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 News & Trends, Legal Issues

Yes, It’s Wrong to Disclose Employee Medical Info on Facebook

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By Eric B. Meyer

Yes, disclosing an employee’s medical info on Facebook is stupid, plus, it may violate the Americans with Disabilities Act, too.

In Shoun v. Best Formed Plastics, Inc., the plaintiff allegedly suffered a bad shoulder injury at work. And, after the plaintiff reported it, the person who processed worker’s compensation claims for his company, posted the following on her Facebook page:

Isn’t [it] amazing how Jimmy experienced a 5 way heart bypass just one month ago and is back to work, especially when you consider George Shoun’s shoulder injury kept him away from work for 11 months and now he is trying to sue us.” Read more…

HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

Court: No 1st Amendment Protection For Teacher Trash-Talking Online

Natalie Munroe

By Eric B. Meyer

Do you remember Natalie Munroe?

She’s the teacher who enjoyed a cup of coffee in the spotlight a few years ago after getting suspended for bashing her students on her personal blog.

Among other things, she described her students as argumentative f*cks who may engage in Columbine-style shootings.

Out of all this, back in June of 2012, she sued her employer, alleging that her employer deprived her of First Amendment constitutional rights. Read more…

HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

A Supervisor-Subordinate Romance Isn’t Necessarily Discrimination

Office romance

By Eric B. Meyer

Over the weekend, I read this case (Clark v. Cache Valley Electric Co.) in which a male plaintiff alleged discrimination because his supervisor was allegedly schtupping a female subordinate and treating her better.

(The court said “voluntary romantic affiliation,” but why say in three words, what you can say in one?)

Specifically, the plaintiff alleged that, in exchange for putting out, his female co-worker received better job assignments, bonuses, and other working conditions. Read more…

HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

President’s Order Bans Discrimination Against LBGT Employees

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President Obama signed an Executive Order Monday banning discrimination against LGBT employees by federal contractors.

Last month, I blogged here that the White House had announced that it intended to eventually ban LGBT discrimination by federal contractors through Executive Order because the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), did not make it through Congress.

Since that time, several gay-rights groups withdrew their support for ENDA, fearing that it afforded “religiously affiliated organizations … a blank check to engage in workplace discrimination against LGBT people.” Read more…

HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

How Off the Clock Use of Social Media Can Still Impact Your Workplace

From istockphoto.com

By Eric B. Meyer

Last month I was speaking about social media and the workplace to a fabulous audience at the 2014 SHRM Annual Conference and Expo in Orlando. (Email me if you want a copy of my slide deck).

One of my session themes was that there is no such thing as employees using social media “off the clock.” That is, even if an individual tweets or updates her Facebook status outside of the four walls of the workplace, that communication can still impact the workplace.

Dan Davis at IBM’s Social Business Insights blog recently wrote about this, and another Twitter user described it as the “24/7 social media conundrum” Two recent incidents described below bear this out. Read more…

HR Basics, Legal Issues

Why Communications Are Critical During an FMLA Leave

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By Eric B. Meyer

How many times has an employee provided you with an incomplete Family and Medical Leave Act certification? Oh, I don’t know, maybe a missing return date…

If the FMLA leave is foreseeable, then the employee must provide the employer with the anticipated timing and duration of the leave. However, where the FMLA leave is unforeseeable — think, car crash — then that information can wait if the employee herself doesn’t know her return date.

But that doesn’t mean you — yeah, you employer — should let it go. Read more…

HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

How the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby Decision Affects Your Workplace

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By Eric B. Meyer

Mid-morning on Monday, the Internet broke shortly after the U.S. Supreme Court issued its 5-4 decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc..

Jeez, I’m still cleaning out my Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook feeds.

In case your wifi, 4G, 3G, dial-up, TV, radio, and other electronics picked the wrong day to quit, the long and short of yesterday’s Supreme Court decision is this: Smaller, closely held (think: family owned) companies don’t have to provide Obamacare access to birth control if doing so would conflict with an employer’s religious beliefs. Read more…

HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

Supreme Court: President Was Wrong to Make NLRB Recess Appointments

obama jobless

By Eric B. Meyer

In a unanimous opinion delivered yesterday in the case NLRB v. Noel Canning, the United States Supreme Court concluded that President Obama’s so-called “recess appointments” of three of the five members of the National Labor Relations Board between the Senate’s Jan. 3 and Jan. 6 pro forma sessions were unconstitutional.

Amy Howe from SCOTUSblog.com summarized the decision “in plain English”:

[A]ny recess that is shorter than three days is not long enough to make a recess appointment necessary. And a recess that is longer than three days but shorter than 10 days will, in the normal case, also be too short to necessitate a recess appointment.” …  Read more…

HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

A Workplace With N-Words, Confederate Flags, But No Discrimination

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By Eric B. Meyer

Over the weekend, I read this opinion (Adams v. Austal) in a race-discrimination with facts so egregious, they’d make David Duke blush.

Let me set the scene for you: This is a workplace where, allegedly, several of the white employees displayed Confederate flag paraphernalia. I’ll spare you a verbatim review of the racial graffiti and epithets — you can view it here — but, it was pretty darn bad. And what about multiple nooses in the workplace — eight (8) in total. Read more…

Legal Issues

Court: Employment at Will Trumps 2nd Amendment Gun Rights

No guns firearms sign

By Eric B. Meyer

In every one of the United States, except Montana, employment is at will. This means that, absent a contract of employment for a specific period of time, you may fire an employee for any reason or no reason at all.

(Not to be confused with “right to work” — more on that here.)

Well, I suppose that there are some exceptions. Like, you can’t discriminate. And many laws make it illegal to retaliate as well. Read more…