use of medical marijuana.

In what is believed to be the first decision of its kind, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court has allowed an employee to pursue a disability discrimination claim based on the use of medical marijuana. Christine Barbuto suffered from Crohn’s disease and legally used medically prescribed marijuana in the evening to manage her symptoms. She disclosed her marijuana use to Advantage…

A Reminder That Any Employee Can Sue You at Any Time

Rule of thumb: Before you terminate, make sure that you are imposing similar punishment for similar misconduct to all employees.

Today’s lesson may seem obvious, but it is one worth repeating: any employee, no matter the on-the-job misconduct, can sue you. Filing a lawsuit is one thing, succeeding on that lawsuit is an entirely different animal. Case in point: Robinson v. Klosterman Baking Co.(S.D. Ohio 7/5/17). Michael Robinson was not what one would call one of Klosterman Baking’s exemplary employees. Klosterman…

Disabilities Offer a Challenge for Job Seekers and the Workplace

All employees deserve access to tools to succeed at work.

After spending 75 days in the hospital, 12 of which were in a coma, and then several months after that in a wheelchair, Meredith Morgan faced another daunting challenge — finding a job. “I know how hard it can be to find a job for just about anyone, but it’s extremely hard to find one with a disability,” said Morgan….