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

Senate Bill Seeks to Reform the National Labor Relations Board

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So, earlier this week it was all about House Republicans introducing legislation to constrain the enforcement efforts of the EEOC.

Now, it seems that some Senate Republicans are taking aim at the National Labor Relations Board, according to this story from Ramsey Cox at TheHill.com.

Ms. Cox reports that, if the Republicans control the Senate following the November elections, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-KY, will make revamping the National Labor Relations Board a top priority. Read more…

Legal Issues

“Subtle Bias” – What Employers Should Know Before It Becomes a Lawsuit

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By Eric B. Meyer

I recently read this CareerBuilder poll, which found that the majority of workers don’t aspire to leadership roles. Here are the numbers:

  • One in five (5) workers (20 percent) feel his or her organization has a glass ceiling —  an unseen barrier preventing women and minorities from reaching higher job levels.
  • However, when looking only at workers who aspire to management and senior management positions, the percentage increases to 24 percent and is even higher among females (33 percent), Hispanics (34 percent), African Americans (50 percent) and workers with disabilities (59 percent). Read more…
HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

How Swift Response to Racial Slurs Defused a Discrimination Claim

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By Eric B. Meyer

You have an employee handbook, an anti-harassment policy, training, the whole nine yards.

But sometimes, notwithstanding your best efforts to create a positive, respectful workplace, you receive a complaint from an employee who claims to be the victim of harassment based on [insert protected class here].

All the measures you’ve already installed mean nothing unless you respond to the that complaint appropriately. Read more…

HR Management, Legal Issues

EEOC Is Now Taking on Fitness-For-Duty Medical Releases

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By Eric B. Meyer

Congratulations!

Your fitness-for-duty employee medical examinations are job-related or consistent with business necessity. So, they pass muster with under the Americans with Disabilities Act. But, what about the medical information you request from employees in connection with the exam?

Oh yeah, there’s that too…

So, might you be violating not only the ADA, but also the Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act? Read more…

HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

Court: ADA Requires Accommodating Employees With Angry Outbursts

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By Eric B. Meyer

The Americans with Disabilities Act requires that employers provide reasonable accommodation to employees with disabilities when doing so will allow them to perform the essential functions of their job.

In Assaturian v. Hertz Corp., the plaintiff had a series of ailments, which the defendant admitted were ADA disabilities. But, one of the symptoms of these disabilities were angry outbursts, which were directed at subordinates.

(The parties agreed that the plaintiff had anger issues, but disagreed about whether the plaintiff had made the defendant aware of either this disabilities or the symptoms of those disabilities). Read more…

HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

Yes, Employees Can Curse Their Boss on Facebook and Get Away With It

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By Eric B. Meyer

Can an employee curse out their boss on Facebook and get away with it?

It’s easier than you think. Indeed, a recent decision from the National Labor Relations Board bears this out.

As we’ve discussed before, the National Labor Relations Act, gives covered employees (that would include not just those in unionized workplaces, but many, many folks in non-union jobs too) the right to discuss the terms and conditions of their jobs (stuff like pay, benefits, crappy bosses, etc.) together. Read more…

HR Basics, Legal Issues

Why You Need an Essential List of Job Functions When Approving FMLA

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By Eric B. Meyer

Under the Family and Medical Leave Act, an eligible employee has the right to take up to 12 work weeks of covered leave for, among other things, the employee’s own serious health condition.

The FMLA prohibits an employer from interfering with an employee’s FMLA rights. This includes the right to return to work from leave to the employee’s prior position (or an equivalent one). Read more…

HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

Title VII Prohibits Retaliation Based on Good Faith Claim of Harassment

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By Eric  B. Meyer

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination based on a number of protected classes. Sexual orientation isn’t one of those protected classes specifically listed in the statute.

So, if an employee complains about sexual-orientation harassment and is later fired because she complained, then that won’t create a claim under Title VII. Or does it?

In Bennefield v. Mid-Valley Healthcare, Inc., an employee allegedly complained to her supervisor that a co-worker was creating a hostile work environment by, among other things, calling the employee a “disgusting lesbian” and a “stupid lesbian.” Read more…

HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

Can You Fire Someone Who Discloses a Disability at a Termination Meeting?

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By Eric B. Meyer

File this under: Duh!

Let’s assume that you have an employee who commits a terminable offense. For example, in Martins v. Rhode Island Hospital, surveillance cameras and the Hospital’s employee ID swipe system suggested that Martins left work for approximately four hours and, later, he could not account for his whereabouts.

So, you schedule a termination meeting, which is exactly what the Hospital did with Martins. However, at the meeting, Martins told the Hospital that he suffers from bipolar disorder. Read more…

HR News & Trends, Recruiting and Staffing

New Jersey Governor Vetoes Bill Protecting Unemployed Job Hunters

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By Eric B. Meyer

A bill that would have made it illegal for New Jersey companies to refuse to hire a job candidate because of his/her employment status is dead for now.

Last week, New Jersey banned the box.

However, Bob Jordan over at the Cherry Hill Courier-Post reports here that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has put the kibosh on a bill that would essentially make “unemployment” a protected class, like race, religion, national origin and others protected under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination. Read more…