Eric B. Meyer

Eric B. Meyer is a partner in the Labor and Employment Group of the Philadelphia-based law firm of Dilworth Paxson LLP . He dedicates his practice to litigating and assisting employers on labor and employment issues affecting the workplace, including collective bargaining, discrimination, employee handbook policies, enforcement of restrictive covenants, and trade secret protection. Eric also serves as a volunteer mediator for the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Contact him at emeyer@dilworthlaw.com .

Articles by Eric B. Meyer

HR Basics, Legal Issues

Alcoholism on the Job: The Tricky Issue Handling It Under the ADA

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By Eric B. Meyer

Alcoholism is generally a disability.

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, the term “disability” is broadly defined.

What matters is that the impairment substantially limits a major life activity. What doesn’t matter are the ameliorative effects of mitigating measures,” including such things as therapy, medication, or reasonable accommodations.

How does that relate to alcoholism? Read more…

HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

Appeals Court Says Yes, Employees CAN Openly Discuss Wages

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By Eric B. Meyer

Over the past several years, seemingly, we’re seen the National Labor Relations Board take a more active interest in employee handbooks.

We’ve certainly seen it with respect to social media policies; especially, where these policies purport to limit the rights of employees to discuss their employment with one another. This is because Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act allows employees to discuss their terms and conditions of employment together.

And you don’t need to have a union either. The act applies in most every private-sector workplace. Read more…

HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

Can You Just Withdraw a Reasonable Accommodation Under the ADA?

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By Eric B. Meyer

Let’s say that you have an employee whom the Americans with Disabilities Act would consider disabled and to whom you have afforded a reasonable accommodation for a long time.

Maybe it’s a few years of light duty to accommodate your employee’s bad back. Maybe it’s keeping your employee with medically-documented sleeping issues off of the graveyard shift.

Or maybe, like in this case (Isbell v. John Crane, Inc.), it’s allowing an employee who takes morning meds for ADD and bipolar disorder to arrive to work a late, so the meds can kick in. Indeed, for 2 1/2 years, the employee in this particular situation was accommodated with modified start time. Read more…

HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

Is It Unreasonable to Tell Your Boss to Stop Sexually Harassing You?

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By Eric B. Meyer

I can actually feel the daggers that some of you are staring into me.

So, please allow me to explain.

How to demonstrate sexual harassment

When an employee sues for sexual harassment, he/she must show four things:

  • He or she was subjected to conduct of a sexual nature;
  • The conduct was unwelcome; Read more…
Compensation, HR News & Trends

Obama’s Overtime Proposal: Don’t Expect Any Swift Change

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Editor’s note: Weekly Wrap is taking the week off. It will return next Friday. 

By Eric B. Meyer

So, by now you’ve likely read the news, first reported by New York Times reporters Michael Shear and Steven Greenhouse that Obama Will Seek Broad Expansion of Overtime Pay.

The Times reporters indicated that, yesterday, President Barack Obama was to the direct the U.S. Department of Labor to “revamp its regulations to require overtime pay for several million additional fast-food managers, loan officers, computer technicians and others whom many businesses currently classify as ‘executive or professional’ employees to avoid paying them overtime.” Read more…

Legal Issues

Using an Employee’s Personal Social Media Account May Violate the Law

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By Eric B. Meyer

Back in 2011, when you were all Tebowing, planking and “winning,” I was blogging about this case where an employer allegedly updated its employee’s Facebook page and tweeted from her Twitter account without her permission while she was on leave from work following a car accident.

The Stored Communications Act prohibits intentional, unauthorized access to electronically stored communications. The employer admitted that it had accessed the employee’s social media accounts. However, it claimed that it had permission because the employee left her passwords stored on a company server.

So, the employer moved for summary judgment. Read more…

HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

Language at Work: Should the NFL Penalize Players For Using This Word?

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By Eric B. Meyer

In a few weeks, the National Football League owners are going to consider a proposed rule governing the use of the “N”-word during a football game. If the rule goes into effect, any team with a player who uses the “N”-word during a game, will be assessed a 15-yard penalty.

Players, young and old, disagree on the rule.

Here are Michael Wilbon and Jason Whitlock from ESPN’s Outside the Lines debating the merits of the proposed new rule. Read more…

Legal Issues

Daughter’s Facebook Post Costs Her Dad an $80k Employment Settlement

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By Eric B. Meyer

I’ll bet this father didn’t “like” his daughter’s Facebook post very much.

Dad is the former headmaster at a school in Florida. When the school failed to renew his employment contract, he sued for age discrimination and retaliation. Eventually the two sides settled, with the school to pay $10,000 in back pay, $80,000 as a “1099,” and $60,000 to dad’s attorneys.

The settlement was strictly conditioned upon confidentiality. It included a provision that divulging even the existence of the agreement, would cost dad the $80K payment. Read more…

HR Basics, Legal Issues

Yes, Employers Can’t Require a Note for Each Intermittent FMLA Absence

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By Eric B. Meyer

Those four-letter federal employment statutes — FMLA and FLSA — can be a real pain in the rear,  am I right?

Today’s let’s focus on a major employer pitfall: intermittent leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act.

The FMLA regulations define intermittent leave this way: Read more…

Legal Issues

Must I Accommodate a Graveyard Shift Worker With Insomnia?

Photo by istockphoto.com.

By Eric B. Meyer

Let’s assume that you run a factory in which employees are scheduled on one of two shifts: (1) 6:00 AM – 6:00 PM; or (2) 6:00 PM to 6:00 AM.

One of your employees comes to you with a doctor’s note which states that working the graveyard shift will cause the employee to suffer migraine headaches and insomnia.

The Americans with Disabilities Act requires that employers accommodate employees with disabilities if doing so will allow the employee to perform the essential functions of her job without creating undue hardship for the employer. One way in which an employer can reasonably accommodate an employee is through schedule adjustment or shift change. Read more…