Legal

Jeff Sessions Reverses Civil Rights Law’s Transgender Protection

Attorney General Jeff Sessions declared that the federal civil rights law does not protect transgender people from workplace discrimination.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions stated on Oct. 5 that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 will not protect transgender people from being discriminated against in the workplace. This move reverses an Obama administration policy issued three years ago. Sessions’ memo said that the anti-discrimination law does not apply to people who are transgender or are discriminated against based upon their…

Jemele Hill Story Underscores Employees’ Lack of Understanding About Personal Social Media and Work

Many employees have not yet realized that every negative or offensive statement could lead to discipline or termination.

Social media has irreparably torn down the wall that has historically separated one’s work life from one’s personal life. Earlier this week, ESPN personality Jemele Hill learned this lesson the hard way. The network suspended Ms. Hill for violating its social media policy. Her tweets called on fans to boycott the Dallas Cowboys if its owner, Jerry Jones, disciplines players…

‘Sharp’ Attacks on Jimmy John’s Leads to the Ax

While protected speech appears to have significant protection in this era of social media, this case indicates it is not without limits. 

Six employees of MikLin Enterprises Inc., a franchisor of 10 Jimmy John’s sub sandwich locations in Minneapolis-St. Paul, were terminated for their involvement in the creation and dissemination of posters in or near store locations during a unionizing campaign. The posters contained side-by-side images of Jimmy John’s sandwiches stating “Your Sandwich Made By A Healthy Jimmy John’s Worker” and “Your…

Employer Can’t Compel Employee to Arbitrate Claim

Courts place significant restrictions on the enforceability of arbitration agreements so they do not effectively prohibit the employee from enforcing their rights.

Ritarose Capili was a sales associate at a Finish Line store in California. When she was hired in August 2013, she was required to sign an agreement that required her to arbitrate employment-related disputes with Finish Line. In mid-2014, after she was diagnosed with diabetes and anxiety that was exacerbated by sleeping issues that occurred during her pregnancy, Capili requested…

Trump Flip-Flops on LGBTQ Workplace Discrimination

Are you tired of hearing me rant about this issue? I’m going to keep doing it until this country wakes up and comes to its senses.

“As your president, I will do everything in my power to protect our LGBTQ citizens. … ” Those were the words of then nominee Donald J. Trump at least year’s Republican Convention. What’s missing from those words? “ … Unless you’re at work. Then you’re screwed.” Yesterday, Trump’s White House announced that it will urge the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals to…

The Next Nominee for Worst Employer of 2017 Is … the Whata(alleged)racist

You’d think by now that all employers would know that you cannot hire an employee expressly based on their race.

It has been 53 years since Congress banned racial discrimination in employment. You’d think by now that all employers would know that you cannot hire an employee expressly based on their race. Yet how does one explain this lawsuit, recently filed against Whataburger? Via USAToday: A former manager of a Florida Whataburger restaurant alleged she was retaliated against and forced…

How Driverless Cars, Drones and More are Changing Your Workplace

Accessibility, liability and flexibility will all be guided by the coming revolution.

Nobody knows when the driverless car revolution will hit, but most are certain it will.  While some estimate driverless cars won’t become mainstream for several decades, many companies (including Audi, Ford, Volkswagen and General Motors) are scheduled to launch driverless vehicles by 2021. Competition to invest in driverless cars is heating up, with major companies looking to capture the market…

Is LGBT Discrimination Finally Coming to a Head?

This issue is certain to heat up over the coming months, as we are set for what may be a final showdown in both the courts and at the EEOC.

Two stories this week caught my attention: EEOC Sues Malcolm S. Gerald & Associates for Sexual Orientation Discrimination; and Is the EEOC going “wishy-washy” on LGBT rights at work? The former is a press release from the EEOC, touting a recently filed case in which the EEOC alleges sexual orientation discrimination under Title VII. The latter is a discussion of…

What It’s Like to Be Sued By Your Employee

If you’ve never been sued as an employer, congratulations. You are likely just lucky, and not just good at employer-ing.

When you litigate, you’re losing. This is an odd statement for a litigator to make. But it’s true. When you litigate, the only people that “win” are the lawyers. It’s for this reason that I believe that every claim or potential claim should settle. The two key considerations are when and for how much. Understanding this fundamental truth, the only way…

The Next Nominee for Worst Employer of 2017 Is … the Pumping Preventer

If you tell a lactating employee to 'wrap those boobs up' so that she can get back to work, you might be the worst employer of 2017.

The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld a six-figure verdict in favor of a Stephanie Hicks, a former narcotics task force investigator for the Tuscaloosa, Alabama, police department. She sued, and won, after her former employer refused to permit her to pump her breast milk after returning from maternity leave. Refused might be an over-exaggeration. But not by much. The…