Legal

FMLA Now Covers Same-Sex Spouses (Sort of)

This signals that we are thankfully moving down a path to where someday, thankfully, this issue will no longer be open to debate or discussion.

This signals that we are thankfully moving down a path to where someday, thankfully, this issue will no longer be open to debate or discussion.

Life Imitating Art? Pregnant and Fired — When Will Employers Learn?

Last week, the EEOC announced that it had sued a Mississippi hotel operator for pregnancy discrimination. Some call it stupidity. I like to think of it as job security.

The Ohio Chamber of Commerce brings us this funny video about how not to fire pregnant employee. Sadly, life sometimes imitates art. Last week, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced that it had sued a Mississippi hotel operator for … you guessed it … pregnancy discrimination: According to the EEOC’s suit, Te’Shawn Harmon informed her manager of her pregnancy on…

There Are More Than 50 Shades of Grey at Work

Dealing with uncertainty, particularly when it comes to people, is extremely difficult and requires judgment and skills ranging from tact to direct confrontation.

Colors mean a lot in our workplaces. They can symbolize issues, groups, and messages. Think of black, white, pink, red, and green, and, more than likely, several associations will quickly come to mind. Green means “go” or “money” or “environmentally conscious.” Most color associations are fairly easy to come up with. The color, grey, however, can be a bit more…

Litigation Publicity as an Adverse Action for Retaliation

Retaliation comes in all shapes and sizes, and employers must act with extreme care when dealing with any employee who engaged in protected activity.

Ray v. Ropes & Gray LLP teaches a valuable lesson about what can go wrong when a dispute between an employer and a former employee goes public. John Ray is a former associate of Boston white-shoe law firm Ropes & Gray. When the firm passed him over for partner, he first filed an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission discrimination charge, and…

Relying On Stereotypes Will Put a Target On Your Back

The better job you do of insulating your business’s personnel decisions from stereotypes, the less often you will find yourself in need of my services—which is a positive stereotype you can embrace.

According to The Huffington Post, a group of Hispanic employees is suing Target for national origin discrimination. Their evidence—an internal memo that included the following “Multi-Cultural Tips” for its managers: a. Food: not everyone eats tacos and burritos; b. Music: not everyone dances to salsa; c. Dress: not everyone wears a sombrero; d. Mexicans (lower education level, some may be…

Where’s Waldo? She’s Teaching You a Lesson On the High Cost of Sexual Harassment

Harassment takes a toll. It exacts a high emotional cost on the victim. It exacts a steep legal cost on the company defending a lawsuit that can be salacious and unpopular.

While employed as an electrical line worker for Consumers Energy Company from 2001 through 2005, Theresa Waldo claimed that she suffered the following incidents of sexual harassment, about which she complained to her supervisor, union rep, and HR manager, each of whom allegedly ignored her: She was repeatedly called derogatory and demeaning names, such as “bitch” and “wench.” Coworkers threw…

Legal Briefing: Proof Needed to Demonstrate Unlawful Retaliation

The Supreme Court has increased the causation threshold for Title VII cases, which provides greater protections for potential defendants of such actions and takes away a legal path from potential plaintiffs.

The Supreme Court has increased the causation threshold for Title VII cases, which provides greater protections for potential defendants of such actions and takes away a legal path from potential plaintiffs.

Why You Should Take All Harassment Complaints Seriously

Cherry picking only those complaints that you believe are serious or legitimate opens up to scrutiny those complaints that are buried or ignored, which, in the hands of the right plaintiff could prove to be an expensive omission.

Today I am going to discuss two racial harassment cases decided by the same court, on the same day, but with different results. In Paasewe v. Action Group, Inc. (6th Cir. 7/17/13), the plaintiff alleged that he was called “boy,” threatened because he wore a Barack Obama t-shirt, and was demeaned because he was a black man driving a nice…

How to Draft an Enforceable Noncompete Agreement in Five Steps

These five steps aren’t the only considerations in drafting a strong, enforceable noncompete agreement. But, they are a good foundation to placing you in the best position to protect your business from an employee trying to work for a competitor.

According to the Wall Street Journal, litigation over noncompete agreements is rising: More employers are requiring their new workers to sign “noncompete” agreements, which they say are needed to prevent insiders from taking trade secrets, business relationships or customer data to competing firms when they leave.…  The number of published U.S. court decisions involving noncompete agreements rose 61% since 2002, to…