Employment & Labor Insider

Employment & Labor Insider

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Category Archives: Retaliation

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How to make the EEOC love you (retaliation edition)

Posted in Retaliation
Employers, imagine that a retaliation charge has been filed against your company. What can you do to make the EEOC investigator love you? Late last week, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued its final Enforcement Guidance on Retaliation and Related Issues, accompanied by a Q&A, and a Small Business Fact Sheet. I had three fairly detailed… Continue Reading

About that new “cat’s paw” decision . . .

Posted in Discrimination, Harassment, Misconduct, Retaliation, USERRA
Employers should beware of being too quick to believe an employee who accuses a co-worker of wrongdoing. If the accuser has an illegal motive (such as discrimination or retaliation), and if the employer is “negligent” in investigating before taking action against the co-worker, then the employer could be legally responsible. So says the U.S. Court of Appeals… Continue Reading

Light reading for your Fourth of July weekend

Posted in Constangy News, Discrimination, Drug Testing, FOCUS, Gender Identity Discrimination, Labor Relations, Lawyers!, Retaliation, Safety
Well, maybe not light reading, but good reading about good news that you won’t want to miss! Here are our bulletins and other publications from the last week, in case you missed them: *Heather Owen is already shooting off Fourth of July fireworks at the FOCUS women’s leadership blog because our firm was named this week by the National… Continue Reading

25 quick takes (no kidding!) on the EEOC’s proposed national origin guidance

Posted in Discrimination, Harassment, Retaliation
These will be really quick takes, since there are so many of them, on the proposed Enforcement Guidance on National Origin Discrimination issued this week by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. (The actual document is 57 pages long, not counting the table of contents.) I’ll try to focus on the less obvious/more interesting points. Take No.… Continue Reading

Is your company small? The EEOC has a little fact sheet that may help.

Posted in Discrimination, Harassment, Retaliation
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission released a nice little “fact sheet” this week for small businesses, summarizing their obligations under the laws that the EEOC enforces. Here’s a link. Just be aware that “sex,” in the EEOC’s opinion, includes sexual orientation and gender identity. (No jokes about small hands or “little” presidential candidates.)… Continue Reading

EEOC Retaliation Guidance, Part 3: A “causal connection” checklist for employers

Posted in Retaliation
This is the final installment of my analysis of the EEOC’s recently issued proposed Enforcement Guidance on Retaliation and Related Issues. Here are Part One (“You gotta be protected!”) and Part Two (“Was your employment action ‘adverse’?”). For an employee to have a valid retaliation claim, it’s not enough that she engaged in legally protected activity or… Continue Reading

EEOC Retaliation Guidance, Part 2: Was your employment action “adverse”?

Posted in Retaliation
What’s a “materially adverse employment action”? This is the second part in what should be a three-part series (it’s possible that we’ll need four) on the proposed Enforcement Guidance on Retaliation and Related Issues recently published by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. To recap from last week, a plaintiff in a retaliation case has to prove three things:… 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

Two new high-profile employment suits that you’ll want to watch

Posted in Americans with Disabilities Act, Defamation, Discrimination, Employment at Will, Retaliation
We have not one, but two new high-profile employment lawsuits that are worth following long-term: Former head football coach Steve Sarkisian’s alcoholism-discrimination lawsuit against the University of Southern California, and the wrongful termination lawsuit filed against the Michigan House of Representatives by former aides to adulterous former legislators Todd Courser (resigned) and Cindy Gamrat (expelled). Full “scorecards” appear… Continue Reading

Trojan travails: Coach Sarkisian’s alcoholism-discrimination lawsuit against USC

Posted in Americans with Disabilities Act, California FEHA, Discrimination, Retaliation
Readers have been clamoring for my take on the alcoholism-discrimination lawsuit filed by Steve Sarkisian against the University of Southern California. Actually, I got one email from a reader, who had a better take on the whole situation than I do. But who cares! I still think it’s a great topic, and a case worth following! Here’s the deal,… Continue Reading

As the rotunda turns . . . affair, coverup, retaliation — and lawsuit against state House

Posted in Defamation, Employment at Will, Retaliation
Holy Toledo! (Or should I say, Lansing?) Here is our next celebrity employment lawsuit soap opera . . . You may have heard about the two Tea Party legislators in Michigan who were having an affair, engaged in a bizarre cover-up that failed, had to resign/were expelled, and then lost their election bids to get their seats… 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

This week in employment law, with a lick and a promise

Posted in Americans with Disabilities Act, Corporate Culture, Discrimination, Family and Medical Leave Act, Retaliation, Same-sex marriage, Social media, Telecommuting
It’s been a hectic week for me (I have a trial coming up), and so here are some links to employment law blog posts and workplace news items that I hope will entertain and edify. 5 Things Your Manager Doesn’t Want You to Know. By the great Evil HR Lady, Suzanne Lucas. (Just to whet your appetite,… 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

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

Hey – that EEOC wellness rule isn’t half bad

Posted in Affordable Care Act, Americans with Disabilities Act, Discrimination, Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act, GINA, Retaliation
NOTE: As I breathlessly reported last week, the EEOC has issued its long-awaited proposed rule on employer wellness programs and the Americans with Disabilities Act. (Here is a nicer copy than the one that was available then.) Brian Magargle, who knows a lot more than I do about the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act and the Affordable Care… Continue Reading

EMPLOYMENT LAW BLOG CARNIVAL: April Fools’ Edition

Posted in Americans with Disabilities Act, Discrimination, eLaw, Employment Law Blog Carnival, ERISA, Family and Medical Leave Act, Gender Identity Discrimination, Labor Relations, Lactation, Protected Concerted Activity, Retaliation, Safety, Same-sex marriage, Social media, Wage-Hour
(St. Patrick’s Day is sooooo nine hours ago!) Ever looking to the future, we celebrate the coming April Fools’ Day with this month’s greatest employment law blog posts. Some of my summaries are accurate, and others are “fools’ editions” – you’ll have to read the actual posts to know which is which. There are so many excellent posts… Continue Reading