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

Can an Employer Be Blamed For Employee Who Is Unfit to Work?

Andreas Lubitz

By Eric B. Meyer

One week ago today, a Germanwings plane carrying 150 people crashed and killed everyone on board.

Since then, there is mounting evidence that the co-pilot, who was in great physical shape, was also suffering from mental illness which caused him to deliberately steer Flight 9525 into the French Alps.

Why didn’t Germanwings taken preventative steps? Apparently, the co-pilot hid his mental illness from his employer. Read more…

HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

Silicon Valley Gender Bias Trial Brings Spotlight to Gender Discrimination

ellenpao

By Eric B. Meyer

I intended to begin the week with a post about a company’s legal obligation to predict — yes, predict — an employee’s mental fitness for duty.

Then, I started on a brief tangent on Ellen Pao, the former partner of a Silicon Valley venture capital firm, who just lost a highly-publicized gender discrimination claim against said former employer.

And a few hundred words later, that brief tangent became its own blog post — this one. (If you want a wild lawsuit brought by an airline captain who claimed that his former employer was negligent by failing to predict that he’d have a manic in-flight episode, come back tomorrow). Read more…

HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

Supreme Court Clarifies Rules Against Pregnancy Discrimination, Sort Of

© chasingmoments - Fotolia.com

By Eric B. Meyer

Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court kinda, sorta clarified pregnancy accommodation rules at work.

I’ll do my best to sort it out for you.

Let’s assume that you have a pregnant employee who tells you that she has a lifting restriction. In the past, you have accommodated employees with disabilities who had similar lifting restrictions. You’ve also done the same for folks who got injured on the job and others who lost their U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) certifications.

If you don’t provide the same accommodation to the pregnant employee, have you violated the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA)? Read more…

HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

English-Only Work Rules May Discriminate – and Violate Labor Law, Too

english-only-zone

By Eric B. Meyer

A few years ago, I posed this question: Is a workplace “English-only” rule legal?

Yadda, yadda, yadda, sometimes.

That is, in this Compliance Manual, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission confirms that employers may adopt English-only rules under certain circumstances, insofar as it is adopted for non-discriminatory reasons (e.g., safety, business necessity) and not to discriminate on the basis of national origin. Read more…

HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

Can You Get Into an Employee’s Messages on a Company-Issued iPad?

© Robert Lehmann - Fotolia.com

By Eric B. Meyer

Does a company invade an employee’s privacy by accessing personal texts on a work-issued iPad?

This “invasion of privacy” question is the lynchpin of a new lawsuit from two former employees of one of the largest beer companies in the world. The complaint (Nascimento v. Anheuser Busch), which began in state court, has been removed to federal court in New Jersey.

David Gialanella, reporting for the New Jersey Law Journal, summarizes the facts of the case: Read more…

HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

Can Just Cashing a Paycheck Waive an Employee’s FLSA Overtime Claim?

No-overtime

By Eric B. Meyer

I’ve gotta hand it to the company in this recent federal appellate court opinion in Beaufort v. ActionLink, LLC. The company almost — soooooo close — avoided several claims for unpaid overtime.

Let me set the stage for you. Back in 2011, the U.S. Department of Labor began investigating a complaint that a marketing company had misclassified some employees and failed to pay overtime. Read more…

HR News & Trends

March Madness? The Other Crazy Things Employees Are Betting On

march-madness-on-demand

By Eric B. Meyer

Got a busted bracket in your HR Department’s NCAA Men’s Tournament bracket pool?

Well, according to this CareerBuilder.com survey, 1 in 7 U.S. workers planned to fill out a bracket in an NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament office pool. Most likely to participate would be the folks in IT (40 percent), with senior management 50 percent more likely to participate than entry-level employees. Read more…

HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

39 Reasons Why Your Employee Handbook May Violate the Law

Employee Handbook

By Eric B. Meyer

The National Labor Relations Board issued a report this week from General Counsel Richard Griffin, Jr. replete with examples of how your employee handbook is overly broad and violates the National Labor Relations Act.

The purpose of the report is to educate employers, with recent case developments, on what can and cannot be included in an employee handbook.

What can’t be included is anything that could chill your employees from discussing the terms and conditions of employment with one another. That’s because the Act give employees, union or not, the right to do that. Read more…

HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

Can Transferring an Employee Actually Be Seen as Discrimination?

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By Eric B. Meyer

When does transferring an employee amount to discrimination?

Well, I think we can all agree that, when an employee’s protected class motivates a company to transfer him to a less desirable position, it’s time to call the lawyers and break out the checkbook.

But, what makes a transfer position less desirable? Read more…

HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

Can an Employee Get Fired For Punching a Sexual Harasser?

© Piotr Marcinski - Fotolia

By Eric B. Meyer

Can you smack your sexual harasser, complain, and still claim retaliation?

The plaintiff in this case (Speed v. Wes Health System) claimed that she was sexually harassed by her male supervisor for over a year. The court’s opinion details alleged comments and groping in vivid detail. (No recap here. I plan to keep my post PG, damn it! OK, PG-13. You happy, now?).

Whenever the plaintiff supposedly complained, her employer did nothing about the harassment. Read more…