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

When Should You Ask a Job Applicant About Their Religious Beliefs?

Head scarf

By Eric B. Meyer

Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral argument in EEOC v. Abercrombie & Fitch Stores, Inc.

In Abercrombie, the company did not hire a woman who wore a headscarf at her interview, because she did not conform to the company’s Look Policy.

The issue before the Supreme Court was whether an employer can be liable under Title VII for refusing to hire an applicant or discharging an employee based on a “religious observance and practice” only if the employer has actual knowledge that a religious accommodation was required, and, the employer’s actual knowledge resulted from direct, explicit notice from the applicant or employee. Read more…

HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

Yes, Your Independent Contractors SHOULD Release Employment Claims

123RF Stock Photo

Editor’s Note: Weekly Wrap is taking the week off. It will return next Friday.

By Eric B. Meyer

Here’s a thought: Consider requiring your new independent contractors to release employment claims.

What the hell are you talking about, Eric? Why would we make an independent contractor sign a release of employment claims before starting work for our company?

I’m so glad you asked.   Read more…

HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

Do You Have to Pay an Employee for Mandatory Alcohol Treatment?

© creative soul - Fotolia

By Eric B. Meyer

Are you required to pay an employee for mandatory alcohol treatment?

More specifically, as posed in this recent federal court decision, “when an employer requires an employee to attend alcohol counseling and treatment sessions as a condition of keeping her job, must the employer compensate the employee for the time she spends in counseling and treatment?”

The three plaintiffs, New York police offers, identified three aspect of counseling that they claim they were required to undertake: Read more…

HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

A Lesson in Why You Can Never Tolerate a Supervisor’s Racial Slurs

ENDA discrimination

By Eric B. Meyer

Even a few stray remarks can land your business in hot water…as one employer recently learned.

A cashier at a store in Mississippi was promoted to lead associate just a few months after her employment began. A few years later, the lead associate expressed interest in becoming an assistant manager. That promotion never happened. Read more…

HR Basics, Legal Issues

Why Your Handbook Needs to Be Clear on Taking FMLA Leave

FMLA_poster

By Eric B. Meyer

A few missing words in your employee handbook words may open your FMLA floodgates, and you wouldn’t want to make the same egregious mistake as a Michigan employer recently did.

The Family and Medical Leave Act permits eligible employees to take up to 12 weeks off in a 12-month period for, among other things, a serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the functions of the position of such employee.

To be eligible for FMLA leave, an employee must work for a covered employer and: Read more…

HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

Court: Demanding a Social Security Number Isn’t Religious Discrimination

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By Eric B. Meyer

Remember that blog post I had from July of last year, the one you contemplated getting tattooed on your back?

Yeah, you know the one — about the Fundamentalist Christian, who, upon filling out his new-employee paperwork, refused to provide a Social Security number because it would cause him to have the “Mark of the Beast.” He sought a religious accommodation, which the company refused to provide because obtaining a Social Security number is a federal requirement.

Well, the employee appealed the decision to a federal appellate court. How you think that one finally turned out? Read more…

HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

S. Carolina Banning State Employees From Using Social Media at Work

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By Eric B. Meyer

One state is banning personal use of social media at work.Wait, seriously?

Yep. No employee of the State of South Carolina will be allowed to use social media on the job, “unless specifically required by the agency to perform a job function.”

Cassie Cope at TheState.com first reported this news. According to the State Employee Code of Conduct Task Force report, the new rule is designed to provide “clear, easy to understand guidance to state employees and will provide the public with greater trust and confidence in state government” and to curtail waste of state resources. Read more…

HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

NJ Court’s Independent Contractor Test Assumes Workers Are Employees

123RF Stock Photo

By Eric B. Meyer

The New Jersey Supreme Court just fashioned a test to determine whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor for purposes of resolving a wage-payment or wage-and-hour claim.

On Wednesday the Court, in this opinion, concluded that the “ABC” test, a creature of the New Jersey Unemployment Compensation Act, will determine whether plaintiff is an employee or an independent contractor for purposes of resolving a wage-payment or wage-and-hour claim.

The applicable Unemployment Compensation Act provision speaks in terms of control. The law presumes that an individual is an employee. It’s then up to the company to prove otherwise; i.e., that the individual is an independent contractor. Read more…

Benefits, HR News & Trends

President Calls For Paid Sick Leave For All American Workers

Obama

By Eric B. Meyer

In an announcement made late Wednesday on LinkedIn, Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to President Barack Obama, posted that President Obama will call upon Congress today to pass the Healthy Families Act.

I’ve blogged about the Healthy Families Act before here. Essentially, the Healthy Families Act would require companies with 15 or more employees to permit each employee to earn at least one (1) hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours worked. Read more…

HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

Court OKs Firing of Public Employee Who Criticized Boss on Facebook

Facebook Logo

By Eric B. Meyer

You know all that stuff you read on the Internet about employees who can badmouth their boss on the Internet, all in the name of free speech, and not get fired for it?

Yeah, about that.

Here’s a recent opinion from the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans about a 25-year police sergeant, a public employee, whose First Amendment freedom of speech rights were not violated when she was fired for posting Facebook comments, which were critical of her boss. Read more…