Legal

As Our Workforce Ages, Age Discrimination Will Only Worsen

What are you doing to make your workplace more open for older workers?

Happy Golden Birthday, Age Discrimination in Employment Act. On June 13, the ADEA turned 50. To commemorate this milestone, the EEOC just released a report titled The State of Older Workers and Age Discrimination 50 Years After the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). The report concludes that “age discrimination remains too common and too accepted” as employers continue to hold…

Should We Require Drug Testing as a Condition for Unemployment Benefits?

If a proposed law sought to drug test every applicant for unemployment benefits, I'd be opposed to it as overreaching and an invasion of privacy.

This is the question posed by Ohio House Bill 704. Let’s be clear. This law, if enacted, would not require drug testing as a condition for all applicants for unemployment benefits. Only those: for whom there exists reasonable cause to suspect the unlawful use of a controlled substance; and whose most recent employer fired because of the unlawful use of a…

Is Technology the Answer to Your Employees’ Mental Health Problems?

Employers need to adopt a systemic and holistic approach that recognizes mental health problems as they arise.

The world was rocked last week, first by the suicide of Kate Spade and then by that of Anthony Bourdain. American suicide rates have skyrocketed, up 30 percent since 1999, emblematic of the larger mental-health epidemic we are facing. Many point to the isolationism and perfection seeking created by our personal technology devices (and the social media they feed to…

In Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis the Supreme Court Deals a Blow to Employee Class Actions

Solid HR practices and regulatory compliance can help inoculate a company from becoming a litigation target.

In a case that sharply divided the Supreme Court on ideological lines but which will delight many employers, the court ruled that employees who sign arbitration agreements can be precluded from participating in class actions and thus must litigate their cases on an individual basis. This is to be contrasted with the current trend where plaintiff’s counsel identify an employer…

SCOTUS Rules in Favor of Bakery in Gay Wedding Cake Dispute, but …

If anyone tells you that gay rights lost at the Supreme Court, you can tell them how wrong they are.

A lot of digital ink was spilled in the last day decrying the Supreme Court’s ruling in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission as a win for the religious right and a step backward for LGBT rights. I was guilty of a little Twitter hyperbole myself after a quick first scan of the opinion: ? Also, this does not give me a ton…

The Greatest Book Ever Written About Labor Relations Is …

A recent list omitted the No. 1 book ever written about labor relations — Click Clack Moo, Cows That Type.

Last week I came across an article titled, “Business Wisdom From 10 Classic Children’s Books.” Its premise is that books with the simplest language often contain the most complex ideas, and that children’s books offer us a whole lot of real-world business wisdom. I was surprised, then, when I discovered that this list omitted the No. 1 book ever written about labor relations —…

Nosy Employers And Personal Email Accounts

Employers should revisit their information technology protocol regarding the handling of employee computer systems and devices.

Lois Owen was an employee for Professional Consultants Inc. Owen occasionally would access her personal email account on her work computer. After leaving PCI, Owen filed a discrimination complaint with a state agency, accusing PCI of sexual harassment and creating a hostile work environment. During the discovery stage, Owen learned that PCI employees had accessed her AT&T account without her…

Are Pay History Inquiries … History?

Many jurisdictions are adopting laws that prohibit employers from asking employees about prior salary.

Prior salary and experience may not be a bias-free basis for wage disparities. In Bowen v. Manheim Remarketing Inc., Qunesha Bowen sued her employer, Manheim Remarketing Inc. for pay discrimination in violation of the Equal Pay Act and Title VII. Bowen worked for Manheim for three years before being promoted to arbitration manager. Her male predecessor in the same position…

The 9th Nominee for the Worst Employer of 2018 Is … the Retaliator

Today, I take you to lovely Riverside County, California, home of Palm Springs, Joshua Tree National Park, the Coachella Music Festival … and the ninth nominee for the Worst Employer of 2018. Until his termination on May 7, 2018, Andrew Yeghnazar had, since 2010, worked as the president of Blacoh Fluid Control, Inc. What did Blacoh Fluid Control (allegedly) do…