Employment & Labor Insider

Employment & Labor Insider

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Tag Archives: Harassment

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

Are you a harassment “daredevil”? Here are 5 behaviors that put you at risk.

Posted in Harassment, Social media
Not every obnoxious workplace behavior is unlawful harassment. To violate federal law, the harassment has to be unwelcome, based on a “protected category” (for example, sex or race), and “severe or pervasive.” But most employers aren’t satisfied with banning only “illegal” behavior, and rightfully not. The law does a fairly good job of keeping us from each other’s… 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

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

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

Workplace harassment: EEOC’s employer best practices

Posted in Elections, Harassment, Politics, Sexual Orientation
How can an employer best prevent workplace harassment from occurring, and deal with it effectively when it occurs? What would the EEOC say employers should do? This is my third and final installment on the proposed Enforcement Guidance on Unlawful Harassment, which was recently issued by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The EEOC is accepting comments until February… Continue Reading

9 “fun” facts about workplace harassment, from the EEOC

Posted in Harassment
Last week, I shared with you what I didn’t like about the proposed Enforcement Guidance from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on workplace harassment. Well, this is warm-and-fuzzy week. Moving on to the parts of the proposed guidance that I thought were well done, I’ve tried to boil the rest of the proposed guidance into nine… Continue Reading

Nitpicking the EEOC’s proposed guidance on harassment

Posted in Discrimination, Gender Identity Discrimination, Harassment, Sexual Orientation
This week, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued a proposed Enforcement Guidance on workplace harassment. It’s 75 pages long, so a little too much to cover in a single blog post. The EEOC is seeking comments from the public until February 9, so I will start with the comment-worthy provisions. Next week, I’ll post about… Continue Reading

Workplace investigations and the case of the planted peanut butter

Posted in Americans with Disabilities Act, Discrimination, Harassment
I’m a week late with this follow-up. (Sorry.) Two weeks ago, I posted about an employee (fictionally named “Zoey”) who had a peanut allergy. After she asked a peanut-butter-loving co-worker (“Addison”) to be considerate, Zoey found a big glob of peanut butter smeared under her desk, which caused her to get sick. Addison denied being responsible. To… Continue Reading

EEOC Small Business Resource Center: Two thumbs up!

Posted in Discrimination, Equal Pay, Gender Identity Discrimination, Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act, GINA, Harassment, Pregnancy, Product Review, Retaliation, Sexual Orientation
I spent some time yesterday at the new Small Business Resource Center, which went live this week on the website of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. I think it’s great. Small businesses, which may be just below or at the cusp of coverage by federal anti-discrimination laws, are often confused about (1) whether they are covered, and (2)… Continue Reading

Employer dos and don’ts for 2016 elections (NLRB-friendly version)

Posted in Harassment, Labor Relations, Protected Concerted Activity, Social media
Labor Day marked the beginning of the “serious” election season. In 2012, I posted on dos and don’ts for employers, but many of my old recommendations aren’t going to work in today’s labor law climate. Here’s an updated guide to help employers and their employees survive to November 8, and beyond, which I think will comply with the… Continue Reading

Federal subcontractors, beware! The OFCCP is watching you, too.

Posted in Affirmative Action
A recent complaint filed by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs illustrates that it’s not only federal contractors who need to be sure they comply with affirmative action requirements, but also those who contract with the federal contractors – a.k.a. “subcontractors.” The OFCCP’s allegations against Maryland construction subcontractor Potomac Abatement are awful. (Here is a copy… Continue Reading

Holey moley! Fox News pays $20MM to settle Gretchen Carlson sexual harassment case

Posted in Harassment, Settlements
This just in, via Law360: Fox News has settled Gretchen Carlson’s sexual harassment lawsuit against former CEO Roger Ailes for a (reported) whopping $20 million. That’s less than the reported $60 million contract buyout of Mr. Ailes, but still pretty good. Since the link to Law360 won’t work, and it requires a paid subscription anyway, here’s a… Continue Reading

Notes from the Industry Liaison Group National Conference

Posted in Affirmative Action, Discrimination, Equal Pay, Gender Identity Discrimination, Harassment, Sexual Orientation
The 2016 Industry Liaison Group National Conference was held last week in Charlotte, North Carolina. Sylvia Smith, an Affirmative Action Specialist from our firm’s Atlanta Office, and I had the pleasure and privilege of attending and presenting this year. The headliners, as usual, were Patricia Shiu, Director of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, and… Continue Reading

Sex on TV: Final FAQs for employers about the Roger Ailes case

Posted in Harassment
Well, Gretchen is out, Roger is out, and Megyn is in. Your Magic 8-Ball is here to answer the sexual harassment questions that employers are dying to ask. No. 1. I thought sexual harassment investigations were supposed to be confidential. Wasn’t it inappropriate for all of the Fox on-air talent to be expressing their opinions in public about whether… 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 sexual harassment training a turn-off for men?

Posted in Harassment
A semi-recent article in the New York Post — “The Corporate ‘Cure’ for Sexual Harassment Only Feeds the Disease” — cited a couple of studies that allegedly proved that sexual harassment training is worse than doing nothing because it makes men resentful and more likely to tolerate harassment. Wow. That’s terrible! Except that it’s not precisely true. What these… Continue Reading

Lego-based workplace harassment will NOT be tolerated.

Posted in Harassment, Unemployment, Violence
You’ve heard of sex-based harassment, race-based harassment, and disability-based harassment. But have you ever heard of Lego-based harassment? Shawn Roy was terminated from his job because he was allegedly creating and posting on the internet violent and sexually-oriented videos using Legos that allegedly bore resemblance to his supervisors and co-workers. I viewed the one video… Continue Reading

“Lighten up, baby,” and other harassment “best practices” for employers

Posted in Harassment
Dear Readers: Not that anything in this blog constitutes legal advice anyway, but before you accuse me of legal malpractice based on the following post, please notice today’s date. Happy April Fool’s Day! Robin Many employers ask me: “Robin, what are your ‘best practices’ for workplace sexual harassment?” I’m glad you asked! No. 1: Be sure that… Continue Reading