Employment & Labor Insider

Employment & Labor Insider

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Category Archives: Harassment

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Transgender roadmap: 10 steps the EEOC thinks employers should take

Posted in Discrimination, Gender Identity Discrimination, Harassment
Law360 reported yesterday morning that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission settled a transgender discrimination and harassment lawsuit (not our Detroit-area funeral home case). Although the employer entered into the consent decree voluntarily, we now have a pretty good idea of what the EEOC thinks employers should do in dealing with employees who are transgender or have other gender identity variances.… Continue Reading

Why the EEOC believes Title VII bans sexual orientation bias

Posted in Discrimination, ENDA, Gender Identity Discrimination, Harassment
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a “friend of the court” brief in a sexual orientation discrimination appeal, arguing that sexual orientation discrimination is “sex discrimination” prohibited by Title VII. (Thanks to EEOC General Counsel David Lopez for alerting me.) I am a skeptic on this subject. Title VII was enacted in 1964, and legend… Continue Reading

Who was naughty, and who was nice in employment law this year

Posted in Affordable Care Act, Americans with Disabilities Act, Discrimination, Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act, GINA, Harassment, Labor Relations, Lawyers!, Pregnancy, Protected Concerted Activity, Retaliation, Safety, Social media, Telecommuting, Wage-Hour
Who’s been naughty and who’s been nice in labor and employment law? Here are my picks for 2015. Feel free to add your own in the comments. NAUGHTY! The National Labor Relations Board, for being naughty in too many ways to mention. Its rules on employer handbook policies, including confidentiality and social media, are unrealistic… Continue Reading

Supreme Court to review CRST attorneys’ fee award against EEOC

Posted in Class actions, Discrimination, Harassment, Transportation Industry
The U.S. Supreme Court agreed last Friday to review a decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, which vacated a multi-million attorneys’ fee award for trucking company CRST Van Expedited, Inc. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission initially sued CRST on behalf of roughly 270 women who were allegedly sexually harassed in their… Continue Reading

It’s the 2015 workplace holiday party quiz!

Posted in Discrimination, Harassment, Independent Contractor, Off-Duty Conduct, Sexual Torts, Wage-Hour, Workers' Compensation
Chanukah starts at sundown this Sunday, and Christmas is only three short weeks away. Can you throw a workplace holiday party that won’t result in a lawsuit? It has been ages since we’ve had a quiz. Let’s do it! For more on this topic, please listen to the webinar on holiday parties that I did yesterday… Continue Reading

Be thankful you’re not an employment law turkey

Posted in Discrimination, Harassment, Pregnancy, Retaliation, Social media, Work-Life Balance
Well, it’s that time of year again – what are you thankful for? Here are some Human Resources and employment law matters for which I am thankful. Please feel free to add your own in the comments. I’m thankful that I’m not Trey Gowdy. The Republican Congressman from South Carolina and chair of the House Benghazi Committee is not out, but he’s… Continue Reading

BEFORE YOU SUE: 10 questions every employee should ask

Posted in Class actions, Discrimination, Employment at Will, Evidence, Harassment, Retaliation
Last week, we talked about 20 things an employer should ask itself before terminating an employee. In the interests of fairness, here are 10 things that an employee should ask before suing an employer. You should know that I generally don’t believe that lawsuits are the best way to resolve problems. (I realize that there are exceptions.)… Continue Reading

BEFORE YOU FIRE: 20 questions every employer should ask

Posted in Americans with Disabilities Act, Discrimination, Employment at Will, Evidence, Family and Medical Leave Act, Harassment, Labor Relations, Protected Concerted Activity, Retaliation, Safety, Settlements, Unemployment, Workers' Compensation
So you think you’re ready to terminate an employee. Are you really? Here are 20 questions that every employer should ask itself before going ahead with a termination. If you think I’ve missed anything, please feel free to add your own in the comments. GETTING STARTED No. 1. Is the employee covered by a collective bargaining agreement?… Continue Reading

Straight from the source: EEOC’s 10 hottest litigation trends

Posted in Americans with Disabilities Act, Background Checks, Class actions, Discrimination, Harassment, Pregnancy, Retaliation, Settlements, Telecommuting
Last week I heard David Lopez, General Counsel of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, speak about EEOC litigation developments at the annual North Carolina/South Carolina Labor and Employment Law conference. The EEOC has been litigating like a house afire, so I knew you would want to hear what he had to say. Mr. Lopez – who… Continue Reading

4 thoughts on the Ashley Madison hack

Posted in Harassment, Social media
Four quick thoughts on the Ashley Madison hack: 1. Should you post anything on the internet that you wouldn’t want to see on the front page of the New York Times? “No” used to be standard advice, but that isn’t practical any more. I do online banking, but that doesn’t mean I want my financial information all over the internet. Nor… Continue Reading

Darn.

Posted in Harassment, Settlements
The Marchuk v. Faruqi law firm sexual harassment case has been “amicably resolved.” Now, what will we gossip about? (To see why I’m disappointed, go here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here. Apparently, I wasn’t just “following” this case – I was stalking it.) After the verdict that pleased no one, both sides… Continue Reading

Is it “disparaging” to say “Karma is a bi**h”?

Posted in Harassment, Settlements
Riddle me this: Employee sues her boss for sexual harassment. Case settles for $127,500, and she has to agree to confidentiality and non-disparagement. About nine years later, boss becomes an internet pariah for allegedly poaching a beautiful and beloved lion in Zimbabwe. Somebody in the media finds out about the sexual harassment settlement (how’d they do… Continue Reading

Thanks a LOT, Mr. President!

Posted in Harassment
As you know, I strongly disapprove of use of the “N” word in the workplace. I don’t think African-Americans should say it, and I really, really don’t think people who aren’t African-American should use it. Well, this weekend President Obama used the “N” word, and he didn’t say “the ‘N’ word.” In a podcast interview with comedian… Continue Reading

Harassment “must-have” no. 5: No retaliation!

Posted in Harassment, Retaliation
We have reached the fifth and final of our five harassment “must-haves”: No retaliation. It should be easy to avoid retaliation, right? Because retaliatory conduct is intentional – you can’t “accidentally” retaliate against someone. You can’t “negligently” seek payback. To retaliate, you have to work at it. Of course, that would make life way too simple. Employers can negligently… Continue Reading

Harassment “must-have” no. 4: The Determination

Posted in Harassment
It’s the moment of truth! (Dum-dum-DUM!) Two weeks ago, we talked about harassment “must-haves” 1 and 2: a good, plain-language policy, and training. Last week, we talked about “must-have” 3: the investigation. Now it’s time to talk about “must-have” 4: a fair, legally defensible determination of what happened and what action to take. During the investigation… Continue Reading

“Must-haves” for your harassment investigation

Posted in Harassment
Last week, I posted about harassment “must-haves” for employers, and talked in detail about the first two: a good policy, and training. This week I’d like to talk about “must-have” no. 3 – a prompt, thorough, and fair investigation. PROMPT. “Prompt,” in the context of a harassment investigation, means that you act as soon as you… Continue Reading

Five harassment “must haves” for employers

Posted in Harassment
Maybe it’s just me, but workplace harassment issues seem to come in waves — I’ll go months, or even a year, without an issue, and then WHAM! everybody has a “situation,” or at least they need to get their preventive training done.   Right now, we’re in a bit of a “flash flood,” so I thought it might be a… Continue Reading

Is this new harassment decision the end of the world for employers?

Posted in Harassment, Retaliation
Are harassment and retaliation lawsuits all going to the jury now? Are employers doomed? Are the plaintiffs’ lawyers popping the champagne corks? Is the EEOC dancing for joy? The employment law world is abuzz about last week’s racial harassment/retaliation decision from my own U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. (Many thanks to an attorney friend who emailed a… Continue Reading