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Employment & Labor Insider

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Category Archives: HR

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Before you fire that political extremist . . .

Posted in Discrimination, Harassment, HR, Politics, Public Sector Employment, Social media, Wrongful Discharge
If you’re a private sector employer, you can generally fire an at-will employee for his or her political beliefs or expression. The First Amendment, as we discussed last week, does not limit you. Depending on where you are, there may be state or local laws protecting employees from discrimination based on their political beliefs or… Continue Reading

Weekly catch-up

Posted in HR, Wage-Hour
The state of Oregon is the first in the Union to have a statewide “scheduling law.” The new law will take effect (for the most part) on July 1, 2018, and will apply to retail, hospitality, and food services employers with operations in Oregon, as long as they have at least 500 employees worldwide. Bob Ortbals, who… Continue Reading

Q and A on the recent controversy

Posted in Affirmative Action, Corporate Culture, First Amendment, HR, Labor Relations, Protected Concerted Activity, Retaliation
On the recent uproar involving a major, major employer and its recently-terminated employee: No. 1. Is it a good idea to provide an “open forum” to employees if there are certain topics that are off limits? No. If you want to provide a forum for employees to speak up, but only “within reason,” then it’s a… Continue Reading

Weekly catch-up

Posted in HR
Hot diggity! The summer 2017 edition of Retailer is out! Allison Wallrapp of our Tampa Office has a fascinating feature article about the use of robots in the retail industry and how it may not be such a bad thing for human employees. In addition, we have a graphic showing the jurisdictions that currently ban private… Continue Reading

Are you ready for the new EEO-1 report?

Posted in Affirmative Action, Discrimination, Equal Pay, HR, Politics
The beginning of July conjures many images for Americans – barbecues, picnics, fireworks.  But for many employers, July also triggered preparation for the annual EEO-1 Report filing.  Until this year, covered employers were required to file their reports no later than September 30, and the data submitted had to be from any pay period in… Continue Reading

It’s SUMMER! Top 4 ways employers can get burned

Posted in Gender Identity Discrimination, Harassment, HR, Wage-Hour, Workers' Compensation
We officially entered the season of summer this week. What are the most common ways employers can get burned? I can think of four right off the bat. (In the 1960s, melanoma was cool.) Sexist air conditioning. It seems like a long time since we’ve read anything about this employment law “issue.” The idea was that… Continue Reading

Second-guessing the advice columns on workplace law — again!

Posted in Americans with Disabilities Act, Family and Medical Leave Act, HR
I’m going to have to make this a regular series. A few weeks ago, I posted about an “Ask Amy” column involving a bullying boss, which I thought had really poor employment law advice. (To her credit, Amy posted not one, but two, corrections not long afterward.) Last week, Karla Miller of the “Work Advice” column… Continue Reading

After the investigation: Now what?

Posted in HR
Last week, we talked about employment investigations. This week, I’d like to talk about what employers do with the information they gathered during the investigation. There are two main tasks: No. 1: Figure out what probably happened. No. 2: Decide what action to take based on No. 1. It’s almost impossible to generalize about No. 1 because the… Continue Reading

Weekly catch-up

Posted in ConstangyTV, HR, Labor Relations, Politics, Safety
OSHA intends to postpone requirement that safety reports be submitted electronically for all the world to see. You may recall that, about a year ago, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued a rule that would require certain employers to submit some injury and illness reports electronically. The information would then be made publicly available. Now OSHA says… Continue Reading

Trumpdate: Proposed budget shows “yuuuge” changes afoot in labor and employment arena

Posted in Affirmative Action, Benefits, Discrimination, Equal Pay, HR, Immigration, Labor Relations, Politics, Pregnancy, Safety, Unemployment, Wage-Hour
Yesterday, the Trump Administration released its proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2018, which runs from October 1, 2017, through September 30, 2018. Here are the highlights related to labor and employment law, and there are a BUNCH. The following is a compilation of a number of articles published in yesterday’s edition of Bloomberg BNA’s Daily Labor Report (paid… Continue Reading

9 traits of a bang-up workplace investigation

Posted in HR
What makes a workplace investigation so good that you just can’t wait to show the EEOC investigator what you did? And you’re like, “Plaintiff’s lawyer, take us to court — please!” All right, maybe nothing would make it that good, but here are nine things employers can do to ensure that they at least won’t be… Continue Reading

Mother’s Day Employment Law Quiz! Pregnancy, lactation, you name it!

Posted in Discrimination, Family and Medical Leave Act, HR, Lactation, Pregnancy
Happy Mother’s Day weekend to all of you who are, or who have, mothers. (I think that covers everybody.) I couldn’t think of a better way to start this weekend than with a quiz on pregnancy discrimination, lactation accommodation, “family discrimination,” and the Family and Medical Leave Act. As always, answers are at the end of… Continue Reading

“Ask Amy,” part deux: Amy gets the message

Posted in Harassment, HR
I recently complained that Amy Dickson, author of the “Ask Amy” syndicated advice column, had given some poor (or at least premature) employment law advice to a reader. Apparently, a number of her readers expressed similar concerns, and, to her credit, Amy has corrected herself — twice now. The first correction appeared this past Monday: Dear Amy: “Worried… Continue Reading

OFCCP secures $1.7 million settlement in failure-to-hire case

Posted in Affirmative Action, HR, Settlements
The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs and Palantir Technologies, a California-based technology company, have agreed to settle a pending lawsuit for about $1.7 million. We first reported on this case in October 2016. In its complaint, the OFCCP alleged that the Company used a discriminatory hiring process that resulted in a low selection rate for Asians, who made up… Continue Reading

Don’t “Ask Amy”!*

Posted in HR
*For employment law advice. Amy Dickson of the syndicated advice column “Ask Amy” is someone I read daily and agree with maybe 50 percent of the time. On most of the matters on which we disagree, she is probably right and I am probably wrong. But she really blew it today when she tried to… Continue Reading

“The Bermuda Triangle” ADA-FMLA-Workers’ Comp Quiz

Posted in Americans with Disabilities Act, Family and Medical Leave Act, HR, Workers' Compensation
(DEAR READERS: I know that using “Bermuda Triangle” to refer to issues involving the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, and workers’ compensation is corny, trite, stale, and overdone. But I’m being ironic, so it’s ok.) No. 1: FMLA leave can run _____________ with workers’ compensation leave. A. Consecutively B. Conformity C. Concurrently… Continue Reading

Weekly catch-up

Posted in Discrimination, HR, Immigration, Sexual Orientation
Attention, H-1B employers! The Trump Administration announced this week that it would take a closer look at employers who use workers with H-1B visas. Elizabeth Joiner has the details in this Immigration Dispatch. Sexual orientation discrimination does violate Title VII, appeals court says. This week’s decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit… Continue Reading

10 habits of highly effective HR professionals (April Fool’s edition)

Posted in Americans with Disabilities Act, Corporate Culture, Discrimination, Elections, Employment at Will, Equal Pay, Family and Medical Leave Act, Harassment, HR, Labor Relations, Politics, Protected Concerted Activity, Retaliation, Safety, Wage-Hour, Workers' Compensation
DEAR READERS: Before you accuse me of legal malpractice, take a look at tomorrow’s date.   Habit 1: Discriminate, retaliate, harass — have a ball! There’s a new sheriff in town, with a more employer-friendly, compliance-assistance-oriented U.S. Department of Labor (we think) and the nullification of burdensome regulations like the gone-and-not-lamented Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Rule.… Continue Reading

Weekly catch-up

Posted in ConstangyTV, Harassment, HR, Only in California, Wage-Hour
A “print and save” for California employers, to be sure. Richard Bromley and Aaron Rutschman of our Los Angeles-Century City Office have a comprehensive guide to the Golden State’s often-confusing laws on paid meal and rest breaks. If you have operations in California, you need to read this and keep a copy for future reference. The… Continue Reading

“HR Horribles” — collect ’em all!

Posted in HR
Remember the Garbage Pail Kids from the ’80s? I have had an inspiration that will make my fortune! I’m going to create a set of collectible “HR Horribles”™ trading cards, representing the employees who make Human Resources professionals’ lives a living heck. Here is my first set: Randy Romeo. Romeo has never met a woman he didn’t like,… Continue Reading

Queen for a day: If I ran the world, would I scrap our employment laws?

Posted in Americans with Disabilities Act, Discrimination, Employment at Will, Family and Medical Leave Act, HR, Labor Relations, Telecommuting, Wage-Hour
Walter Olson of the great Overlawyered.com sent a challenge over Twitter earlier this week: For those of you who don’t know Mr. Olson, he’s a libertarian.  :-) I have to admit, I needed time to process this! I complain about these laws all the time, but would I really want to get rid of all protections… Continue Reading