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

An Interactive Process Can Help Resolve ADA Accommodation Claims

eeoc-logo

By Eric B. Meyer

So just how did an employer snatch victory from the jaws of defeat after botching a diabetic employee’s request to work a modified schedule?

Back in 2011, the EEOC announced that it had sued Kohl’s Department Stores for disability discrimination. The EEOC claimed that Kohl’s “refused to accommodate a diabetic employee’s request for a regular schedule and forced her to quit.”

Allegedly, when the employee told Kohl’s “that the scheduled hours could kill her, its store manager laughed and told her that she would not accommodate her.” So, the employee had no choice but to resign her employment to protect her health. Read more…

HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

NLRB Pushes Through Rule Allowing “Quickie” Union Elections

NLRB-sign

By Eric B. Meyer

Cue the haters.

Following a decision earlier last week permitting employees to use company email to badmouth you and unionize, the National Labor Relations Board ended last week by passing a new rule, which, in its words, updated “its representation-case procedures to modernize and streamline the process for resolving representation disputes.”

In other words, faster union elections and more of ‘em.

Here are details on this new rule and what employers can do about it: Read more…

Legal Issues

Why That NLRB Ruling About Employee’s Using Email is No Big Deal

123RF Stock Photo

By Eric B. Meyer

The National Labor Relations Board says that your employees can use company email to badmouth you and unionize.

Well, here are four reasons why it’s no big deal.

Yes, that’s right — it’s NO BIG DEAL. Read more…

HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

When an Employee Handbook Goes Beyond What the Law Requires

Employee Handbook

By Eric B. Meyer

I’m gonna pause for a sec while you go and grab a copy of your company’s employee handbook. Now open it up to the anti-harassment policy and, click through, because your world may be about to be rocked.

Got your policy out? Good.

  • Does it define harassment more broadly than the law would? Read more…
HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

Federal Court Allows Discrimination Against Transgendered Employee

discrimination

By Eric B. Meyer

Under federal law (Title VII), employers cannot discriminate because of one’s sex.

While Title VII does not explicitly coverage transgender employees (i.e., someone born female who presents male, and vice-versa; also known as gender identity), the EEOC’s position is that transgender employees are protected too. Indeed, they’ve begun filing federal lawsuits on behalf of transgender employees who claim to have been discriminated against.

But, the courts have not uniformly accepted the EEOC’s position. Indeed, the state of the law here is very much unsettled. Read more…

Benefits, Legal Issues

EEOC to Offer Employers Guidance on Wellness Programs

123RF Stock Photo

By Eric B. Meyer

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is obsessed with wellness programs.

Or, as the EEOC likes to describe them “‘so-called’ wellness programs.” And not in a “yay, so-called wellness programs are super” kinda way.

No, in recent months, the EEOC has initiated litigation against companies (example, example, example) claiming that they violate the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Genetic Information Non-Disclosure Act (GINA) by both requiring medical examination and penalizing employees who decline to participate. Read more…

HR Management, Legal Issues

FMLA Interference: It’s Telling an Employee “Don’t Die at the Desk”

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By Eric B. Meyer

Telling an employee returning from open-heart surgery, “Don’t die at the desk” is bad. Very bad.

Also, threatening to drag that employee outside and throw him in a ditch isn’t good either.

Yeah, that may fracture a law or two. I’m thinking the Family and Medical Leave Act.

Heck, even the Taliban would frown on that. Read more…

HR Management, Legal Issues

Another Reminder Why You Need a Good Workplace BYOD Policy

Photo illustration by istockphoto.com

By Eric B. Meyer

Is it against the law to remotely wipe an employee’s Candy Crush high score?

Replace Candy Crush high score with email contacts on a personal iPhone used for work (yes, a Bring Your Own Device situation), and you have the issue that a federal court in Texas recently tackled.

This case (Rajaee v. Design Tech Homes and Design Tech Homes of Texas) presents a set of facts not unlike those which could easily arise in your workplace. Read more…

HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

Can You Fire an Employee For Having a “Nazi Shrine” on Facebook?

Facebook Logo

By Eric B. Meyer

Last week, I read this story in USA Today from Cam Smith, in which he reports that the North Delta Minor Hockey Association fired one of its junior hockey coaches after it learned that he had posted pictures of Nazi items and propaganda — described as a “Nazi shrine” — on his Facebook page.

The Hockey Association defended the termination in a statement in which it characterized the post as containing “extreme and objectionable material believed to be incompatible with an important purpose of our minor hockey association — to promote and encourage good citizenship.”

Now, let’s assume that this went down in the U.S. Could the former employee argue religious discrimination (with a straight face)? Read more…

HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

When Sexting and Flirting isn’t Sexual Harassment At All

Sexual harassment

By Eric B. Meyer

To prove sexual harassment, a plaintiff must have been subjected to pervasive or severe behavior based on the plaintiff’s sex. Further, not only would an objective person have to find the behavior offensive, but the plaintiff must be offended as well.

Usually, when a plaintiff claims sexual harassment, a court takes for granted that conduct at issue offended the plaintiff.

But, I just read about a case that bucked the trend. Read more…