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Category Archives: HR

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6 ways employers sink their own ships

Posted in HR
It’s not always the employee’s fault when things go bad for an employer. Sometimes the employer has no one to blame but itself. Here are six of the most common ways employers sink their own ships. No. 1: Pointless workplace rules that just make employees mad. I can’t take credit for this one — I… Continue Reading

Catholic priest is (allegedly) an equal opportunity offender, court says, dismissing bias suit

Posted in Defamation, Discrimination, Harassment, HR, Sexual Orientation
Father, you kiss your mother with that mouth? The recent dismissal of a lawsuit in New York — involving a priest who is principal at a Catholic high school —  illustrates why an (alleged) “equal opportunity offender” is better than a discriminatory one. But that’s not to say it’s good. Father Michael Reilly — as… Continue Reading

Extended medical leave not a “reasonable” accommodation under ADA, court says

Posted in Americans with Disabilities Act, Discrimination, Family and Medical Leave Act, HR
This week, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit held that a “multimonth leave of absence is beyond the scope of a reasonable accommodation” under the Americans with Disabilities Act. In doing so, the court rejected longstanding guidance from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that a long-term medical leave is… Continue Reading

“Overqualified,” or just too old?

Posted in Discrimination, HR
Last week, I received a scathing comment from Dale Kleber, a Chicago-area lawyer and a plaintiff in an age discrimination lawsuit. Mr. Kleber did not like my gut reaction to his lawsuit, which was based on an article that I’d read in The Washington Post. It appeared to me that Mr. Kleber — then a 58-year-old lawyer with… Continue Reading

Weekly catch-up

Posted in ConstangyTV, HR, Immigration, Labor Relations, Politics, Protected Concerted Activity, Social media
Must-see ConstangyTV! The September edition of ConstangyTV’s “Close-Up on Workplace Law” is on YouTube, and you will not want to miss it. Host Leigh Tyson talks with Jon Yarbrough about social media in the workplace, including social media horror stories and what employers can do about them, the restrictions that have been imposed on social… Continue Reading

Employers, I’m on your side — so watch out! ;-)

Posted in HR, Lawyers!
At a client seminar that my office presented during the very contentious 2016 campaign season, my law partner John Doyle delivered an introductory disclaimer. Although I may not have his words verbatim, I will never forget the message, which was as follows: The only thing we’re partisan about is employers. That’s it. It was a great way to dispel the… Continue Reading

Second-guessing the advice columns: Bad HR practices aren’t necessarily illegal.

Posted in Discrimination, HR, Lawyers!, Wage-Hour, Workers' Compensation
It’s been a while since I’ve picked on an advice columnist for leading readers astray on employment law, but we have one, from the usually-sound Work Advice column by Karla Miller of The Washington Post. The letter writer complains that her employer is going to start evaluating employees based in part on their participation in company-sponsored “social” functions,… Continue Reading

For “Labor Day” (get it?): Three pregnancy cases from the EEOC

Posted in Discrimination, Equal Pay, HR, Pregnancy
Happy Labor Day Weekend, y’all! The month of August was not kind to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The EEOC’s wellness regulations were shot down by a federal court in the District of Columbia, and earlier this week the agency was told that it could not require employers to report compensation data on the new EEO-1 Reports. But the… Continue Reading

EEO-1 “pay data” requirement is on hold: The details

Posted in Affirmative Action, Discrimination, Equal Pay, HR, Politics
NOTE FROM ROBIN: Last night, I posted briefly that the EEOC’s requirement, starting next March 31, that employers include compensation data in their annual EEO-1 reports had been suspended. We now have more information, and I have drafted a client bulletin that will go out this afternoon. Because the blog subscription and bulletin subscription lists are… Continue Reading

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