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

Employer Wants to “Bring Color” to Workplace, Gets Lawsuit Instead

ENDA discrimination

By Eric B. Meyer

Let’s get one thing clear. Anyone can be a victim of discrimination. And when it comes to race, we’re talking black, white, brown, whatever.

And in this instance, it added up to a $620,000 jury verdict and nearly $165,000 in attorney’s fees.

Case in point, in Boneberger v. St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, Mr. Boneberger, who is white, claimed reverse-race discrimination because his employer failed to transfer him to the position of Assistant Director of the St. Louis Police Academy. Read more…

HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

Is It Legal For the EEOC to Send 1,330 Emails to Your Employees?

eeoc

By Eric B. Meyer

Back in 2013, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission began investigating Case New Holland, Inc. for age discrimination, or so a complaint that Case New Holland recently filed in federal court alleges.

So, how is this news?

Apparently, the EEOC sent 1,330 emails to Case New Holland email addresses trolling for potential class-action plaintiffs — or so the Case New Holland complaint alleges. And by sending those emails, the EEOC violated the Administrative Procedure Act, and the Fourth and Fifth Amendments of the United States Constitution — or so Case New Holland alleges.

Read more…

HR Basics, Legal Issues

Why You Need to Be Careful Emailing Employees FMLA Paperwork

FMLA_poster

By. Eric B. Meyer

Remember, over the summer, when I wrote about how sending Family and Medical Leave Act paperwork to an employee via first class mail is a big mistake.

Why? Because if the employee claims not to have received the paperwork, then you have no proof of delivery, and possible FMLA interference issues if the employee is somehow precluded from taking FMLA leave.

So, I offered three alternatives: Read more…

Legal Issues

The One Thing HR Can’t Do If An Employee Reports a Noose

Photo by istockphoto.com

By Eric B. Meyer

One employer appears to have screwed up royally, which seems to be part of a trend this week.

Yes, there are several things you don’t want to do if an employee reports a noose in the workplace, among them:

HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

It May Not Be Good to Ask Entry Level Workers to Sign Non-Competes

Jimmy-Johns-Circle-Sign

By Eric B. Meyer

My Facebook and Twitter feeds were blowing up yesterday with links to articles at NYTimes.com, The Huffington Post, and Jezebel about how the Jimmy John’s sandwich chain supposedly makes its sandwich makers and delivery drivers sign non-competition agreements.

These agreements purport to preclude employees from working for certain nearby competitors for two years after their employment with Jimmy John’s ends.

I’m not going to comment specifically on Jimmy John’s and its purported practice other than to say that I work in Philadelphia and it would be sacrilege to let a “sub sandwich” pass between these lips. But, I do have a few general pointers from employers about restrictive covenants. Read more…

HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

Is It Discrimination If You Get Fired For Bringing a Gun to Work?

No guns firearms sign

By Eric B. Meyer

Getting fired for bringing a gun to work probably isn’t discrimination. But hey, what do you have to lose by filing the lawsuit anyway, right?

So, I was reading this opinion (Dipigney v. AutoZoners, LLC) from a New Hampshire federal court about an employee who claimed that his firing was discrimination.

Except, the thing is, a customer noticed that the employee was carrying a gun at work — his work being an auto parts store. So, the company investigates. The employee admits to HR that he had a gun at work.

The company has a policy against carrying firearms at work. So, the employee gets fired. Read more…

HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

Appeals Court Foils the Age Discrimination Claims of “Superman”

Superman Man of Steel superhero

By Eric B. Meyer

General Zod is not impressed.

Carlyn Johnson was diligent and hard-working. As a security guard, he had a reputation of never refusing an extra shift. Indeed, his  dependability earned him the nickname, “Superman.”

Notwithstanding Mr. Johnson’s willingness to work, a field service manager expressed concern about Johnson’s ability to work long hours. This field service manager told both Johnson and Johnson’s wife that Johnson was “too old” to be working and it was “time to hang up [Johnson's] Superman cape and retire.” Read more…

HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

EEOC Warns That a Duty to Accommodate May Extend After Childbirth

Photo by istockphoto.com

By Eric B. Meyer

Seems one employer may not have received the memo. Now, the EEOC is taking aim.

Over the summer, the EEOC issued new guidance on accommodating pregnant employees. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act doesn’t require reasonable accommodation for pregnant employees. That is, unless you accommodate other employees who are not considered to have a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act. In that case, you need to do the same for pregnant employees.

Got it? If not, Jeff Nowak has a good discussion here, focusing on light duty accommodations for pregnant employees. Read more…

HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

The Importance of Having – and Following – Clear Employment Policies

walmart11

By Eric B. Meyer

Remember that Americans with Disabilities Act case involving Walgreens and the $1.39 bag of chips?

In that one, the store appeared to really step in it by firing a diabetic who ate a bag of chips from the store without paying for it. The employee claimed that she needed the chips for her diabetes. The store defended its actions by arguing that the employee violated its no-grazing policy.

Some $180,000 later, that case was settled.

I don’t know how much the chicken poppers sell for at Wal-Mart. And the recent case involving the company’s no-grazing policy didn’t settle either. Read more…

HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

Supreme Court Will Hear Workplace Religious Discrimination Case

© chasingmoments - Fotolia.com

By Eric B. Meyer

Have you noticed a theme here with my blog posts this week?

Yes, It’s been all about religious discrimination.

And yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court announced that it is going to decide EEOC v. Abercrombie & Fitch Stores, Inc., a case involving an employee who wore a headscarf (or “hijab“) to work for religious reasons, but was told to remove because it conflicted with Abercrombie’s clothing policy. Read more…